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      01-06-2017, 02:00 PM   #1
Azban
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Moving to Boston Area, Need Some Advice

Hey guys,

I will be moving to the Boston/Lowell, MA area in Feb for work. I'm coming from southern california so the concept of winter and snow driving is new to me. Was looking for some advice on what to do with my 2010 N54 135i. I know I'll probably need some all weather tires. My UHP summer tires probably arn't the best. Also, I know I'll probably need that scrapper/brush thing for the snow.

Any other advice would be awesome.

Also, any suggestions on reputable indy shops in that area would be great too.

Thanks guys
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      01-06-2017, 02:27 PM   #2
NorthernDancer
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You'll definitely need winter tires, NOT all weather.
As for indys, look in post here in New England, "any indy recommendations"
For parts, definitely bavauto.com in Portsmouth NH.
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      01-06-2017, 03:27 PM   #3
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I'm sorry to hear you have to leave Southern California for Lowell, MA!

I always recommend a separate set of wheels with the snow tires mounted. Downsize to 17" wheels (most, but not all will clear 135i brakes), the tires will be cheaper and the narrower tire will work better in the snow. I run 205/50-17 snow tires. Tire Rack sells winter tire packages (wheel/tire) pre-mounted/balanced that you can pop on yourself, or look for a used set for sale in the forum. Some shops will store your summer/winter tires as well if you don't have storage yourself.

You could buy 18" snows and mount them on the stock wheels, but then you are paying $80-100 for mount and balance in the winter/spring. That might be sufficient if you are only here for 1 year.

I also recommend H-rated or better "performance" winter tires. Stay away from Q-rated. Lots of clear highway driving in Boston winters at 80mph+.

I usually run non-RFT winter tires and carry a spare. I usually put on my winter tires in early December (or first real snow) and like to take them off in April.
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      01-06-2017, 10:56 PM   #4
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Definitely need winter tires. Blizzaks or another good winter tire that isn't a "high performance" winter tire. Saying this from experience.

I recommend a clear bra on the front of your car if you don't already have one to prevent rock/salt chips and scratches. Front bumper, front quarter of the hood and both front fenders and both mirror caps should do it.

An extra bottle of wiper fluid and you should be good to go!

Welcome to New England
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      01-06-2017, 11:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoosTonian View Post
Definitely need winter tires. Blizzaks or another good winter tire that isn't a "high performance" winter tire. Saying this from experience.
FWIW, the Blizzak LM-25 is classified as a "high performance winter tire" (which coincidentally is what I currently have on my 135i).

From my experience driving RWD BMWs the last 20+ years around Boston and suburbs during winter, I would never put anything less than an H-rated snow tire on my BMW. Frankly, *any* snow tire on your BMW will outperform the all-season clad FWD cars on the road.
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      01-07-2017, 09:20 AM   #6
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Winter windshield washer anti freeze

Make sure you get winter windshield anti freeze into your system long before you hit Boston. If necessary, drain out your present "summer" fluid. I'm thinking you'll need something like -20F. Also ensure your engine is also well protected. You, or any garage can simply drain out about a gallon of your present coolant from your radiator then add same amount of pure engine anti freeze. Genuine BMW blue coolant is about $25 from any BMW dealer.
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      01-07-2017, 11:57 AM   #7
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Thanks guys! Lots of good info. Didn't even think about my wiper fluid freezing. I'll need to research into winter tires as well. One question tho, are they acceptable to drive on during the spring/summer? Or would you guys strongly recommend a winter set? Finally, I am concerned about the salt. Is it as bad as people say it is for cars and is there anything other than a clear bra/undercoat spray to protect against it?
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      01-07-2017, 12:38 PM   #8
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Winter tires can be used in summer, just not a good idea to use them all summer, every summer. Everyone in the north east uses winter tires on extra rims. As mentioned here already, people here are selling winter tires on rims so look into that. Now, in order to use just one set of tires, Nokian Wrg3 is maybe the first "all weather" tire and is an option.
Salt in the NE is an issue. If your hood is in very good condition, get a clear bra installed before you come north. Undercoating is usually done September to November time frame. For now, I might recommend coating engine compartment in WD 40. It will protect you thru the rest of this winter.
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      01-07-2017, 09:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azban View Post
Thanks guys! Lots of good info. Didn't even think about my wiper fluid freezing. I'll need to research into winter tires as well. One question tho, are they acceptable to drive on during the spring/summer? Or would you guys strongly recommend a winter set? Finally, I am concerned about the salt. Is it as bad as people say it is for cars and is there anything other than a clear bra/undercoat spray to protect against it?
You can drive snows in the summer, but they'll wear faster and are generally very loud.

For the salt, just run your car through a touchless car wash that does the under carriage ever week or two. Salt can be pretty bad if left on for prolonged periods of time.

If you talk to xpel, they'll tell you the common areas people apply the clear wrap on their cars to protect against rock/salt kickup, etc.

I have Dunlop winter 3D tires on, they're not the best. Car still spins and in some cases still slides forward when breaking. Nokian tires are what I'd recommend, friend has them on an f80 and the car is glued to the road.
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      01-10-2017, 09:02 AM   #10
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Definitely get a separate set of winters (not all-weather).
I've been daily driving my 135 for the last five years (this is my 5th winter) and it's just fine in the snow with good winter tires. As was previously suggested, go 17" and narrower, like 205/50. Narrower tires are better in the snow than wider.

I am driving on Blizzak LM-25 runflats now. Preferences for runflats vary, and I don't use them for summer, but trust me when I say you don't want to be changing a tire on the side of the road in a Nor'easter - it sucks and its VERY dangerous considering other motorists are suffering from reduced visibility and controlability. People get killed on the side of the road way too often when they don't need to.

+1 on switching to winter wiper fluid. I didn't even know there was a difference until I bought my second 135 from Florida and brought it up here only to have my windshield washer system freeze up when I needed it.

Take these precautions, use a good tire, and you should be fine.

Also worth mentioning is that winter driving is not an instinctive thing. Just because you are an ace driver on the track doesn't mean you know squat about driving in snow. Do yourself a favor and take your car to a big empty parking lot, like a mall, when it is snow-covered. Learn how your car handles, learn its limits of control and stopping. Learn how to recover from fishtailing (this is a RWD car, after all). my dad did that for me as a kid learning to drive and I've always been fine inthe snow, but my guess is coming from SOCAL, your snow driving experience is limited. Do yourself a favor and get some practice.
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      05-06-2017, 06:36 PM   #11
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I as well moved but from Northern CA to the east coast for work. I am originally from Mass so I was very much aware of the weather. If your 135 is your sole driver then as the people suggested consider getting a set of winter wheels/tires. I am big Nokian fan I have had them even on AWD cars (subarus) they make a heap of a difference. (or if you want to get into the local nomenclature wicked difference)

I order all my tires on line and I take them to be installed in a local shop that I trust. I can pass the info if needed.

When I moved people were giving me their condolences (jerks - just kidding)
But guess what they have 93 octane here whereas no such thing in Cali.

Welcome to MA again.

Cheers

Nick
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