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Hello fellow enthusiasts,

I am currnetly in the process of moving from Texas to Virginia and wondering what you would suggest / recommend for me to do to get my beast ready for the weather in VA. We just experienced some really cold weather (don't laugh) for TX standards- 1" snow and temperature in the twenties.

I know I need all-weather tires for sure. Do I need to change the oil blend, thermostat, etc.? Please advise. Thanks and looking forward to meeting new enthusasts!!!
 

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If you plan to drive in snow, I'd suggest getting a separate set of 17" rims with the recommended size of snow tires. Swap them on in Dec, and off in Mar. Put in the back of your mind that - if you get stuck on a hill - you may be better off with DSC off. Do not think that you need to warm up the car before driving off. Become attuned to black ice conditions. No tires alone will save you there.

If you don't plan to drive the M in winter, put her on a battery tender. I, for example, use a CTEK.

Nothing else is especially demanded for this climate. That said, if your tstat is failing, you will more easily discover that fact here.
 

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unless you are in the mts, VA isn't that bad for snow... I don't think you'll even need different tires. just be careful, and keep the DSC on when it's iffy. don't brake or accelerate on hollow road surfaces like bridges. and watch out for road salt-- it's the enemy.
 

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Kiss your radar detector, or plans to buy one, goodbye! :byee55amg
 

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Not sure where you are going to end up in VA, but here is my $0.02!

Replace your thermostat, just do it!
Might want to consider replacing your fan clutch as well?

You are worried about the winter, not sure this would be my main worry, yes we get snow, but we are in a daily freeze-thaw zone. We get a lot of melt off in the days and then re-freeze at night. This causes a lot of ice, but usually spotty. Also with the hills and valleys, temps vary by 5-10 degrees in places. You need to really be mindful of changing conditions when driving. As a rule, I try to get off the roads by 7-8 pm unless necessary as this is usually when things freeze back over.

Tires can help in show, but forget about ice unless you have studs and it is probably not worth it around here.

I am in the Northern VA/D.C. area, raised here, so I know it well!

What I would be more worried about the heat in the Summer, I guess you have heat where you are located, but note we have the worst traffic in the US by the latest surveys. I had a friend that was stranded on a road the last snowstorm for 12 hours!! Never moved more than a few hundred feet!

In the Summer, bumper to bumper crawling traffic, the road temps get up over 100 degrees, not airflow, junk cars over heat and make traffic worse. Make sure you cooling system is in top notch shape!!

As for oil, would suggest probably using 5w30 from Nov-Mar, 10w60 the rest of the year. Assuming you are not beating the car during the Winter months. Would also not run the car hard until the oil temp gets to 80C. The tach lights are oil temp driven, not coolant temp related.

Also change your oil often, idling in city traffic is hell on oil. Forget the miles, it really boils down to engine revolutions that determine oil change intervals at the end of the day. In stop and go traffic or short distance driving, I still recommend 3,000 mile changes even with synthetic. Oil is cheaper than engine repairs!
 

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Get some snow tires and put some extra weight in the trunk and you'll be okay for VA winters.

"Winter weather" are the wrong two words to worry about in VA: "Reckless Driving" is what should worry you.

In VA it's a class 1 misdemeanor, meaning a criminal, not traffic, offense. On the highway 20mph over the posted speed limit or 80mph+ (whichever is lower) is reckless driving. If you're moving to Northern Virginia there are essentially no speed limits above 55mph. It's like a full-employment act for VA traffic lawyers.
 

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I've had my 00 M5 in Virginia for almost 11 years and I have never done a thing to prepare it for winter. I don't drive it in the snow - that's what beaters are for - but it really does not snow much here, though some years are exceptions. I'm still on original thermostat, and the secret dash menu says my temp is right on the money. I did preemptively replace the fan clutch, but that has nothing to do with winterizing.

And although I do 98% of my driving in Virginia, I haven't had a speeding ticket since 1990, despite the fact that I have a street bike capable of 190 mph.

My condolences if you are moving to NoVa, though if you are coming from DFW or Houston, it won't seem so bad. Vast tracts of vinyl sided homes and strip malls. I grew up and worked there for a long time; now I only go up there if I have to catch a flight out of IAD instead of RIC.

Steve
00 M5
84 911
10 S1000RR
 

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I garage my Beast in Richmond, Virginia and do absolutely nothing for winter except swap out my Hankook R-S3s for Conti Extreme Contact DWSs and run 50/50 BMW coolant with distilled water instead of 50/50 water weterer and distilled water.

As for radar detectors and laser jammers, they simply need to be installed stealthily and used only when critical. Moreover, reckless driving tickets regularly are reduced below reckless if you take an on-line driver education course AND you don't get such tickets more than once every few years. In short, be smart, and you'll be fine.

One thing that has gone unmentioned is that in NoVa, you have emissions testing, whereas in most other places in Virginia, such as Richmond, you do not. This makes operation of a highly modified Beast very easy outside of NoVa. Ask me how I know.

--Peter
 

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2 things to keep in mind here that cops especially local ones LOVE to write tint tickets and lack of front plate tickets. If your coming from a state with light tint laws and w/o front plate requirements beware depending on safety inspector they will fail you for tint and if they dont the cops will.

Jus sayin...
 

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Speaking as someone who has lived here for nearly 14 years...

Snow/Ice:
Rear-wheel drive cars with nearly 400lbs of torque just don't not fair well. Although it does not snow here often, when it does, the roads are generally a mess. If you must drive, then take your time. Watch the hills and the turns. Also make sure to have a nice coat of wax on to help cover the finish from the salt/sand/road spray muck.

Radar detectors:
Just don't have it on. Or in the car. The state police have radar detector detectors. I know from experience.

Speeding:
Fairfax county has some very tough laws (and fines) for people caught speeding.

Tint/exhaust/front plate:
I believe Texas is a front-plate state, so you shouldn't have an issue. But the police do pull people over specifically for not having a front plate, having illegal tinted windows, and having a custom and/or louder than OEM exhaust. (Virginia)

No washbays:
I think I could come up with about two self-washbays in the entire area. If you like to keep the beast clean and would rather stick a rusty pin in your eye than go to regular carwash place, be prepared to find alternatives if you enjoy going to the self-washbays.

GUNS!:
It's on open carry state! Oh boy... we'll bust your *ss for no front plate, but it's ok to strap your gat at the mall...

Also, FYI, the local NCC chapter is fairly robust and active. Check them out.
 

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My views interspersed below, having lived in Richmond for the better part of 20 years before I moved to NYC:

Speaking as someone who has lived here for nearly 14 years...

Snow/Ice:
Rear-wheel drive cars with nearly 400lbs of torque just don't not fair well. Although it does not snow here often, when it does, the roads are generally a mess. If you must drive, then take your time. Watch the hills and the turns. Also make sure to have a nice coat of wax on to help cover the finish from the salt/sand/road spray muck. VERY TRUE

Radar detectors:
Just don't have it on. Or in the car. The state police have radar detector detectors. I know from experience. AN OLD WIVE'S TALE.

Speeding:
Fairfax county has some very tough laws (and fines) for people caught speeding. GENERALLY TRUE THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

Tint/exhaust/front plate:
I believe Texas is a front-plate state, so you shouldn't have an issue. But the police do pull people over specifically for not having a front plate, having illegal tinted windows, and having a custom and/or louder than OEM exhaust. (Virginia). AS TO FRONT PLATE AND OBVIOUSLY OVER-DARK TINTED WINDOWS, TRUE. AS FOR EXHAUST, THE RULE IS THAT IT HAS TO BE COMPARABLE TO THAT WHICH CAME ON THE CAR AS STANDARD EQUIPMENT. GIVEN THAT THE E39 M5 CAME WITH QUAD PIPES FROM THE FACTORY, MOST AFTERMARKET EXHAUSTS SATISFY THIS STANDARD. I HAVE HAD TO MAKE THIS ARGUMENT BEFORE AND WON IT ON THE SPOT. STRAIGHT PIPES/MUFFLER DELETES CLEARLY DO NOT SATISFY THE STANDARD.

No washbays:
I think I could come up with about two self-washbays in the entire area. If you like to keep the beast clean and would rather stick a rusty pin in your eye than go to regular carwash place, be prepared to find alternatives if you enjoy going to the self-washbays. VERY TRUE. I KNOW OF ONLY TWO IN RICHMOND.

GUNS!:
It's on open carry state! Oh boy... we'll bust your *ss for no front plate, but it's ok to strap your gat at the mall... NO EXPERIENCE HERE!

Also, FYI, the local NCC chapter is fairly robust and active. Check them out.
 

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Yeesh, it isn't all that bad

I've lived in NVA for 40yrs and driving around here really isn't all that bad once you get used to a few things:

1. Drivers in the DC area simply BLOW. They text, blab on cell phones, have generally are totally clueless to what is going on around them. Get used to being cut off, people drifting between lanes, etc.

2. Nobody knows how to drive in the snow and very few drivers are smart enough to put winter tires on their cars.

3. People driving 4 wheel drive SUVs (usually BMW X5s, Landrovers & Porsches) with low profile summer tires are a constant danger in the snow. They have no idea that 4wd isn't the same as 4wd stop or turn and no clue that low profile summer tires are all but usless in the snow no matter how many wheels are driven.

4. Washington DC is a banana republic when it comes to traffic fines. They have photo radar & red light cameras and are known to do things like shorten the yellow light interval to try and increase fines. DC regularly issues more tickets each year than there are people actually living in the district.

5. Traffic is absolutely brutal, especially if there is any type of accident or bad weather. For example, we had a 10" snowstorm a week ago. The Tysons Corner area where I work was absolutely gridlocked as they hadn't treated any of the road. I ended up walking 4.5 miles home rather than deal with it. Took 1.5 hours to walk. My neighbor works down the street from me and it took her 4.5 HOURS to drive the same distance.

6. True that Virginia has some of the most backwards and harsh speed laws. They recently raised the interstate speed limit in much of the state to 70 mph. Unforunately, they left the reckless driving threshold at +20 over posted limit OR 80 MPH, whichever is LOWER. In other words on an open interstate with no traffic you can face a misdomeaner for going +11 over the limit.

Best advice is get an escort redline or bel sti (both immune to radar detector detectors) and possibly a laser countermeasure (depending on your feeling on those things) and use them regularly. Generally a good idea to always use a rabbit on the interstate - typically not hard to find some bozo who will want to stay ahead of your beast. Just pull up next to the guy in (name any sports car here), give it a little gas to threaten his manhood and then allow him to say 1/2 mile ahead of you. Works every time.
 

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Reading all your experiences with VA make me appreciate Kalifornia all the more. We may be bankrupt but at least I can enjoy my car! :)
 

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^ +1, Getbent hit the nail pretty good!

Every time traffic is running slow for no reason and you finally work you way to the front of the line, some idiot is talking on the phone going 48 miles an hour, has no idea there are more than 1 million other people in the area that have places to be!

Smart move on Getbent's part to walk home in the snow rather than drive home in the snow.

I have lived in California and you guy can keep it. Virgina (especially Northern VA) has its ups and downs, but probably the most stable economy overall on the East Coast. Some of the best schools and colleges in the nation and is just a stones throw to the Washington, DC, which has a lot to offer as long as you know where not to go!

The problem is this area is the United Nations of drivers, most should stick to using their feet or bicycle, then you through in rain, fog, ice, sleet & snow, you just need to use your head and know when to fold your cards and just leave work early or just not leave the house!!

Make sure when you get to VA you schedule a Skyline Drive road trip in mid October, hit the wine county area and have fun on VA Route 29 & 64 in the mountains. Take a trip to Harpers Ferry and head up toward Cumberland MD as well. A bit boring of a drive, but also make it out of the Atlantic Coast somewhere alone Del, MD or VA. There are a number of fun roads to travel that will allow you to play with your beast a bit.

Stay off US Route 95, it offers nothing but frustration!! Route 81 allows your to make time, but it is a major truck transport route and has become VERY busy over the years.

Had to drive the beast 1 time in the snow this season, it was MUCH better than my E46 Convertible in the snow, probably part tires and limited slip rear end. Main reason you do not want to drive in the snow is the idiots that will most likely run into you. Brakes in the snow are highly overrated and there are a lot of hills and curves in the area. No gridiron flat parts around here.
 

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Make sure when you get to VA you schedule a Skyline Drive road trip in mid October, hit the wine county area and have fun on VA Route 29 & 64 in the mountains. Take a trip to Harpers Ferry and head up toward Cumberland MD as well. A bit boring of a drive, but also make it out of the Atlantic Coast somewhere alone Del, MD or VA. There are a number of fun roads to travel that will allow you to play with your beast a bit.
This. :M5thumbs:
 

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NCVU,

I live in Northen VA, I don't drive my beast on the snow, not because of the snow but because I don't trust other drivers, beside I have 4x4 a as DD. about speeding I think enough have been said already.

I don't have a front licence plate on my car, I have V1 hard wire, and I have 35% tint all around. I have own the beast for over 3 year and never had any been pull over because of the plate or the tint.
 

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NCVU,

I don't have a front licence plate on my car, I have V1 hard wire, and I have 35% tint all around. I have own the beast for over 3 year and never had any been pull over because of the plate or the tint.
but how often are you driving your m5?

I usually avoid NoVA as much as possible. I'm in Maryland. just south of Baltimore. drivers in the MD/DC/VA region are the worst ever. Be ready for traffic for no reason at all. Winters are cold and messy. Summers are hot and humid. Spring brings a ton of pollen everywhere. And fall is the only bearable time of year for me at least. Having lived in TX and CA I much prefer those areas :)
 

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I drive it at least 3 time per week. also I pull next cops all the times a stop lights day and nitgh and not issue also I have muffler delete which make the car sound louder especially when taking off from stand still. :cheers:
 
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