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.
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.
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.
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... ;-)
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Tom, Jeff, Chris, Fred, Raybender, Class-1, frischmoutt, and all
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 ...
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.