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      07-03-2008, 12:17 AM   #1
TruGambit
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How will the 135i handle in the winter?

Looking for some insight here. It's down to an 08 STi or a 135i. But my concern is how well will the 135 handle in the winter w/ snow tires? I also live in the midwest, Omaha region, but currently go to school in Louisville, KY. I plan on having this car for a while and plan to move back into the midwest for graduate school possibly. This is why I'm taking my time to make sure the need of an AWD is ruled out before I set my mind on the 135. I'm also a young driver, so I don't have enough experience under my belt to determine whether or not AWD would be needed.

With the amount of power the 135 has, would it be hard to drive around with the amount of snow the midwest usually gets? I've heard of people giving up E36 M3s for an STi to move up here because of the snow around here.
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      07-03-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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First thing...people survived many many decades without fancy AWD, Attesa, ABS, DTC, PSM, and any number of other acronyms and baby-sitter systems in their cars, don't forget that.

Next, AWD will provide additional winter ability that you will not have in a rear wheel drive or front wheel drive car. How much more will depend greatly on the car, the tires, and the driver.

The BIGGEST thing you will NEED, NOT WANT, NEED, is a set of either all-season or winter rated tires. Summer tires will get you in trouble, period.

After that you need to practice, in big open parking lots with noone and nothing around to hit should things go awry. Nothing high speed, just enough to get a feel of how to correct when things get sideways. Practice starts and stops as well.

Finally you need to use your brain. If extreme/slippery condiditions exist just don't be stupid. No car in the world will save you from yourself, if you go out in condiditions that are dangerous. Oh, and watch out for people that are stupid, that's really the biggest threat!

I have had many cars, AWD, FWD, RWD and they all survived winters near Chicago.

The only car I didn't drive all year was my S2000 and that was because I always had other vehicles to drive. But if I needed to, I would have slapped winter tires on that and drove that too.
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      07-03-2008, 03:14 PM   #3
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So a powerful RWD in the midst of a strong midwest winter would still be able to operate just fine? Not that much slip/slide?

And also, for a young driver, would you recommend skipping the luxury and keep a peace of mind and get the STi? Or will 135 be easy enough to handle in winters w/ snow tires that it shouldn't be a problem? And only since that winter is only one season and it should be fine.
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      07-03-2008, 03:34 PM   #4
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Im buying a 135i and selling my STi. I will speak to the STi that it was very good in the snow. However I have also had RWD cars that get around. Obviously the AWD STi will do better in the snow, but what about the rest of the year? 135i for me
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      07-03-2008, 04:07 PM   #5
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I haven't driven my 1er in the winter yet, but I have driven my E46 M3 with winter tires with no serious problems.

I will be driving my 1er in the winter with a set of Bridgestone Blizzak's. Our winters up in Canada are serious, so I wouldn't be overly worried about how the 1er will hold up.

Good luck!
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      07-03-2008, 04:52 PM   #6
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Thanks very much on these comments. Especially that last one. If anyone has any other comments about the snow handling, please go on ahead as I would like to know. I'm almost 90% sure I will stay in the BMW family now and upgrade to a 135.

Also, don't know if I should start a new post or not, are there good amounts of 135s at most dealerships? Or will they all have to be ordered? Closest dealership is an hour away so I don't really know. And how long will it take if it has to be ordered since it's this late?
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      07-03-2008, 04:58 PM   #7
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Any car will slide under the right circumstances. I could make the 135i do winter-like doughnuts on summer tires right now. It wouldn't be that good for the car, but it's doable.

The keys are proper driving tecnique, proper equipment and good judgement. If any of those are missing, trouble will be had. But that is true mid-summer or mid-winter.

Another thing to remember is this. AWD will only help (and will vary) starting and turning, not stopping. And it will only help if all the above stuff is in place.

The STi will be better in snow of course, with all else being equal. But by no means will the 135i be dead in the water just because some snow in on the road.

With my first post and this one being said. If you live in a very rural area, where your snow removal is not great, I may lean more toward the STi. But again, if you get the 135i stuck and it has winters on it, you probably where doing something else wrong as well.

You may want to look on e90post.com as well. Do a search for something like "winter driving" and see how the 3 series' have been doing. Granted it's not a true apples to apples comparo, but it will be close enough to help you make your decision.

And just so you know, I live in the SW burbs of Chicago, and my 135i will be out in it all year. Not sure what tires are going on yet, still enjoying summer!

Good luck what ever you choose, the STi has a great community just like this one. You can't go wrong either way really.
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      07-03-2008, 09:20 PM   #8
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Buckeye - I'll FedEx you a snowball. Have a family member toss it at you!

I actually put 4 cinder blockes in the trunk over the rear wheels when it snowed of my 330i - manual tranny. Really improved the traction and I didn't get the old Bavarian Fishtail as much.
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      07-03-2008, 09:53 PM   #9
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      07-03-2008, 10:05 PM   #10
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You should have little problems with the 135i with the proper winter tires. I drove a Nissan 350Z in the winter that wouldn't make it out of my driveway with the stock tires. I put on some Blizzaks and I could pretty much go anywhere.

My biggest problem was clearance, so anything over six inches of snow I would worry some about getting around.

My last BMW was a 2000 325i and it was a blast to drive in the winter. I put Dunlop winter tires on that car.

When I mentioned to the dealer that I would be buying winter tires he thought my all season tires would be fine. He says most of his customers just use their stock all season tires. If you get a 135i with summer tires you need to switch to winter tires when its time.
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      07-04-2008, 01:20 AM   #11
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Sounds cool everybody. Thanks for all the info again. I'll probably getting the 135.
04Enthusiast- Does the BMW down there have a good selection of 135s in their inventory? Hopefully one with a lot of options in it? Might be getting one just off the lot if I do soon.
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      07-04-2008, 04:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB135i View Post
The keys are proper driving tecnique, proper equipment and good judgement. If any of those are missing, trouble will be had. But that is true mid-summer or mid-winter.

Another thing to remember is this. AWD will only help (and will vary) starting and turning, not stopping. And it will only help if all the above stuff is in place.
Why would a AWD do turning better than a RWD car?

I have been driving RWD cars on winter roads i Norway for 10 years, and i have yet to get stuck. And my cars has never been equiped with any kind of electronic stability system (except ABS).
The 135 has loads of electronics to keep you safe, the only time you might loose out to the STI is in starting on slippery roads. Remember that the STI only has 4 wheels just like your 135.

I also have a part time job as a winter driving instructor and imo. the new BMW's have excellent electronic systems compared to most new cars. I have yet to test the 1 Series, but the E90 really impressed me a lot.

Every year i go to a frozen lake with the BMW Car Club to do winter driving, and with winter tires i can reach speeds of about 150kph. (in my old E36 320i). The M3 cars running on rally tires touched 200kph.
Recomended !

I'm hoping to get my 1 series on the ice at least once this winter.







my last trip http://gallery.raceinfo.no/gallery.a...lBMW/&pagenr=1
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      07-05-2008, 07:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruGambit View Post
Also, don't know if I should start a new post or not, are there good amounts of 135s at most dealerships? Or will they all have to be ordered? Closest dealership is an hour away so I don't really know. And how long will it take if it has to be ordered since it's this late?
I would go on the BMW USA Website and start contacting all the BMW dealers in your area for inventory, starting with your nearest dealer. The order cut off for the 2008 model is coming in the next week or so. No one is sure when the 2009 production dates for North America will start, you could be looking at at least a 2 - 3 month wait.
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      07-05-2008, 08:35 AM   #14
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It will handle as good as the snow tires you put on it.

I've driven powerful RWD cars for years on snow tires and they make all the difference.

With real heavy wet snow or light snow over semi ice I would turn the traction control off to get a little spin then once going I would turn it back on.

Like and RWD/FWD/AWD car, it will suck ass on ice.

I'd also suggest new 17" rims all the way around and swap rims/tires for the winter season.
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      07-05-2008, 10:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruGambit View Post
With the amount of power the 135 has, would it be hard to drive around with the amount of snow the midwest usually gets? I've heard of people giving up E36 M3s for an STi to move up here because of the snow around here.
The 135 will work, but it has a few issues that will not make it an ideal car on snow or ice. But with good driver skill, some snow / ice tires on all 4 wheels and using the DTC button will help. The 6MT will make it more difficult, use 2nd gear when starting out and take it easy on the gas. Get used to doubling up the stopping distances that you are used to in the summer.

Ground clearance is going to be a problem when attempting to go through any snow drifts or snowplow/snowblower mounds. A narrower, higher profile tire is probably a good idea. With the flat bottom on the 1 series, it might be possible to have the car stuck high and dry on a mound of hard packed snow!

Personally, I don't like the idea of driving my 135 in winter conditions, just because here in Vancouver you get all sorts of people who don't bother to get winter or even all season tires - they think using the gas pedal is the solution if it gets slippery.
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      07-15-2008, 09:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04Enthusiast View Post
You should have little problems with the 135i with the proper winter tires. I drove a Nissan 350Z in the winter that wouldn't make it out of my driveway with the stock tires. I put on some Blizzaks and I could pretty much go anywhere.
+1

It took me two bad ice storms in OK to realize that "summer/performance" tires weren't going to work on my Z. The stock tires would just spin at idle speed in the driveway...Blizzaks FTW.

Im sure they would be just as effective on a 1er.
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      07-15-2008, 09:29 AM   #17
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I love winter driving, its soo adventurous and fun every time :biggrin:. The only problem I had is at a up hill traffic light and SUV cars behind you, and black ice of course.
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      07-21-2008, 01:26 PM   #18
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I have an sti with snow tires and it handles amazing in the snow/rain. but with the summer tires on it, i almost lost control in the slush (just slush): 20mph, took 40 yards to stop. the abs didn't work because the tires didnt have enough friction to roll again once they locked so when i feverishly pumped hte brakes nothing happend. At least that's what the brake control guys where i work said when i told them what happend. For the record, i have never had problems driving in the snow/gravel/ice.

I think a set of snow tires and common sense is all you'll need. but i also agree with whoever said it above about practicing regaining control. this being my first rwd car, i'd like to practice regaining control in a controlled environment (autoX empty parking lot)
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      07-24-2008, 10:31 AM   #19
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A BMW in the winter with summer tires = Death
A BMW in the winter with winter tires = AWD+FWD =
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