Can you share X3 snow driving tips, please? - Page 2 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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Old 03-09-2011, 06:48 PM
AzNMpower32's Avatar
AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
Tar Heel Faithful
Location: WNC
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14,125
Mein Auto: 2006 325i; 2015 Yamaha R3
Close one today

I just got back from a fun late-season ski trip to Snowshoe in WV. Weather cooperated, mostly, and it's an immensely pretty state to visit.

The Appalachians never cease to surprise me though. I expected the 10% gradients and mountain crossings that really push the engine and transmission to the limits (how's 4000rpm in 3rd for the next 6 miles sound?). I expected the hairpin turns and the frequent engine braking. But this time the weather threw a curveball. What was supposed to be "rain" stayed as snow/mix, as cold air hung in place in the Alleghenies.

With frozen slush and 5-8cm (2-3in) of snow on the ground, I carefully wove my way down WV-66 from Snowshoe this morning, an undivided single-lane road that had only been lightly treated with coal cinders. Halfway down, I made a right-hander and saw a plow truck coming 'round. I nudged the X3 right to give it room, and then there was a blur of "understeer, DSC light, driver over-correction". Found myself with 4-wheels sliding, heading 15mph offroad towards the dropoff. My mother screamed. I desperately pointed my eyes and the steering back towards the road, gave a long bootful of throttle, narrowly missed a boulder, and righted the X3 back on the road.

Definitely my closest call ever. To not have hit the trees, gone over the edge, hit the rock, or gotten stuck was......a bit of a miracle. The next 90km/55mi were just as challenging but thankfully no more close calls. The roads were bad, I rounded bends at 40km/h (25mph) and took hilly straightaways at 50-60km/h (30-40mph) tops. The locals seem to have more confidence in this stuff though, zipping along in their trucks whereas the X3 struggled to hold a line. The only incident I saw on WV-28 was a Marylander (surprise surprise) that ended up in a ditch.

So even if WVDOT comes up short at snow removal, at least the coal cinders are less-damaging than salt to the car. . And I need new snow tires.

But I've gotta go skiing there again next year.

Last edited by AzNMpower32; 03-09-2011 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:45 PM
brandonj brandonj is offline
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Location: Castle Rock, CO
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 06 X3 MT Prm Win Xen
1. Find a wide, empty road, preferrably with curves
2. Flick wrist
3. Apply right foot
4. Try and wipe silly grin from face

We get a fair amount of snow here, and I used to dread it. Now I look for excuses to go out in it. The X3 is just so easy to control going sideways, but will also totally behave if I do. I have a Sequoia as well that refuses to let the back end step out even a little, and only responds with angry flashes and beeps. No fun at all. I get around fine on the Scorpions, including up in the mountains, but would never tell anyone not to get snow tires if they were so inclined.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:03 PM
T1T2GRE T1T2GRE is offline
Bleed blue and white
Location: Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 294
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Mein Auto: 2011 1 Series M Coupe
To get back to the original question:

1) I finally sprung for Blizzaks/wheels this winter. Noticeable difference, but you still have to drive sensibly.

2) For most of my light snow driving, I don't do anything. I let DSC do it's thing.

3) In deeper snow, to maintain forward momentum (as outlined in the manual), I use the DTC option, which limits wheel slip at the sake of more forward motion.

4) I agree with the idea of finding an open area to try out the limits of your vehicle safely. It has helped me to get to know the limits of the E83 w/w/o DTC, DSC etc.

5) I'm not aware of anyone who has required chains for the E83. It is quite capable with snows.

I hope that helps and welcome to the forum.
"You will have goosepimples." - Kay Segler, Ph.D.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:49 AM
szabaka szabaka is offline
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Location: Vermont
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2006 X3
snows for the X3

Let's bound the problem:

a minor fender bender: anywhere from hundreds to thousands of $ (depending on if you wish to keep dents in your car)

a fender bender with someone else: possible increase to your insurance

a serious accident: medical bills, big impact to your life (if you are still alive, not to mention what you did to others)

If you have a snow concern, the cost of an extra set of alloy wheels and top end snow tires isn't all that much, I just got these last month when I bought my X3:

(and I am getting a $70 rebate not reflected in this total):

Size and Description
Price Each
Total Price
4 17x7.5 Sport Edition SE-14 Bright Sil In Stock $115.00 $460.00
4 Required centering ring In Stock N/C N/C
4 Retaining clip for AL-P rings In Stock N/C N/C
4 433MHz Tire Pressure Sensor In Stock $41.00 $164.00
4 Required Valve In Stock $8.00 $32.00
4 235/55R-17 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 XL
Download Warranty Brochure PDF In Stock $150.00 $600.00
1 Michelin Warranty Packet In Stock N/C N/C
1 Tire registration card -retail In Stock N/C N/C
4 Mount and Balance (No Charge) In Stock N/C N/C

Some products above selected for the following vehicle(s):
Vehicle: 06 BMW X3 3.0I Standard Model

Shipping: $103.84
Order Total Including Shipping: $1,359.84
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:52 AM
FazTaz FazTaz is offline
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Location: NJ
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 26
Mein Auto: 2004 330 Ci
I purchased a set of used Blizzaks for my 08 X3 manual. I am living in MN for the year and have to be at work by 5:30 am every day. My commute can be as little as 2 miles or as much as 60 so I needed the assurance that my car could get me to and from work regardless of weather or not the rounds have been plowed. In both of the heavy snow storms 1+ feet of snow the car performed like a champ. You still have to practice safe braking distance maintenance and also go slow into turns but it really performed like a champ. The manual tranny was a little annoying at times because you had to really gas it when pushing through snow banks otherwise it would stall.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:58 AM
BMW 2008 BMW 2008 is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: X3, MINI S
Snow driving

If you have to drive in the snow, buy snow tires! We were one of few to keep our reservations at a popular ski resort being the only one in the entire hotel for the weekend because the snow was so bad. No problem with our x3 with snow tires we drove like there was no snow! I wanted to attach a photo but I guess that is not an option! As well we have the M3 sport pkg.
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