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all_towing_with_bmw From:
Subject: Towing with 525i


I am towing frequently with as well a Merc E230 (1996) as a BMW 525tds (1997). The BMW has no problems with lighter loads like 1000kg. However, if I tow my twin axle caravan (1600kg, 7m length), I get into trouble. Although the towing characteristics are better on paper for the Beemer (more torque, more heavy car, so should be more stable), the BMW drives around as if it lost its wheels while the Merc flies with the thing (I manage to get the stuff rolling at 95mph ! While the BMW get unstable at 70mph and does not want to go faster anyway.) Definitely, you feel a BMW is not made for towing. However, quite a lot can be compensated by rising significantly the tire pressure. The car feels much lighter then and suffers less.

However, also when manoeuvering with heavy loads (like the caravan), the BMW is not good. Reverse the stuff over half a mile with the Merc and no probs. Reverse 10m with the BMW at the same place and the clutch smells like hell...

If driving an automatic gearbox, you could put an oilcooler on the car for the gearbox oil. This will improve the reliability and also give better towing performance as the oil does not heat up so much.

Finally: just a remark: I live in an area where there are lots of farmers who deal in cattle. These people are on the road with trailers for cows the whole day and average 100K miles a year in all conditions, without doing to much maintenance on the cars. They don't want a truck or 4x4 as they want some reasonable comfort. And they never drive BMW's, Audi's or Lexusses... they always drive Mercs...

Let me know how you get on.
Kind regards,

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