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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 07-05-2013, 10:46 PM
bmwx513 bmwx513 is offline
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Heavy Steering X5 2013

Hello, I have been having severe elbow pain (tennis elbow) from driving my x5. It's the performance version with the colour coloured moulding. At speed it's fairly heavy on the arms and when it comes to parking it, it's awful. I have been diagnosed with tennis elbow and there is nothing other than the heavy steering of my car that could be causing this. I drove my family member's X5 M model (2013 model) tonight and it was really light to drive - much like driving a luxury 5 series. I was shocked at how heavy my steering was after driving the X5 M. I'm upset about this and upset at how bad my arms are as a result. Even lifting a bag of shopping is painful.
Is there something that BMW can do to fix my car? I feel depressed about the situation.
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2013, 06:54 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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Can't believe what I just read. First world problem
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2013, 07:31 AM
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finnbmw finnbmw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwx513 View Post
Hello, I have been having severe elbow pain (tennis elbow) from driving my x5. It's the performance version with the colour coloured moulding. At speed it's fairly heavy on the arms and when it comes to parking it, it's awful. I have been diagnosed with tennis elbow and there is nothing other than the heavy steering of my car that could be causing this. I drove my family member's X5 M model (2013 model) tonight and it was really light to drive - much like driving a luxury 5 series. I was shocked at how heavy my steering was after driving the X5 M. I'm upset about this and upset at how bad my arms are as a result. Even lifting a bag of shopping is painful.
Is there something that BMW can do to fix my car? I feel depressed about the situation.
The steering on our diesels are heavy, but I've grown to like it. Maybe you need to move to a X5 with Active Steering?

Last edited by finnbmw; 07-06-2013 at 07:45 AM.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2013, 07:31 AM
bmwx513 bmwx513 is offline
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You might think this is all a joke FredoinSF but this is a serious situation I'm having medical treatment for.

To anyone else, my husband finds the steering heavy too. Does anyone feel their X5 has this issue? It's about 8 months old. I never realised it was a problem until I drove my brother in laws, so I've been driving this car for 8 months constantly fighting the steering. When I spoke with BMW about the heavy steering, they told me it was due to the size of my wheels but my brother in law's X5 M has the same size wheels and drives like a dream, so I don't believe it for a second. This is nothing to do with some sort of fancy road handling, it handles like crap and follows all the dips in the road which means you have to work hard to keep it on the road. I feel like I'm driving an old FJ40 with oversized wheels.
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2013, 07:33 AM
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Heavy Steering X5 2013

Have you checked your tire air pressure?


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  #6  
Old 07-06-2013, 07:43 AM
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Sorry to hear that.
The steering upon first getting the vehicle is very stiff and tight! after a few months you become used to it! although in your case you might need to get another vehicle. Talk to your dealership. Maybe if theres not to may miles on your car they wont hit u to hard on a trade in.
Maybe they will come from a place of "compassion"
Keep us updated.
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2013, 07:45 AM
bmwx513 bmwx513 is offline
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So how do I know if I have active steering or not? Can it be installed afterwards?

Thanks for your message kjboyd, I've checked the tyre pressure and it's good. I keep monitoring the pressure.
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2013, 07:53 AM
bmwx513 bmwx513 is offline
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Thanks 5seriesHB. I'll try with the dealer (again). I think a change in vehicle is the way to go unfortunately.
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2013, 08:31 AM
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finnbmw finnbmw is offline
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Active Steering is an option that can be added at the time of order to X5 35i Premium and Sport Activity and 50i models. Not available on 35i Base or diesel. Your dealer would be able to tell if you have it based on your VIN#.
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2013, 08:50 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Heavy Steering X5 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwx513 View Post
Hello, I have been having severe elbow pain (tennis elbow) from driving my x5. It's the performance version with the colour coloured moulding. At speed it's fairly heavy on the arms and when it comes to parking it, it's awful. I have been diagnosed with tennis elbow and there is nothing other than the heavy steering of my car that could be causing this. I drove my family member's X5 M model (2013 model) tonight and it was really light to drive - much like driving a luxury 5 series. I was shocked at how heavy my steering was after driving the X5 M. I'm upset about this and upset at how bad my arms are as a result. Even lifting a bag of shopping is painful.
Is there something that BMW can do to fix my car? I feel depressed about the situation.
Bump the tire pressure to 40 psi front and rear ( do it on cold tires in the morning). That will help.


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  #11  
Old 07-06-2013, 09:58 AM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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If you are experience tennis elbow, I`d wait for it to heal just a tad bit. Drive something like a lexus of a new F-series BMW. If after you have been off the X5 for a bit, and then tackle it again you still have the same problem, then unfortunately you`d want to drop the X5 ASAP. You are most likely not going to get use to the heavy steering, since you have an injury that is going to be amplified with the X5 steering.

If you have active steering the VIN will most likely tell you yes or now. I believe you can go to the dealership or bmwvin.com i think.

Hope the tennis elbow improves and you dont have to dump the X5.

Im pretty sure the next gen F15 X5 for 2014 will improve, and get the lighter steering feel
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2013, 09:59 AM
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I've grown to like the heavy steering. If the F15 has the Lexus-like steering, I'm out.
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2013, 10:09 AM
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5seriesHB 5seriesHB is offline
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Based on your issues w tight steering I would have to assume u do not have active steering!
It would be like butter if I did!
Rob
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2013, 10:16 AM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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the F15 at its basic form is a F10. I havent seen much greatness and praise from the F10 crowd about the steering. Most try to alleviate the situation with DHP or Msport. But Idk... the original BMW steering feel is kind of out. That said I recently test drove a 2014 MDX Advanced with ent (dealer was irritating, about how this is the only allocation and how they`re "having" to charge above MSRP) and it was nice sort of.

PRO:
The engine feels nice, and doesnt run out of steam on the top end.
The IDS system is like the driving profiles of BMW. One thing Liked was I can actually control the steering feedback, from pinky steering in comfort, versus full on 10 and 2.

Cons:
one inch lower, dont like that at all
trim is better designed but the wood ingrains are better if they used plyboards

How this relates to the OP is, try out the new breed of crossovers out there. They are seemingly straying away from the heavy ham-fisted steering effort to either full on overboosted, light as a feather to you can tell the system what you are in the mood for.
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2013, 10:40 AM
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chiefneil chiefneil is offline
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I'd say the OP has a legitimate concern if her 2013 X5 has significantly heavier steering and a 2013 X5M. There actually might be something wrong with her steering like a bad pump or low fluid. I'd suggest taking a test drive with some other 2013 X5's at the dealership and see how their steering compares to hers. If there's a significant difference with other non-M X5 models, then she can insist on her service advisor going for a test drive in her X5 to see for himself.

As for the actual weight, my 2012 X5's steering weight is roughly the same as my '95 E36 and '02 E46. That is to say, BMW has been pretty consistent with steering weight up until recently when they went the far opposite direction with the X3 and new F30 3-series. I don't think it's heavy enough to cause tennis elbow unless you're doing a lot of daily driving in parking lots. My tiny 100 pound 16-year old daughter has no issues with the weight of the steering, although I understand not everyone is built equally. I actually have some tendinitis in my shoulder and I've been mostly driving one-handed, with a bit of knee-assist when parking or doing sharp turns.
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2013, 11:54 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Heavy Steering X5 2013

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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
I've grown to like the heavy steering. If the F15 has the Lexus-like steering, I'm out.
Me too. Love it.


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  #17  
Old 07-06-2013, 11:55 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Heavy Steering X5 2013

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Originally Posted by chiefneil View Post
I'd say the OP has a legitimate concern if her 2013 X5 has significantly heavier steering and a 2013 X5M. There actually might be something wrong with her steering like a bad pump or low fluid. I'd suggest taking a test drive with some other 2013 X5's at the dealership and see how their steering compares to hers. If there's a significant difference with other non-M X5 models, then she can insist on her service advisor going for a test drive in her X5 to see for himself.

As for the actual weight, my 2012 X5's steering weight is roughly the same as my '95 E36 and '02 E46. That is to say, BMW has been pretty consistent with steering weight up until recently when they went the far opposite direction with the X3 and new F30 3-series. I don't think it's heavy enough to cause tennis elbow unless you're doing a lot of daily driving in parking lots. My tiny 100 pound 16-year old daughter has no issues with the weight of the steering, although I understand not everyone is built equally. I actually have some tendinitis in my shoulder and I've been mostly driving one-handed, with a bit of knee-assist when parking or doing sharp turns.
The x5m has a different rack than the regular x5. It is much lighter at low speeds.


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  #18  
Old 07-06-2013, 02:09 PM
Lance Alot Lance Alot is offline
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Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
The x5m has a different rack than the regular x5. It is much lighter at low speeds.


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I still think the suggestion to drive a similarly equipped vehicle as a comparison is solid. The standard steering is tight on the E70, but being so tight as to cause tennis elbow seems absurd.
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2013, 03:01 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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The X5M is a huge SUV built to burn the tarmac and handle / steer as close to an M3 as possible; yeah, it's going to have heavy steering. BMW built it that way so they could slap that //M logo on it and I would seriously doubt they will do anything about it, unless it goes in for service and some defect is found with the steering system.

I had a similar experience when I was driving the 06 MINI Cooper S as my daily driver back when it was new. Soon after I started having back pain. I attributed the back pain to having increased my running as I was training for relays and marathons. I started going to a chiropractor who casually asked what I was driving. She said my pain issues could be due to the car's rough ride and seats. I did not believe it, but shortly after that my partner took over the MINI as his daily driver, I got the 6 series and my back pain went away. I have not seen a chiropractor since and I'm still running relays and races. MINI did nothing about the choppy ride, but then again we did not ask them because that's part of what makes the MINI handle like a go-kart.

Moral of the story, time for a different car.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:45 PM
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Re: Heavy Steering X5 2013

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Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
The X5M is a huge SUV built to burn the tarmac and handle / steer as close to an M3 as possible; yeah, it's going to have heavy steering. BMW built it that way so they could slap that //M logo on it and I would seriously doubt they will do anything about it, unless it goes in for service and some defect is found with the steering system.
You're giving the X5M too much credit. Hardly close to an M3. More like an overweight pig

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  #21  
Old 07-08-2013, 08:25 PM
Lance Alot Lance Alot is offline
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0-60 in 4.5 secs is some fast pig though! Either way, it sounds like OP does not have an M as I read this.
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  #22  
Old 07-08-2013, 09:00 PM
Kar Don Kar Don is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
The X5M is a huge SUV built to burn the tarmac and handle / steer as close to an M3 as possible; yeah, it's going to have heavy steering. BMW built it that way so they could slap that //M logo on it and I would seriously doubt they will do anything about it, unless it goes in for service and some defect is found with the steering system.

I had a similar experience when I was driving the 06 MINI Cooper S as my daily driver back when it was new. Soon after I started having back pain. I attributed the back pain to having increased my running as I was training for relays and marathons. I started going to a chiropractor who casually asked what I was driving. She said my pain issues could be due to the car's rough ride and seats. I did not believe it, but shortly after that my partner took over the MINI as his daily driver, I got the 6 series and my back pain went away. I have not seen a chiropractor since and I'm still running relays and races. MINI did nothing about the choppy ride, but then again we did not ask them because that's part of what makes the MINI handle like a go-kart.

Moral of the story, time for a different car.
I don't understand why people run relays and marathons in so much pain that continues into their everyday lives. Anyway, bump up the tire pressure, check steering fluid level. I know in the E46 days BMW actually made a different steering pump because so many women complained about the heavy steering. LF-20 vs LF-30 pump. Maybe they have something for the E70. Also, there was a power steering recall on the X5 recently, don't know if yours is included.
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Last edited by Kar Don; 07-08-2013 at 09:09 PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-09-2013, 02:46 AM
gregsX5 gregsX5 is offline
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This was the reason I ordered Active Steering with mine. I noticed how heavy it felt during the test drive.
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  #24  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:55 AM
Lumpydog Lumpydog is offline
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This was the reason I ordered Active Steering with mine. I noticed how heavy it felt during the test drive.
Same. Added Active Steering based in my test drive and after reading road tests/reviews that recommended it due to the X5s heavy steering.

I have Adpative Drive too. In sport mode it turns off the power assist provided by Active Steering and it is def very heavy steering with more road feel. Not bad at 20+ mph, but def very heavy when parking.

Love Active Steering's lower ratio steering - you can go lock to lock with less than a full turn of the wheel. Makes tight maneuvering amazingly easy.
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  #25  
Old 07-10-2013, 07:21 AM
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finnbmw finnbmw is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpydog View Post
I have Adpative Drive too. In sport mode it turns off the power assist provided by Active Steering and it is def very heavy steering with more road feel. Not bad at 20+ mph, but def very heavy when parking.
Interesting, thanks for the info. I wish they would have offered the AS on the diesel. Maybe in the new F15....
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