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      12-19-2009, 10:50 AM   #1
skimmilk20
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How to drive a BMW in the snow

I have a 328i, my car is manual, and I've tried driving in 2nd gear at real slow speeds...

There's 12 inches of snow on the ground for some context.

I'm here in virginia and its getting BAD. Do sandbags really work? Its very hilly around here and I don't know what to do...

I have turanzas.
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      12-19-2009, 11:11 AM   #2
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C'mon Xi guys, let's gather up, it's go time!


p.s. Snow tires a must. Sandbags help. Alternatively stay at home.
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      12-19-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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Weight in the trunk helps.
Waiting until the roads are clear helps more!
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      12-19-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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very carefully...and keep an eye out for people who don't know how to drive, they're everywhere.
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      12-19-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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Do you guys really drive your bimmers in the snow? I mean XI's great and all, I'm sure.... but it sure as hell is no 4X4 truck.
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      12-19-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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The best thing would have been to get some winter tires. Short of that, just take it easy and avoid everyone else. I second going to an empty parking lot and figuring out the limits of your car.
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      12-19-2009, 11:49 AM   #7
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Sand bags were the trick for old Detroit iron when the 6L V-8 outweighed the rest of the car and the car was front-heavy. In a BMW all sand bags will do is alter the 50/50 weight balance and degrade the steering response (and get sand all over your trunk). Not that you can do it now, but winter tires are the way to go when driving a BMW in the snow.

In your case, PARK IT, and wait until they clear the roads tomorrow.
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      12-19-2009, 11:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skimmilk20 View Post
I have a 328i, my car is manual, and I've tried driving in 2nd gear at real slow speeds...

There's 12 inches of snow on the ground for some context.

I'm here in virginia and its getting BAD. Do sandbags really work? Its very hilly around here and I don't know what to do...

I have turanzas.
First, put some weight in the back of the car. Sand bags are a good idea because you can toss the sand in front of the wheels to aid in getting some grip, but even tools, mulch, landscaping stone or your summer tires will help. Also, avoid ice...drive on the snow not the ice. Allow lots of distance between you and other drivers on the road. Brake gently and very early. Use your transmission to engine brake. Keep your speed low. Rely on 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear. Keep your gas tank full as much as possible...fill up if you get to half a tank. (fuel adds weight) Carry extra windshield washer fluid. Put a good warm blanket in the car. Take your cell phone charger. Stay off of unplowed roads; park where you can and walk. Take a snow shovel and a hammer to break ice and not puncture your tires. If you have a backpacker's stove, take it, fuel, a pot and lots of water in case you need to pour some boiling water to weaken/melt ice.

Do not attempt to go up a hill until you have a clear way and won't have to stop until you get to the top.


If you are on a flat (relatiely) surface and get stuck, exploit the fact that you have a manual...put it in 2nd and go forward, depress the clutch and roll back, release the clutch and go forward again until the wheels spin, depress the cluth, and so on to build up a rocking momentum...eventually, you'll get out of the rut since nearly two tons of car's inertia will eventually overcome the resisting object, assuming it's just snow and ice and terrain you are trying to overcome.

Hope this helps.
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      12-19-2009, 11:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJKhan85 View Post
The best thing would have been to get some winter tires.
+1. You really do need snow tires with a RWD car. xDrive might be able to get by with all seasons, but snow tires are still very beneficial for handling and stopping.

Also, don't just leave it in 2nd and drive around. When driving in slippery conditions, you want to be in the highest gear possible. Starting from a stop in 2nd can help avoid slipping, but get into 3rd quickly (even at 20mph or so).

If you're in conditions this bad and you are really focusing on staying on the road, I don't see any reason why you should ever be above 2k revs.
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      12-19-2009, 11:56 AM   #10
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Snow Tires and xdrive FTW!

I live in southern WV and I was coming home from Morgantown last night and my xi with blizzaks is an unstoppable beast! I was truly amazed how well this car drives in the snow (this is coming from a past subaru owner). It outperformed every jeep and truck on the road last night. They were sliding all over the place and it was like my car was on rails. Literally had to drive on the shoulder on Rt. 19 and weave across the highway to go around abandoned and wrecked cars. Only downside was the clearance, when I made it home I had snow almost all the way up to my grilles. Here are some pics of my backdoor and frontdoor, my mom's X5, and my winter tire set up which is 17 inch rial salernos with Blizzak WS60's (iPhone):

EDIT: you can see the road has since been plowed on the second pic but the roads were about as bad as my driveway last night.
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      12-19-2009, 12:18 PM   #11
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I've heard you should deactivate the DTC as well. Snow tires are a must. TBH..you're fairly brave because I would worry about all the yahoos in the 4x4's thinking they can drive like there's no snow at all. 12" is a little deep for as well.
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      12-19-2009, 12:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopa489 View Post
+1. You really do need snow tires with a RWD car. xDrive might be able to get by with all seasons, but snow tires are still very beneficial for handling and stopping.
What he said.

Don't take a chance. Put on winters.
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      12-19-2009, 12:48 PM   #13
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Here you go

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=332880
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      12-19-2009, 12:48 PM   #14
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Agree, snow tires a must...if its really bad, stay home.
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      12-19-2009, 12:55 PM   #15
skimmilk20
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Guys... I can't take this anymore. I'm leaving my car in my office parking lot and just gonan call a 4x4 cab home...

Thanks for the replies, there's literally 18 inches of snow on the ground
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      12-19-2009, 01:02 PM   #16
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Every BMW I ever owned I put snow tires on and they were monsters in the white stuff.

Never got stuck once!
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      12-19-2009, 01:26 PM   #17
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12" is when it will start getting pretty bad for almost any car. Especially with wet snow. It's just a ground clearance issue. I'm a firm believer that ALL vehicles should have winter tires and that will help tremendously. FWD, RWD and AWD.

I've been driving my 318ti w/sport package (factory lowered) in Minnesota for 6 years. The one time I got stuck was backing from my driveway into the street with 14" of snow. The car floated on top and high-centered itself essentially. AWD would have done nothing as the wheels were all in the air. The OP says his area is hilly which is a major factor. Here in Minnesota it's amazingly flat so RWD and winter tires is perfectly fine.

Also, I've driven my E36 with both manual and automatic and I've never found that starting in 2nd gear helps at all.
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      12-19-2009, 01:28 PM   #18
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+1 on the tires. Turanzas are in no way considered snow tires and will just hinder your efforts to drive in it. Get some blizzaks or something.
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      12-19-2009, 01:40 PM   #19
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Without snows, I would not drive in this crap.


I took my wifes accord out with brand new GY all seasons. I was able to limp it around, but took me 20 minutes just to get it back into the spot with how the snow is coming down.
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      12-19-2009, 01:47 PM   #20
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snow tires are a must
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      12-19-2009, 01:51 PM   #21
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I've never had a problem with any of my BMW's in the snow, with dedicated snow tires. My brother even commented on my old E30, that it went better in the snow than his VW Jetta. My E34 was also great with snows on. Don't think I'll be driving the 335 this winter...have an SUV as a company car.

Got a few inches last night.
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      12-19-2009, 01:56 PM   #22
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Snow tires or bust. Rwd + 10" of snow or more = car ain't going anywhere no matter the tires unless it's plowed
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