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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 01-20-2013, 08:04 PM
Stoubal Stoubal is offline
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X5 can only go up step hill in reverse..is this normal?

Hi folks,

I just got a x5 35d 2010. It's on winter tires. I have been visiting friends that have a place in the mountains and every time I try to go up their driveway which is about 60 feet of a steep climb, I can never get up more then 20 feet before the car stops in dead in the tracks. I have turned off dsc, but then the car but starts spinning and moving from side to side..

But if I go up the same hill in reverse, I can go up the entire hill no issue.

They have a Subaru outback which goes up no problem.

Therefore, has anyone experienced this before, is it my tires, or is it that the xdrive can't handle it. It's disappointing..;-(

Thanks
Sami
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2013, 09:41 PM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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Your post doesn't seem clear. Could you give us more information?

It probably has to do with tires. Try holding down the DSC off button. If you hold it, it will turn everything off.
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:03 PM
Stoubal Stoubal is offline
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Hi,

Here are more details.

So, when I get to a very steep hill, in this case the driveway covered of snow and some ice, when I accelerate to climb up, the x5 can't go up more then 20 feet. At this point it just stops like it has no more power. I guess this is the dsc kicking in.
Therefore I go back down the 20 feet, turn the x5 around and go up the steep driveway in reverse.
This way no issues, the x5 goes all the way up the 60 feet of steep driveway.

If I try again to go up the driveway and turn of DSC, this time at 20 feet up, the tires are spinning and x5 can't get up the rest of the driveway.

So my question is why am i able to go up the hill in reverse but not in drive. Does it have to so with how the x5 shares the power to the wheels. More in back, less in front. If it were my tires, wouldn't I not be able to go up anyways?

Thanks

Sami
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  #4  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:18 PM
jgentle jgentle is offline
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That's crazy! I fully understand your disappointment! My first thought was that you must be running summer tires, but your post clearly states that you're running winter rubber.

I think you should post a video on YouTube showing your (mis)behavior with DSC turned on, then with it off, then after the "long press" (I'm not sure how that differs, but to capture the third method). Certainly one of the methods should get you up the hill, preferably the default.

I can't answer your question with any authority, but I'll bet that (A) you've found a hill that XDrive can't handle and (B) it's "within spec" although my vote is that this is very abnormal.

Perhaps your friends should remove some of the snow and ice before your next attempt.
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:38 PM
MRV99 MRV99 is offline
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Your winter tires are installed backwards
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:44 PM
Cdnrockies Cdnrockies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoubal View Post
Hi folks,

I just got a x5 35d 2010. It's on winter tires. I have been visiting friends that have a place in the mountains and every time I try to go up their driveway which is about 60 feet of a steep climb, I can never get up more then 20 feet before the car stops in dead in the tracks. I have turned off dsc, but then the car but starts spinning and moving from side to side..

But if I go up the same hill in reverse, I can go up the entire hill no issue.

They have a Subaru outback which goes up no problem.

Therefore, has anyone experienced this before, is it my tires, or is it that the xdrive can't handle it. It's disappointing..;-(

Thanks
Sami
Curious how steep of a grade we're talking about? Pics or vid?

I live in the mountains and encounter as much ice and snow as anyone here and have never had an issue climbing hills around here with either our Scorpions or Blizzaks?

Are your tires almost done? We also have a '10 and are on our second set of winter rubber now. End life of the last set was less than ideal.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:57 PM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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I would try all the possible permutations of the dsc and dtc active and inactive and possibly manual mode see if anything works.

The situation ur describing is probably ur tread life or lack thereof. If u have winters on, ur nannies should complement ur steep hill Climb (if operated as per the manual). However if Ur close to replacement time, the only reason I can think of why ur able to sucessfully climb in r, is due to the rear biased x drive. (ergo if ur stuck in a rwd car, reverse will be a better option than d, while a fwd car forward is the better option).
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2013, 09:06 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Reverse is also a lower gear ratio.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2013, 10:21 AM
BenF12400 BenF12400 is offline
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This may sound totally ridiculous (I apologize to those who are much more mechanical than I will ever be) but lets say no power is going to your front wheels for some reason. If you are going forward, it's like you are driving a real-wheel only vehicle. But if you turn the vehicle around and go up in reverse, it's like driving a front-wheel drive car so you may be able to "pull" up. Probably not the reason - just trying to figure it out - I guess true front-wheel drive cars also benefit from having the engine weight on the drive wheels. Experts please don't chastise me.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2013, 10:28 AM
brian5 brian5 is offline
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Stoubal,

Just wondering. Are your winter tires 18", 19" or 20"?

I used to have fantastic grip with my 18" winter tires --- haven't fully tested my current 20" winters yet...

And to answer one of your questions. I have read that 62% of the power is supplied to the rear wheels. Another source said 68% so not sure which number is correct.

Last edited by brian5; 01-21-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2013, 12:22 PM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRV99 View Post
Your winter tires are installed backwards
I was about to reply "LOL", but then I thought "Hmm... could be something to it".
http://www.barrystiretech.com/direct...icaltires.html
"If you mount a directional tire backwards - so that it is rotating the wrong direction - the only problem caused is wet (or snow) traction."

The very first winter after I just bought my 35d (18" Dunlop RFTs), we had a lot of snow in Seattle, so I went to see how the X will handle some of them around my neighborhood.

Saw a guy on Range Rover (LR-something, 5 or so year old vehicle) attempt to get to his home up a steep hill. Granted, he had oversized rims and thin tires. So, he couldn't make it after multiple attempts.

I attempted the same hill (without turning off DSC) and got up the hill without a problem. I could feel the X5 switching torque to various wheels - the vehicle was kind of jerking forward every half second, as if it was able to find dry asphalt and getting traction. But I knew there was no way the tires got to the asphalt. The guy before me attempted that trick ("digging" through snow by spinning wheels) with no success.

Used hill descend control on the way down - awesome feeling of being completely in control while coming down slippery and snowy hill at exactly the speed I desired.

Last edited by serge1; 01-21-2013 at 12:24 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:13 PM
krysFly krysFly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrv99 View Post
your winter tires are installed backwards

lol
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:17 PM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krysFly View Post
lol
..
Quote:
Originally Posted by serge1 View Post
I was about to reply "LOL", but then I thought "Hmm... could be something to it".
http://www.barrystiretech.com/direct...icaltires.html
"If you mount a directional tire backwards - so that it is rotating the wrong direction - the only problem caused is wet (or snow) traction."
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:29 PM
digdesign digdesign is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRV99 View Post
Your winter tires are installed backwards
Very plausible. Many snows are directional.
I once saw someone mount their Hoosier Wets backward and he nearly hydroplaned off the track as soon as he got over 50mph.
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:32 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoubal View Post
It's disappointing..;-(

Thanks
Sami
Actually this is a well known problem with the X5, but BMW has successfully covered it up. It is regularly discussed here on the forum, but as soon as the thread pops up it is deleted.

It is unusual that this has stayed up so long....

In snow country it is common to seen X5s clustered at the bottom of steep hills while other traffic passes them by...indeed, quite a few drivers have been cited for backing the wrong way up hills as well.

BMW should be embarassed.
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  #16  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:45 PM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
Actually this is a well known problem with the X5, but BMW has successfully covered it up. It is regularly discussed here on the forum, but as soon as the thread pops up it is deleted.

It is unusual that this has stayed up so long....

In snow country it is common to seen X5s clustered at the bottom of steep hills while other traffic passes them by...indeed, quite a few drivers have been cited for backing the wrong way up hills as well.

BMW should be embarassed.
I wouldn't call it the best system, but Xdrive seems to handle snow pretty well - I have given an example above. Granted, I live in Seattle and we dont get much snow unless venture out to the pass or up to Vancouver ski area. But I have found myself pretty comfortable up there. I did see vehicles that are supposedly good AWD not able to start off on slippery surface (Nissan Xterra). Maybe there's a driver component to it.

The X5 acts differently when it's very slippery. While another (traditional) SUV would lose grip at the front tires and just slide straight forward when attempting a turn (understeer), the X5 tends to slide the back (oversteer) - probably due to rear wheel bias?. I found that I prefer that behavior, since it gives more control.
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  #17  
Old 01-21-2013, 05:42 PM
rick73tii rick73tii is offline
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I may have missed this, but assume that you have tried manually shifting down to first or second? I spend a lot of time in the Colorado foothills and, so far, have not had any issues.
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  #18  
Old 01-21-2013, 06:21 PM
Stoubal Stoubal is offline
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Hi all,
thanks again for your many comments, suggestions and ideas. To answer some questions from some of the replies, I'm on 18 inch wheels, haven't tried it in manual mode.

On Friday I will be trying to go up again the steep slope and I will film the slope and also show my x5 trying to go up in forward and in reverse.

Btw, I called the dealer and they think it might be a problem with the awd system.

I will update this thread on Friday. Thanks again.

Sami
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  #19  
Old 01-21-2013, 07:08 PM
Cdnrockies Cdnrockies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digdesign View Post
Very plausible. Many snows are directional.
I once saw someone mount their Hoosier Wets backward and he nearly hydroplaned off the track as soon as he got over 50mph.
+1

My Blizzaks are directional.
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  #20  
Old 01-21-2013, 07:44 PM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian5 View Post
Stoubal,

Just wondering. Are your winter tires 18", 19" or 20"?

I used to have fantastic grip with my 18" winter tires --- haven't fully tested my current 20" winters yet...

And to answer one of your questions. I have read that 62% of the power is supplied to the rear wheels. Another source said 68% so not sure which number is correct.
I too have heard conflicting reports:

a) the x drive below highway speeds is a 40-60 system (fw-rw)
b) The system is capable of sending 50% power/100% torque to each axle
c) At highway speeds, the system establishes 50% power/100% torque to the rear axle.
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  #21  
Old 01-22-2013, 08:25 AM
BR328 BR328 is offline
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Did you check your tire pressure?
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  #22  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:53 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
Actually this is a well known problem with the X5, but BMW has successfully covered it up. It is regularly discussed here on the forum, but as soon as the thread pops up it is deleted.

It is unusual that this has stayed up so long....

In snow country it is common to seen X5s clustered at the bottom of steep hills while other traffic passes them by...indeed, quite a few drivers have been cited for backing the wrong way up hills as well.

BMW should be embarassed.
That is just so nuts... Why, why, and why? I mean why this issue is so big that it is easier to cover than to fix, why does it happen is the first place and why don't we hear about it more often? I mean they can censor a forum but there are many other channels that are harder to control... I tried searching youtube and did not find anything related - only cool looking snow climbs and drifts where everything works as it should (of course).

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  #23  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:38 AM
ard ard is offline
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Wow.
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  #24  
Old 01-22-2013, 12:00 PM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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Wow.
If it's in response to my above post then I can assure you my interest is sincere. Some pointers to more information would be appreciated, since you spoke so knowingly on the subject...
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:27 PM
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I'm sure ard's cousin in Nigeria would love to hook up with you to do some business bxmxwx.

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