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BMW 3-Series - AWD or RWD?

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  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,366
    Having driven in 16"-20" of unplowed snow last year, AWD with AS tires were fantastic in acceleration, stopping and turning. I am sure the winter tires would be even better. Actually stopping power is what amazed most me knowing the lesser snow capability of the AS tires. The handling was always there in the wet as well as light snow and slush.

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Uhhh, I don't understand what your saying. I believe that I stated that the All-Season shod AWD car would out accelerate the Winter tire shod RWD car. Aren't you saying the same thing?

    My issue is that AWD does absolutely nothing for stopping (except that the added weight makes stops LONGER), and as such, the winter tire equipped RWD car will always stop shorter than the all-season AWD car. Turning will also tilt the advantage to the properly set-up RWD car as the turning tires will have more bite than the relatively slippery front tires of the AWD car.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Lemme get this straight. You drove in twenty inches of unplowed snow, snow that was very nearly up to the top of the radiator grill? Either that stuff was VERY POWDERY or you went about ten feet before you got stuck. :P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,366
    Very powdery and drifts to 20". There were nothing on the roads but 4WD and the plows at the time. Most roads had at least 8" of packed, rutted snow and the hotel I drove around had at least 16-20" of virgin snow without any icy base.

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ahhh, I see. FWIW, that would have been no problem at all in any RWD BMW with winter tires either. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,366
    No doubt. I am sure that the capability is the same. It's the "training wheels" thing for me and the frugality to stretch the AS RFT's! :)

    Regards,
    OW
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    No I am not talking about acceleration. I am talking about the ability for the car not to get stuck in certain types of deep snow conditions.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Then I submit to you that the RWD car with winter tires would be the overall safer bet to drive in the winter time, hence my ranking it just behind the AWD car with Winter tires.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    That's where we disagree. Hence my ranking AWD with good all-seasons better than RWD with snows.
  • Having learned how to drive in the worst conditions in Montreal (with all due respect, New Hampshire, while getting a lot of snow, is Disneyland when compared to crappy driving conditions in Montreal),

    Check your weather statistics and then check your ego. Montreal averages 215cm of annual snowfall, about 85" for us metric challenged Yankees. Syracuse averages 110", Buffalo over 90". Concord New Hampshire is a rather mild 64", but Mt. Washington is over 250" a year and if you are close to or north of it, you are over 100".

    Montreal doesn't come close to the snowfall those of us who have endured Cornell or the University of Sryacuse have had to put up with (I was a visiting guest professor at both in my younger years, before global warming). I have spent a fair time in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto as well. Nice cities, all of them.

    After conversation with the Service Director of my sales dealership where I bought my 335xi, he could not find a technician who could explain why the 335xi does not get an oil cooler when the 335i does.

    You won't find this posted on BMW's web site, but after looking into the oil cooler issue myself (my nephew has an early build 335i in which the oil cooler was installed after delivery) the reason given to me by a senior BMW manager was that they don't consider the 335ix a model that is likely be tracked (and therefore run at high rpms for extended periods). In his words (paraphrased) BMW did not design the 335ix to be as "serious" of high performance sport sedan as the 335i sedan/coupe. Even equiped with a sport package, the suspension and tires are "detuned" compared to the non-x full sport package.

    And, sure enough, my nephew who has now taken two BMW performance driving school and gone to three different tracks on several occasions on "BMW day" has only met one single 335ix owner compared to dozens of 335i and even 328i owners.

    The good news is that there have been almost no overheating issues with cars that are not tracked, so you shouldn't have any problems in normal driving. If you do plan on going to the track, you might want to consider taking up the dealer on their offer. But you will be pretty lonely, from what I understand.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    Spirit in the sky and head in the clouds,

    None of the cities you mentioned get the kind of harsh weather Montreal gets. Lots of snow, no doubt, but not -20 to -30 for weeks on end, thaws and deep freezes back to back, and packed snow so hard it's like driving on a skating rink. Thank you, I'll stick with the xi and the intelligent DSC and stick to the road in all conditions better than any RWD; starting, stopping and turning. I'm really looking forward to the winter, for a change.

    As for the cooler, and YOUR ego, Dr. spiritinthesky, just because I choose to drive a safe car with a 300 hp engine is no reflection on any desire to run at high RPM. "High RPM" does not necessarily mean 130 MPH on the track - it also means red-line shifting in any gear, anywhere. The fact is that the decision to omit the cooler was not a technical decision but a marketing one. I'm also quite sure that 90% of the 335is out there will NEVER be tracked, just like 90%+ of 4x4 SUVs will never see off-road duty. That being the case, the cooler should have been an after-market option or an extra cost dealer option, or in my case, included on every car equipped with the 335 twin-turbo engine.

    Since I see that the cooler should not hurt the car and can only improve longevity, I see no reason not to avail myself of the opportunity at no cost to me.

    Out of idle curiosity, what do you drive?

    BTW, say hi to your nephew, Mario Earnhardt Johnson Busch Petty Patrick.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,366
    I applaud your nephew and I am sure he is "up to speed" on a much higher level now in terms of handling a car. I am curious as to why he chose xi over 335i.

    Regards,
    OW
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    To both of you - let's skip the argument over who has the worst weather and leave out the personal comments, please.
  • just because I choose to drive a safe car with a 300 hp engine is no reflection on any desire to run at high RPM. "High RPM" does not necessarily mean 130 MPH on the track - it also means red-line shifting in any gear, anywhere.

    Calm down. The oil overheating issue doesn't occur from occassionally, or even frequently, shifting at red line. The documenting instances of overheating were almost exclusively from running the car at high speed and high rpms for long, continuous periods of time. Either on a track or in a severe road test environment (i.e. California desert).

    You asked why the cooler isn't standard in the ix, but is in the sport package equiped i. I relayed what I was told by a senior BMW engineer. I agree it appears to be a marketing decision, based upon the fact that, historically, the "x" AWD package was an even more infrequent visitor to the track, compared to RWD models.

    Out of idle curiosity, what do you drive?

    2003 BMW M5 (46,000 miles on the odometer)
    2007 911 Turbo (9,500 miles on the odometer)
  • I applaud your nephew and I am sure he is "up to speed" on a much higher level now in terms of handling a car. I am curious as to why he chose xi over 335i.

    Sorry if I wasn't clear, but he chose the 335i, not the xi. He went the European Delivery route and the xi wasn't even a choice back then. His car was an early build and they notified him when the car was en route to the US that they would be installing an oil cooler upon arrival.

    But let me use the opportunity to lobby on behalf of the BMW/Porsche/Skip Barber and other professionally instructed performance driving schools. If you can make the time, don't even think for a second about the money. They are worth many times their price in the expereince itself and the future enjoyment you will get out of your car.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    Hi Spirit,

    Nice cars. I've wanted some seat time in the 911 Turbo since I was in short pants. A timeless set of wheels, to be sure.

    I don't run my 335xi at the extreme conditions you describe, nor do I ever intend to, although a high-speed run across the country would be interesting ( I don't think I could afford the speeding tickets). The bottom line question I have, though, is do you think it would nonetheless extend the life of the seals, cylinders, valves, etc, by having the oil cooler in-line? Would it help sustain the resale value of the car? Remember that it will cost me no $$ to have the work done.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks,
    xeye

    cc HOST: I really have to remember to post messages BEFORE Attitude Readjustment Hour.
  • csk2csk2 Posts: 2
    I believe you can get the oil cooler on the xi. You have to get the SP and in addition order the 18 inch wheels.
  • The bottom line question I have, though, is do you think it would nonetheless extend the life of the seals, cylinders, valves, etc, by having the oil cooler in-line? Would it help sustain the resale value of the car?

    "Not really" to both questions - but it's free insurance so, yes, I'd go ahead and get it.

    By the way, one of the best things you can do for your seals, cylinders and gaskets is proper break in. That includes driving the car long enough for the engine oil to reach full operating temperature before shut down. I've seen Shipo, Habitat or one of the other "regulars" posting that recommendation in various forums and it is probably the best free advice I've seen here. So, yes, take the free oil cooler as insurance for overheating; but also avoid short hops during break in that don't give the engine the opportunity to fully "heat up". If the engine parts, seals and gaskets don't fully heat up, expand and contract during break in, they will be more prone to leaks, cracks, etc. down the road.
  • just got thru reading everything. what i learned is what i already thought i new awd on any car is better.being that all rubber being the same in any conditions on any roads.if anyone disagrees please explain where & when is it better.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Well, since you've read everything, I guess that settles it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Too funny... Well folks, I guess the master has spoken. We can now pack up our toys and go on home. :P
  • not trying to be funny just wondering where cause i dont no. where is it better with fwd
  • rear wheel drive
  • ship shiip hey shipaaa! little abbott & costello 4 u were did u & the fbi go
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hey, hey there - I think you're more likely to get some constructive feedback if you can post a bit more coherently. And please skip the name-calling.

    Try writing to us in complete sentences using real words and punctuation - we're not on the other end of a text message ;). Originally you said you knew the answers, but then you asked, um, what? I'm really not sure what it is you want to hear from us.

    How can we help you?
  • oh well lets try this looking to buy a bmw 335 & looking for something to change my mind from buying an xi all wheel drive & pat sorry you never saw abbott & costello meets frankenstein & fbi was intended for fedlawman. from the master & quess not to funny joe.PS hope this is coherent :)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    PS hope this is coherent

    Not enough to get past 5th grade in my daughter's school, but I guess geek speak works well enough for you to be looking at buying a 335i.

    Drive an x and non-x back to back. If you can't tell the difference, you might as well get the x for added foul weather versitility. I can, and wouldn't - preferring the lighter, more nimble RWD handling/feel.
  • but smart enough to get 2 threw colledge! on that note thanks for the advise & thanks for the insult!
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    Hi,

    If anyone can comment on this:

    My 335xi has ~2200 miles. The break-in period was by the book. I don't drive it hard, maybe some occasional spirited shifting, but still below 4500 rpm 90% of the time. The EPA (yeah, right) is 19 to 29. I've had over 30 on the highway, but my city driving (avg speed below 30 mph - my commute is < 5 miles) is now 17.2 mpg. I'd have figured that I'd get at least the minimum EPA mileage.

    Should I be concerned? One of the minor reasons I traded in my 4Runner was the crappy mileage. The Bimmer is obviously a lot more fun to drive, but at 93 octane, it gets pricey.

    Any comments?
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