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      11-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
greenmonkey
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Traction control light comes on early with winter tires fitted

I recently fitted my 135i with new Continental Extreme Winter Contacts and noticed that when I open the throttle, the traction control light comes on. I've realized that if I turn off all my nanny modes, the car responds the way it does with my summer tires.

Has anyone else had this problem? If so, is there a way to avoid the warning without turning off my driver assists?
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      11-13-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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I'm going to be first to state the obvious and just say let off the leadfoot

Unless something's wrong with your car (which I doubt) the TC light is coming on because you're losing traction. You're not going to have the same grip with winter tyres as you will with summer tyres for obvious reasons.

That or put it on DTC. It's designed to allow some forward slip of the tyres but not lateral slip/slide.
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      11-13-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Depends ... it does in my 1M and I believe this is because I am running a square winter setup with 245s in the rear (vs 265s). Since these tires have a smaller diameter the car thinks that they are already spinning faster than they should relative to the fronts and thus the TC intervenes way sooner (even when the tires are nowhere near their grip limit).

Also, if your winter tires are new, they may not be broken in yet.
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      11-13-2012, 06:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnsniper View Post
Depends ... it does in my 1M and I believe this is because I am running a square winter setup with 245s in the rear (vs 265s). Since these tires have a smaller diameter the car thinks that they are already spinning faster than they should relative to the fronts and thus the TC intervenes way sooner (even when the tires are nowhere near their grip limit).

Also, if your winter tires are new, they may not be broken in yet.
Are you sure this is a factor? BMW sold tires for the 128i in size ranges from 16" - 18" (16" square winter tires, 17" stock non-sport suspension and 18" sports suspension in Canada). I've had both 17" winter square setup and 18" summer tires on the car and have never had this issue. If it were tire diam between front and rear was an issue wouldn't all the non 1addict 1ers equipping their car with 16" winters would be traction lighting all over the place with DSC on?

I'm just thinking the DSC is very sensitive and it isn't getting the grip its comfortable with with the winter tires on and intervenes early. Does the problem happen in DTC mode?
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      11-13-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky1 View Post
Are you sure this is a factor? BMW sold tires for the 128i in size ranges from 16" - 18" (16" square winter tires, 17" stock non-sport suspension and 18" sports suspension in Canada). I've had both 17" winter square setup and 18" summer tires on the car and have never had this issue. If it were tire diam between front and rear was an issue wouldn't all the non 1addict 1ers equipping their car with 16" winters would be traction lighting all over the place with DSC on?

I'm just thinking the DSC is very sensitive and it isn't getting the grip its comfortable with with the winter tires on and intervenes early. Does the problem happen in DTC mode?
...what does the rim size have anything to do with width of the tire
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      11-13-2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky1 View Post
Are you sure this is a factor? BMW sold tires for the 128i in size ranges from 16" - 18" (16" square winter tires, 17" stock non-sport suspension and 18" sports suspension in Canada). I've had both 17" winter square setup and 18" summer tires on the car and have never had this issue. If it were tire diam between front and rear was an issue wouldn't all the non 1addict 1ers equipping their car with 16" winters would be traction lighting all over the place with DSC on?

I'm just thinking the DSC is very sensitive and it isn't getting the grip its comfortable with with the winter tires on and intervenes early. Does the problem happen in DTC mode?
Going from 265-35-19 to 245-40-18 rear results in a change of around 0.6" in tire diameter while changing the 245-35-19 fronts to 245-40-18 results in essentially the same diameter. This change (rear wheels are spinning quicker than the fronts vs normal conditions - one of the factors TC detects) plus a reduction in 20 mm in width definitely makes the TC come on quicker. I definitely notice TC come on very early with the winters even on mid throttle exits on mild radius corners (I have to punch it in on the same corners to get the traction control light to come on with the summer staggered setup).

I am sure the Alpine PA3 rubber is also not as grippy as the PS2s but the TC comes on way before I feel any slip with the winters. This is not always the case with the summers!
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      11-14-2012, 12:01 AM   #7
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I'm going to mention in case you aren't already aware...winter tires use a much softer rubber compound to grip the ice better...but that means less traction on dry roads, especially above freezing. And being made of softer rubber, I'd suggest easing up on the throttle if you want them to last more than one winter, soft rubber wears much faster...
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      11-14-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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I couldn't open the throttle in my 128i when I switched to winters without lighting up the dash and its the same case in my 1m, you'll just have to lighten up til spring.
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      11-14-2012, 11:10 AM   #9
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Very normal. Happens with my 135i as well-running a staggered setup. The tires generally are as noted above - less traction on dry roads.
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      11-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
greenmonkey
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It doesn't take much throttle application for the light to come on. So, I don't think it's my driving. The tire compound and size difference appears to be the culprit. Yes, the tires are also new.

Thanks to all those who replied!
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      11-14-2012, 11:27 AM   #11
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fit lower traction tires.
drive similarly.

marvel at the traction control kicking in early

with any torque you're going to outrun the grip of snows somewhat quickly.
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      11-18-2012, 09:30 AM   #12
mlbrett7
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I had the same issue yesterday with my Toyo winters on the highway. Even gentle acceleration in sixth gear (on a good road) made the TC light come on. The temperature was warm at +11C and I'm wondering if at this temperature the tread blocks are too squirmy and confuse the TC. Interestingly, driving <60km/h on the street didn't seem to trigger the TC even though the acceleration was greater.
I'm hoping with colder temperatures the problem goes away.
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      11-19-2012, 07:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlbrett7 View Post
I had the same issue yesterday with my Toyo winters on the highway. Even gentle acceleration in sixth gear (on a good road) made the TC light come on. The temperature was warm at +11C and I'm wondering if at this temperature the tread blocks are too squirmy and confuse the TC. Interestingly, driving <60km/h on the street didn't seem to trigger the TC even though the acceleration was greater.
I'm hoping with colder temperatures the problem goes away.
My winter tires do the exact same thing as yours. You just have to take it easy on winter tires. If I do not have snow forecast for a week or so I will put the summer tires/wheels back on.
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