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      11-15-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
sr5959
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RWD in Seattle - Do I need snow tires at all?

Hi everyone. I have RWD 328i, and my question is this:

I live in Seattle where we get about 7-10 days a year with light snow, sometimes a little ice. Do you think I will need snow tires or can the RWD with All-Seasons handle this small amount of snow?

I've lived here many years but always had AWD SUVs before so I am not sure.

Thanks!
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      11-15-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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Don't take the car out in ice or snow and you'll be fine.
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      11-15-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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I believe Seattle is quite hilly in areas, correct? If so I'd definitely consider getting winter tires. If the Seattle climate was in a flat Midwestern area you could probably get away with it. Hills are always a game changer IMO when people question whether they should get winter tires or go with AWD over RWD.

You could also justify winter tires based strictly on the temps you'll see. You will be maximizing your traction over all-season tires even when it's above freezing. They say anything under 45F is best suited for winter tires.
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      11-15-2012, 07:00 PM   #4
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I just drove the all seasons in 2-3 inches of snow in CT.

I have a RWD 335i.

Keep the car in Eco Pro mode, drive the speed limit, and you'll be fine.

With that said, I bought snow tires because it snows like a bitch here.
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      11-15-2012, 07:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
I just drove the all seasons in 2-3 inches of snow in CT.

I have a RWD 335i.

Keep the car in Eco Pro mode, drive the speed limit, and you'll be fine.

With that said, I bought snow tires because it snows like a bitch here.
Agreed. Also sport+ can be helpful by not taking power away when you slip.
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      11-15-2012, 07:40 PM   #6
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Sport/Sport + made the throttle too twitchy in the snow.

Eco Mutes everything, trust me, I tried everything, I had a 60+ commute home driving 30-50mph in the snow with these tires, and messed around with every setting I could. Eco Pro is the wisest choice with RWD in snow.
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      11-15-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr5959 View Post
Hi everyone. I have RWD 328i, and my question is this:

I live in Seattle where we get about 7-10 days a year with light snow, sometimes a little ice. Do you think I will need snow tires or can the RWD with All-Seasons handle this small amount of snow?

I've lived here many years but always had AWD SUVs before so I am not sure.

Thanks!
Here in Mass, we have the concept of a "wintah beetah," an old car with a bent frame that drives down the road at an angle. The best way to avoid having your F30 side-swiped by the wingnuts driving their beetahs in winter weather is to leave your car at home.

Seriously, the question is do you have drive at all on the few days/hours where you really need winter tires? If you need an all-terrain vehicle to get around Seattle on a given day, that's a good day to stay indoors.
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      11-15-2012, 08:26 PM   #8
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I think the way you drive it will have more of an effect than the tires... Then again, I live in Florida, so don't take my word for it!
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      11-15-2012, 08:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmontic71 View Post
I think the way you drive it will have more of an effect than the tires... Then again, I live in Florida, so don't take my word for it!
You're right, he shouldn't take your word for it.

Tires are by far the most important thing when driving in snow. All weather tires on even light snow in a RWD car still suck really badly. Especially if you ever have to go up a hill.
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      11-15-2012, 09:37 PM   #10
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I drove my E90 in snow with all season on. They are not safe at all! I know my way around so I managed to survive a year before I decided to get winter tires.

Ever since I purchased my winter tires, I've been very happy in the snow. I just ordered a new set for my F30.

ALWAYS get winter tires. You need it specially when the temp falls below 7C...
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      11-15-2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
Sport/Sport + made the throttle too twitchy in the snow.

Eco Mutes everything, trust me, I tried everything, I had a 60+ commute home driving 30-50mph in the snow with these tires, and messed around with every setting I could. Eco Pro is the wisest choice with RWD in snow.
You can program the throttle in sport mode to be the same as in comfort mode. When you're bogged down the only mode than won't cut power when trying to get loose is sport+.
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      11-16-2012, 06:21 AM   #12
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Lived in Covington (outskirts of Seattle) for the last 2 winters...storm last winter was not "light snow"...was a daggone mess. Drove my RWD E36 (with LSD) with studded snow tires like a champ (and was fun as all hell)...would not have done that in "all-seasons". Saw many other RWD cars in ditches along with many 4x4 trucks. If you have the money and want the mobility during the winter get winter tires.
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      11-16-2012, 01:20 PM   #13
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Thank you all for advice. I think I am going to get the snow tires as I don't want to be restricted when I can use the car or not. Plus, I am on a 3 year/45k lease, so I think this way I might be able to return the car with the original tires on it if I use the winter tires for about 12 months of the 3 year lease.

Specced up some Blizzak WS70s with moda EB1 wheels on Tire Rack, also will go up to 18s as the 17s on my base model are too small for this car.
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      11-18-2012, 04:18 PM   #14
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I grew up and lived in Seattle for 25 years; you don't need snow tires unless you are going take your car up into Stevens or Snoqualmie Pass. Even when it snows it usually rains within a couple days and most of it is gone by then. With the amount of hills around even if you did have snow tires during a strong winter storm it isn't going to help enough and you'll be one of the idiots on King 5 News that is videotaped sliding down a hill running into 15 parked cars along the way. I had all seasons on my 330i and they were just fine as long as you avoid the steep residential roads during a heavy snow.
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