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View Poll Results: Do you swap out your summer tires for winter wheels?
Yes - it snows where i live and i swap em out every year. 22 64.71%
Yes - never done it, but planning on it 5 14.71%
No - it snows where i live but i live dangerously... 2 5.88%
No - i don’t drive my m3 in the snow 3 8.82%
N/A - doesnt snow where i live 2 5.88%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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      05-06-2010, 06:09 PM   #1
m3convertdriver
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Winter Tires

What percentage of people who live in four season climates actually have separate snow tires for their m3? If you have a new one, do you plan on getting it? I have one car - e93 m3 and wondering what others do.. Also, generally speaking, how much does it cost to have a dealership or mechanic swap em out? thanks...
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      05-06-2010, 06:19 PM   #2
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Driving the M3 on summer tires with ANY snow on the ground is just asking for disaster. I find the summer tires have no traction in freezing weather with NOTHING on the ground let alone any snow, freezing rain or ice.

Put it this way, if the M3 is driven in winter conditions with summer tires, it is just a matter of time before an insurance claim. So, cost of winters or cost of repairs... that's the ultimate choice. Like I said, I wouldn't even drive the M3 on summer tires in below freezing temps on clear streets (well, I might but I would be damn careful ).

Anyone who says you don't need snow tires in a northern US or Canadian winter are out of their freakin minds!
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      05-06-2010, 06:29 PM   #3
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This thread will probably get moved to the tire section. There is a lot of good information in that section.

I am about thirty mile west of Boston so we get regular snow. This year it seems that DC got about twice as much as we did but this was a freak winter. I have a set of Dunlop Wintersports that I picked up used. They are a great tire in the snow and ice as well as being very good in the dry cold. I have a 235 square set up and had no problems this past winter. The summer tires turn to cue balls below 37 degrees and I agree with what was posted above.
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      05-06-2010, 06:33 PM   #4
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I just picked up my m3 2.5 wks ago and bought the oem winter package at the same time (oem 18's and snows)!! Up here in Canada, I think the dealer charges like $80 to swap the wheels. I don't have any experience with the m3 in winter conditions, but I had summers on my last car and anything below freezing and they were like rocks (on dry pavement let alone snow!!).
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      05-06-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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Good to see not many (none right now) running those PS2's in the snow. Comments above are accurate, summer tires are scary in the snow, and marginal at best if it's cold and dry.

If you're changing tires on the same wheels, expect to pay probably between 80-120 at a decent independent shop. Can be more at dealer rates. Prices will vary a lot, but that gives sort of an average.

I of course recommend separate wheels for winter. Then you can change 'em yourself, and your tires are happier not having to pop on and off the wheels twice a year.
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      05-06-2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthal View Post
Driving the M3 on summer tires with ANY snow on the ground is just asking for disaster. I find the summer tires have no traction in freezing weather with NOTHING on the ground let alone any snow, freezing rain or ice.

Put it this way, if the M3 is driven in winter conditions with summer tires, it is just a matter of time before an insurance claim. So, cost of winters or cost of repairs... that's the ultimate choice. Like I said, I wouldn't even drive the M3 on summer tires in below freezing temps on clear streets (well, I might but I would be damn careful ).

Anyone who says you don't need snow tires in a northern US or Canadian winter are out of their freakin minds!
I disagree. This past winter I drove my M3 on PS2's through the winter, and had little trouble in dry conditons. Mind you, I NEVER drove it when there was any snow or ice on the ground, and I typically waited 3-4 days after snowstorm before taking it out (to avoid hitting any black ice). The M3 is my only car but I don't daily drive. On DRY pavement below 32F, the tires were certainly capable. If you do go this route, a few more suggestions:

-DSC always on, and be easy on the gas. Same goes for taking sharp corners. The grip is much less than at 50-60F, but it's still as much as your average road car, IMO.
-Warm up the tires before driving even slightly at speed (i.e. highway speeds). This doesn't mean burnouts, warming the tires up SLOWLY is crucial to avoid getting fractures/cracks in the soft rubber.
-Never never never drive in wet conditions below freezing. I did this only once as it was a day I had to drive, and I regretted it immensely. Even in a little flurry the traction was slippery as heck.

If you follow these guidelines and use caution, and live in the NYC area, you should be ok. If you daily drive or live where the snow stays on the road longer, then get some winter rubber.
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      05-06-2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman10 View Post
I disagree. This past winter I drove my M3 on PS2's through the winter, and had little trouble in dry conditons. Mind you, I NEVER drove it when there was any snow or ice on the ground, and I typically waited 3-4 days after snowstorm before taking it out (to avoid hitting any black ice). The M3 is my only car but I don't daily drive. On DRY pavement below 32F, the tires were certainly capable.
Yes, it is possible. But I don't believe it is smart or practical. Most who drive the car year round don't have an option to not drive the car in light snow or 3-4 days after a storm. Second, black ice, etc isn't always predictable and you are toast, IMO, if you happen across this condition on summer tires. Lastly, what about unexpected snow/ice/precipitation? This past winter, there were at least 2 or 3 occasions where I was out of the house when it started to snow and it wasn't forecast. On summer tires I would have been taking a completely unnecessary risk running summers.

The manufacturers, car industry, BMW, everyone always say summer tires are not intended to be driven at or NEAR freezing temps. That's not propaganda to make more money either... if you run snow tires, your summers last longer. Overall, you aren't spending more money (other than the nominal cost to swap of the summers for winters).

Bottomline is that if someone can afford a $70k car, they can afford to spend $1k on the right shoes for the condition? Doesn't make any sense to me not to. Sure, it can be done but WHY would anyone take that chance just to save $1K.
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      05-06-2010, 11:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthal View Post
Lastly, what about unexpected snow/ice/precipitation? This past winter, there were at least 2 or 3 occasions where I was out of the house when it started to snow and it wasn't forecast. On summer tires I would have been taking a completely unnecessary risk running summers.
That was exactly what happened to me. It hadn't snowed here for over a decade. Weather forecast was cold but clear, so took the M3 on a trip on my birthday and an arctic front suddenly turned south. Temp started plummeting, got windy as hell, and snow/rain started to appear. Started pondering if I should just stop or turn around, or keep going carefully. After reading here that some folks were exaggerating how crappy PS2s were in wet/cold weather, decided on the latter. BIG MISTAKE. All of a sudden lost control of the car... ON A FREAKING STRAIGHT ROAD. DSC didn't do squat; was at 45º in a heartbeat, and just skidded like a hockey puck all over the place. Needless to say, tires were A LOT worse than I thought. And no, it's nothing against the tires; they're SUMMER tires after all. What pissed me off is I've been looking for high-performance all-seasons since day 1, and NOBODY makes them in stock 19 sizes. Don't need winter tires for something that happened once every blue moon, but as a few folks already mentioned, don't risk your car if it's going to be freezing and wet; it's just not worth it folks. Take care.
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      05-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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And all it takes to swap wheels yourself is a torque wrench and a jack, so I do it myself and save the money (and choose the right time to do it weather-wise). Plus, you can clean and wax your rims much better when they're not on the car, obviously.
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      05-07-2010, 10:36 AM   #10
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We've had two winters with snow the last two years running - I put Vredestein Wintracs on the 335d last year (after getting stuck the year before) and intend to do the same on the M3 this year. It makes a huge difference to traction and control and, other than not driving at all, is really the only sensible thing to do.
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      05-07-2010, 12:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthal View Post
Yes, it is possible. But I don't believe it is smart or practical. Most who drive the car year round don't have an option to not drive the car in light snow or 3-4 days after a storm. Second, black ice, etc isn't always predictable and you are toast, IMO, if you happen across this condition on summer tires. Lastly, what about unexpected snow/ice/precipitation? This past winter, there were at least 2 or 3 occasions where I was out of the house when it started to snow and it wasn't forecast. On summer tires I would have been taking a completely unnecessary risk running summers.

The manufacturers, car industry, BMW, everyone always say summer tires are not intended to be driven at or NEAR freezing temps. That's not propaganda to make more money either... if you run snow tires, your summers last longer. Overall, you aren't spending more money (other than the nominal cost to swap of the summers for winters).

Bottomline is that if someone can afford a $70k car, they can afford to spend $1k on the right shoes for the condition? Doesn't make any sense to me not to. Sure, it can be done but WHY would anyone take that chance just to save $1K.
I was just making the point that for someone in my situation, there's no need for winter tires. Especially in NYC, where most of us have the option of 24/7 public transport and taxis. And in regards to the summer tires in cold temps issue, it's not propaganda, true, but rather a warning that grip will not be of summer levels (which is true of winter tires, too!). It doesn't mean that there is no or little grip, unlike what people seem to claim all the time. Then there is the tire storage/swapping issue. The expense is more than $1k, since you need to pay for your tires to be swapped twice a year, and for one set or the other to be stored through th entire year. If you work it out, it actually ends up being more expensive than simply burning the summer performance tires a little prematurely.

That being said, most people are not in my situation, and so your advice, despite me disagreeing with it, is very very good
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      05-07-2010, 12:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
That was exactly what happened to me. It hadn't snowed here for over a decade. Weather forecast was cold but clear, so took the M3 on a trip on my birthday and an arctic front suddenly turned south. Temp started plummeting, got windy as hell, and snow/rain started to appear. Started pondering if I should just stop or turn around, or keep going carefully. After reading here that some folks were exaggerating how crappy PS2s were in wet/cold weather, decided on the latter. BIG MISTAKE. All of a sudden lost control of the car... ON A FREAKING STRAIGHT ROAD. DSC didn't do squat; was at 45º in a heartbeat, and just skidded like a hockey puck all over the place. Needless to say, tires were A LOT worse than I thought. And no, it's nothing against the tires; they're SUMMER tires after all. What pissed me off is I've been looking for high-performance all-seasons since day 1, and NOBODY makes them in stock 19 sizes. Don't need winter tires for something that happened once every blue moon, but as a few folks already mentioned, don't risk your car if it's going to be freezing and wet; it's just not worth it folks. Take care.

Let us know if you find an alternative. I'm looking to replace my tires with something more all-weather in nature with more tread life, and then just buy a set of 18" rims and mount them with RE-11's for track days.
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      05-07-2010, 02:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I was just making the point that for someone in my situation, there's no need for winter tires. Especially in NYC, where most of us have the option of 24/7 public transport and taxis. :
Thanks.. Im in the same boat as you. I dont really need a car as I live in NYC... so I was actually leaning against getting tires. such a pain to store them in my NYC apartment - id prob have to find a storage unit. If it's that bad, I probably wont even take my car out... That said,you never know. I guess Ill make the decision in the fall.

The OTHER idea is to buy a all weather tire for the M3 and use those year around.. Probably lose some performance, but would make it a lot easier.
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      05-07-2010, 06:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman10 View Post
Let us know if you find an alternative. I'm looking to replace my tires with something more all-weather in nature with more tread life, and then just buy a set of 18" rims and mount them with RE-11's for track days.
On 19", if you go 255/35 Front, and 275/35 Rear (works perfectly on stock setup, might rub a LITTLE if lowered in front) you can get Michelin Pilot Sport AS+ or Continental Extreme Contact DWS.
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