3 series performance in the snow? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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#1 (permalink) Old 07-31-2004, 07:02 PM
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I'm currently considering the new 325i or 330i, the only worry I have is how the car handles in snow... Are winter tires the best choice? I just think it's a hassle to change tires when snow is expected. Can the car handle moderate snow with all season tires?

Any experiences or comments are appreciated. Thanks.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 12:42 AM
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if you are driving through snow then you will probably want tires that are made for snow.


also a 325xi or 330xi would have better traction in the snow
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 02:21 AM
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In case you didn't know danio, the "xi" models are AWD.

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#4 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 11:40 AM
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the 325xi is the way to go.excellent in snow and ice. i have also felt the awd system assist in heavy rain/flowing water where some other cars were sliding off the road and into concrete road dividers.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 08:41 AM
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I ran Dunlop WinterSport M3's on my 2000 328 all winter in New England and had no problems. They offer good grip on snow and ice and good performance on dry pavement, they were also quieter than I thought they would be. Of course, I also had 2 50lb. sand bags in the trunk!! The extra weight helps with traction and if you get in a bind,,,,,use the sand.

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#6 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 11:06 AM
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My 325xiT handles like a dream in the snow, especially with my Pilot Alpins. (I don't think my Pilot Sports would perform well, lol) It just pushes its way through everything. I live in Alberta, and I head up to the mountains almost every weekend and we get a ton of snow here in the city, let me tell ya, this is the best car I've ever had....I even prefer it over my 4x4. The brakes are tremendous, and the DSC helps quite a bit ( I started fish-tailing around corner by my house, and the DSC put me right back in line....truly amazing.) If you're looking for a good winter car...go with the XI and a set of winters to go with it.

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Here's my link if you're interested in a Touring model. I bought it primarily because of the cargo space...it's like an SUV but on a car chassis instead. Also, I think it's unique (looks don't always mean everything, right? She can move pretty fast, although it may look like a typical "grocery getting, geek mobile")...I don't see too many of the T's around, only the sedans. I like to be different. Hope this helps and best of luck on your decision.
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 12:14 PM
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Hi all,
danio -- thanks for starting this thread, I'm a newb considering to purchase a '00 323i and was very much concerned about its handling in the snow -- moving from NYC to Columbus, OH has shifted my interest from snow shoes --> snow tires .

Anyway, I wanted to know if anyone has experience with Continetal tires and whether it is a reputable company. The person installed 16" Continentals on the car and I'm not familiar with the company..Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks and have a great day!
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 02:01 PM
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Continentals are a good, middle of the road(no pun intended) tire with good wear and handling. I have them on my 328, though for summer only. Many BMW's come standard with them and they're often on CPO's as an economical replacement when turning in a leased vehicle.

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#9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 02:37 PM
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I was going to start my own thread on this subject, but I figured it best to put here. I have a 330Ci with the Sports Package. The dealer said that I should opt to change my tires to All-Season tires for better traction in the snow. He said anything over 2" will send me sliding. I live in SE PA, so we do get snow in the winter. Will I have a problem getting around with my sport tires? I know the other tires will help, but I just want to see if I can get away with keeping what I have. Thanks!

Proud <span style='color:red'>Electric Red</span> 2004 330Ci <span style='color:blue'>SMG</span> driver!
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 02:51 PM
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hi exjarhead328 -- thanks so much for the response! It puts things into perspective so given your advice, I will definitely change them over to dunlop all seasons to prepare for the winter. I'm so excited -- we're getting the car inspected tomorrow, so let's hope everything checks out!
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#11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 03:29 PM
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Hi Lady, just writing to let you know that the Dunlop WinterSport M3 is a WINTER tire, not all season. Although I run 225/45 17 in the summer, the winter tires are 205/55 16. In snow, wider is not usually better. I also have the sport package and this set-up fits and looks good, of course you will need to buy rims if you don't want swap tires all each season. Look for a good package, some come with a choice of wheel covers.

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#12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by exjarhead328@Aug 2 2004, 04:09 PM
Hi Lady, just writing to let you know that the Dunlop WinterSport M3 is a WINTER tire, not all season. Although I run 225/45 17 in the summer, the winter tires are 205/55 16. In snow, wider is not usually better. I also have the sport package and this set-up fits and looks good, of course you will need to buy rims if you don't want swap tires all each season. Look for a good package, some come with a choice of wheel covers.
Although I agree 100% with exjarhead328 that thinner tires are much better in the snow (205 vs. 225) for you 330 model owners make sure that the rim can clear the rotors as most 16 in. rims don't fit! Do not dispair though as you can find 17 in. tires with a 205 width that will work (I think it is 50 although I am not sure).

As for winter tires;
I firmly believe in winter tires, 4 seasons just don't do the job if you have little expericence in handling snow or do so rarely. Tires are one of the most important piece of equipment on your car as they are keeping you on the road, interestingly they are often overlooked! I am amazed how often l see an expensive car with substandard tires ghead. BTW summer tires are made for summer and winter tires are made for winter, 4 season well, they are a compromise which reduces grip both in summer and winter (compared to single duty tires). So why pay so much on a car and have reduced adhesion from sub par tires? I really don't know.

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#13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 09:04 PM
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I live in NH and drive 325i.
Original Conti with 20000mi is piece of crap in snow! Actually it is now worth nothing on dry pavement, not mentioning getting noisy.
Highly reccomend winter tires for snow.
For that guy, that moves to Columbus, OH:
Man, I feel sorry for you:
Used to live in there, 11 years, one day they said on local news it was "...250 absolutely clouded days in last year..."
Snow is not a big issue there, the freezing rain is, though.
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#14 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 12:27 PM
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[COLOR=blue]Good afternoon everyone! Whoa -- I was so excited to come back today and see these responses to my inquiry, my knowledge is improving about tires, driving in the snow, and driving in general thanks to you guys! :lol:

exjarhead328 -- thanks for the clarification...I'm definitely going to look into 205/55 16 winter tires with wheel covers, that sounds like the most practical solution!

OneLuckyPuppy -- I totally understand and agree with you. I was not familiar with Continentals nor had experience with single purpose tires...My history of cars has been scant since I've spent all my life in NYC, I had 2 low end cars with all seasons, it didn't matter so much since you can't drive over 15mph - now I have a 30 min. commute each way to work, all highway so this is a totally different ball game. Agreed -- there's no point to have a nice car with substandard tires, I liken it to an elegant outfit with crappy shoes

Hi Relevart -- thanks for empathizing, we moved here for work and it's been an interesting experience..The snow was relatively mild, but the freezing rain is out of control (my [old] car was covered in a sheath of ice several times!) -- combined with the black ice on the roads and these idiots who drive worse during inclement conditions is pretty annoying. I'm looking forward to getting geared up for the winter and investing in good tires. Thanks for the input!
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#15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 01:03 PM
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I live in Minneapolis and have driven my 2000 and 2001 325i in the snow with the stock tires that came on the car without a bit of problem. Only if the snow comes to the bottom of the car have I ever had a problem.
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