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E89 Z4 (2009 - current)

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  #1  
Old 02-21-2012, 06:18 AM
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Hill Assist on the 4-Cylinder Z4

Would someone with a manual transmission 4-Cylinder sDrive20i or sDrive28i check if their Hill Start Assist is working?
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2012, 11:27 AM
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Update:

The 20i and 28i do not have hill-start assist / drive-off assistant. . The UK website and brochure incorrectly show hill start assist as standard equipment for all manual transmission Z4s.

The US website is correct.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 03-13-2012 at 05:03 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2012, 03:08 AM
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Updates

Updates:


After 10 days, we getting better at driving the car.

I'm able manage backing into our narrow uphill driveway without much difficulty.
Hit or miss if either of us can get a smooth hill start without the chime going off. That will probably improve as we drive the car more.

Long uphills in stop and go traffic are a pain. It takes too long to stop the car, apply the brake and then wait for it to release. The brake release delay will always make pulling out into traffic a little more difficult. Maneuvers that require the parking brake will always be more difficult in this car.


I wish the car had a normal handbrake or hill start assist.

The thing is other than that, we got a good one. Our Z is currently trouble free. Good paint job, no rattles, the electronics all work correctly, not even a low fluid warning light. Every other new BMW we've owned has had at least one minor problem in the first month.


===

Our dealer is still waiting to hear back from BMW UK. No idea if BMW are going to offer us any compensation.

Last week, I sent an email to BMW Car Club GB outlining the issue and offering to write an article for Straight Six. No reply yet.


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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 04-02-2012 at 10:58 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2012, 05:11 AM
Glen E Glen E is offline
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usually somewhere on the website and their brochures is the disclaimer "options/specs subject to change without notice" - I doubt you'll get any compensation....
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Last edited by Glen E; 03-30-2012 at 07:35 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2012, 06:23 AM
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Mostly I'm posting here so that new and potential Z4 owners are aware of the issue. Trying a hill start is not something I usually get a chance to do on a test drive.

If we were buying a 28i in the US, we'd probably get the no-cost automatic. Automatic is an expensive option here.

======


Yes, I agree we are unlikely to get any £££ compensation from BMW. BMW UK do have a disclaimer. UK basic consumer rights supersede the disclaimer. Our retail sales contract has large print at the top guaranteeing our statutory rights under UK consumer law.


If we took BMW to court for damages we would loose. The disclaimer applies. Well probably. I'm not an attorney and UK laws are looney. In any case I'm not interested in legal action.

We absolutely do have the right to return our car as "Substantially not as advertised." If we do that we get a full refund and BMW gets stuck with a used Z4.

A few customers have been able to get automatics at no charge on the UK version of a trade assist.

I'm not sure if we are going to get that offer as our order and delivery is in a grey area. We were told our car absolutely would have hill start assist. A couple of days after the car arrived at the dealer, they discovered it didn't. At first, it wasn't clear if none of the cars had it or if there was a repairable problem.


Someone who took delivery a week before we did is getting a trade assist. Someone who took delivery a few days after we did is getting nothing.

UPDATE: BMW UK are giving us a £350 credit.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 03-30-2012 at 06:46 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2012, 07:35 AM
Glen E Glen E is offline
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Excellent!
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:21 AM
NickHW NickHW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
Long uphills in stop and go traffic are a pain. It takes too long to stop the car, apply the brake and then wait for it to release. The brake release delay will always make pulling out into traffic a little more difficult. Maneuvers that require the parking brake will always be more difficult in this car.
Oh that's extremely frustrating.

How does the electronic parking brake work on the manual cars? On the automatic (at least on mine, which is a Japanese model), you can't release it in D unless you've got your foot on the brake pedal. That would obviously require three feet to perform a hill start in a manual!
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2012, 06:45 AM
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BMW's letter code for the parking brake system is EMF. Here is a detailed description how EMF works on our Z4:


  • EMF works on two systems, the service brake and a pair of electric actuators on the rear wheels.
  • If the car is on, the EMF puts on both the service brake and the rear wheel brakes. If the car is off, the EMF only applies the rear wheel electric brake.
  • EMF holds the car very firmly. Much more so than BMW's traditional mechanical parking brake.
  • If you try to release the brake without depressing the clutch, the brake pedal or both, the parking brake does not release. You get a chime and yellow warning light.
  • Having either the clutch or the brake pedal depressed enables the parking brake release. You don't need to have both pedals down.
  • If you pull up the parking brake switch when the car is moving, the car does a panic stop. Don't try this on a road.
  • The rear wheel electric brakes only apply when the car is at a complete stop.
  • There is a one second delay to apply or release the parking brake.
  • The parking brake releases all at once. There is not a gradual transition
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 04-02-2012 at 08:03 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2012, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
[*]If you pull up the parking brake switch when the car is moving, the car does a panic stop. Don't try this on a road.[/list]
Ok, I'll bite ... what happens when you do this on a road? Just a "all hands on deck full brake action"?

Or spin hoplessly out of control?
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2012, 10:52 PM
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Ok, I'll bite ... what happens when you do this on a road?
ABS and stability control are on so the car doesn't spin. It just stops very quickly.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 04-02-2012 at 10:57 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2012, 01:59 PM
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Magazine Article

My Article in this month's Straight Six.

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  #12  
Old 06-02-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
If you pull up the parking brake switch when the car is moving, the car does a panic stop. Don't try this on a road.
As an added note if you pull up on the e brake while moving, the brakes at all four wheels are activated by the DSC system.

Andrew I understand your frustration at not having the start (hill) assist. But surely you learned to drive before we had these nicities. I agree it is inconvenience. Sometimes it is hard to underwstand BMW. Seems as though it would be a simple software update for BMW. Can't be due to a cost saving, as all the sensors and coding would be the same. Just the Germans being nasty to the lower powered class vehicle. US 2.8 4 cyl Z's do not get "start assist" either. Lesson learned - never, never, ever trust the salemen.

FYI the assist only works to limit backward movement - won't help you if your backing up and roll forward.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2012, 01:03 AM
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Yeah.

I'm also posting in a UK forum -- This thread doesn't cover everything....

Catch up:

BMW UK incorrectly listed the feature as standard in the brochure, the website and in internal training material sent out to dealers. UK Z4 owners starting complaining late last year. Our sales person incorrectly insisted the our car would have hill start in part because BMW UK told him it would. It wasn't until I insisted they have a mechanic check the car before we would take delivery that he discovered the truth.



Our dealer showed me about 30 pages of emails with BMW UK and engineers in Germany. -- BMW can not retrofit hill start to our car. It isn't just a coding switch or a software patch. I don't know why.

BMW UK fixed the web site mid-April but didn't get around to making stickers for the brochures until a couple of weeks ago. They've also sent out notices to dealers, so the sales staff should know now.

====================

Using the electronic brake for hill starts isn't the same as a mechanical hand brake. We've had our car several months and our daily commute includes hill starts. 5 days a week I have to driving in stop and go traffic up hill, so I've had plenty of practice.

The car is more than drivable, but the brake is a minor annoyance. There is a one second delay to apply or remove the brake. That makes it very hard to keep up in stop and go up hill traffic. Pulling out into traffic is a problem too. I'm faster with a regular hand brake.

Parking on steep hills is difficult.

If we were still living in the US, I probably would have taken the no cost automatic 28i or found the money for a 35i.

================

Quote:
FYI the assist only works to limit backward movement - won't help you if your backing up and roll forward.
On our e83 X3 (US spec) and our UK R56 MINI, hill assist would work down hill if the car was in reverse. I haven't driven an e89 with hill assist.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 06-03-2012 at 01:06 AM.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2012, 01:32 AM
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Just need more practice. I had lots of trouble my first time in a manual, even on the slightest incline. Now I can pull out without rolling back more than an inch on steep inclines.
With your foot on the brake and the car in gear, release the clutch right at it's friction point. Then release the brake and rev to like 2k rpm and simultaneously release the clutch a tad bit more, but keep it slipping until you start to move forward a bit more. Then release clutch normally.

The key to driving your first manual and finding the clutch's friction point early on and learning to use it to your advantage.
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2012, 09:08 AM
jparnes1 jparnes1 is offline
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Originally Posted by mujjuman View Post
Just need more practice. I had lots of trouble my first time in a manual, even on the slightest incline. Now I can pull out without rolling back more than an inch on steep inclines.
With your foot on the brake and the car in gear, release the clutch right at it's friction point. Then release the brake and rev to like 2k rpm and simultaneously release the clutch a tad bit more, but keep it slipping until you start to move forward a bit more. Then release clutch normally.

The key to driving your first manual and finding the clutch's friction point early on and learning to use it to your advantage.
Another good application for heal/toe shifting. don't release the brake...work the brake pedal with the gas as you release the clutch.
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
The key to driving your first manual . . .
My first manual transmission car was a '68 Fiat I bought in 1977.

3 1/2 years ago I passed the UK driving test. Passing the UK test requires starting off up a hill start without rolling back at all. Rolling back even 1 inch is considered a fault.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 06-03-2012 at 09:54 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-14-2013, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
Would someone with a manual transmission 4-Cylinder sDrive20i or sDrive28i check if their Hill Start Assist is working?
Just found your thread. I have had the same issue with a 2013 Z4 28i with manual transmission. The corporate web site still lists drive off assist as a standard feature here in the US, but it isn't on the 2013 model. The dealer spent a week trying to fix it before telling me that the car doesn't have it. Really not easy to start off on a steep hill, and I'm afraid at some point that we will have an accident because of this design.
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