Seasoned BMW drivers know that winter driving is far different from driving at other times of the year. Cold temperatures cause cars to perform differently, while snow and ice can make it difficult to maintain control on the road. Failing to prepare for winter driving can lead to accidents and a trip to the BMW auto repair shop. These tips will help you make it through the winter without an accident.
Install Snow Tires
Rear-wheel drive vehicles, which most BMWs are, perform best with snow tires on wintery roads. Snow tires are comprised of a softer rubber and deeper tread for better traction and control on snowy, slushy roads. Keep in mind, however, that snow tires can perform poorly on hot summer roads, and therefore can't be left on all year long. The general rule of thumb is to install your snow tires by Thanksgiving and take them off by the tax deadline.
Alternatively, drivers who don't like the hassle of installing special tires on their car for the winter have the option of installing all-weather tires. All-weather tires perform well in temperatures ranging from the upper to lower extremes. All-weather tires are far more expensive, so you'll have to decide for yourself if all-weather tires are the best option for you.
Adjust Your Driving Habits
In addition to installing winter tires on your car, you'll want to adjust your driving habits to accommodate rear-wheel drive in snowy conditions. Avoid exaggerated movements on the steering wheel, brakes and accelerator. Make all your navigational decisions slowly and deliberately to avoid skidding and fish-tailing. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. If the car does lose control, gently steer the car into the skid until the tires find purchase on the ground, and then resume normal driving.
Switch to Winter Diesel
Diesel fuel #2 may be preferred for normal driving conditions, but #1 performs better at lower temperatures. For winter driving, fueling stations will offer #2 or #1 diesel with additives, or a combination of the two diesels. The type of diesel offered by service stations in your area will likely depend on the expected local temperatures. However, if you're taking a road trip to a colder place, remember to purchase diesel fuel rated for temperatures at least 10 degrees lower than the expected temperatures at your destination. The representatives at your fueling station can help you with that.
By adjusting your driving habits, switching out your tires, and using winter diesel formulas, your car should perform admirably in winter (as it does all year long). If you do have an accident or if your BMW begins to behave strangely in the colder temperatures, bring your car to a trusted BMW repair shop like Autowerkes in your area.