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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:55 PM
PirateToast PirateToast is offline
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Winter/snowy conditions handling advice ('07 X3)

Hi all-

I've noticed that my X3 doesn't handle all that well in the winter driving conditions. The xDrive doesn't seem to kick in until I've pretty much lost all control of the car. I'd rather have the confidence knowing that I can drive a little bit more risky without losing control in the first place.

Is there a way to turn xDrive on full time? What does the dynamic traction control (DTC) feature do? Would snow tires be the most helpful solution?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:14 PM
Allies_X3 Allies_X3 is offline
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IMO, the x3 does pretty great in crap weather. A couple winters ago we had a bad storm that dumped 6" in an hour, right before the rush. I have to go up a steep grade to get to my house, and there were four cars already stranded on the hill. I helped dig those guys out, and my X3 powered through it like a champ. :-)

I think the awd is always on, but it doesn't start the traction control until it notices slip in the wheels. It's not entirely like 4wd.

Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's right. What tired do you have?
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:26 PM
nightmareuki nightmareuki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateToast View Post
Hi all-

I've noticed that my X3 doesn't handle all that well in the winter driving conditions. The xDrive doesn't seem to kick in until I've pretty much lost all control of the car. I'd rather have the confidence knowing that I can drive a little bit more risky without losing control in the first place.

Is there a way to turn xDrive on full time? What does the dynamic traction control (DTC) feature do? Would snow tires be the most helpful solution?

Thanks!
xDrive is ALWAYS on unless your car is broken somehow. DTC is dynamic traction control, mean that it limits the wheelspin by braking needed wheel.
My is is solid on wet or snow really hard to get it to go sideways without gettin pulled over. if you're having trouble with yours its either you or tires. post pictured of all your tires(tread).
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:58 PM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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Snow tires are the best solution. I have never driven a better vehicle in the snow than the x3. We use blizzak ws70s and are pretty happy with those
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:01 PM
Allies_X3 Allies_X3 is offline
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I had the oem Bridgestone tires that winter. My husband has the Pirelli scorpions and they were fine too.

The local Indy shop recommended continental DWS tires; I haven't had them out in the weather yet. Will report back as soon as I find some snow :-D
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:09 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allies_X3 View Post
I think the awd is always on, but it doesn't start the traction control until it notices slip in the wheels. It's not entirely like 4wd.

Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's right.
More accurately:

xDrive is always on, and because of the way it operates, interventions can be made before the driver even notices that things might have gone awry.

Power is normally 40/60 front to rear but can vary to as much as 0/100 or 100/0 under certain circumstances (speed above 150 mph?, low speed parking, etc.),
and of course, interventions (braking, power) are across each axle as well.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2012, 09:05 PM
fivepointnine fivepointnine is offline
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my X3 is hands down the best winter vehicle I have ever drove, it wont even let me do doughnuts in the walmart parking lot after 8" of snow! everyone on my street was snowed in last winter and I motored right though the thick of it with no drama
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2012, 06:20 AM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateToast View Post
I've noticed that my X3 doesn't handle all that well in the winter driving conditions. The xDrive doesn't seem to kick in until I've pretty much lost all control of the car. I'd rather have the confidence knowing that I can drive a little bit more risky without losing control in the first place.
If you're having this problem in an X3, then you need to change your tires. Even if you are driving on relatively new tires, you need to switch to a different type of tire that is manufactured for the temperature and conditions in which you are driving.
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Last edited by chagrin; 11-22-2012 at 06:23 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:12 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Another Testament to Snow Tires

For a while, I wondered if getting snow tires in SC was overkill. Last year in Raleigh, I ran summer tires all year because my snow tires were worn and I didn't feel like replacing them due to the warm winter. But now I live in the Upstate SC and travel to Western NC with some frequency......but still. "Winter tires in South Carolina? Really?!?

Yesterday night I made a journey out towards Knoxville TN, via I-26 and I-40 through Pigeon River Gorge. The last 30km of I-40 in western NC winds its way through, without a single stretch of straight road. The speed limit is posted at 55mph/50mph trucks and trucks are prohibited in the left lane of this two-lane road in each direction. There is no left shoulder, only a tall concrete barrier and due to the curvature, sight lines are very limited (blind curves). This area is also prone to rockslides; the interstate has been closed at various times due to these.

I did not expect snow, only some light flurries in TN. Due to the rain received earlier, NCDOT did not pretreat the road. When I reached Hendersonville NC, flurries were falling and sticking as temperatures were -1C. It was accumulating rapidly west of Asheville and the temperature plunged to -4C and the snow only intensified along with strong winds.

With full driver concentration, the blessing of new snow tires, and bit of luck, I was able to gingerly navigate the X3 in the unplowed, untracked left lane (5cm or 2" of snow), carefully overtaking (60-80km/h; 35-50mph) tractor trailers (lorries) and other vehicles that had slowed to a mere 30-35mph with hazards on. With no margin for error, the X3 did its job without fuss, gripping around those snowy corners and preventing what could have been one very big accident.

If I had been on my summer tires, I would be in a rock face or would have simply turned around and gone home, whichever occurs first. I haven't driven in conditions that challenging since WV a couple winters ago.

Last edited by AzNMpower32; 12-30-2012 at 07:13 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2012, 04:03 AM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
For a while, I wondered if getting snow tires in SC was overkill. Last year in Raleigh, I ran summer tires all year because my snow tires were worn and I didn't feel like replacing them due to the warm winter. But now I live in the Upstate SC and travel to Western NC with some frequency......but still. "Winter tires in South Carolina? Really?!?

Yesterday night I made a journey out towards Knoxville TN, via I-26 and I-40 through Pigeon River Gorge. The last 30km of I-40 in western NC winds its way through, without a single stretch of straight road. The speed limit is posted at 55mph/50mph trucks and trucks are prohibited in the left lane of this two-lane road in each direction. There is no left shoulder, only a tall concrete barrier and due to the curvature, sight lines are very limited (blind curves). This area is also prone to rockslides; the interstate has been closed at various times due to these.

I did not expect snow, only some light flurries in TN. Due to the rain received earlier, NCDOT did not pretreat the road. When I reached Hendersonville NC, flurries were falling and sticking as temperatures were -1C. It was accumulating rapidly west of Asheville and the temperature plunged to -4C and the snow only intensified along with strong winds.

With full driver concentration, the blessing of new snow tires, and bit of luck, I was able to gingerly navigate the X3 in the unplowed, untracked left lane (5cm or 2" of snow), carefully overtaking (60-80km/h; 35-50mph) tractor trailers (lorries) and other vehicles that had slowed to a mere 30-35mph with hazards on. With no margin for error, the X3 did its job without fuss, gripping around those snowy corners and preventing what could have been one very big accident.

If I had been on my summer tires, I would be in a rock face or would have simply turned around and gone home, whichever occurs first. I haven't driven in conditions that challenging since WV a couple winters ago.
Wow. You managed to drive a capable AWD car with snow tires in 2" of snow and lived to tell about it. LOL.

Last edited by todd92; 12-31-2012 at 04:31 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2012, 10:19 AM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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If one does Google Street view of that segment of road, it's tough under snowy condtions because you can't mess. Understeer a bit and you're hitting the median. I've done my share of winter driving in WV and the rest of the Northeast but generally there's some runoff room and/or vehicle speeds are lower. And you can see more than 20m in front you. One of those places where you could stick your hand out the window and touch the centre median.
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2013, 02:36 PM
ghpup ghpup is offline
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Hey PT,

I have to ecco what others have indicated here in regards to the quality of handling in snowy/icy conditions. While I can't necessarily compare to MIN winter here in Idaho, I do get plenty of chances to drive the slick white roads of winter. My X3 handles the best of any car I've had previously, this includes several FWD and AWD. I just changed the OE tires (Scorpions) with only 22K on them because they had already hit the wear bars. The new ones are the Conti DWS and I do notice a slight improvement over last year's handling, but that could just be the age difference.

Check your tires and get something made for the conditions. I suspect you'll experience what most of the rest of us have.
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  #13  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:57 PM
shendrick shendrick is offline
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I agree with chagrin. I find our X3 to be OK in the snow on it all weather OEM Pirellis, but not as good as our 330 zhp with 4 Michelin snows. If we had snows on the X3 it would be better than the zhp - but how much inventory do you really want to keep on hand?
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2013, 06:45 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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The Scorpion STR the car comes with are "OK" in the snow. I recently replaced with Scorpion Verde line. A bit softer side walls but the snow/ice grip is better.
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2013, 07:16 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
If one does Google Street view of that segment of road, it's tough under snowy condtions because you can't mess. Understeer a bit and you're hitting the median. I've done my share of winter driving in WV and the rest of the Northeast but generally there's some runoff room and/or vehicle speeds are lower. And you can see more than 20m in front you. One of those places where you could stick your hand out the window and touch the centre median.
We've driven it many, many, times. One time there was a glass truck draped across the concrete divider, another time a truck load of cattle had overturned. Then there was the time we had to run a convoluted detour to get around a rock slide.

It's definitely a section of road that demands respect. Especially in the snow.

I guess some people have to actually drive it to grasp the concept.


Quote:
Rockslides
The rugged terrain of East Tennessee presented numerous challenges for I-40 construction crews and engineers. Rockslides, especially along the eastern Cumberland Plateau and in the Pigeon River Gorge, have been a persistent problem since the road's construction. Twenty rockslides occurred along the Walden Ridge section (Miles 341-346) of the eastern plateau in 1968 alone, prompting various remedial measures throughout the 1970s, including the employment of rock buttresses, gabion walls, and horizontal drains. In December 1986, a truck driver was killed when his truck skidded across some rocks that had spilled across the road just east of Crab Orchard (between Miles 331 and 333). In response, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) flattened the cutslopes along this stretch of interstate and moved the road 60 feet (18 m) away from the problematic cliffside.[5]
Another area prone to rockslides is the Pigeon River Gorge, especially in the vicinity of the Tennessee-North Carolina state line. Throughout the 1970s, this stretch of I-40 was repeatedly shut down by rockslides, sometimes for several weeks at a time. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, TDOT dug over 24,000 feet (7,300 m) of horizontal drains, blasted out large volumes of unstable rocks, and installed massive mesh catchment fences.[5] Nevertheless, rockslides in 1985 and 1997 again forced the closure of I-40 in the Pigeon River Gorge for several weeks.[6] Additional stabilization measures were implemented, including the blasting of loose rock, the installation of rock bolts, and the construction of a better drainage system.[7] In spite of these measures, another massive rock slide occurred in the Pigeon River Gorge on October 26, 2009, blocking all lanes just across the border at North Carolina Mile Marker 3. The section was closed to traffic in both directions until April 25, 2010.[8] On January 31, 2012, the westbound lanes of I-40 were closed because of a rockslide near the North Carolina border. Traffic was detoured along I-26 and I-81 and reopened a few months later.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_40_in_Tennessee
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:07 AM
sjladopoulos sjladopoulos is offline
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ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? X3 cant handle snow??
Here in Toronto its been snowing non stop for a week, and I was so happy my GoPro camera came on time for it!

When others get stuck or stay home cause of the snow, I go out to play with the X3!!!

I do have winter tires, Hankook ICE BEAR W300, and remember, no matter what you drive, the tire is the thing that touches the ground. So, bad tire, bad handling no matter what the car is!

Here is proof that I love the snow as much as my X3!!!!!



PS!!!! I AM DRIVING WITH ALL AIDS TOTALLY OFF!!!!!!

Last edited by sjladopoulos; 01-03-2013 at 10:09 AM.
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:36 AM
SonicBoom SonicBoom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateToast View Post
Hi all-

I've noticed that my X3 doesn't handle all that well in the winter driving conditions. The xDrive doesn't seem to kick in until I've pretty much lost all control of the car. I'd rather have the confidence knowing that I can drive a little bit more risky without losing control in the first place.

Is there a way to turn xDrive on full time? What does the dynamic traction control (DTC) feature do? Would snow tires be the most helpful solution?

Thanks!
My X3 has to get about at least 15 degrees sideways before the systems jump in and counteract the slide. It may seem a little late, but I'm sure it is intentional.
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:48 AM
nightmareuki nightmareuki is offline
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Originally Posted by SonicBoom View Post
My X3 has to get about at least 15 degrees sideways before the systems jump in and counteract the slide. It may seem a little late, but I'm sure it is intentional.
thats probably because you are not on the gas when that happens. my X3 wont go sideways with aids on
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2013, 12:11 PM
SonicBoom SonicBoom is offline
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Originally Posted by nightmareuki View Post
thats probably because you are not on the gas when that happens. my X3 wont go sideways with aids on
Nope, that is with trying to whip a donut.

15 degrees is not much.
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