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      08-17-2011, 07:11 PM   #23
M3PGH
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Thanks! The area we're looking at is upper St clair and there are hills all over the place (actually Pitt has hills everywhere) and hence my hesitation. Seems like the overwhelming answer is you're OK with snow tires. Is that b/c the M3 has better suspension/control than other comparable RWD cars? I was reading that it has DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) - does that make the difference or would all RWD with snow tires be OK? Also - I wonder what the bargaining room is in Pitts for M3's b/c I feel like there is a good chance to get a great deal (used or new).

Also - as far as the 335ix, someone mentioned that even with that car you need snow tires and can't ride with the stock ones in the winter even though it's xdrive? If that's the case, that's another expense I should tack onto the 335 b/c I thought that would only be a M3 thing. As for the engine diff (54 vs 55), I don't plan on modding the car (maybe just a tune)so I guess I would go with the 55 ALTHOUGH I would love to get a black roof (carbon if possible) which I don't believe is done by BMW but must be after market, which would prob ax the warranty correct?
I live in Upper St Clair and i had no problem driving the c63 with dedicated wheels and tires last winter. The township does an outstanding job of cleaning the roads. Goodluck!
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      08-17-2011, 08:44 PM   #24
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Op -- dedicated winter wheel/tires are the way to go..Or do what I did and have a 325xi waiting in the wings for winter.

Anyways, my main point is do your homework on the right tire. All winter tires are not the same.

There are snow/ice tires and winter performance tires. If you were living in Fargo, you'd probably need to go snow and ice tires for the extreme snow amounts. And then, you'd live to regret it because they are like driving on rubber bands.

Winter performance tires on the other hand will not give the same traction as snow/ice but they are good enough - especially for Pittsburgh. Blizzak for example has a WS series and an LM series. The WS are snow/ice, the LM is their winter performance tires.

I've had the LM's on a # of my rwd cars over the years and really liked them. For the 325xi we have now, I put on Dunlop Winter Sport 3d's - loved them just as much

Ask for Mason @ Tirerack...He'll get you hooked-up with the right stuff
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      08-17-2011, 09:08 PM   #25
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Winter tires M car= reliable winter fun. I drive my E60 M5 with no problems year round!
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      08-17-2011, 10:03 PM   #26
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My X5M feels like a RWD at some times during the winter with its all season tires so winter tires do make a huge difference. I, too, have heard from dozens of people that winter tires on any RWD car make it better than an AWD car with all seasons. Now, it won't drive as easy as a Subaru WRX or Mitsubishi Evo but you can get from point A to point B with no worries.
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      08-17-2011, 10:40 PM   #27
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      08-18-2011, 05:37 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliotdds View Post
Hey

Just wanted to throw my 0.02 into the discussion.

I will completely echo what has been already said. I have lived 1 hour west of Chicago for most of my life. I have had as my daily driver, 1 Merc e55, 2 e60 M5's. I am taking delivery of my 2011 e90 M3 hopefully within the next couple of weeks.

All these cars have been fine in the snow. The KEY is DEDICATED SNOWS.

They really make all the difference in the world.

I have also gone from switching the rubber each and every season - to finally just purchasing a separate set of wheel, mounted with the snow tires. This perhaps is a bit more expensive initially, but the cost of 2x a year, removing, balancing and mounting snows and summer tires, was too much hassle.


With the proper rubber on the car, you really have no worries


Hope this helps


Frank
Frank I am also about 1hr West of Chicago (In West Chicago). Where are you at?
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      08-18-2011, 06:30 AM   #29
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Frank I am also about 1hr West of Chicago (In West Chicago). Where are you at?
Hi Chris

lol - closer than you think

I practice in Glen Ellyn


live out in St. Charles
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      08-18-2011, 10:48 AM   #30
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Excellent! Hopefully we see each other on the road!
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      08-18-2011, 11:52 AM   #31
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Narrower tread/higher sidewall is the trick with snow tires. Regular width snow tires for an M3 just ride on top of the snow. You need a tire that gets down and grips.

I run Dunlop Winter Sport 3D 235/40 18's on all four wheels on my DD M3. They're mounted on 18x8 generic alloys. It was a package from Tire Rack. Admittedly, you'll have to rachet back your performance expetations somewhat but you will get through the snow!

Oh, one more thing - the M3 (particularly w/ZCP) has very low clearance. So, if the snow is more than ~4/5 inches you'll be plowing the street!
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      08-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #32
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Question I have is of those that use their M3's in the snow have you had a similar performance car with AWD and how did it compare?

I'll be able to afford an 09 M3 (I want the updated iDrive) next summer but after 3 years with AWD (coming from a RWD car and snows) I don't know if I can go back. Perhaps I needed better snows on my previous car.

No snow at the time but it wouldn't have been an issue regardless
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      08-18-2011, 05:24 PM   #33
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I guess I can give my thought on this.

I had an X5 3.0 - always placed snows on it in the winter - now have an X5 4.8

same story - snows go on the same time as on the M cars -

some people think its insanity to place snows on an AWD vehicle. - I'm not one of them.

I will say - the AWD BMW's with snows - handle the white stuff amazing well. At times it is hard to even engage the traction control.

There is no question - they are far more stable than the RWD cars - in fact - they are really quite unstoppable - with the exception of ice - and black ice is really nasty.

But - I used to drive my M5 all the time in the winter - during big snows, sleet, you name it. It never let me down -

you need to pay attention. In fact sometimes, I am FAR more worried about the other drivers in their cars smashing into me - but it will safely get you to wherever you need to be

Frank
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      08-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #34
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Question I have is of those that use their M3's in the snow have you had a similar performance car with AWD and how did it compare?
If you like to compare it you need to drive the Audi AWD that compares with the m3 performance characteristics (HP torque etc.).

In the end as you know one needs to adopt to road conditions. I drove a Jag 3.0 X Type AWD for several years now the MB C350 4MATIC in the winter time ... you just need to be careful in the snow like with any other car.

My first M3 an e46 I purchased on the west coast and drove it home to snowy Alberta, first thing I did got a set OEM winter wheels and a good set of Michelin snow tires. After that all was well. If you want to be sure wait till it snows then test drive a m3 with snow tires (if you can find a dealer car with snow tires).
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      08-19-2011, 01:39 AM   #35
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[quote=Radiation Joe;10239781]Don't worry about it. Get a set of winter tires and enjoy the car.

That's awesome dude!!! Now that the winter is coming in Germany, I'm gonna do my best to beat that.
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      08-19-2011, 07:02 PM   #36
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I'm in Pittsburgh and I drive my E46 M3 as my winter "beater car". With snow tires, you'll have no problems mostly. No need to worry.
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      08-20-2011, 12:29 PM   #37
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I've posted this before, but here we go again... A set of Blizzaks and you are all set.
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      08-20-2011, 03:14 PM   #38
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I drive my M3 year round here and the only time I had an issue was on old snow tires - I got stuck on the incline of my driveway which was solid ice.

In general, if you don't push your snows in the dry, or when it heats up, then they should last two solid winters (rears).

The only time you will have issues with snow tires is in deep snow or ice on steep hills. Even then, you will be surprised by the ability of the car to climb, but it won't be a great experience ; ) Most of the time, the various municipalities stay ahead of it, but we have had multiple blizzards the past two years. Actually, the last two winters have been the worst in probably 10+ years.

Good luck - let me know if you have more questions!
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