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  #1  
Old 12-27-2007, 08:02 PM
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Hill Descent Control

Did anyone use this feature? Do you press the button and just let her go completely? when would one use it in real life? (ie not going through an off road course) thanks for entertaining a newbie question.
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2007, 08:10 PM
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Used it daily for 4 winters on our E53; your E70 may even make
better use of the feature due to X-Drive and 6 yr newer tech
in your car.

On steep, icy/snowy descents, it allows one to descend in a slow
controlled manner that I could not duplicate w/out the feature, even
for a very experienced, long time "snow driver".

It is an unnerving feeling the first few times using HDC as you must
avoid the urge to brake, keep speed even, smooth and slow and
just let the 'puters and systems do their jobs.

In our '01 5 spd manual, it would work in 1st, but better in 2nd,
which allowed for less rpms and more control, imo.

Having been in Alberta a few times in winter, my suggestion is
to go find a steep descent empty road or ramp and learn its
capabilities. Then, when you need it, you won't be a novice and
will trust its ability to allow you to descend a steep road.
GL,mD
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2007, 08:16 PM
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I used it on my E53, and also on a 325xi. Worked well. Agree with MD's points, but the first time you use it you might want to stay off the steep hills and just find any old hill. The cruise control buttons work to adjust the 'crawling' speed. It can be slightly unnerving when you are on a very icy surface and the brakes are being dabbed left and right by the computer, but that is when the system is most valuable IMO.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:23 PM
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Good points, J...also, on my old system/E53, the noises and feelings
are very weird as those brake dabs take place...sounds/feels like
things are grinding and jumping around "underneath".

On our 5 spd manual, I seldom used the cruise buttons as
mine seemed to lag in their effect, so I would just gently toe
in a few more rpms via the gas pedal. Amazing system though, imo.

It was the difference for us, in getting down our mtn many days
for those 4 winters we spent on the mtn.
BR,mD
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2009, 11:36 AM
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We've had a significant snowfall here in the UK over the last couple of days, so, having never used the X5 (E53) in snow we went in search of some deep stuff over the Pennines.

It took some time to have complete confidence, but I was impressed with the X's ability when all around were slipping and sliding.

At one point I did push things a little far though, and ventured up a very narrow winding hill with parked cars and stone walls 2' away on either side. Unfortunately the hill's gradient increased significantly after a couple of hundred metres which was simply too much for it to cope with given the standard road tyres. I was therefore left with the only option of reversing back down my own tracks. Unfortunately I wasn't aware until a few minutes ago that the Hill Descent Function works in reverse also!!

I came extremely close to the wall at several points due to the camber of the road, but eventually managed to find a driveway that allowed me to turn the car around. I switched the HDC on but I don't think I allowed it to do its stuff properly, I took my feet off temporarily but I bottled out and braked as it seemed a little too fast for comfort. I was still 50m from the bottom with a slight bend ahead and a couple of parked cars narrowing the gap. As motordavid said, you must avoid the urge to brake, but I did which probably made the situation a little more dramatic than it needed to be.

My question is, had I completely trusted it and lifted my feet off, would it have let me steer easily around the bend and parked cars even in such deep snow and a camber which fell away to one side?

I was also unaware until now that the cruise buttons vary the speed!

All in all however it was a great experience-building exercise, and I came away without a scratch.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaycee
My question is, had I completely trusted it and lifted my feet off, would it have let me steer easily around the bend and parked cars even in such deep snow and a camber which fell away to one side?
The answer is similar to that regarding the capabilities of DSC. The system adds an amazing level of control, but at the end of the day, you can't rewrite the laws of physics.

The additional control is because it applies the brakes individually, and not all at once as you do with the brake pedal. When you get to the ultimate limit, though, there is no more. When the last of the four tires loses traction, that's it. Best to find out on a steep hill with a clear runout lane at the bottom, and no parked cars around, so that you get a good sense of the capabilities and know when and how far to trust it.

Sort of like what MD and I said above, way back when.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:28 PM
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Thanks JCL, a little practice is definitely required. I'm hoping there'll be more of the white stuff later this week!
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2009, 01:26 PM
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I live at the top of a long steep hill. We've had a ton of snow this year and it is an incredible feature. Works like a charm
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:22 PM
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I LOVE IT ! Works like a charm, helps a lot on the slippery/icy downhills.

Yeap, just press it and let your foot off the brake pedal. Just steer. You can increase the speed (default 5mph) by using the cruise control lever.

Will not get another car (bimmer) without it!
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