Planning Trip With Z3

I am planning a trip about 1000 - 1500 miiles with a Z3. I am wondering if I need to be concerned about any of the following issues or others: reliability on a long haul, cold air leaking from
convertable top edge, and handling on snowy/icy conditions?
Thank you in advance ...
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Longest trip I took with my was 8,800 miles - averaged 28 mpg. Never any problems with top sealing/leaks, and no reliability issues; although I'd recommend that you replace your battery if it is older than 4~5 years. If you have the OEM tires, please, please do not attempt to drive in snow or ice!!! Performance tires cannot handle that sort of thing, so if you will encounter winter weather, mount winter tires. Dunlop Winter Sport M3 have worked very well on my 328i.
Tom K.
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Thank you for your advice Tom.
Tom K. wrote: If

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Rear Wheel Drive always presents handling issues in snow/ice conditiions. But, if you're old enough to remember never having seen front wheel drive as a kid, you'll be fine.

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Good point. Yes, I am old enough. Thank you for your advice.
Jeff Strickland wrote:

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Then you should be fine.
All you need to keep in mind is that RWD pushes you around, and the rear wheels might be prone to stepping out on you. FWD pulls, so it is more stable in snow and ice. But, we both learned to drive in RWD cars, and the stuff we learned way back then still applies -- be gentle on the gas.

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Oh come on now, I'll give you the straight scoop ;-) When you find some decent snow, get your but into a nice big open parking lot and GET ON THE GAS! It'll only take a minute to remember how much fun RWD really is! With your good handling characteristics you can try that drifting thing you've watched these young crazy guys doing!
Packing efficiently is the biggest challenge. What about your rear window, is it plastic? I know on miatas, it's a totally dangerous piece of ready-to-shatter plastic in really low temps. Just a thought.
Good luck, Chris

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

No. You will get the same reliability that you would have experienced on 150 ten mile trips, perhaps even better.
cold air leaking from convertable top edge,
No. Again, the leakage will not increase because you drive further
and handling on snowy/icy conditions?
Yes, if you will be going into a snowy area you *need* to have at least all-season tires, preferably winter tires. The relatively light, Z3 shod with the standard low profile, wide summer tires would be scary indeed should you have to drive in the snow. That said, you could always just pull over should you encounter any serious white stuff and wait a few days for it to melt away... ;-)

You're welcome in retard...
--
-Fred W

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wrote:

Take Fred's advice.
I had the misfortune to be caught in a sudden snow in my Z3 which had less than 1,000 miles wear on the OEM summer performance tires (Michelin MXM). I could barely drive 20 mph in slush up to about an inch. With 2 inches of snow, the car would not move forward at all, although I could make some limited progress in reverse. Above 2 inches, forget it; and traction control is next to useless when neither wheel has any grip!
Tom K.
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Fred , Tom, Thank you for all the good advice. I had a thread posted in rec.autos.driving of the routes that I plan to take, but not here since I thought it might be off topic.
Anyway, I think there are at least 3 choices from Prescott AZ to Boise ID: 1] through Salt Lake City, 2] through Reno, and 3] through LA and SF. The temeratures are the coldest through SLC, warmest through LA, and somewhat closer to LA through Reno. I am thinking of going through Reno, since I have driven I55 several times, even though it goes through a little chilly mountain pass, I think in Oregon.

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If you can wait 'til the warmer weather, U.S. 89 with the top down is a great drive. Whenever & however you go, you'll find the Z3 is a great touring car - if you can convince your passenger to pack light! Enjoy the trip.
Tom K.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I just returned home from a trip of 1560 miles with my 97 328. For me, a long trip in my BMW is about as good as it gets - especially if the drive of the day is over 400 miles. Had days of 450, 350, and 600 miles, plus sightseeing time around Death Valley for this trip - absolutely fantastic.
We just had a good storm pass through central and southern CA and Nevada last Saturday night, but roads were clear on the 4000 foot mountain passes when I came back on Sunday, so if there are no more storms, your route through Reno should be ok. We took 395 from Reno to Death Valley on the way down, and it was all clear - but that was before this last storm. Came back through the Tehachapies and up Hwy 99 in the central valley - all the orchards are coming into bloom right now - beautiful if you like farmland scenery, as opposed to the desert.
Hope you enjoy your trip as much as I enjoyed mine. I can cruise for hours just listening to the engine, and 'playing' with the car in the turns. Oh, if you go up through Nevada, remember to plan your gas stops - there are some pretty long stretches without gas at all, plus places where all you can get is some no-name stuff from a pretty poor looking station.
Frank
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Raybender wrote:

Apart from a set of proper winter tires, you'd probably be advised to take several spare windshields along. Just the thing when you get sand/pebble-blasted with all that wintry road crap. =|
Why oh why can't they bring back the old-skool hard-as-nails windshield glass. Screw pedestrian impact safely.
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Don't forget to hold a whole set of Opera CDs. If yours is an I6, the engine is so cool and silent that you might fall asleep ! Especially on highways. No experience with the I4. OTOH, it looks and sounds more classy than Rap.
Mine is 75000 km, 4-year old, nearly in prime condition with minor maintenance but under BMW regular inspection. One recommendation, take 4 l of oil in the trunk. Depending on the roads you'll drive (eg. mountains, using engine brake) the oil consumption might be rather important 0.5 l / 1000 km. Already the case with my 316i E30. An electric air pump might be useful as well. And stop ! With all this stuff in the trunk, there's no more room than wife's undergarments need !
Enjoy your trip and report the experience you gained of. We're interested.

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I completed an 1800 mile trip in my '03 Z4 2.5i two weeks ago - it was a great experience! We didn't have any problems, made great time and averaged >30 mpg except through Texas where a head wind dropped my mileage to ~26 mpg.
I didn't have any really cold weather (Atl to Phx) but we did have one whole day of rain. No leaks.
Enjoy your trip!
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Tom, Jeff, Chris, Fred, Raybender, Class-1, frischmoutt, and all others,
Thank you very much for your advice. The trip was thoroughly enjoyable. I drove through Reno and both I80 and I95 were a joy to drive. Very well maintained for the most part and no icy stretches.
I had a friend who works in the automotive industry that told me along time ago that BMW's are small cars (though no all) that ride like big cars. I am a believer now. The best thing I think is the ergonomics. I felt very little fatigue throughout the entire trip.
Sitting back at home, and reading through the owner's manual, I realized for the first time the array of advance features well built into the car, that I wasn't even aware of through out the trip, like the ABS, stability control, traction control, "ignition key" integrated security system, oil life sensors etc., yet the car performed flawlessly without a glitch. All it needed was gas. I never felt any doubts about its reliability.
The hard part now is getting back to work after a four day time off in the Z3. It felt so short.
Thank you again all ...
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Cool. Sounds like it was a fun trip...
--
-Fred W

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Glad for you. Its a great car.

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Glad you had a great trip. Now, if you can get some more time off, you might try Montana - the Going to the Sun highway is wonderful in a Z3!
Tom K.
Tom K.
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