Winter advice

I am not new to the can be harsh Iowa winters. However I am new to driving my BMW IN them. I just bought Dunlop WinterSport M3's all the way around to
help with Traction/steering. However what else do I need to do to prepare my car for the winter driving months? Also my car has to sit out side in the elements. :( I thought I heard somewhere that it was not good to let the car "sit and warm up" before driving when its cold, its best to just get in and go. Is that true?
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Branden Nelsen
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Branden Nelsen wrote:

Nothing more as far as traction and driving. I suppose that you should make sure that your cooling system and battery maintenance are up to date, and make sure that the oil you are running in the engine is the proper grade for the expected temperatures

Well, there are as many opinions out there as there are options. The BMW engineers recommend that the car be started, allowed to idle very briefly (like 15 or 20 seconds) and then go ahead and drive off, but most importantly, take it easy (no hard acceleration) until the oil in the engine has fully warmed up. That will be considerably longer than it takes for the coolant to come up to temperature. I've never seen any dissenting opinion about that last point. It is the high load on the engine that you want to avoid while it is cold. You can still go on the highway, just take your time getting up to speed.
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-Fred W

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On Tue, 10 Oct 2006 10:15:42 -0400, Fred W

The main problem I find is I have to leave mine to warm up for a bit, otherwise I can't see out of the window!
Dodgy.
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Take a 2 litre coke bottle and fill it with warm water. Running that over the windows is the quickest way to clear them and won't cause scratching :-)
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Yikes, John. I've seen that cause temperature-induced cracking due to expansion/contraction. Of course, never having tried it on my BMWs I've never seen it on them... the case I saw was 30 years ago on an American car.
FloydR
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While that may work fine 'over there' John it can have disasterous results in Iowa in January such as turning a harmless little pit in your windshield into a big long crack. If you're going to deice your windshield with water it should be tap water cold and don't do it at all if the temperature is below -10.
John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland

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Get your car well waxed before the winter. Use a car wash during the winter that does "underbody" cleaning - I wash my car at least once a month, and as needed after being in the slush. Make sure your washer fluid is winter strength. Go out in the first snow and play around with the car's handling (in a parking lot or other safe venue). Make sure you know how to handle skids, braking with the ABS (and how to modulate the brake pedal to keep out of the ABS.)

Yes. Just remember not to honk on it - drive off slowly and let all the car's mechanicals (engine, transmission, differential, suspension, etc.) warm up before hitting the redline.
FloydR
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Excellent! Thanks for the advice.
I don't really floor it or stomp the gas unless I HAVE too, and ive never had the car near red line ever. Ill double check the coolant as well as when I have my next oil change (soon) make sure its winter strength. I wash my car every other week as it is, so in winter I might go every week! :) Would it be beneficial to get one of those Oil pan heaters you plug in at night, I've seen them but never actually used one, to know if they are worth it.
Sorry for all the questions, i just dont want anything major damaged due to something i could have prevented as my car has about 192000 miles on the Engine and Drivetrain.
-Branden
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:-<
They're not too useful unless the temperature is consistently far below zero - say -25F. Modern synthetic oils (especially the low-viscosity 5W-30 you probably have in your engine) flow well at all the temps you are likely to encounter in Iowa.
FloydR
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Diesels are notoriously difficult to start in winter but there's some things you can keep on top of to make it easier. While I fully realize we're talking abot a vergasser gere if you look over this checklist perhaps some things will click as the "oh yeah I should do that" light comes on in your head.
    http://articles.mbz.org/engine/diesel/coldstart /     http://articles.mbz.org/engine/diesel/morecold /
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Why are you all of a sudden introducing diesels to a discussion about a (gasoline) '99 528i in an Iowa, USA winter? Interesting, to be sure, but not too germane, although the 2nd article on battery grounds points out that we haven't mentioned battery maintenance to Brandon, yet.
FloydR
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Floyd Rogers wrote:

Ummm... I did.
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Sorry, Fred.
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Because anuything that helps a diesel start in winter has a direct analoge in gas cars - adjusting valves, fresh battery etc.
"Make sure everything is the way it was when it left the factory" is the more direct answer but not everyone knows what to do with that information
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