best settings in the snow?

Discussion in 'X1' started by Marconi259, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Marconi259
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    Marconi259

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    Having got a 320D x Drive to better get through the snow, I wondered what the members experiences in using settings are?

    Traction control off or on?
    Sport plus mode and traction control off?

    Press traction 5 seconds and put the lot off?

    Taking care and using experience is assumed as read, as is the fact that when you press the brakes, it's a standard car again....

    Thioughts?
     
  2. Johnny Grabble
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    Johnny Grabble

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    Based on many years living in Germany and the snowy winters there, I'd imagine a set of winter tyres would be a fine start and probably more important than the drive setting.
    I don't know what settings you have on an xDrive but on a 2WD it's best not to have full traction control on, nor fully off, there is an intermediate setting which allows for a little slip which works best in snow.
     
  3. JasonH
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    JasonH

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    Manual or automatic?

    What I find most scary in snow with an auto is the lack of engine braking or the gearbox doing odd things, for example a bit of engine braking because the car senses you are going down hill then it decides not too...whoa...
     
  4. Smashie
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    Smashie

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    Surely you knock it into manual and select an appropriate gear. So long as you are not revving the nuts off it or don't have enough revs, then it will stay in that gear. The only time I have had a problem with an auto BMW is snow is when I didn't have winter tyres. No matter what transmission the car would have had, it was not going anywhere. Since then I have always had winters.
     
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  5. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Staff Member Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Which TC do you mean?

    There are 2 Traction Control systems - DSC and DTC - you need to read the handbook to fully understand the differences or check out the technology pages on the BMW web site.

    http://www.bmw.co.th/th/en/general/bmwinsight/technologyglossary.html

    DSC Dynamic Stability Control is the default situation - switching it off completely (press the button for 3 seconds) is IMHO for the Jeremy Clarksons amongst us who wish to opposite-lock drift around corners on track days.

    Briefly pressing the button changes DSC to Dynamic Traction Control - which allows some slip at the wheels which is the optimum setting for fresh snow or with chains.

    My advice would be to leave the DSC in the normal mode unless you encounter fresh unploughed snow or slush - especially on uphill slopes, but revert to normal when you're back on hard packed snow or ashphalt

    As smashie has said if you are descending a snow covered slope then it is wise to use the manual mode to select an appropriate gear.

    Leave the setting in normal drive or 'Comfort' if you have it - certainly not 'Sport' or 'Sport Plus'.

    An x-Drive on Summer tyres will have a little bit better grip in snow than the RWD equivalent - i.e. not much - but will have nothing like the grip of a RWD with Winter tyres.

    The most important single thing to consider for Winter is a set of proper Winter tyres.

    Let's see how many folks agree with me.
     
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  6. markyboyt
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    markyboyt WARLORD

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    I'd be leaving full DSC on unless you are struggling to pull away on a slippy surface. As others have said auto can be a little more unpredictable so if its struggling or you prefer then switch to manual shifting instead
    I'll agree. Personally I'd leave DSC on unless it was hindering a pulling away situation then it would be switched to DTC, use manual gear selection for better control and it would definitely be wearing winter shoes.
    Winter tyres will give your X-drive and DSC/DTC systems as much grip as they can to work their magic with.
     
  7. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Select lowest torque ie. Eco Pro and turn DSC off. For the simple reason that DSC applies brakes to individual wheels, which is not what you want in snow.

    When DSC is off DTC traction control is on..
     
  8. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Staff Member Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I would agree - Eco Pro for when you encounter lying snow.

    But just to be clear - turning on DTC has the effect of reducing the DSC - which is what is needed.

    I would therefore say to turn on DTC (by one press of the button) rather than saying turn off DSC (by pressing for three seconds) as turning off that way deactivates both DSC & DTC.
     
  9. Mieke
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    On my F30 it is anyway.
     
  10. Peter
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    I'm another for driving with DSC on, as the default and only using DTC when conditions warrant it. DSC can help on snow, deliberately tried it (off the main road) and it certainly can help correct a car in a slide.

    I've driven manual and auto in poor conditions and on snow, autos are not a problem. You simply need to drive with light and sensitive control, same as a manual. Using the steptronic mode allows more control and engine braking, I've experience with 5, 6 & 8-speed autos on snow, all work OK using steptronic.

    The best aid to winter driving is the appropriate tyres, winter tyres are more useful than 4x4 on summer or all-season tyres. Best for traction, car control/stability and of course 'braking'. If we can get going we need to be able to stop.

    Peter
     
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  11. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Staff Member Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    How do you switch the DSC off and leave the DTC on?
     
  12. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    DTC is a sub function of DSC, (short press gives it preference), not the same as switching DSC off. For example, as DTC is part of Sport+, if you then switch DSC off, the whole mode setup backs off. You can't have Sport or Sport+ and DSC off. My 5-series goes back to normal mode, steering, throttle map, gearbox mode, even the suspension setting goes to Normal.

    Peter
     
  13. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Staff Member Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I agree - on both an e9* and an F3* a long press (3 to 10 seconds) switches off all assistance including DTC and you get the dash symbol and message DSC OFF.

    A short press when the DSC OFF is displayed returns the system to normal and the symbol goes off.

    A short press when in the default DSC ON mode brings on a different symbol and the message TRACTION.

    A further short press returns the DSC to normal.
     
  14. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    You can't, as DTC is modification to the thresholds of Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and Driving Dynamics Control (FDR).
    Switching off DSC switches off both ASC and FDR.

    Also, as I've just posted, switching off DSC modifies the driving modes, you can't have the 'sporty' features and switch DSC off. BMW are playing the safety card for those who want to switch off the active safety system.

    Peter
     
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  15. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Just press the DSC off button (centre console). On the instrument panel 'DSC OFF' will appear and 'TRACTION' to indicate that DTC is activated.

    Yep, just been out to the garage and a brief press of the button - yellow DSC OFF light and TRACTION appears in rev counter (all black display) :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  16. Peter
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    If you mean a simple press of the button, DSC is not switched off, it is simply modified. DTC is a version of DSC. DSC off (long press) also deactivates DTC.

    Peter
     
  17. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Staff Member Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Do you mean that you have the DSC indicator lamp on, or a message DSC OFF, or both?

    With a short press that is not DSC fully off - it's just reduced and DTC is on - shown by DSC OFF indicator lamp and the small TRACTION message.

    I don't think that it'spossible to have the indicator symbol lamp along with the message DSC OFF and TRACTION at the same time. - i.e. 3 warnings.

    If you give the button a longer press then the DSC is completely off and not only does the small symbol indicator DSC OFF come on but a larger message DSC OFF appears as well

    I was initially confused with this and had to spend a while on a private road in snow to really get my head around it.
     
  18. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    YMMV
    Just as I said in my last post. That's on a 2015 F30. Maybe other models are different???

    Quote BMW user manual, pg.125
    "Activating DTC"
    Press button
    TRACTION is displayed in the instrument cluster and the DSC OFF indicator light is illuminated.

    I think that we're basically saying the same thing. ;) :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  19. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Staff Member Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I suspect we are. ;)

    I double-checked an e90 handbook and it's the same as an F30.

    The thing that confused me the first winter I had the car was the DSC OFF indicator light - when it isn't totally off. o_O

    DSC is only fully off when the bigger warning comes on in the same area where TRACTION can be displayed.

    I remember trying all the settings in an empty car-park with a couple of cms of snow - wow!

    When TRACTION was displayed it felt just like my old e28 which had the optional Limited Slip Diff.
     
  20. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    What seems to confuse, is the illuminated symbol used for both DTC and DSC OFF. BMW did try and explain this in the F01 technical data, where it was used for the first time. Previously we had two versions of the DTC symbol, illuminated according to what was activated. Now we have the same symbol illuminated for both DTC and when DSC is fully off (longer press).

    From BMW:

    Two different symbols were formerly used for the two states “DTC mode” and “DSC off” and were displayed in the instrument cluster. Since the launch of the F01/F02, only one symbol has been used for both states.

    The new symbols are being gradually introduced in all newly developed vehicles. The reason for this are changes to legislation that require automobile manufacturers to produce a uniform display format.

    This legislation also specifies that the text message “off” must be displayed as soon as the DSC function is restricted, as is the case in the “Traction” and “Sport+” modes.


    Peter
     
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