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gojira-san
12-20-2004, 07:39 AM
We are having our first real snowfall of the season today. The kids were happy because school was delayed 90 minutes. I walked my daughter up to the bus stop; it's an icy snow falling with a pretty good amount of wind added.

After getting back and making a half-hearted attempt to shovel the driveway (it was falling faster than I was shoveling it), I decided to go run my one errand. In the distance, I could hear the fire trucks leaving the station for another accident run... another winter in New England. Should I take the Jeep or the 5er? (FYI, the 3er, although ready to go, is clean and in the garage). Well, time to check out the Blizzak WS-50s and the steelies I paid a few hundred bucks for. Most of the vehicles I've owned over the years have been RWD, so that was not issue. So, off I went in the 5er.

You know what? This car is damn good in the winter. :D

I took it up and down all the hilly, snow-covered roads that the city plows when they feel like it (like most of the ones in my neighborhood). The ASC light flashed off and on when I tried to do make the tail come out, and the car just plowed along through the snowy roads like there was nothing there. A couple of accident-avoidance situations (involving a spring water truck and later a minivan) showed that the balanced weight distribution of the 528 along with those chunky Blizzaks were doing what I had hoped would happen - good, predictable handling and stopping.

So, why do some car companies say we need front-wheel drive cars for winter driving? :dunno:

--pete

Salvator
12-20-2004, 09:35 AM
So, why do some car companies say we need front-wheel drive cars for winter driving? :dunno:

--peteBecause BMW doesn't sell front wheel drive cars... :lmao: (Not counting all-wheel drive BMWs, of course.. :p )

E39spd
12-20-2004, 11:07 AM
That's what happens when you use 4 snows.

Give me rear drive and 4 snows anyday over all seasons and FWD.

The snows just grip that much better with the extra sipes and low temperature rubber compound.

The all seasons never can really match a snow as they try to be good at all, but are never great at anything, vs a dedicated tire (3 season or snow).

Heck, till the mid 80's everyone did fine with rear drive and 2 snows?

Even AWD, if it has the wrong tires (too fat and some slick all seasons, for example the X5 with the 18" wheel package and fat tires), rwd will do better with 4 snows!

gojira-san
12-20-2004, 12:32 PM
Heck, till the mid 80's everyone did fine with rear drive and 2 snows?Yeah I learned how to drive in snow in a 1970 Dodge Coronet wagon with the 383 4bbl and 2 snows on the rear. I never had any trouble... like I've said before I prefer the characteristics of RWD.

I know my original topic here was preaching to the choir, but I had heard so much from my spouse and friends about 1) RWD is no good for winter, 2) a BMW is no good for winter, 3) a RWD BMW is horrid for the winter :p I knew better but until we had some snow, I couldn't prove it.

As my sig says I also have the 330xi, the xi being a concession to my spouse about having an AWD car around. It's just nice to see the 5er is as capable as I thought it would be, since it is much easier to go on trips in the Touring than the 330 as far as luggage, skis, etc goes. Of course, the Jeep holds either 4 people or 2 people and luggage :D so the 5er will get the most use this winter.

E39spd
12-20-2004, 12:46 PM
enjoy! :thumbup:

shabbaman
12-20-2004, 03:47 PM
I know my original topic here was preaching to the choir, but I had heard so much from my spouse and friends about 1) RWD is no good for winter, 2) a BMW is no good for winter, 3) a RWD BMW is horrid for the winter :p I knew better but until we had some snow, I couldn't prove it.



Isn't it amazing how much a little education can be worth?

Occasionally I'll see an M5 in the snow and I'm thinking :tsk: :tsk: to myself. Here's a guy driving his supercar with summers on and he's sliding all over the place and can't get out of his own way. If he only knew that Blizzaks or Alpins would solve his problem .

Dave T
12-20-2004, 04:20 PM
I just experienced the same storm you did - the first snow in my new 545. I was also very pleasantly surprised. My last car was a 99 540, and I also had 4 snows. It did ok, but the e60 is MUCH better. With the E39, I always had to turn off traction control to get up my steep driveway. In the E60, it would let the wheels slip a little with the traction control on, and I was able to get up with minimal spinning. In my old car, I'd really have to spin the wheels to make it out.

alpinewhite325i
12-20-2004, 04:40 PM
I just experienced the same storm you did - the first snow in my new 545. I was also very pleasantly surprised. My last car was a 99 540, and I also had 4 snows. It did ok, but the e60 is MUCH better. With the E39, I always had to turn off traction control to get up my steep driveway. In the E60, it would let the wheels slip a little with the traction control on, and I was able to get up with minimal spinning. In my old car, I'd really have to spin the wheels to make it out.
So you have snows on the e60?

markseven
12-20-2004, 06:01 PM
So, why do some car companies say we need front-wheel drive cars for winter driving? :dunno:

--pete
Hey Pete,

I remember the ads back in the 80's stating that in the snow, "it's better to pull than push" and the weight of the engine/transaxle over the driven wheels was better for traction :dunno:

Glad to hear the 5 is performing well :)

-Mark

EdCT
12-20-2004, 06:16 PM
So, why do some car companies say we need front-wheel drive cars for winter driving? :dunno:

--pete

For many years the car companies have been marketing the "superiority" of front drive. It'll be fun to see how they turn that around now that rear drive is making a comeback. I would imagine they'll tout their many skid control systems as the new fear-buster.

I grew up on rear drive cars, so for me, blasting through the snow in my 3 is like old times!!!

Like you, I just had a major detailing so in the garage she sits; I'll be driving the Honda wagon for a few days until the mess is off the roads.

Ed

EdCT
12-20-2004, 06:19 PM
Hey Pete,

I remember the ads back in the 80's stating that in the snow, "it's better to pull than push" and the weight of the engine/transaxle over the driven wheels was better for traction :dunno:

Glad to hear the 5 is performing well :)

-Mark

Except upon acceleration, the weight is transfered to the rear, especially on a hill. Couple in the bimmer's almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution and you've got one fun car in the white stuff. :thumbup:

I'm remiss, though, I haven't yet put on my Alpinas.

Ed

Dave T
12-20-2004, 06:43 PM
So you have snows on the e60?

Yes, from TireRack - 4 225/50VR-17 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 XL, with rims. Great deal! Saved about $1200 off of what my BMW dealer quoted me.

markseven
12-20-2004, 07:54 PM
Except upon acceleration, the weight is transfered to the rear, especially on a hill.
Hey Ed,

You are correct :) I don't know how the ad guys jumped that hurdle.

-Mark

alpinewhite325i
12-21-2004, 02:35 AM
Yes, from TireRack - 4 225/50VR-17 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 XL, with rims. Great deal! Saved about $1200 off of what my BMW dealer quoted me.

Just curious.

I'm mildly entertaining the idea of a 545/6.

LA525iT
12-21-2004, 03:00 PM
Methinks the front drive better in snow thing is bs. I remember growing up on the east coast in high school, my civic couldnt make it up a slippery, snow-covered street that my mum's Caprice could, bald white walls and all.

sph17
12-21-2004, 04:02 PM
I had an Audi and a Honda and both of them would not go up a slippery hill, as the weight would transfer to the back wheels, so no traction on the front drive wheels. I can't tell you how many hills and driveways I had to back up, to get out. RWD or AWD for me.

gojira-san
01-08-2005, 06:30 PM
Just to continue this thread... we got about 6-7" of snow today, and like usual the streets are unplowed. The kids wanted some pizza for dinner, so I took the 5er down the mile and a half or so to the pizza place. This thing is so much fun to drive in the snow it is silly. Even with the snow hitting the bottom of the car and going uphill it just chugged its way to the top with only a few blinks of the ASC light.

Driving down the hill and onto another street, I had a Surburban come up behind me. As it turned out he was also on his way to the pizza place. As I'm walking in, he comes up behind me,
"Is that a BMW?"
"Yep a 5 series wagon"
"Wow I always thought those were useless in snow - does it have all-wheel drive?"
"Nope, just rear-wheel drive and snow tires"
"Yeah, I was amazed you were going through all that snow!"

Too funny. :)