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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    About 10 days ago, I was happy and warm. I live in Connecticut and golf courses were opening across the state.

    I decided to put my summer performance tires on my 330i that came with the sport package. They feel really great.

    The problem is, it sounds like this Monday we are going to get at least 6 inches on snow. I have to go to work in the morning. I am assuming I will be driving back in the snow, about a 30 minute commute.

    Does anyone have any recommendations (Weight in trunk etc....) to help me best get through he storm on these tires?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    djocks - How 'bout renting a SUV? :) Seriously, I'm not sure there is any compsentation for sport tires and 6 inches of snow.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    That's 6" total precipitation. The actual amount of snow on the ground probably won't be more than an inch and major roads will be cleared. Don't put any weight in the trunk - you don't want your back end coming out unexpectedly in a corner. Keep an extra distance between you and the car in front and be very smooth with the inputs.
  • cnorthrupcnorthrup Posts: 74
    I found this link interesting:

    The part number in this article matched my '02 330i, step, replacement pedal.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152

    Thanks, the leg/foot is healing well, last Thursday my Orthopedic Sturgeon [sic] said that the bone is fully healed (after 12 weeks), but the foot and ankle are going to take quite some time yet due to the dislocation. :-( He also told me that I should expect swelling of my leg and ankle for as much as another year. My Physical Therapist (who has suffered 8 (yes, EIGHT) broken ankles of his own says that I will finish P/T in three more weeks, so hopefully I can start working out on my Nordic Track, and then get back to running in the next two to three months.


    Nope, I still have the Arctic-Alpins on my 530i, however, I left it in the garage this weekend and we drove the Green Monster back to Woodcliff Lake, NJ for a party to celebrate the Mikveh/Naming Ceremony of the newly adopted Chinese daughter of a very close friend. That said, we are expecting another 2-4 inches tomorrow night, so I will need the “Snows” for another couple of days. Mrs. Shipo and I are flying to Paris on Wednesday and with any luck, I will be able to put the summer tires back on when we get home. ;-)


    Don’t sweat it, the roads should be fairly well cleared and well traveled. Take it real easy and you should be fine, and echoing what Brave1Heart said, I wouldn’t put any weight in the trunk, which would just mess up the 50/50 weight distribution in your car.

    Best Regards,
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,331
    If you live in Connecticut and commute into the city, then just bear it on MetroNorth for the day. If you don't work in the city, then just keep your distance. The snow isn't supposed to start in the city until 10AM, so your drive to work should be fine. The temperature is supposed to hover around the 32-34 degree mark, so the roads will be just slushy and wet.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I think you do more in a month than I have in the past 10
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Well, the last 15 months have been kind of crazy; I am normally very sedentary and boring. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • mxpro738mxpro738 Posts: 59

    To clarify for you, I experienced a significant difference in engine performance between the 330Ci/Sport/Manual and the 325xi/Auto.

    That said, I did not know if much of that was due to 2WD/Manual vs AWD/Auto variables.

    I was looking for a direct comparison: 330i/sport/manual vs 325i/sport/manual (and I've received some good feeback here).


  • efxxefxx Posts: 24
    '02 325i/step - I really pushed the corners hard this weekend on a stretch of some winding road and simply could not believe how well this thing handled and stuck to the road. It was unreal, like defying the law of physics. This thing really sticks and that was with the stock all season 16" tires. No squeals.

    I can only imagine what it'd be like driving that road in an M3.

    That new 330i performance package looks great. The basic red does not look right on the 3 sedan but some how on the bmw magazine the "imola red" looks great. I really have to see it in person.

    I wonder why bmw didn't go with an M3 sedan.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    I attended AutoX school last weekend and I can honestly say that it was the most fun I've ever had with a car. I've come to realize that while street driving, I was probably utilizing 10%-20% of my car's capabilities.

    Below are some tips for anyone thinking of trying this experience. These are not necessarily driving tips, but first-timer advice that I wish I had considered.

    1. Empty everything out of your car before you leave for the track. While many people bring a large trash bag or plastic container, it was very windy (things were getting loose) and someone stole one of the fasteners to my winter floor mat (a $1.25 part, but it taught me a lesson).

    2. Disable the traction control and DSC before the event and get accustomed to how the car performs without these features. I almost wet my pants when I made my first high-speed turn without these features activated. It took probably 3 runs to get used to the new feel.

    3. Practice shuffle steering beforehand. This was the hardest thing to get used to, and I could have probably done better if I had worked on it during the days preceding the event.

    I now appreciate that my all-season tires will quickly become toast if I continue this endeavor through the summer. While my E46 330i came with non-SP 17" rims (205/50), I'm thinking of getting some 18" rims with appropriate rubber if someone can explain to me that this is a better setup (are 19" rims better?).

    Colin, can you recommend an appropriate combo? I'm thinking that I'll get separate wheels/tires and change these out for AutoX events.


  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,331
    I'm glad you enjoyed your 1st autocross even so much. If you upgrade your wheels to 18s or 19s, all you will be doing is adding unsprung weight. Your best bet is to stick with another set of 17s (or downgrade to 16s if you become a real nut). You'll be amazed at how simply stickier rubber (Z rated as opposed to your H rated All seasons) will improve your car's handling.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    <<< wonder why bmw didn't go with an M3 sedan>>>

    Because they'd be cannibalizing M5 sales.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    I have a set of 16" rims on which the snows are mounted. Should I instead consider switching these rims between the snows and some Z's?
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    The S-03s are much sticker than the OEM tires. On the down side, they also follow the road more as well.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Check out, and price out 17", 18" & 19" tires. You'll notice quite a price difference between those sizes.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    hgeyer, how wide are the 16" wheels you have your snow tires mounted on?

    if they're at least 7" wide then yes your best bet might be something like a 225/50-16. tons of tire choices, low prices. I'd go with something with large tread blocks like a Kumho Ecsta MX (bang for the buck) or BFG KD (price less of a concern).

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I am not sure what you are asking, so I will answer your question two ways:

    What is the "Sport Package?"

    Assuming you are asking about a 4-door sedan, that is really four different questions, and four different answers.

    325i: Includes a "Sport Calibrated" suspension (higher spring rates, slightly lower ride (about .5") and stiffer roll bars (I think)), 17x8.0 Star Spoke (Style Type 96) alloy wheels with 225/45R-17 Performance tires, the wonderful Three-Spoke Leather-Wrapped sport steering wheel with audio, phone and cruise controls, 12 way (8 way power) adjustable front sport seats and 3-Position drivers memory for seat position and exterior mirrors.

    325xi: Includes 17x7.0 Radial Spoke (Style Type 73) alloy wheels with 205/50R-17 All-Season tires, the wonderful Three-Spoke Leather-Wrapped sport steering wheel, 12 way (8 way power) adjustable front sport seats and 3-Position drivers memory for seat position and exterior mirrors.

    330i: Includes 17x7.5 front and 17x8.5 rear "M" Double Spoke (Style Type 68M) alloy wheels with 225/45ZR-17 front and 245/40ZR-17 rear Performance tires, the wonderful Three-Spoke Leather-Wrapped sport steering wheel with audio, phone and cruise controls, 8 way power adjustable front sport seats, 3-Position drivers memory for seat position and exterior mirrors and the "Aerodynamic Package".

    330xi: Includes 17x7.0 Double Spoke (Style Type 98) alloy wheels with 205/50R-17 Run-Flat All-Season tires and a tire pressure monitoring system, the wonderful Three-Spoke Leather-Wrapped sport steering wheel with audio, phone and cruise controls, 8 way power adjustable front sport seats, 3-Position drivers memory for seat position and exterior mirrors and the "Aerodynamic Package".

    What is the "Sport Suspension?"

    This suspension is available as an option on the 325i (Sport Package), and standard equipment on the 330i. It includes higher rate springs, slightly lower ride (about .5") and stiffer roll bars (I think).

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
  • katkisonkatkison Posts: 40
    Hey, leenelsonmd, do you mind if I use you as a referral to BMW North (you did by your M3 there, right?)? Someone stop me - I am going to look at 330i convertibles. I originally wanted one, but ended up getting a 330i sedan as a "cost-saving" measure. Now, those desires for a convertible are stirring again. I gave Advantage downtown first chance, but their Internet sales person has not answered my e-mail and it has been almost a week. The Internet sales person at BMW North answered my e-mail in about 5 minutes and I already have an appointment set up to talk to them. The person at BMW North has already been very nice and helpful.

    BTW, to anyone looking, they have about a dozen 3 series convertibles in stock right now. I had never come across a dealership that had more than maybe one in stock. BMW North also lets you search their new car inventory online, which is quite nice, and the only dealership in town to do that.

  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    With the whole DSC off and on issue. At the BMWCCA Car Control Clinic in Houston, it was suggested that you do runs with both the DSC off and on. Try DSC off (remember that the DSC is two stage, so the brake light and warning signal should be lit.) If you plan to make auto-X a hobby, then you might want to drive with the DSC off the entire time. As far as car control, you must turn it off. It is amazing what the DSC will do on a skidpad.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208

    You can mention my name up there. I do not think it will help. I am on good terms with them and continue to be very happy with their customer service--despite this, they probably do not even know who I am. I have no doubt that if you are going to buy a BMW in Houston then BMW North is the only way to go.

    A hint: Use the Hardy Toll road to get out there (I assume you have an EZ tag) and just exit 1960 and go west. I45 is only about a mile from the Toll road at 1960 and this seems to be the fastest way out there and also the best way to avoid rocks and pebbles from the crazy traffic on I45 north.

    If you are willing to go out of town to purchase then I again rec Garlyn Shelton in Temple. I have a friend who is friends with the owner or sales manager (I am not sure) and this may help, but at Garlyn Shelton they give such a good deal on BMWs that it may not matter to have a personal reference.

    The disadvantage of buying out of town is that you will not get the free loaner service, but I think this is the only measurable downside -- except of course driving there to make the purchase.

    If BMW North has a dozen convertibles then they may be willing to cut you some more slack, but my sources tell me that the best you will do is about $500 off sticker.

    BTW: Do you have a sunroof in your current bimmer? I have a coupe with a sunroof and I have not had the desire for a convertible -- it seems that with both of the large windows down and with the sunroof open I get all the sun and air that I want. If you want a test drive then drop me a line.

    email me if you have some other questions:
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    I turn it off as a matter of routine when the roads are dry. I like kicking out the back end every chance I get.

    In the rain, however, I leave it on as a safety net in case I get too crazy.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    that's probably not a bad move, as I've had some puckering moments in the rain... facing guardrail, yawed 30 degrees to the road.

    no DSC, no problem
  • cecilt1cecilt1 Posts: 74
    This may sound odd. I would like for anyone to report if they hear this sound. My '00 323i made this noise and the dealer replaced the guage cluster and it went away for about 40k miles. My '01 330i makes the same sound.

    Next time you get in your car, turn radio off and have windows up and sunroof closed. FRom a deadstop, accelerate slowly. As the needle on the mpg guage(bottom of tachometer)moves from the 50 mpg reading to 0 do you hear a little "swish" sound. It does not make the "swish" sound as you row through the gears but just that initial off the line start. I know I'm picky but curious. Dealer said it is an approved warranty repair but I really don't want to waste their time or money if it is a "normal" sound that everyone else has but ignores it or never paid any attention to it until now that I bring it up. Thanks
  • mxpro738mxpro738 Posts: 59
    The sport suspension lowers the car by about 1/2", reduces lean/sway in corners and causes the car to follow the undulations of the road more tightly. The objective here is more tight, nimble and predictable handling.

    Of course, there has to be down side. The ride is less plush over rough roads and you feel "tossed around" a little more inside of the vehicle as you travel a road which has more undulations. Bottom line is that you are less insulated from the road and its imperfections

    I hope this helps a little.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The mpg gauge does not seem to be electronic as on some vehicles that have instant mpg. My guess is that the guage is vacuum or air driven and that is the noise you are hearing. This is an educated guess on my part. But I have never heard that noise above the sweet sound the engine makes.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    <<< ... I have not had the desire for a convertible -- it seems that with both of the large windows down and with the sunroof open I get all the sun and air that I want.>>> That's exactly how I feel too. If I wanted a convertible, I'd get a roadster.
  • widriver2widriver2 Posts: 36

    Help. I'm getting my summer tires put on tomorrow and I'm trying to decide to roate or not on my 2002 325CI. Dunlop SP 2000 (I think it's the SP2000) tires. I've read on the Roadfly BMW message boards that BMW doesn't recommend rotating tires. I haven't read anything in my owner's manual on the topic. The reason I've read they advise againt it is because rotating affects the handling and you'd have to rotate very often to prevent that.
    Do you rotate and if so have you noticed any negative affects? I do use snow tires so I can rotate at least one per year without extra cost. Any thoughts? thanks!
  • katkisonkatkison Posts: 40
    About the referral, actually, they told me that you might get a gift if I purchase, that's why I wanted to use you as a referral.

    Yeah, I have a sunroof. I use it all the time, except it was too chilly this morning. I am not committed to getting the convertible, maybe it is the nice weather this time of the year. We will see. I was actually first thinking about the Z4 (which I do find attractive), but then we were thinking long-term and wanting to have both cars available to carry any children we have. I will do my drive to Austin and back Sunday and see if I really think a convertible would be better. If not, we will just continue to rent convertibles while on vacation and get it out of my system on those weekends.

    Thanks for the hint about the toll road. I love using the toll road, it annoys my fiance that I will use to to drive to the airport even when there is no traffic. I just like driving it better - smooth, less traffic, less rocks, etc.

    Thanks for test drive offer! Oh, BTW, you would be ashamed of my lawn, it looks terrible right now!

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