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Yesterday... after looking closely at the Weather Channel and seeing no snow "Up North", I gassed the M-car and headed to Vermont for a day of skiing.

I knew that there had been some snow there in the past couple days, but figured that the snow removal would be fine .... and also, I had the Dunlop M3 winter tires on all 4 corners. So, I wasn't all that concerned.

Just as I approached the town where my condo is located... it started to snow. It increased in intensity as I continued. In town, there was nearly an inch on the Tarmac and I continued to see it snow.

I started to go up a steep hill to the hotel that sells lift tickets 'after hours' and the back end started to come 'round. I feathered the "go pedal" and turned off the bi-Xenons and ran with just the fogs/running lights in order to see. It was a task to get to the hotel.... It was snowing like a sunuvabi#*ch!!

After getting my ticket, I headed up the mountain.... it was only another 3 miles, but ALL up hill and I was not confident that I would make it. No plowing had been done... and I was the only car on the road in either way. I was VERY nervous!

I headed the M-car up the very steep and curvy road.... the display panel showing the dreaded (!) light constantly. My forward speed was nil. I figure I could have walked up hill faster than I was traveling. I knew if I stopped, I was not going to make it.

Somehow... I continued to barely make it up the mountain. Finally, I found the entrance to my condo facility. I made the left hand 90 degree turn to find that this hill was even more of a problem. My speed dropped to barely moving. I still had only the fogs on due to the huge and heavy flakes falling obscuring my vision. A Chevy Tahoe came up on my butt and moved easily around me. Finally.... after 30 minutes to go 3 miles.... I arrived at my condo. Three inches of fresh, powdery snow coated everything.

What a nightmare!! I love this car, but it AIN'T no winter car at all. I don't care what tires you run.... it sucks in the snow. Even an INCH of fresh snow on an incline is a major problem.

BAGGER (home at last..., now where's my Expedition?)
 

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Bagger said:
What a nightmare!! I love this car, but it AIN'T no winter car at all. I don't care what tires you run.... it sucks in the snow. Even an INCH of fresh snow on an incline is a major problem.

BAGGER (home at last..., now where's my Expedition?)
Bagger it's tough to feather 400 ponies. :hihi: I'd take the Expedition next time.


Joe
 

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The silver lining is... the skiing was GREAT!

Man, I LOVE to drive in that kind of weather. I find turning off DSC greatly improves forward progress in the conditions you described. Just like going around corners in the slop. With DSC on, the brakes go on, and you're likely to get clobbered cuz you can't get out of the intersection fast enough.

In the snow and ice, I leave DSC off except for highway speeds. Then, it's indispensible. Especially on the freeway in the unplowed passing lane when the snow is heavy and can quickly pull you into places you don't want to go!

The only time I get nervous is worrying about the OTHER GUY. Deserted roads, bring on the white stuff! The balance of the beast is incredible.

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ELEVENS....

Will turning off the DSC going up hill... at a severe angle, I must say, like moutains..... in fresh snow.... HELP??

Man, I gotta tell ya.... I've driven a '69 Firebird with studded snows at 70 mph in a Wyoming blizzard just to crash thru the snow drifts to ski. I'd rather do that than what I did last eve, m'friend.

I guess I don't fully understand the DSC and whatnot with this beast. I'm sure I'll get more practice.... but, the next time I go to Vermont to ski, it will not be in the M-car. That's a fact!

BAGGER
 

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Bagger said:
..... but, the next time I go to Vermont to ski, it will not be in the M-car. That's a fact!

BAGGER
The biggest problem with the M5 (with me) is that it's such a nice f'ing car, I would just hate-hate-hate to hurt it.

And the biggest problem with a nice 4WD (I own two with 4x dedicated snows) is that they are just plain boring in the snow, to the point that I get really impatient with (less equipped) traffic.

I know what you're saying - I always choose the 4WD on long trips in the winter. Weather is just too unpredictable to chance (the other guy) wrecking the beast.

Do experiment with DSC off to gain needed momentum, though.

So.... how WAS the skiing?!


:byebye:
 

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69 Firebird? Now THAT sounds like fun! :M5thumbs:
 

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ELEVENS said:
The silver lining is... the skiing was GREAT!

Man, I LOVE to drive in that kind of weather. I find turning off DSC greatly improves forward progress in the conditions you described. Just like going around corners in the slop. With DSC on, the brakes go on, and you're likely to get clobbered cuz you can't get out of the intersection fast enough.

In the snow and ice, I leave DSC off except for highway speeds. Then, it's indispensible. Especially on the freeway in the unplowed passing lane when the snow is heavy and can quickly pull you into places you don't want to go!

The only time I get nervous is worrying about the OTHER GUY. Deserted roads, bring on the white stuff! The balance of the beast is incredible.

:cheers:
Bagger, I feel your pain, being from the same neck of the woods, although ELEVENS is correct in saying to turn off the DSC. It does greatly improve forward progress. Even though I run Bridgestone Blizzaks, when the weather gets that bad I take my Grand Cherokee instead, I know the weather can not be predicted but when in doubt SUV it:)
 

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Bagger said:
I love this car, but it AIN'T no winter car at all. I don't care what tires you run.... it sucks in the snow. Even an INCH of fresh snow on an incline is a major problem.
The E39 V8 has approximately 52F/48R weight distribution, which is excellent for snow traction. Most rear wheel drive cars have more weight proportioned over the nose of the car (closer to 58F/42R). The main problems with driving the M5 in winter relate to: 1) excessive tire width and 2) tire type.

Obviously an M5 in snow will not favorably compare to an Explorer or similar SUV with 4WD. That said, the M5 will perform better in snow than the typical noseheavy ponycar or american 4dr sedan running similar tires.

I've seen plenty of rear wheel drive cars at the slopes....not too many with hi performance tires in 275 width (lol). A SUV with such tires would experience similar difficulties.
 

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Lscman is right on the money, as usual. The best I've found is 235/45-17 Blizzak WS-50's mounted on Borbet Type E wheels. Wheels are lightweight at 23.5 pounds, and reportedly even work with big brake kits. The WS-50's are unequaled in the snow and ice, but the tradeoff is they're very soft and "mushy" on dry roads. Total package from (board sponsor) TireRack is under $1200.

Bonus: All being the same size allows you to rotate them to even out the wear out back - not that an M5 would need that :hihi:

-Bill
 

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Try better snow tires...

It's the tires that make the difference. The Wintersport line are really not very good snows. I had the M2s on my old car and was very underwhelmed. I am running Nokian RSIs in 235/45-17 on winter rims and the car does quite well in the snow. The only time there has been a problem was when it was very heavy and deep snow (approx 2 ft). At that point even my wife's allroad had trouble and almost got stuck. The Nokians are not as good in the M2s in the dry, but with all the snow we have had lately, it's rare that the roads are clear anyway. They are nice and quiet and very comfortable on the highway. I just set the speed alarm at 110 so as not to exceed the T-rating.
 

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Bagger said:
What a nightmare!! I love this car, but it AIN'T no winter car at all. I don't care what tires you run.... it sucks in the snow. Even an INCH of fresh snow on an incline is a major problem.
Anyone else have Dunlop M3's? They get good ratings for snow traction on Tire Rack. I wonder why they failed to perform?

The car has great balance and good traction control. The missing ingredient is good snow tires to get some grip. Well at least you didn't get stranded on the mountain.
 

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Ran Blizzak LM22s for years on my M3 for my daily commute from Park City to Salt Lake and back and M2s on my M5 this winter and have like them both. Not as good as the WS 50s, but they both last a lot longer than the WS 50s.
 

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M5 is an excellent winter car and we can say that in Sweden where BMW are testing their cars for winter.

Fart said:
Dude..!

All I can say is that I live in Iceland, we have a lot of snow in the winter, and the beast rox.. just get some tires for the right conditions.
 

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ELEVENS said:
Lscman is right on the money, as usual.
Bill,

Lscman's been using a lot of LOL's in his posts recently, too--I think he may be suffering from spring (track) fever :D

And I'm not sassy enough this morning to say anything about this post--I was tempted though :haha2: :haha2: :haha2:

Wonder if we should nickname the thread starter "Ski Bagger" though? I don't think I want to even ask him if he used it!! :blabla:

Anita -- I'm gone :cool:
 

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I ran the Dunnie M2's for two winters on the beast, 265's out back. You can't really expect great snow performance from a Z-rated (149mph) tire. It's a decent compromise, but best for the occasional spirited winter blast when the roads are clear. The tire works OK for light snow, and has a good rubber compound that works well in cold weather on wet or dry pavement. Very quiet, too.

But I think you should either park the car in the winter, or if you drive it in the snow, get skinny Blizzak WD-50's on 17" wheels and go have some fun.
 

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I don't know how you can say "I don't care what tires you run.... it sucks in the snow"?

Tires are critical. You have a M5. It is a performance car with performance tires. They are designed for certain things. See what the tire rack says:

http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/faqs.jsp

But Do I Really Need Winter Tires?

The primary concern that our customers express is that they don't want to get "stuck" in the snow (or in the ditch) during the winter.

While in cities like Atlantic City, Memphis and Seattle located at the extreme edges of the snow belt, relatively new All-Season tires will probably work just fine. But the odds change as you move further into the snow belt or the All-Season tires have a few years of wear on them. And who wants to gamble...especially when their collision deductible and future insurance premiums are on the table.

We all know that tires are a compromise. One tire can't be the fastest on the track, most controllable in the snow, and longest wearing. The Ultra High Performance tire that grips the track with tread temperatures of 200° is incompetent as its tread compound becomes like "hard plastic" at below 32°. Today's 80,000-mile tires require tread designs and compounds that maximize long, even wear... not winter traction. And while many of today's all-season tires (Original Equipment, touring and performance) address some of these issues, they still emphasize longer wear, a quieter ride or greater performance...not winter traction.

Only winter tires are designed to excel in the colder temperatures, slush, snow and ice that many parts of the country experience for three or more months a year.

It's also important to note that the recent advancements in electronic driver aids, such as ABS and traction control don't provide more traction. They only help prevent drivers from over braking or overpowering the available traction of their tires. The only thing the driver can do to increase traction...to actually get more grip and control... is install better tires.

Read Why Electronic Driver's Aids and Four-Wheel Drive Systems Aren't Enough
Won't All-Season Tires Work Just Fine?

By design, All-Season tires are a compromise intended to provide acceptable traits under a wide variety of conditions. However, that compromised goal prevents them from being a master of any one of them. The All-Season tire tread designs and compounds that are engineered to provide extended mileages and durability under the summer's sun are less effective in winter's freezing temperatures, and through snow and on ice. Specific winter tires deliver much better snow and ice performance than All-Season tires because their tread designs and tread compounds are engineered to master those conditions, while summer tires are engineered to deliver better handling in the rain and on dry roads. Why not have the best tires for each of the conditions you'll encounter?
4, not 2
Why Four Winter Tires? I Thought I Would Only Need Two.

Today's winter tires are better at providing ice and snow traction than ever before. The technology used to develop the tread designs and tread compounds has evolved beyond what you may have used previously. Every one of our tire manufacturers and 7 out of 10 vehicle manufacturers recommend four winter tires be used on rear wheel, front wheel or four wheel drive vehicles. This is because if you use two dissimilar types of tires on your vehicle, you'll have a vehicle that has a "split" personality. One end of the vehicle won't react and perform the same as the other in the dry, wet, slush and snow conditions you'll encounter before the end of winter. Especially in emergency situations, you'll find that your vehicle will probably understeer in one condition and oversteer in another. It is preferable to keep your vehicles handling as consistently as possible by "matching" all four tires. Our customers who have matched their tires tell us they're glad they made the extra investment in four winter tires (and wheels) so they can accelerate, brake, handle and better control their vehicle through winter's challenges.
What If My Car Has Traction Control?

While traction control will help keep you from overpowering your tires, it doesn't actually improve your tire's traction; it simply limits your car's acceleration to the traction level of your tires. The only way to maximize your vehicle's winter performance is to provide your traction control with more grip to work with by using tires specifically designed for your driving conditions.
What If My Car Has ABS Brakes?

While ABS brakes will help keep you from locking up your tires, it doesn't actually improve your tire's traction; it simply limits your cars braking to the traction level of your tires. The only way to maximize your vehicle's winter performance is to provide your ABS brakes with more grip to work with by using tires specifically designed for your driving conditions.
What If My Car Has Front-Wheel Drive?

Front wheel drive is certainly an advantage...but its advantage can be multiplied by using winter tires designed for the road conditions you'll encounter. Part of a front wheel drive car's acceleration advantage is because it has 60% of its weight over the drive wheels. And while this helps you get started, it does nothing to help you stop. And a front wheel drive car's weight distribution is not the best for handling and cornering. Many of the reasons that encouraged you to select a front wheel drive car are the same reasons that dedicated winter tires will make your winter driving more enjoyable and enhance your car's braking, handling and cornering traits.
What If My Car Has All-Wheel Drive?

All-wheel drive is certainly an advantage...but its advantage can be multiplied by using winter tires designed for the road conditions you'll encounter. While more tires share the torque of your vehicle, think of the ice and snow performance that winter tires provide. All of the reasons that encouraged you to select an all-wheel drive car are the same reasons that dedicated winter tires will make your winter driving more enjoyable and enhance your car's braking, handling and cornering traits.
Isn't It Better To Stay Off the Roads If It's Really Bad?

While it's great to have the luxury of staying off the roads when it's snowing, it's even better to have the freedom of movement that winter tires provide. Because it is difficult to accurately predict winter storms just ask any weatherman if he's willing to place a bet. How do you know where you will be when one hits...maybe at home...or at work...or out of town visiting relatives for the holidays. And who ever had an emergency that they could schedule around the weather?
Won't It Help If I Just Drive Slowly and Carefully?

That very question verifies that you recognize the risk you feel when you don't use winter tires. Why not take some of the tension out of your winter driving and provide yourself with a greater margin of control to avoid the unexpected...or dodge an accident. And if you aren't able to keep up with the flow of traffic as you accelerate from a traffic light or up a hill, you pose a risk to yourself and all of the other vehicles around you.
Aren't Winter Tires Expensive?

Winter tires and wheels may be one of the most economical purchases you can make.

We have excellent prices on tires, alloy wheels, steel wheels and complete Winter Tire & Wheel Packages. Using winter tires will extend the life of your summer tires. The summer tires won't "wear out" sitting in the garage or basement while the winter tires and wheels are on the vehicle. Using winter wheels will protect Original Equipment or aftermarket alloy wheels from the harsh realities of winter...the salt, slush and grime that attack the alloy.


Now, do you expect hybrid gas mileage from the M5? No. Why? Because its a performance car. The 15ish MPG is expected. Same thing applies here. You have performance tires as OEM and they are good for dry and typical street wet weather. They are not good at all for snow nor mud, nor off roading. M5+good snow tires that are not too wide= a very controllable winter vehicle.
 

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I haven't personally tried the Dunlop M3s, I was really hoping to get them this year and even though I ordered from Tirerack back in September, the shipment never came for the proper rear fitting (275/35/18). And what was worse, it was only in late Nov I got final word none are coming, and by that time most other brands were sold out. I had to settle on a Pirelli Wintersport 240 in a 235/40/18 Front 265/35/18 Rear setup (the overall circumferance/dimension matches fine).

I live in the NY/NJ area and these are just fine for our conditions (even though we are having a nasty winter). Drove up on a couple of occassions to Lake Placid, second time with a few inches of fresh snow on uncleaned roads and I found the Pirellis to be more than decent. Their real strength is on dry though, very good handling/speed/noise characteristics for a winter tire.

Although it might not be valid comparison considering the difference in vehicles, hp/torques, tire size, etc., I felt more comfortable with the Blizzak LM 22s in a 245/40/17 size on my CLK 430.


CEC said:
Anyone else have Dunlop M3's? They get good ratings for snow traction on Tire Rack. I wonder why they failed to perform?

The car has great balance and good traction control. The missing ingredient is good snow tires to get some grip. Well at least you didn't get stranded on the mountain.
 
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