how well do e34s handle snowy conditions? [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: how well do e34s handle snowy conditions?

10-11-2009, 04:18 PM
yet another issue has come up in my attempts to get an e34......

my neighbor across the street is trying to sell his AWD Audi, and my father is telling me to consider it since its awd is good in the snow....

AT THE SAME TIME, HOWEVER i have found a fine 1989 e34 535i auto on cragslist: 120,000 miles, garaged in the winter, well maintained by the local dealership, the list goes on... all for $500 less than the audi (which needs a rebuilt ABS module)

but my father won't drop the snow issue, even though his winter vehicle isn't awd either...

SO MY QUESTION IS how well do your e34s drive in snowy conditions? i'm not talking feet deep, just what you would expect on a main road in the winter. i know some automatic
e34s have a snowflake on the gear selector specifically for snowy roads, but how well does it actually work?

i have nothing against the audi, i just like e34s more (although i would take the audi over my dad's Dakota any day...)

10-11-2009, 06:05 PM
I was worried about the same thing when I went from a fwd car. Last year we had one of the worst winters ever in western Washington. I was driving my E34 almost everyday. The days that snow was expected or had already fallen in 8"+ amounts I drove my truck. On the days it froze or had compact snow & ice I drove the Bimmer. I was really amazed at how well it did. Mine has the ASC so it helps. One day I came off the freeway and pulled into the park & ride and when I got out the whole area was covered in ice, I almost fell three times! Driving in I was unaware of the ice. I have Michelin mx4 tires and I believe they help but I have been really impressed with how well it does. Remember in Europe they use these cars for the mountains. They really do well, awd cars are much less fuel efficent. So you can use that on your dad, plus the added wear and tear of 4 drive wheels turning all the time increases maintenance costs.

10-11-2009, 06:18 PM
A 5 series with a set of snow tires is an amazing thing in the winter.

10-11-2009, 07:31 PM
get a set of nice snow tires and you will be golden. Thats what i did, and then just get a set of rims for the summer time if you have a little money to spend and put some nice summer tires on them and just switch the sets of tires and rims as the seasons change. Thats what i did and it is working out perfectly.

10-12-2009, 11:50 AM
With the cars VIN it can be determined if it has the limited slip differential(LSD). Use realoem or there is a fellow on a different (BIMMER)forum offering to decode VINs.
With LSD and good tires they are VERY good in snow. That Audi is money pit pile of crap, check into that ABS module for example, that will never stop costing you.
Some E34s have electronic traction control. Regardless of what electronic wizardry is employed you are limited by the amout of traction the tires can deliver. Tires are by far the most important factor.

10-12-2009, 12:01 PM
that's exactly what i've been thinking: get a set of bottlecaps (or whatever i can find) and put on the best snow tires i can afford. :thumbup: