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Steering Instability at High Speeds caused by... (archive)

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Posted by artie on March 03, 1999 at 08:40:06:

In Reply to: Steering posted by HSJ on March 02, 1999 at 22:31:44:

BMW's, especially the 3-series, are designed to driven at very high speeds in Germany and are considered to be performance automobiles in that country. There are no speed limits on most parts of the Autobahn.
Steering sensitivity will change with speed for reasons that have nothing to do with the car design. The first and foremost is tire pressure and tire design. Tires not rated for high speeds (i.e. H-rated) will cause instability at high speeds becuase their compounds and design are intended for low speed handling. Then once the proper tire is installed, incorrect tire pressure will also cause stability problems especially for lightly loaded vehicles. If you mount Blizzaks on your 323i or 323i, the highest speed I would recommend is 90 mph (if you are willing to break the speed limit).
Thirdly, many North American roads are not designed nor are they maintained for high speed driving. The "tramlining" ruts caused by the overweight vehicles is a danger to all vehicles, especially those with wider tires such as BMWs.
Prior to claiming that your BMW is unstable at higher speeds, I suggest you verify all of the above.

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