traction control BMW 323Ci CONVERTIBLE 2000 E46 Owner's Manual
Page 67 of 199
Installing a child restraint systemAll of the rear belt retractors and the
front passenger's safety belt can be
locked for mounting and securing child
Information regarding this is located
near the buckle latch of each safety
Lock the safety beltExtract the entire length of the belt from
the inertia reel mechanism. Allow the
reel to retract the belt somewhat and
engage the buckle, then tighten the belt
against the child restraint system. The
retraction mechanism is now locked.
The belt cannot be extracted farther.
Always comply with the installation
instructions provided by the manufac-
turer of the child restraint system.
To release the beltRelease the buckle, remove the child-
restraint device and allow the belt
retractor to reel the belt completely in.
Page 88 of 199
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) The conceptDSC helps maintain vehicle stability,
even in critical driving situations.
The system optimizes vehicle stability
during acceleration and when starting
from a full stop, as well as optimizing
traction. In addition, the system recog-
nizes unstable vehicle conditions (un-
dersteering or oversteering, for exam-
ple) and helps hold the vehicle on a
sure course by intervening via the
engine and by braking intervention at
the individual wheels.
The system activates automatically
each time you start the engine.46cus012
The indicator lamp in the instru-
ment cluster goes out shortly
after you switch on the ignition.
Refer to pages 21 and 22.
Indicator lamp flashes:
The system is active and governs drive
force and braking force.
If the indicator lamp fails to go out after
the engine is started, or if it comes on
during normal driving and stays on:
There is a system malfunction or the
system was deactivated with the but-
ton. You can continue to drive the vehi-
cle normally, but without DSC. Please
consult your BMW center for repairs.
To deactivate the systemPress the button, the indicator lamp
The illustration depicts the arrangement
of the buttons if the vehicle is fully
equipped. This may vary, depending on
the equipment actually installed.
When the DSC is deactivated, you are
operating the vehicle in the conven-
tional drive mode.
In the following exceptional circum-
stances, it may be effective to deacti-
vate the DSC for a short period:
>When rocking the vehicle or starting
off in deep snow or on loose surfaces
>or when driving with snow chains.
Refer also to page 118.To reactivate the systemPress the button again; the indicator
lamp goes out.
The laws of physics cannot be re-
pealed, even with DSC. Any con-
sequences arising from traction loss
due to excessive vehicle speed remain
the responsibility of the driver. For this
reason, do not take risks by using the
additional safety margin provided by
the system as an excuse.<
For additional details concerning DSC,
please refer to the chapter describing
"Advanced technology" on page 173.
Page 112 of 199
To ensure that your vehicle provides
maximum economy throughout a long
service life, we request that you comply
with the following recommendations.
Engine and differentialUp to 1,200 miles (2,000 km):
Drive at varying engine and road
speeds, but do not exceed 4,500 rpm
or 100 mph (160 km/h) during this time.
Obey your local and state maximum
Refrain from using full throttle and avoid
pressing the accelerator beyond the
After you have driven 1,200 miles
(2,000 km), you can gradually increase
the engine and road speed.
You should also comply with these
break-in procedures if the engine or
differential is replaced at a later point.
TiresDue to technical factors associated
with their manufacture, tires do not
achieve their full traction potential until
an initial break-in period has elapsed.
Thus, drive with extra care during the
initial 200 miles (300 km).
Obey your local and state maximum
When the vehicle is operated on
wet or slushy roads, a wedge of
water may form between the tire and
the road surface. This phenomenon is
referred to as aquaplaning, or hydro-
planing, and can lead to partial or com-
plete loss of traction, vehicle control
and braking effectiveness. Reduce your
speed on wet roads.
their optimum wear and surface-con-
tact patterns until you have driven
approx. 300 miles (500 km).
To break in the separate parking brake
drums, apply the parking brake lightly
when coasting to a standstill (at a traffic
signal, for instance), provided that traf-
fic conditions allow you to do so.
To avoid corrosion, repeat this proce-
dure from time to time.
The brake lamps do not come on
when the parking brake is applied.
Vacuum for the brake system servo unit
on your BMW is available only when the
engine is running. When you move the
vehicle with the engine shut off – when
towing, for example – substantially
higher levels of pedal force will be
required to brake the vehicle.<
Page 114 of 199
Antilock Brake System (ABS)The concept ABS enhances active driving safety
by helping to prevent the wheels from
locking while braking. This is because
locked wheels are dangerous. When
the front wheels slide, the driver loses
steering control over the vehicle.
Traction loss at the rear wheels can
cause the rear end to break into an
ABS is designed to meet two essential
requirements during every brake appli-
>To help provide vehicle stability
>To help maintain steering control and
maneuverability – on all types of road
surfaces (asphalt, concrete, mud, wet
road surfaces, snow, ice).
The system can achieve the shortest
braking distances possible under most
conditions (on straight aways and in
curves, on asphalt, ice, wet road sur-
Braking with ABSThe system is operative once the vehi-
cle exceeds a speed of approx. 6 mph
(10 km/h). It is deactivated once again
below approx. 4 mph (6 km/h). This
means that the wheels can lock in the
final phase of a panic stop – a factor of
no significance in actual use.
If you are in a situation that requires full
braking, you will exploit the full benefits
of the ABS system if you apply maxi-
mum brake pressure ("panic stop").
Since the vehicle maintains steering
responsiveness, you can nevertheless
avoid possible obstacles with a mini-
mum of steering effort.
The ABS closed-loop control circuit
cycles in fractions of a second. A pulsa-
tion at the brake pedal, together with
the sounds associated with the hydrau-
lic controls, tells you that the brake sys-
tem is within its maximum limit range,
and reminds you that you should adapt
road speed to the road conditions.
On road surfaces that have a loose
surface layer on a firm base with good
traction (on gravel or snow, for exam-
ple), or when snow chains are mounted,
braking distances may be longer than
with locked wheels. However, ABS continues to provide
enhanced vehicle stability and steering
response under these conditions.
Information for your safetyNot even ABS can suspend the laws of
physics. ABS cannot prevent the conse-
quences of brake applications with inad-
equate clearances for safety between
vehicles, when exceeding the speed
limit in curves, or the risks involved
when aquaplaning occurs. Responsibil-
ity for these types of situations remains
in the hands (and at the feet) of the
driver. You should never allow the
added safety of ABS to lull you into a
false sense of security, or mislead you
into taking increased risks that could
affect your own safety and that of others.
Do not make any modifications to
the ABS system.
Service procedures on ABS are to be
performed by authorized technicians
Page 118 of 199
Winter operationWinter is often accompanied by rapid
changes in weather, requiring not only
a different driving style, but also certain
preparations to the vehicle itself to en-
sure that your vehicle operates safely
and trouble free throughout the winter
months.CoolantBe sure that the coolant mixture con-
tains the year-round ratio of 50:50
water and antifreeze/corrosion protec-
tion. This mixture provides protection
against freezing down to approx. –34 7
(–37 6). Replace the coolant every four
years.LocksBMW door lock deicer can be used to
free them if frozen. This deicer also
After its use, treatment with BMW lock
barrel grease is recommended.
Rubber seals and components To prevent the weather stripping from
freezing, apply a spray-on rubber treat-
ment or silicone spray to the door, hood
and luggage compartment lid seals.
A full range of car care products is
available from your BMW center.
both summer and winter tires. Mount
them in pairs on the rear wheels only
and comply with the manufacturer's
safety precautions. Do not exceed a
maximum speed of 30 mph (50 km/h).
In this type of exceptional situation
where the snow chains are mounted,
deactivate the DSC. Refer to page 88.
Starting offWhen starting off from a full stop in
deep snow or when "rocking" the vehi-
cle to free it, it may be effective to
deactivate the DSC system for a short
period. Refer to page 88.Driving on low-traction road
surfacesUse smooth, gentle pressure to control
the accelerator pedal. Avoid excessive
engine speeds and shift to the next
higher gear at an early point. On down-
hill grades or slopes, shift down to the
next lower gear at an early point. Main-
tain an adequate distance between
yourself and the vehicle ahead.
Page 119 of 199
Winter operationBrakesWinter road conditions substantially
reduce the amount of traction available
between the tires and the road surface.
Keep this in mind, because the braking
distance increases substantially.
ABS is intended to prevent the wheels
from locking during brake applications,
thus helping to maintain vehicle stability
and steering response.
If the ABS does not respond in a critical
braking situation and the wheels lock,
reduce the pressure on the brake pedal
until the wheels just start to roll again
while still maintaining enough force to
continue braking. Then increase the
pressure, reduce the pressure when the
wheels lock, reapply pressure, etc.
This staggered braking procedure will
reduce stopping distances while help-
ing you maintain steering control.
You can then attempt to steer around
hazards after you have reduced pres-
sure on the brake pedal.Do not shift down on slick road
surfaces. Doing so could cause
the rear wheels to lose traction and
skid, which could result in the loss of
Depress the clutch during hard
braking on road surfaces that pro-
vide only poor or uneven traction.<
Skid control Depress the clutch and release the ac-
celerator pedal, or place the selector
lever of the automatic transmission into
the "Neutral" position. Countersteer
carefully and attempt to regain control
of the vehicle.
ParkingEngage first or reverse gear. If your
vehicle is equipped with an automatic
transmission, place the selector lever in
Park. On vehicles with manual trans-
mission, also apply the parking brake
when parking on inclined surfaces. In
order to prevent the parking brake pads
from locking due to frost or corrosion,
dry them by gently applying the parking
brake as the vehicle is coming to a
stop. Make sure that following traffic
is not endangered.
The brake lamps do not come
on when the parking brake
Page 124 of 199
To maintain good handling and vehicle
response, use only tires of a single
tread configuration from a single manu-
facturer. BMW tests and approves
wheel/tire combinations. Refer to
DOT Quality GradesTreadwear
Traction AA A B C
Temperature A B C
In addition to the tire grades listed
above, all passenger car tires must
conform to Federal Safety Require-
ments as well.< TreadwearThe treadwear grade is a comparative
rating based on the wear rate of the tire
when tested under controlled condi-
tions on a specified government test
For example, a tire graded 150 would
wear one and one-half (1-1/2) times as
well on the government course as a tire
graded 100. The relative performance
of tires depends upon the actual condi-
tions of their use, however, and may
depart significantly from the norm due
to variations in driving habits, service
practices and differences in road
characteristics and climate.TractionThe traction grades, from highest to
lowest, are AA, A, B, and C.
Those grades represent the tire's ability
to stop on wet pavement as measured
under controlled conditions on speci-
fied government test surfaces of as-
phalt and concrete. A tire marked C
may have poor traction performance.
The traction grade assigned to
this tire is based on straight-
ahead braking traction tests, and
does not include acceleration, corner-
ing, hydroplaning, or peak traction
characteristics.< TemperatureThe temperature grades are A (the high-
est), B, and C, representing the tire's re-
sistance to the generation of heat and
its ability to dissipate heat when tested
under controlled conditions on a speci-
fied indoor laboratory test wheel.
Sustained high temperature can cause
the tire material to degenerate and re-
duce tire life, and excessive tempera-
ture can lead to sudden tire failure. The
Grade C corresponds to a level of per-
formance which all passenger car tires
must meet under the Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109.
Grades B and A represent higher levels
of performance on the laboratory test
wheel than the minimum required by law.
The temperature grade for this tire
is established for a tire that is prop-
erly inflated and not overloaded. Exces-
sive speed, underinflation, or excessive
loading, either separately or in combina-
tion, can cause heat buildup and possi-
ble tire failure.< Uniform Tire Quality Grading Quality grades can be found where
applicable on the tire sidewall between
tread shoulder and maximum section
width. For example:
Tread wear 200 Traction AA
Do not use retreaded tires ("caps").
Driving safety may be impaired by
their use. This due to the possible varia-
tions in casing structures and, in some
cases, to their extreme age, factors
which can lead to a decrease in their
Page 127 of 199
Do not exceed specified
Never exceed the maximum speed
for which winter tires are rated.
Unprofessional attempts by laymen to
service tires can lead to damage and
Have this work performed by skilled
professionals only. Any BMW center
has the required technical knowledge
and the proper equipment and will be
happy to assist you.<
Tire condition, tire pressureOnce the tire wears to a tread depth
below 0.16 in (4 mm), winter tires dis-
play a perceptible decrease in their
ability to cope with winter driving condi-
tions, and should be replaced in the
interest of safety.
Comply with the specified tire inflation
pressures – and be sure to have the
wheel and tire assemblies balanced
every time you change the tires.
Winter tiresChoosing the right tireBMW recommends winter tires (M+S
radial tires) for driving in adverse winter
road conditions. Although all-season
tires with the M+S identification provide
better winter traction than summer tires
with H, V, W Y and ZR speed ratings,
they generally fail to provide the same
levels of performance as standard
In the interests of safe tracking and
steering response, install winter tires
made by the same manufacturer having
the same tread configuration on all four
Mount only winter tires which have
been approved by BMW. Any BMW
center will be glad to provide you with
information on the best winter tires for
your particular driving conditions.
StorageAlways store tires in a cool, dry place.
Store them away from light whenever
possible. Protect the tires against con-
tact with oil, grease and fuel.Snow chains
The use of narrow-link BMW snow
chains on summer or winter tires is
approved only in pairs and only on the
rear wheels. Comply with all manufac-
turer's safety precautions when mount-
ing the chains.
Page 194 of 199
Everything from A to ZService and Warranty
Information Booklet (US
Snow chains118, 128
Space-saver spare tire159
Starting problems113, 168
Steering wheel lock70
Stopping the vehicle71
Storing your vehicle147
Summer tires126Switching off the engine71
unlock in case of electrical
refer to the separate
Tether anchorage for child
Third brake lamp157
Tilt sensor alarm system43
Tire damages123Tire inflation
Tire Pressure Control
Tire pressure, checking27
Tire replacement124, 125
Traction Control System
refer to DSC88
Tread depth, tires123
Trunk lid, refer to luggage
Turn signal indicator23, 77
UUniform Tire Quality
Vinyl upholstery, care142
Visors59WWarning lamp "Please fasten
Warranty and Service Guide
Washer reservoir, filling132
Washing your car139
Water on roadways