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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-23-2005, 09:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Some months back, I asked how the 318is does in snow, and got a variety of answers. Well, after one of the snowiest winters I can remember- and insane work/school schedules forcing me to drive in it- I can finally report in.

I LOVE THIS CAR.

I dropped 120# of sand in the trunk, flipped it to M to keep it in lower gears, and set about driving in some of the worst road conditions I can remember. 8 inches of snow? BMW RWD thrives where Ford FWD fails. 6 inches of slush? Some slipping, but nothing major. Keep it in low gears, and it's happy.

I saw a lot of people end up in ditches this winter, and my BMW was not among them. Maybe it's because I'm smart enough to not drive 65 in a 40 when there's 6 inches on the road, but I kept it where it belongs. Heck, the hardest part of winter driving in this one is scraping the ice off the windshield!

Anybody else awed by how their Bimmer does in snow?
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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great story
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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no......not really...

once driving out a parking lot that had some ice on the ground...my rear wheels kept floating side to side. I was going less than 10 mph, and uphill, I had no control...

don't get me wrong....I love my 318i but I'm scared to let her out in anything more than 2 inches of snow!

Anyway...I'll have to rty the lower gear like you suggest and see if that makes a diff...

thanks for the tip
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had to drive through 1-1 1/2 inches of sleet... I know not much but it was sleet so it was bascially ice and that's a lot for where i live and my car did fine. I couldn't start for a stop with out the back end going to the right a bit but once you got used to that not a problem at all. I haev driven a few other times in normal snow conditions and feel fairly confident in it's/my ability....
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Delmarco@Jan 23 2005, 10:05 PM
no......not really...

once driving out a parking lot that had some ice on the ground...my rear wheels kept floating side to side. I was going less than 10 mph, and uphill, I had no control...

don't get me wrong....I love my 318i but I'm scared to let her out in anything more than 2 inches of snow!
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Any car will lose traction on ice, regardless of whether or not its fwd or rwd. Most rwd cars are worse than fwd cars in bad road conditions, but as rwd cars go i think that the e36 is fantastic in the snow. If your not a total dipshit about driving your car in the snow its perfectly fine, just excercise good throttle control and dont do any stupid shit. Dont expect your rwd car to have traction on ice.. where a fwd car wouldnt even have any either.
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Old 01-24-2005, 01:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Catalyst is pretty much spot on. Don't drive like an idiot, and respect what is possible for the car to do, and you'll be fine. Nothing short of snow chains will have traction on ice like that, and nothing short of an M1A1 tank will just fly through the snow.

Do you have weight in the back, Del? Makes a huge difference. I use sand, but a lot of people use other things- concrete mix, cement blocks, anything dense. Keeping it in M mode and staying in 1st or second is also a help, as there isn't the RPM cycling from changing gears about.
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