Are winter tires worth it or all-season tires?

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I'll be vacationing in Tahoe and making two trips. Is winter tires worth it or should I get chains? Is it advisable to put chains on a BMW 318ti? If so, where can I get good, cheap ones?

I live in California, if it isn't that obvious.

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9 Responses to Are winter tires worth it or all-season tires?

  1. dodge man says:

    if it were me id go with a good all season radial tire,they come in all price ranges,and some of the cheaper ones have been known to out last the better ones,any of the local tire stores will have discounts on tires right now,they need to sell this years stock out so they don’t have to do inventory on them,check around also look in the newspaper for sales on these,sometimes you can get them buy three get one free,good luck with it.

  2. Martinmm says:

    watch the news,chains are !!!REQUIRED …>>>>
    Try the dealer if your woried or auto for easier way to spend your dough

  3. You can always get second hand winter tires, chains are a pain in the butt to put on, I should know I live in Canada, especially if it’s snowing really hard and you cannot see a thing! How much do you really love your BMW? GO WITH THE TIRES!!! Probably cost you about $400 or under for 4 winter tires, just go to any of your local tire stores, they should have some there. If not google some…

  4. Daddy says:

    Forget chains…… get a good ice / snow radial and pick a tire thats studdable …….. a good winter tire has a moderatly soft comound of rubber with lots of sipes ( narrrow slices in the tire face ) one must remember that when a tire looses traction and you start to slide sideways …….studs will help a lot to prevent that unpredicted side slide…….. I live in a snow belt area in BC,/ Canada ….. and up here the forementioned tires are a must…. I really like cooper winter tires (studdable ) and of course ,made in the usa ….

  5. cpttango30 says:

    dude Forget the chaines. I would get a set of allseason tires and get them studded. These will do the same if not more for your car than chains.

    If you want chaines then get a good quality set of CABLE chains.

    I hate chains because they limit how fast and far you can drive. If you go over about 5mph then will come apart and destroy your nice BMW. Plus it is like driving with four square tires. If you want to feel that for miles and miles. Like some of the roads to Taho can get in the winter go for it.

    My dad always had his work trucks tires studded for winter and never would he have to put chains on.

    Below is from CHP FAQ Web page.

    I have studded tires installed on my vehicle. Are they legal in California? When?

    The California Vehicle Code [Section 27454 (e)], permits studded tires to be used on vehicles between November 1 and April 30 of each year. The number of studs or the percentage of metal in contact with the roadway cannot exceed three percent of the total tire area in contact with the roadway.

  6. Vitaliy D says:

    I would edvise you to buy good all season tires, do not buy winter tires because you spend most of the time in Calif. so it would not make any scense. Also buying chains, does not make any scense to me to. Just get best all season tires and drive slowly on snow and you will be fine.

  7. Mathy S says:

    Winter tires are quite costly, but they are well worth. If you do get winter tires, look for tires with a good tread (thickness of the rubber) also make sure that the warranty is good, quite often things go wrong with them. As far as the chains go, NO. BMW series is a pretty low car and if the chain is even a bit loose, it can badly damage the internal body work of the car. I have seen this happen many times before.

    But of course, it is probably useless to buy winter tires if you are not going to encounter snow.

  8. Snowie says:

    The 318ti is quite hard to handle in snow, mainly because it does not have the benefit of the DSC system. A straight RWD car without any electronic assistance is very hard to handle in slippery conditions… especially for someone who has little experience driving in snow.

    You should look into getting some winter tires. Bridgestone Blizzak Revo 1 is on clearance from They’re great tires. Used them on my BMW for 2 seasons so far. For the E36 318ti, use 205/60-15 size. Nothing wider.

    Here’s what happens to those who “think” all-seasons are good enough…
    (look at “Handling a car on icy roads”)

    And don’t think for a second that studded tires are better than studless tires. Look at this test video by

  9. v says:

    DO NOT GET WINTER TIRES you can only use them for the winter season december to feb and then u have to take them off its some kind of law…big fine if u dont