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Ron Stygar Carl Buckland Dale Beuning Forums Help

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Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 11:41:53 -0400
Subject: Re: BMW's and Snow

> I was talking with my brother this morning and he informed me that BMW's
were bad in snow. Is this true? Specifically is this true for the car that I am looking at ('77 530I)? I am planning on getting studded Hakkas on it, so tires will be the best, I'm just concerned with squelching other concerns that family members have regarding safety of this BMW and in snow specifically.

Adam <

Adam, I'm guessing by your email address that you're in PA. Unless you get some RADICAL snow wherever you are, you should have no problem with Hakkas on a 530i. I would recommend four snows to maintain handling balance

  • -- hey, ya gotta steer too. I've driven a 2002 and an E12 528i in 2" snow on Eagle GTs and P6s (and on snows too) without much problem; just don't do anything you wouldn't do in any other front-engine rear-drive car on equivalent tires.

    I think the major problem with the *perception* of Bimmers being bad in snow comes from the fact that they handle so well on dry road, why shouldn't they do commensurately well in snow? I think it's because of tire choice, rear suspension design, and driver expectation. Bimmers are usually equipped with tires biased more toward performance (surprise, surprise) and away from snow ability. Tires are inherently a compromise. Either drive according to the tires' limits, use tires appropriate for the conditions, or use different transpo. (BTW, just for grins I tried my Yoko A008s in the snow before mounting winter tires -- of course I didn't expect much. They were like skis, except that with skis you can control your direction!!)

    The suspension design allows higher limits of handling within the tires' ability to grip. Take away the grip and the handling "curve" comes down much faster than in cars that have a more basic suspension. Hence the need for snows, and/or the driver allowing for that difference. I guess the converse of that is, if a car handles well in the snow, how well would it do on dry road *on those tires*?

    Sorry to ramble, but people have asked me the same question. I give them that explanation and they say "Ohhh, ok, I wasn't aware of all that."

    And another thing -- if the car you are in were ultimately called upon to lay down its life for you, would you rather be in a BMW or something less sturdy????

Hope this helps you *and* your family members. Happy Bimmerin'!
'87 535i
'88 325is
Formerly '76 2002 and '81 528i (3.3)

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