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Old 02-13-2019, 11:04 PM
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Driving in snow/ice praise

Just wanted to divert from my usual questions and problems that I ask of you guys and heap some praise on the X5. I drove on icy/snowy roads for 100s of miles in sub-freezing temperatures this past weekend, and the 18 year old car showed no signs of any misbehavior. It was the first time I have taken it on ice, and it handled marvelously with normal highway tires, no chains.

For any other first timers, stopping on ice was the hardest part. It took probably double the distance, and don't be startled when the ABS kicks in. Just remember to take things slower than you would normally. Thick snow was a walk in the park and slushy ice sometimes would give an inch or two sideways motion but the X5 always recovered smoothly and virtually instantly. Of course driving a good 10-20 below the posted speed when visibility was poor also helped make for a smooth journey too.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:15 AM
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With all due respect, all-season tires are not safe to drive in snow and ice. There's nothing about the X5 that makes it somehow able to surpass the traction of its tires. Especially the early X5s which have plain old AWD with no limited slip or electronic differentials. It might as well be a lifted AWD 5 series.



I'm wondering what kind of tires you really have. Often with SUVs, you might have "all terrain" tires which are not true snow tires but often have the severe snow rating. Off road tires share many characteristics with snow tires. Often times tire shops will have them in our sizes. They can also be driven on year round, which makes them very appealing.



If not, good job for making your trip safely. But please understand that SUVs with AWD aren't magically safer than any other car driving in snow and ice on all season tires. You're slightly less likely to get stuck, but no better at stopping or turning.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:58 PM
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That was dangerous. You may survive on light snow and ice with some all-season tires such as Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06, but for the sake of your own safety and other road users, please use dedicated snow tires during snow and ice conditions, 4WD or not.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdc101 View Post
With all due respect, all-season tires are not safe to drive in snow and ice. There's nothing about the X5 that makes it somehow able to surpass the traction of its tires. Especially the early X5s which have plain old AWD with no limited slip or electronic differentials. It might as well be a lifted AWD 5 series.



I'm wondering what kind of tires you really have. Often with SUVs, you might have "all terrain" tires which are not true snow tires but often have the severe snow rating. Off road tires share many characteristics with snow tires. Often times tire shops will have them in our sizes. They can also be driven on year round, which makes them very appealing.

If not, good job for making your trip safely. But please understand that SUVs with AWD aren't magically safer than any other car driving in snow and ice on all season tires. You're slightly less likely to get stuck, but no better at stopping or turning.
I remember driving back from Wisconsin after a weekend of skiing. We drove up there in my BMW E34 Touring which is a rear wheel drive 5 series station wagon. The Touring had a set of SNOW Tires on it. Recall seeing all the AWD and 4 wheel drive vehicle that had slid off the road because they were driving too fast for condition and probably because they thought that because they had AWD or 4 wheel drive they could still drive as fast as they wanted.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:10 PM
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Yep... too many people think that they can just buy a crossover with AWD and be able to drive on their all season tires in any conditions. I live in the PNW and this sort of thinking is rampant, especially in the Willamette valley and western Washington, where people dont have to deal with snow often. But I recently moved to a mountain town with a lot of snow, and about 80% of people here understand that that logic is bogus. The only cars you ever see here without snow tires are crossovers.

I've had studless tires for all my cars for about 6-7 years, even though most of that time I lived in an area without much snow. I prefer having summer tires for the extra grip in the summer anyways. But my X came with some Toyo Wild Country tires, which I drive on year round, and do pretty well in the snow. Not quite as good as a true studless snow tire, but still much better than an all season. I do prefer my Mazda6 on its Hakkas in the snow, to be perfectly honest.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:54 PM
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Well I can put some useful info into this but it has to do with the 2005 with xdrive and the e70 with xdrive.

When we had our last real snow (the one where the tree was so snowed over I couldn't tell it was blown over and pointed straight at my front windshield and busted the windshield if anyone remembers those posts) the xdrive with all season tires never had any issues with the ice or the snow. I actually used it to pull a Toyota 4wd truck out of a section of a parking lot and he had very aggressive tires but was just sitting there and spinning. The xdrive had no issues at all pulling into where he was stuck and pulling him out. If fact I parked where he was stuck to go into the store to get my carton of cigs

I have owned around 12 or so 4wd trucks and the xdrive has impressed the CRAP out of me. I have had the right front tire off the ground and the left rear tire off the ground at the same time and it just paused a second and went on.

That said my 2001 x5 is pathetic in comparison at the moment. I wouldn't trust that thing to handle pine straw on the ground if it was built up any under trees.

But in its defense the abs isn't working on it. The way it is right now the drivers side front tire and one of the rear tires (cant tell which one) loves to spin and when they do it just sits there.

But again the abs isn't working. Once that's fixed I will have a better idea of what it can do.

But as for snow/ice at least with the xdrive it was amazing. I never had any issues with it going where others were getting stuck right and left. Would snow tires of done better? Maybe but I never had a situation where I thought to myself "damn I wish I had snow tires for this". I did hear the abs a few times while coming to a stop at stop signs and red lights. Never felt the car getting out of control just the noise of the abs doing its thing so something slid somewhere.

To me the real test of awd and 4wd is mud. Ice is bad but snow isn't as bad a problem moving wise as clay mud. Nothing is slicker than that stuff. THATS what really makes the xdrive shine around here the most.

I run cooper ultra cs5 tires on the 2005 x5 and pirelli verde scorpion all season run flats on the e70.

Both had done great for me in the mud/snow/ice.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:21 AM
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My 03 4.4i has pure summer tires on it and I live in Tahoe. Those tires have definitely tested my driving abilities but tomorrow I'm swapping on a set of 18' wheels with blizzaks as I'm tired of the gamble. Amazingly enough with the pure summer tires I've never managed to get it stuck in the feet of snow that we've received however I have been driving in this weather for a long time.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:19 PM
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We have 18" Nokian Hakkepeliitta snows on the 4.8iS and 19" Pirelli Scorpion Winter on the 4.6iS and both have been great in the icy and snowy winter we've had. There is some ice racing up in the mountains that we want to do, mostly so we can compare the two E53s.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:43 PM
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Couple thoughts on any AWD system...

1. The E53 xDrive...I agree it is one of the best AWD systems out there, great on snow etc.
A better system than my 2005 Volvo XC90 2.5T AWD car.
The Volvo AWD system is not as good as the BMW xDrive.

Youtube has some videos on BMW xDrive to show how it works...
Worth watching.


2. Getting out of snow/mud: sure the four-season tires (which I have right now) are OK to help get you OUT of the snow/mud. Of course SNOW tires are better. But once on the road, it is another story.


3. Here is the point where people get into trouble...Once you are on the road, whether you slide or you brake, ONLY the rubber material matters, in this case SNOW tires are the winner.

To summarize it, if you have light snow 1-3" etc., the four-season tires + xDrive are fine to get you out of snow/mud but when you brake, think ahead, you need the same distance as other cars with 4-season tires. The AWD system has nothing to do with stopping distance.

Ditto for traction, if you are cruising on highway and make sudden move, the 4-season tires may not be able to keep you straight, in this case SNOW tires are much better.

Even with SNOW tires, you still have to be careful.

So, when driving with any AWD car with 4-season tires, slow down and when braking, plan ahead!
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Couple thoughts on any AWD system...

1. The E53 xDrive...I agree it is one of the best AWD systems out there, great on snow etc.
A better system than my 2005 Volvo XC90 2.5T AWD car.
The Volvo AWD system is not as good as the BMW xDrive.

Youtube has some videos on BMW xDrive to show how it works...
Worth watching.


2. Getting out of snow/mud: sure the four-season tires (which I have right now) are OK to help get you OUT of the snow/mud. Of course SNOW tires are better. But once on the road, it is another story.


3. Here is the point where people get into trouble...Once you are on the road, whether you slide or you brake, ONLY the rubber material matters, in this case SNOW tires are the winner.

To summarize it, if you have light snow 1-3" etc., the four-season tires + xDrive are fine to get you out of snow/mud but when you brake, think ahead, you need the same distance as other cars with 4-season tires. The AWD system has nothing to do with stopping distance.

Ditto for traction, if you are cruising on highway and make sudden move, the 4-season tires may not be able to keep you straight, in this case SNOW tires are much better.

Even with SNOW tires, you still have to be careful.

So, when driving with any AWD car with 4-season tires, slow down and when braking, plan ahead!
Yep, and conversely, winter tires in summer are just as bad. The special rubber compound soften with detrimental results in safety.
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