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      10-10-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
shah269
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How to drive this car in the snow?

What i'm worried about is this.
I have two/ three year old snow tires. They look almost brand new.
Maybe all of 10k miles on them.
Im' worried about how to drive this car in the snow.
For all of my life I have driven FWD cars in the winter. This will be my second winter with RWD car.
And my biggest worry are hills and say about 1in - 2in of snow.
How does one get this car up said hill?

Just release the clutch and allow the coputer to pull the car up?
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      10-10-2012, 12:10 PM   #2
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If you are new to RWD in the snow, once snow comes you could do some practice driving, turning, accelerating and stopping in snow in a (say) vacant parking lot. RWD is obviously different than FWD in snow, but is no harder to handle with some experience.

Make sure your snow tires are good enough for this winter. They could be wearing down a bit at 10K miles. Avoid quick stops and starts, and turning movements. In fresh snow, easy/gentle is the way to go. You should be fine.

I actually prefer RWD to FWD in snow, especially for stopping and turning.
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      10-10-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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How about slippery hills?
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      10-10-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shah269 View Post
How about slippery hills?
Slippery hills have to be taken gently in either FWD or RWD. Going up a slippery hill, the FWD may have a slight advantage; coming down a slippery hill, I think RWD is better. Four good snow tires are a must, regardless of drive line.
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      10-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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So how do you start up a hill?
FWD cars, just gun it and she will pull up no problem!
When we had a bit of a snow storm here in NJ last year...I got suck half way up on all the hills.
Turns out turning off the traction controll and gunning it was not the best option.
My younger brother who has 03 BMW 325i says all he does is slowly release the clutch and allows the computer to take over.

Does that work for you guys?
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      10-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #6
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Start gently, keep the DSC on, and let the car work for you. Best I can say.

Others can pitch in here.
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      10-10-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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DSC Counterintuative in the snow?

Hello,

I got caught in a suprise storm two years ago in the 525it. We had a long, fairly steep hill to get up. I found with the DSC on, the auto breaking kept robbing power. After 10 min of trying to get up, I just turned it off and put the peddle down (where appropriate). Got up no problems. If she started to slip, I would give a dab of power and then back off once over the slick spot.

Now with my Land Rover, i just let the computer do its thing and up she goes every time.


Cheers
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      10-10-2012, 04:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuco44 View Post
Start gently, keep the DSC on, and let the car work for you. Best I can say.

Others can pitch in here.
I've had the opposite experience with leaving DSC on. It cuts your throttle input in and out and doesn't give you enough wheelspin to get any traction. Use DTC mode or even turn DSC+DTC all the way off (it sounds crazy but it worked best for me getting up a very steep snow covered hill). Use 1st gear and balance clutch + throttle input as much as possible (some slipping may be necessary) slowing adding throttle and releasing clutch until you get grip. Try to keep your wheels as straight as possible and don't give too much throttle input, just enough until you feel your tires getting grip and the car start to move. RESIST the urge to add or subtract throttle input, keep consistent throttle input no matter what or you will either spin your wheels or start moving sideways. Once you are moving up the hill don't stop until you are at the top unless its an emergency (car in front of you, etc). 1st and 2nd gears are your friend here.

The other keys to winter driving as mentioned by others are to avoid sudden changes including turning, braking or throttle when possible. The more consistent you are in your driving inputs the less likely you will be to have problems.

Oh and I always carry a small shovel in my trunk in case you inevitably do get stuck but fortunately I've never had to use it. I've heard sand or kitty litter under your tires also helps you break free but have never had to do that either.


Don't see "letting the computer do the work" and "gunning it" as being good strategies if you are stopped and have to start on a hill or the bottom of one. Even if you have momentum ahead of a hill if you "gun it" too hard you might find yourself sideways or worse especially if there is black ice hidden under the snow.

Last edited by Lucky1; 10-10-2012 at 04:31 PM.
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      10-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky1 View Post
I've had the opposite experience with leaving DSC on. It cuts your throttle input in and out and doesn't give you enough wheelspin to get any traction. Use DTC mode or even turn DSC+DTC all the way off (it sounds crazy but it worked best for me getting up a very steep snow covered hill). Use 1st gear and balance clutch + throttle input as much as possible (some slipping may be necessary) slowing adding throttle and releasing clutch until you get grip. Try to keep your wheels as straight as possible and don't give too much throttle input, just enough until you feel your tires getting grip and the car start to move. RESIST the urge to add or subtract throttle input, keep consistent throttle input no matter what or you will either spin your wheels or start moving sideways. Once you are moving up the hill don't stop until you are at the top unless its an emergency (car in front of you, etc). 1st and 2nd gears are your friend here.

The other keys to winter driving as mentioned by others are to avoid sudden changes including turning, braking or throttle when possible. The more consistent you are in your driving inputs the less likely you will be to have problems.

Oh and I always carry a small shovel in my trunk in case you inevitably do get stuck but fortunately I've never had to use it. I've heard sand or kitty litter under your tires also helps you break free but have never had to do that either.


Don't see "letting the computer do the work" and "gunning it" as being good strategies if you are stopped and have to start on a hill or the bottom of one. Even if you have momentum ahead of a hill if you "gun it" too hard you might find yourself sideways or worse especially if there is black ice hidden under the snow.
On further thought about it, I agree that turning off the DSC can be helpful in some instances. Sorry about the misleading post.
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      10-10-2012, 09:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuco44 View Post
On further thought about it, I agree that turning off the DSC can be helpful in some instances. Sorry about the misleading post.
No need to apologize, I'm sure some people may prefer it too. Turning it on can be helpful in other winter situations too. For example I was driving home following the worst flash freeze I have ever driven in. Literally the roads all over town were long hockey rinks. I was at a stop sign and I thought "Hey, lets see how these winter tires grip with DSC off". So I turned DSC+DTC off, put it in FIRST gear (deliberately to see what the result was) and gave it a little bit of gas. Let me tell you if you want to see what the road looks like from a sideways angle without turning your head this is the best way to experience it. The result with DSC was infinitely better than that In icy conditions I'll avoid driving with less than DTC unless its in a controlled environment (I'm on a large, closed tarmac doing driver training for example).
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      10-11-2012, 05:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuco44 View Post
Make sure your snow tires are good enough for this winter. They could be wearing down a bit at 10K miles.
Snow tires need minimum 6/32" tread. There are usually wear bars at that height between the treads that make it obvious.

The owners manual says you should not use cruise control on snow or ice. Also,

Quote:
You may find it useful to briefly activate DTC under the following special circumstances:

> When driving uphill on snow-covered roads, in slush or on unplowed, snow-covered roads
> When rocking a stuck vehicle free or starting off in deep snow or on loose ground
Activate DTC by pressing the button.

If you want to practice skid control, drifting or donuts in a snowy parking lot, turn DSC/DTC off by pressing the button and holding it down for 3+ seconds.
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      10-11-2012, 09:34 AM   #12
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From your post you say you have two snow tires. You should always use 4 winter tires. I have heard some people use two winter tires in the front on FWD cars, but that is not an ideal situation, but better than just two winter tires on a RWD car. You need traction at all four corners. And if you get a good amount of snow, and ice it is worth while investing in some good quality snow and ice tires preferably on dedicated winter rims.

Also DTC mode for going up hills slowly, and I would recommend turning traction control back on full once you are going over about 20 MPH. Also weight in the trunk helps if you find traction lacking.

I just got my 128i, so this is my first winter with it, before that I had a Mercedes E320, then a C230 (both rear wheel drive). I have had Michelin X-ice, Nokian Hakapalita RSI, Gislaved Nordfrost 5 studded, and now I have Dunlop winter sport 3D (which I bought used for this car). If you live in a hilly area like I do go with a snow and ice tire not a winter performance tire. The difference from a performance winter to a snow and ice is about as big as the difference between all seasons, and performance winters.

From tire rack you can get a set of rims, and tires for about $1200 small price to pay to stay safe. If you are on a budget you should check for a used set locally like I did.
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      10-11-2012, 09:58 AM   #13
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I interpreted OP comment to mean his winter tires were 2 or 3 years old. If OP means he/she has only 2 winter tires, then, I agree, must be four winters. To do otherwise creates imbalance in handling and steering in winter conditions.

Speaking of which, I see Cochrane and AB generally, has some winter snow this morning. Too darn early.
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      10-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #14
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We had rain, followed by snow, and -5C. I drive 45 KMS to work mostly on the highway, and I start before the sand trucks go out, so it was a fun drive to work. I am thinking that I am going to need some weight in the back to help with stability...Hopefully my wiring harness arrives soon so that I can put my sub in the trunk, there is about 40 lbs.

Looking back at the op I think you are right 2-3 year old tires. It is just a bit confusing written as 2/3 year old tires. Plus I know some people who only run two winters on their FWD cars no matter how much I try to tell them they should run the same tires in all four corners.
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      10-11-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
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Right now i have winter tires but yes I think i may need to buy snow tires...fuck it's NJ....we get snow it's here for the day and then it's gone! So really what i need are good winter tires.

So to climb a hill with this car, pup it into first with the DTC off or on? and slowly release the clutch and let the computer do the work?
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      10-11-2012, 11:25 AM   #16
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What is the brand, and model of your current tires??

If you press your DTC button it will put it in DTC mode which will let the wheels slip a bit, but correct over steer. If you hold the button down for 13 seconds it turns all traction control off. You will see the DTC light up in the instrument cluster. Press it again once you are up the hill, and you are back in normal mode. You will get a feel for what DTC does if you go to an empty parking lot in the snow, and play around with both modes. In the manual it states that DTC mode is for allowing the wheels to slip a bit in the winter. There is nothing worse while going up a hill then your traction control decides to apply the brakes, and you basically stop, and loose all momentum. DTC mode prevents this from happening.
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      10-11-2012, 12:30 PM   #17
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>>>There is nothing worse while going up a hill then your traction control decides to apply the brakes, and you basically stop, and loose all momentum. DTC mode prevents this from happening.<<<

you sure about this?
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      10-11-2012, 12:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky1 View Post
I've had the opposite experience with leaving DSC on. It cuts your throttle input in and out and doesn't give you enough wheelspin to get any traction. Use DTC mode or even turn DSC+DTC all the way off (it sounds crazy but it worked best for me getting up a very steep snow covered hill). Use 1st gear and balance clutch + throttle input as much as possible (some slipping may be necessary) slowing adding throttle and releasing clutch until you get grip. Try to keep your wheels as straight as possible and don't give too much throttle input, just enough until you feel your tires getting grip and the car start to move. RESIST the urge to add or subtract throttle input, keep consistent throttle input no matter what or you will either spin your wheels or start moving sideways. Once you are moving up the hill don't stop until you are at the top unless its an emergency (car in front of you, etc). 1st and 2nd gears are your friend here.

The other keys to winter driving as mentioned by others are to avoid sudden changes including turning, braking or throttle when possible. The more consistent you are in your driving inputs the less likely you will be to have problems.

Oh and I always carry a small shovel in my trunk in case you inevitably do get stuck but fortunately I've never had to use it. I've heard sand or kitty litter under your tires also helps you break free but have never had to do that either.


Don't see "letting the computer do the work" and "gunning it" as being good strategies if you are stopped and have to start on a hill or the bottom of one. Even if you have momentum ahead of a hill if you "gun it" too hard you might find yourself sideways or worse especially if there is black ice hidden under the snow.

+1
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      10-11-2012, 01:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shah269 View Post
>>>There is nothing worse while going up a hill then your traction control decides to apply the brakes, and you basically stop, and loose all momentum. DTC mode prevents this from happening.<<<

you sure about this?
Yes, I just got the car, and read most of the manual last week. I know from my previous Mercedes that turning the traction control off is a must to get up icy hills.

Also just googled BMW DTC, and found this...

http://www.bmw.com/com/en/insights/t...n_control.html
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      10-15-2012, 01:12 PM   #20
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DTC off and know where the limit of grip is. These cars are capable in the snow, but you have to know it's limits. I've been up a steep hill in a solid 2 1/2 inches of snow in the middle of VT no problem.
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      10-15-2012, 01:55 PM   #21
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Drive it like a snowmobile. Hit the DTC(but put the nannies back on for highway) and look where you want to go. Be patient on the takeoff...

Have a winter kit in the car in case. Some traction aid in the trunk, make sure you have your hook, maybe a strong rope to get pulled if you ever get stuck.
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      10-16-2012, 11:34 PM   #22
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traction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky1 View Post
I've had the opposite experience with leaving DSC on. It cuts your throttle input in and out and doesn't give you enough wheelspin to get any traction. Use DTC mode or even turn DSC+DTC all the way off (it sounds crazy but it worked best for me getting up a very steep snow covered hill). Use 1st gear and balance clutch + throttle input as much as possible (some slipping may be necessary) slowing adding throttle and releasing clutch until you get grip. Try to keep your wheels as straight as possible and don't give too much throttle input, just enough until you feel your tires getting grip and the car start to move. RESIST the urge to add or subtract throttle input, keep consistent throttle input no matter what or you will either spin your wheels or start moving sideways. Once you are moving up the hill don't stop until you are at the top unless its an emergency (car in front of you, etc). 1st and 2nd gears are your friend here.

The other keys to winter driving as mentioned by others are to avoid sudden changes including turning, braking or throttle when possible. The more consistent you are in your driving inputs the less likely you will be to have problems.

Oh and I always carry a small shovel in my trunk in case you inevitably do get stuck but fortunately I've never had to use it. I've heard sand or kitty litter under your tires also helps you break free but have never had to do that either.


Don't see "letting the computer do the work" and "gunning it" as being good strategies if you are stopped and have to start on a hill or the bottom of one. Even if you have momentum ahead of a hill if you "gun it" too hard you might find yourself sideways or worse especially if there is black ice hidden under the snow.
plus 1 with your comment on the traction control
sometimes it as to be 1/2 way or completely off.
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