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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 11-24-2014, 09:28 PM
dragonxlwang dragonxlwang is offline
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Location: Cupertino, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2014 X3
Winter tire/set necessary?

i live in central illinois but I ski often in Wisconsin, Minnesota or Michigan. I just went back from Devils head, WI today and the road was terrible as snow began and it drops to 30 F, and wind was also gusty. I was scared to sh*# as the car slides on the highway and about to rotate/floating but luckily I get it under control finally... Along the way my feeling is that the wind blows more heavily on the side of car as I need to turn steer wheel more to counter balance and it takes longer distance to brake even if the road is dry... I'm not sure if this is because of the freezing temperatures...

My car originally runs on all season but I'm wondering will it be necessary to invest a set of snow tires or even wheel set? How about Pilot Alpin Pa4 or Runflat Pirelli 245/50 R18 100H? Should I buy a full set including rims and why? I don't have garage so I need to go to shop to switch tires every time and in this case is wheel set still good?

If I need winter tires, should I buy from dealer or tire stores?

Really appreciate for your valuable opinions.
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2014, 01:47 AM
SV X3 SV X3 is offline
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I live in/around NYC. I have owned snow tires for all my cars as I believe it makes an enormous difference in the safety and enjoyment of winter driving. (I love going out when no one else is on the roads!)

Snows on my old Acura TL enabled me to safely make it 75 miles upstate during one of the worst storms in recent memory - and I blew by countless spinning/stuck SUVs in the process. The car simply dominated even with FWD. I've also never been stuck somewhere and unable to go skiing!

You are up in the snow belt. I would think that a winter setup is a no brainier assuming you have space for the extra set.

Have a look below for mine, and some others' preferred setups. I like having two wheel sets for ease of swap every season.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=806793
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2014, 05:52 AM
kssod kssod is offline
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Location: Cleveland
 
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Mein Auto: Acura RL
Buy a BMW set of winter rims and tires. Dealer will store them for you, and swap out in spring. Makes a huge difference in Cleveland. If you have wheel and tire protection the winter set is also covered. Also, If you keep your vehicle 4 yrs or so you will need new all season tires after 2 yrs. Why not buy snows, have maximum traction in foul weather, and then not need A/S tires, since they are on only half the time.
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2014, 08:08 AM
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lbjgh lbjgh is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 X3 M-Sport
Winter tires aren't just for snow and ice... when the temperature drops to 6c or 43f your all season tires loose significant grip.

An option for you might be "All Weather" tires which can be run year round but are winter rated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonxlwang View Post
i live in central illinois but I ski often in Wisconsin, Minnesota or Michigan. I just went back from Devils head, WI today and the road was terrible as snow began and it drops to 30 F, and wind was also gusty. I was scared to sh*# as the car slides on the highway and about to rotate/floating but luckily I get it under control finally... Along the way my feeling is that the wind blows more heavily on the side of car as I need to turn steer wheel more to counter balance and it takes longer distance to brake even if the road is dry... I'm not sure if this is because of the freezing temperatures...

My car originally runs on all season but I'm wondering will it be necessary to invest a set of snow tires or even wheel set? How about Pilot Alpin Pa4 or Runflat Pirelli 245/50 R18 100H? Should I buy a full set including rims and why? I don't have garage so I need to go to shop to switch tires every time and in this case is wheel set still good?

If I need winter tires, should I buy from dealer or tire stores?

Really appreciate for your valuable opinions.
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2014, 08:27 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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If you are taking the X3 into the snowy mountains, snow tires are a must. Snow tires, just like all season tires, comes in many different forms, some are much better than others in the snow and some are high performance snow tires. I would recommend doing your homework and pick a snow tires that is good in the snow rather than performance if you are going to drive in the mountains. The Bridgestone blizzak comes to mind, but its not a runflat tires, you will need a compressor and a slime kit.
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2014, 03:45 PM
suvguy suvguy is offline
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I travel to the Lake Tahoe region frequently in the winter, and spend several days there each time. Since 1984, I have owned 4WD/AWD vehicles (1Toyota, 2 Jeeps, 2 Subarus, 1Volvo), & currently my 2011 X3. My place in the mountains gets about 200-250 inches of snow in an average winter, and crossing Donner Summit in a snow storm can be brutal.

I have always only had M+S all weather tires,on all of the above vehicles, and have never gotten stuck. Parenthetically, I spent an entire winter in Jackson Wyoming many years ago with a 1962 Chevy Bel Air with snow tires on the rear wheels only, and snowy/icy roads the entire winter. Got stuck 2X, but on glare ice, not in snow.

If one drives carefully and uses common sense, M+S tires are fine, though if unplowed snow is more than a foot deep, I will avoid it if at all possible. The cars do slide a bit when its very deep. If I lived in the mountains full time, I would have dedicated snow tires, but the total number of miles I drive on clear pavement so exceeds the miles driven on snow covered pavement doesn't justify them, IMHO.
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  #7  
Old 11-26-2014, 05:44 AM
society6 society6 is offline
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100%. In fact; in some parts in Canada it's law. All seasons, especially the all season garbage P6 run flats that came with our X3 were no good at all in the snow; downright dangerous actually.
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  #8  
Old 11-26-2014, 03:31 PM
Doctor Jeff Doctor Jeff is offline
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Location: Omaha, NE
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 BMW X3
A somewhat contrary viewpoint: I have lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin for 17 years and currently live in Omaha but drive up to the Twin Cities quite a bit. I have never had dedicated winter tires, and in fact only had AWD cars for a minority of years I lived up north. I have never gotten stuck or had major problems getting around with decent AW tires.

I have heard and read quite a few testimonials about winter tires, particularly Blizzaks, and I have no doubt they would be an improvement over most tires. But, IMO with decent AW tires if you drive carefully you can avoid problems most of the time.

I would not plan on driving in deep snow even with AWD and winter tires. I have on occasion been in weather where only 4WD trucks with very high ground clearance can drive easily. (Our other vehicle until recently was a Chevy Avalanche.) Icy roads are the biggest problem, especially on curves, and they demand careful attention regardless of the tires. In my experience you adjust your driving depending on your vehicle and tires--be careful not to get a false sense of security just because you have AWD and winters.

Re' the cold north, except around the lakes, on most occasions the upper midwest is cold but not with deep snow, and there are no elevations to speak of. (I used to ski at Mount La Crosse all the time, no problem getting in and out with FWD cars.)

I just got my 2011 X3 and plan on driving with the relatively new Goodyear AW's it came with this winter. Next winter I might consider getting a set of Blizzaks, which would save wear and tear on the current set as well.
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2014, 04:43 PM
CA328 CA328 is offline
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
A somewhat contrary viewpoint: I have lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin for 17 years and currently live in Omaha but drive up to the Twin Cities quite a bit. I have never had dedicated winter tires, and in fact only had AWD cars for a minority of years I lived up north. I have never gotten stuck or had major problems getting around with decent AW tires.

I have heard and read quite a few testimonials about winter tires, particularly Blizzaks, and I have no doubt they would be an improvement over most tires. But, IMO with decent AW tires if you drive carefully you can avoid problems most of the time.

I would not plan on driving in deep snow even with AWD and winter tires. I have on occasion been in weather where only 4WD trucks with very high ground clearance can drive easily. (Our other vehicle until recently was a Chevy Avalanche.) Icy roads are the biggest problem, especially on curves, and they demand careful attention regardless of the tires. In my experience you adjust your driving depending on your vehicle and tires--be careful not to get a false sense of security just because you have AWD and winters.

Re' the cold north, except around the lakes, on most occasions the upper midwest is cold but not with deep snow, and there are no elevations to speak of. (I used to ski at Mount La Crosse all the time, no problem getting in and out with FWD cars.)

I just got my 2011 X3 and plan on driving with the relatively new Goodyear AW's it came with this winter. Next winter I might consider getting a set of Blizzaks, which would save wear and tear on the current set as well.
You could also get by with wearing running shoes while walking in deep snow and ice, or you could wear a pair of waterproof insulated Sorels rated to -20C. Sure you might be OK with the running shoes, but your feet might freeze and you'd have a lot less grip. Sure know which I'd prefer in winter.

Going back to winter tires, it's not as if it costs that much in the long run as wear and tear on the winter tires is wear and tear you're not putting on the summer set.

I had a chance to compare driving back to back from my all seasons to my Blizzaks recently here in the Great White North in my X5 when I did my wheel swap at home right after a snowfall - no comparison on snow and ice. Blizzaks win.
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2014, 08:15 PM
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little<>< little<>< is offline
B zzzz ZZZZZZZ zzzz
Location: ontario
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Mein Auto: X3 F25 N55
With my old 325CI, I picked it up in March 2002 or so (and recently traded in after 12 years...), and hit a small patch of black ice (or the road was frosted), and I lost control at low speed, up hill, sideways towards a hydropole. After getting the car under control again I swore I would get a set of snows. While going from UHP to Snow tires seems like a "DUH" moment, I swear by snows. I never regreted swapping tires seasonally, and I always say, all you have to do is stop 1/16" shorter than the guy in front to save yourself an insurance claim - or worse. Even with 10cm ground clearance (and carrying a shovel for those other times...) the car never left me stranded, considering it was a rear wheel drive. Now with an X3 35i Msport, I have snows again. While I am not the happiest about run flats, the price of a set from the dealer, or BMW's choice of tires, I would not run on the A/S supplied with the SAV. Mind you, I drive alot of "back country roads" to work, with some occasional gravel roads to get around accidents.

Getting going is rarely the problem (especially with 300HP and 4 wheel drive), stopping in a tricky situation is!
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