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  #1  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:28 AM
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2004 X5 4.4i towing questions....

How much stress does it cause on the X5 when towing? I have to pick up a car about 100 miles away and was thinking of renting a u-haul auto transporter and pulling it with the X5 but Im sort of scared that it may cause issues with my transmission or anything else on it. It has an occasional / intermittent transmission bump from 1st to 2nd if the engine is cold. The notorious jerk. Its fine if the motor is warm and drives fine other than that. Ive been wanting to do the transmission drain and fill but haven't had a chance and this just came up where I have to pick up the car this weekend.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2019, 04:09 AM
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Should be fine - these cars are have plenty of pulling power in reserve. As long as you have a decent hitch installed on it.

I regularly pull a 8x6 trailer with 3Cu.m of firewood up some pretty steep hills. X5 doesn't even bat an eyelid, although I do use sport mode on the hills, so as not to lug the engine too much.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpoll View Post
Should be fine - these cars are have plenty of pulling power in reserve. As long as you have a decent hitch installed on it.

I regularly pull a 8x6 trailer with 3Cu.m of firewood up some pretty steep hills. X5 doesn't even bat an eyelid, although I do use sport mode on the hills, so as not to lug the engine too much.
Thank you for the reply. Iím just paranoid I guess. Iíve been told by some donít do it and others said itís fine. Seen a few posts of people towing with no issues. I just donít want to put so much stress on the x5 due to its age, miles, transmission, suspension etc....

Any pointers for first time newb? Dos and donts? Tire pressure? Etc
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:10 PM
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Put your info into the Uhaul site to make sure they will approve your setup. They generally have a pretty good idea what you should and shouldn't tow.

The E53 does a nice job towing. Just take it easy accelerating and slowing. Make sure you have adequate tongue weight (probably 2-300 lbs. minimum pulling a car on trailer). Drive no faster than 65 if possible. If you feel any wobble in the trailer, slowly decrease speed. Increase following distances. Don't try to maintain hiway speeds on significant hills. Use your manual mode if necessary to prevent trans from too much shifting. Make sure your hitch adapter and ball are properly rated - some cheap ones will have a lower weight limit. Increase tire pressure to max on door panel (I run 40 psi in rear). That's about all I can think of.

AM.

AM.
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Attacking Mid View Post
Put your info into the Uhaul site to make sure they will approve your setup. They generally have a pretty good idea what you should and shouldn't tow.

The E53 does a nice job towing. Just take it easy accelerating and slowing. Make sure you have adequate tongue weight (probably 2-300 lbs. minimum pulling a car on trailer). Drive no faster than 65 if possible. If you feel any wobble in the trailer, slowly decrease speed. Increase following distances. Don't try to maintain hiway speeds on significant hills. Use your manual mode if necessary to prevent trans from too much shifting. Make sure your hitch adapter and ball are properly rated - some cheap ones will have a lower weight limit. Increase tire pressure to max on door panel (I run 40 psi in rear). That's about all I can think of.

AM.

AM.
I had the info in uhauls site and they stated it will work but due to age, etc not recommended. The X5 is high mileage up in the low 200k range so dont want to stress the motor even more or cause more issues with towing is why im concerned. Im figuring the gross weight with trailer and car will be around 5110 lbs (2900 car + 2210 Uhaul trailer) with Tongue weight of 511 lbs.
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Old 10-24-2019, 02:52 PM
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You're definitely up there near the vehicle's stated limits, but I wouldn't be afraid to do it. From my experience, I'd not go that high on tongue weight. Big long trailers tend to follow very straight. Personally, I'd shoot for around 300lbs. (ish). If it does want to waggle at speed, then I'd consider scooting the car more forward, but I'd prefer to let the trailer support more of the weight if possible.

AM.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:39 PM
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Maybe Im calculating this wrong? Do I add the total gross weight with the car x10% to get Tongue weight?
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:41 PM
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Total gross weight of trailer and load, so I think you're calculating right based on the "rule of thumb". I'm just saying from my experience, that I bet you can get away with less than 10% tongue weight as long as you're driving sanely.

AM.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Attacking Mid View Post
Total gross weight of trailer and load, so I think you're calculating right based on the "rule of thumb". I'm just saying from my experience, that I bet you can get away with less than 10% tongue weight as long as you're driving sanely.

AM.
First time driving with a trailer so Im sure Ill be going way SLOW lol. I just dont want to come back home with oil leaking everywhere, overheating, messed up transmission or even a blown airbag in the rear. Thats my main concern on a high mileage vehicle. Just wondering if others here have towed similar with no issues and higher mileage.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:13 PM
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When was the last time the transmission fluid was changed? While the X5 should handle this load with the OEM hitch (not the aftermarket hitches which have a 4500 towing capacity vs 6,000 OEM), I would not tow it if you are on your orig trans fluid, or if it's been 100k since last ATF change.

I towed an E39 on a trailer less than 100 miles in a honda pilot ( yes different car) and I overheated the Honda's tired ATF fluid and the trans started slipping. I had to get a tow truck for the Pilot and somebody else for the trailer. What a disaster. Now that car did not have the extra ATF cooler, but did run the ATF through the radiator. Also the tow capacity of the HOnda was 4500 lbs, and I was probably over that.

If your ATF fluid is old, I would change it before you try a tow.

Last edited by Effduration; 10-24-2019 at 09:28 PM.
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