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F10 / F11 (2011 - 2016)
The sixth generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) was produced from 2011 - 2016 with LCI updates arriving in 2014. In the US BMW offered a hatchback 5 Series Gran Truismo (F07) and the rest of the world also go a Station Wagon/Touring version F11.

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2014, 06:44 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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Slip Slidin' Away...

This is a low traction mistake I made with my 535ix that you might learn from:

I parked my car on my south-facing, sloped driveway the morning after some snow. However, I made sure that the front wheels were on the dry concrete at the top of the driveway under the garage eve. The rear wheels were on compacted snow. I put the car in park but did not pull the parking brake as I usually do. My reason was my rationale that the parking brake would be useless in stopping the back wheels that were sitting on ice, and anyway, the 'park' position would lock all 4 wheels since it's 4 wheel drive. Surprise! I was wrong!

A few moments after I got out, the car started slipping backwards down the drive and almost into the street. I watched in utter amazement as this happened because as it did so, the front wheel was turning backwards (as you would expect on dry concrete) but the back wheel was spinning forwards - against the front wheel direction! I could not see what was happening on the other side of the car, but I assume the other front wheel was also spinning backwards on the dry concrete, and the back wheel may have been spinning with the front (against the wheel on the side I could see). I now assume that if I had used the parking brake it would have at least locked the rear wheels and therefore locked the fronts through the differential and transfer case, unless the parking brake is designed to lock all 4, which would be even better.

Fortunately, I live on a quiet street and there were no cars or pedestrians, and the car stopped before it got very far, so no harm. But yikes!
This may be an undocumented safety issue. I won't do that again, and neither should you!
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2014, 07:26 PM
wrickem wrickem is offline
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That's crazy, you must have been stunned watching it. I'm glad it turned out okay and thanks for the warning.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2014, 08:00 PM
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rysky007 rysky007 is offline
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We got hit with some good ice over the weekend, I parked my car today on a drive way, with about a 12 degree incline, when I came out the car slid down about 10 inches of the drive way.
My personal drive way has a good 20 degree slope and I have been sliding out the past few days, but the anti lock kicks in and helps a bit, but going up the drive way no prob, so far I have tried to spin out on the ice and cant, the car handles it very well to my surprise. mine is X drive
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2014, 11:20 PM
douggie douggie is offline
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Why would the rear wheels spin forward when the car is in park?
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2014, 11:29 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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That's what caught me completely by surprise. But after thinking about it a bit, it must be that park locks only the Transmission. The front wheels, transfer case and rear differential must not be affected.
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2014, 11:32 PM
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MoldCAD MoldCAD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quacker View Post
This is a low traction mistake I made with my 535ix that you might learn from:

I parked my car on my south-facing, sloped driveway the morning after some snow. However, I made sure that the front wheels were on the dry concrete at the top of the driveway under the garage eve. The rear wheels were on compacted snow. I put the car in park but did not pull the parking brake as I usually do. My reason was my rationale that the parking brake would be useless in stopping the back wheels that were sitting on ice, and anyway, the 'park' position would lock all 4 wheels since it's 4 wheel drive. Surprise! I was wrong!

A few moments after I got out, the car started slipping backwards down the drive and almost into the street. I watched in utter amazement as this happened because as it did so, the front wheel was turning backwards (as you would expect on dry concrete) but the back wheel was spinning forwards - against the front wheel direction! I could not see what was happening on the other side of the car, but I assume the other front wheel was also spinning backwards on the dry concrete, and the back wheel may have been spinning with the front (against the wheel on the side I could see). I now assume that if I had used the parking brake it would have at least locked the rear wheels and therefore locked the fronts through the differential and transfer case, unless the parking brake is designed to lock all 4, which would be even better.

Fortunately, I live on a quiet street and there were no cars or pedestrians, and the car stopped before it got very far, so no harm. But yikes!
This may be an undocumented safety issue. I won't do that again, and neither should you!
1. The electronic parking brake does indeed stop all 4 wheels as it acts through the main braking system

2. Locking just the 2 rear wheels would not lock "the fronts through the differential and transfer case"; xDrive doesn't work like this (search my thread about my failed Maha dyno experience). BTW, there is no "central diff" at all; just electronically controlled wet clutch in the "transfer case"....
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2014, 11:44 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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That's good information, but I'm not quite clear as to how the front wheel that were rolling on a high traction surface could be making the back wheels spin against the direction the car was sliding on a low traction surface, without such a coupling.
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2014, 11:49 PM
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MoldCAD MoldCAD is offline
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Have no idea either - perhaps your eyes suffered from the strobo effect like a video camera?

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  #9  
Old 02-03-2014, 01:15 AM
Alex75 Alex75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quacker View Post
That's good information, but I'm not quite clear as to how the front wheel that were rolling on a high traction surface could be making the back wheels spin against the direction the car was sliding on a low traction surface, without such a coupling.
I will make an educated guess: since there is no center diff, only a clutch, we can assume the vehicle acts as a RWD when in its resting state. So the front wheels will have no effect on the back wheels when sliding down. Another assumption i make is that the park position of the transmission only locks the transmission and drive shaft, but not the back differential.
Since you didn' use the handbrake, the car relies on both back wheels having grip to hold the car in place. If only 1 back wheel loses grip, but not the other, the car could roll back, with the tire having lost grip turning the "wrong" way.

Basically I guess that the other back wheel still had enough grip to make the visible back wheel turn the other way through the differential.


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  #10  
Old 02-03-2014, 01:20 AM
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MoldCAD MoldCAD is offline
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+1 - a very probable explanation
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2014, 07:27 AM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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That's what I'm thinking too. It was very weird to watch, but the most important thing is that it could happen at all. Can you imagine how bad it might have been if the situation were different?
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2014, 06:00 PM
PhilT3 PhilT3 is offline
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If the rear differential is 'open' then the back wheels will spin in diff directions when there is no load on them. Open as opposed to 'locked'. Locked is when both wheels spin in the same direction and at the same rpm... Without slipping while turning.

Also, I ALWAYS use the Parking brake. Otherwise, the transmission gears are holding the weight of the vehicle. Undue stress on the tranny IMO.

Good thing you were there to catch it. This could have been a catastrophic situation.
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