Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
May 23, 2002 (11:24 am)
BMW's all season traction has been standard on the 3 series since 1996. I believe Dynamic Stability Control is also standard on all 1999-2000 BMW 3 series.
Snow tires: That's a sore subject that often pops up frequently on this (and many other) boards. The general consensus is that if you have a RWD BMW equipped with all season tires, AST, & DSC that you should be fine especially in your area. Many here who live in NYC & NJ don't put snow tires on if they have all season tires.
#17493 of 30250 Kumhos (very) preliminary review
May 23, 2002 (11:26 am)
Before I give some early assessments, I have to point out a couple of things. For any comparison between the Kumho's and the Contis, keep in mind that the Contis had 18K miles on them and I don't necessarily remember how they behaved when new. Also the Kumho's only have about 80 miles on them so I'm sure they are not yet free of die-release compound (not "scrubbed in"). Also, I haven't had a chance to play with tire pressures so when I find the settings I'm happiest with, some or all of my findings may be obsolete. I plan on finding some time for play this extended weekend, if my opinions change, I'll send an update.
* They already feel stickier. Even without being scrubbed in yet. I was surprised by the grip on my drive home. It was raining a little and with ~normal~ driving (some may consider it aggressive ) the rear didn't slide at all unless provoked. The contis have been very prone to sliding around when the road is wet.
* They are much quieter. If I remember correctly, the contis were much quieter when new too. They started getting noisier at about 5K miles, I think.
* The ride feels a little more compliant.
* They feel floatier... less feel for what they are ABOUT to do. You can feel it when they start to break loose but with the contis, I could feel when they were ~almost~ ready to break loose. I mentioned this to a coworker who has Kumho's on his A4 and he said that he noticed that too, but the feel improves vastly once the tires are broken in.
* I was hoping they'd have less of a tendency to tramline... no such luck. I guess that's part of the price you pay for wide, performance rubber.
Bottom line, from my initial observations, I bought 4 tires for slightly more than I would have paid for 2 Contis and they are at least as good, and probably will be better once properly broken in.
May 23, 2002 (11:39 am)
What nyccarguy said - especially the part about that being a testy subject.
If I were you, and the car you buy doesn't have the SP tires (which just won't go up hill in snow), I wouldn't get snow tires for a DC winter. If you're buying new tires, I have Bridgestone Potenza RE950's on my Maxima, and they have good snow/rain traction, with pretty sporty handling, a pretty quiet ride, and they look cool. I'd consider them for a BMW.
Remember, 20 years ago, we all drove RWD cars in the snow, and we got by just fine. And, that was before all of these high-tech traction and stability control systems, and with 1970's tire technology.
#17495 of 30250 Rear Wheel Drive Basics - tires and winter conditions?
May 23, 2002 (12:00 pm)
It has been a long time since we drove a rear wheel drive car. Did it in the winters of Michigan. Now in the DC area and thinking of a used/CPO 323i/328i/325i BMW.
i) Do all of the old (1999-2001) 3 series come with traction control as standard?
ii) Is it necessary to buy snow tires for the back and/or front for winter driving? Or, are all weather tires w/traction control (see above) sufficient?
I don't think I want to change tires with the change of the seasons.
Note: It only snows a bit here - and just a few times of year.....but it does get slippery often in the winter.
#17496 of 30250 Bi-Xenon's, How Do They Work?
May 23, 2002 (12:17 pm)
Does anyone technical information about the bi-xenon headlights. I know they run at a higher voltage, and are brighter, but how does the self-leveling feature work? Thanks.
May 23, 2002 (12:17 pm)
... the winter tire debate (argument?) is gonna start again.
Many here, myself included, want seperate summer and winter tires. All season's are a "jack of all trades, master of none". If you want the best performance in all conditions, buy an extra set of wheels with winter tires and swap them out for the snowy season.
That said, many others use all-season's year-round and are very happy with them. I think we may even have one poster, unless he's seen the error in his ways, who uses summer tires all year (brave, have you seen the error in your ways? ).
As for traction control, I know all e46's, 2000-on
have TCS and DSC standard. I believe that '99s had TSC standard and DSC optional, but I'm not sure.
May 23, 2002 (1:05 pm)
Nice write-up on the Kumhos. The Rack has general guidelines for tires break-in - have you read them? Basically, don't push them to the limit (cornering, accel, and braking) for the first 500 miles. It will be hard, I know. BTW, my Contis were quiet till about 11-12K miles after which they got noticeably louder. As far as snow tires, I agree with the general consensus on the board. It's key to recognize that your needs would depend on your driving experience and especially circumstances, though. My circumstances are changing and summer tires will not cut it in the area that we are moving to, so I am planning on getting a set of snow tires in a few months.
#17499 of 30250 Extended service protection and LoJack Questions
May 23, 2002 (1:54 pm)
Thanks to those of you who responded to my questions regarding the extended service protection and LoJack--especially Shipo. I'll take your advice and avoid the extended service. I'll check into the BMW alarm system through pacificbmw.com.
My only thought why LoJack might be good is that they claim they're the only ones "the authorities" use to track stolen vehicles--given that's it uses GPS for tracking. Traditional car alarms seem to be a waste of time, hearing them go off allthe time and people ignore them. Any thoughts on that?
#17500 of 30250 Traditional car alarms
May 23, 2002 (2:11 pm)
Sounds like the std system on the 325's are pretty good. I'm not getting a separate alarm. I'm on the fence on the LoJack issue right now, will prob. opt out & keep the Club handy. If nothing else it's a visual deterrent (when in use).
May 23, 2002 (2:19 pm)
deposit - $500 seems to be the standard for the 3-series. I was asked to pay the same. pierce1, at least here in Mass, the dealer must return your deposit if you walk out of the deal unless he has already received the car on his lot in which case he is allowed to keep some or all of the money to cover costs he has incurred.
trade-in - I was able to sell my Jetta VR6 to a private party for $2,500 more than what the dealer was offering me. It took a few months but it was well worth the wait. BTW, that was before GM killed the used car market with 0% financing on new cars - it might be much tougher to sell a car now.
postoak - In everyday driving, there is no need for heel and toeing. However, there is a section on the track where we autocross where I max out on RPM's (the RPM's just keep hitting the rev limiter at ~6,800) in second about 100 ft before a tight slalom starts. Shifting in third would help you get to the slalom section a little faster but if you have to downshift into 5-6K RPM's without heel and toeing right before you enter the slalom, you will seriously upset the balance of the car and you will lose a lot of time. So what I do is leave it in second because I am not comfortable with heel and toeing yet.
rshaw11 - Tire pressure is a trial and error. Your preferences will determine what's good for you. Generally, I find anything over 36 psi to be a little uncomfortable for everyday driving in my 325i SP, so I keep it at 32/34 F/R which gives you a very comfortable ride even with the SP. On the track, I use 37/36 F/R because more air in the fronts reduces understeer and gives the car a better balance when pushed very hard. Try different settings and see what you like for yourself.