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Old 12-11-2008, 05:35 PM
 
13 posts, read 33,391 times
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Hi all,

I need some help . I am moving to the greater DC area from Florida and I am driving a 530i 2006 which is a rear wheel drive car, with the 18'' wheels ... am I in touble?

I found out that Maryland bans studded tires but that VA and MD allow them. Not sure I want to do that anyway because of the damage to the roads.

What about regular snow tires? Will they work? I heard DC is very hilly.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Even type of tire if that is an option. Would love to hear from a BMW owner.

Thanks in advance,
- Kaier
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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Your biggest problem is not going to be your driving ability on the (very few) days of snow, but the lack of ability of others who will swerve and fly and spin and whatnot. You are probably more likely to be hit by someone else than to hit someone so long as you drive SLOWER on slick conditions and exercise additional caution.

But the best recommendation is to take METRO on days when it snows and avoid the whole chaos that is unfolding.

(really, it doesn't snow that much here)
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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True. Snow tires are usually a wasted effort themselves. If you get like three bags of construction sand and put them in the trunk, you'll have a little extra traction out of the rear wheels, and if you do have problems, just open one of them and throw some sand under the tires. DC is hilly compared to Florida, and there are a few places where you've got serious inclines, but mostly it's slopes, not really hills. That can be more than enough for some folks around here, though. You can see some pretty weird things. Most of the just plain snow problems are going to be on the back roads and side streets and not that big a deal. The actual worst thing that can happen is ice. We get ice storms every now and then, and also days when snow on the roads will melt a bit during the day, then freeze up hard at night. There is just about nothing you can do with ice. But the serious stuff is maybe once in five years or something. Most of the time, whatever snow or wintry mix or whatever we get is just not that big a problem...
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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that's kind of cute - snow tires in the Mid-Atlantic.

Just move close to the Metro and use that.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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I used to drive an 03 BMW 530 (e39) and as long as you have Dynamic Stability Control enabled it does fine in the snow. But on the newer BMW's DSC is called something else - maybe it's now just simply called traction control.

I've never heard of anyone putting snow tires on in the DC area. It does snow here, but the so many years that I've been here it hasn't snowed much. No snow yet, and places like Houston and New Orleans, it already snowed. Of course that's a very rare occurence in Houston and New Orleans.
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:20 AM
 
13 posts, read 33,391 times
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Thanks everyone! Feeling a little better now

Yes it does have Traction Control. I wonder if I am talking to the wrong people then(?). I will move in with my sister first until I find a place and maybe is because of the area where she lives(?)... She lives right on the border between Maryland and DC in an area called Chevy Chase and she made it sound like I am headed for trouble. Thanks for all the suggestions... if you have any more please share them.

Maybe I will get the snow tires anyway just in case and from the sound of your posts it sounds like I will be perfectly fine.

Thanks,
- K
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:17 AM
 
367 posts, read 1,237,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khindman View Post
Thanks everyone! Feeling a little better now

Yes it does have Traction Control. I wonder if I am talking to the wrong people then(?). I will move in with my sister first until I find a place and maybe is because of the area where she lives(?)... She lives right on the border between Maryland and DC in an area called Chevy Chase and she made it sound like I am headed for trouble. Thanks for all the suggestions... if you have any more please share them.

Maybe I will get the snow tires anyway just in case and from the sound of your posts it sounds like I will be perfectly fine.

Thanks,
- K
It's up to you, but you will be wasting money getting snow tires.

Reference the 18-inch wheels - you'll be fine with 18s. I do know of some people with 19s on their BMW that on occasion bend the wheel due to pot holes.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:35 AM
 
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Your sister probably has a very distorted view based on her (assumed) upbringing in Florida. Based on what you've posted, it seems a slight dusting might send her into a tizzy.

Chevy Chase is a little inner ring urban suburb right on the edge of the District itself. DC gets maybe 2-3 decent snow storms a year and plows / salt trucks clear the roads quickly in that area.

Do what you want, but you will be the only one with snow tires and cut your fuel efficiency down for no reason.

Good luck in your move. I hope it goes well!
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:23 AM
 
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I really feel you will be fine, but I do *strongly* recommend the first snow day you don't drive but instead take a bus or something and watch how others drive. Learn what not to do by watching the idiots.

You might also, that first night, take your car out to an empty parking lot and do some spin/slide practice. Drive a bit then slam on the brakes so you can learn to recognize sliding and procedures for pulling out of a skid.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:18 AM
 
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^
That's a really good point. I've lived in truly winter environments as well as DC, and fishtailing becomes part of your everyday life in winter. If your backend is sliding left, turn your wheel left. Turn into the skid. You find yourself doing it for fun soon enough.
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