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      12-13-2008, 10:28 AM   #1
Sara504
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Tips for first time RWD drivers in snow

Ok so I bought my first BMW two days ago. Before I had this car I was driving a FWD car and well I've only driven in snow twice. It's snowing right now in SLC, any tips for better/safe driving?
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      12-13-2008, 10:36 AM   #2
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Snow tires!!! A BMW w/out snow tires will go nowhere in the snow.
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      12-13-2008, 10:42 AM   #3
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With snow tires go real slow and use common sense.

Without snow tires, dont drive.
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      12-13-2008, 10:42 AM   #4
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snow tires.......

if not, my advise is to drive like your grandma in the right lane...... also remember that stopping in the snow is the hardest part........and watch out for every douche in an SUV who thinks they are invincible in snow.

drive safe
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      12-13-2008, 10:47 AM   #5
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OK so PM me a link to snow tires that I can purchase please. The best ones. Cause its coming down hard and Im freaking out. Im gonna leave for work 45 mins early now and just drive slow.
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      12-13-2008, 11:00 AM   #6
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A RWD BMW, especially a 335i...is terrible in snow. I experience it first-hand. If you can, don't drive at all, or get snow tires.
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      12-13-2008, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara504 View Post
OK so PM me a link to snow tires that I can purchase please. The best ones. Cause its coming down hard and Im freaking out. Im gonna leave for work 45 mins early now and just drive slow.
I'm also in SLC looking out my window at the first major storm coming down. Costco has a good selection if you want to switch tires off your wheels twice a year but I would recommend tirerack.com for a set of tires mounted on wheels that you can swap out in April. In the long run you will save a pile of cash since the local shops are charging $75-90 to mount run-flats.

But even before that you need to find a big open parking lot and spend some time doing doughnuts to get an idea of how your car reacts when it starts sliding. Next fall sign yourself up for the BMWCCA's car control clinic.
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      12-13-2008, 11:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
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OK so PM me a link to snow tires that I can purchase please. The best ones. Cause its coming down hard and Im freaking out. Im gonna leave for work 45 mins early now and just drive slow.
I've driven RWD with no traction control or stability control for many years in Minnesota. It's not hard. You do need to practice reacting to oversteer (the tail coming out). Go to an open parking lot, make some turns under moderate/hard throttle and practice reacting. Come off the throttle and countersteer. Make it instinctual. I've never driven a car with traction control or stability control, so I don't even know how far the systems will let the tail go.....

In my opinion, ALL vehicles (AWD, FWD or RWD) should have winter tires in snowy areas.

As for the best, it depends on what you value. The tires with the best traction in the snow/ice are studded. Do you want studded tires? In metro SLC, it's probably not necessary. Although if you hit the mountains often, it might be a good idea.

For studdless, the best traction in ice/snow would be the Michelin X-Ice Xi2, Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60 or Nokian Hakkapeliitta R. The price you pay for good snow/ice traction is squsihy performance on the dry pavement.

To get better dry pavemenbt performance, stick with a "performance" winter tire like the Michlein Pilot/Primacy Alpin PA3, Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D, Continental ContiWinterContactTS810

And yes, buy a full wheel & tire set that you can just bolt on/off as the seasons change.
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      12-13-2008, 11:26 AM   #9
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      12-13-2008, 11:42 AM   #10
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The basic tip to avoid oversteer when you have little grip is to reduce your throttle inputs dramatically when your steering wheel is turned. (i.e., the more it's turned, the less you input, and you only apply throttle very gradually as your steering wheel is on its way back to center.)

This is also true for the most part when you want to drive fast in dry conditions. The difference is that you can sometimes get on the throttle early and let the oversteer correct your line while adding speed. If you try that when you have no grip, there is likely to be too much oversteer.

I hope this helps.
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      12-13-2008, 11:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LI E90 View Post

and watch out for every douche in an SUV who thinks they are invincible in snow.

Amen to that...I want to pull a gun when SUVs start riding your ass while your driving through like a foot of snow and ice. Iíve lost count of how many times Iíve seen ignorant rednecks loose control of their trucks/SUVs and thought that the only solution to sliding/over steer is locking up their breaks.

- Sara, I would strongly recommend a cheap beater/snow driver...like an old Jeep Cherokee or old half ton truck...something you wouldnít mind leaving on the side of the road if you were to wipe out in the snow.
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      12-13-2008, 12:06 PM   #12
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Remember that people have been driving RWD cars in the snow for pretty much all of the past century. This is not the big deal that some make it out to be.

Have a very gentle touch with the right foot.

Try to keep space around you.

Slow down early and creep up to stop signs and red lights. Be very wary of those stops that are at the bottom of even the shallowest hill.

Get snow tires. On any car.

Your biggest danger is SUVs and AWD cars whose drivers don't understand that their ability to accelerate is greater than their ability to control the vehicle.

Enjoy it. There is a lot to be said driving in the snow.

Last edited by 742; 12-13-2008 at 02:10 PM.
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      12-13-2008, 12:18 PM   #13
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avoid hectic steering and strong breaking, especially in curves and follow everyone's advice to drive slowly. if you have a chance, find a big and EMPTY parking lot or other area that leaves lots of room for error, turn DSC/DTC off and SLOWLY try out how oversteer (or understeer) occurs if you're not too careful with the throttle, steering or braking and then practice how you can regain control of your car in such a situation.
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      12-13-2008, 12:44 PM   #14
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I saw lots of my friends crash their cars into others, curbs or trees in snow days....
one of my friends crashed his 2-week-old G37 into a pickup...ouch~~
and another friend spinned his slk and crashed into the curb. he lost his front right wheel.

I've driven in snow in my 328i for lots of times without snow tires nor performance tires. until now, no accidents yet.
yep, for safety, you have to drive very slow on open roads and change gear in lower rpm than you would normally do. do not jerk steeringwheel, brakes, and gas, just be gentle. brake early.
And you gonna see lots of rusty FWD cars passing you... and I bet you gonna say "wow, how could they go so fast? I dont even notice them in my rear view mirror in normal days..." hehe, that's the facts...but may be you have a chance to see them on a tree next blgd. and you gonna see some crazy 4x4 and subarus on highway....dont get influenced by them. just keep your pace.
but RWD is very fun to drive either. I would drift on roads when they're empty. and drift into parking spots is a lot fun!~
remember, safety is everything.
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      12-13-2008, 01:04 PM   #15
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snow tyres,but carefully..acceleration will be much better,but slowing down and stopping might be a problem..so drive easilly and everuthing vill be just fine.
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      12-13-2008, 01:28 PM   #16
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1 word.

Blizzak.
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      12-13-2008, 02:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
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snow tyres,but carefully..acceleration will be much better,but slowing down and stopping might be a problem..so drive easilly and everuthing vill be just fine.
how is acceleration much better in snow? i must've missed something
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      12-13-2008, 02:48 PM   #18
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With one of my previous cars (E36 Coupe) I got caught out in Germany in a blizzard with performance tires on a Sunday evening. It was definitely an interesting ride to my destination, but I made it in one piece.

With the E91, I have regular all year tires and I got caught out two weeks ago on a Sunday evening again and the roads where extremely slippery, and I saw numerous accidents. The back started sliding several times but I was able to maintain control and just slowly drove the 100+ km back home.
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      12-13-2008, 03:19 PM   #19
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My biggest tip: Use smooth and progressive inputs as one might do at speed on the track. Controlled gas, brake, clutch and throttle inputs prevent sudden loss of traction and give you time to react as the car gives feedback. Also, snow tires make a huge difference.
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      12-13-2008, 03:30 PM   #20
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1. Use winter tires.
(The performances of summer tires and all-season tires drop significantly in winter, not just because there's accumulation of snow/ice on the road surface, but also if the temperature is lower than 7C (45F), the material/compound used in those tires performs much worse than those used in winter tires. The tread patterns of winters are different as well.)

2. Leave MORE space around your car, don't tailgate, plan your escape route in advance in case the driver behind you can't stop.

3. Avoid hard acceleration and hard braking.

4. Don't STARE at where your car is skidding to, LOOK at where you want to recover the car's line/path back on. If you keep on staring at that hydrant which your car is slidding to, there's a good chance that you'll end up there.
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      12-13-2008, 03:36 PM   #21
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slow and steady wins the race.. practice a light foot, and try not to accelerate as much while you are making sharp turns, just let the car cruise.. If the snow is really bad, you should consider getting some sandbags and putting them in your trunk or even winter tires.. but unless you are going up into the mountains, I don't really think winters are necessary as long as you are careful about it.
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      12-13-2008, 03:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiAg335i View Post
A RWD BMW, especially a 335i...is terrible in snow. I experience it first-hand. If you can, don't drive at all, or get snow tires.
Had a RWD 325i and shod it with Pirelli snow sports. Handled fine in the snow even in my very hilly neighborhood.
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