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      06-14-2019, 09:44 AM   #1
Merlin_83's Avatar

Drives: 2012 BMW M3 w/ZCP 6MT
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: United States

iTrader: (0)

Summer Tires - Close call with cold weather


I'll try to keep the reader's attention and condense this as best possible. Normally I keep my M3 parked here in Oregon late October to end of April. The rain and general crap conditions make it less fun to drive during the winter months here. Towards the end of her hibernation though I was 'itching' to get out and drive for the first time in a while.

It was late April and the weather forecast was no rain, but cold and I thought I was good to go. I left my house and checked the temperature reading of the car dash console, 42 degrees F. OK, should be fine - right? I get 4 miles from my house and I glance again at the temperature read-out. Right away I knew something was not right. The temperature had dropped to 33-31 degrees F, I stuck my hand out the window and it felt remarkably cold. I was driving back roads to work so not on freeways, my average speed is 35 MPH when I drive back roads.

The headlights shining down the road started to make it look like a field of brilliant shiny diamonds and crystals. I knew right away that was frost or worst black ice so I reduced my speed right away. Creeping along at 20-25 MPH made it seem less scary knowing I was now driving on ice crystals. I was approaching a busy intersection and thought maybe because of it being used more the ice and frost would be melted from tire and road friction. I pulled out onto the high traveled road and slowly accelerated right away things were not right. The car fishtailed big time, so much that I was turned perpendicular to the road. Scared the shit out of me, all the anti-skid, warning lights and audible alerts were going off in the symphony, struggling to alert the me to stop what I was doing. I kind of panicked as I now could tell the entire road was basically a sheet of ice.

The road is two lanes in either direction and while it was very early in the morning there was still enough cars that I worried about other drivers losing control themselves. I decided to return home immediately and switch cars, the outdoor temp reading was 31 degrees F, I slowly moved along while feeling the car be very slippery on the road. I was totally freaked out and with any amount of throttle the rear tires would spin so I tried to drive smooth and well below 25 MPH. I worried hills or areas where I would need to ‘climb’, what if I couldn't get home? I was prepared to park the car and call a flatbed trailer. But I kept going and just then saw a car coming from the opposite direction swerve and spin 180 degrees around. Thankfully the other car did not cross into my lanes and the driver quickly recovered and regained control to move the car there from the middle of the road and onto their side. I made it home and tucked the M3 back into the garage. I went in the house to grab the other set of keys and told my wife what happened, she said I was lucky to have made it home as she just heard the weather called for some sections around the county to have black ice.

Lesson learned – NEVER shall I underestimate the warnings they tell you about summer rated performance tires and cold weather driving conditions.


Drive Safe and Be Careful out there guys

2012 BMW M3|ZCP|6MT|Navi|Cold Weather Package |Premium Package|