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Old 11-10-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
E46330iguy
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**Official winter driving thread**

Hey guys so most places are starting to get snow if you already dont have any, We just got a foot over night. Lots of people simply dont Know what to do when it snows or how to really drive

I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread so members can talk about tires, chains driving habits ect, I Teach performance winter driving as well as some summer driving, I dont know everything but i do know quiet a bit and I figured this would be perfect to help others out, Doug (Dmax) Is going to help with the cooling systems side of things while ill be with the driving part

Im not going to go into to too much detail here but if you take one word of advice from this thread let it be this.

If it snows where you live buy winter tires!

All seasons are not designed for "All seasons" They are designed for a place like Texas where it gets hot and rains thats all they are good for, An all seasons Loses most of its traction when the tempature hits 0c (32f) This is a rough number. Why? Because they are made of a harder rubber to wear good all year round, If it snows where you live and the snow stays on the ground all your round buy winter tires, If this inst practical you can buy All weather tires These are more like what a person believes an all season is, They are made to pass the same tests to qualify a tire a "Winter" tire, They arent quite as good as a winter tire but pretty close They dont replace driver skills but fill in HUGE patches of it, People say to me all the time that they can drive really well and dont need winter tires, Well here is a video of me hitting a COP car with studded winter tires, First accident in the 40 years ive been driving






Feel Free to ask any kind of question thats related to winter driving
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
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I hope many read this thread and pick up some tips...and have a safe winter!

Dallas, I know you also believe in the 'adding weight to trunk' idea...there was just a thread specifically on this, but I'll repeat that I fill 2 5-gallon buckets with sand, a small shovel, and bungie cord them in the back of trunk.

Also, before winter really sets in is a great time to get under car and have a look at things...change oil if it's due, check coolant level...and look for signs of leaking fluids. Having a car reliable is the best winter driving tip I can think of! Do some of the things you've been putting off...belts, pulleys, actually looking for leaks in the cooling system, checking your cluster for voltage and coolant temp.

Check air pressure in tires, wiper blades, battery terminals/compartment (one guy found his battery encased in a block of ice from some leaking gasket). Look at grounds...look all around at stuff with your xl50.

As far as cooling...Mango has covered all the details in his sticky...so that's the 'do it all' approach covered well. Otherwise, you should flush coolant every few years and keep a close eye on this system.

Oh...good time to gummi pflege and lubricate window tracks with silicone spray (don't open the windows when it's covered in snow and ice...you'll break the regulator).

I'm guilty of using all-seasons, but I live in a place where all the roads I need are plowed and I don't overdrive my car, but I never knew there was an all weather tire, so I'll look for them next time.

Trail cars a good distance in the snow...like 9 seconds behind. You might need that time someday!

I don't think the car notices winter that much more than any other season. I actually think my car prefers it! But, every winter here we'll hear of some accidents that could have been avoided...so I sure hope you kids are thinking out much further ahead when driving in bad conditions.

One thing I often do is blip the throttle on a snowy road, just to get a sense of how little traction I have...not enough to go into a drift, of course, but just a test of road surface.

Also, I like the principle of 'try not to stop'--unless there's, say, a cop car right ahead of you!
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:05 PM   #3
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Wait, hold on. Let me get this straight. You start this thread saying you have tons of great winter driving tips and experience and would like to help people out with winter driving knowledge. Then you post a video of YOU crashing into a cop?? Wtf?
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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I have these snow chains and plan to use them with my max performance summer tires in snow and ice (in a controlled environment first). Will report back
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #5
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Wait, hold on. Let me get this straight. You start this thread saying you have tons of great winter driving tips and experience and would like to help people out with winter driving knowledge. Then you post a video of YOU crashing into a cop?? Wtf?
If you read i use it as an Example of just because you have winter tires dosent mean you can just drive like its summer, People Around her drive with mud terrains on and use the excuse that they can drive really good, thus not needing winter tires, You could have the most skill in the world and still crash, Because it dosent matter if you have no traction, Which is displayed in the video Im a really great driver but Even with FANTASTIC studded winter tires they dont replace skill and being careful ! Winter weight is great on a RWD vehicle You need around 200lbs to make a a noticeable difference i usually put around 5-1000 lbs in my trucks
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thefrog1394 View Post
Wait, hold on. Let me get this straight. You start this thread saying you have tons of great winter driving tips and experience and would like to help people out with winter driving knowledge. Then you post a video of YOU crashing into a cop?? Wtf?
I think it's great that he started this thread. Who better to start a thread, than an experienced winter driver who's run into a cop?

I can't tell you how many more things I've learned from my mess ups than my successes.

Since I'm old, I'll just say 'slow down.'
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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I think it's great that he started this thread. Who better to start a thread, than an experienced winter driver who's run into a cop?

I can't tell you how many more things I've learned from my mess ups than my successes.

Since I'm old, I'll just say 'slow down.'
Trailing farther than usual is good! Since the person in front of you might be able to stop faster, and leaving more room inbetween cars when your stopped just incase you do get rear ended, That way there is a less chance of hitting the guy in front of you. Defensive driving is the key to being safe in the winter
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:32 AM   #8
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I have 195/60/16 winter tires all around. Is that too thin or what?
Everytime i take a turn I can hear the rear wheel skidding
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:50 AM   #9
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I have 195/60/16 winter tires all around. Is that too thin or what?
Everytime i take a turn I can hear the rear wheel skidding
Dosent seem to be anything wrong with that size, What do you mean why skidding
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:39 PM   #10
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I have 195/60/16 winter tires all around. Is that too thin or what?
Everytime i take a turn I can hear the rear wheel skidding
Thinner tires are actually better for snow than wider tires. The thick treadwall is also a good thing.

I find it sad that a thread like this needs to exist... drivers ed really doesn't teach s*** anymore, does it?

Also, putting 1000lbs in your trunk is ludicrous...
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:17 PM   #11
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+1 on thin tire over wide. wide ones just ride over snow rather than digging in..
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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Thinner tires are actually better for snow than wider tires. The thick treadwall is also a good thing.

I find it sad that a thread like this needs to exist... drivers ed really doesn't teach s*** anymore, does it?

Also, putting 1000lbs in your trunk is ludicrous...
I put 1000lbs in my trucks, not a car around 200lbs is more than enough for a car, Also i dont teach how to drive safely in the means a learner driver would with a new driver but taking the cars fast around turns and threw bends making the car over steer ect to better learn the limits of the vehicle and the winter conditions
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:17 PM   #13
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I believed that I was fine with AWD and all-season tires until the recent snow fall in NJ. I was driving home, went into a sideways skid, and almost hit a traffic pole with the passenger side of the car. Luckily there was no one driving at the intersection at that time and while trying to start up my car, which stalled out (manual) a couple of Verizon workers helped me push the car out towards the middle of the road where I could (barely) gain traction again.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:31 AM   #14
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Thanks, I guess it's just my lack of traction control that's making the rear wheel breaking traction on wet surfaces. On dry, no problem. Damn i miss my summer tires
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:23 AM   #15
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+1 on thin tire over wide. wide ones just ride over snow rather than digging in..
The wide vs narrow argument is really dependent on the terribleness of winters where you live. In MD, my larger concern is ice, as we usually only get serious snowstorms every 3-4 years, but we get ice in the winter fairly often. On the occasion we do get a serious storm that would require narrow tires to get traction, I call out of work for the day. And if I really need to get somewhere, I'll borrow my roommate's Jeep. Hence I run on 225/45-17's on all 4 corners.

The wider tires give me better grip in the dry, the wet, and on ice. which will likely be 90+% of my winter driving. If you live somewhere that has regular heavy-ish snowfall, narrow is better. Unless you get ultra-heavy snowfall, then wider becomes better because you have to get on top of the snow because you get high-centered if you try to cut down to the pavement. But I argue you should be driving something with more ground clearance at that point.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:26 AM   #16
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The wide vs narrow argument is really dependent on the terribleness of winters where you live. In MD, my larger concern is ice, as we usually only get serious snowstorms every 3-4 years, but we get ice in the winter fairly often. On the occasion we do get a serious storm that would require narrow tires to get traction, I call out of work for the day. And if I really need to get somewhere, I'll borrow my roommate's Jeep. Hence I run on 225/45-17's on all 4 corners.

The wider tires give me better grip in the dry, the wet, and on ice. which will likely be 90+% of my winter driving. If you live somewhere that has regular heavy-ish snowfall, narrow is better. Unless you get ultra-heavy snowfall, then wider becomes better because you have to get on top of the snow because you get high-centered if you try to cut down to the pavement. But I argue you should be driving something with more ground clearance at that point.
Agreed. Where I live we get a decent amount of snow, but I still primarily drive on salted and plowed roads. When I first got winter tires for my previous car I took everyones advice and went narrow, downsized, and got Blizzak WS-60's (their hardcore snow tire). Yea, I had absolutely amazing traction in the snow. But the 75% of the time that I was driving on plowed roads and highways, they were horrible (squirrely, bad dry traction, etc). I have winter tires on my car almost half the year. I don't want to have to live with a terribly un-fun and un-performing car for half the year even on the sunny dry days.

The bottom line is I own a BMW. All these practical arguments about the absolute best performing tire in snow, while they may be true, don't factor in the fact that I don't necessarily want the most practical thing, I still want to enjoy my car in the winter. If I wanted something ultra practical I would buy a 4WD minivan

I have all seasons now, but my brother is getting 225 Blizzak LM-60's (their high performance snows) on 17s for his e46 that I am going to try out. I am hoping that they are a good compromise between good snow traction and good dry traction.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:17 PM   #17
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Tires are really subjective to the vehicle you own and the conditons you drive in during the winter But a skinnier tire does help in deeper snow
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:23 PM   #18
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But if I had no choice, I'd have a pair of 17" steelies and some meaty Blizzaks on my car, and have textile snow chains in my trunk.

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:23 PM   #19
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I miss Quattro really. I think in 2010 I ended up stuck in the middle of the road. Like just driving normally and bam, stuck. Some girl coming the opposite direction in her Mercedes got stuck right next to me. We blocked the road for at least an hour, maybe more.

I wanted to help her get out but she was afraid her boyfriend wouldn't like it. Or she just didn't want me near her.
"I called him he's on his way OKaY!"

BMW is my first RWD car and I was surprised how easily they can get stuck. I come from a line of all-wheel-drive.

Also, what happened with that officer? The last vehicle I would want to hit would be a police cruiser.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:32 PM   #20
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Someone mentioned blipping the throttle to gauge how much traction you have.
When coming to a stop I will try to pump the brake with increasing pressure to try to lock up the wheels just slightly long before a stop. This lets me know the conditions ill be facing as I roll up to the car stopped in front of me.
It's also a good idea to slow down to almost idle and then slowly approach the intersection stop.
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