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E82 / E88 1 Series (2008 - 2013)
BMWs throw back to the iconic 2002, with a renewed form and function. The smallest car in BMW's line up but still packs a punch. Available in coupe or convertible, powered by either an inline 6 in the 128 or the twin turbo rocket sled 135.

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  #1  
Old 11-06-2011, 05:55 AM
swimjim swimjim is offline
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Exclamation "snowflake" code appeared???

i just purchased a 2008 128i with 21500 miles on it. it just turned 23000 miles. the car has sport and premium packages, automatic.

the other day, i was driving and a "snowflake" code appeared on the dash. the car didnt come with the owner's manual. what does the snowflake mean?

i am thinking it has something to do with a/c, but the outside temp was 38 degrees, so does the code have something to do with some kind of icing?

i am waiting on a manual from the dealer.

thanks for any info!
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2011, 06:01 AM
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BMW's warn you when the temp could get to freezing, so yes the snowflake should be linked with the exterior temp reaching 38, and bridges being at risked freezing. Should have also heard a chime. I don't have a 1 series, but that is the case with my Z and 5 series.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2011, 07:48 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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I believe you can download both the iDrive equipped and noniDrive online manuals for the '08 one series from BMWUSA.com. Until you do, you can access an explanatory message for a warning icon through the dash computer's "Check control". Simply scroll with the small lever on the turn signal stalk and when "Check" comes up, confirm by pressing the stalk's end button.

As you guessed, the snowflake and accompanying chime is to warn you that the outside temperature has dropped to 37o or below - which is the point that black ice may form on certain road surfaces.

It does tangentially affect A/C (same icon) as the compressor will not operate in below freezing temps.

Tom

Last edited by Tom K.; 11-06-2011 at 07:51 AM.
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2011, 12:12 PM
swimjim swimjim is offline
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thanks for the responses. yes, it did chime when the warning appeared. now that i know it was just an outside temp "warning" i wont worry about it. thanks again for the help.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2011, 07:10 PM
maybebmw maybebmw is offline
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Here's a link to your owner's manual:
http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...naBFmWWF4haV0=

Also, be warned, when it's really hot out, your radio may turn off. A fun little surprise on a very long road trip.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2011, 06:21 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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The snowflake can be annoying. I was driving up to the Performance Center for an autocross a couple years ago early on Sunday morning. The temperature in the valleys was 36-37 and on the top of the hill it was 39-40. I got the gong and snowflake on every hill for half an hour or so. But that rarely happens.

Jim
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2011, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
As you guessed, the snowflake and accompanying chime is to warn you that the outside temperature has dropped to 37o or below - which is the point that black ice may form on certain road surfaces.
While black ice may be a concern, I think the main reason for the alarm is that performance (summer) tires (that came standard if you got the sport package) lose grip around that temperature (even in dry conditions, but dangerously in wet/snow).

If you see that icon and you don't have all season or winter tires, you probably shouldn't drive.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2011, 04:42 PM
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We celebrate when we get the snowflake, it's so rare.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2011, 08:45 PM
Norm37 Norm37 is offline
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Originally Posted by pagefault View Post
If you see that icon and you don't have all season or winter tires, you probably shouldn't drive.


Do not drive on performance summer tires at temperatures below 45 degrees. The rubber compound gets very hard causing the tires to lose grip on the road.

Get a set of Performance Winter or Winter tires.
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2012, 07:19 AM
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Up here in the Poconos we have snowflakes 6 months a year.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2012, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm37 View Post


Do not drive on performance summer tires at temperatures below 45 degrees. The rubber compound gets very hard causing the tires to lose grip on the road.
.
That overstates it. I periodically drive my 135 with summer performance tires in the winter in temps below 45 if there is no snow or ice on the road. Traction is OK, although technically the rubber does harden and ultimate grip would be reduced if the car were being driven hard, or by some degree under emergency braking. I have not felt any instability if I drive normally. I do not make a habit of this. I do it mainly for the good of the car and the pleasure of driving it (mostly the latter). i would never risk snow or ice driving on a summer tire, but if conditions are dry and the road surface clear I do not feel that occasional short trips below 45 degrees are unsafe.
But, mainly the car stays under cover inside with a trickle charger and fuel stabilizer during winter here in the upper Midwest, and summer tires are definitely not for general winter driving.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2012, 05:09 PM
JejuneLegume JejuneLegume is offline
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimD1 View Post
The snowflake can be annoying. The temperature in the valleys was 36-37 and on the top of the hill it was 39-40. I got the gong and snowflake on every hill for half an hour or so. But that rarely happens.

Jim
Repeated snowflake warnings are so annoying because you instinctively think the gong is warning you of something more serious.

Is there anyway to disable the snowflake?

Usually I'm aware it is below 40 degrees F and don't need to be repeatedly reminded at inopportune moments.
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2012, 06:47 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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I haven't done it yet but there is a coding change that will turn off the gong for the snowflake. I should probably make the change. I think the visual clue is enough.

Jim
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2012, 03:29 AM
mr29 mr29 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
I believe you can download both the iDrive equipped and noniDrive online manuals for the '08 one series from BMWUSA.com. Until you do, you can access an explanatory message for a warning icon through the dash computer's "Check control". Simply scroll with the small lever on the turn signal stalk and when "Check" comes up, confirm by pressing the stalk's end button.

As you guessed, the snowflake and accompanying chime is to warn you that the outside temperature has dropped to 37o or below - which is the point that black ice may form on certain road surfaces.

It does tangentially affect A/C (same icon) as the compressor will not operate in below freezing temps.

Tom
the compressor won't work?

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  #15  
Old 11-18-2012, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JejuneLegume View Post
Repeated snowflake warnings are so annoying because you instinctively think the gong is warning you of something more serious.

Is there anyway to disable the snowflake?

Usually I'm aware it is below 40 degrees F and don't need to be repeatedly reminded at inopportune moments.
So true. Even after 6 years of driving MINIs and BMWs, everytime that silly sound gongs, my heart skips a beat. I always fear the worst as it comes on everyday pulling out of my garage. Maybe a different sound should be suggested to the BMW engineers. I watched that CNBC documentary about BMW where they have a couple guys whose jobs are solely devoted to the psychology of the various sounds BMW and MINI use. One's a doctor! Let's give them something new to work on over there in Munich. Maybe instead of a sound, just a bright flash for a millisecond to draw your attention on the instrument panel, followed by the standard yellow snowflake for 3-5 seconds?
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  #16  
Old 11-18-2012, 09:04 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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the compressor won't work?
Not if the outside sensor detects a below freezing temp. IIRC, this is the case with most auto A/C systems.

Tom
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  #17  
Old 11-18-2012, 01:01 PM
mr29 mr29 is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
Not if the outside sensor detects a below freezing temp. IIRC, this is the case with most auto A/C systems.

Tom
so driving this care in the winter is probably a no go then?
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  #18  
Old 11-18-2012, 02:28 PM
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nothign to worry about the car just wanrs you about cold and possibly slippy road ahead
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  #19  
Old 11-18-2012, 04:02 PM
mr29 mr29 is offline
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nothign to worry about the car just wanrs you about cold and possibly slippy road ahead
cool thanks

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  #20  
Old 11-18-2012, 04:25 PM
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Kinda makes you wonder why BMW puts summer performance tires on Xdrive cars huh?
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  #21  
Old 11-18-2012, 07:57 PM
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Kinda makes you wonder why BMW puts summer performance tires on Xdrive cars huh?
Because they know that you won't get the best performance out of the car in the winter without winter tyres and therefore all-season tyres compromise the car's capabilities too much?
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  #22  
Old 11-19-2012, 01:46 AM
BMdude816 BMdude816 is offline
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The snowflake code must be a sign that the temperature outside has dropped to a cold temperature. You should check your tire pressure every week especially when seasons change. Last winter I got this snowflake code out too. So, the next time this code reappears, the temperature must have dropped below 37 degrees or it may be time to change your tires.
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  #23  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:20 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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so driving this care in the winter is probably a no go then?
Why should it be a no go? Unless you need A/C when it's freezing outside, everything works fine.

Tom
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2013, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ish View Post
Kinda makes you wonder why BMW puts summer performance tires on Xdrive cars huh?
Because they know that you won't get the best performance out of the car in the winter without winter tyres and therefore all-season tyres compromise the car's capabilities too much?
They don't. xDrive cars get all seasons, even with the sport package.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:26 PM
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They don't. xDrive cars get all seasons, even with the sport package.
In the USA (which is the most all-season tyre orientated market that BMW sells in), the X5M and X6M only come with summer performance tyres. Another example of factory fit summer tyres are with the 335i xDrive Coupe if you select 18" wheels with the ///M Sport package (instead of all-seasons with the 17" wheels).
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