Edmunds Answers

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  • avatar MrShift@Edmunds 04/08/10 11:10 am PST

    Here's my personal opinion:

    Successful driving in snow is about 25% car, 25% tires and 50% driver. So you have to take care of half the problem yourself!

    As for the car, as a RWD vehicle, no doubt with all the traction control goodies, and with FOUR snow tires mounted, you should do pretty well unless you try to do two VERBOTEN things with your BMW

    1. Drive in snow that is higher than your car's ground clearance (you'll hang up)

    2. Drive on ice (there is not a car in the world, even an 8 wheel drive, or an Army TANK, that can maneuver well on ice.

    If you try to drive on snow with those run-flats you get on most BMWs, you'll kill yourself.


Answers

  • MrShift@Edmunds 04/08/10 11:10 am PST

    Here's my personal opinion:

    Successful driving in snow is about 25% car, 25% tires and 50% driver. So you have to take care of half the problem yourself!

    As for the car, as a RWD vehicle, no doubt with all the traction control goodies, and with FOUR snow tires mounted, you should do pretty well unless you try to do two VERBOTEN things with your BMW

    1. Drive in snow that is higher than your car's ground clearance (you'll hang up)

    2. Drive on ice (there is not a car in the world, even an 8 wheel drive, or an Army TANK, that can maneuver well on ice.

    If you try to drive on snow with those run-flats you get on most BMWs, you'll kill yourself.


  • karjunkie 04/08/10 11:12 am PST

    RWD cars handle fine in the snow if you seasonally change to snow tires on all 4 wheels. When I lived up north, I kept them mounted and balanced on a seperate set of steel wheels and changed over at the begining of every season. I drove several RWD cars including an old MGB-GT through many a snow storm for 20 years without incident. This does not mean you can drive like you do in Florida in the winter, snow and, in particular, black ice requires that you drive with an eye to a potential slide,even with a 4WD vehicle. If you go to the Tire Rack site, www.tirerack.com, , you can order a set of wheels/tires already mounted and balanced for very little money.

  • Stever@Edmunds 04/08/10 11:55 am PST

    I wouldn't want to drive a RWD car in snow country during the winter months. Much prefer FWD - that's all I used in 20 Anchorage winters. AWD would be ok.

    It's the tires, but even with studs or Blizzacs or Nokians, it's going to be hard to start and stop at intersections that get pounded down into black ice.

    Source: 

  • alltorque 04/08/10 12:05 pm PST

    Just run on good snow tyres and BE SENSIBLE. FWD is OK for snow but you'd still need snow tyres and common sense. Strange how the world still managed to drive around in snow before FWD became common.............obviously every driver was a genius. Not.

    FWD in snow going up an incline can be fun as the weight transfers back and unloads the front tyres. RWD is fine but as the man said - 50% is down to you, maybe more.

    Keep the Beemer and enjoy it. Maybe even buy yourself an old 4x4 for the bad times ?

  • MrShift@Edmunds 04/08/10 1:38 pm PST

    Snow driving is so much about the driver---so once you get up there, maybe you need to brush up on your skills in a snow-bound empty parking lot--LOL!

    So many times, when I lived in the Colorado mountains, I would see how, under the same conditions, and in the same car, two drivers had much different levels of success. A lot of it is about judgment, not equipment.




  • autopal 04/08/10 1:57 pm PST

    Thanks guys, it seems like these run flat tyres may not be such a good idea. I hope a set of snow tyres (hope i dont suffer a puncture as no spare) and staying within the speed limit (difficult with this car) should help me to navigate the snow. I must admit, though, that I am a little worried

  • autofahrer1 04/08/10 2:07 pm PST

    I have driven a BMW 3 series RWD for twenty years in the northeast, mostly around Boston, and love it in the snow. I agree about the importance of safe driving but in my driving, the key has been good, state of the art snow tires. I have used Blizzaks always and am currently using a performance Blizzak, the LM-25s. The stability control system is fast and works well. To me the key is that most of the time there is no snow but there is often ice and AWD doesn't help. Good snow tires that remain pliable in cold temperatures and have a tread compound and design designed to give a little grip on ice help. Blizzaks have several different compounds. Consumer Reports rated the LM-25s very highly recently, I was pleased to notice. And remember they have to grip well on dry or wet pavement too, which is what most winter driving is about. Many snow tires severely lengthen braking distances and reduce cornering grip. Don't ever drive during snow season in your performance tires. I have a steep driveway and have gone up relatively steep snowy and icy roads. Of course, if you get stuck, then the xi could could help. But I have never gotten stuck. Enjoy Canada!

  • coloradobmw 12/31/10 4:10 am PST

    I need some answers about the proposed question "can a BMW 335xi manage well in snow?"

    I purchased my first BMW less than 30 days ago. Unfortunately, it has already been in an accident. In my search for answers to why my car lost control so easily, I came across your thread.

    The Situation:
    I was approaching a traffic light in inclement weather. There was some ice on the roads. I was traveling under 10 MPH and began my deceleration approximately 150 - 200 feet from the intersection. Saying that I was being cautious is an understatement. Upon breaking, my car pulled to the left and I began to slide sideways uncontrollably. I tried to compensate and received no response from the car. Anti-lock brakes provided no assistance in this situation. I struck two automobiles while my car was traveling sideways. This was a low impact, low speed situation so nobody was injured.

    First a couple points.
    1) I have been an Audi Quattro driver for the past 10 years before my BMW and love the handling that automobile offered in snow / ice situations.
    2) I have been driving in winter conditions for the past 18 seasons (I agree with mr shiftright about the 50% driver judgment). I have even taken the Winter Driving School in Steamboat Spgs, CO.

    Given my cautiousness in this situation I began to wonder if there is something wrong with the car. I am crushed that I just wrecked my brand new car, so please save the "driver judgment" comments for now. I take full responsibility for my actions, but it seems odd that after 18 years of driving in the snow and being accustom to the handling of the Audi Quattro that the BMW 335 xi would lose control so easily.

    Is it possible that a car can pull sideways if the anti-lock brakes do not apply the same pressure to all four tires? Would this have caused the car to pull?

    Am I the only one that did not read the part in the owner’s manual that the Run Flat Tires are not good in the snow? Should I have known that? Why would BMW stake their reputation as a decent All-Weather car by using a tire that is not satisfactory in the snow? Is it assumed that after spending $50,000 on a new car that you should immediately spend $800 - 1000 in new tires?

    I am confused why the BMW 335xi would have lost control so easily in snowy conditions. Is there something wrong with my car... or just me? Any advice would be appreciated.





  • rgeismar 10/30/11 6:07 pm PST

    Has anyone tried putting weight in trunk for winter driving. Some sandbags (leakproof, of course)

    Source: richard

  • Stever@Edmunds 10/30/11 11:14 pm PST

    The problem with sandbags or other heavy objects in the trunk, like concrete blocks, is that they become flying projectiles in an accident. Such objects have been known to break through the rear seat and enter the passenger compartment.

    You might be able to rig up a net or tie down system to less the risk of flying sandbags.

    Source: 

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Top BMW 3 Series Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. MrShift@Edmunds 690
2. karjunkie 475
3. morin2 170
4. roadburner 115
5. zaken1 95
6. knowledgepower 85
7. Stever@Edmunds 80
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