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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
R2Hoog1

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Question Snow driving

So, I just purchased my first BMW, a 1998 328i. I live in Michigan and I am hoping I didn't make a mistake buying a rear wheel drive car. It currently has nice all-season Auroras on it, but I have heard others say it needs dedicated winter tires. I don't have the extra cash to drop on new winter tires right now... will the all-seasons be worthless? Does added weight in the rear help at all?
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
3050rpm
 
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I too experience winter weather like yours. While the traction control and the overall weight distribution of the E36 model help in wintry conditions, I have found that all-season tires simply aren't enough, the smart and safe move is to get dedicated winter tires for all four wheels. That's the best set-up you can get yourself, either that or check out getting chains. Sure, more trouble than just putting on tires, but you can install 'em when you need 'em, take 'em off when you don't. Also cheaper than winter tires.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:37 AM   #3
Manolito

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I grew up in northwest Iowa and have lived and worked in a lot of snowy places. Obviously, all-wheel-drive is preferable, but a well-balanced rear wheel drive car with antilock brakes and stability control works pretty well.

I do not care for front wheel drive cars, particularly stick shift front wheel drive cars. They tend to be front-heavy which makes for unpredictable cornering.

Four winter tires is better than four all-season tires, and four all-seasons is better than mis-matched (two of each). One advantage of keeping a set of winter tires is that you can put them on steel or other cheap rims that can get salted with no heartache. However, if you don't need to get out before the snow plow, and if budget and tire storage are problems, look around, I think you will see that most of the passenger cars in Michigan are driving on all-season tires year round.

As for added weight, OK to help you climb that icy hill, but generally no. You don't want your rear end wanting to pass your front end when you try to stop on ice. I have added weight only to balance out front-heavy pickups. If you want to carry a couple of sand bags, carry them on the rear seat floor and transfer them to the back of the trunk only when you need to make it up a steep driveway.

Last edited by Manolito; 10-09-2012 at 08:48 AM..
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:27 PM   #4
DEATH2000
 
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I have a 98 328i as well. I can tell you honestly that with a good set of Winter tires the car will handle fine! With my Nokian Hakepalitias (sp?) I had better traction and grip then with the all seasons in my 4x4 truck. Dont ever turn traction control off and get a good set of winter tires and you will be fine. Just drive to conditions.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
3050rpm
 
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I second that, get yourself that extra margin of safety by using four winter tires, and drive appropriate to the conditions.
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