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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 07-23-2013, 04:21 PM
Drax Drax is offline
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How smoothly does the 3-series drive on winter tires?

I've driven on winter tires before...on an old geo spectrum, which was awful to drive no matter what you did

However, I was talking to some friends about getting a RWD 3-series and just putting on winter tires (like some here recommend) and the responses were pretty unanimous: Don't bother as your ride will be pure garbage for months until you replace the all-seasons and NJ doesn't get that much snow anyway.

So, what is the ride like in a 3-series when you put the snow tires on?

Also, as a side note: I used to drive FWD cars with all season tires in pretty bad snow in northern PA...you just drive really carefully (often very slow) and don't mess with big hills

However, I have no experience driving in the snow in a RWD car with all-season tires. As a secondary topic I'd like to hear from people with RWD and xDrive who use all-seasons in the snow.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2013, 04:39 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Car rides just fine on snow tires.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2013, 05:19 PM
Drax Drax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
Car rides just fine on snow tires.
So everyone has just been making that up about cars driving uncomfortably on snow tires? Weird
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2013, 05:50 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by Drax View Post
So everyone has just been making that up about cars driving uncomfortably on snow tires? Weird
Sounds like a silly blanket statement. Depends on the tires and the car. You can buy a poor riding set if tires, but that does not mean the whole category of tires is poor.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2013, 10:52 PM
m8o m8o is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
Sounds like a silly blanket statement. Depends on the tires and the car. You can buy a poor riding set if tires, but that does not mean the whole category of tires is poor.
+1 ! Perelli Sotto Zero's FTW.

@Drax -- I could not believe the grip, lateral stability, hydroplaning resistance, and the utmost in smoothness they gave me when I put them on. I was always a Michelin, Dunlop (sometimes Bridgestone) guy. Had no basis to 'dis' Perelli but I never gave them a chance. I'm sooo happy they were the only things I could snag when I was in a spot and had to have them yesterday.

Last edited by m8o; 07-23-2013 at 10:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:15 AM
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rdkind62 rdkind62 is online now
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I agree that there can't be any one blanket statement saying your car will drive bad just because you have snow tires on. I'm guessing that the ones that said that probably never had a BMW with snow tires so they were just talking out of their A$$. Getting a high quality set of snow tires is the key. It's not like 30 years ago when snow tires were these big knobby bias ply tires, they are designed for good traction and smooth non-snow capabilities.
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:29 AM
Drax Drax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdkind62 View Post
I agree that there can't be any one blanket statement saying your car will drive bad just because you have snow tires on. I'm guessing that the ones that said that probably never had a BMW with snow tires so they were just talking out of their A$$. Getting a high quality set of snow tires is the key. It's not like 30 years ago when snow tires were these big knobby bias ply tires, they are designed for good traction and smooth non-snow capabilities.
So in a random 355i drive test with two different 355is, one with all season tires, the other with Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires...you couldn't tell the difference?

Last edited by Drax; 07-24-2013 at 06:30 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:37 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by Drax View Post
So in a random 355i drive test with two different 355is, one with all season tires, the other with Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires...you couldn't tell the difference?
I can tell a difference instantly between my winter and summer set. That is not the question you asked, not your first post. You stated that you heard the car will ride poorly only due to winter tires. Those are two different things.

My cars rides well on winter tires, but rides differently on summer tires. I prefer it on summer tires obviously.
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:44 AM
Drax Drax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
Those are two different things.
Yes? And? I didn't think he would mind if I asked a follow up question

It seems as if my friends probably get cheap/bad fit snow tires, but I'm still curious about the differences in driving enjoyment

Last edited by Drax; 07-24-2013 at 06:45 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:45 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by Drax View Post
Yes? And? I didn't think he would mind if I asked a follow up question
OK

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  #11  
Old 07-24-2013, 07:53 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drax View Post
It seems as if my friends probably get cheap/bad fit snow tires, but I'm still curious about the differences in driving enjoyment
There is no definitive answer, because there are a wide range of winter tires available.
The only definitive thing is: they will generally be noisier. One other thing: since many people choose taller and narrower tires/wheels for winter, the ride will be "floatier", however that will happen because of the tall/narrow aspect, not the tread.

Performance winter tires (Michelin Pilot Alpine PA3 for instance), when driven on dry/clear roads, will be similar in ride and comfort to a performance all-season. It won't match the cornering and stopping grip of a summer performance tire, but may well exceed all-seasons.

Pure (and generally non-speed-rated) snow tires, similar to Michelin xIce, are a different animal. They will not match the dry-road performance of any other tire. They are killer on snow and ice, however.

Go over to tirerack and read customer feedback on snow tires to see what's up.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2013, 08:41 AM
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rdkind62 rdkind62 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drax View Post
So in a random 355i drive test with two different 355is, one with all season tires, the other with Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires...you couldn't tell the difference?
As the others that followed have said, yes, you will have a driving difference between snow and summer performance tires, but the difference is most likely going to be in a possible increase in road noise and if you push the car in corners you may feel a little added understeer, but in no way does it ruin the feel of the car.
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:12 AM
t335xi t335xi is offline
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Winter tires in colorado mountains are a must. X-Ice or Blizzak are both really good tires. They will not last in top working condition more than 1/1.25 winter seasons though. Your looking at around 700-1000$ in tires for 6 months of use.

It doesnt matter if you have x drive or not, stopping on ice is stopping on ice. I've seen many overconfident cars go off cliffs and slow mo slide into eachother here on I70.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:13 AM
elistan elistan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drax View Post
As a secondary topic I'd like to hear from people with RWD and xDrive who use all-seasons in the snow.
I have a RWD with all-season Cinturato P7. No issues driving to/in/from Keystone for a Christmas ski trip, and no issues driving in some Denver spring snowstorms. YMMV - this environment isn't entirely comparable to the NE when it comes to winter weather.
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2013, 11:18 AM
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Daedalus34r Daedalus34r is offline
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i have dunlop wintersport 3Ds. You would not be able to tell the difference until you tried to corner hard, then you will feel the wimpier sidewall and reduced grip. Obviously you wouldn't
be doing these things in inclement conditions so for all intents and purposes, they are very comfortable. It's pretty clear your friends have never ridden on modern winter tires.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:26 AM
Drax Drax is offline
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Originally Posted by Daedalus34r View Post
i have dunlop wintersport 3Ds. You would not be able to tell the difference until you tried to corner hard, then you will feel the wimpier sidewall and reduced grip. Obviously you wouldn't
be doing these things in inclement conditions so for all intents and purposes, they are very comfortable. It's pretty clear your friends have never ridden on modern winter tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t335xi View Post
Winter tires in colorado mountains are a must. X-Ice or Blizzak are both really good tires. They will not last in top working condition more than 1/1.25 winter seasons though. Your looking at around 700-1000$ in tires for 6 months of use.

It doesnt matter if you have x drive or not, stopping on ice is stopping on ice. I've seen many overconfident cars go off cliffs and slow mo slide into eachother here on I70.
Sounds like Winter tires would be the way to go...however

Winters in NJ have lately been just 3 months, but $1000 every 1 or 2 years (not to mention fast fading summer tires) + extra rims + balancing + possible storage fees for 4 off-season tires + everything else

With a 3 year lease, I had hoped I could spend $800 on IceX tires and have them last for 3 NJ winters, and then I'd order the car with summer tires...but this seems like it's a lot more expensive then I originally thought

Maybe I should just drive like a wimp for 3 months on all season tires...

Last edited by Drax; 07-24-2013 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:01 PM
mohrgan mohrgan is offline
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I've been driving all sorts of 3 and 5 series cars for the last 20 years with just 4 snow tires. I hate XDrive and will not buy a car(not counting my wife's X3!) that has it for my own personal use. The cars do not handle as well with 4 snows but I'd rather drive a poor handling BMW for 4-5 months than all year 'round.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:13 PM
t335xi t335xi is offline
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by elistan View Post
I have a RWD with all-season Cinturato P7. No issues driving to/in/from Keystone for a Christmas ski trip, and no issues driving in some Denver spring snowstorms. YMMV - this environment isn't entirely comparable to the NE when it comes to winter weather.
As I recal it didnt really snow in the mountains until February/March. But if you can pull that off I will gladly car pull with you skiing this season. Send me a PM and lets do it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:29 PM
elistan elistan is offline
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As I recal it didnt really snow in the mountains until February/March. But if you can pull that off I will gladly car pull with you skiing this season. Send me a PM and lets do it.
Haha, but with the rear seats folded down to hold our gear and skis, there's no room for more than my wife and I. It was snowing on us heading west on I70, but the pavement was only wet, not icy, with only minor patches of slush. The streets within Keystone were all packed snow, no bare pavement, but not fresh snow - slick enough to invoke traction control if we got frisky with the throttle, but not an issue if taking it sedately. (I have no idea how Keystone treats their streets in the winter.) The April/May snow showers were also cause for caution, but were easily navigable in the F30 - as opposed to, for example, an S2000 on summer performance tires. And, of course, the snow was mostly melted by the next afternoon.

That said, we don't have any plans for dedicated snow tires here. Once the all-season Cinturatos wear out, we'll put summer performance tires on the OEM rims and pick up a cheap set of 17" wheels for more all-season tires. (Although I am tempted, from time to time, to keep the OEM wheels for the all-seasons and pick up a lightweight but pricey set of forged wheels for the summer. We're also thinking about getting a Tacoma 4x4 for our camping and skiing excursions, keeping the BMW for summer road trips, grocery getting and work commuting.)

Last edited by elistan; 07-24-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Drax View Post
Sounds like Winter tires would be the way to go...however

Winters in NJ have lately been just 3 months, but $1000 every 1 or 2 years (not to mention fast fading summer tires) + extra rims + balancing + possible storage fees for 4 off-season tires + everything else

With a 3 year lease, I had hoped I could spend $800 on IceX tires and have them last for 3 NJ winters, and then I'd order the car with summer tires...but this seems like it's a lot more expensive then I originally thought

Maybe I should just drive like a wimp for 3 months on all season tires...
Drax.., Drax.., Drax.., your total lack of vision of this new car purchase is wearing me down!

What is next? Best floormats?

Snow tires and rims? You live in South Jersey. Not Saratoga Springs, Chicago or Colorado!

If you dont want to buy snow tires and rims, you don't need to!

All weather tires will get you through all but the worst winter in South Jersey. Especially if you go with a car that has X-Drive.

Just don't order the "Sport Package with the "summer" tire tread with the staggered wheels. (Totally useless at low temps.)

During the two or three annual New Jersey winter storms, "telework" or have your new company pick you up in an SUV. Tell them to take it out of your $2,500 extra daily pay or your $250,000 annual pay.

JMHO
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Last edited by Stevarino; 07-24-2013 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:26 PM
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:51 PM
Drax Drax is offline
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Originally Posted by Stevarino View Post

During the two or three annual New Jersey winter storms, "telework" or have your new company pick you up in an SUV.

JMHO
Real life doesn't work that way unfortunately

However it's nice to see I have a little puppy to follow me around every thread I make So cute
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:53 PM
Drax Drax is offline
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Originally Posted by mohrgan View Post
I've been driving all sorts of 3 and 5 series cars for the last 20 years with just 4 snow tires. I hate XDrive and will not buy a car(not counting my wife's X3!) that has it for my own personal use. The cars do not handle as well with 4 snows but I'd rather drive a poor handling BMW for 4-5 months than all year 'round.
How many miles you get out of snow tires when you use them year round?
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:06 PM
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Stevarino Stevarino is offline
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Drax,

The guy lives in Saratoga Springs, NY. A quantum difference in climate from South Jersey.

You need to work the details of your car order.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:09 PM
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How many miles you get out of snow tires when you use them year round?
11,456 miles every time.
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