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  1. #1
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    question about cold weather top down driving

    Last night I drove the Z with the top down and it was 50 degrees out! In the past I have never been comfortable (in other convertibles) under about 55-60, but surprisingly enough 50 was quite comfortable!

    Maybe it's the wind screen, maybe the fact it's a 2-seater...I don't know...

    My question is, fellow Z3 owners, what is the coldest temp you'll drive with the top down?


    LJ


  2. #2
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    Yes | No

    Two words: heated seats.


  3. #3
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    Re: Two words: heated seats.

    Yes, that does help... but even without it (I didn't have them on last night) it seems the Z3 can keep the driver warmer than other cars.

    How low before you put up the roof?

  4. #4
    Skin Mechanic
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    38° when I was young&foolish, ditto seat heaters.


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    50 my limit with seats on, gloves, hat - Caution!

    Be careful about "dropping the top" after she's been sitting in the cold. A few fellow Z3er's have cracked their plastic rear window.

    I once left the top down, the temp dropped and I was afraid to raise it fearing it may not have the flex to unfold. That was a chilly ride home. :)



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  6. #6
    bznz3
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    Re: question about cold weather top down driving

    32f but do not try to put the top down it will crack the window, crank the seats and the heater and it is fine.

  7. #7
    TWOZTER
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    My record is the 20s....

    But this was back in high school in Illinois, in my dad's 1983 Buick Riviera 'vert. My buddies and I had heater on, ski masks, goggles, the whole deal. Nice crisp February night. Stupid, but we thought it was funny.

    Have had the ///M top down in the high 40's...seat heaters, windows up, windblocker, heat going...the wife actually fell asleep on the way back home to Iowa from Illinois in the spring. Said she was "nice and toasty". Good times.

  8. #8
    vidterry
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    Re: question about cold weather top down driving

    A bit before I retired in '04, and the roadster was my daily driver year round, I went to lunch on a sunny day at NINE degrees, with the top dropped. I was showing off.

    Never again at that temp. On sunny days I'll drop the top if it is around thirty or so, but even with great heater, heated seats and terrific wind deflector, the ears don't like the cold assault below that.

    I still keep the car running all winter, and take it out any time conditions permit, and the streets are clear enough to keep the front bumper from becoming a 'cowcatcher'.

  9. #9
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    Coldest was 10 deg F.

    New Years Eve. Shortly after midnight. Felt like ringing in the New Year in style. Seat heaters on, heat blasting, fully decked out in winter gear. It was cold, but it was fun.

    Generally speaking, I will go down to about 45 or so before I consider putting the top up. As you noted, these little cars actually do quite well temp-wise.

    And a word of caution - if you are going to drop the top in frigid conditions, make sure you do so SLOWLY. The rear window gets brittle in the cold and dropping or raising the top too quickly will result in a cracked window.

    JTP
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    43

    This seems to be our limit all in, dressed properly etc. Tries it in the low 30's and it was too much.

    Good advice about cracking the plastic window though. I;ll have to remember that

    Fudbutter
    '01 2.5i

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    Preheating the top

    Hmmm... I see your point about the rear window. Mine has already split (that way when I got it) so I wonder if that's why.

    Gotta get my engineering cap on and maybe figure out a way to duct warm air from the heater into the top well (maybe through the sub snorkel or maybe the little useless speakers behind the seat) to avoid that issue when I get a new top in the spring.

  12. #12
    Barryng
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    Brand New Ambitions - South Florida Style

    It was November, 2002 and our new 3.0i was just a week or so off the dealer's lot and had still had less than a few hundred miles on her. It was also our first convertible. Also, it was a late South Florida fall with Chamber of Commerce weather; about 70 degrees and seemingly no humidity. During dinner my wife and I decided we needed, really needed, to take the new girl for a respectable top down ride. We decided to drive to Disneyland (about 250 miles) and spend a few nights. Well, we didn't realize a healthy cold front was barreling south through Florida. As we drove north the cold front (no rain) pushed south. We progressively put on sweaters, then jackets, then seat heaters to low, then to high, and finally the fan and temperature on high high. We never even considered putting the top or windows up. The toll plaza attendant just south of Orlando looked at us as if we were nuts as the temperature had settled down in the upper forties. I gotta say, at 80 mph, a 40 degree something wind, for spoiled south Florida residents, starting out in just T shirts, is numbing cold. We refused to put the top up until it was parked in the hotel lot. I do remember how much fun it was getting warm once we arrived at the hotel.

  13. #13
    MikeinNH
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    'Bout 45 degrees back in the TR6 days...

    Haven't driven the Z3 top-down in weather that cold, and I have the heated seats... Gettin' old mebbee? :-)

  14. #14
    ZGator
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    37 deg F

    on my way to pick up my hardtop that was painted white.. It was not that bad - wore a hat, I used to put it down on anything over about 45, now I prefer 50's if sun is out.

  15. #15
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    Cold enough that folks at stop lights...

    ask me if I am cold.

    Actually, less than 32 degrees. The roads were frozen and I was driving 40 MPH up to a Mt Top with snow on the roadside. I was in an old Morgan with no heat whatsoever.

    Burrrrrrrr

    Scott Pettit

  16. #16
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    The Z3 has a blast furnace for a heater

    This allows you to go topless at temperatures that are rather nipply. Clark Griswold, eat your heart out.

    Mike and Di, on the road 12 months a year in Oklahoma (not all topless though).

  17. #17
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    The first couple of winters in GA

    ...I'd keep the top down even when temps were in the 30s F (we usually only have a week or so at those temps). However, the novelty has worn off and now I put the top up at around 45-50.

    Also (and this may be sacrilegious to some) I put the top up in the summer when temps are over 98 or so, unless I'm traveling on the highway a lot. Sitting at lights in 100 degrees ambient with a black interior can be pure misery even though I wear a hat. Nothing like arriving at your destination with your back soaking wet.DconBlueZ
    Sharpsburg,GA USA

  18. #18
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    27 on the freeway in DC with my Dad...

    ...and it was cold. Heater was cranked, windows were up, but I don't have heated seats...and my Dad is bald so the top of his head was chilly. Overall, not that bad, though. Usually 50 is my cutoff.

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  19. #19
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    It's not like you were in a snowbank for a week!



    JTP
    '00 Bright Red II, Black, Black 2.3

    PERFORMANCE: Dinan Stage II suspension, Dinan strut tower brace, Porterfield R4S brake pads, Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 tires, UNGO MS8300 alarm, Doug Whalen Seat Bushings, Sylvania Silverstar headlights and fog lights. MAINTENANCE: Peake Research R5/fcx-II and SRS Reset Tools, Mity-Vac oil evacuator w/ brake bleeder, BMW Battery Tender. COSMETICS: Dinan Badge, OEM chrome exhaust tips, Magnetic stone guards, Roundel valve stem caps, Trunk-mounted Dragon sticker, WI plates: RES IPSA. COMFORT: Premium Package, Heated sport seats, “Z3 Roadster” heated vest (for wife), In-dash CD, LeatherZ MarkII armrest, OEM mesh windscreen. CAR CARE: Porter Cable random orbit buffer, Meguiars car care products, NOAH car cover, Plexus, Raggtop. EXTRAS: Z3Solutions warning triangle.

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  20. #20
    vidterry
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    Re: The first couple of winters in GA

    Hot can be a real problem. We did a group drive in Illinois in July of 1999 when it was 100 degrees with similar humidity. Eleven people died in Illinois THAT weekend from heat-related causes; none in BMWs as far as I know.. Our afternoon drive WAS done with the tops up, and A/C pouring out the cool.

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