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Starting to look towards the winter and am thinking about tyres. I usually change to winter wheels for safety, the wheels I used last year won’t fit the MINI (205/55R16 on VW wheels). I have been looking for a set of wheels but find none are cheap, then I’d need tyres also the TPMS valves, so it is looking rather expensive.
Winter tyres in the 225/50R18 size are around £150 each, if I use the standard wheels i’ll be looking at an extra £50 each time I have the tyres swapped.
So I thought about all season tyres but can’t find any in the 225/50R18 size.
Has anyone used an alternative size?
What is the car like in the winter with the standard summer tyres on?
 

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Go Michelen Cross Climate+, a summer tyre with a winter rating or if you can't get them in your size, Goodyear Vector 4 season are among the best in all season and less expensive than the Cross Climate.
The Michelens rate very highly in independent tests and user reviews. The Goodyears always score highly in all weather comparison tests but I think have been left behind by the Michelens
 

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Ideally winter tyrres are higher profile and narrower, eg 215/55 or 215/60 on a smaller rim diameter. It's useful to find out wheel options for the same car sold on Northern Europe to see what alternative wheel sizes have been homologated. The Pirelli website often has useful information.
 

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How far have you got with your search for 17" winter wheels.

Start with compiling a list of data for BCD, offset, rim width, bore diameter etc.
 

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The 225/50R18 is not a popular size and is not available in Michelin, Continental or Goodyear all season tyres.
As I have stated MINI wheels are not cheap, also they need the TPMS valves.
Ideally I love to get a set of 17” wheels and fit 205/60R17 winter tyres,
I had a 1 Series BMW that had the valve based TPMS system, but you could also switch it to an ABS wheel sensor system via the i-Drive menu for winter tyre use.

Is that an option on the MINI? It means you can save the £s on the TPMS for your winter wheels.

The other option is to buy a full set from a German main dealer, I got a full set of winter tyres/wheels/valves for my old i3, they were about 50% of the cost of that setup here in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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This wheel and rim database should provide data you need for a 17" alternative wheel.
freddym I must apologise to you!
I have read in many places that the Countryman wheels were 5 x120 PCD.
Today I have actually removed a wheel and tried one of my old Leon wheels. The wheels on the MINI are actually 5 x 112! The Leon wheels won’t actually fit as the centre bore on these is too small to fit over the hub centre on the MINI it is 50 something whilst the MINI is 66mm. There is also a possibility the inside of a 16” rim may contact the caliper mounting brackets ( on the rear) it looks very close but could not prove this when the wheel will not fit over the hub centre.
 

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Now you have established PCD, you could purchase a "test" steel rim from Oponeo or MyTyres. Use that to confirm fit over the calipers.
 

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@Gordon Bradford - Just be careful "swapping wheels" - I'm not 100% certain how it works for BMW/Mini products, but I do know from some of my OEM clients that everything is now "matched" to each individual car (thank the new WLTP emissions regs for this) - so that if your car was ordered from new with "Wheel size A + Tyre brand A", you can get lots of MIL code issues if you do something as simple as swap to "Wheel size A + Tyre brand B" for example..... the world of modern motoring is not setup for the interested amateur anymore, its setup for company / lease car drivers who turn the key and drive and return in 2yrs for a new one.....

You may find that if you did take the plunge, buy a totally new wheel and tyre set and then put it on your car, the car would throw a wobble (either ABS/TCS issues, or TPMS warnings) that only BMW/Mini could fix or you might simply just get into a weird de-rate mode.

I hate to say it, but it might be worth spending the money you have set aside on a 20 year old eBay special and just driving that in the winter.... ?
 

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Is that last reply from a US persepective with the warning on MIL (US terminology)?

European cars will always be homologated with a winter wheel (rim/tyre combination.

I think that's all the OP needs to achieve. The new wheel set may well need an additional set of TPMS sensors, either cloned or coded in as an additional set. The OEM often provides for the 2nd set to be switched back and forth by the driver,

Note without the winter tyres, it would not be legal to drive the car in the winter months in many European countries. Most Northern European drivers would demand the availability of winter steel rims (BMWi3 being a rare exception)
 

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Is that last reply from a US persepective with the warning on MIL (US terminology)?

European cars will always be homologated with a winter wheel (rim/tyre combination.

I think that's all the OP needs to achieve. The new wheel set may well need an additional set of TPMS sensors, either cloned or coded in as an additional set. The OEM often provides for the 2nd set to be switched back and forth by the driver,

Note without the winter tyres, it would not be legal to drive the car in the winter months in many European countries. Most Northern European drivers would demand the availability of winter steel rims (BMWi3 being a rare exception)
Sorry - Worked for an American OEM for many years, but everyone I know at a manufacturer level here in the UK refers to a "MIL"... Basically any warning light triggered by a parameter outside of operating norms.

Certainly the Countryman will have a winter tyre option available from the dealers for the countries where it is needed, but that will not likely have been part of the base vehicle homologation, as that tyre would have to then be included as part of the worse-casing process and would affect coastdown times and therefore the CO2 on the emissions test with a knock on to the VED (here in the UK its the VED, but whatever scheme exists in the rest of the world/Europe) - the Mini "recommended" Winter tyres will likely be part of a dealer fit option pack and therefore outside the scope of Type Approval, but totally within C&U rules. You will probably have to use the standard rims (and TPMS monitoring system) and get the dealer to fit your winter tyres to your exisiting rims - and then have them run the scan tool, just to say "its OK".... ? Would be interested to know how this would work with a 2019 (and beyond) MY car that could be used for ISM of the RDE / PEMS emissions test.... The car would probably have to be reverted back to its "summer" tyres as these were what it was homologated on ?

I dont think any OEM offers steel rims as part of an options pack for the UK ? And certainly I dont recall seeing many 'modern' cars running an alternative steel rim in the winter (unless they were made with them and the wheel trims have fallen off - some base model Vauxhall still have steel rims with wheel trims). Modern aluminium alloy wheels are so much better protected than steel for UK road use (salt + water & grit) and even "performance" tyres these days have superb water displacement properties so no advantages / disadvantages anymore.

For the 2 or 3 days a year that we get enough snow to bother the standard cars setup is it really worth the hassle of winter tyres ? Especially as the cars ESP / ASP system will intervene whatever the tyre you are running - even when switched "off" if the road conditions are that bad ?
 

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Sorry, have to disagree with some of these points.

Can't remember any European OEM including Merc, Ford, Renault, BMW, PSA ( that's just the new cars me and immediate family have bought new in last decade) that didn't offer winter steel wheels and tyres. OK, UK dealers sometimes hopeless but easy enough to buy from Dutch/German sources, all homolgated with European type approval which includes UK. TPMS problems are always solvable, hopefull there is agreement on that. Regards
 

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Re winter tyres arn't needed in Britain line of discussion (loads of debate on this forum and many others), worth keeping in mind that some of us live in Scotland, work in the countryside and depend on car that get up winter inclines. Long ago gave up on summer tyres in the winter months. Northern Europeans I work with frankly can't understand the "stupid" British tradition of being unprepared for winter!
 

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Sorry, have to disagree with some of these points.

Can't remember any European OEM including Merc, Ford, Renault, BMW, PSA ( that's just the new cars me and immediate family have bought new in last decade) that didn't offer winter steel wheels and tyres. OK, UK dealers sometimes hopeless but easy enough to buy from Dutch/German sources, all homolgated with European type approval which includes UK. TPMS problems are always solvable, hopefull there is agreement on that. Regards
Hi @freddym - you need to disassociate the dealers where you buy the cars from with the actual OEMs who make the cars from a "Type Approval" or "Homologation" perspective. The dealers might be officially franchised for a particular brand, but they are not the OEM itself (if that makes sense?). You can't go to Cowley and buy your Mini directly from the end of the production line - or from NedCar in Eindhoven if you are talking the Mini PHEV - You buy it from a dealership.

The OEM is responsible for the vehicle upto and including the issue of the CoC (so upto the point of first registration when it is transferred to the dealer) and then not a lot else thereafter unless it is a warranty or recall issue, so all dealers offer consumers things POST REGISTRATION, that would not be part of the OEMs intended Whole Vehicle (WVTA) approval for the car (like bike racks, or alternative wheels as obvious examples of things that the OEM would not want included in the WVTA) - obviously these things would have been signed off for sale by the OEM in their name - for safety, quality and durability etc - but they would not form part of the WVTA.

The "homologated" winter tyres you can buy from your dealership (anywhere in the EU28) must have the E mark on them... its a mandatory requirement for any tyre for road use in Europe to have that E mark on to prove it has met the requirements of ECE Regulation 117. Regulation 117 (including the 3PMSF symbol if its designed for "winter use") is a stand alone test of noise, rolling resistance and wet grip on the tyre, not a test of the vehicle. Wheels themselves are not a separate type approved item and therefore dont need an E mark - they will be rigorously tested by the manufacturer, but these tests are not "Type Approval".

Mini (in this case) will offer a range of tyre sizes / widths and brands as part of their WVTA, but all of these offered as "standard fitment" must be capable of achieving the officially published Type Approval test results or each and every subject in WVTA and this may not be the full range of wheel and tyre options that your local dealer will be able to offer you. So what you can buy from your local dealership (steel wheel and 3PMSF M+S tyres) is not technically "homologated" for the car, just "homolgated" as a separate technical unit for sale on any car they will fit.

The debate on if you 'need' winter tyres is a different matter and I totally understand that reversing up a 1:4 slope in 3 feet of snow in the Shetland islands is a totally different proposition to driving on a dusting of fine powder in Central London.
 

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Hi @freddym - you need to disassociate the dealers where you buy the cars from with the actual OEMs who make the cars from a "Type Approval" or "Homologation" perspective. The dealers might be officially franchised for a particular brand, but they are not the OEM itself (if that makes sense?). You can't go to Cowley and buy your Mini directly from the end of the production line - or from NedCar in Eindhoven if you are talking the Mini PHEV - You buy it from a dealership.

The OEM is responsible for the vehicle upto and including the issue of the CoC (so upto the point of first registration when it is transferred to the dealer) and then not a lot else thereafter unless it is a warranty or recall issue, so all dealers offer consumers things POST REGISTRATION, that would not be part of the OEMs intended Whole Vehicle (WVTA) approval for the car (like bike racks, or alternative wheels as obvious examples of things that the OEM would not want included in the WVTA) - obviously these things would have been signed off for sale by the OEM in their name - for safety, quality and durability etc - but they would not form part of the WVTA.

The "homologated" winter tyres you can buy from your dealership (anywhere in the EU28) must have the E mark on them... its a mandatory requirement for any tyre for road use in Europe to have that E mark on to prove it has met the requirements of ECE Regulation 117. Regulation 117 (including the 3PMSF symbol if its designed for "winter use") is a stand alone test of noise, rolling resistance and wet grip on the tyre, not a test of the vehicle. Wheels themselves are not a separate type approved item and therefore dont need an E mark - they will be rigorously tested by the manufacturer, but these tests are not "Type Approval".

Mini (in this case) will offer a range of tyre sizes / widths and brands as part of their WVTA, but all of these offered as "standard fitment" must be capable of achieving the officially published Type Approval test results or each and every subject in WVTA and this may not be the full range of wheel and tyre options that your local dealer will be able to offer you. So what you can buy from your local dealership (steel wheel and 3PMSF M+S tyres) is not technically "homologated" for the car, just "homolgated" as a separate technical unit for sale on any car they will fit.

The debate on if you 'need' winter tyres is a different matter and I totally understand that reversing up a 1:4 slope in 3 feet of snow in the Shetland islands is a totally different proposition to driving on a dusting of fine powder in Central London.
Sorry, could you paraphrase your argument and provide a conclusion.
No need to repeat the bit about buying Minis at Cowley, most people get that!
 

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Gordon, using the Oponeo UK website and searching by size and winter I got 4 quality brand choices in stock for immediate delivery. 3 were a higher load rating but not runflat or van tyres or anything silly. Again ignore the spread rating that's the H for the time being.
 

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Is in tho Oponeo website, search by size just using 205/60r17. And then select winter under type. Start with car tyres.
 
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