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      11-30-2019, 05:00 PM   #18
Second Lieutenant
V.Smurf's Avatar

Drives: M2 LBB DCT (LCI) | X3 30i
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Melbourne

iTrader: (0)

Fixed - Replaced with Michelin Pilot Sport 4s Tyres

Hi Folks,

Thank you all for the advice you've provided.

I took action to see what could be done by BMW - I couldn't believe that the car was so unstable and had a specialist (from BMW Melbourne) look at the car during the annual service. I ended up with their handling specialist in the car as I put it sideways with very little provocation (at less than 40kmh on a suburban street).

Amongst other suggestions, the specialist advised me to turn off the traction control (a short press of the button, and not the longer press) as it was very aggressively intervening, and to decrease the pressure in the rear tyres to 32 PSI. The banging that I had reported above is actually the traction control attempting to correct the car slipping.

He took the drivers seat and demonstrated that the car behaved better with the traction control off, but it wasn't great. He also suggested that I change to a newer tyre - which turned into a recommendation when he learnt that I had factory Continentals on the car.

I've now replaced the (factory fitted) Continentals with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, and the issues that I had experienced are gone. The difference is unbelievably massive:
  1. The traction control no longer activates when accelerating (haven't had it engage since changing the tyres)
  2. The constant vibration that I had when driving (I'd call it "fidgeting") whenever the car passed over a minor road defect is no more
  3. The regular "head wobble" no longer happens
  4. The quality of the ride has improved by 300-400% (I had considered replacing the suspension as it was so rough)
  5. It is quieter to drive (or at least, the roar from the tyres on the road has decreased and you enjoy the engine note more)
  6. Driving on tram tracks (or over railway lines) - a very common thing in Melbourne - no longer throws you around the cabin if you take it at a regular pace (i.e. the speed limit)
  7. The car actually goes in the direction you point it, and stays in the same direction (doesn't require constant correction)

I'm totally stunned at the difference. Continental make good tyres, but the ones that were on my M2 were totally unsuited to the car as they provided a defective driving experience. That BMW supplied them on a car of otherwise excellent quality is terribly disappointing: I nearly sold the car as I was done with the poor handling.

I regret not changing tyres right at the start, but I am now looking forward to be able to enjoy the car a lot more.

Sharing this experience as maybe others can benefit from the lesson that I've learned