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BMW 5 Series - Will my BMW 5 Series handle the bumpy farm track? - BenRinnes

Hi there,

Due to a change in circumstances I'm now living in a rented farmhouse that is accesed via a very bumpy mile long single track road comprising gravel, dirt, manure, stones etc. I only bought my approved used 5 series several weeks beforehand otherwise I may have went for an X3 or equivalent, as road surface aside, I'm concerned about the suspension despite planning on driving slowly up the track (I don't have the VDC) and also I am concerned about the ground clearance. (thankfully it's an SE model but clearance is still a concern)

I would loathe to trade in my new bimmer at this stage as I'm loving it and have committed to pro sat nav and folding mirror retrofits in the coming weeks. I'd also rather avoid investing in a second "run around" car. So, I've been researching options for winter wheels and tyres in the hope this may help alleviate the above concerns.

I'm currently on 225/55R17 run flats. My research to date has suggested investing in a new set of wheels & tyres for the winter (especially due to the single track farm road I now need to use on a daily basis), but that I may want to consider keeping these year round until I move house again.

I've also read about low profile tyres versus high profile tyres, and higher sidewalls to help prevent the alloys being scraped by the larger stones on the track. I'm out of my depth with this though!

I'd be grateful for your informed views and own experience of the above scenario and any recommendations, not just on the winter wheel/tyre swap, but whether or not an executive saloon can really be used on such roads at all?



BMW 5 Series - Will my BMW 5 Series handle the bumpy farm track? - RobJP

It's certainly not an ideal vehicle for that sort of use - I'm assuming out and in pretty much daily. Two miles on a track like that will put a lot of hammer on suspension components, no matter how small the wheels you fit on it.

Yes, 16" wheels and winter tyres would help matters. But you've still, sadly, just not got the suspension travel to do that without 'bottoming out' quite regularly.

My personal opinion is that it's not a suitable vehicle for that, and I drive off-road/dirt/forestry tracks every week. But I certainly wouldn't do it in my 325d touring. I have a 2007 Shogun Sport as my smallholding/shoot wagon.

BMW 5 Series - Will my BMW 5 Series handle the bumpy farm track? - gordonbennet

No it's not the ideal vehicle for off roading but till you try it on the road in question you won't know for sure.

I'd try it but in old clobber and take a pick axe (or lump hammer and cold chisel), sledge hammer and good spade with me, if there's only the odd high/low spot you might be able to deal with them on the spot.

If you get a few hundred yards and its becoming a too serious venture then you have your answer, it concerns that the road is bad enough for you to worry about wheel damage on your sensible sizes, what hope daft 35 aspect wheels.

Steel wheels and winter tyres might be the answer for the season*, both Mytyres and Tyreleader will supply already fitted sets, and if you are definately going to keep the car it might be an idea to buy them asap before bad weather sets in and the price goes up.

*You'll have to check on the runflat situation, you could always run normal winter tyres but keep one of your summer wheels in the boot as a spare if space allows, bear in mind you'll need a suitable jack and wheelbrace if you don't mind changing your own.

BMW 5 Series - Will my BMW 5 Series handle the bumpy farm track? - madf

Spend £1000 ?? on adding gravel to track and level out worst bumps - with landlord's approval of course.

BMW 5 Series - Will my BMW 5 Series handle the bumpy farm track? - Avant

Is there somewhere reasonably safe that you can leave the BMW and buy an old bike to ride the rest of the distance?

BMW 5 Series - Will my BMW 5 Series handle the bumpy farm track? - colino

Take the healthy option and walk the mile-long track. Wouldn't even consider this car for bumping down a lane in anything but an emergency, the tyres and suspension (that are expensive consumables anyway on this car) won't like it and it and it will look for ways to throw away its mudflaps and snag its heavy and expensive exhaust. You could have done worse and bought the X3. Then you would have a higher view of the tractor coming to tow you out.

BMW 5 Series - Will my BMW 5 Series handle the bumpy farm track? - Cyd

You need to find another solution, other than driving your 5 on this track daily. You will knacker the suspension and/or steering in short order imo. Cracking around steering and suspension mounts is a serious concern too. Cars just aren't built to take this kind of pounding regularly.

Can you do anything to smooth the track out?

Park at the end and use a mountain bike?

Is the track private land? Park up at the outer end and use any cheap old nail to drive the track (no tax or insurance req'd if private land)?


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