Winter is coming and not in the Game of Thrones ice-zombie way — more like the snowy, slidey, crashy kind of way. At least that’s the kind of winter it can be if you don’t properly prepare your vehicle for winter driving. For those of us that live in the snow belt, BMWBLOG has gathered some winter weather prep tips to help keep the wheels turning with some assistance from traction control too.
Properly outfitted, your BMW can be set to get you through the worst winter weather safely, while protecting both you and your car. To highlight some of the best winter car tips, we’ve picked the highly popular BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle which comes standard with Active Driving Assistant. The X5 has many features to help reassure your safety on slippery roads during the winter.
Adequate Winter Tires
Like the rubber boots you wear on your feet during the winter, it’s just as important for your BMW to have good shoes to help provide sure footing when dashing through the snow. We recommend a set of four snow tires. Trust us on this; winter tires cost way less than bent metal. If you are driving on high-performance summer tires like those that come standard on a BMW X5M, even with the advanced M xDrive All-Wheel Drive System on board, the tires are truly worthless in the snow and are no match for the commanding 4.4-liter twin turbo V8 that boasts up to 617 horsepower. Winter tires are actually legally mandated during the winter in Germany.
I like to use a set of dedicated winter tires mounted on a different set of wheels. Chains work too but are more cumbersome because you have to put them on to drive in the snow and remove them before you drive on dry pavement so they don’t self-destruct. I have used a set of good all seasons, and though they are not bad in the snow, they are not as sure-footed as good snow tires.
Keep Your Car Pristine With Premium Floor Mats
A great set of winter mats are always part of my winter routine. Whether it’s the BMW X5, the i3 electric vehicle or even the E92 M3 sportscar, a premium set of floor liners have always been my go-to item. When you are walking to your car, you get snow and slush on your feet and definitely do not want that on your carpeted floor mats.
My personal favorite winter mats are the FloorLiners made by WeatherTech. The reason I like them so much is that they are specifically made for your particular vehicle’s floor. The edges of the WeatherTech mats reach up several centimeters all the way around, tuck into the edges of the footwells and go all the way up behind the pedals. The benefit of this is that when the snow and slush on my feet invariably melts on the floor under the pedals, the cupped sides keep the snowmelt from sliding over the edge and getting on the carpeted interior.
Wipers and Windshield Wiper Fluid
Next, I like to make sure my wipers are in good shape as the cold can make rubber even stiffer. Great vision in bad weather is important and stiff wipers just won’t clean the windshield as well. You also need to make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full and has the correct fluid in it so it does not freeze. BMW puts good fluid in from the factory, you just need to make sure it’s kept full and has a low freezing point. With the available Icon Adaptive Full LED Headlights with Laserlight, the BMW X5 illuminates the entire road for almost half a mile, providing unparalleled night time visibility that pierces through the hardest snowfalls.
Cargo Trunk Mats Are a Must
We are using our BMW X5 year round, including snowy weather as well as trips to the hardware store and pumpkin patch. Since I was using the WeatherTech FloorLiners, I decided to also install the Cargo Liner product. Compared to other similar products, the Weather Tech Cargo Liner tucks into the corners and wedges itself in there without buckling. Some other trunk liners tend to slide around and their less grippy surface lets stuff shift and spill more.
Weather Tech uses laser technology to measure the trunk of your BMW X5. The Cargo Liner has a lipped edge that will keep anything that gets spilled from coming in contact with your X5’s trunk. Another nice aspect is how grippy the trunk liner is when you set stuff on it.
Not Just a Clean BMW X5, But Also Safer
BMW X5 SUVs have gotten me through some of the worst winter weather imaginable – a complete white-out blizzard where you can no longer even tell where the road is on the open plains. Thank God for those reflective posts stuck on the sides of the road as there were no other cars to follow and too many vehicles off the road to count. Our X5 ended up being one of the last vehicles through, and then they had closed I-70 Interstate.
Another time, going up Vail Pass in the Colorado Rockies during an epic snow dump with multiple vehicles stuck on the road, we had to navigate around them. All the while, our BMW X5 kept us going. When we got home and after a thorough car wash, our X5 looked as good as new. I just had to hose off the WeatherTech mats, dry them and put them back in.
This is a sponsored post by WeatherTech. More information about WeatherTech automotive accessories can be found here. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.