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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 11-17-2012, 08:49 AM
Canada1867 Canada1867 is offline
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Winter tire and AWD - credited with spikes in winter accidents. The facts...

Winter / ice tires, as well 4x4 and AWD, have been credited with spikes in winter accidents – noted in studies done by the insurance institute of Canada, Ministry of Transportation, and the Province of Quebec. The causation and unintended consequence is simply that once someone believes their car is safer on slippery roads; they invariably drive with less caution and/or overestimate their vehicle’s winter capabilities (often consciously or unconsciously adopting, an “I’m getting my moneys worth out this investment” mentality).
This statistical fact does diminish once a driver becomes familiar with their car and how it handles in winter, and the effect is almost non-existent amongst experienced winter drivers in heavy weather jurisdictions But for those who only experience the occasional snowy or slippery road day, and rarely get to use their winter tires or AWD capacities; they ARE statistically more likely to get into an accident.
The province of Quebec mandated winter tires a few years ago, and observed this effect. However, because this is definitely one jurisdiction with bad enough winter weather, and worse roads, to justify forcing drivers to install winter tires, the longer term benefits did prove statistically significant (although far, far short of the numbers they cavalierly quote in their PR campaigns – someone didn’t pay attention during basic quantitative analysis class!)
The other thing to consider is that the actual safety benefits from either winter tires or AWD are relatively small and easily negated. The X-Drive system maybe one of the most advanced ever, but its key benefits are that it’s less intrusive and more efficient than competitor’s drivetrains. In the real world the enhanced deep snow traction advantage is virtually the same. The real world handling and stopping advantages over other AWD, and even RWD, is barely measureable.
Winter tires, even if you accept all the manufacture’s hype and claims, and invest in the best-of-breed, will at best provide a 10% improvement in stopping distance, or approximately one car length. Simply ensuring tires are properly inflated will net half as much, and increasing your following distance and/or focus (because you believe you car is crappy in winter) will net you well more; at zero cost.
The bottom line is that the benefits of winter tires and AWD have been oversold; and a best do not come close to justifying their cost (all-in $1500-$3500). Not unless you live in heavy winter weather or mountain conditions, already have summer tires, or live in Quebec and face a $250 fine, you do not need either.
One last point, I drove RWD pickup trucks for 10 years, in some of the worst weather condition around and never once had a winter accident or even got stuck. But I credit that to a police officer father who insisted I learn to drive right; in all conditions.
For our New Jersey friend, a better investment would be in an extreme driving school, or to just find a empty parking lot after the first snow, and get to know your car.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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source? or is this personal opinion?
tire rack test results:
All-Season vs. Winter

The acceleration comparison measured the tires' ability to provide traction when accelerating as quickly as possible in a straight line with the vehicle's Traction Control operating. With the two cars sitting at the line, we did a countdown to start both drivers and compared the time it took for their vehicles to accelerate 200 feet. Including the drivers' reaction time, the winter tire equipped car crossed the finish line in just over 8 seconds, while the all-season tire equipped car completed its run in 11 seconds, or about three seconds later. While we don't recommend trying to accelerate as quickly as possible in snow when driving on the street, these results show how much more traction winter / snow tires can provide when accelerating from a stop.

The braking comparison measured the tires' ability to provide traction during an ABS-assisted panic stop in a straight line. We drove the two cars side-by-side at a speed of 30 mph, gave both drivers a braking signal at the prescribed mark and compared the distances it took them to come to a complete stop. The winter tire equipped car stopped in a distance of about 59 feet, while the all-season tire equipped car took an additional two car lengths, or about 30 more feet. A 30-foot difference in stopping distance during a panic stop at 30 mph on a snow-packed road is more than enough to determine whether it's a near miss or an accident!

The cornering comparison measured the tires' ability to provide traction during a 90-degree left-hand corner. We drove the two cars nose-to-tail beginning at 15 mph and increased the speeds on successive runs. When we attempted to drive through the corner at 25 mph, only the winter tire equipped car was able to complete it, while the all-season tire equipped car slid off the road. Even though the all-season equipped car was equipped with Dynamic Stability Control, the DSC could not overcome the laws of physics when the tires' traction limit was exceeded.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:48 AM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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I agree AWD can give drivers false confidence, but I think you 1/2 to 1 car length data points ar a bit off.

In the November 12 issue of Automobile they did a three tire face-off: Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 vs. Pirelli PZero vs. Continental ExtremeContact DWS, which are all good examples of their tire type.

In the packed snow test the stopping distance from 30mph:

1. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 - 74ft
2. Continental ExtremeContact DWS - 135ft
3. Pirelli PZero - 332ft

Obivously snow tires are best in the snow, but what about when it is warm and dry?

From 70mph:
1. Pirelli PZero - 149ft
2. Continental ExtremeContact DWS - 167ft
3. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 - 205ft

Although, I am not your friend from NJ (especially since I live in MD), I am 100% accident free in 30+ years of driving and I do play in parking lots all Winter long because my father the EMT taught me how to drive in different types of snow and ice conditions, but studded snow tires and/or chains were the choice of first responders back then. RWD pick-ups only worked if you filled the bed with snow, which for some reason was in abundant supply on those days. I do agree if you are in no rush and only drive on plowed roads, then most any non-Summer tire will work.
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2012, 10:22 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Car & Driver test

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...mparison-tests

Canada; I also think your statement "barely measurable" is wrong. The test above shows a 30' improvement in stopping distance, going from 158' to 128' 60-0, for a 16% improvement going from all-season to full-on snow. Other tests showed similar or even slightly greater improvements.

Do note the dry-road performance of snows is not as good, however.
I kind of like their summary for the xIce: "Best For: Daily blizzards. Fargo, basically."
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:31 AM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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Here is an example of an ice test which appears to have been designed to make the Winter tire look good: Testing on Ice: Winter / Snow vs. All-Season vs. Summer Tires

Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 (Studless Ice and Snow)

This tire was ranked 4 out of 5 with an overall scor eof 8.3 vs. 8.5 for the best tire in the class and was rated 8.8 (8.6-10 is Superior) in Ice Traction in the owner's survey. This tire score a 9.2 (Superior) in the Would Buy Again category.

Bridgestone Turanza EL400-02 (Standard Touring All-Season)

This tire was ranked 21 out of 21 with an overall scor eof 4.7 vs. 8.6 for the best tire in the class and was rated 2.6 (2.6-4.5 is Fair) in Ice Traction in the owner's survey. This tire score a 2.1 (Unacceptable) n the Would Buy Again category.

If this test was a comparions of two All-Season tires, say a Conti DWS vs the Turanza, I bet the Turanza still would have lost by a large margin.



Now looking at a more complex snow test: All Season vs. Winter (Passenger Vehicle): The Difference Between Wintertime Gripping and White Knuckle Snow Slipping there are two comparisons All-seasson vs Studless Ics & Snow for RWD and AWD vehicles. As usual, they make no mention of dry perfromance.

In the RWD test they pick the same Bridgestones from above, but in the AWD test the tire comparison they again picked a horrible All-season tire:

Blizzak DM-Z3(Light Truck/SUV Studless Ice & Snow)

This tire was ranked 3 out of 4 with an overall score of 8.5 vs. 8.7 for the best tire in the class and was rated 9.5 and 9.2 (8.6-10 is Superior) in Light and Deep Snow Traction in the owner's survey. This tire score a 9.2 (Superior) in the Would Buy Again category.

4x4 Contact(Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season)

This tire was ranked 15 out of 16 with an overall score of 5.8 vs. 8.7 for the best tire in the class and was rated 5.1 and 4.4 (Good & Fair) in Light and Deep Snow Traction in the owner's survey. This tire score a 2.6 (Fair) in the Would Buy Again category.


The interesting part, despite stacking the deck against the All-season tires, the AWD with crappy tires still accelerated (8sec vs 8sec) and braked (89ft vs 89ft) as well as the RWD with exellent Snow tires. The remaining test, cornering comparison, was won by the RWD car with snows, but Tirerack didn't bother to mention the margin of victory; was it 1mph or 5 mph?
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2012, 10:56 AM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...mparison-tests

Canada; I also think your statement "barely measurable" is wrong. The test above shows a 30' improvement in stopping distance, going from 158' to 128' 60-0, for a 16% improvement going from all-season to full-on snow. Other tests showed similar or even slightly greater improvements.

Do note the dry-road performance of snows is not as good, however.
I kind of like their summary for the xIce: "Best For: Daily blizzards. Fargo, basically."
I like this comparison test. This is a much more level playing field of tires and it includes non-snow tests. Below is the data for the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S, Michelin Pilot HX MXM4, Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3, and Michelin X-Ice Xi2:

Snow
Lap time - 1:48.7s vs 1:44.2s vs 1:37.9s vs 1:31.2s
Acceleration - 12.4s vs 10.2s vs 8.7s vs 7.1 sec
Braking - 123ft vs 105ft vs 95ft vs 83ft
Skidpad - 0.24g vs 0.28g vs 0.28g vs 0.33g

Wet
Braking - 139ft vs 140ft vs 145ft vs 174ft
Skidpad - 0.88g vs 0.84g vs 0.83g vs 0.75g

Dry
Braking - 128ft vs 130ft vs 141ft vs 158ft
Skidpad - 0.89g vs 0.89g vs 0.87g vs 0.80g

I picked Michelin Pilot PA3s for my car since I didn't want to give up too much wet and dry perfromance and based upon these results, I choose the right tires for me.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2012, 11:15 AM
golovko golovko is offline
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Bad drivers - credited with spikes in winter accidents. Fact.

Fixed your statement for you.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2012, 03:35 PM
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CE750Jockey CE750Jockey is offline
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To the OP, you drove a rear wheel drive pickup in winter weather for 10 years and NEVER got stuck? This I do not believe. I don't care how good a driver you are, some roads and inclines with snow and/or ice on them are not navigable without help. You must have different snow in Toronto than we do in the snow belt.

Last edited by CE750Jockey; 11-17-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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