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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:39 PM   #1
s_israr
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California M3 survival in Chicago's winter

Hey,

Recently moved to Chicago with my E46 M3. Got my oil change at an indie BMW repair shop. As I was leaving, the owner of the shop recommended me to have the coolant/antifreeze ratio changed because the harsh winter could freeze the coolant I have in the car now. He recommended this because I just moved from California. Does this sound accurate?

I was quoted around $190 for the job, which seems a little high, but it was $100 for the oil change (which is a relatively fair price).

Any tips/recommendations to prepare my car for the snow would be appreciated

Cheers!
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #2
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Depends on what the current ratio of antifreeze is in your car right now. A 50/50 mix is how almost everyone does it, and I'd be surprised if your car didn't have that ratio. 50/50 mix is good 'til -40F, and a 33/67 is good 'til 0F. Chances are it's a good time to replace your coolant anyway. I would just DIY it, it's a very easy process.

Other good tips/ideas:

- Get Blizzaks for your snow tires. Ain't nothin' better. If you don't wanna get different tires, go with Continenal ExtremeContact DWS. They're still great in the snow. Not as good as a snow tire, but hands-down the best all-season out there.
-Edit: Stick with BMW 10w60, it's the oil recommended for your M3. Good to -20F

- Get good windshield wipers. Bosch Icons or BMW's bracketless design are excellent year-round
- Ice scraper
- Textile snow chains for if you get stuck: http://www.ecstuning.com/News/ISSE_T...SnowChains_VW/
- RainX or AquaPel your windows. It will help ice slide off more easily
- Get your battery tested at an auto parts store to make sure it is still in good condition

That's really all there is to it!
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:51 PM   #3
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He has an E46 M3. 5w30 is a horrible idea.

Get snow tires. If you think it'll snow heavily do not buy the DWS. Matter of fact just do not buy the DWS period.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:55 PM   #4
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Solid advice except...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
- BMW LL-01 5w30 is good
^Stick to 10W-60 for the S54. 5W-30 is fine for non-M's.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
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He has an E46 M3. 5w30 is a horrible idea.

Get snow tires. If you think it'll snow heavily do not buy the DWS. Matter of fact just do not buy the DWS period.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 328ci906 View Post
Solid advice except...



^Stick to 10W-60 for the S54. 5W-30 is fine for non-M's.
Sorry, forgot about that.

Disregard the 5w30 You gotta use 10w60 like these guys said
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #6
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I don't know about the adjustments between California and Chicago, but after living there for over four years I would store the M3, buy a DD, cab it or use public transportation.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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I don't know about the adjustments between California and Chicago, but after living there for over four years I would store the M3, buy a DD, cab it or use public transportation.
+1 great advice
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:26 AM   #8
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I don't know about the adjustments between California and Chicago, but after living there for over four years I would store the M3, buy a DD, cab it or use public transportation.
+1

And, welcome to Chicago!
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:31 AM   #9
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what year M? storing for winter is good idea. if not, get a winter wheel set.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #10
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+1 on the winter wheels. And I'm not too sure about the coolant because it's difficult to tell what was put into the car. I would guess it's 50/50 if it's as-built from the factory, possibly different if you ever had a shop in California change it. Wouldn't be a bad idea to change it, $190 seems reasonable for a shop, but still steep. DIY..?

Also - for sure, purge your windshield washer fluid and fill with the good stuff. I can almost guarantee what you have in there will freeze and possibly damage the seals, windshield washer tank or solenoid. Don't ask me how I know...
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:29 PM   #11
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go to any parts store and buy a hydrometer (antifreeze tester) for like 6 dollars and you will know for sure if your good or not.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:22 PM   #12
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Hey,

@T R E - She's a 2006 ZCP, Carbon Black

Thanks to everyone for the feedback, looking into all of this! I'm definitely going to be using more public transportation when it starts to snow, just wanted suggestions on how to keep the car from malfunctioning when I do drive it in freezing temperatures. Weather has been relatively moderate so far, thank GOD.

Initially, I was going to sell my car for an AWD (possibly an 335xi)... Later, people on this forum helped bring me to my senses lol

Happy Holidays y'all, cheers!
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:57 PM   #13
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Nothing can survive the Chicago Winters, salt, ice & potholes, not to mention the people that cannot control their car and run into you!!!

Good luck, store it for the Winter.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:53 AM   #14
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the people that cannot control their car and run into you!!!
This is why we have a winter car. Intersections are bad. So are uncleared interstates with drivers who insist on driving as if it is 70F and sunny.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #15
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This is why we have a winter car. Intersections are bad. So are uncleared interstates with drivers who insist on driving as if it is 70F and sunny.
whats worse than that is the idiots that are in the fast lane of the expressway going 15 mph when everyone else is going 50. then they get mad when they get rear ended. if you or your car cant handle driving in the snow then dont. of course you have to slow down when theres snow, but there is a point when it becomes dangerous to be going that slowly. i drive the chicago expressways everyday and i can tell you that when the first snow of the year comes dont expect to be anywhere, its not gonna happen. 3 hours to go 20 miles no joke. last year i counted 11 cars in ditches and into dividers on a 30 mile drive home.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:00 PM   #16
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