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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > X Series > X3 F25 (2011 - 2017)

X3 F25 (2011 - 2017)
The second generation X3 added style and new features to the BMW's mid-sized SUV. Talk about the BMW F25 X3 with other X3 owners now!

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2016, 06:34 PM
dchamero dchamero is offline
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Stability and lateral wind

I have a 2013 X3 and a 2004 X3, so I have an F25 and an E83 to compare.

The F25 is a much better car in almost every aspect, and it is extremely more refined than the previous generation, BUT the performance on the highway under high wind is horrible compared to the old generation.

The E83 feels really solid regardless of wind, it feels like a tank on the highway, and the F25, even though it handles really well in most circumstances, is horribly affected by high lateral winds.

Is there anything that can be done to improve stability?
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Last edited by dchamero; 07-11-2016 at 06:36 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2016, 04:27 AM
rcblackwell rcblackwell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchamero View Post
I have a 2013 X3 and a 2004 X3, so I have an F25 and an E83 to compare.

.......... the F25, even though it handles really well in most circumstances, is horribly affected by high lateral winds.......
I drive a 2016 X3 which exhibits similar behavior. I don't know if a solution is available . I'll be watching this thread for one.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2016, 07:23 AM
dreamingx3 dreamingx3 is offline
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I've seen this mentioned in some other threads. I have the same problem. When combined with the sensitive steering, it makes for a very busy driving experience! One thing I did was to get a wheel alignment at a shop that will set the caster and toe-in precisely, and not just get it into the "green" range. Get them to push it to the edge to improve straight-ahead stability. Most shops just get it into the green and stop there. It helped some, but the wind still moves it around. The other trick I used was to drop my tire pressure to the minimum, but that only made a minor difference.

It also feels to me like it occurs only above 60 mph; I wonder if the front is getting a little aerodynamic lift? Maybe it's time for a chin spoiler!
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2016, 06:59 PM
hlrose hlrose is offline
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I have 2013 x3 2.8 and experience the same issue as all on this thread to the letter. Complained and test drove new same model back when new and sadly experienced the same issue. I didn't notice in the test drive - I suspect it want windy at that time. It got much worst at the end of the tire life - new tires did help some - but we don't drive the car in windy conditions.

Can't wait for next gen in 2017. But this will be last x3 if they don't have a better handling car in the CLAR platform.

Sorry that I can't offer anything on the fix level.
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  #5  
Old 07-13-2016, 08:06 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Probably has something to do with the run flat tires. Curious if "regular" tires help.
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2016, 08:50 AM
dreamingx3 dreamingx3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
Probably has something to do with the run flat tires. Curious if "regular" tires help.
Regular tires don't help; I'm having the issues on non-RFT Bridgestone Serenity Plus.

I researched some interesting articles on aero design. These say that it's mostly a function of where the low pressure areas form on the side of the car during cross-winds. If the areas are forward of the rotational axis (yaw?), it will "push" the front end, causing this problem.

There is a guaranteed fix: Put a vertical fin on the rear! You'll have to experiment with the cross-sectional area so that you get an exact compensation.

Hmmm. I wonder if adding on those aftermarket "turbulence" fins on the sides will help?
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2016, 08:56 AM
dreamingx3 dreamingx3 is offline
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UPDATE: Canards!



http://www.rapid-racer.com/aerodynamic-upgrades.php


Go down to the "closed wheel" section and look at canards!

I am soooooo going to do this and post some photos
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  #8  
Old 07-14-2016, 08:02 PM
rayms69 rayms69 is offline
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i drove across I-80 to and from idaho falls to sidney, nebraska in 30-40 mph winds and didnt notice anything, rode nicely, mine is the x35i with the M package. I have the correct air pressures and run flats. Maybe wheel alignment, i had the same problem in my 2015 subaru legacy until i got the wheels lined up properly.

Last edited by rayms69; 07-14-2016 at 08:04 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-14-2016, 10:37 PM
xx xx is offline
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^^other than the canards, that website was also indicating our adorable shark fin antenna can do wonders
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2016, 04:01 AM
hlrose hlrose is offline
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I'm not surprised your x35i with M package handles well in windy conditions. I've always thought the problem with the x28i is a weight distribution issue ...

If you open the engine compartment up there is lots of open space to accommodate the 6 cylinder engine. I've thought off adding weights there to see if that made a difference. I did that in my 1974 2002 in the rear foot wells. Did the trick in snowy conditions. Oh well - next gen x3 can't come fast enough. Just hope my timing chain hangs in there. At 59k, but rising slowly - since it is out no wind use vehicle.
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  #11  
Old 07-15-2016, 06:53 AM
dreamingx3 dreamingx3 is offline
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OK, this issue has me really intrigued.
I agree that the lower weight on the front end of the 2.8 could be contributing.

Here's another reference to vortex generators, but using it on the underbody. They found significant improvement in stability during cross-winds!

http://www.autospeed.com/cms/article...art-4&A=113219

QUOTE:
Four AirTab vortex generators were placed at the leading edge of the undertray. Immediately noticeable was improved aerodynamic stability. The Insight is not an aerodynamically stable car at speed it is discombobulated by, especially, the bow waves of trucks. This can be felt when slowly passing a truck heading in the same direction on a multi-lane road. As the Honda draws adjacent to the front of the truck, the very light car is pushed away from the truck. (This affect, once recognised, can be felt to a degree in lots of cars but its quite clear in the Honda.) With the undertray vortex generators in place, the affect of the truck bow waves was diminished. The bow wave affect could still be felt, but it needed less steering correction.
END QUOTE

Fun stuff!
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2016, 10:51 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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We have a X3 35i with the same problem. For a car that is not consider a soft rider, it sure is susceptible to highway cross wind.
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2016, 12:36 PM
mikeglenn mikeglenn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
We have a X3 35i with the same problem. For a car that is not consider a soft rider, it sure is susceptible to highway cross wind.
My experience is different. My wife and I own two F25 X3 35i vehicles. I purchased mine earlier this year to replace my 2010 535i wagon. I do not find the X3 to be significantly worse in a cross winds than my 535i wagon was. I have driven the X3 on several 600+ mile trips on interstates and turnpikes and felt it tracked and handled well. There is a little buffeting in wind gusts, but it is not bad in my opinion. It is much better than my wife's previous vehicle, a Toyota Venza V6.
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2016, 01:05 PM
rayms69 rayms69 is offline
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Totally agree
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2016, 01:20 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Originally Posted by xx View Post
^^other than the canards, that website was also indicating our adorable shark fin antenna can do wonders
Canard is a delightful double entendre.
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  #16  
Old 07-15-2016, 04:11 PM
dchamero dchamero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeglenn View Post
My experience is different. My wife and I own two F25 X3 35i vehicles.
Well... that is probably the key... you have a 35i and it looks like the problem happens more on the 28i, most likely because of weight distribution issues I guess
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  #17  
Old 07-15-2016, 04:20 PM
rayms69 rayms69 is offline
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The wind will effect any car, I just don't feel like my car was effected to the point of it being any kind of issue like it was in my 15 legacy 3.6. It was corrected by having the wheels lined up properly. I'm having a good feeling about the x3s alignment
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  #18  
Old 07-15-2016, 05:02 PM
dchamero dchamero is offline
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Originally Posted by rayms69 View Post
The wind will effect any car, I just don't feel like my car was effected to the point of it being any kind of issue like it was in my 15 legacy 3.6. It was corrected by having the wheels lined up properly. I'm having a good feeling about the x3s alignment
Trust me, mine is perfectly aligned, and it sill is affected... but then again, you have a 35i, and it looks like it mostly affects the 28i
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  #19  
Old 07-15-2016, 06:35 PM
rayms69 rayms69 is offline
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just saying that was my experience with what is being described. Offering a possible source, that's all. I figured a straight from the factory car would be aligned properly, it was way off, swayed with wind. If you had the alignment checked, I trust you. The other source could be a front and/or rear sway bar that's not big enough. I don't know if there is a difference between 4 and 6 cylinder sway bars. Don't mean to offend but yall brought it up, are you looking for resolutions or just complaining?

Last edited by rayms69; 07-15-2016 at 06:39 PM.
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  #20  
Old 07-15-2016, 07:40 PM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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I've never had a crosswind problem with my '11 35i with DHP which was as bad or worse than I observed with any other car on the road in the same area at the same time. I usually have DHP enabled, and that may make a difference
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2016, 03:28 AM
missedbass missedbass is offline
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I haven't noticed any cross wind problems with mine. I have a 28i with the non turbo 6
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  #22  
Old 07-16-2016, 10:04 AM
dchamero dchamero is offline
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Originally Posted by missedbass View Post
I haven't noticed any cross wind problems with mine. I have a 28i with the non turbo 6
Well that's it then, you have the old model that they don't make anymore, the inline 6 that is bigger and heavier and occupies the whole engine bay... so it looks like the stability issue is caused but the Turbo 4 cylinder and the empty engine space under the hood....

Then maybe we can get some kind of solution by adding weight, but I have no clue how or where...
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