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Old 12-21-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
pix335i
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Winter Arrives Today -- Give Your BMW a Winter Check-Up

Letís face it; most people in todayís economy do not have the extra money to have a separate car for the winter months. That means that it is even more important that you have the proper tools on hand to make your BMW get through these months in one piece. Here are some quick steps that you can take to help ensure your BMW is ready.

Tip #1 -- Check Your Tires for Wear
It is common knowledge that you should generally replace your tires when the tread has been worn down to about 2/32" left on the tire. While this is generally true, if you are planning on encountering snowy roads, you may want to consider replacements if your tread is less than 6/32".

So how do you check your tread depth? All you really need is a US penny (and possibly a US quarter). You can find all the details and pictures describing this at:
Measuring Tire Tread Depth with a Coin @ TireRack.com

If you find that you are in need of some new tires or if you are looking to get a dedicated set of winter tires and wheels, take a look at what TireRack has to offer for the winter season. You can use the Upgrade Garage to quickly locate a set of wheels and/or tires that will work for your car. Click the link below to get started!

Tip #2 -- Check Your Tire Pressures
Make sure you check your tire pressures on those winter tires; you can lose up to 5psi of pressure from summer to winter months and it can have a huge impact on the tires. If you are lucky enough to have your car parked in an attached or heated garage, be aware that you will lose air pressure when transitioning to the outdoors. According to TireRack.com, you should add 1 psi of "cold" tire pressure to compensate for each 10 degree temperature difference!

Tip #3 -- Check Your Windshield Wipers and Windshield Wiper Reservoir
The winter months can wreak havoc on a set of windshield wipers and it is likely that you havenít replaced yours in quite some time. Make sure you inspect your wipers for damage where the wiper meets the windshield. You want to make sure that you wipers are going to do a good job clearing moisture away - especially if you get caught out in a particularly nasty storm.

You will want to keep an eye on the level of your windshield washer fluid reservoir too; drivers go through a very high amount of fluid clearing off the fluids and salts state/federal agencies use to de-ice roadways. Donít get caught out on the road without any windshield washer fluid!

Tip #4 -- Check All Your Lights!
This seems like a silly step that most people would notice but the winter months and potential for extremely low visibility make this step even more important. Grab a friend, wife, neighbor or fellow enthusiast and have them help you check that all your lights are working on your car. You could probably manage this on your own but it will go a lot quicker with someone there helping you.

Tip #5 -- Put Together a Winter Emergency Kit
You never know when you are going to get stuck on the roadways during a storm - accidents happen and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it. Take a few minutes to put together an emergency kit that will fit nicely into a duffle bag or back pack in the trunk of your car. Some ideas on what to include are:
  • Flashlight - yes, one that is better than the one provided by BMW with your car!
  • First Aid Kit
  • Gloves, Hat, Blanket(s)
  • Ice Scraper
  • Jumper Cables
  • Possibly even some food that will last like granola bars, energy bars, etc.
  • Be creative and think of what you might need if you were stranded!

Everyone be safe out there and have a safe holiday season!
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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This is a great thread
On a side note: I had worries my car would slide all over the place this winter because its my first RWD car and a first winter with it.
I put Nokian Hakkapeliitta in the rear and Bridgestone Blizzaks in the front. Not to mention my 150lbs of subwoofers in the trunk. lol
Now my car handles way better than my AWD X3 and my fathers E320 4Matic

Snow tires make all the difference in the world. Get them ASAP!
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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Great tips, but why are you working on a snowy driveway? I would think it'd be wise to shovel that snow out of the way first.
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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Great tips, but why are you working on a snowy driveway? I would think it'd be wise to shovel that snow out of the way first.
I wasn't very well prepared. I didn't even have my breaker bar, I had to make due.

Tim
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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nice thread!

i think winters are a must for every car.

to the wrench tim.. the one in the trunk didnt work for you?
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:41 PM   #6
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M3s don't have a lug wrench...

At least mine didn't...
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:33 PM   #7
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Holy crap! Well hey man, at least you didn't get hurt.
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Class of '03, yet you're still an idiot. Whats your point? Do you really think that you're somehow a god because you joined a site before someone else? ****ing nerd.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:03 PM   #8
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blizzaks make all the difference in the world.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:06 PM   #9
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if only this applied to me
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:23 PM   #10
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does M3 usually have that much travel in the front suspension. thats enormous! my 330 doesn't eve travel that far
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:06 PM   #11
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Nice write up! My car is too low and tight with the H&R Cup Kit and other mods now though to drive it in the winter conditions around here. Opted for a '98 Dodge Ram 1500 with a 6" lift and big tires to deal with that though =)
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:49 AM   #12
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to the wrench tim.. the one in the trunk didnt work for you?
As far as I know M3's don't have the lug wrench. You don't have a spare or a jack so why have the wrench must be the thinking in Munich. Luckily I had access to a large bolt, grinder and adjustable wrench

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M3s don't have a lug wrench...

At least mine didn't...
Me neither.

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does M3 usually have that much travel in the front suspension. thats enormous! my 330 doesn't eve travel that far
As far as I know it is the stock suspension (I'm the 3rd owner).

Happy holidays,
Tim
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #13
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:27 PM   #14
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I have a question concerning tire pressure. I know it says above that I can lose up to 5 PSI, my question is, do I need to keep filling the tires with air or wait out the winter? I usually keep around 40 PSI in all of mine, they are reading around 34-35 now. I know this is a stupid question but I wanted to make sure of what I need to do, because I wasn't sure if the tire pressure would go back up when it started to get warm again and I don't want to have too much pressure in the tires when that happens.

Thanks.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:45 PM   #15
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blizzaks make all the difference in the world.
love mine too
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:56 AM   #16
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I have a question concerning tire pressure. I know it says above that I can lose up to 5 PSI, my question is, do I need to keep filling the tires with air or wait out the winter? I usually keep around 40 PSI in all of mine, they are reading around 34-35 now. I know this is a stupid question but I wanted to make sure of what I need to do, because I wasn't sure if the tire pressure would go back up when it started to get warm again and I don't want to have too much pressure in the tires when that happens.

Thanks.
In my factory owners manual it lists the tire pressures. I don't believe any of them are above 35 psi. The fronts are lower than the rear. I have mine at around 30 psi in the front and a little more in the rear as this is recommended by the factory. You may want to refer to your specific manual to be sure. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:56 PM   #17
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And if you're somewhere really cold.. check your ccv/pcv/cyclone for leaks.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:01 PM   #18
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Best all season tires? Best summer tire best winter tire? i know blizzaks are the common favorite. it is always cold as hell in chitown so i need the best..
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:23 AM   #19
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Talk about being proactive......

Hate to see activity on winter stuff already lol
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:35 AM   #20
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