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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We just had a big dump of snow last night and a friend of mine hit the ditch in his brand new Mazda MX-3. We went to go tow him out but discovered the vehicle can't be towed and doesn't have the threaded tow hook holes and tow hook accessory like my 2012 All4 Countryman. Also in the manual, it says not to tow the car because it will damage the drive chain. WTF?...I thought this was supposed to be an SUV and good in snow situations? I also noticed as he tried to get unstuck, even though an AWD, only his front wheels were turning with the rear wheels looking like they were making only the slightest effort. With my Countryman, this wouldn't happen. With the Countryman I can be towed and I can also drive it in a lot of deep snow. It's lifted 3 inches so that helps. So here's my questions...

1. Can the i4 be towed simply to pull it out of a snow drift?
2. Does it have an equivalent of neutral?
3. Can the i4 be towed over a distance - like for instance, you didn't quite make it to the fast charger? (yeah, i know it's dangerous but that's not the question 馃檪)
4. Can it be towed and recharged at the same time through the regenerative breaking system like the Tesla can (or I think it can)?
5. Not a towing question but related...will the AWD on the i4 suck as badly as the Mazda MX-3 or another of my friend's 2012 Jeep Compass which is a terrible snow car, or will it be more similar to my Countryman which is very good in snow?

My mini this morning...

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Car Land vehicle
 

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See this info from the user manual
It might be a good idea to keep this page handy at all times (make a bookmark in the manual or make a copy of this page).
You never know when you're having a problem, and the towing company may not know this stuff about how to tow your e-vehicle.
That way you can show them the BMW rules...
 

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Short answer, exerpts from manual page 338. Short answer:
"General information: The vehicle is not permitted to be towed."
However, the fine print provides:
"Pushing the vehicle: To remove a broken-down vehicle from the hazardous area, push it for a short distance at a speed of no more than 6 mph/10 km/h. Additional information: Rolling or pushing the vehicle, refer to page 128"
Summary of page 128: IT'S COMPLICATED!
Rolling or pushing the vehicle/General information: In some situations, the vehicle is to roll without its own power for a short distance, for instance in a car wash, or be pushed.
Engaging selector lever position N
NOTICE Selector lever position P is automatically engaged when standby state is switched off. There is a risk of damage to property, among other potential damage. Do not switch standby state off in car washes.
1. Switch on drive-ready state while pressing on the brake pedal.
2. If necessary, release the parking brake.
3. If necessary, switch off Automatic Hold.
4. Depress the brake pedal.
5. Touch the selector lever lock and engage selector lever position N.
6. Switch off drive-ready state. In this way, standby state remains switched on, and a Check Control message is displayed. The vehicle can roll.
Irrespective of standby state, the selector lever position P is automatically engaged after approx. 35 minutes. If there is a malfunction, you may not be able to change the selector lever position.
Electronically unlock the transmission lock, if needed.
 

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1. Can the i4 be towed simply to pull it out of a snow drift?
2. Does it have an equivalent of neutral?
3. Can the i4 be towed over a distance - like for instance, you didn't quite make it to the fast charger? (yeah, i know it's dangerous but that's not the question 馃檪)
4. Can it be towed and recharged at the same time through the regenerative breaking system like the Tesla can (or I think it can)?
5. Not a towing question but related...will the AWD on the i4 suck as badly as the Mazda MX-3 or another of my friend's 2012 Jeep Compass which is a terrible snow car, or will it be more similar to my Countryman which is very good in snow?
1. Can the i4 be towed simply to pull it out of a snow drift? - Yes
2. Does it have an equivalent of neutral? - Yes, but it's complicated, and only if there is electric power, and Park auto-engages after 35 minutes.
3. Can the i4 be towed over a distance - like for instance, you didn't quite make it to the fast charger? (yeah, i know it's dangerous but that's not the question 馃檪) - No
4. Can it be towed and recharged at the same time through the regenerative breaking system like the Tesla can (or I think it can)? No
5. Not a towing question but related...will the AWD on the i4 suck as badly as the Mazda MX-3 or another of my friend's 2012 Jeep Compass which is a terrible snow car, or will it be more similar to my Countryman which is very good in snow? Based on 25 years in Montreal, Canada, there are 3 main factors: 1) the tires!!! Winter tires have traction in the snow, Summer tires, none; 2) ground clearance. If the car floats on a bed of packed snow, you're pretty much screwed; 3) 4WD (with traction control off, because it just kills your engine when slip is detected) helps but only if all the torque does not go all into the wheel with the least traction (like with open differentials) - otherwise, drive on the wheels with most weight on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Short answer, exerpts from manual page 338. Short answer:
"General information: The vehicle is not permitted to be towed."
However, the fine print provides:
"Pushing the vehicle: To remove a broken-down vehicle from the hazardous area, push it for a short distance at a speed of no more than 6 mph/10 km/h. Additional information: Rolling or pushing the vehicle, refer to page 128"
Summary of page 128: IT'S COMPLICATED!
Rolling or pushing the vehicle/General information: In some situations, the vehicle is to roll without its own power for a short distance, for instance in a car wash, or be pushed.
Engaging selector lever position N
NOTICE Selector lever position P is automatically engaged when standby state is switched off. There is a risk of damage to property, among other potential damage. Do not switch standby state off in car washes.
1. Switch on drive-ready state while pressing on the brake pedal.
2. If necessary, release the parking brake.
3. If necessary, switch off Automatic Hold.
4. Depress the brake pedal.
5. Touch the selector lever lock and engage selector lever position N.
6. Switch off drive-ready state. In this way, standby state remains switched on, and a Check Control message is displayed. The vehicle can roll.
Irrespective of standby state, the selector lever position P is automatically engaged after approx. 35 minutes. If there is a malfunction, you may not be able to change the selector lever position.
Electronically unlock the transmission lock, if needed.
Wow...you're right. It is complicated. I'm going to have the dealer cover this with me when we pick up the car. There is a chance they won't know proper procedure either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1. Can the i4 be towed simply to pull it out of a snow drift? - Yes
2. Does it have an equivalent of neutral? - Yes, but it's complicated, and only if there is electric power, and Park auto-engages after 35 minutes.
3. Can the i4 be towed over a distance - like for instance, you didn't quite make it to the fast charger? (yeah, i know it's dangerous but that's not the question 馃檪) - No
4. Can it be towed and recharged at the same time through the regenerative breaking system like the Tesla can (or I think it can)? No
5. Not a towing question but related...will the AWD on the i4 suck as badly as the Mazda MX-3 or another of my friend's 2012 Jeep Compass which is a terrible snow car, or will it be more similar to my Countryman which is very good in snow? Based on 25 years in Montreal, Canada, there are 3 main factors: 1) the tires!!! Winter tires have traction in the snow, Summer tires, none; 2) ground clearance. If the car floats on a bed of packed snow, you're pretty much screwed; 3) 4WD (with traction control off, because it just kills your engine when slip is detected) helps but only if all the torque does not go all into the wheel with the least traction (like with open differentials) - otherwise, drive on the wheels with most weight on.
Thanks MinhSATx...as usual another very helpful answer from you. I plan to buy the 18 inch aero rims from BMW for my winter tires with the hopes the smaller rim offsets some of the winter range loss but if I add in studded tires into the mix, I imagine there won't be enough of an offset to deal with both factors...likely not even close. Who knows, perhaps with the weight of this car, unstudded winter tires will be fine. I have the better part of a year to research and decide.
 

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Thanks MinhSATx...as usual another very helpful answer from you. I plan to buy the 18 inch aero rims from BMW for my winter tires with the hopes the smaller rim offsets some of the winter range loss but if I add in studded tires into the mix, I imagine there won't be enough of an offset to deal with both factors...likely not even close. Who knows, perhaps with the weight of this car, unstudded winter tires will be fine. I have the better part of a year to research and decide.
@Ultrachrome - agreed all around, including @MinhSATx 鈥檚 helpful answer. additionally, I wouldn鈥檛 mind knowing what you, @Ultrachrome , find in your winter tire research. I will likely pursue a set of winter wheels and tires myself as opposed to using the 20鈥 285s in winter.
 

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Thanks MinhSATx...as usual another very helpful answer from you. I plan to buy the 18 inch aero rims from BMW for my winter tires with the hopes the smaller rim offsets some of the winter range loss but if I add in studded tires into the mix, I imagine there won't be enough of an offset to deal with both factors...likely not even close. Who knows, perhaps with the weight of this car, unstudded winter tires will be fine. I have the better part of a year to research and decide.
My suggestion would be to buy winter tires that you could add studs later on. In beginning try the car without studs for a period of time and then you will be able to take a clear decision based on your experience. My wife is driving a Smart Electric RWD with winter tires without studs and she got no problems at all. I am sure that you drive a lot better than my wife :ROFLMAO:
 
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