Winter is already upon us and, in most parts of the US, already causing havoc on the road for BMW drivers. Traditionally, BMWs were always considered to be crap winter weather cars, due to their rear-drive nature, torquey I6 engines, and relatively light weight. Now, though, it’s far less of an issue, as most BMWs weigh about as much as small moons, usually feature xDrive all-wheel drive, and have clever traction control systems that can easily sort out any slippage.
However, that doesn’t mean you can just turn-key and forget about the winter weather. If you’re not careful, you can still get into some powdery trouble. Thankfully, there are a few simple ways to keep you and your car moving safely during the colder months. So here are give winter essentials for your BMW.
De-Icer Washer Fluid
This is easily the cheapest winter essential for you Bimmer and one you absolutely cannot go without this winter. For barely $5 USD, you can grab yourself a big jug of de-icer washer fluid, that will help melt the ice from your windshield and won’t freeze as you apply it. Ever drive down a highway and it’s snowing just enough to wet your windshield and that snow then freezes, blocking your view? It’s super annoying, as well as dangerous. However, one little squirt of de-icer and it melts away. Nice.
Here is one that’s being heavily recommended on Amazon: Prestone AS657 Bug Wash Windshield Washer Fluid.
New Wiper Blades
Again, this is another cheap but important one. A good set of wiper blades won’t set you back more than $40 and is essential for winter driving. Nothing’s worse than being caught in a snow storm and having worn wiper blades, which typically only make matters worse by smearing slushy water all over the windshield, rather than wiping it off. A new set of blades will prevent such things from happening and give you perfectly clear vision. There are plenty of choices on Amazon, but of course, you can always go OEM and grab a set of wiper blades like these: BMW Wiper Blades
Spare Winter Clothing
This one is more for owners of older BMWs, as they’re more prone to break downs, but that doesn’t mean new owners can’t benefit as well. Rather than tell you why, I’ll tell you a story. During my E36 3 Series ownership, I had to drive home from work, on my then-usual one hour commute, in a heavy snow storm, during the holidays. I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for three hours before the overflow tank on my radiator exploded at the bottom and dumped its entire coolant contents onto the road. My car instantly overheated and I had to pull over and call a tow truck.
It took two more hours of waiting for a tow truck, on the side of the Garden State Parkway, with no heat because I couldn’t run my engine, in single-digit temps. I had a jacket on but my legs and feet were freezing. So having a spare set of boots, an extra coat, gloves, and even a blanket in the trunk is incredibly useful for those emergency moments.
You can never go wrong with a pair of Carhartt Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Glove. They’re affordable, fairly stylish and comes from a good brand.
Portable Jump Starter/Jumper Cables
This one is also relatively inexpensive but necessary, especially for older cars. As car batteries get a bit older, they can struggle to start in extreme cold. Having a portable battery jump starter, or even just a set of jumper cables, can really get you out of a jam. One that comes highly recommended on multiple websites is the NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12-Volt UltraSafe Lithium. Jump.Starter Box
I saved this one for last because it’s by far the most important. BMW winter tires — or at least Three Peak Mountain Snowflake-rated all-season tires — are a must have for all cars in the winter. Most all-season compounds can’t handle extreme freezing temperatures, which will make any car — even all-wheel drive ones — dangerous in such conditions. A set of proper winter-rated tires will keep your car safe in both freezing temperatures and snow. A dedicated set of winter tires can be expensive but it’s by far and away the most important thing to have on your car this winter, so it’s worth every penny.