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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 07-19-2010, 03:05 PM
seavee05 seavee05 is offline
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Thumbs down Latest on 2011 x5 Tow Hitches

Does anyone have any information regarding when the hitch will be ready?
Has anyone had any success with any aftermarket hitches, I thought I saw a thread with a picture of one that didn't require notching the bumper?

I've called BMW direct and simply been told that there is NO target date for the hitch and code issues to be resolved.

I can't believe BMW released an SAV with a 6000lb towing capacity without having the hitch ready.

There is NO WAY I would have bought this car if I thought I'd be without my boat during the summer in the northeast. When I bought it in April they told me the hitch would be ready, latest June. So much for customer loyalty, this is my 3rd BMW in a row, I love the cars, HATE the company.
OK, so I got that off my chest. If anyone gets any info, please share. I will post as soon I find out anything.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2010, 06:26 PM
ard ard is online now
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Here is a quasi-legal question:

If a purchaser buys the hitch as 'part of the deal' and has a form that states "parts to be installed by the dealer as part of the new car sale", how long do they have to 'make good'???

My guess is that you, and most buyers, just figured you'd do it after the purchase- but there must be a few that had the hitch on the new car contract....what can they do? Return the car?!?

I'd install a 2010 hitch for now- and beg/plead with a dealer to figure out coding... $50 to the tech as a 'thank you' would prolly get that figured out.

GL

A
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2010, 09:11 PM
forum1 forum1 is offline
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My dealer expressed the same frustration with lack of "official" kits from BMW. They offered to install the 2010 hitch and assured me that the techs know how to code the vehicle and are able to choose appropriate materials to nicely trim out the bumper. They said they had performed this custom operation for another customer who was reportedly very satisfied.

I am still hoping that someday BMW will offer a factory/port installed tow hitch option. As mentioned above, the vehicle can tow 6000 pounds, yet there is no factory hitch option. Even Audi has a factory hitch option for their Q7! I dreaded having the dealer perform surgery on my brand new 2007 X5 but knew it was best to have it done before taking delivery of the vehicle. I was prepared to refuse delivery if they really messed it up.

I should also note that I am not impressed with the finish trim that came with my 2007 BMW hitch kit. Aside from it being a thin/flimsy piece of metal, that isn't well formed to the bumper plastic, it hasn't weathered well and is showing signs of rust/paint blister. BMW could and should have done better on hitch integration. Many "lesser" brands do a better job. For a company that seems so concerned about esthetics, BMW sure dropped the ball on this one.

Last edited by forum1; 07-21-2010 at 09:28 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-22-2010, 12:25 PM
frudi frudi is offline
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My 2011 X5 was delivered at the very end of June with the trailer hitch installed (no trim kit yet). But we've had a problem with the brake lights not working on the trailer when it's hitched to the X5. The warning light comes on the dash saying trailer lights not working. There's nothing wrong with the trailer lights themselves -- the brake lights work fine until the trailer is connected to the X5. According to my dealer, BMW is aware of this problem and is supposed to be coming up with a "fix" for it.

Is anyone else having this problem?
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  #5  
Old 07-22-2010, 12:37 PM
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0428 0428 is offline
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Really? Who tows stuff using an European luxury SUV?
What happened to the Tahoe? or Sequoia?
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  #6  
Old 07-22-2010, 01:03 PM
thesmaz thesmaz is offline
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come to europe and see for yourself. You'd be surprised to see what people use to tow their small travel trailers!
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  #7  
Old 07-22-2010, 01:05 PM
335i 335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0428 View Post
Really? Who tows stuff using an European luxury SUV?
What happened to the Tahoe? or Sequoia?
Be seen in a Sequoia? or Tahoe?
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2010, 01:21 PM
forum1 forum1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frudi View Post
My 2011 X5 was delivered at the very end of June with the trailer hitch installed (no trim kit yet). But we've had a problem with the brake lights not working on the trailer when it's hitched to the X5. The warning light comes on the dash saying trailer lights not working. There's nothing wrong with the trailer lights themselves -- the brake lights work fine until the trailer is connected to the X5. According to my dealer, BMW is aware of this problem and is supposed to be coming up with a "fix" for it.

Is anyone else having this problem?
It sounds like the vehicle electronics are not properly coded (software programming) for the hitch connection. I believe this is what seavee05 was referring to by “code issues”. When the hitch was installed on my 2007 X5 the dealer missed the software programming step. When I went to connect a trailer for the first time I had the same symptoms you are reporting with the brake lights and error messages. Of course in my case there was a well documented procedure for the dealer to code the car and once they did what they were supposed to do all was fine. Did your dealer tell you that they couldn’t code your 2011 properly? They should have been up front about what they could get working for you, especially since you won’t be able to legally/safely tow a trailer without the lights working.
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2010, 01:27 PM
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0428 0428 is offline
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Originally Posted by 335i View Post
Be seen in a Sequoia? or Tahoe?
If they don't come out with a big SUV with real 3rd row seats AND cargo space, I will be ditching the X5 for something along those forementioned lines........ Love the X5 but will be too small real soon, na mean?
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2010, 01:34 PM
forum1 forum1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0428 View Post
Really? Who tows stuff using an European luxury SUV?
What happened to the Tahoe? or Sequoia?
The Tahoe and Sequoia are pretty fancy/luxurious in their own regard. I had a 1998 Tahoe and even back then they offered heated leather seats. I recently rode in a contemporary Tahoe and was impressed with all the new feature content. At any rate, just because a vehicle is good looking and has luxury features doesn't mean it can't be functional. A 6000 lbs towing capacity is nothing to sneeze at. And with the X5, when you don't have something in tow you have a much more competent driving vehicle on your hands.
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2010, 01:42 PM
forum1 forum1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0428 View Post
If they don't come out with a big SUV with real 3rd row seats AND cargo space, I will be ditching the X5 for something along those forementioned lines........ Love the X5 but will be too small real soon, na mean?
Not sure if it suits your taste, but the Mercedes GL has a spacious third-row seat.
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  #12  
Old 07-22-2010, 05:03 PM
mzeed mzeed is offline
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VW Touareg tows awesomely but VW service is the worse!!
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2010, 09:29 PM
335i 335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0428 View Post
If they don't come out with a big SUV with real 3rd row seats AND cargo space, I will be ditching the X5 for something along those forementioned lines........ Love the X5 but will be too small real soon, na mean?
I don't see BMW taking a crack at that market segment, but I could be proven wrong.. IMO, it's a decent size, and handles exceptionally well, and for me, is quite usable.

I don't haul around a bunch of kids and their "stuff" yet, but I would agree that the back seats are almost useless unless you've got some kids under 10 or so that fit back there. Definitely wouldn't intend to use them on a daily basis, but more of in a pinch.
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2010, 12:50 AM
ard ard is online now
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frudi- The car needs to be 'coded'.

BMW claims there is no 'procedure' for the 2011...but others have posted that they were able to get theirs coded and the brake lights functional. If the Tech is willing to do a bit more effort, they can probably do it.

Talking to the puke Service 'mis advisor' might not be so successful.

A
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2010, 02:14 PM
VintageRacer477 VintageRacer477 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frudi View Post
My 2011 X5 was delivered at the very end of June with the trailer hitch installed (no trim kit yet). But we've had a problem with the brake lights not working on the trailer when it's hitched to the X5. The warning light comes on the dash saying trailer lights not working. There's nothing wrong with the trailer lights themselves -- the brake lights work fine until the trailer is connected to the X5. According to my dealer, BMW is aware of this problem and is supposed to be coming up with a "fix" for it.

Is anyone else having this problem?

I don't know how I missed this thread a couple of weeks ago when I hooked up my trailer.

Yes, same problem on 2011 X5d. All lights work fine except trailer brake lights. Just left message for SA.

Norm
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  #16  
Old 07-23-2010, 02:35 PM
VintageRacer477 VintageRacer477 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0428 View Post
Really? Who tows stuff using an European luxury SUV?
What happened to the Tahoe? or Sequoia?
Me.

I've been towing my race car with my X3 for 6 years. Just replaced it with an X5d.

Looked at domestic SUVs. The ones that could tow as much as X5 were almost same price. So, why sacrifice performance and great handling to buy Big 3?

I dealt with Detroit engineers a lot when I lived out there & wrote a weekly auto column. We OFTEN disagreed. When I moved there I understood why domestic cars were so ill-handling. The roads are dead-straight, made of segmented concrete & the only turns are at intersections or into driveways.

We kept trying domestics when we looked at cars or trucks. But, we always end up with European. This SC-made X5 is closest to "domestic" we have been in years.

Handling is extraordinary for such a large vehicle. Our "break-in" trip from Florida flat-lands to North Carolina mountains included a long stretch of up-hill switchbacks. My wife who screamed as loud as the tires on my race car when I took her for some laps at Lime Rock in the race car, laughed as much as I did at the fun ride in the X5. That says it all.

Norm
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  #17  
Old 08-17-2010, 12:09 PM
Bahram Bahram is offline
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Seems the trim piece is out. Just ordered mine. Will arrive in two days.

71-60-2-185-557 Trim Kit X5 LCI
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  #18  
Old 08-17-2010, 12:39 PM
VintageRacer477 VintageRacer477 is offline
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Originally Posted by Bahram View Post
Seems the trim piece is out. Just ordered mine. Will arrive in two days.

71-60-2-185-557 Trim Kit X5 LCI
Thanks for the heads-up. I've been trying to reach my dealer for a few hours to set up appointment to have them program the system for the 3rd time since July 1. Latest fix requires them to go on-line with Montvale, NJ HQ.

I'll add this to the to do list.
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  #19  
Old 08-17-2010, 06:16 PM
flymikeair flymikeair is offline
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I just installed a Drawtite hitch and a Modulite light controller. I have all trailer lights working for 280 bucks and about 4 hours of work although most of that was spent trying to figure out how to get the bumper off. Looks fantastic and nice and clean with virtually no cutting of the bumper. I'll post pictures tomorrow got too dark before i was finished.
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  #20  
Old 08-17-2010, 06:27 PM
VintageRacer477 VintageRacer477 is offline
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Originally Posted by flymikeair View Post
I just installed a Drawtite hitch and a Modulite light controller. I have all trailer lights working for 280 bucks and about 4 hours of work although most of that was spent trying to figure out how to get the bumper off. Looks fantastic and nice and clean with virtually no cutting of the bumper. I'll post pictures tomorrow got too dark before i was finished.
What class hitch? What about trailer brake controller?

I can't wait to see photos. You may have the solution to this situation.
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  #21  
Old 08-17-2010, 06:55 PM
flymikeair flymikeair is offline
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it's a class three hitch 600/6000 rating. the plug set up I bought has connections for the brake controller i haven't hooked that up yet but I'll give it a whirl this weekend.

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  #22  
Old 08-17-2010, 06:59 PM
flymikeair flymikeair is offline
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attached is pictures of the hitch installed on my x5 the plug is a little crooked i need to get another screw to make it sit right. The top pic shows the modulite box installed. Pretty simple as it turned, out just had to tap the light wires and a simple volt meter let me figure out which was which. I'll post the directions for which wires tomorrow so everyone can save them selves the trouble of the testing to find the wires.

I think now that I look at it I might just cut a hole in the fascia to mount the plug so it's out of the way and will have a nice clean look to it
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  #23  
Old 08-17-2010, 07:22 PM
VintageRacer477 VintageRacer477 is offline
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Looks great! This system could put BMW out of the hitch business. $280 vs. $1400 with problems. That's a no brainer.
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1997 Porsche Targa ex. Laguna Beach
2011 X5d - traded for 2009 Maserati GranTurismo
2010 E-350 - still looks like new
1960 Giulietta Spider - sold to Montreal
1959 Turner Mk1 30/206 -Sold back to UK
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  #24  
Old 08-18-2010, 11:34 AM
diesaroo diesaroo is offline
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While I appreciate your predicament with OEM hitch availablility for the 11's, without knowing the particulars of the drawtite hitch vs the OEM, I would not tow anything approaching 6k lbs with it.

When I had the OEM hitch installed on my '09, they placed a sticker stating the 6k lb rating on the hitch. That tow rating is not available on just about any other document and when it does appear it is always qualified by using only the OEM hitch.

Just food for thought...
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  #25  
Old 08-18-2010, 11:56 AM
flymikeair flymikeair is offline
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I had considered that, but I'm moving in a week so i couldn't wait any longer for a factory hitch and the bmw dealership refused to install a 2010 hitch on my X5. my boat weighs roughly 4000 pounds so I'll report back when i get to texas with it. As for quality of the build, I have the installation instructions for the factory hitch and the two attach in exactly the same manner, and other then the hitch sitting about an inch and half lower then the factory hitch they are about same in construction. plus the drawtite hitch states it is rated for 6000 pounds. As for the quality of the hitch I think it's pretty good, I used to have a 3/4 ton ram and the hitch is made of the same beefy materials as the ram's hitch was.

I appreciate the concern though.
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