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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I'd share some thoughts on driving in the snow and how the model 3 lived up to expectations, despite by initial doubts.
I drove my wife to work in Inverurie last night, 14 miles at 23:30 - 5C, an hour and a half after the moderate snow had started. The roads, mostly single carrigeway, apart from a 1 mile stretch of dual carrigeway were completely white with about 2-3 in snow. The streets in village were worse with the underside scraping the snow.
I was really impressed.
The only thing that would stop the M3 on decent snow tyres would be the depth of snow. I must admit to being sceptital about how the car would perform and I've kept the drive in front of the Xantia clear just incase I had to revert to her, she will go through anything, especially deep snow or water with the abitity to raise the suspension.
I had to clean the car after I got back, packed snow in the wheel wells, (I wonder how that affects aerodynamics? ) and the rear was completely covered in about 1cm snow.. I mean completely.. You couldnt see any part of the car apart from where the screen heater had been on.. no lights or anything. I'm beginning to wonder if these LED lights are such a good idea? They don't have the heat that the fillament bulbs have.. perhaps we need resistive elements in the light plastic for the rears as well as the front?
9/10 for the M3.
The only thing apart from the snow depth that slightly holds her back is the front wheels have to slip in order for the traction control to kick in. You have to steer into the small skid to regain traction in the direction you wanted to go.
It would be nice if the fronts were engaged before the slip started in "snow mode" so that the car would be pulled round the corner with no slip rather than slipping and then being pulled round the corner.
More of the same tonight as its just started snowing again. Another inch at least and 2 hours to departure!
It would be nice to hear others experiences?
 

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Interesting observations. What winter tyres have you got fitted? Do you think chains would make much difference, I think Tesla recommend them fitted to rear wheels only.
 

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I too was impressed with my SR+ in snow, on snow tyres and a bit of weight in the boot (spare wheel jack etc), our roads were very icy under the snow (out snowploughing with 4wd tractor and struggled at times with the snowplough up!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting observations. What winter tyres have you got fitted? Do you think chains would make much difference, I think Tesla recommend them fitted to rear wheels only.
4 x Goodyear ultragrip performance plus and my M3 is a AWD LR. I use Vredsteins on the Xantia which are really solid in the snow and wet, but came out as noisier then the Goodyear.
I've only used chains once since we moved back here 15 years ago.( It was commonplace in Shetland when I was growing up with rear wheel drive Austins etc.) That day I was at work and the snow started at about 1100 .. By the time I left at 1400 everybody else had already decided to leave earlier and the snow was about 4-5 in deep with a good wind. Everything was at a standstill heading for the dual carrigeway o i decided to go the opposite way and take a backroad around the hill which stood between me and home. I put the chains on and the Xantia was unstopable but I needed to vary the height a couple of time to get through the drifts. The chains might help with the icy roads we're going to have tomorrow, but I'm not intending to go out before Thursday when hopefully the worst will be over and hopefully the flooding in the village will have subsided a little.
The Goodyears give plenty of confidence in the snow and even the loose stuff and the braking is good. I always have a brake test a few meters down the street, just to make sure what I'm driving on, but I never really use the brakes in the snow. The regen if you use it properly and anticipate is good enough for 99% of my driving. I'm used to using engine braking, as an ex motorcyclist, the Xantias brake pads would fall apart before wearing out.
As I said earlier in my limited experience of the M3 in snow, (I've yet to experience any decent ice) 3 weeks or so, the only limiting factor so far is the depth of snow (and the robustness of the underside). I was wondering last night, whilst driving home, whether the M3 could use a stainless protector for under the Frunk rather than the (reported) fairly fragile one currently there.
 

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I think they are Pirelli's, came from Tesla, I have never used chains, previous car was BMW 320d in which I did 260k miles never had any issues on snow or ice unless I forgot to put tractor weights in the boot. Often got to work in Edinburgh 50 miles away when the locals didn't turn up.
 

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Good to know the winter tyres work well. Having seen a couple of videos last week of M3 in Glasgow sliding uncontrollably downhill after sitting at the top, realised how important decent winter tyres are once there’s a bit on the ground.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Even in the wet at lower temps theyre worth it..a lot less aquaplaning and the don't pull as much if you do hit a puddle.
 

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I've seen this several times now. Car was put into reverse at the top of the hill trying to reverse back (front wheel spins in reverse as it starts moving and you can see the reversing light on all the way down). Driver also locked the wheels and would have been better to let the wheels turn as there is then a bit of a chance that steering could have been restored. Also immediately after there was another car went down the road, the same thing happened but it bounced off the offside of the parked car.
 

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This thread is more about winter tyres in the snow isn’t it?

All cars are hopeless on the wrong tyres, but even cars traditionally considered useless in the snow are capable with the right tyres.

My ID.3 couldn’t get off my sloped drive in the week on compacted frozen snow, but putting some snow socks on the rear meant it was no drama.

My old e-Golf had cross climates on, and that used to drive out of the drive in any snow or ice conditions where my wife’s front wheel drive car on standard tyres was hopelessly stuck.

As the unfortunate owner of the Tesla in the video found, AWD is great for traction but the braking is just as bad as everybody else on standard tyres.

It’s a lesson I learnt in my old quattro’s, traction is good even on standard tyres, but you might then find yourself travelling much faster towards the scene of the accident when you realise braking isn’t so hot.
 

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This thread is more about winter tyres in the snow isn’t it?

All cars are hopeless on the wrong tyres, but even cars traditionally considered useless in the snow are capable with the right tyres.

My ID.3 couldn’t get off my sloped drive in the week on compacted frozen snow, but putting some snow socks on the rear meant it was no drama.

My old e-Golf had cross climates on, and that used to drive out of the drive in any snow or ice conditions where my wife’s front wheel drive car on standard tyres was hopelessly stuck.

As the unfortunate owner of the Tesla in the video found, AWD is great for traction but the braking is just as bad as everybody else on standard tyres.

It’s a lesson I learnt in my old quattro’s, traction is good even on standard tyres, but you might then find yourself travelling much faster towards the scene of the accident when you realise braking isn’t so hot.
Superb post. Throw in @FrunkBags M3 s tip about doing a brake test and it's some of the best advice you can get.

I've also found the cross climates to be excellent in both snow and mud.
 

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I would have thought the abs would have pumped the brakes, but presume it didn't because the wheels were never actually turning, or because all wheels were locked? Mind you the golf that follows it down later didn't have much joy with the abs either and those wheels were turning at least at the start.
They both would have been better releasing/reapplying the brakes, which is maybe a skill that has been lost since abs has been pretty standard for last 20 years or so? I always learned to come straight off the brakes in a skid, which is unnecessary usually in a car with abs in the wet, but I still instinctively do it.
Many years ago I came down a steep hill on thick fresh snow and the abs did a fairly good job of bringing things under control.
 

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Many years ago I came down a steep hill on thick fresh snow and the abs did a fairly good job of bringing things under control.
Fresh snow is actually quite grippy, it’s how winter tyres work so well on it, the sipes pack with snow that grips the snow.

Wet snow over hard packed ice and snow like in that Tesla clip is a different proposition. Releasing brakes and getting some directional control is possible, but on that hill with a junction at the bottom on standard road tyres, it was always going to end badly.
 

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This has been my 2nd winter with a Model 3 performance in Finland. Tyres are Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3. Snow, ice, whatever, no problem. Took her out on a track made on the sea ice for a bit of drifting with track mode, was great fun.

I much prefer the rear bias powertrain, being used to rear wheel drive. Front wheel drive and front bias 4wd makes me nervous as you loose steering under acceleration.

I used to use studded tyres on rear wheel drive, now with 4wd I use studless. It's been a proper winter with freezing rain, -30C, the works. It's been beautiful. It's a fun car to drive when the weather is against you.

With all that said, if winter conditions are too slippery, the problem is your tyre selection, not the car or weather.

Had to rotate our spare car around, and since it had summer tyres, it was nearly impossible to move it 10 feet on our snowy driveway. Had to get out and push it. It was a real confirmation that proper winter tyres are absolutely worth it.
 
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