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      12-18-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
Mamasgotkids
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Suggestions for snow driving

This is my 2nd day with my '12 328i Sport. And it snowed here in Seattle overnight. I live in the ridge area so basically the mountains. Today I had to take my kids to the top of the neighborhood because the bus won't come in when it snows. The car slid around. My husband took our mini and had no problems.

Any suggestions for making driving this car in snow easier? This is my 3rd BMW (previously 318, 328d, and 120 all while living in Germany) but first snow experience with rear wheel drive. We are supposed to drive through several mountain passes over to Idaho for the holidays. I'm wondering if we should just stay home.
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      12-18-2012, 12:36 PM   #2
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I just ordered 4 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70's for my Sportline. Some of the research i've done shows that BMW owners swear by these tires. We are supposed to get 6" tomorrow night and I should have the tires on just in time. I'll report back in...
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      12-18-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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You need a set of dedicated winter tires, at a minimum. All of the electronic wizardry the car is equipped is designed to make the most of the available traction. If you're on all seasons, that available traction is very minimal.
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      12-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasgotkids View Post
This is my 2nd day with my '12 328i Sport. And it snowed here in Seattle overnight. I live in the ridge area so basically the mountains. Today I had to take my kids to the top of the neighborhood because the bus won't come in when it snows. The car slid around. My husband took our mini and had no problems.

Any suggestions for making driving this car in snow easier? This is my 3rd BMW (previously 318, 328d, and 120 all while living in Germany) but first snow experience with rear wheel drive. We are supposed to drive through several mountain passes over to Idaho for the holidays. I'm wondering if we should just stay home.
what brand and model tires are on the car? a sportline can have either all seasons or summer performance tires, the latter will be useless and dangerous in the snow.

in either case, a good set of snow tires will do wonders. www.tirerack.com has a wide selection of tires and wheel and tire packages.
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      12-18-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasgotkids View Post
Any suggestions for making driving this car in snow easier?
Although my response is redundant, I'll reiterate that the answer to your question is "get snow tires." Or all-season tires at the minimum. Sport Lines come with summer tires by default, and they aren't worth anything in snow or ice.

It's worth noting, by the way, that even snow tires can loose traction in snow, so always drive with due caution.
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      12-18-2012, 01:42 PM   #6
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225/45 R18 Cinturato P7 is what it says on the tire. Honestly no idea if thats all season or not. This was a custom order car someone decided to back out on at delivery and my husband got me for Christmas. It's a lease so I don't really want to chuck a couple grand out on tires. In Germany the car always came with two sets, summer and winter.
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      12-18-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasgotkids View Post
225/45 R18 Cinturato P7 is what it says on the tire. Honestly no idea if thats all season or not. This was a custom order car someone decided to back out on at delivery and my husband got me for Christmas. It's a lease so I don't really want to chuck a couple grand out on tires. In Germany the car always came with two sets, summer and winter.
Well those show to be all-seasons, but as your experience showed you, they may not be adequate for your needs in your area. Understanding it may be a lease does not change the potential need for further investment in a set of pure snow tires and rims, so you should consider if this is your daily driver, then you need to be able to drive it each day regardless of weather, and may need to get a set of snow shoes...
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      12-18-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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You need the Blizzaks mentioned earlier. It could be worse. Where I live you need the AWD model + Blizzaks - snow belt, 200 inches of the stuff.
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      12-18-2012, 02:17 PM   #9
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1+ on blizzaks!!!!
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      12-18-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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Yeah, you definitely want some nice winter tires, and an all-season is no good substitute for that. I lived in Michigan for most of my driving life and owned all AWD cars in Michigan, and don't even think AWD is an appropriate substitute for good winter tires. It's certainly a nice-to-have on top of winter tires though

If you're leasing for a few years, I think it makes sense to get a set of winter tires. Even if they were only lightly used, I'm sure you can sell them off at the end. Risking sliding around and damaging your car (or worse) due to poor traction is not really worth it if you live in a winter climate.
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      12-18-2012, 02:30 PM   #11
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Well it snows (so I've heard anyway) about 5 days a year in Seattle but we live 40 min east just before you start toward the mountain pass. So we are supposed to get more snow than the city. We moved here from Ky in June so this is our first winter. I grew up driving in feet of snow in eastern WA and lived in Philly for ten years during all the great blizzards, but I've always had SUVs/AWD. I believe in slow and steady wins the race in winter driving.

I got the car for Christmas, maybe I'll get tires for my birthday
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      12-18-2012, 02:45 PM   #12
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I have my 328i on summer's and we had some snow the other day, although not huge amounts. The tip is keep momentum where possible, drive cautiously but don't pussy about and use Traction or DSC OFF to get you moving if stuck.

However, you'd better be awake and have good understanding and expectations of how the car will react!
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      12-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BavarianFanatic View Post
You need a set of dedicated winter tires, at a minimum. All of the electronic wizardry the car is equipped is designed to make the most of the available traction. If you're on all seasons, that available traction is very minimal.
Never heard it put so perfectly.
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      12-18-2012, 03:09 PM   #14
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+1 on the dedicated winter tires. They are the single greatest enabler for winter driving, more so than AWD. I would recommend them for any car, not just RWD. You should be able to pick up a line-new set on Craigslist, relatively inexpensively.
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      12-18-2012, 03:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasgotkids View Post
Well it snows (so I've heard anyway) about 5 days a year in Seattle but we live 40 min east just before you start toward the mountain pass. So we are supposed to get more snow than the city. We moved here from Ky in June so this is our first winter. I grew up driving in feet of snow in eastern WA and lived in Philly for ten years during all the great blizzards, but I've always had SUVs/AWD. I believe in slow and steady wins the race in winter driving.

I got the car for Christmas, maybe I'll get tires for my birthday
I missed that you RESIDE in Seattle. If you spend significant amounts of time driving where there will be snow, then the winter tires are a good investment. They're actually better all around in lower temperatures, snow or otherwise.

For trips through wintry conditions, I think your best bet might be a set of textile chains as found here:

http://www.ecstuning.com/News/ISSE_T...SnowChains_VW/

They're basically "socks" for your car. You just slip them on when you reach the snow/ice and pull them off when you're back to wet/dry pavement. This might be a more logical approach for your specific situation.
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      12-18-2012, 03:51 PM   #16
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The snow chains are interesting. The video at the site you linked gives me a good idea of what they look like. That might be a better option than the tires (from a financial aspect and the likelihood of use) From a little quick research tires would be about $600.
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      12-18-2012, 03:58 PM   #17
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Dedicated winters are a must. The breaking distances are remarkably better with winters.

The top rated on Consumer Reports is Michelin X-ice xi3 but the Blizzaks are right up there too. Took delivery of my car today and of course it snowed 5 cm plus a bunch of freezing rain. I won't be getting my Michelin's until Thursday so I'll have to baby them a bit.
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      12-18-2012, 04:10 PM   #18
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Kind of late now, but your husband should have got you a 328i X drive.
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      12-18-2012, 04:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasgotkids View Post
This is my 2nd day with my '12 328i Sport. And it snowed here in Seattle overnight. I live in the ridge area so basically the mountains. Today I had to take my kids to the top of the neighborhood because the bus won't come in when it snows. The car slid around. My husband took our mini and had no problems.

Any suggestions for making driving this car in snow easier? This is my 3rd BMW (previously 318, 328d, and 120 all while living in Germany) but first snow experience with rear wheel drive. We are supposed to drive through several mountain passes over to Idaho for the holidays. I'm wondering if we should just stay home.
Last week. Rain, freezing rain, heavy wet snow. My life for the next 4 months. I did it with a 2010 323i, it was work. But the new 328iX Sport with 18" Pirelli winter tires makes it so much easier. Get the best winter tires you can afford. And find somewhere to practice. BTW in winter driving directional control not speed is the objective. Stay safe.
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      12-18-2012, 05:13 PM   #20
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Just to add, everyone is talking about tyres. You need the wheels too assuming you guys over there have BMWs with run flats. Run flats are damaged really easily being taken on and off wheels. Get a full set of tyres and wheels and you're good to go.
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      12-18-2012, 05:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
Kind of late now, but your husband should have got you a 328i X drive.
I totally disagree. An xDrive would've been nice, but it's not a replacement for having good winter tires. It helps maintain better stability while accelerating, but doesn't really have much benefits if you're turning or slowing down.

Most of the times, the reason someone doesn't get an xDrive is because of cost. And if the dilemma is between "Do I pay for xDriver or do I pay for winter tires?" I sure hope people choose the latter.


(Of course in an ideal world everyone would have both)
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      12-18-2012, 05:47 PM   #22
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I live in Norway where we get a lot of snow. I have driven 4 BMWs with only rear wheel drive. This is not a problem at all with winter tires.

The best tires you can get in Norway are the Nokian Hakkepelita R. Way better than Michelin and everythinx else. Don't know if you can get them in the US.
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