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      01-18-2013, 04:06 AM   #1
hillbillybear
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Driving in snow

Can i ask what settings are best for driving in snow ect...? DSC on/of ect

Last edited by hillbillybear; 01-18-2013 at 04:33 AM.
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      01-18-2013, 04:29 AM   #2
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x-Drive (120xd or 135xi) and winter tyres. There's no other clue, a part from being a litte bit reponsible
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      01-18-2013, 04:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillybear View Post
Can i ask what settings are best for driving in snow ect...?
The best setting is one click on the stability system button, giving you traction mode. This will allow some wheelspin, but there is still a fair bit of stability aid.

When driving on loose surfaces like gravel and snow, some slip (wheel spin) is necessary for the wheels to dig into the ground and find grip.

As mentioned, a set of good winter tires will help significantly.
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      01-18-2013, 04:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
The best setting is one click on the stability system button, giving you traction mode. This will allow some wheelspin, but there is still a fair bit of stability aid.

When driving on loose surfaces like gravel and snow, some slip (wheel spin) is necessary for the wheels to dig into the ground and find grip.

As mentioned, a set of good winter tires will help significantly.
Many thanks.
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      01-18-2013, 04:42 AM   #5
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what ovekvam says + put 2-3 100kg dudes in the back-seat for even better traction
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      01-18-2013, 04:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
The best setting is one click on the stability system button, giving you traction mode. This will allow some wheelspin, but there is still a fair bit of stability aid.
If you're an experienced rally driver, then sure, activate DCT or even turn off DSC completely. Otherwise keep DCT off except for situation where you need to allow for more wheel spin. Driving on a snowy road at 40-50 mph is not one of these situations. If you however need to crawl up some slippery back road, then DCT can be of huge help, if not even a necessity.
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      01-18-2013, 05:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradbury View Post
If you're an experienced rally driver, then sure, activate DCT or even turn off DSC completely. Otherwise keep DCT off except for situation where you need to allow for more wheel spin. Driving on a snowy road at 40-50 mph is not one of these situations. If you however need to crawl up some slippery back road, then DCT can be of huge help, if not even a necessity.
Why would you not use the traction mode all the time on snow? In those conditions you will get better traction, and you still have stability control. My experience is that you need to take more risk to drive the same speed with full traction control enabled.
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      01-18-2013, 05:54 AM   #8
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were talking sport mode on not comfort ?
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      01-18-2013, 06:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillybear View Post
were talking sport mode on not comfort ?
If you single click the stability system button, you get traction mode with Comfort settings. If you select Sport+ (not available on all F20/F21), you get traction mode with Sport settings.
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      01-18-2013, 08:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradbury View Post
If you're an experienced rally driver, then sure, activate DCT or even turn off DSC completely. Otherwise keep DCT off except for situation where you need to allow for more wheel spin. Driving on a snowy road at 40-50 mph is not one of these situations. If you however need to crawl up some slippery back road, then DCT can be of huge help, if not even a necessity.
+1

That's how I drive (winter tyres), most of the time I've found you don't need to activate DTC, as spinning isn't the best way to move on snow anyway. Better to be very gentle on the controls and bite into the surface, before you make it more slippy with spinning wheels. I activate DTC when I need it and then switch back to full DSC. But most of the time just normal driving mode.

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      01-18-2013, 08:37 AM   #11
ovekvam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
That's how I drive (winter tyres), most of the time I've found you don't need to activate DTC, as spinning isn't the best way to move on snow anyway. Better to be very gentle on the controls and bite into the surface, before you make it more slippy with spinning wheels.
I disagree. The maximum grip level on snow is achieved at a higher level of slip than the car allows in the normal driving mode. That is why BMW has the Traction Mode (and that explains the name of the mode as well). I have been doing some testing with this, both around winter tracks and uphill. You accelerate significantly better with traction control disabled on snow. You can also go faster around corners with the car sliding slightly more than the car would otherwise allow.

I don't mean that you should be driving at the limit in public traffic, but using the Traction Mode will give you a bigger safety margin, since there is more grip available at the limit.

Ice is a different matter, and requires less slip, unless you are running tires with long studs, or the ice is very rough.
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      01-18-2013, 10:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
I disagree. The maximum grip level on snow is achieved at a higher level of slip than the car allows in the normal driving mode. That is why BMW has the Traction Mode (and that explains the name of the mode as well). I have been doing some testing with this, both around winter tracks and uphill. You accelerate significantly better with traction control disabled on snow. You can also go faster around corners with the car sliding slightly more than the car would otherwise allow.

I don't mean that you should be driving at the limit in public traffic, but using the Traction Mode will give you a bigger safety margin, since there is more grip available at the limit.

Ice is a different matter, and requires less slip, unless you are running tires with long studs, or the ice is very rough.
You've edited a vital part of my comment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
That's how I drive (winter tyres), most of the time I've found you don't need to activate DTC, as spinning isn't the best way to move on snow anyway. Better to be very gentle on the controls and bite into the surface, before you make it more slippy with spinning wheels. I activate DTC when I need it and then switch back to full DSC. But most of the time just normal driving mode.

HighlandPete
Makes all the difference to how you read my post.

I'd not disagree with on the limits driving, but as I say, for most of my normal driving on snow, I've found you can just leave DTC off. I prefer to have DSC fully active if possible, as often in the UK we'll be on and off snow. For me, it is a case of balancing the risks when traction isn't the only issue.

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      01-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
Why would you not use the traction mode all the time on snow? In those conditions you will get better traction, and you still have stability control. My experience is that you need to take more risk to drive the same speed with full traction control enabled.
The traction control isn't all about stopping the wheels from spinning while accelerating. It also helps you control the car when it goes sideways. Even at 60 km/h it's pretty scary when the car goes into an unplanned slide, and in those situations I want the electronics to kick in as soon as possible.

At these speeds and higher you will hardly ever experience that you don't have enough forwards momentum to get up a hill. Should this ever happen, then switching DTC on could help you. But leaving it on for all driving on snow, that is just begging for an accident to happen. Unless of course you've got mad skills.
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      01-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradbury View Post
The traction control isn't all about stopping the wheels from spinning while accelerating. It also helps you control the car when it goes sideways. Even at 60 km/h it's pretty scary when the car goes into an unplanned slide, and in those situations I want the electronics to kick in as soon as possible.

At these speeds and higher you will hardly ever experience that you don't have enough forwards momentum to get up a hill. Should this ever happen, then switching DTC on could help you. But leaving it on for all driving on snow, that is just begging for an accident to happen. Unless of course you've got mad skills.
But in Traction Mode, the stability control is still activated, and with decent winter tyres you have quite a lot of grip on snow anyway. It takes quite a bit of provoking to set the car up sideways. When the car senses that you don't correct the slide, it will still cut the throttle to help you.

If you enter a corner a bit too fast in regular mode, the car is less likely to make it around than in traction mode, as the car will not allow enough slip angle to get maximum grip. BMW could just as well have named the traction mode "Snow" of "Gravel", as it has settings optimized for a loose surface.

I think the traction mode is safer on snow than regular DSC even for rookies.

Personally, I prefer the DSC completely off, but I don't recommend that to others.
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      01-18-2013, 12:42 PM   #15
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Ovekwam: does the virtual diff make it possible to sustain a drift?
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      01-18-2013, 02:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs-6 View Post
Ovekwam: does the virtual diff make it possible to sustain a drift?
With the 116i, I can sustain a drift on snow and ice just fine, but I struggle to keep it going on tarmac. I use the throttle to control the angle, and sometimes I have to lift. When going back on the throttle, there is some turbo lag, and then I lose it. With more power it would probably work.
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      01-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #17
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Ovekvam, I think the big difference is the majority of uk owners will be running wide low profile summer tyres and we have snow on top of ice.
So DTC will give more spin without forward travel just sliding about.

As you will know with proper winter tyres DTC allows enough wheel spin to give added traction to accelerate forward.

Summer tyres on snow just drive extremely slowly

Winter tyres on snow its DTC all the time for me.

Cheers
Lee
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      01-18-2013, 03:19 PM   #18
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Depends on the traffix/where you are. Empty carpark? Turn DSC off. Normal traffic? Keep everything on. Empty wide roads? Depends on your skill, but turning only TC off will allow some driftangle but keeps it civilised.
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      01-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naambezet View Post
Depends on the traffix/where you are. Empty carpark? Turn DSC off. Normal traffic? Keep everything on. Empty wide roads? Depends on your skill, but turning only TC off will allow some driftangle but keeps it civilised.
When accelerating, braking and cornering, there will always be some slip. The slip angle in corners during normal driving is higher than most people think. Even in traction mode, the slip is usually lower than what the driver will regard as actually drifting/sliding. As you get closer to the limit, more and more of the tyre contact patch will start to slide. Finally it lets go, if you keep pushing.

It has to be said that recovering slides with the F20 is remarkably easy. The steering is quick, and the car is well balanced. Even without DSC or DTC enabled, it snaps back to going straight if the driver makes a correction. With the systems enabled, the car straightens itself unless you fight it.

As long as you avoid actually spinning the tyres, the balance is pretty much unaffected by what you do with the throttle/brakes. Unlike many older BMWs, the F20 is controlled mainly by the steering also in slippery conditions, not the pedals. Aim the steering where you want the front of the car to go, and the car will do so.
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      01-20-2013, 08:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
It has to be said that recovering slides with the F20 is remarkably easy. The steering is quick, and the car is well balanced. Even without DSC or DTC enabled, it snaps back to going straight if the driver makes a correction. With the systems enabled, the car straightens itself unless you fight it.

As long as you avoid actually spinning the tyres, the balance is pretty much unaffected by what you do with the throttle/brakes. Unlike many older BMWs, the F20 is controlled mainly by the steering also in slippery conditions, not the pedals. Aim the steering where you want the front of the car to go, and the car will do so.
+1 on this.

I've tried a bit wit our 116i, and it is rather amazing how easy it is to have controlled drifts/slides with this car and have the opportunity to exit the drift with just a correction on the steering wheel - totally undramatic. Especially with DTC enabled, you can have very much fun, and also get noticably more traction, without being afraid of doing 180deg spins. Even my girlfriend enjoys it with DTC enabled! She thinks it's very fun to drive under slippery conditions!
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