Has anyone got any advice for those of us who will be driving our E36s throughout the winter? I took mine out just a few times last year, even with new winter tires, I was all over the road. Any tips would be much apperciated. Thanks
I plan to add a few bags of sand in the trunk to help get some traction down...
I've driven through 9 Canadian winters without accident and it's all about being extra cautious...
I also suggest taking your car to a parking lot everytime there's a huge snowfall and practice skidding... see exactly at what point (speed & sharpness of turn) your car gives out... that'll teach you your boundaries and also practice recovering from that skid...
I almost lost it the other day going down the middle of the biggest highway in Canada (401) right in front of an 18 wheeler, but i was able to recover because of my practice...
I suggest doing as many drifts and spinouts as possible...haha
that is definitely fun though...
seriously, stay very light on the gas, adding the weight is definitely a plus in the trunk, be touchy on the brakes, and just keep slow and alert.
Also, if you have a manual, I have found that staying a gear higher than normal, or keeping your revs lower, will help you to stop from spinning wheels easily...
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about the sandbags try less first, then just add them till you feel the best control and traction. i don't think there is really an optimal weight just a preferred weight by each driver.
the idea of going to an empty parking lot and messing around isn't a bad idea. i recently did this just to mess around a week or two ago. then took the car up skiing during a huge storm the largest one down here in colorado so far, and i did just fine, a little slipping when starting out in first, but i was fine after that, and had no worries at all.
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cool, some good tips in here, I was thinking the same as I've been skidding all over the place recently, and saw a red E36 near write off near where I work, a sharp lefthander, i've fishtailed there before, looks like the guy lost it, up over the kerb and into some boarding. - was wondering as it's the first winter I've had it.... gulp....
Extra weight in the boot, No sharp turns and a gear higher than normal seem like good tips, also making sure after a corner, everything is straightened up before powering away, any turn when accelerating tempts that spin out effect.
sandbags are necessary for trucks and old jalopies with huge V8s in the engine bay. you have a Bimmer with 50/50 weight distribution. All the sandbags are going to do is make it HARDER to catch a slide, as they will change the polar moment of the car. Do *not* add sandbags. For winter driving, do these things:
1. Practice in a parking lot (as mentioned)
2. Drive slowly and leave plenty of room
3. Brake smoothly, and if your ABS works, USE IT.
4. Get snow tires (most important rule!)
Eric (been driving in snowy climates from the moment I learned to drive)
I live in the Toronto area as well.
Great advice has been given by the members here.
I got snow tires last year and the difference is like night and day. You should definitely invest in them. I found that sand bags in the trunk do help. I think last year I had about 100 lbs. Definitely drive slow and leave space. And especially if you have a manual, keep the rpm's low between shifts. It'll prevent you from losing grip when it's really slippery.
I live in Norway, and it is winter here from late October till March, so have some experience. Should also mention that i have always had a BMW and never had an accident during winter time.
First of all you should have proper winter tires. I'm not sure if you can get those tires with steel studs in the States, but that would be the best investment you could ever do. If not, i'm sure you bought the best winter tires there is. I hope you have checked resent tests and made up your mind after those results.
Since our cars are rear weel drive, you should put some sandbags in the back. About 100 lbs (if that is 50 kg). This will not make much of a difference to the polar moment if you start to slide.
As mentioned, practise in a parking lot or on minor roads. You need to know your car. If you start sliding, don't hit the brake if not absolutely necessary. ABS will lock for a short time, and can make a huge difference. Just press the clutch and start steering. Also learn how to use the gas pedal to get the rear end where you want it, so you can slide controlled out of an situation. Whatever you do when trying to stop when slippery, dont' downshift. This will only lock the rear wheels. That is not fun. Think twice before you pass other cars. In 80 mph on roads covered with snow, you cant abort the drive by, and flooring the gas pedal will make your rear end slide under the truck you are passing. Other than that, driving during winter is a lot of fun.
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