Low oil pressure, is this a common problem?

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Jeff Strickland wrote:


Yes, but the risk that the 60+ ton truck in front of me would suddenly slam its brakes just to avoid a deer or whatever is pretty slim.

My hitch is rated for 3750 lbs. Assuming there's a 100% safety margin, I could tow 7500 lbs.

Does your Jeep have a longer wheelbase and weigh more than my '92 BMW 535? If not, it's less suited to tow heavy loads.

Excellent explanation! Thanks.

I did, but it's possible the car wasn't completely level at the time...

Ulf
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That was this time. It is not a good idea to tow the trailer you are towing with your BMW.

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That's backwards. If your hitch was rated at 3750, then a 100% margin of error would let you safely tow a load that weighed 1875. A trailer weighing in at 7500 pounds would exceed the capacity by 100%, and that is never a margin which is in your favor. If you wanted the margin to be in your favor, you would need to keep your load below the rated capacity, not above it.

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The point is, I didn't expect to have happen what did happen, and when it happened it was a very dangerous situation that developed within a matter of seconds after having gone for minutes without any problems at all. The point isn't what was on the trailer, or what I was using to pull the trailer, the point is that the situation can go from OK to really shitty in the blink of an eye.
The side bar issue is that your BMW hasn't got the frame and structural support to be handling a trailer like that.

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Closer to level is always best, but you don't need a transit and a plumb line to make sure the car is level. Your garage floor or the street in front of your house is level enough, or the parking lot at the store where you are going to buy a quart or two of oil should be fine too.
Was the oil level OK, or was it low? If it was low enough to be a problem, it would be well below the MIN line on the dip stick. If it was only to the MIN line, then it should not be feeding you low pressure indications.
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

It's a good idea to tow it, just not when it's overloaded.

Obviously, the hitch is designed for a higher weight than it's rated for. Just imagine what would happen after a few years with rust, dents, normal wear and tear, etc. otherwise.

Right, but there must have been clues something bad was about to happen. The trailer won't just take control out of the blue, you must have done something. Braked too hard, jerked the steering wheel, driven too fast, or whatever.

And just how do you know this?

If IIRC it was about halfway between min. and max.

Ulf
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Ulf wrote:

Is this a troll? 2 seconds space is OK for an unladen car in perfect weather conditions. The space should be doubled when towing. Yes, I know it ios difficult, but you should also be driving slower anyway...
-Fred W
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Malt_Hound wrote:

One sec is enough for good weather conditions, so I did double my following distance. Driving slower would not have made it safer because then everyone and their grandmother would have passed me, including the trucks.

Ulf
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Following by one second ot two is not a matter of your speed, its a matter of your following distance. You can follow by 5 seconds and still do 50 or 55, or whatever. Fred is telling you that you follow too close, not that you go too fast. It's me that told you that you go too fast ...
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Ulf wrote:

No, it's not, and if you believe that it I hope that you do not ever drive behind me.
In an emergency situation, where you are unaware of the need to brake until you see the car infront's brake lights, you would be hard pressed to get your foot from the gas to the brake and actually begin to slow down in 1 second.

Who cares who is passing you. Having cars and/or trucks passing you does not constitute an unsafe condition. As the operator of your vehicle you need to decide what the proper speed for that vehicle under those conditions is, not let the speed of other traffic make that decision for you.
-Fred W
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Malt_Hound wrote:

Come on, I'm not 100 years old, you know. :-)

I tend to drive the speed most of the other traffic is doing. Driving slower would have forced the other traffic going 55 mph into the left lane where the speed was 65-75 mph. Besides, I *did* make the, IMO correct, decision that 55 mph was a safe speed for me.

Ulf
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Ulf wrote:

You don't have to be 100 years old. Even the younger drivers will take upwards of a second before they can even start braking. Add the fact that your overloaded tow rig is going to come to a stop slower (further) than an unladen car and you are just about assured you will have a collision following only 2 seconds with the trailer.
All I can say is stay over there (wherever you are). I don't want to see you riding up my tail with a heavily loaded trailer being towed by a car not designed to tow heavy trailers.
Read this:
http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/driving/articles/43810/article.html
and as an experiment, try testing your own reaction time here:
http://www.h-e-l.co.uk/HEL_Performance_Motorcycle_Brake_Lines_Reaction_Timer.htm
But don't forget that this is your eye-hand reaction time. You will be *significantly* slower when you have to lift your foot from the accelerator and stomp on the brake pedal.
-Fred W
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

While I agree with the tenor of your post Jeff, the trailer brake thing is not quite true. Many trailers have self actuated hydraulic brake systems. There is a sliding hydraulic actuator assembly integral to the tongue of the trailer. In these systems it is the weight of the trailer pushing against the hitch that actuates the drum or disk brakes. Pretty ingenious actually...
http://www.easternmarine.com/em_store/trailerbrakes/trailerbrakes_hyd.html
It is a common set-up on boat trailers (I have it with drum brakes on mine), though I can't tell from the picture if Ulf has these on his utility trailer.
-Fred W
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Normally it's mandatory above 300 kg. At least in France.
[...]

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You're right, I wasn't thinking of a surge brake, I was only thinking of electric brakes. But, I still maintain that if the trailer even needs brakes, it's too much trailer for a BMW.

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Snip

Solid rock has specific gravity of 2.7 - 3.2 density and some sands (such as as Zircon sand) 4.6!
Your weight estimate may be a lot low.
If your ABS is coming on in the dry then the total load or its distribution may be out of limit, however that is what it is there for and although it may indicate that you are pushing it and may not stop in time, you are unlikely to hurt the brakes.
Not so the engine and transmission, which are not going to like dragging a truck load of sand about for very far.
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R. Mark Clayton wrote:

I don't know. The max load for the trailer was just under one ton, so I find it very unlikely that the weight of the sand was much more than twice that. With a density of 3 tons/m^3 we're talking five tons, and that's a lot.

Come on, it's a BMW. It's designed to driven 155 mph all day long on the Autobahn... :-)

Ulf
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Ulf wrote:

Exactly. I wouldn't trust it to tow a trailer load of post-holes :-p
> It's designed to driven 155 mph all day long on the Autobahn... :-)
By that logic, an Indy car should be able to tow a cement mixer :-)
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I don't know if the maximum trailer weight is specified for cars in the US, but in Sweden this weight is specified, and my '01 Audi A6 is specified at 1900 kg maximum. I would assume that a bmw would have a similar specification. Maximum tounge weight is 85 kg.
Thomas
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Thomas Tornblom wrote:

It is specified. In all honesty, a BMW should be able to tow a small trailer as well as anything else, provided its properly equipped. I *might* try to tow a load of sand like that behind my '73 Plymouth, but I sure wouldn't try it behind my wife's 93 Intrepid, or a BMW though. Modern cars are a lot less overbuilt than old solid-axle American iron, and don't have nearly as much overkill in their towing capacities either.
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Ulf wrote:

... except no oil pressure... :-p
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Steve wrote:

I'm guessing that this had everything to do with the hill and nothing to do with the trailer, *except* that the additional weight on the trailer tongue would tilt the car even more than normal for that particular slope.
-Fred W
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I don't pretend to know diddly about BMWs so I don't even know if this applies to the engine in yours, but I happened to read this a while back:
http://terrysaytherauto.com/M60OilPumpBoltProb.htm
Ulf wrote:

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