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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #26  
Old 09-14-2009, 07:35 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post
From what I can deduce, you and I have the same bouncing around problem with our cars but most other people do not. .
PPX, yours has a problem and it needs to be corrected, when are you taking it in?
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  #27  
Old 09-14-2009, 10:45 AM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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In AGAIN this week. Second time. Third complaint.

I am waiting for the dealership to schedule a day this week. I took it in last week and got the
'it's a bucky ride' and 'it drives just like a new X3' --- both of which (after reading these threads) should mean that they take it off the market in favor of fixing everything in the brand new body style.

Honestly, I am DONE.

I want them to take the car, a whole 300 miles on it, back.

I feel suckered, completely suckered and totally exhausted by this ordeal. I do not know why they sell the remainder of these cars with out test driving them and figuring out why they do what they do. I found this out in the first 24 hours.

I am not the BMW repair crew. I do not want to be the BMW diagnostic team, guinea pig, fix it guy. The one thing I was trying to avoid was a car that spent as much time in the shop as it did in my garage. Considering how this was such a problem right off the get go, I am not willing to baby sit it for the next 4 years of warranty and maintenance only to have it do something really frightening.

I experienced the sudden acceleration last night but luckily no one was in front of me and it came and went quickly...very odd.
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  #28  
Old 09-14-2009, 11:02 AM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
PPX, I have had my '06 X3 since new and have driven nearly 50K miles. The ride has improved slightly since new, but is still awful. I have had 4 X3 loaners during that time and took each one over a stretch of road that I found was representative of the nasty pavement/potholed/raised expansion jointed conditions that gave the worst ride. All four were virtually the same, awful. I have come to the conclusion that it is just the nature of the beast. It is my fault for not using the test drive before purchase to better evaluate the X3's performance under those conditions. I don't blame BMW, I blame myself for being too anxious to get what otherwise was a superb car. In fairness I have to add that in all that driving I have had but one problem, a faulty seatheater pad. It has been totally faultless otherwise. On smooth asphalt roads it is a dream to drive and gobbles up the miles with very decent fuel economy. Too bad the ride is so awful under all too frequently encountered situations. Good luck.
Do you find the ride at its worst under 30 mph? I find the bouncy, jostling, pitching the worst at the slowest speeds and on roads with no visible major problems.

The reason I do not think this is part of the car is that some mention it but most say it is a smooth ride. I have driven truck based SUVs and they haven't done what this X3 does. They go bumpety bumpety bump over rocky roads but the cabin doesn't pitch in all directions....you can get seasick from what my car does.

Do you also see road vibrations on highways? I saw that as well. I can actually see the steering wheel and my hands vibrating.

I haven't been over a bridge or road with the joints but there is a stretch of road that has some raised lines of asphalt running across the street...some kind of a messy patch job. Those slightly raised lines cause the car to bounce-bounce-bounce all over the place.

The movement reminds me as well of the buildings and bridges that start swaying when hit with wind. The undulating movement feeds back on itself and they move even more until they receive a counter movement (in this case acceleration or braking) or they break. That is really bothering me. I imagine that this is causing excessive wear and tear on whatever parts are trying to keep the top attached to the bottom.

I don't know how you have put up with it so long. It is taking up all of my time and most of my energy. I do not understand why they continue to sell the tail end of this model. Is it really worth it with all the known problems?

============ having problems editing this post, may be duplicate info...

I did test drive this car model and it did not exhibit these problems...why should it? Why should any car exhibit these problems much less a BMW in its fifth model year and its third year of the AT? Do we have to take the position that BMW is going to sell us new $40K+ cars with serious defects? Do we have to treat a brand new car as we would treat a used car and haul it off to a mechanic for checking?

I blame BMW.

Why are they selling a car with known defects and no fixes. I do think that the bounciness is not normal, not standard. It makes me sea sick and I will not put my dog in the cargo hold (primary reason for buying an SAV instead of a sedan) because I do not know when he will hit his head on the ceiling again and maybe cause injury this time.

I am DONE. I cannot believe you put up with these problems for so long.

Last edited by PPXYZ; 09-14-2009 at 11:16 AM. Reason: additional comments
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  #29  
Old 09-14-2009, 11:09 AM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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duplicate post

Last edited by PPXYZ; 09-14-2009 at 11:10 AM. Reason: duplicate post
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  #30  
Old 09-14-2009, 02:45 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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PPX, the problem exists throughout the speed range. It is dependent on road surface vice speed in my experience. Strangely on graded forest service tracks it does pretty well. When I am driving by myself I don't have too much of a problem with the bumps. I grew up on transverse spring Ford farm trucks so a bumpy ride is nothing new. When I have pax however it is really apparent that this is not a smooth riding machine. My wife in particular just hates the car and refuses to ride in it for any distance (which by itself is not ALL bad) but taking pax out to dinner and having them bounced around back in "steerage" does not make for a happy event. When I first got the car I was incensed about the ride and burned up the lines to the dealer and BMWNA but after many inspections, it was deemed "normal". At least they didn't tell me "your not driving it enough". So after carefully considering the financial bath I would take by dumping it, I kept it and learned to live with the beast. Would I get another? No Way!
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  #31  
Old 09-14-2009, 03:51 PM
spokelizard spokelizard is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
PPX, the problem exists throughout the speed range. It is dependent on road surface vice speed in my experience. Strangely on graded forest service tracks it does pretty well. When I am driving by myself I don't have too much of a problem with the bumps. I grew up on transverse spring Ford farm trucks so a bumpy ride is nothing new. When I have pax however it is really apparent that this is not a smooth riding machine. My wife in particular just hates the car and refuses to ride in it for any distance (which by itself is not ALL bad) but taking pax out to dinner and having them bounced around back in "steerage" does not make for a happy event. When I first got the car I was incensed about the ride and burned up the lines to the dealer and BMWNA but after many inspections, it was deemed "normal". At least they didn't tell me "your not driving it enough". So after carefully considering the financial bath I would take by dumping it, I kept it and learned to live with the beast. Would I get another? No Way!

Uncle J, having bought my 2007 X3 just a few months ago, I must confess I'm still surprised by your posts. It sounds like you and PPXYZ have very similar problems, and very unusual ones, based on the other posts here. My experience fortunately has been very different.

Would you remind us what the configuration of your X3 is? Sport? Tire size?

Have you ever swapped a ride with one of your nearby forum members for comparison? I'd be glad to volunteer if it would be of any help, before you completely unload this vehicle that you like for so many reasons other than the ride.
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  #32  
Old 09-14-2009, 04:59 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
PPX, the problem exists throughout the speed range. It is dependent on road surface vice speed in my experience. Strangely on graded forest service tracks it does pretty well. When I am driving by myself I don't have too much of a problem with the bumps. I grew up on transverse spring Ford farm trucks so a bumpy ride is nothing new. When I have pax however it is really apparent that this is not a smooth riding machine. My wife in particular just hates the car and refuses to ride in it for any distance (which by itself is not ALL bad) but taking pax out to dinner and having them bounced around back in "steerage" does not make for a happy event. When I first got the car I was incensed about the ride and burned up the lines to the dealer and BMWNA but after many inspections, it was deemed "normal". At least they didn't tell me "your not driving it enough". So after carefully considering the financial bath I would take by dumping it, I kept it and learned to live with the beast. Would I get another? No Way!
That's interesting as mine is largely confined to the sub 30 range. It is much worse at lower speeds. It jostles like a bronco at 10-15 mph for no apparent reason. It is the hardest ride I have ever had in a car.

It is also sporadic and I am never sure when it will happen. Over a good size pothole it can be just fine...how odd is that? At any rate, we shall see if there are obvious fixes other than, 'it is normal' because if this is normal, normal is a:

http://www.premoproducts.com/buckboa..._buckboard.jpg

I do not think that is what anyone had in mind.

I will not take back seaters in it right now and the dog is reduced to walking. Passengers are likely to giggle while holding onto the sides and the dog may actually get hurt.

I am Bimmer Bummed.
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  #33  
Old 09-14-2009, 05:24 PM
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Zoltar Zoltar is offline
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OK, I'll try to help.
First, sorry about your troubles. Your new BMW should be fun not frustrating.

Regarding the ride:
The X3 has a stiff ride, but not to the extreme you describe.
- Starting in '07 the ride was "softened" so your comparisons with UncleJ are not apples to apples.
- The X3 comes with 17, 18, or 19 inch wheels. Each larger size will be harder riding.
- Do you have the sport package? The brochure warns that the sport package may not be suitable to some.
- I have 17 inch wheels and no sport package and like the ride. If you have sport package and 19 inch wheels that would explain alot.

Regarding the transmission:
- I understand your frustration, I had an "affected" '07 but I can't help but feel like you are blaming everything on the trans after reading the sticky.
- Here is a good test, try manual mode. If it doesn't make a difference, it is not the trans.

Good luck.
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  #34  
Old 09-14-2009, 05:34 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltar View Post
Regarding the transmission:

- Here is a good test, try manual mode. If it doesn't make a difference, it is not the trans.

Good luck.
I gave him the same suggestion in the auto trans sticky. No feedback from him yet.
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  #35  
Old 09-14-2009, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post
I will not put my dog in the cargo hold (primary reason for buying an SAV instead of a sedan) because I do not know when he will hit his head on the ceiling again and maybe cause injury this time.
There has to be some simple explanation for this bumpy ride, and maybe also for UncleJ's.

Given the compexity of suspension tuning during vehicle design, I imagine it is possible for some seemingly innocuous thing to get assembled improperly with out-of-proportion consequences.

I rode in the back of a neighbor's 2008 X3 the other day, around an area where the road surface had just been scraped off in preparation for resurfacing.
Felt entirely comfortable - and I am one of those people who could never go on rides at the Fall Fair.

Rear seat passengers in my 2004 who don't mind expressing their true feelings, do complain about the thin, hard seat cushion.
But not that they are getting bounced around too much.

Moving onto dogs as a measure of bounciness ...

The dog that often stands in the cargo area of ours only loses her footing on fast corners, not bumps.

She always enjoys a ride, and seems to be able to identify the sound of a M54-engine X3 from anything else - even an N52 one.
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  #36  
Old 09-14-2009, 07:24 PM
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Really I've never had it bounce like a carnvial ride no matter how bad the the road just one big bump and then settle down
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  #37  
Old 09-14-2009, 07:42 PM
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Spoke, the info you requested, I have an '06 non sport with the factory (on the sticker, not a dealer add on) 18 inch option with Scorpions. The first things I checked were tire pressure, and if 17's would ride smoother. To that end I took a stock non sport with 17 inch wheels over some of the roads I had problems with, and surprise! No difference. Since then I have driven 3 other X3 loaners (the last one was an '08) during service appointments over nasty pavement and found no improvement. The X3 was supposed to have had softened suspension for '05, and again in '07, but to me they all feel the same. I am actively looking for a new ride and you can bet it will get a very thorough workout over the nasty bits this time! Sorry to beat this one to death but it is a problem for a lot of folks as I have discovered on this board since I bought mine. As far as I can tell the only real solution is move on and get something else.

Last edited by UncleJ; 09-14-2009 at 07:44 PM.
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  #38  
Old 09-14-2009, 08:22 PM
spokelizard spokelizard is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
Spoke, the info you requested, I have an '06 non sport with the factory (on the sticker, not a dealer add on) 18 inch option with Scorpions. The first things I checked were tire pressure, and if 17's would ride smoother. To that end I took a stock non sport with 17 inch wheels over some of the roads I had problems with, and surprise! No difference. Since then I have driven 3 other X3 loaners (the last one was an '08) during service appointments over nasty pavement and found no improvement. The X3 was supposed to have had softened suspension for '05, and again in '07, but to me they all feel the same. I am actively looking for a new ride and you can bet it will get a very thorough workout over the nasty bits this time! Sorry to beat this one to death but it is a problem for a lot of folks as I have discovered on this board since I bought mine. As far as I can tell the only real solution is move on and get something else.

Well sounds like you checked it out thoroughly, including multiple attempts with other standard suspension X3's with 17" wheels. You must really have some terrible roads, for my curiosity, if you don't mind saying, what area are you in?

If I can somehow be of any help in a last ditch attempt to keep the car, feel free to PM me.
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  #39  
Old 09-14-2009, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
Spoke, the info you requested, I have an '06 non sport with the factory (on the sticker, not a dealer add on) 18 inch option with Scorpions. The first things I checked were tire pressure, and if 17's would ride smoother. To that end I took a stock non sport with 17 inch wheels over some of the roads I had problems with, and surprise! No difference. Since then I have driven 3 other X3 loaners (the last one was an '08) during service appointments over nasty pavement and found no improvement. The X3 was supposed to have had softened suspension for '05, and again in '07, but to me they all feel the same. I am actively looking for a new ride and you can bet it will get a very thorough workout over the nasty bits this time! Sorry to beat this one to death but it is a problem for a lot of folks as I have discovered on this board since I bought mine. As far as I can tell the only real solution is move on and get something else.

It sounds like in your case, you have exhausted all options. For you, the X3 just does not have the right ride.

I have pretty bad roads in rural NH as well, but expected the X3 to be stiff in exchange for excellent cornering at high speeds. I am very happy with the way it works. I came from a Lexus LX450 which was way too soft and bouncy for me. It had that "Cadillac" bouncy ride which some feel is a luxury rise and which I felt was too soft for my style of driving.

I think you are right that you need a different vehicle. You should list out what you want for handling for your speeds, roads and weather conditions.

Good luck! Let us know what you found and your impressions.
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  #40  
Old 09-14-2009, 10:02 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Wish it were in my head and not in my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltar View Post
OK, I'll try to help.
First, sorry about your troubles. Your new BMW should be fun not frustrating.

Regarding the ride:
The X3 has a stiff ride, but not to the extreme you describe.
- Starting in '07 the ride was "softened" so your comparisons with UncleJ are not apples to apples.
- The X3 comes with 17, 18, or 19 inch wheels. Each larger size will be harder riding.
- Do you have the sport package? The brochure warns that the sport package may not be suitable to some.
- I have 17 inch wheels and no sport package and like the ride. If you have sport package and 19 inch wheels that would explain alot.

Regarding the transmission:
- I understand your frustration, I had an "affected" '07 but I can't help but feel like you are blaming everything on the trans after reading the sticky.
- Here is a good test, try manual mode. If it doesn't make a difference, it is not the trans.

Good luck.
No sports package, standard 17 inch wheels at 32 psi front and back.

I am coming from a 5 series sedan so I know the ride of a BMW very well and this is not it.

Before I even knew the sticky existed or that the AT problems existed, I had already called the dealership about these problems:

- hard down shifting causing the car to slow down suddenly while coasting to a stop at low speed.
- rocky acceleration going up a small hill at low speeds.
- bouncy, bouncy ride on suburban streets...ride that bounces me around in my seat.

The original answer was that this is the difference between a sedan and a smaller wheelbase, taller car. I thought, well ok, maybe that is it. The more I drove and the more I bounced around and had stuttering acceleration and hard deceleration the more I thought...no way is this ok.

That is how I came to find out about the AT problem. I think it is BOTH an AT problem and a suspension or structural problem. Maybe the fix is easy, maybe I will get another, 'it's just the design' comment which just makes me angrier.

Can you ride around and drink coffee in your car? I can't. It is too dangerous because I never know when it will start bouncing around. Do things in your cargo area take flight? Mine do.

It may end up being something else entirely (who knows) but this is not an acceptable ride. It is the WORST riding car I have ever driven and I have driven truck based SUVs.

I didn't have a chance to try the manual mode but I was told that I could drive it in SD, take lower gas mileage and not have these problems.

===== new thing

I was wondering, if you take your car down a reasonably steep, long hill at low speeds, say 20-25 mph and coast, will your car shift down hard and slow you down? Mine does. I think it would actually stop my car if I could find a hill long enough without traffic. I just thought that was interesting.
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  #41  
Old 09-14-2009, 10:09 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
I gave him the same suggestion in the auto trans sticky. No feedback from him yet.
I think I am answering the right question. I have driven it a bit in the SD mode but not long enough to remember much difference. I was told the SD would be good if I wanted, say, better cornering so I haven't really used it.

I wish I had been able to do more testing this morning but I ran out of time. I will get onto some bounce-inducing roads and try out the various modes this week.
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  #42  
Old 09-15-2009, 06:54 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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spoke, I am in the South Bay Area but most of the problems come on trips out of the immediate area, to Santa Cruz, Carmel, Big Sur (on 1) and again up in the North Bay over to Bolinas on Sir Francis Drake, and to Mendocino via Booneville et al. The bad stuff is usually where roadwork has just been suspended for a time and "transition plates" installed, potholes filled or the roadway has been altered in some way. The absolute worst is on a concrete freeway in the right hand lane that has been crushed by heavy trucks over the years. Thanks for the support and suggestions!
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  #43  
Old 09-15-2009, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post

===== new thing

I was wondering, if you take your car down a reasonably steep, long hill at low speeds, say 20-25 mph and coast, will your car shift down hard and slow you down? Mine does. I think it would actually stop my car if I could find a hill long enough without traffic. I just thought that was interesting.
Mine does that if the Hill Descent Control (HDC) is used. HDC will slow you down to 7 mph down a hill. If on (light on, switch on console front), it kicks in rather hard when below 25 mph. Perhaps yours is on or faulty? That may explain some of the trans issues.
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  #44  
Old 09-15-2009, 08:58 AM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
spoke, I am in the South Bay Area but most of the problems come on trips out of the immediate area, to Santa Cruz, Carmel, Big Sur (on 1) and again up in the North Bay over to Bolinas on Sir Francis Drake, and to Mendocino via Booneville et al. The bad stuff is usually where roadwork has just been suspended for a time and "transition plates" installed, potholes filled or the roadway has been altered in some way. The absolute worst is on a concrete freeway in the right hand lane that has been crushed by heavy trucks over the years. Thanks for the support and suggestions!
That's interesting. My bumpy joy ride starts the minute I drive away from the house and continues on what appear to be pretty flat, well maintained suburban roads. I can look ahead, see nothing but roads in good condition and it will, out of the blue (yesterday) start bucking. The front feels like it is coming up for no reason that I can see. That was on a well-maintained road with a slight incline/decline at 30-35 mph.

I reset the trip computer yesterday and took about ride on city streets. Not terrifically maintained and a mix of hills and flats. Aside from the usual chuck wagon ride, my mpg over about a 40-60 minute ride was 10 mpg....exactly.

Does your use gas like that?
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  #45  
Old 09-15-2009, 09:02 AM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
Mine does that if the Hill Descent Control (HDC) is used. HDC will slow you down to 7 mph down a hill. If on (light on, switch on console front), it kicks in rather hard when below 25 mph. Perhaps yours is on or faulty? That may explain some of the trans issues.
That's what I was wondering this morning as well. I have never used the HDC and it wasn't on. Service tech didn't see or mention anything either during the ride on very steep hills. The SA commented on this when I mentioned the slow down at 25 mph going downhill.

I thought HDC was for very steep hills taken at a crawl, not a descent from 25 mph to 15 but more like 10 to 5...I will have to look it up.

If it is always on, I wonder what that does to the car.
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  #46  
Old 09-15-2009, 09:08 AM
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I don't think you two have the same issue. UncleJ's is fine, he just doesn't like the ride, period. Yours has a very strange behavior that is not normal at all. The day you take it in take the tech with you for a carnival ride, if he says it's normal, I wouldn't know what to think, but mine have never behaved the way you describe. I just love it.
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  #47  
Old 09-15-2009, 09:41 AM
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I took it in yesterday and will find out hopefully today what the opinion is.

ST got some moderate bouncing coming downhill at slow speed, we didn't make it out to the flat 10-15 mph fun ride but he noticed it and said it was unusual. He is going to try another X3 and see if he can recreate it.
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  #48  
Old 09-15-2009, 11:11 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Good luck! I still think we have similar issues, but yours may be compounded by the 6 speed A/T problems that have been well documented. Coupled with the usual horrible X3 ride over nasty roads it could be a true force multiplier!. I hope you get yours resolved, it sounds like you are doing exactly the same things I did back in '06 when I was still trying to come to grips with the beast.
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  #49  
Old 09-15-2009, 11:35 AM
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Boyoboy this continues to be a subject I simply dont get. My std suspension, 17 inch wheeled, pirelli clad X3 drives better than anyother car I've driven. Supple when I want it to be, firm when it needs to be --- high speed sweepers -- and very comfortable. Coming from two previous audi allroads, saabs and various family-members MBs and Porsches. I still like the X3 the best. I bet there is something materially wrong with your X3 and you should get it checked. Mine is pure sweetness.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:57 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 672
Mein Auto: BMW X3 2009 AT
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubed View Post
Boyoboy this continues to be a subject I simply dont get. My std suspension, 17 inch wheeled, pirelli clad X3 drives better than anyother car I've driven. Supple when I want it to be, firm when it needs to be --- high speed sweepers -- and very comfortable. Coming from two previous audi allroads, saabs and various family-members MBs and Porsches. I still like the X3 the best. I bet there is something materially wrong with your X3 and you should get it checked. Mine is pure sweetness.
This is the cause of much irriation here.

I came from a 5 series, best ride, best handling, expensive to maintain but lasted well over 100K miles. Had fix-it problems for various reasons. If I was in the mood to put more money into it, could have gone for decades more.

Thought hard about the RX and even the CRV for the reliability. Since I am light on the miles I thought a BMW would give me the driving fun and would be reasonably reliable at least to the 50K mark and maybe even beyond. I would give up some longterm reliability for a great ride.

Now I have the worst ride EVER. <400 miles on it and it is in the shop. Is it possible to have a bad ride AND low reliability?

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