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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 11-24-2004, 07:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I hit my first real snow today since purchasing my car. I had driven my dad's 528i in the snow before, and I remember thinking, "Oh, this isn't too bad. You have to be careful, but with the stability control it's not so bad."

Well, mine's a 540i with the standard Conti tires, with about 50% tread left on them. Today, I drove from downtown to my girl's house, normally about a 20-25 minute drive, and with all the snow it took close to an hour. And the entire time, when accelerating, my car would be wiggling like a snake. And it was SLOOOWWW accelerating, with the traction control going like crazy. My dad's wasn't ever nearly that bad. I mean yeah, you should accelerate slowly in the snow, but this was hideously slow.

When I got to her house, I couldn't even make it up her BARELY inclined driveway to her garage. Later, on the way back to my house, I barely made it out of her neighborhood. There's a slight hill at the entrance of my neighborhood that we have never had problems getting up, no matter what the vehicle. Well, I couldn't make it up. I got halfway and then slid back down. I had to go back out on the main road and around the long way to an entrance that doesn't have much of a hill. Then it took my dad and I 20 minutes to get the car into our 1 or 2% inclined driveway. Even my dad, who has driven plenty of RWD vehicles, was shocked at how bad it was.

So we grabbed 160 pounds of salt from the hardware store and put it in my trunk, but I haven't driven it since then. I really don't have the money for snow tires right now (and don't you have to get another set of rims with those too?). I guess I just wanted to share my (horrible, horrible) experience and see if anyone had any words of wisdom. Now keep in mind we only got 4 inches tonight, which is about average up here in Indiana, so I am REALLY worried about what happens when it gets worse. Any help is appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 11-24-2004, 08:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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mroger
Sorry to hear about your troubles and putting the weight on the axle is a good idea. I had the same problem with the 528 especially with those 17" tires. Last year I couldn't make it out of the driveway. Bought the 15" snow tires (check tirerack.com) plus several bags of salt in the trunk I had no problem. This year? The jeep will take care of it.

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Old 11-24-2004, 08:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Bummer

learned my lesson parking my 2004 530i on wet grass at a golf tournement

ANSWER: tirerack.com - they will size/balance and ship - about $1300 includes new steel rims
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Old 11-25-2004, 11:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by steckj@Nov 24 2004, 10:56 PM
Bummer

learned my lesson parking my 2004 530i on wet grass at a golf tournement

ANSWER: tirerack.com - they will size/balance and ship - about $1300 includes new steel rims
[snapback]236990[/snapback]
Yeah, this car really needs winter tires.
I've been caught a few times with the stock Dunlop's (SP2000) and traction is very poor (regardless of how much thread is on them). My ice tires offer excellent traction, and rim protection. A worth while investment.

Part of the problem is summer-performance tires are just that; tires with hard rubber compound designed to take the punishment of spirited driving under hotter conditions. When the hard "summer" rubber compound is exposed to colder (or freezing) temperatures the compound stiffens, reducing roadsurface traction, AND accelerating tread wear.
I recall one manufacturer suggesting winter (snow or ice) tires should be used in temperatures less than 10C - this improves traction and saves your summer-sport tires from premature wear.

On the element of ice vs snow tires - they are different so be sure to get the right tire for your driving environment. Your local dealer will likely have an appropriate tire package tunned for the road/weather conditions you are likely to experience in your area - it's worth checking out what they offer and then shop around for best pricing on the appropriate tire/rim combo.
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Old 11-25-2004, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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gmal:
Part of the problem is summer-performance tires are just that; tires with hard rubber compound designed to take the punishment of spirited driving under hotter conditions. When the hard "summer" rubber compound is exposed to colder (or freezing) temperatures the compound stiffens, reducing roadsurface traction, AND accelerating tread wear.

Interesting comments; If this is true then how do they get away with it when they sell/market the ALL SEASONS tires? are they made of different rubber compounds? or the whole issue revolves around the tread design of tires. i.e. grooves, smooth, rough, water channels etc etc.
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Old 11-25-2004, 02:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cant beat the 528!! :P
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Old 11-26-2004, 09:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB@Nov 25 2004, 01:37 PM
Interesting comments; If this is true then how do they get away with it when they sell/market the ALL SEASONS tires? are they made of different rubber compounds? or the whole issue revolves around* the tread design of tires. i.e. grooves, smooth, rough, water channels etc etc.
[snapback]237240[/snapback]
Often times the compound is different. All of the time the tread is different. I guess it's a little bit of both. But high performance summer tires - Any tire in that category is even "unsafe" to drive in *rain*. There really is a HUGE difference between all seasons and summer tires. It's pretty scary to think about all the people that drive around on tires not made for the weather they are in, not understanding how huge of a factor it is at winter time.
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Old 11-26-2004, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by sp0rky+Nov 26 2004, 04:46 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(sp0rky @ Nov 26 2004, 04:46 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-billB@Nov 25 2004, 01:37 PM
Interesting comments; If this is true then how do they get away with it when they sell/market the ALL SEASONS tires? are they made of different rubber compounds? or the whole issue revolves around* the tread design of tires. i.e. grooves, smooth, rough, water channels etc etc.
[snapback]237240[/snapback]
Often times the compound is different. All of the time the tread is different. I guess it's a little bit of both. But high performance summer tires - Any tire in that category is even "unsafe" to drive in *rain*. There really is a HUGE difference between all seasons and summer tires. It's pretty scary to think about all the people that drive around on tires not made for the weather they are in, not understanding how huge of a factor it is at winter time.
[snapback]237772[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

SpOrky
A little bit of both makes sense. I have a silly question though: when making the rubber plies do they still refine the rubber coming out of the trees (natural) or do they make synthetic rubber thesedays? I am a bit behind. info. wise!! Anyone?
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Old 11-26-2004, 11:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB+Nov 26 2004, 12:05 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(billB @ Nov 26 2004, 12:05 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'>
Quote:
Originally posted by sp0rky@Nov 26 2004, 04:46 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-billB
Quote:
@Nov 25 2004, 01:37 PM
Interesting comments; If this is true then how do they get away with it when they sell/market the ALL SEASONS tires? are they made of different rubber compounds? or the whole issue revolves around the tread design of tires. i.e. grooves, smooth, rough, water channels etc etc.
[snapback]237240[/snapback]


Often times the compound is different. All of the time the tread is different. I guess it's a little bit of both. But high performance summer tires - Any tire in that category is even "unsafe" to drive in *rain*. There really is a HUGE difference between all seasons and summer tires. It's pretty scary to think about all the people that drive around on tires not made for the weather they are in, not understanding how huge of a factor it is at winter time.
[snapback]237772[/snapback]
SpOrky
A little bit of both makes sense. I have a silly question though: when making the rubber plies do they still refine the rubber coming out of the trees (natural) or do they make synthetic rubber thesedays? I am a bit behind. info. wise!! Anyone?
[snapback]237780[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]


I think the "rubber" is mostly synthetic now a days - although I am not a chemical engineer and would defer to someone that is.
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Old 11-26-2004, 12:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks bud
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Old 11-26-2004, 02:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey guys, thanks for all the input. The next day on mostly plowed roads with the weight in the trunk I had no problem, although if I can spare the cash I will certainly consider getting snow tires.
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Old 11-26-2004, 03:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sounds great!
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