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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > High end snow tires vs. buying a beater 4x4



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      08-14-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
AndyR83
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High end snow tires vs. buying a beater 4x4

So, I'm trying to plan ahead for the winter months. I realize it's early, but I'm attempting to make a decision about winter travel. I live in snowy Pennsylvania. We get a decent amount of snow here (though not as much as we had growing up in New England) and they suck at clearing the roads. I'm wondering if I should buy the best possible snow tires, or just buy a beater 4x4 vehicle.

Of interest here is the fact that my driveway is about a quarter mile long, and uphill the whole way.

So, which would you suggest? Top of the line snow tires (and feel free to recommend me the best ones you know of) or find a beater for 2-3k to get through the bad days? I'm about to buy new rims for my car, and if I go with snow tires I'll have them mount snows to my stock wheels at the same time. That's actually what got me thinking about this.
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      08-14-2012, 09:21 PM   #2
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I'd personally go with the snow tires over the beater. 4X4 doesn't help you stop any faster when sliding on ice, nor does it help you steer any better. Also if you get in an accident you're probably safer in your E92 than some 2-3k piece of junk.
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      08-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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I've also been researching snow tires and I'm leaning towards the Michelin Primacy because they have a 30,000 mile treadlife warranty. I don't know if that means anything or not but to it says that they have more faith in their product?

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSe...45&diameter=17
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      08-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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Nothing beats a quality snow tire!
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      08-14-2012, 09:36 PM   #5
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You could do what I did - a beater 4x4 WITH high-end snow tires on it! An '02 Grand Cherokee for $3500, to be exact. Four Wheel Drive does not help you stop. I expect this thing to be unstoppable in the snow, and it pulls a 6K lb boat around. Will probably get a plow for it too at some point.

And even higher-end snow tires on my BMW too of course - I only drive the Jeep when I have to - it is useful as can be, but it SUCKS to drive.
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      08-15-2012, 01:34 AM   #6
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I have a 2011 335is and I will tell you this. I commute to Seattle from Portland weekly. It snowed up here about 8-10 inches over a period of 3 days last year (mid-week). Not alot, but enough to slick up the roads with temps below freezing at night. By the time Friday came around, I made the decision to make a break for Portland. I changed my tires out to Conti DWS Extreme 2 months pervious. On the way down, there was slush over ice and I saw two Beamers that got pulled into the concrete median. I'm glad I put All-Seaons on instead of the summer OEM tires or I would've been the third BMW to meet up with the median. Are All-Season tires a replacement for winter tires. No way. Would I make that drive again with my Conti's? No way. I think I got lucky. From now on I will park and ride the train if it snows like that again. Sorry to hijack your post...
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      08-15-2012, 06:28 AM   #7
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I'd go with the beater and put all season tire's on the bimmer. If you can find a reliable 4x4 beater with good tires not only would you save some mileage on your car, you'd be saving it from all the road salt and crap they spray on the roads when it snows. The only reason I recommend all seasons for the bimmer is because if you feel like driving the bimmer when it's not snowing those tires will perform a hell of a lot better than summer tire's in weather below 40F.
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      08-15-2012, 06:47 AM   #8
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1997-2002 Ford Expedition. 4x4. Aim for the 5.4 Triton, under 175k.

The thing's a brick, it'll last forever. It has a great interior too with lots of room. Good looking truck too. I wouldn't want to drive a 335i in the snow with all the salt.
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      08-15-2012, 07:14 AM   #9
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Beater FTW! I have a 99 ranger with 118k on it. It's a beast in the snow and I don't have to worry about salt, rocks, ice, or wrecks in my E92. I'd rather wreck a POS beater than my 50k bimmer any day. Plus it's no fun driving to work through hills, in the snow, in a 380+ HP RWD, low, sports coupe.

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      08-15-2012, 07:22 AM   #10
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I had the best snowtires on my former 130i... didn't work... Forget about BMW if you live in a region with mountain snow roads

Except you have X-Drive Like i do now
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      08-15-2012, 07:56 AM   #11
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Had the same issue with all my cars, 528, 545 and now the 335i (all RWD). Snow tires went on all of them!! Car is a beast in the snow, drove way better than my moms X5 with all seasons. Living in Buffalo we get swamped, if your going for snows get Blizzak Ws-70's or Nokian Hakkapeliitta R thats what I have now
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      08-15-2012, 08:14 AM   #12
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Car with good winter tires is >>>> any 4x4/awd with all seasons.

If you have RWD, just adjust your driving habits.

So if you stick with the car, get nice winter tires and spare rims.

If you get a beater 4wd, get winter tires as well.

..get winter tires!!

The only reason I would get a beater 4x4 is to store the car and keep it from rock chips, winter slush, etc.
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      08-15-2012, 08:41 AM   #13
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I've had my car for 3 years, it's my daily driver and I live in the Philadelphia suburbs, but have had my car all over the state during the winters - up to the Poconos for skiing, up to Albany, over to State College, Pittsburgh and Erie (I'm originally from Western PA and visit my family often).

I have a square setup (225/40/18) of Blizzaks (LM-60) on my oem style 189 rims. The only issue I've ever had was ground clearance during the two blizzards we got in Philadelphia in 2009 and 2010. I had to stop to clear out the mesh in front of the intercooler.

The car is fantastically capable with proper winter tires. There is no substitute for the proper tire for the conditions. Max performance summers until the temps hit 40, then blizzaks till they come back up. Be safe out there - especially if you're driving near me
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      08-15-2012, 08:57 AM   #14
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I was just about to create a thread like this haha.

I live in Utah and the snow is pretty bad here in the winter and I know I will need to tires around that time. I was wondering if I would be fine with getting a really nice all season or should I just get winter tires and figure out how to get more money after winter for tires in the summer/fall.
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      08-15-2012, 09:09 AM   #15
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Getting snow tires is a no-brainer for me.

If I were you I would put summer tires on your new wheels you're getting and then put snow tires on your stock wheels. If you're planning on putting dedicated summer tires on your new wheels, you don't want to be driving in temps below 40 degrees even if the roads are clear and dry. A summer setup and winter setup will give you the best of both worlds!

I might consider an AWD/4x4 vehicle. I'm not sure how uphill your driveway is and the difficulty of making it up and down with a RWD car with snow tires, but it could be worth it for the few bad days per year to have an extra vehicle. Of course you'd have to buy an extra vehicle and insure it so there's an extra cost of carrying it for a few days out of the year.
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      08-15-2012, 09:29 AM   #16
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give me ton of snow and 335i w/ winters and i will be driving with a smile all day long !
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      08-15-2012, 10:50 AM   #17
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I'm in Montreal and I don't need to tell you guys that we get snow over here, a shit load of it and this next winter is going to be my 3rd one with my 335i and my 5th year with a RWD car.

Never had problems but had amazing winter tires (Blizzaks on the G35 and Michelins on the BMW) and you need to use your head. Don't try to be too adventurous and you'll be fine. The chassis is very well balanced and the car is very predictable.
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      08-15-2012, 11:09 AM   #18
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I ran 225/40/18 Blizzak LM60s last winter. There wasn't anything it couldn't handle, and Chicago winters aren't exactly gentle. Unplowed hills, stop and go traffic in a blizzard, ice, no problem.



I've driven FWD and AWD with all-seasons in snow a lot, and RWD with snow tires beats them both by miles.
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      08-15-2012, 11:13 AM   #19
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I'd rather have an old 4x4 with winters than my e92 with winters. It is fine in the snow, but I like beating it around in the winter.
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      08-15-2012, 11:34 AM   #20
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Blizzak tires are the best, I do have x drive but with the blizzaks its a tank. Get the tires, dont get another car which you will now have to worry about taxes, maintance etc..
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      08-15-2012, 12:04 PM   #21
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Buy the beater and eliminate any worry or concern of salt damage. Also, you'll save on miles.
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      08-15-2012, 12:09 PM   #22
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Snow tires ftw. Until the snow gets so high that it hits your front bumper you'll be better off in the BMW.
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