Jump to content
  • When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

How Does The '02 Handle In The Harsher Weather? (Noob Question)


Recommended Posts

Hello, I'm currently saving up for my '02 and am not far off from getting it a couple months from now.


I reside in the Portland, Oregon area..and as you know, we have plenty of mountain ranges around here (including Mt. Hood) to do lots of snowboarding/skiing, and I've seen plenty of 2002's driving around with ski racks, and was wondering if they come to actual use--do the 02's handle decent on the snow? I understand it's not the most advanced car in the world, but how does it handle in the colder climates? That aside, how about the regular 'ole Oregon rain?


Appreciate all your help & support! Sorry for the possibly, noob question (although, I'm sure there's plenty newcomers wondering the same).


Thanks, once again! :)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ton o fun in the snow, I run Hancook snows, non studded, and havent found a drift that could stop me yet, flipside, where there is snow there is salt, not good for 45 year old unibodys, stay off of I-5 and check if local streets are salted, mine are not. Rain is no problem, if your car is weathertight, biggest leaker is door & window seals, gets in and soaks your floor all rainy season if not tight & right, She was born in the snow country, just have to take care of business if you drive in the winter

Happy Trails to u~ Dave Miller
76 Golf~Rhiannon~BM Mascot~*~97 328is~Silver Ghost~*~68 1600~Wisperin Beast~*~70-02~Bumble Beast~*~76 02~Beast~

Keep smilin all the way

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's rear-wheel drive with a front-mounted engine: sub-optimal from a snow traction perspective. But we drove them everywhere in my snow belt days, even up to Rochester, NY in January and February.

Running good snow tires all around will certainly help. One of the challenges today, however, is finding good snow tires of the correct size. Wide is generally not a good answer for snows and, I suspect, the original tire size, 165/80-13, remains one of the better solutions. Everyone -- Michelin, Pirelli, Semperit, etc. -- made 165/80-13's back in the day. Today you'll have to shop around if you want dedicated snow tires.. I bought a set of 165 Semperit snows a couple of years ago out of Canada: these tires have not been distributed in the U.S. for a decade but the U.K., Europe, and Canada markets remained viable until the tires were discontinued two years ago (triggering my purchase).

I've never driven an '02 with all season tires in snow. Lots of people believe that an "M + S" rated all season is as good as a dedicated snow tire. I believe there is a difference.

But all of the above assumes you want to be driving a rust-prone 40 year old car in snow, ice, and salt!

Good luck and best regards,


1976 2002 Polaris, 2742541 (original owner)

1973 2002tii Inka, 2762757 (not-the-original owner)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I drove mine once in slush and lightly snowy roads, and it was okay with all seasons, and than once in blizzard conditions here in Alberta. With 4-6 inches of fresh snow and only big 4x4 tracks in the snow it made for one of the most white knuckles rides of my life. Wipers were too slow, wind was screaming and pushing the car around, and the headlights were basically blocked with snow every few minutes (even my hella fogs iced over).

Would I drive it in plowed areas, maybe in sparse traffic but not a highway. As for a blizzard, be prepared for a heart stopping time. As with any place that uses salt and gravel, wash wash wash wash wash wash... Wash every part of the car, not just the shiny side.

I'd definitely suggest finding a winter beater instead of risking an 02 in winter. Smash a cheap civic or cavalier, eh who cares, smash up an 02 in winter, assuming you survive without cardiac arrest, you will feel like a fool

1974 2002 - M20/Getrag 260 swap underway

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From 1989-1994 I drove my now deceased '02 year round. Never had a problem with driving in the snow in fact it was fun. I kept a set of chains in the trunk so I could get out of the parking lot at our apartment in Pittsburgh. After 6 winters and trying to keep it clean, it was deemed too far gone to save from the rust.


If you want a year round daily driver buy something else with a galvanized body and fender liners. We have an X3 for winter with dedicated snow tires and it's great, consider one.


Don't let this happen to your 2002.





Andrew Wilson
Vern- 1973 2002tii, https://www.bmw2002faq.com/blogs/blog/304-andrew-wilsons-vern-restoration/ 
Veronika- 1968 1600 Cabriolet, Athena- 1973 3.0 CSi,  Rodney- 1988 M5, The M3- 1997 M3,

The Unicorn- 2007 X3, Julia- 2007 Z4 Coupe, Ophelia- 2014 X3, Herman- 1914 KisselKar 4-40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2002 is quite a fun in rainy weather. Salt is a problem for any old cars since the salt mixed ith water has a special thing that i hate the most... It can climb trough cracks so it's really hard to get it out.
2002 in snow is a car you want, you need just a 100kg weight in the back, good winter tyres, mind for speeds and most of all experiance.
Otherwise this is a very dangerous car!

Best regards


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Second the above motions:  my '02 was a daily driver in Ohio for 30 winters--always got through even without snow tires--the old Michelin XAS tires were almost as good as snows...but the salt took its toll--when I re-did the body I think I did some welding on every panel except the roof to repair salt-induced rust.  Fortunately it wasn't terminal as I had done some internal rustproofing back in the late 70s.  And the car hasn't seen salt since I finished the bodywork in 2000.


Around 1977 or so we were returning to SW Ohio from downstate NY and found ourselves in a real, no-kidding blizzard on I-71 between Akron and Columbus.  Snow was so heavy that the wipers would clog every 20 mins or so.  With no place to pull over, I'd crank the sunroof open and Carol would reach out and knock the snow off the wipers as they moved back and forth.  Car never faltered, maintained a steady 25-30 mph in the single lane that was open, following the car in front.  Lotsa cars in the ditch or median; not us.  We got off the Interstate onto the parallel two lane just before a major accident closed I-71 for 18 hours.  Spent the night in Mansfield and made it home the next morning--on back roads.  


They're a blast to drive in the snow--I always had a 40-50 lb toolbox stowed in the trunk between the fender wells; you could put a couple of dumbell weights under the back seat if you need the trunk space.  And if you can't find 13" snow tires, get a set of E30 14" wheels (steel or alloy, whatever's cheaper) and put snows on them.  More sizes are available in 14"--check Tire Rack.  


Just stay away from road salt--it'll eventually look like adawil2002's pictures above--and that's terminal!



Edited by mike

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Put four snows on a front wheel drive beater and you're all set.  


Note: Back in the 80's my tii was a blast to drive in the snow.  I had Phoenix 3011 tires and they worked great.  I made plenty of ski trips to VT and NH and always washed the sand/salt off when I got home but there is no way to get it out of all the little hiding places.  Save you '02 for sunny weather and you'll be much happier!





'71 MGB - sold   '74 2002 - sold

'89 XR4Ti - sold  '94 Miata R Package - sold

'73 tii - restoration project - sold

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oregon & Washington don't use much salt.  I drove my tii as a DD in Bend for a few years, and you just have to be careful.  Even if you know how to handle your car in the snow you still risk getting hit by some kid who thinks 4WD means they can drive like they are on dry pavement.


If you're taking it to the slopes, get a set of studded snow tires.  And a couple bags of sand in the back will help with traction and provide some grip when you do get stuck.

1973 tii, agave, since 1992

1973 tii block 2763759

1967 Mustang GT fastback, since 1986

1999 Toyota 4Runner, 5 speed, ELocker, Supercharged

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have said, put on new good snows and it'll do fine in the dnow, but DON'T DO IT. Even salt notwithstanding, KEEP THE CAR DRY OR YOU'LL KILL IT.

The new book The Best Of The Hack Mechanic available at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0998950742, inscribed copies of all books available at www.robsiegel.com

1972 tii (Louie), 1973 2002 (Hampton), 1975 ti tribute (Bertha), 1972 Bavaria, 1973 3.0CSi, 1979 Euro 635CSi, 1999 Z3, 1999 M Coupe, 2003 530i sport, 1974 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special (I know, I know...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you go with a 175/70-13 there are a few choices in a winter tire, including a Firestone Winterforce, Cooper Weathermaster, or Dunlop Graspic.


As far as driving in the snow, it can be a great advanture, and also can be a great way to learn about drifting and right foot steering.  On the other hand, yes dangerous and your car will rust away in a few years, but I do look back with some fond memories of my early days of driving with a small, light rear wheel drive car early in the morning on fresh powder, but have to admit the BMW and the Triumph only go out on dry pavement in the winter these days..... :( older and wiser isn't nearly as much fun as young an foolish.

Edited by glemon

Lincoln, NE

74 2002

68 Triumph TR250

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • BMW Neue Klasse - a birth of a Sports Sedan

    BMW Neue Klasse - a birth of a Sports Sedan

    Unveiling of the Neue Klasse Unveiled in 1961, BMW 1500 sedan was a revolutionary concept at the outset of the '60s. No tail fins or chrome fountains. Instead, what you got was understated and elegant, in a modern sense, exciting to drive as nearly any sports car, and yet still comfortable for four.   The elegant little sedan was an instant sensation. In the 1500, BMW not only found the long-term solution to its dire business straits but, more importantly, created an entirely new
    History of the BMW 2002 and the 02 Series

    History of the BMW 2002 and the 02 Series

    In 1966, BMW was practically unknown in the US unless you were a touring motorcycle enthusiast or had seen an Isetta given away on a quiz show.  BMW’s sales in the US that year were just 1253 cars.  Then BMW 1600-2 came to America’s shores, tripling US sales to 4564 the following year, boosted by favorable articles in the Buff Books. Car and Driver called it “the best $2500 sedan anywhere.”  Road & Track’s road test was equally enthusiastic.  Then, BMW took a cue from American manufacturers,
    The BMW 2002 Production Run

    The BMW 2002 Production Run

    BMW 02 series are like the original Volkswagen Beetles in one way (besides both being German classic cars)—throughout their long production, they all essentially look alike—at least to the uninitiated:  small, boxy, rear-wheel drive, two-door sedan.  Aficionados know better.   Not only were there three other body styles—none, unfortunately, exported to the US—but there were some significant visual and mechanical changes over their eleven-year production run.   I’ve extracted t

  • Upcoming Events

  • Supporting Vendors

  • Create New...