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      01-03-2013, 03:11 AM   #1
timberland1
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First RWD experience in Winter. Any suggestions?

Last week a snow storm hit us here, and the roads were not salted or plowed at 5 am. I ended up getting stuck trying to make a right on a very small hill. I had no grip and was stuck there for 30 mins until i wiggled my way out.

I have practically new 18" Pirelli Sottozero non-runflats and I'm still having problems. I am missing my x-drive on my e90 now, or better yet, should have waited for x-drive for the f30 =(

Any suggestions on what i should be doing to increase traction/grip in the winter? Any RWD pointers in winter?

I have heard that if i load my trunk with over 100+ lbs of junk, it would increase traction.

Thnks!
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      01-03-2013, 07:20 AM   #2
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Are they the recommended 225's on the car? Narrow is better than wide with snow tires. Practically new meaning one winter of driving mileage? Was DTC enabled? I found myself stuck on a small hill in Ottawa last winter and when I engaged DTC, the wheel spin helped clear the snow and get me up the hill. Weight in the trunk will help give the snow tires a better bite but personally I'd wait until the plows come thru before getting on the roads.
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      01-03-2013, 07:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberland1 View Post
Last week a snow storm hit us here, and the roads were not salted or plowed at 5 am. I ended up getting stuck trying to make a right on a very small hill. I had no grip and was stuck there for 30 mins until i wiggled my way out.

I have practically new 18" Pirelli Sottozero non-runflats and I'm still having problems. I am missing my x-drive on my e90 now, or better yet, should have waited for x-drive for the f30 =(

Any suggestions on what i should be doing to increase traction/grip in the winter? Any RWD pointers in winter?

I have heard that if i load my trunk with over 100+ lbs of junk, it would increase traction.

Thnks!

This is worrisome. All I hear about is how BMWs are so well balanced that RWD is fine in the snow if you have snow tires. I'm in the snow belt, but was planning on RWD because of all I have heard. I don't want to have to rethink my decision because if you buy a well optioned 3 series with X drive, you're damn near M3 pricing.
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      01-03-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
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I drove through some very bad snow during the Christmas holiday with all season Pirelli Cinturato P7 and faired pretty well. I lived in the midwest all my life and drove RWD cars in the worst weather.

The stability control systems and ECO Pro are great for controlling throttle and wheel spin however, there will be times you must disable them to gain momentum to make it up inclines.

Under what specific situations did you struggle?
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      01-03-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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I have heard that if i load my trunk with over 100+ lbs of junk, it would increase traction.

Thnks![/quote]

The 3 series AH3 has around 200 lbs of LION batteries between the rear axles and during the winter storms I went to parking lots to see under what conditions I would begin to lose traction/forward movement. I never felt unstable or encountered moments of prolonged traction control warning lights. I think the extra weight does help for starts and maintaining traction.

Suggestion: take some time and get familiar with your tires and handling limits in a more relaxed setting (i.e.: parking lot). The more experience you have with the car, you will become better at anticipating the necessary action to take under snowy conditions.
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      01-03-2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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Well I know in my area this is no problem since offices are closed at the first sight of snow and an un-plowed road is the perfect excuse for a nice day at home...
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      01-03-2013, 10:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
This is worrisome. All I hear about is how BMWs are so well balanced that RWD is fine in the snow if you have snow tires. I'm in the snow belt, but was planning on RWD because of all I have heard. I don't want to have to rethink my decision because if you buy a well optioned 3 series with X drive, you're damn near M3 pricing.
This thread is case and point of RWD, even with snow tires are not as good as AWD in some situations. 50/50 balance will not help you get unstuck in a snow. In my opinion, RWD BMW is no better in the snow than any other RWD sedans. My guess is that even if the OP had AWD with all season in the above situation, he would still have a hard time stopping, but he would not have got stuck on that hill, so bothe RWD with snow and AWD have their advantages and disadvantages, the key to driving in the snow is know what your car can do and what it cannot do. If one plans to take their BMW out on unplow snow regularly, they really should have AWD and snow tires.
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      01-03-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
This thread is case and point of RWD, even with snow tires are not as good as AWD in some situations. 50/50 balance will not help you get unstuck in a snow. In my opinion, RWD BMW is no better in the snow than any other RWD sedans. My guess is that even if the OP had AWD with all season in the above situation, he would still have a hard time stopping, but he would not have got stuck on that hill, so bothe RWD with snow and AWD have their advantages and disadvantages, the key to driving in the snow is know what your car can do and what it cannot do. If one plans to take their BMW out on unplow snow regularly, they really should have AWD and snow tires.
I have been drivign FWD cars in snow all my life. Never had AWD except out IS250 which my wife drives. I am OK with all seasons and FWD, always have been, never bought snow tires before. But I hear RWD is another story, understandably...

Personally, I'd prefer to drive a RWD car because 9 months of the year there will be no snow and when tehre is, I know which routes to take and which to avoid...and we get ploughed pretty soon after snowfall around here.

If I was to buy a 335i x-drive I'd be looking at a $53,800 base price...by the time I add options, delivery and 13% tax, might as well get a base M3.
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      01-03-2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
I have been drivign FWD cars in snow all my life. Never had AWD except out IS250 which my wife drives. I am OK with all seasons and FWD, always have been, never bought snow tires before. But I hear RWD is another story, understandably...
Not really. The reason FWD is 'better' in snow is because most FWD cars are as nose-heavy as a lawn dart. If you had terrible weight distribution in a RWD car (but over the rear), it'd do the same.

As soon as you start going up hills, guess where the weight shifts anyway... backwards!

I'd honestly rather have RWD because I hate the lack of steering when the fronts break traction on a FWD car in slippery conditions.
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      01-03-2013, 12:58 PM   #10
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You need better winter tires. The Sottozero are known to be more dry road focused (like the Michelin PA3) and do not do well in deep snow. There are closer to an all season that a true snow/ice tire. Get a set of Blizzaks, Nokian, or x-ice and you will get much better results. Not as good as AWD for sure but very liveable in my experience.
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      01-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #11
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Live in MN, have a 335i msport with 17" sottozeros. I've only had it for one light snow fall here so far since I picked it up on dec 31, but have been happy with it in the snow from a stopping and turning standpoint. Have not tackled a big icy hill yet, will keep you posted on my experience.
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      01-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #12
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I have 18" Pirelli 240 Sottozero snows on my car. So far, I have only driven my 335i M Sport in one snow storm, with wet snow and very icy roads. Had no traction problems whatsoever, going up steep hills or braking going downhill. For extra traction, I place one of my summer wheels in the trunk and turn off the DHC.

By the way, I have driven RWD BMWs since 1984; I have never been stuck in snow, providing my car was equipped with proper snow tires. The key to success seems to be a little extra weight in the trunk and appropriate use of the throttle and brake.

For reference purposes, the 18" Pirelli 240 Sottozero II snows are the BMW Canada (and BMW NA) recommended winter tires for the F30. It would be safe to say that these tires have been throughly tested by BMW before receiving their seal of approval.
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Last edited by DerekS; 01-03-2013 at 01:16 PM.
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      01-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekS View Post
I have 18" Pirelli 240 Sottozero snows on my car. So far, I have only driven my 335i M Sport in one snow storm, with wet snow and very icy roads. Had no traction problems whatsoever, going up steep hills or braking going downhill. For extra traction, I place one of my summer wheels in the trunk and turn off the DHC.

By the way, I have driven RWD BMWs since 1984; I have never been stuck in snow, providing my car was equipped with proper snow tires. The key to success seems to be a little extra weight in the trunk and appropriate use of the throttle and brake.

For reference purposes, the 18" Pirelli 240 Sottozero II snows are the BMW Canada (and BMW NA) recommended winter tires for the F30. It would be safe to say that these tires have been throughly tested by BMW before receiving their seal of approval.
Was that the mother of all "snow storms" in Vancouver 2 weeks ago when we got about 2" of snow that was gone in 2 days. As I said before, winter tires are largely a waste in warm and wet Vancouver........ You complain about the "handling" of the xdrive and then throw 100 pounds of weight in your trunk when it snows and drive around for 4 months of the year with winter tires when the weather is raining and very rarely goes below freezing and is often above 10 degrees celsius
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      01-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #14
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Sottozero II are a great winter performance tire but not intended for anything more than light snow. If you are constantly experiencing large snow storms consider a more dedicated snow or studded snow tire.

My advice is when it snows lower your tire pressure to low 20s psi to increase tire patch (like you do in sand or mud), use Eco pro to reduce wheel spin, and use the manual shifter to take off in a higher gear to use more torque, especially when taking turns.

I have nokian wrg2 staggered tires on, which are more performance oriented than deep snow, and I had no problems driving in 4-5" of snow. I couldn't drive too fast and had to be conscious of front bumper height, but I rarely saw a slippage light. We get a lot of ice in New England too and the nokians are spectacular.
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      01-03-2013, 02:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokerswld34 View Post
Sottozero II are a great winter performance tire but not intended for anything more than light snow. If you are constantly experiencing large snow storms consider a more dedicated snow or studded snow tire.

My advice is when it snows lower your tire pressure to low 20s psi to increase tire patch (like you do in sand or mud), use Eco pro to reduce wheel spin, and use the manual shifter to take off in a higher gear to use more torque, especially when taking turns.

I have nokian wrg2 staggered tires on, which are more performance oriented than deep snow, and I had no problems driving in 4-5" of snow. I couldn't drive too fast and had to be conscious of front bumper height, but I rarely saw a slippage light. We get a lot of ice in New England too and the nokians are spectacular.
True it is all about compromise, a sport winter tire is always going to have less ability in real winter conditions. I had sport winter tires on my rear wheel drive 2006 BMW 330i and I also had problems starting from a stop on hills when there was snow and ice on the road. If you have to regularly drive up hills on snow and ice I would suggest a winter tire with less sporty intentions and more actual winter ability.....either that or look ahead at the road conditions and try to not have to start from a stop on a hill.
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      01-03-2013, 03:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberland1 View Post
Last week a snow storm hit us here, and the roads were not salted or plowed at 5 am. I ended up getting stuck trying to make a right on a very small hill. I had no grip and was stuck there for 30 mins until i wiggled my way out.

I have practically new 18" Pirelli Sottozero non-runflats and I'm still having problems. I am missing my x-drive on my e90 now, or better yet, should have waited for x-drive for the f30 =(

Any suggestions on what i should be doing to increase traction/grip in the winter? Any RWD pointers in winter?

I have heard that if i load my trunk with over 100+ lbs of junk, it would increase traction.

Thnks!
did you enable DTC?
DSC cuts engine power at the first sign of wheel slip, so on a hill, you can get stuck as dsc will keep cutting power, leaving no power to actually propel the car forward.
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      01-03-2013, 03:20 PM   #17
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I have blizzaks ws70 and dont have any problems even in foot of snow... Just disable traction control. My friend got Stuck in 4wd murano behind me
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      01-03-2013, 03:26 PM   #18
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My first RWD after two xDrives and I'm pretty impressed so far with the all seasons and how balanced the car is. Got stuck only once but it was my fault driving into an unploughed parking lot with a foot and half of snow. Managed to wiggle myself out of it though.

BMW has come a long way on their DTC/DSC, my friends with E-Class are cursing theirs in the winter.
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      01-03-2013, 03:52 PM   #19
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Really good snow tires.I put on a new set Hankooks. This is my wifes first year in a rear drive car. We've been getting hammered with snow for 2 weeks solid and she's just been chugging through the deep stuff with no problems. I've driven rear wheel my whole life and always felt I had better control with the vehicle, but when you don't know any different.....
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      01-03-2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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I concur. Some winter tires are much better than others. I had an old set of Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme who were barely winter tires. There were never good for traction since day one. I have now Continental WinterExtreme. They are excellent on ice and snow. For traction, they are hard to beat but I don't recommend them, specifically because they are too soft and handling really suffers. I actually hate them.
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      01-03-2013, 04:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPACEMANRICK View Post
Was that the mother of all "snow storms" in Vancouver 2 weeks ago when we got about 2" of snow that was gone in 2 days. As I said before, winter tires are largely a waste in warm and wet Vancouver........ You complain about the "handling" of the xdrive and then throw 100 pounds of weight in your trunk when it snows and drive around for 4 months of the year with winter tires when the weather is raining and very rarely goes below freezing and is often above 10 degrees celsius
Where I live, at higher elevation in Vancouver, we received about 4-5" of wet snow, that quickly packed down to form 2" of solid ice on the road surface.
I saw lots of FWD drive cars sliding around and several SUVs as well. With the Pirelli Sottozeros, my car had no problems whatsoever.

One summer wheel/tire in the trunk weighs about 55lbs., not 100 ! As for driving around with winter performance tires, these tires do perform better than all season tires at lower temperatures, from 7C and below.

By the way, I have never "complained" about the "handling of the Xdrive". I have simply stated that I prefer to own a RWD BMW for reasons previously stated. To each his own !
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      01-03-2013, 04:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuned2ride View Post
I concur. Some winter tires are much better than others. I had an old set of Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme who were barely winter tires. There were never good for traction since day one. I have now Continental WinterExtreme. They are excellent on ice and snow. For traction, they are hard to beat but I don't recommend them, specifically because they are too soft and handling really suffers. I actually hate them.
I have the same ones as well and totally agree with you on the softness. Grip and road noise is pretty good though so small price to pay. Can't wait to get my summer's on again!
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