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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351

    This may have been covered in one of the posts I didn't read...I also have an iPod and a 325i. I've found a few solutions, but have yet to try them.

    Check out: - &s=0&g=42300&id=detailed_info&i=541BMWPILA

  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    A week and a day has gone by since the Columbia disaster. Mission specialist Laurel Clark was one of the seven lives lost that day, she was also a good friend of my wife's.

    We viewed the final launch of Columbia and followed the mission daily through NASA websites. I was very excited about one day meeting Laurel and hearing tales of her grand adventure, but that day will never come. For the last week, I've been desperately trying to "meet" this wonderful woman through news reports and emails from friends of hers.

    Last night, several med school friends of Laurel and my wife met. We viewed a tape of a private memorial held in Houston, we told stories, we laughed and we cried.

    I truly feel that I don't know of anyone that has affected so many people in such a positive manner. One friend called Laurel nine days before the launch of STS-107. Her concern was not about the mission, but finishing a science project for her son Iain before they left for Florida!

    In the end, I got my wish of "meeting" Laurel Clark through the people that knew her best. She, as are everyone in the NASA astronaut program, is a truly remarkable person. I am very fortunate to have shared in the last few weeks of her life.

    Thanks for listening

    p.s. Laurel's husband begged at the memorial service that we continue to promote science and technology in our society. These seven incredible people dedicated the last few years of their lives to help improve life for all of us. Please, please do what you can to keep their work and dreams alive.
  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    This is for brave1heart, riez, and shapiro.

    I live in Conneticut and was fortunate to have Friday off. I just received my 330i on Wednesday of last week with Dunlap Graspic ds-1 snow tires mounted. My performance tires are now stacked in the garage. I am not going to be as fortunate tomorrow when depending on who you listen to we are going to get about 4 inches of snow. I have been driving in the snow my whole life but not since high school in an '84 Monte Carlo have I faced it in rwd. It looks like the morning will be O.K. but the ride home an adventure.

    My question is would you recommend putting weight in the trunk?
    Or in your opinion, is it not needed?

    This is for nkeen.

    I owned a 2001 GTI VR6 before getting my bimmer. My pocket rocket was well crafted, and fun. However, the driving dynamics are not close! The VW was not balanced well, rattled, was unreliable and suffered from so much torque steer it absolutely jittered when pushed. The engine was literally too big for the size of the car and fwd! My wife did not feel comfortable driving it not to mention was not high on the rocket hatch looks. The 330i is civil enough for her to drive and enjoy and the purity of the behing the wheel experience is sublime! I agree ironically that for the difference in price, the VW Jetta GLI 6-speed, was my 2nd choice and if I were buying probably the way I would have gone. But for lease value the BMW is more affordable than people think and overall in a completely different galaxy than the VW. Features are not the BMW strong suit, the driving experience is!
  • with the snow tires on. Tires make so much of a difference when speaking about a cars performance in the snow.

    To give an ex. I had a Mercedes clk430 which I just handed in. The vehicle was equipped with 17' michelon pilots 225/45 front 245/40 rear (like the bmw sport) My wife was caught in a snow storm (about 6 inches of snow nothing too bad) coming home from work. She got stuck on 3 different occasions in what is normally a 45 minute drive home. The 3rd time she was stuck was close to home. One of our neighbors who has a BMW X5 saw her fish tailing all over the place and offered to switch vehicles. Later that night I heard for about 2 hrs how the BMW glided through the snow like it wasn't there and how much of a lemon my clk430 was. It is not a lemon but if you were stuck on 3 different occasions coming home you might say the same thing. Needless to say that she now drives an AUDI A6 w/4 wheel drive and all season tires. The clk w/those tires in the snow is not bad, it is horrible, you can't drive it with as little as 1 inch of snow on the ground. Why..... tires,tires,tires
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Don't sweat it; with the winter tires that you have mounted, you will be amazed at how stable you car is, sans a weighted trunk. After all, why would you want to mess up the perfect balance your car already has? Now, your 1984 Monte Carlo was another matter; less than optimal weight distribution, no traction control and tires that have NO WHERE NEAR the grip of your current winter tires. The fact of the matter is, with only a 4” snow fall, you will only have to deal with a couple of inches of slush and stuff, at worst, and at best, some well plowed roads with just a little new accumulation on them. Trust me, after you get home tomorrow, you will be singing the praises of you 330i and its tires. ;-)

    Last Friday, we got nailed here in the Boston area, and on the route that my wife drove home from work, she encountered several local surface streets that had yet to be plowed. Her comment was, “Your BMW was so easy to drive that I couldn’t even tell that there was snow on the roads”, this from a girl who grew up in California, and never even drove on snow until she was 36.
    Best Regards,
  • That video was great.

    Truthful too. They were taking it pretty easy on the car IMO. The M3 loves to be driven sideways.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    nkeen... A huge reason BMW keeps speed limiter down (mph-wise) in many USA-models is LEGAL LIABILITY. American legal system is too pro-plaintiff. European systems discourage class action suits, often limit junk science & pro-plaintiff "expert" (i.e., paid for by the plaintiff) testimony, usually force loser to pay (so that alone is a huge disincentive to frivolous suits), often limit non-economic damages, sometimes don't have juries at all or don't let trial lawyers cherry-pick venue (which court to sue in) and individual jury members (by removing those jurors they think won't see the case their way, which tends to remove above average free thinking intelligent people from most product liability jury pools). US system not only adds billions in costs to consumers but often has adverse impact on the products we can buy.

    Check out a decent legal reference looking for BMW cases. You should be able to find the infamous mid-1990s case involving the paint job. US Supreme court did modify the damages but BMW still ended up with huge legal bills and costs all because one guy didn't like the paint job. He found a less-than fully bright jury (nothin' new in USA) and milked the system. We ended up paying for it.

    djocks... shipo is absolutely correct. You have to keep in mind that most BMWs have near 50/50 weight distribution. Throwing weight in the trunk will add a rear bias. I don't think adding a small amount of weight will upset the balance (and will slightly improve traction), but I would not recommend adding much. I haven't added any for my wife's 323ia. Keys to winter driving are good winter tires and good driver skills. One without the other won't cut it. So drive carefully, even if you have winter tires.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    'Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?'

    - Robert Browing
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Yes, an A4 Quattro with snow tires will be much better in every respect except for braking.

    An A4 Quattro with good all-season tires like the Dunlop SP5000 would have done much better too. On the other hand, there are much better snow tires than the light-duty Dunlop M2s that I've been using. Unfortunately, they would be limited to 99 mph.

    No weight in the trunk!! While it may improve traction a bit, it will make the car tail-happy and a lot more likely to spin 180 degrees while cornering.
  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    Thanks for the tips. I am going to go at w/o bothering with weight in the trunk. I got the sport package but the funds were dry when considering different wheels. So I have the stock gorgeous sport wheels with the snows on them. You have to remember I am more concerned with keeping the car in great shape right now than my own health so to say I am going to take it easy would be an understatement.

    by the way, shipo why you gotta pounce on the old monte? J/K... :) I had some great days in old girl. Those were the days!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hey man, I also had some great times in my 1969 Plymouth Sport Suburban Station Wagon, complete with the fake wood grain sides and LOTS of rust. Of course there was always the 9' of flat floor space with the second AND third rows of the seats folded flat... ;-) That said, if I had to choose between "Old Bessie" and my 530i, I am afraid that Bessie would lose. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • For a 325i with sports package, i.e. with 17" 225/45 tires, can I swap these tires out for Sumitomo HTR+ tires (same rating but all-season), and run them all year long. I live in the Philadelphia suburbs where we usually get light snow a few days in winter . I read 2 reviews at & these tires came out looking really good!! Also, how does the 325i perform under wet conditions. Most reviews test under DRY conditions!!

    Also, how does the handling of the 325i with the 17" tires hold up in wet conditions? All the reviews usually consider driving in dry conditions!
  • efxxefxx Posts: 24
    I finally got to drive my 325ia in some real snow last Friday and I was impressed. I have the stock 16" all season tires. I drove out of an unplowed parking lot w/ approximately 7 inches of snow w/ no problem. The DSC light indicator on the dash blinked a few times indicating the system was doing its thing. The ABS/DSC can certainly be felt though when intentionally trying to execute a power slide ;) Fortunately we got the powdered stuff because I think if the snow had more water content then the undercarriage would've gotten a beaten on some of the side roads due to the car's low clearance.

    I was initially concerned about getting a 325i because I drove a 2000 525i (rental) in the snow and it wasn't fairing too well. I don't recall what kind of tires the 525i had which could in part explain its poor behavior on the snow, let alone its rwd setup.
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    For djocks and riez:

    I am/(was?) looking for a replacement for the GTi due to reliability concerns (replaced 2nd gear syncro followed by complete transmission, more recently an ignition coil failure -- you might have read about this problem) and drove several cars -- 325i, Saab 9-3, Caddy CTS, Suburu WRX, Jag X-type, Honda Accord, and, yes, a Chevy Impala. The 325i is a great car, but wish it had more headroom -- I'm 6'1" but have a long torso and found that my head tended to hit the grab handle above the driver's door as I leaned left. The 9-3 is good -- not as involving as the Bimmer, but I have concerns about the long term viability of the division given its losses. The X-type: my head was on the roof -- no sunroof and they could move the side glass out 2 inches without widening the car. The Accord, competent and immaculately executed left me uninvolved and unmoved. The Impala is very roomy with a great torquey OHV engine, the best auto trans you can buy, and decent handling -- great value in it's American Gothic way, immensely strong, and without doubt under-rated.

    I don't agree that the 325i is in a different league from the VW --- at least not in terms of driver involvement and overall quality of execution. The quality of the interiors is similar, and, oh to get decent cloth seats! VW has the better stereo. For certain, the VW, with it's vertical side glass, feels much roomier in front. And yes, it rattles. I think that perhaps the 1.8T is a better match than the VR6, though -- and I love that quiet whoosh from the blower as the torque piles in. There is a lot to be said for fwd -- remember those Minis in the 60's that won the Monte, leaving everything else behind? I have had the GTi to 110 on the interstate -- rock solid and in its element and with plenty more to come, which I would expect from the BMW also. And it plows through the snow without complaint on its standard tires, and is easy to catch in a slide.

    But the bottom line: the BMW was not more satisfying than the Volks, and a little slower also. The VW is slightly rabid but (unlike the Scooby WRX) refined, and chuckable. I'm still considering, but as you can tell, despite its misbehavior, its an emotional thing with the VW.
  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    I liked my red-rocket (GTI) also! My wife did not care for the exterior styling but then again it is my car for work! And there was no questioning the pop the car possessed!.

    I am 6 feet and find the 330i very comfortable. I know I sound like a broken record but the sport seats are out of this world. If you are going to mourn the loss of the GTI then roll with it longer. They have a cult following and I sold mine at asking price privately 2 weeks after running the add. You can always sell it! After I sold my GTI I was driving a '92 Audi 100cs. I must say I missed my GTI everyday until recently when I finally got my BMW.

    The GTI still has a special place in my heart, but after driving my 330i (now in snow with absolutely no problems, thanks shapiro/brave1heart/riez) I believe all the hype. I have never driven anything like the 330i!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Glad you're enjoying your car. It pays to say it again - while it might be worthwhile to ask opinions, there is no substitute for doing your homework. Making sure you got the right car, for the right price, at the right dealer.

    You did yours and ended up with your dream car. Keeps us posted.

    PS. Mine with the conti tires is awful in deep snow. I said this year gonna ride it out, next year snows.
  • abcnycabcnyc Posts: 101
    I concur with everyone's assessment that the winter tires will do fine in the snow. I have a 330i SP with winter tires and have no problems - even with 5-6". I would also recommend not adding weight. I don't think it will be that beneficial for traction purposes and it will definitely impact your braking distance.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I am partial to VWs too. I had a '90 Jetta for ~ 3 years and then a '97 Jetta VR6 for 4 years before I got my '01 325i. VW is a lot of fun and these days also refinement for the money but in terms of driving dynamics, looks, resale value and just about anything else, it can't touch the 3-series. I took a beating on my VR6 when I sold it, although I'll admit that putting on 96K miles in 4 years doesn't help resale value :o) The VR6 was lighter than the 325 and it is marginally faster 0-60 (C&D gave it a 1/10 sec advantage - 6.9 vs. 7.0) but the 325 will be slightly faster 0-100 and simply walk away above 110. My cousin has a '02 1.8T with 180 HP, which is heavier than my old VR6 but it also has a few more ponies. According to C&D, the 325 was 0.2 sec faster 0-100 and again, above 110, you just walk away. The ECIS CAI in my 325 is good for at least 1-2 tenths, and the few times that I had a GTI try to keep up with me, they only stayed close to ~ 70 and then the 325 slowly pulls away. When you say you have a GTI, that's the Golf, right? The Golf will be slightly faster than the Jetta of course but comparing the Golf to the 3-series is like comparing apples to oranges. Aside from their similar acceleration numbers, they are entirely different cars. I loved driving my VR6 but the driving dynamics, handling, braking, ergonomics, and comfort cannot be compared to the 3-series'.
  • I have a 330I with sp and have a winter tire set- up from Tire Rack- Blizzack LM22's on 16 in. wheels. Absolutely no problem in the snow here in the Northeast. It handles as well as my wife's ML320. You just have to drive sensibly in the white stuff. Look at how many SUV's you see in accidents They think it makes them invincible and drive like maniacs when it snows.

    IMO when a car tires to do everything well ie: drive sporty, luxuruiosly, goes through snow etc. it winds up doing nothing truly great. It can't be all things to all people because it then winds up being nothing to anyone, if that makes any sense. (See Lexus, boring cars) IMO the 3er is a great Sports Car which does other things competently. That's why I love it. I wanted a sports car.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    nkeen... I loved my old mid-1980s Jetta. Think she was an '85. But from a driving dynamics standpoint, there just isn't any comparison between FWD and RWD. A near 50/50 RWD platform like the 3 Series is so much more rewarding to drive. I'm 6'2" and have no trouble with the headroom in my wife's '00 323ia. Have you put the seat all the way down? Test drive, test drive, test drive. Do a ton of reasearch. Get what you can afford that brings a smile to your face. If driving isn't fun...
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