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Experience with M3s in the Snow

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by nswartz1, Oct 14, 2009.

    nswartz1 guest

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    I am considering buying a 2005-2006 e46 M3 to use as a daily driver and sometimes DE car. I intend to drive it all year long too. Here is the catch, I live in Boston. With snow tires on, are these decent snow cars? I'm not sure how high the ground clearance is, but thought it may be an issue.

    I would love to hear from people that actualy drive their M3s in the snow.


    • Member


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    I don't have experience w/ E46 M3's, but having driven a 2wd E21, E30, and E34 through 28 years of Ohio winters, I would guess that, generally, it would do ok, with 4 quality snow tires. I presume all M3's came w/ a limited-slip differential; without that you'd be kinda sunk, electronic traction controls can only do so much. I would guess the big problem would be ground clearance. I would guess M3 front fascias make lousy snowplows, so if your typical snow accumulations exceed the M3's ground clearance, you might have a problem.
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    TeamStowell We love driving!

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    Throw some winter tires on it and enjoy it!! We have run our E36 M3/4 through the worst of Upstate NY winters, and unless you try to navigate through a foot of snow at high speeds you should have no worries.

    nswartz1 guest

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    Many thanks guys!!!

    mose121 guest

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    4 good snow tires on 17 in. e46 330 non staggerd sport package wheels are your best bet. You're not going anywhere without snow tires. I drove a track prepped 95 m3 through two winters with about 2 in. of ground clearence with Conti TS790S's and the car was a tank. I had to go up a giant hill either way I went out of my driveway and never had any issues even when I was plowing through 6 inches of snow. You will need to learn when to disengauge the throttle reduction mode with DSC. Otherwise you will get stuck going up a hill b/c you won't have the power if dsc keeps closing the throttle to gain traction. One press of the DSC button will only deactivate the throttle reduction, otherwise DSC will still function normally.

    biomimetic guest

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    Plus you've got a real diff to prevent massive tire spin.
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    this'll be my first winters with my M3 as well. I've had my winters for about 3 weeks now (already dropping in to 30-40's here in Chicago when I drive) and, although I miss the summers, I'm glad I got them. My old e46 325i was a champ with the winters, so I'm looking forward to it.

    pauldhill guest

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    I totally agree with Mose121. I have a 2001 E46 M3 that I have had since new, and use it as a daily driver in all types of weather (these cars are made for driving, after all). The first winter that I had it, I got 4 17" M Contour replica rims and a set of Blizzaks. Upon the first decent snowfall, I took a route through my very hilly neighborhood with the M and then followed that with the same route in the wife's VW Passat wagon with all season radials. Despite the Passat being front wheel drive, the M with snow tires was significantly more stable and definitely safer. It makes alllllll the difference.

    fasteddie03M3 guest

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    I know its hard to say goodbye to your M but put it up for the winter. especially if there is salt involved. i hate not driving my M but i picked up a pretty descent 2000 jeep grand cherokee for $4k to get me through the winter and im just going to sell it in the spring for close to what i paid for it. I drove mine in the snow for a few days last year with oem continentals (alost new) and was sliding too much. i suppose winter tires would make a difference but the M is too fancy to be driven in the winter IMO.

    Koinonos1 guest

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    M3 drives just fine in the snow with the right tires

    In the winter buy some 18" OEM rims (cheap) and put some 195-215 Blizzaks on them (studded even) and they are absolute tanks and will climb up trees if you want them to!

    I live in the Pacific Northwest and am a frequent driver of our Mtn passes like Snoqualmie and Hood which frequently avalanche (read trecherous driving) and with Blizzaks my car an easily and safely drive at the posted speed limit even on slippery roads.

    It's all about the tire and being a good snow driver (engine breaking, knowing when to keep one tire in the snow if the entire road is a sheet of ice), etc. I grew up in Alaska so driving in snow is secondary nature for me.

    The car will do great with the right tires. Just keep the tire width to 225 or less to maximize weight to surface area. Did I mention Blizzaks?! <big grin>

    E34M5Calypso guest

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    M3 with snowboots

    I have an 03 E46 M3 with 25K miles, and live in northern CO. She has been put away for winters until this year when I put a set of Blizzak LM25s on the OEM 18s (see photo). The car has been an absolute joy all winter. The go factor is phenomanal, the stop factor and the turning can be exciting if you are not careful. I would worry more about the other cars out that that may not have the technology or the tires; the E46 M3 is a very capable with winter tires. Don't try summer tires as they basically turn into ice skates at 35 degrees or below.
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    I've been using my 2002 E46 M3 as a DD for 3 years now. You WILL need snow tires. I use a second set of 18 inch OEM wheels with Blizzak's LM25's. They are great. Go slow in the NE area since the roads are not good with the frost heaves.

    Good luck!

    nswartz1 guest

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    Just a quick follow up for those that read this thread in the future. I put a set of Blizzacks on a spare set of 18" stock e46 M3 Wheels and have been driving that car (2002 M3) daily in the worst Boston winter we had in years.
    Absolutely no issue at all. Since our roads are very well plowed, clearance was never really an issue for me, but I can see that it could be if you live in areas that are slow to plow.

    It's all about tires!!!

    Thanks for the advice guys!
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Snow. . . snow. . .

    Snow. . . I think I've heard of it. . . .

    Isn't that the frozen white stuff that falls out of the sky where you guys live. . .



    [Note: Two weeks till the SECOND autocross of the season. . . :p:p:p]
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    You are cruel, very very cruel!! :(:( :p
    • Member


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    I have been driving e46 M3 in Chicago for last 6 years with snow tires. No issues at all with a good set of snow tires. I do run 18" factory rims.

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