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Topics - Chrispy

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After looking for a possible replacement for her leased Q3, which TBH I never got on with (Playstation levels of driving feel, naff interior, very average economy considering the power, AdBlue, poor Audi MMI etc) we decided an X1 would be a good replacement as an "owned" car. 

We ended up with a BMW AUC 2011 plate 2.0 Xdrive SE auto in Vermillion Red which I quite like - it's like a burgundy sort of colour and a little bit boudoir :).   What got me though are the obvious comparisons made with the E70 as they are clearly of the same mindset but feel very different for obvious reasons.  And it was a nice opportunity to sample the older 6 speed box as I've only driven BMW manuals (which I loathe) and the 8 spd ZF in mine.

Firstly the gearbox is the aforementioned 6 speed auto, not the 8 as in my E70.  Very different in how it behaves.  Where the 8 sometimes feels like it can't quite make its mind up as to what gear it's in (especially when cold) the 6 plumps for a gear which tends to be on the revvier side and sticks with it much more.  Changes aren't as smooth but it feels like a far less fussy unit, for want of a better way of describing it.  It's also quite keen to kick down even when warmed up whereas the 8 will sometimes need more of a shove on the throttle for it to realise a change in ratio is needed.  However at all other times, for me, the 8 speed unit is far better.  Smoother changes, less of a feel like it's "slipping" at times in order to keep you in the power band (more ratios to play with) and I have flappies :)

The dash is very similar to that in the E70, just like it's been on a hot wash.  And I have to say some of the plastics especially lower down (like steering column shroud/ trim) are just plain shoddy.  Very hard and cheap feeling.  However, despite this none of it creaks, rattles and groans like the E70 interior which has always bugged me for a car of its class.  It has nav so an iDrive screen in the middle of the dash however this is smaller than that in the E70 and has a bigger shroud to fill some of the space.  Feels like when you used to watch widescreen movies on a normal telly with the black lines, except at either side instead of top and bottom.  However it does feel far more responsive than the iDrive in my E70 - not sure why this would be?  Less features perhaps (she has no DAB for example)?   Definite shortage of cupholders though, with only the one squeezed in on the centre console vs the E70's two.

Oh and get this - it has a proper handbrake.  Jealous......  :)

Engine wise it's the 177bhp 2.0d unit which combined with the much reduced weight of the car and 4wd makes it a sprightly little thing off the mark.  At higher speeds it feels a bit breathless where the 3.0d would still have some shove, and at times you can tell it needs some more mid range but it's otherwise just fine.
Definitely lacking in refinement with the loss of 2 cylinders, and clearly some sound proofing (and I'm sure the 184bhp unit is smoother) but compared to the bland Audi 140bhp unit it feels like it has some character and is much more willing to rev.
MPG wise it's not bad - I'd say mid 40's.  Sure if we'd have got an SDrive it would have been better but this was otherwise the right car and I think my wife likes the extra surefooted-ness of AWD as her previous E87 1 series was a bit twitchy in the wet she said. 

In terms of ride, even with 17" * marked Pirelli RFT's it's night and day better than the E70 which crashes and bangs over things the E84 doesn't even notice.  It doesn't feel like it has a need to go to non RFT's as these behave just fine.  Think the SE suspension is squishy enough (apparently based on the E91 3 series chassis) but the handling is still absolutely superb and the car feels very pointy and level.  Combine this with the relatively heavy steering (makes the E70 feel very light when I get back in it) it is great fun to smash down a B road.  Less so in town as the steering can almost feel too heavy and I can't palm the wheel round when parking etc like I can the E70.  I guess here the massive weight of the E70 is unavoidable so the suspension in the E84 doesn't need to be stiffer than a stiff thing to compensate.

Aside from this, it boils down to the fact that the E70 simply has more toys due to being simply a higher spec car and in my case an LCI. Flappies with 8 speed, leather bum warmers, Xenons, even rear vents (the E84 doesn't have vents pointing at rear passengers.....).  You're therefore almost into apples vs oranges territory trying to directly compare them but I've definitely got to say getting into the X1 does put a smile on my face whereas the X5 feels better for lazy wafting.

General X5 Forum (E70) / 3.0d won't start or even crank
« on: October 16, 2018, 09:28:18 AM »
Morning chaps,

Got into the car this morning and found it wouldn't start - not even crank.  You hear the pumps priming etc but nothing from the starter at all when you press the start button.

Where do I start?  Are the starters known to just fail on these things?  I've had starters before where they stick so they spin but won't spring out to engage the flywheel but this isn't even spinning, it's just silent after the pump priming etc once the button is pressed.

And if it is the starter, and needs replacement, are we talking a big job?  From the YouTube videos it looks plug and play (no coding) and an intake manifold off job to get to.  Replacement starters don't seem too pricey if not going to the dealer for one....



General X5 Forum (E70) / 7 seater tyre pressures vs 5 seater
« on: October 10, 2018, 11:12:43 AM »
Hi all,

Looking around to make sure I'm running the correct pressures for the 7 seat setup.

I found this post http://xdrivers.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11448.msg118469.html#msg118469 which matches my 19" wheels but I believe his car was a 5 seater - does the 7 seater require different pressures with the extra weight?  Otherwise is a 28 psi front / 32 psi rear sufficient?

I'm talking unladen here - not 7 people in the car and a boot full of ironmongery.  :)



So, not so long ago, seeking better ride quality (and as my existing Bridgestones were on their last legs) I made the judgment call to purchase some non * marked, non RFT tyres.

Having the 7 seater meant that I needed the ones that could handle the extra weight - 19" 107 at the front and 111 at the rear (staggered setup).  This meant that the only tyres I could find that were of the right size, load and speed rating were Hankook Ventus Evo 2's from Tyre Leader (£500 delivered for all 4).

Upon arrival I measured the tyres (front vs rear) and even put them side by side with a spirit level and they were bang on the same, so I felt pretty confident.

Tyres were fitted and all seemed great.  The difference in ride quality was excellent, soaking up bumps that would've been a pipe dream before.  This was for the first couple of weeks, but then weird things started.

To begin with I noticed it as what can only be described as a "shunt" when braking and coming to a stop, or at least low speed.  It felt like a very aggressive downshift by the transmission and so I started looking into this as a possibility, resetting transmission adaptation values etc but to no avail.  The more I drove the car the more it felt like something "releasing" or "letting go" as the vehicles speed reduced.

Additionally (and this was what gave the game away) I noticed at lower speeds and when turning or doing things like parking maneuvers there would be the occasional mild shudder felt through the car.  Not all the time, just now and again.  This was on top of how the car felt like it was misfiring or coughing when at low parking speeds on and off gentle throttle, even when going straight - like the aforementioned shunt but repeatedly.

It definitely wasn't right.

The coincidence with the fitting of the tyres and the nature of the faults started to add up - it had to be the tyres.  Plus a call to the independent BMW specialist I use added further weight to it saying the symptoms matched what they'd seen on similar X3's - the transfer case wasn't happy. 

They explained that the loss of the RFT meant that the sidewalls were (intentionally) giving more than before and as such would confuse the traction control, which in turn affects the 4x4 system as it thinks the car is losing traction. RFT's maintain this regardless of weight and largely pressure so RR is maintained front and back, despite tyre width & weight differences and pressures, at the cost of ride quality.

So this morning I got my car in for a full set of 4x * marked Bridgestones sharpish in the hope I'd not done any lasting damage.  As I say the symptoms were subtle but noticeable and the sooner the tyres were changed the better.

Upon driving the car away I could tell straight away things were ok again.  Gone was the weird shunt when dropping down the gears or maneuvering at lower speeds, and gone was the weird random (and slight) shudder when turning. Back however was the harsher ride, although not as bad as I remember so maybe the newer Bridgestones are improved over the old ones?

So, I guess my story is testament to the theory that * marked tyres do indeed make a difference, at least in my case, guaranteeing rolling radius not through manufacturing techniques but also through their rigidity in the case of RFT's.  It might only be a thing affecting staggered setups, and possibly more of a risk on smaller wheeled cars (less rim & more tyre making up the overall rolling radius) but my experience was clear. 

I now have a set of 4x three week old Hankooks in the boot of the car which will be going on eBay shortly to recoup some of the cost........

General X5 Forum (E70) / Gear changes when coming to a stop jerky
« on: September 24, 2018, 09:55:30 AM »
Hi guys,

Noticed the last week or so as I'm coming to a stop at a junction, usually when braking moderately hard and above that the gear changes from say 3rd downwards are quite harsh, and sometimes when actually coming to a stop the last change is almost like a thud, like something is "releasing".  It also sometimes feels like there's a hesitation when letting go of gentle throttle like when parking.

I've reset the transmission adaptation values but the issue persists.

Am I due an ATF fluid replacement for this or am I looking at something else?  I do wonder if I am heading into transfer case issues all the time after chancing it on non * marked tyres.  They measured up ok prior to fitting but I'm about to get the string out and measure them again.....



General X5 Forum (E70) / XDrive Transmission fluid replacements
« on: September 17, 2018, 03:58:41 PM »
Hi all,

Do we have a comprehensive list of fluid replacements that the XDrive system needs?  Including the ATF for the 8 speed box.

Cars mileage is stacking up and I think I should consider starting to work my way through them all.



General X5 Forum (E70) / N/S front tyre wearing on outside edge
« on: August 09, 2018, 09:51:19 AM »
Spotted the other day, quite heavy wear on the N/S front tyre outside edge, whereas across the rest of the tread is quite healthy - like I've been doing nothing but go round roundabouts really fast for hours on end... 
The O/S tyre in comparison is wearing evenly across and the rears are ok with just the usual feathering on the inside edges as expected based on the camber.

Can the front camber be altered to counter this or am I talking worn bushes etc?  I doubt it's track rod end adjustment due to the way it's wearing.



Has anyone had this or found a solution to it?  More of an annoyance than anything but, seemingly at random, if I choose anything other than "Position" on the split screen display (such as "Map Pointing North" which I tend to go for) it has a nasty tendency of reverting back to "Position".

Searched for it and found this but nothing definitive:



General X5 Forum (E70) / 3rd row blower / vents not coming on
« on: June 04, 2018, 08:46:57 PM »
Hi all,

In the saga of diagnosing why my front dash vents won't come on at all (defrost / windscreen only) I've noticed that the 3rd row vents won't come on either.  Press the little button and the LED doesn't light up - nothing happens.  :( 

I'm on a blown fuse mission anyway (which helped me figure out why my power outlet in the boot doesn't work :) ) but struggling with these other issues.

Spotted I'm missing fuse 126 from the boot fuse box but having borrowed another 5A fuse to pop in there temporarily whilst I buy some more of the little fuses, it's made no difference.

Anyone else had this?



General X5 Forum (E70) / Climate will only blow onto windscreen
« on: May 28, 2018, 07:53:17 PM »
Noticed today in the warm weather that the car refused to blow air out of the passenger or footwell vents no matter what I did - will only blow it at the windscreen.  Temp and blower power respond ok, just no control over direction.  Comes out of the rear vents ok.

Any ideas?  Can't be normal behaviour surely.

Hi all,

Q for the 7 seater owners - do any of your 3rd row seat belts clonk a little when stowed in the C pillar plastic trim thing?  Seems mine aren't all that snug and, especially on the O/S rattle a bit now and then.  Took some finding tracing the elusive noise back after I'd adjusted the  tailgate bump stops, put insulation tape around the lower tailgate latches, wedged everything in under the boot floor etc....

Any tips on how to make them a better (more interference) fit?



Got the glow plug control module replaced the other day and thought I'd post up a few observations / thoughts re this as it may be valuable to others.

Ever since I got the car, it was never happy on cold starts.  Even on "normal" temp starts it was never as smooth as I'd like and the car was waaaaay more thirsty than I'd have liked when cold. 

So when the car was in BMW for the cripplingly overpriced parking brake module replacement they spotted a fault code with the glow plug control module and wanted £350 to replace it.  Pfft I thought after I'd just given them my left kidney for the parking brake, so I got it sorted myself.  Found the part code on RealOEM and ordered a replacement Beru unit from eBay for £80, which arrived promptly.
Then booked the car in with my local independent to have it fitted after the wife insisted I wouldn't have time to do it myself.....

Upon removal of the engine cover and scuttle tray etc they found additional coolant pipes in the way of the control module that they weren't expecting.  We're talking narrow ones about 8mm in diameter and they said they'd not seen this on the many 3.0d's they'd handled prior.  As such the intake plenum needed to come off too in order to get in, rather than using alien fingers like normal.  Anyway, all good after all this was sorted and I went to collect the car.

First thing I noted was the car did a regen.  But we're talking a serious regen here - white/ grey haze from the exhaust under acceleration visible in the rear view mirror (which stopped about a mile later and hasn't happened since), and bonkers heat on the tailpipes with the exhaust clanking from the heat when I got home and turned the ignition off.  It's never done that before. 

Now all cold starts are met with a proper "vrooom" when the engine starts, and instant smooth running, whereas before it would sort of cough into life and feel a bit lumpy, almost misfiring when in minus temps.  The engine is also smoother to drive before reaching normal operating temps and I dare say has improved mpg - you can actually see there is less throttle needed to maintain cruising speed on the motorway than before.  Hoping this isn't my imagination but I'd say this has taken me from late 20's into early 30's mpg wise.  I need to brim it to really do the math.

How much of this improved running is down to active glow plugs at the right times vs a proper regen taking place I'm not sure, but it's made it all much better.

So the question is, clearly the glow plug controller is involved in the regen process and heavily by the looks of this.  This clearly wasn't working with a faulty module, so:

1. How long would a faulty glow plug controller need to be in place for it to kill your DPF?
2. If the 2 are so closely linked, then getting these things checked and replaced should be high on many peoples agendas, yes?

Thoughts and comments welcome. :)


General X5 Forum (E70) / 19" Star rated non-RFT's on Black Circles
« on: February 21, 2018, 02:33:35 PM »
Hi all,

When the current 19" Duellers are done I'll be going to non RFT's, and I'm currently having a look on Black Circles at what my options are. 

Now the "specialist fitment" drop down box has BMW in it but select that and the only tires that pop up are RFT's, no mention of star marking anywhere.

Can I ask what others have opted for and what their experiences of them were, with regards to ride (the main reason for me ditching the stupid concrete RFT's), noise and wear rates?  On 19" I'd have hoped there would have been a few to choose from......

TIA, Chris.

P.S I'm not wanting to debate the decision to go non-RFT as that ship has sailed, this is just a query as to what tyre choices I'd have that are guaranteed to be star marked.

Hi all,

So I've been mulling this one over a little with regards to how sensitive these cars are to tyre size differences, and short of asking BMW (where I'm not expecting them to have the foggiest) I thought I'd post up some thoughts first.

Now as we're (mostly) aware, using * marked tyres is recommended due to the tighter checks around sizes etc and for the protection of the transfer case, but how do we stand when it comes to pressure differences and also different rates of wear between front and back, especially with the lack of a centre diff to soak up the difference?

The tyre pressures advised are higher on the rear than the front, and couple that with potentially different rates of wear (more at the front?) and potentially a staggered setup on the M's how do we stand? 

Do we not only have to use * marked tyres but also make sure they're within a certain amount of MM tread left across all 4, and also make sure the pressures are X PSI to guarantee as close a rolling radius front to back as possible?  The ABS uses rolling radius to detect tyre pressures being out so if the differences can be big enough for that to pick it up, surely that's more than enough to be damaging to the transfer box?

General X5 Forum (E70) / Glow plug control module
« on: January 19, 2018, 11:55:39 AM »
Hi guys,

Has anyone replaced this on the 3.0d?  Mine has a fault code and it is a bit lumpy on (really) cold starts so I'd like to swap it out.  I gather it's under the intake manifold on these things based on videos of people doing it on 335D's I've found on YouTube....

Part wise, it looks like it's a Beru unit now? - like this:




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