BMW Runs On Winter Snow And Ice

Why Are BMW’s Rubbish during winter?


How come the world’s best car is rubbish, dangerous and useless when some snow and ice appears?

This informative article explores some of the reality of BMW winter driving, studies reasons for their poor performance, and considers the solutions.

It is written from a UK perspective where we have occasional snow, winter tyres are an unfamiliar concept and the four wheel drive BMW is a rarity rather than the norm.

“”Brother Gary’s Beemer is stuck in the M25 in a single inch of snow but he hopes we have a good supper””

“”Brother Gary’s Beemer is stuck on the M25 in one inch of snow but he hopes we have a good supper””

Source: mark

If I’d bought her a 4 x 4, it’s all the fault of that One Series””, “”She wouldn’t have left me””

If I’d bought her a 4 x 4, it’s all the fault of that One Series””, “”She wouldn’t have left me””

Source: Mark

Tyre-Grip – Spray to enhance tire traction on snow/ice

Tyre-Grip – Spray to boost tire traction on snow/ice

Amazon Price: $23.95

Two disappointed owners

First of all, a number of experiences of your lunacy a BMW on ice represents.

My neighbour tries to drive for the shops in the BMW One Series.

She gets stuck on the camber of the road with the car sliding all over the place. It is going sideways as opposed to forward, and cannot overcome the massive incline that the normal road camber suddenly represents.

She gives up, car is in the middle of the road, and asks me for help. I am confident – I am a seasoned (and rather good in my opinion) driver, and she is a girl. I don’t say that obviously.

I don’t drive a rear wheel drive.

After five or ten minutes of gently trying to persuade this piece of utter crap on wheels to navigate the icy road I give up. I reverse it into a passable imitation of the deliberate part of parking – it’s off to the side of the road, no more blocking it – and there is no hope of driving it anywhere or putting it back on her drive.

When I use my front wheel drive Toyota, no worries at all. Any skidding is purely for fun – I like doing handbrake turns as soon as the roads are iced up. Yeah OK, I’m just a big kid – however, when no ones about, and the roads are sheet ice – it’s an opportunity to practice controlled idiocy.

Winter weather warning for BMW drivers

Winter weather warning for BMW drivers

Source: mark

“”Learn how to recognise the sort of person that doesn’t buy winter tyres for a rear wheel drive car””

“”Figure out how to recognise the kind of person who doesn’t buy winter tyres for any rear wheel drive car””

Source: Mark

The million mile driver

A colleague of mine has driven about 1 million miles over thirty years.

He would be it if I were to point to a few things i would call an experienced driver.

He has had a variety of company cars – one every three years for thirty years – and does thirty thousand odd miles each year.

Two years ago he got a BMW 3 series – good mileage, low CO2 and all sorts of round ticks the boxes for company taxation benefits.

He says he will never get a BMW again. In winter it is an absolute menace with loss in grip, a no goer in the ice and snow – he sees it dangerous.

His company won’t stump the extra money for winter tyres so he will suffer this car until it is time for the next model.

If only you could potentially test drive a rear-wheel drive BMW in the snow before buying…

Before choosing.., if only you can test drive a rear-wheel drive BMW in the snow.

Source: mark

BMW Sales Spiel

“”Yes Sir, these represent the best cars money can purchase. A drivers precision, machine and engineered expensive. Winter driving? Oh well, you’ll need to buy another car if you want to accomplish that””

“”Yes Sir, these represent the best cars money can purchase. A drivers precision, engineered and machine expensive. Winter driving? If you want to achieve that””, oh well, you’ll need to buy another car””

Source: Mark

Exactly what is that juddering sound?

That sound is the noise made when the automatic anti-slip systems come into play.

In case a wheel loses grip – either when braking or accelerating – the power or brake will likely be temporarily interrupted.

This enables the worst of the slipping to get controlled.

It really is a sign you are driving too much or the roads are particularly slippy. Regardless you should bring it as a warning and be as gentle as you can.

What’s the trouble?

I can’t believe that BMW’s are rubbish cars. They can be desired by a lot of drivers, plus they are great to operate.

So why do they really turn into a physical object of ridicule over winter?

The BMW driver is the one parked up. Alternatively, sliding across the road – whilst the theoretically crappy 1.1 Panda sails serenely along – unaffected by a certain amount of snow or ice.

BMW drivers are badge obsessed morons, who don’t realize how to drive properly,. That’s one theory.

Well, OK, that’s a theory, but it doesn’t help much when you have gently tried to negotiate a road camber from the ice using years of driving experience.

Let’s ignore that and put it right down to the opposite of badge obsession – badge jealousy.

The key problems are…

Rubber – the compound for summer tyres is useful down to about 7 degrees Celcius. Below that it hardens rapidly. The winter tyre silica rubber mix is optimised for lower temperatures.

Rear wheel drive – an eye opener for someone just like me who drives a front wheel drive. I could not believe how much harder to manipulate a spinning back wheel is in comparison to a spinning front wheel.

Weight distribution – the perfect 50/50 of the BMW’s is not just like the engine over the front wheel drive arrangement for winter conditions.

Tyre width – you will find complex (in my opinion) arguments about grip distribution and the actions on snow. I’m not a physicist.

Run flat tyres – I am just dubious about these anyway. They seem similar to a compromise for me, or maybe I’m just being old fashioned.

Performance – the BMW tends not as a gentle car to drive, it is a power machine.

One of the important elements, and one that may be hard to get round, is that in cold weather the rubber of the summer tyre hardens. It becomes naturally less grippy, at a time of the season with leaves, ice, wet and snow when you need it most.

Will not overdo the additional weight in the rear or affect front-wheel steering

Will not overdo an added weight within the rear or affect front-wheel steering

Source: mark

Danger! BMW! Ice and Snow!

Danger! BMW! Ice and Snow!

Source: mark

Snowblower Tire Chains 410-350-4, 410X350X4

Snowblower Tire Chains 410-350-4, 410X350X4

Amazon Price: $17.99

Solutions – Cheap

There are a few short cuts which can improve things. Alternatively, will make your car more dangerous.

They are purely down to you, along with your experimentation.

Driving technique. Each of the old boring stuff about starting in second gear, being gentle, leaving a great deal of space, anticipation. All very well and good, however, if the car cannot negotiate an icy camber on a road, it doesn’t really matter how skilled a driver you are.

Weight in the boot. Sandbags, cement, kerbstones – anything that provides a degree of additional weight over the rear wheels probably will help traction. At first I was thinking that would be recommended until I read about weight distribution and also the need in order to steer in addition to move forward!

When you overload the back weight, you might compromise the steering in the other end.

Deflate the tyres slightly. It could help, but it is not an area I would want to get into. You buy a perfectly made balanced driving machine, and then fiddle about along with it to persuade it to operate ‘safely’ in winter conditions. I don’t believe this is a sensible or safe solution.

Wheel gloves. They are emergency, help you get home, solutions for some snow. They are doing not offer months of safe winter driving, they are going to last for a few miles that’s all.

A set of winter tyres for the BMW is astronomically expensive

A set of winter tyres for the BMW is astronomically expensive

Source: mark

Solutions – Winter Tyres – Expensive

I believe a set of winter tyres for the One series comes in at about one thousand pounds. That includes wheels as well, mainly because they have different dimensions towards the usual wheels.

Note. I’m not sure in regards to the dimensions being different. It can be because they are run flats, see below.

At first that seems ridiculous, as well as it is, however you get used to an amount of excessive pricing with BMW. It’s how they make their money.

Costly, even though winter tyres would appear to be the correct solution.

In Germany, they can be required by law to change to winter tyres for several months. Overall the tyre wear is half as much as normal, because you change twice a year, and so the total cost is not much more than just using one set of normal tyres.

There is no such law in the UK, and winter tyres continue to be a bit of a rarity. Unless you happen to be struggling with your BMW over the last couple of hard UK winters.

It might be possible to pick up some second hand winter tyres to your model, or cut a much more reasonable take care of a local garage.

In my opinion, having read the maximum amount of information as I can bear on the subject, winter tyres are the only option to help keep running through the bad winter periods.

Obviously some salesmen are really honest…

Of course some salesmen are very honest…

Source: mark

Other Less Likely Solutions

Get rid of your BMW and purchase something else. Following the experience of winter driving it is really an attractive idea. But it’s costly to alter for a thing that should just work.

Buy a winter runabout – a secondhand front wheel drive anything – that works in bad conditions. In every seriousness, a piece of ‘crap’ such as a 1.1 Fiat will out perform your Beemer. Five hundred pounds and up, plus road tax, insurance, and so on.

Don’t go anywhere. “I won’t be in today, I have got a BMW” – an incredible excuse (not) for avoiding work and social engagements during the winter season.

There must be two inches of ice in that bump. I mean what kind of car might actually get over that?

There must be two inches of ice in that bump. I mean what kind of car could very well get over that?

Source: Mark

Run Flat Winter Tyres

A little bit more information about these.

Why do you have to buy steelwheels and steels, when it would seem all you need to do is swap the summer tyres with the winter ones and after that back again?

It’s because run flats are special. They ‘might’ come off and back on again perfectly well. Or they might not.

So the proper way to do it is to obtain a spare list of wheels with all the winter tyres on, and swap the full lot come spring or autumn.

The price these tyres are anyway who would want to risk having a few fail in terms of putting them back on?

Traction Tip

From Dom in the comments.

If you need extra wheel grip to get free from a stuck situation, try turning off of the traction control.

This should offer you more control over what the wheels are doing.

“”It handles worse than a BMW 3 series””

“”This thing handles worse than the usual BMW 3 series””

Source: Mark

One Neat Trick

By using the handbrake, if you are stuck on an incline with lack of traction it ‘might’ be possible to gain extra traction.

Apparently it is actually possible that one rear wheel can be slipping, while the other is not doing anything because of the slip differential (whatever that is).

Gently, by using the handbrake! , it can reduce the spinning wheel and divert some power towards the non moving wheel.

In theory this could enable both rear wheels to put some effort in.

I am prepared to be very impressed if someone masters it, even though i haven’t tried this, it appears a bit ‘rally’ style to me.

Emergency Supplies

A lot of cat litter was sold this past year. And salt.

Buy now while stocks last.

If you are, er, stuck without a toilet – it’s for scattering under the rear drive wheels to get some quick grip and get moving, the cat litter is not really for use in your car.

I’ll add to this list once i get stuck and remember the things I should have brought with me.

Winterdrinks and coat, something to wee in, torch, charged phone, keep that fuel topped up, and so on.

Could It Be Snowing Near Me?

#uksnow Map – UK Snow Twitter Mashup

This useful link from Twitter is built by people tweeting in their local snowfall. When it is actually snowing or not, handy if you are considering a trip and never sure. Better picture than the official weather maps.

UK Weather Note

For overseas visitors.

The UK doesn’t normally get a lot of snow.

We are unable to deal with it.

One inch is sufficient cause absolute traffic chaos.

I believe we had two whole inches a while back and drivers were stuck in their cars for twelve hours overnight.

It would be madness to drive out when there is an inch of snow on a lawn

It would be madness to drive out when there is an inch of snow on the ground

Source: mark

Stay at Home When It’s Snowing

You won’t be expected to come into work. That’s the great thing about owning a rear wheel drive car.

Every one knows these are lethal inside the snow and ice. And nobody wants to be stuck behind one as the owner tries to drive in a straight line.

So, do yourself, and everyone else a favour, and take a day off.

The benefit of owning a rear wheel drive car when it’s snowing… no one expects one to come in to function

The benefit of owning a rear wheel drive car when it’s snowing… nobody expects you to definitely come in to work

Source: mark

Four Paw Drive – All Terrain Model

This guy doesn’t need snow tyres…

Now this guy doesn’t need snow tyres…

Source: mark

Some Winter Socks?

AutoSock Standard X20 Winter Traction Aid, For Passenger Tires

AutoSock Standard X20 Winter Traction Aid, For Passenger Tires

Amazon Price: $79.00

Some Hard Questions for BMW Dealers

You might like to wipe the smile off the dealer’s face in case you are lucky enough to be purchasing a BMW.

Ask him if they recommend winter tyres for their real wheel drive cars. Watch him squirm.

Ask him how much they cost and whether they will be thrown in in the deal.

When you have negotiated that part then ask the way that they plan to service your car – swapping the tyres out and in for the cold months of winter.

Where will they be going to keep the tyres?

They suggested to your friend she take the tyres store and home them in their garage!

Yes, four tyres and wheels in the back of a One Series – for a lady owner to manhandle inside and out of her car. Not what I thought the BMW owner image was about.

Question them if they think that is the sort of service BMW should be providing? In Germany the garage stores the tyres and swaps them at NO cost.

You would think, as BMW have some connection with Germany, which they would realize how to provide the same service in the united kingdom.

If you have just realised how poorly a rear wheel drive performs in the snow and ice you can also ask your dealer – why didn’t they share with you winter tyres being a necessity not a luxury?


Spikes-Spider 17.321 C3 Compact Series Winter Traction Aid – List of 2

Spikes-Spider 17.321 C3 Compact Series Winter Traction Aid – Pair of 2

Amazon Price: $480.00

List Price: $565.00

Source: mark

This is Some Traffic Lights Humor…

Humorous and Informative Guide to UK Traffic Light Signal Sequence

If you have had enough of me banging on about BMW and winter ice and snow – here are some funny traffic light graphics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *