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      11-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #1
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Tips for driving

I read some interesting information some time ago about driving a rear wheel car in snow. This is my first rear wheel car in over 20 years of driving. Can people offer any advice other than put snow tyres on (I won't be doing this) on driving in snow and ice, what settings etc. I have a 116 sport
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      11-07-2012, 05:22 PM   #2
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As we see every year at first snowfall here in Norway the answer is the following:

If snow and no snow tyres - don't drive!

I don't remember the number of cars in the ditch here 2 weeks back, but it was very high and everyone was on summer tyres.
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      11-07-2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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I agree that driving in slippery conditions with summer tires is a really bad idea.

Other than that, I suggest putting the car in Eco Pro setting on ice. Be very soft with pedals and steering. If you get into a difficult situation, keep braking hard, and focus on a safe way out, not on the obstacle. The DSC and ABS systems will help you control the car.

In snow, I recommend the DTC setting.
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      11-07-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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Buy snow socks and keep them in the boot. The only way you will 'get home' safe!

Drove in the snow once, bad idea, you don't even have to add power for the rear to break traction and put you over the hedge or even worse, in the path of oncoming traffic! No amount of electronics will help.

You have been warned!
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      11-07-2012, 06:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
If you get into a difficult situation, keep braking hard, and focus on a safe way out, not on the obstacle.
Don't brake too long, disengage ! Otherwise you will continue to slide.

And indeed, focus on a safe way out, not on the obstacle.
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      11-07-2012, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fraxbe View Post
Don't brake too long, disengage ! Otherwise you will continue to slide.
Well, the car has a certain amount of grip which you can select to use for steering or braking. If you are experienced with winter driving, lifting off the brakes now and then to give more priority to the steering, can sometimes be a good idea.

For those who are not confident with winter driving, it is usually better to keep it simple. Keep braking hard, and steer where you want to go. The DSC will cut the braking on selected wheels for you to balance the car.

Getting the speed down is very important. An evasive lane change that is rather easy at 50 km/h, can be completely impossible at 60 km/h. I used to be a skid pan instructor, where I saw this a lot. If your speed is too high, it is no longer about missing the obstacle, but about minimizing the damage. Don't forget that the ditch can be a better option than hitting a car.
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      11-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #7
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And here is a tip for the experienced winter drivers:
If your car is sliding around a corner, and rotates too much to be recovered, it will eventually end up in the inside ditch. What to do?

Braking will not help in this situation. The best thing to do is to pull the handbrake on hard. This will put the car into a spin, but it will keep moving in a straight line, missing the inside ditch.
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      11-07-2012, 06:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
And here is a tip for the experienced winter drivers:
If your car is sliding around a corner, and rotates too much to be recovered, it will eventually end up in the inside ditch. What to do?

Braking will not help in this situation. The best thing to do is to pull the handbrake on hard. This will put the car into a spin, but it will keep moving in a straight line, missing the inside ditch.
Good tip! Altough not for beginners as you say.
But will it work easily when all the electronics are on, or could they end up interfering?

Last edited by BMW-RaceR; 11-07-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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      11-07-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
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I assume you're an experienced driver since +20years of experience. In this case you're interested in the difference FWD and RWD.
  • When you overpower, the car becomes oversteer (tilt over with excessive yaw towards the apex of the turn), while FWD would incline to go understeer (straight).
  • Under slippery conditions, the space you need to recover is much bigger, but this is also true for FWD. When there is ice, space you'll need is exponential!
  • The DTC is a good device to contain the slip, but nevertheless, keep the speed down when you experiment with it. Have winter tires to get at least some grip. The worst thing is feeling the total lack of grip while this leaves you without any control.
  • Experiment with dots of overpower and feel the slide getting corrected by DTC while you immediatly counter lock into the driving direction as the car yaws (also with DTC activated, you can semi-deactivate after some experiments, but I would not entirely disengage it). I would build up speed and reduce DTC corrections gradually when I'd have the SPACE to do so.

My experience is that things only go wrong when you become over confident and start building up the speed. I lost control like this twice by building speed in the straight before the turn and consequently meet the middle of the ditch in the turn (was with FWD car of my dad 20 yrs ago, he was not amused then).

When you want to avoid the risk, just leave DTC fully activated, get winter tires and keep your speed down. The BMW will be as save as any random FWD car and just as easy to handle.

Concerning grip: the BMW has about 50% weight on his rear axle, while FWD have about 65% on their front axle. It is therefore logic FWD has the edge in traction under winter conditions (but only then). BMW remains the master of joy under all conditions.
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      11-07-2012, 08:40 PM   #10
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I gotta agree. Snow tires are a solid investment...will save time, money and hassle, eventually. Get 'em.
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      11-08-2012, 02:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW-RaceR View Post
Good tip! Altough not for beginners as you say.
But will it work easily when all the electronics are on, or could they end up interfering?
This trick works both with and without DSC enabled. The DSC will try to resist spinning by braking the front tires, but it can not do anything about the handbrake, so the car will still go in a straight line, just rotate slower.
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      11-08-2012, 03:46 AM   #12
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Why not get winter tires? You'll be missing out on all the fun!

If not, my advice would be to not drive the car on snow and ice.
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      11-08-2012, 04:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tawia View Post
Buy snow socks and keep them in the boot. The only way you will 'get home' safe!
I used to always have snowchains in the booth, helped me a couple of times!
I am thinking about getting new chains or snow socks for the new car.
Anyone got some advise on these socks??
What are the (dis)advantages compared to snowchains? I think the price is about the same..
Are they easier to install than chains?

Thanks for commenting
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      11-08-2012, 04:29 AM   #14
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I'm another cold weather tyre advocate I'm afraid.

Rear wheel drive cars with high performance summer tyres are a bad idea in the snow and ice. I've had lots and its not fun.

Buy cold weather tyres and forget about it.

Leave the car at home and walk and pray you won't get caught out and about during a snowfall.

My personal opinion is that we should all be forced in the uk to have cold weather tyres fitted just like our European neighbours. There really is no constructive argument that can be made not to use the correct equipment at the correct time .
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      11-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #15
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There are no driving tips, because the summer tires are not designed to be very grippy much below 4C. If it really worries you, take the public transport when the weather condition is very bad.

For everyday driving, your #1 problem will be the black ice. If you know the road very well, is to avoid these spots in the night or early morning. Even these winter tires probably won't save you on the black ice.

Last edited by dchao; 11-08-2012 at 11:32 AM.
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      11-08-2012, 10:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchao View Post
Even these winter tires probably won't save you on the black ice.
Even with the best studless winter tires you have to drive very slowly in such conditions, but you will not be able to cope with steep hills.

With rally tires, it is not a problem at all! :-)

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      11-08-2012, 12:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzer View Post
I'm another cold weather tyre advocate I'm afraid.

Rear wheel drive cars with high performance summer tyres are a bad idea in the snow and ice. I've had lots and its not fun.

Buy cold weather tyres and forget about it.

Leave the car at home and walk and pray you won't get caught out and about during a snowfall.

My personal opinion is that we should all be forced in the uk to have cold weather tyres fitted just like our European neighbours. There really is no constructive argument that can be made not to use the correct equipment at the correct time .
Perhaps not down here (south of London) but where you are I agree.
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      11-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #18
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I think I read that below 7 degrees winter tires starts to become recommended in front of performance summer tires. The closer you get to the point of freezing the larger the grip difference between summer and winter tires gets. Around 0 degrees the difference in grip is quite large even on dry asphalt.

I don't see why someone would buy a rather expensive car and not use money on winter tires. Its great for your own, you passengers, you car and others safety.

You are also saving thread wear on your summer tires, so its not like its money out of the window.
Rims are also worth something when used so there is no large economic downside in a buying a set for the winter.
The upside can be quite large tough.
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      11-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW-RaceR View Post

I don't see why someone would buy a rather expensive car and not use money on winter tires. Its great for your own, you passengers, you car and others safety.
The problem is, here, in the south of England, the temperature can be quite warm during the winter. It will snow once or twice per year, then it will melt the following day, that's about it.

Then, there is hardly any steep hills there either.

Basically, for most part of the winter, summer tires are fine.
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      11-08-2012, 06:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchao View Post
The problem is, here, in the south of England, the temperature can be quite warm during the winter. It will snow once or twice per year, then it will melt the following day, that's about it.

Then, there is hardly any steep hills there either.

Basically, for most part of the winter, summer tires are fine.
Sounds like perfect conditions for high speed winter tires, the type they sell in Germany. They are often more comfortable to drive around with than summer tires. And you save your summer wheels from road salt.
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      11-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #21
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Ill just leave these videos here. First one is the best and made for the UK!




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      11-14-2012, 09:50 AM   #22
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I've just ordered an F20. It will be my 4th BMW and the first that I will be putting on winter tyres. I had an e90 which I drove on summer tyres all through the snowy winter that we had 2 years ago here in the UK. Driving was a bit like snowboarding as it was more a case of controlled sliding rather than driving. At the time we also had and e82 and it was undriveable compared to the e90.

By far the worst car that I have ever owned for driving in the snow was an Audi A3 sportback TDi with DSG. That was last winter and thankfully we only had 1 day with a light dusting of snow. However, for the first time in nearly 20 years of driving I had to abandon the car due to weather.

On a 116 a winter tyre package including 16" steel wheels can be bought fairly cheaply so it's a no brainer in my opinion. Things get a bit more complicated (bloody expensive) with the bigger engined cars due to the bigger wheels required for brake clearance. I still think it's worth it though. If you don't have them then please just leave the car at home as I don't want you sliding out of control into my nice new car.
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