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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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Old 09-04-2010, 12:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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WINTER Preparation: Sand in trunk?

Hi all,

Looking for some advice here. I moved from Los Angeles to Chicago about two years ago and always freak out during winter time. I will be replacing my tires this year around November, I'm thinking, with Bridgestone all-weather tires. I thought about getting winter tires as well, but I will need to replace my summer tires eventually and I don't want to shell out the money for 8 seasonal tires at the moment.

At any rate, the last time I was at my local mechanic, I mentioned that I had problems with snow/ice (as I'm sure you all have experienced) and he mentioned getting a SAND RACK for my trunk and throwing like 40 lbs of sand on each side. Now, my mechanic is often hard to understand (because he is Austrian) but is there such a thing as a sand rack that custom fits my 3? Or, did he simply mean just getting bags of sand for the trunk...

Where can I buy bags of sand? How many lbs each side? Are there cons to doing this? If there isn't a 'rack' perse, how does one ground the sand bags in the trunk so they don't shift around?

I mentioned this to my boss today, and he also said that I could buy bags of SALT (From say, Home Depot) and it would be relatively cheaper... is this a good idea?

Are there any other suggestions to prepare myself for winter this time around?

Any insight is most appreciated!

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Old 09-05-2010, 11:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Dedicated snow tires will help your grip/handling tremendously in the snow, I think it's worth the extra cost to get some over all seasons. Tirerack.com always has good deals for wheel/tire combinations.

The sand/salt in the trunk will help add some more weight over the drive wheels but I've never done it so I can't say how much it will help with traction.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would really do a dedicated snow tire/wheel combo. Sand in the trunk adds weigh over the wheels but does not give better grip. it also throws off the weight distribution.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dedicated snow tires will help your grip/handling tremendously in the snow, I think it's worth the extra cost to get some over all seasons. Tirerack.com always has good deals for wheel/tire combinations.

The sand/salt in the trunk will help add some more weight over the drive wheels but I've never done it so I can't say how much it will help with traction.
You'd be amazed what a good set of snow tires will do. I had some Blizzaks on my e46 for winter last year. Never got stuck. NEVER.

My e30 (yes it is a lighter car) got stuck at least every day with all season tires on. And I mean EVERY day.


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Old 09-08-2010, 11:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am in Illinois as well. Get the winter tires, they are cheaper than the all season. I do have two sets of tires, winter and summer. As for the bags of salt, it is also a good idea, just buy two bags of salt (for water softener) and throw them in the trunk, but don't expect a miracle just with the extra weight. GET the winter tires. After a few winters in Chicago you will learn and may be able to get by with a good set of all seasons, but not yet.
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