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Old 03-19-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
2-D
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Default 318ti in snow?

Hi, I've been reading up on the 318ti quite a bit and have to say this site is awesome! I commute to my college so I've been looking for a new DD for quite a while. I was looking at VW GTI's but then a 318ti caught my eye while I was online.

Description: 1996, 102,000 mi, $5,500, black exterior, beige cloth interior, 5 speed, power windows/locks, traction control, am/fm cassette radio. No fog lights. What model is it? I know it's hard to tell without a pic, sorry.

After a little research, I still want some input from you guys (esp. people who live in snow states) in determining if it's right for me. A couple of questions, handling in snow? Maintenance costs? (I don't think I'll be doing much of the work). How quick is it stock? How much potential does this little guy have with minor mods? Problems that will come up? Sorry for the newbie questions (I know you're sick of them). Thank you for any and all replies.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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does it have an OBC? (on-board computer) M3 body-kit? kinda hard too tell without pics, try getting the VIN and running it through Mallard's VIN thread
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:45 PM   #3
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Snow tires make a world of difference. The skinnier the better. The Ti being RWD, is a blast to drift around in, however it's those occasional patches of ice that will take you out. Being from MN, I'm sure you know what I'm referring to. The traction control works but is unpredictable, so don't depend on it to save you. The car itself is pretty light, so if you're driving on hard packed snow or ice, sometimes 18 wheelers will blow you off into the snow drifts. Nothing beats the donuts these things can put down in the snow or the incredible drifts, but don't get too cocky. Ask DustenT, lol J/K Dusten

Maintenance costs are less than your average BMW, but expect some markup on parts. It's a 12 year old car, so be prepared to replace some common wear parts such as bushings, suspension and cooling system components. If you lower it and don't correct the negative camber in the rear, expect to go through a set of tires every year. Minor mods will get you close to 150hp, probably 140ish at the wheels. All in all due to it's wieght and gear ratio, these things are pretty snappy off the line and hold their own in higher RPMs.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:32 AM   #4
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You know, this sounds a lot like my first post here.

Not sure yet how they handle in snow. I just got my car last Friday, so no snow to play in. The car sounds like it might be a good buy for that kind of money. As for which model it is, I'm guessing it's not the Sport, as I believe they came standard with fog lights. That leaves you with a base or active model. As Brendan mentioned, you should post over in Mallard's thread and he can give you a complete option printout for the car which should help figure out the model.

Performance wise, it's a pretty snappy car. In my car (a Sport model), 1st gear seems incredibly short. Saw a book at Border's yesterday (before my wreck) called "BMW Buyer's Guide." It listed the 0-60 as 9.3s for a manual, 8.3s for a manual Sport model, 10.2s for a slushbox, and 9.6s for a slushbox Sport model (these are for the '96-99 models with the M44). Can't really say anything regarding modifications as I'm mainly focused on getting my car repaired.

If you can, take the car to a BMW dealership or reputable mechanic to check out the car before buying. You may find it needs a lot of maintenance work or not much at all. As cooljess76 said, it is a 12-year old car, so be prepared to replace common wear items. This is a good reason to get it inspected before buying (so you can get an idea of what needs work). Also be aware that these cars are known to have persistant problems with the window regulators and some of the coolant line pieces.

Good luck with the car and home you'll be joining us proud owners soon.

Justin
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:33 AM   #5
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I've been driving my 318ti in the Minnesota winters for years. A good set of winter tires and you'll be just fine! Very controllable and confident.
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Old 03-20-2008, 01:54 AM   #6
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Yea snow tires help alot, here in colorado you never know if the sun is gonna be out or if a storm is going to hit. I drove in the snow with the snow tires and i never got stuck or had any issues with them.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:21 AM   #7
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I did fine in the snow this winter. We had alot of snow in Milwaukee and still more to come. The cars are fun to drive, have enough power and are good on gas. If you can do the work yourself repairs are reasonable to cheap depending on your deal hunting skills. You should take a ti on a long test drive and use your own experience to make a decision. Some things to look out for are catalytic converters, o2 sensors, and a few little interior things. All things that need to be replaced on any car with time. the cat is rather expensive. If you live where there are no emissions tests than dont worry. Other than that my car has been solid and trust worthy.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:50 AM   #8
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i hate the snow and ice...my car loved it!
i drove from Denver to Steamboat Springs this winter and got 36mpg. and it was icy and snowing the whole way.
the better winter tires (IMO) are Bridgestone Blizzaks.
also, i've never been stuck with my Michelin X-Ice tires.
good luck
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:06 AM   #9
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I would say its a decent deal if its a clean car. Definitely have it checked out by somebody before you buy it. Rolls great in the snow even without snow tires, but I would highly recommend it as going uphill in the snow is difficult and not fun without snow tires. I would say acceleration is decent, could be better, but not bad for what it is. You could always drop a 6, 8, or 12 cylinder in it when money and opportunity presents itself. Superchargers give a 50% boost to the engine, so that is an option also.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:15 AM   #10
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Make sure you get snow tires, not all seasons. My ti runs like a turd with the kumho all seasons and my other Ti does exceptionally well with the winter bridgestones.... I think I like the lsd better than the traction control anyway....
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Old 03-20-2008, 04:54 AM   #11
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Thanks so much for your input! I'll definitely try to get it checked out before hand and see if I can get that VIN#. It doesn't have a bodykit or M badging on the side so I think it may be the base model. What cooljess said about being blown into a snow drift worries me, hahaha. I'm hoping that with minor mods I'd be able to get that 9.3 sec 0-60 down to around 6, is that possible? I know that's hoping for too much. Will upgrading some parts help more than just replacing them with oem ones?
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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I am not for sure on this but your going to have to either do a swap or supercharge it.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonyl View Post
I am not for sure on this but your going to have to either do a swap or supercharge it.
Only if your looking for alot more power. Most mods to the M44 are for aesthetics only, intake+exhaust don't make any noticeable gains.

For a commuter car, you really wouldn't want to do much to it to begin with... and a supercharger is about $3k ... and swap will run you about $2500 if you do it all yourself and do the proper upgrades for the bigger motor (brakes, suspension)
To get the Ti down to a 6 secs would take a charger or a swap, and probably then some, that will not be possible unless you spend lots of dough.

For me personally, it was great for commuting car with the 4cyl (work was 60 miles there and back a day)

As for the Ti in the snow, I won't comment because everyone says their great, where me on the other hand - i think its lousy, but again, i was going to work and traveling 60+ miles a day, and did not enjoy it one bit. The highway with any snow on the ground was UNBEARABLE, stick to the back roads if you can.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwd_king View Post
As for the Ti in the snow, I won't comment because everyone says their great, where me on the other hand - i think its lousy, but again, i was going to work and traveling 60+ miles a day, and did not enjoy it one bit. The highway with any snow on the ground was UNBEARABLE, stick to the back roads if you can.
I agree with this 100%. But then again I had Dunlop Sport 2000's on the car when I drove from Michigan to Cali. Some of you will remember the horrible ice storm we had in Nov '06 where they shut down I-40. I saw hundreds of rollovers and fender benders. Anything over 25mph was terrifying. Even at 25mph, I still had a difficult time keeping the Ti in a straight line. It took me a week to get home as I was drifting the entire 2000 miles. Every few minutes a semi would send me sliding towards the snow banks and ditches, but luckily I managed to recover and hang on to it each time. The funny thing is that the previous owner threw in a set of snow tires on steelies, but for some reason I never thought about putting them on even though I had them in the back seat! I guess the drifting was too fun, NOT!
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:47 PM   #15
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that must have been a fun 2000 mile thrill ride!
back home in oregon when it snowed we used to hunt for snow and rally our little beater cars and trucks and i must say a light little front wheel drive car does quite a bit better than a rear wheel drive truck!

heres the only video i alreayd ahve posted
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...ideoID=4164414
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