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      02-23-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
niqui
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M3 in Canadian winter is above average for the category.

I remember when I was deciding whether or not to buy an M3, its winter capabilities were fairly important to me. As such, I wanted to make this thread just to let prospective buyers know, that the M3 is well above average in terms of rwd sports cars, and quite frankly on par with any german rwd saloon/sedan, etc. Obviously, it depends on your tires, I am running the 18inch rims and pirelli's and can say it is honestly better than my jag s-type by far, equal or marginally better than early millenium s500, and e320. Unbiased, in daily winter conditions it is almost as stable as my 4matic s550; however, in heavy snowstorms, it is not amazing, though driveable, and equally capable to any rwd german sedan or coupe i can think of or have/owned.
I imagine, that winter driving would be further enhanced by purchasing the m winter kit for 4k, but i personally dont think it is necessary, i have had trouble one day all winter, and i would have had trouble in any of my cars.
Part of the capability may be due to the fact that I have full control since its a manual, but to new M people like me and my family, we thought a new 400 hp m3 coupe in montreal winter would be the dumbest possible idea.

this is with zero weight in the trunk.

anyways, i apologize if some of you guys find this thread useless, but when i was looking to buy my first m3 for year-round driving, this was fairly important to me.
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      02-23-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niqui View Post
I imagine, that winter driving would be further enhanced by purchasing the m winter kit for 4k, but i personally dont think it is necessary, i have had trouble one day all winter, and i would have had trouble in any of my cars.
Could you please elaborate on this "M Winter Kit" of which you speak??

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      02-23-2009, 10:12 PM   #3
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Could you please elaborate on this "M Winter Kit" of which you speak??

Cheers
when i bought my car, i was offered the m winter kit.
which i was told, costs 3800-4000$ canadian.
it includes four M rims, that are all the same width and i think 18s, my rep called them the M winter rims. the main point of them, is that they are narrower, especially compared to the stock rear rims, giving you much better control in the winter.
the skinner the tire/rim, the better it sinks through deep snow.
this is what i was offered, the salesman who offered me this is a knowledgeable, albeit cocky, m man.
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      02-23-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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Well m northern friend, I have found the M3 a nightmare in the snow. I about piss myself every time it gets slick out. But, as you point out, tires are everything and I am running on the stock pilot sports as I hope to only run 1 winter in the Midwest before moving back to No. Cal.

Anyhow, it probably would be much better with respectable sneakers.
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      02-23-2009, 10:24 PM   #5
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Well m northern friend, I have found the M3 a nightmare in the snow. I about piss myself every time it gets slick out. But, as you point out, tires are everything and I am running on the stock pilot sports as I hope to only run 1 winter in the Midwest before moving back to No. Cal.

Anyhow, it probably would be much better with respectable sneakers.
your running the summer sports in chicago winter?????
thats intense.

i wouldnt dare drive the m3, or any rwd car on summer sport tires, i wouldnt be able to get it out of the driveway...
perhaps, i didnt make the title clear though, this is car is fine in the winter, but dont you dare drive it without winter tires at least where i live.
not only will you not move, but if you have an accident your insurance is void, and it is now illegal to not have 4 snow tires on...

i am actually quite surprised at how good these pirellis are, i use to use pirelli, my benz dealership loves them...they are ok./
brigdestone blizzaks are good, toyos, and sottozero pirellis; michelins are fine.
not a fan of continentals.
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      02-23-2009, 10:36 PM   #6
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I'm on Blizzak LM25 on factory 235/40/18 on all 4 corners.
And the car runs amazing in the snow and slush.
Even better then my previous 07 335I with Toyo's.

M3 in the winter with good winter tires is no problem at all.
It has good power delivery with the LSD and perfect car balance.
makes it a fun car in the snow.
Even with the DSC off, it still very stable.
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      02-23-2009, 10:39 PM   #7
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my dsc barely flashes at all in the m3, whereas in my other cars, its perpetually on.
system is not overly active , which is nice, and feels naturally planted.
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      02-23-2009, 11:15 PM   #8
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LIVING ON THE EDGE!!! You want thrills behind the wheel, try a Chicago winter in PS2's!!!!

I actually only drive it in the real crap pretty rarely and can take the train if need be. Funny story, I actually did get it stuck on sheet ice in the driveway. The 2% grade got the best of the car. Praying for better weather and a relocation back west. If that does not happen soon, you may see my "check out the wreck" pics in a new post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by niqui View Post
your running the summer sports in chicago winter?????
thats intense.

i wouldnt dare drive the m3, or any rwd car on summer sport tires, i wouldnt be able to get it out of the driveway...
.
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      02-24-2009, 12:01 AM   #9
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Agreed...with winter tires...the M3 is unreal in the snow. My mom has a Acura TL w/ winter tires as well. I pick driving my M (as far as traction and control goes anyday of the week in a snow storm)
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      02-24-2009, 12:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niqui View Post
when i bought my car, i was offered the m winter kit.
which i was told, costs 3800-4000$ canadian.
it includes four M rims, that are all the same width and i think 18s, my rep called them the M winter rims. the main point of them, is that they are narrower, especially compared to the stock rear rims, giving you much better control in the winter.
the skinner the tire/rim, the better it sinks through deep snow.
this is what i was offered, the salesman who offered me this is a knowledgeable, albeit cocky, m man.
The worst thing you can do is buy in to that crap that Bmw tells you.
4000$ is robbery.
Not only are the tires ok but the rims are way overpriced.
I got a set of 18" M replicas on Ebay for 550$ and the best winter tires i have ever had for 1500$. Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Studded.
All in all 2200$ installed.
My friend who has the "Bmw recommemded setup" and drives the exact same car as me ( E93 M3 ) finds himself stuck while i fly by him.
Honestly Studded tires are incredible on ice and snow and these gislaved tires are really something else.
To get back to the initial observation, i find my E93 M3 to drive pretty well in winter as well. I was expecting much worse. My previous E92 335 was actually worse in winter then my M...
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      02-24-2009, 12:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youyou View Post
The worst thing you can do is buy in to that crap that Bmw tells you.
4000$ is robbery.
Not only are the tires ok but the rims are way overpriced.
I got a set of 18" M replicas on Ebay for 550$ and the best winter tires i have ever had for 1500$. Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Studded.
All in all 2200$ installed.
My friend who has the "Bmw recommemded setup" and drives the exact same car as me ( E93 M3 ) finds himself stuck while i fly by him.
Honestly Studded tires are incredible on ice and snow and these gislaved tires are really something else.
To get back to the initial observation, i find my E93 M3 to drive pretty well in winter as well. I was expecting much worse. My previous E92 335 was actually worse in winter then my M...


Agreed!
$4000 is nuts... I paid $1000 bux for my 18" tires on my stock 18" rims. $4000 is a joke!
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      02-24-2009, 12:35 AM   #12
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Couldn't agree with you more. The M3 performed great in the German winter (albeit wasn't that bad).

I will say that I forgot how awesome the M3 was on summers though. I put my 19"s back on yesterday in preparation to send my car to california, and it was AWESOME being back on the autobahn with some real rims and tires on! It makes me already dread having to go back to winters next season.
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      02-24-2009, 01:27 AM   #13
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are you using pirelli sottozeros as well? cos i am using sotto zeros and when there's lots of snow on the ground, my dsc still goes crazy ... flashing like mad all the time. but its by far the best winter tire in terms of performance... when there isnt much snow on the ground, the large surface contact areas grip the road like mad, esp since i am using a staggered set up.
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      02-24-2009, 09:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal red View Post
are you using pirelli sottozeros as well? cos i am using sotto zeros and when there's lots of snow on the ground, my dsc still goes crazy ... flashing like mad all the time. but its by far the best winter tire in terms of performance... when there isnt much snow on the ground, the large surface contact areas grip the road like mad, esp since i am using a staggered set up.
yup, same tires and setup as you,
in deep snow, its not amazing, but comparable to any rwd german or jag in my opinion.

i wouldnt take the bmw kit either,especially since this setup is working surprisingly well for me.
ive only had trouble once climbing an icy hill, but got up eventually.

all in all, i find it to be surprisingly capable and the dsc to be not so intrusive.


i just thought it was important to make this thread so perspective buyers who live in climates like us dont overlook this great car just cause its a rwd rocket and they half snow/ice have the year.
i also wanted to post it, cause on cars like the m3 the best deals tend to be in the winter, at least where i live, so i would definitely pickup any leftover 08 in the middle of winter and throw some pirellis on it and drive into the snow.
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      02-24-2009, 11:39 AM   #15
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Well m northern friend, I have found the M3 a nightmare in the snow. I about piss myself every time it gets slick out. But, as you point out, tires are everything and I am running on the stock pilot sports as I hope to only run 1 winter in the Midwest before moving back to No. Cal.

Anyhow, it probably would be much better with respectable sneakers.
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      02-24-2009, 12:29 PM   #16
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Of topic SSM etc but I'd love to live in Canada !
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      02-24-2009, 12:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPH View Post
LIVING ON THE EDGE!!! You want thrills behind the wheel, try a Chicago winter in PS2's!!!!

I actually only drive it in the real crap pretty rarely and can take the train if need be. Funny story, I actually did get it stuck on sheet ice in the driveway. The 2% grade got the best of the car. Praying for better weather and a relocation back west. If that does not happen soon, you may see my "check out the wreck" pics in a new post.
How can you complain about the M in the snow when you dont even have the proper rubber on itDo you also walk around in deep snow with your dress shoes on?
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      02-24-2009, 12:33 PM   #18
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How can you complain about the M in the snow when you dont even have the proper rubber on itDo you also walk around in deep snow with your dress shoes on?
"dress shoes" - love it !
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      02-24-2009, 01:35 PM   #19
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How can you complain about the M in the snow when you dont even have the proper rubber on itDo you also walk around in deep snow with your dress shoes on?
Yes, I do walk around in deep snow in my Florsheim Imperials. How the hell else would I get out to my M to dig it out of two feet of snow? M dynamic mode seems to work best for me in winter conditions. Standard DSC cuts power too often, plus the slides are more fun.

I'm running 245/40-18 Michelin PA2s on all four corners. Not the best in deep snow or ice, but I spend a lot of time on the highway (8000 miles so far this winter). They're really smooth, handle well and were quiet for the first two thirds of their life. This is my 3rd winter on them and I've probably put 25 to 30 thousand miles on them. They wear like iron. I still have around half the tread left, but I'll toss them after this winter.
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      02-24-2009, 02:04 PM   #20
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I am on Blizzak LM25's on the stock 18" rims. 255's in the rear. I forget the fronts. It has been great for this Chicago winter. Better than my old fwd CL-S. i am sold on winter tyres.

I can't believe my friend above from Chi-town would attempt to drive around at sub 50 degree temps on stock rubber even if there is no snow. They are still hard as rocks and will not stick to the asphalt. You like living life on the edge!
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      02-24-2009, 04:43 PM   #21
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I agree with this thread. This M with good winter's is great. Way better then my Lexus IS350 with good winter tires. I usually throw it in D and run the slowest shift setting. No traction issues.... Only thing I'm worried about is clearance when snow gets real deep.
I'm also running staggered set-up. (LM-25, 18' -235/40 up front and 255/40 in the rear)
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      02-24-2009, 05:01 PM   #22
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Yes, I do walk around in deep snow in my Florsheim Imperials. How the hell else would I get out to my M to dig it out of two feet of snow?
.
Hey I am the guy who has showed up for meetings with our chairman dressed in my sled gearI grew (sort of!)where we had real winters
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