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  #1  
Old 02-22-2015, 04:24 AM
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Is it a transmission issue?

Hi E70 community

I recently upgraded my much beloved 2004 E53 30d to a 2011 E70 30d with the 180kw engine. I loved my E53 and have driven it for near 8 years without any major issues. Just the usual maintenance. I loved it but the age and mounting maintenance, plus signs of early diff deterioration have forced me to upgrade. That said, I love almost everything about the E70. Bar two things.

1. The car by default is rather under powered. It actually felt a bit held back. Particularly in the low range where the car would plateau around 60-80kmh then coast till about 100kmh and then the high turbo kicks in for a good result.

2. The proverbial accelerator lag between the time you hit the pedal and when the car actually responds. I sense there are two places where this lag occurs. (2a) First is when you are stationary and want to go, say at lights. (2b) Second is when you're moving but want to accelerate sharply. Say when overtaking or coming out of a round-about or corner uphill.

I did enough research to know that problem (1) can be easily rectified with a ECU tune. I have done this and managed to get the car from a default 180kw/540Nm to 220kw/610Nm. The car is a rocket, especially in sport mode where none of the usual hesitation exists. Car just goes with black dust in the rear vision mirror and a distant view of cars staying far behind. I did this with a HP-F tune which I highly recommend. Horsepower Factory (in Melbourne AUS). So far so good. I love driving my X5 in that configuration.

Problem 2a was also resolved with a accelerator module fitted. Which simply gets installed inline between the pedal and the ECU controlling the throttle. This works relatively well.

Problem 2b, that's another story and is really annoying. My guess (or maybe estimate) is that there is 1-2s maybe even as mush as 3s delay between request (of the driver by pressing on the pedal) and response (the car simply exploding into a mad rush). I like the ultimate response and clearly the car has the power to deliver on the "give me power" ask, but this does not happen straight away. The E53 did not have that problem. It was basically power-on-demand. The E70 is like "you want me to do what? Let me think about it." and then it just explodes into a run-like-a-bat-out-hell acceleration. Just before that happens it feels as if the car is kind of stuck in second gear before the transmission finally figures out what you want to do, drops the gear down by one and delivers the power.
I also noticed this behaviour at higher speed ranges. Where for example, I'm going at say 60-70kmh and want to overtake, press the accelerator, the car thinks about it, and after a delay of 1-2s drops the gear, and off we go.
It makes me wonder if the transmission is permanently stuck if "the gear it should be in plus 1". Is this possible? Can it be fixed? How?

Any thoughts or comments would be very welcome.

cheers
Mike
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Weapon of choice -> 2011 X5 e70 30D M Pack
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2015, 10:04 AM
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Its a BMW issue, one that I have, and the single issue that completely ruins the driving experience for me enough that I will never buy another BMW again.

This same issue has been seen across many different models and some of them received a software update to fix it. I assume not enough people with X5's have complained so BMW has done nothing to address the issue even though they know its there. Some people will claim its inherent with drive-by-wire systems and claim computers cannot respond as fast as a physical cable. I laugh at that because its absolutely ridiculous to believe that. We have drive by wire steering in the same vehicles... can you imagine a 2-3 second delay in steering?

I believe this was done intentionally and can only guess it has something to do with meeting some MPG requirements. I've tried the Sprint Booster, even knowing that its just a simple throttle multiplier, and an expensive one at that, in hopes that the more aggressive driving style as seen by the computer would kick me down in a lag-free program but of course this isn't the case.

I would love to get a real tune that re-maps the throttle response but having the 3.0 I haven't come across one. If anyone knows of any please reply and let me know!
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2015, 10:58 AM
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Have you guys tried resetting the throttle? (I remember seeing a procedure that would reset the logs and the thing would drive like a mad man)
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2015, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregg3gs View Post
Have you guys tried resetting the throttle? (I remember seeing a procedure that would reset the logs and the thing would drive like a mad man)
Yes, I found the reset procedure and have applied it. It does help ever so slightly especially if either it hasn't been reset for a long time or there was a driver change. I obviously just bought the car so wanted to make sure that my driving style is not influenced by a previous driver's style.

One thing I have noticed is that the E70 is extremely good at quickly adapting to a new driver. Perhaps too quick. Let me give an example. If I just drive aggressively around the city, it tends to be quite snappy (after the 2s accelerator delay). However, when I go on a long inter-city drive where I'm on a highway for an extended period of time and sitting at a very static speed, it tends to mellow out quite quickly.

Seems to me that the ECU learns and overrides the previous "learnings" relatively frequently. The E53 on the other hand was less sensitive. In fact I never had to do a memory reset. It was just power-on-demand, no questions, no buts - if you want it you've got it.

I will call BMW to see about a software upgrade. I'm keeping the car for next few years so it's worth sorting this out.

I had hope that maybe there is a patch or fix with NCSexpert or something I can do myself. I'm quite techy so comfy playing with the car.

cheers
Mike
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Weapon of choice -> 2011 X5 e70 30D M Pack
Black/Purple, 315/20in wheels, Black leather
Mods: Accelerator module, HP-F ECU Tune 220kw/610Nm
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2015, 05:04 PM
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How much of what you guys describe is inevitable turbo lag? Your E53 non-turbo did not give you this "issue".

I know there's been a lot of to-do around this engine's lack of turbo lag, but realistically, it cannot be eliminated, at lower revs especially. No matter what patch or update is applied.
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2015, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatmizr View Post
How much of what you guys describe is inevitable turbo lag? Your E53 non-turbo did not give you this "issue".

I know there's been a lot of to-do around this engine's lack of turbo lag, but realistically, it cannot be eliminated, at lower revs especially. No matter what patch or update is applied.
My E53 was a twin-turbo 30d. At low range you could hear the whistle of the air being sucked in as the engine picked up power.

I do take your point that there will be some lag from the turbo. That being said, I did notice that the lag pretty much disappears in Sport mode as the engine runs a bit faster and gear box tends to change in a very narrow range between 1500-2200 revs. The car, when pushed, feels like a motor bike changing gears rapidly.

All in all, it is not a major drama and sport mode driving solves the issue. I had just wondered what the difference really are between normal drive mode and sport mode. The car is clearly very capable to not have any lag at all and I was wondering if there was a easy tweak to remove it as it just seems like some kind config in one of the ECUs.

In the grand scheme of things, this car is awesome.

regards
Mike
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Weapon of choice -> 2011 X5 e70 30D M Pack
Black/Purple, 315/20in wheels, Black leather
Mods: Accelerator module, HP-F ECU Tune 220kw/610Nm
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2015, 07:06 PM
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my apologies, did not know you had a diesel.
I bet the difference is, as you say, just operating in a higher rev range. The motor needs to be pushing through air in order for the turbo to have a good effect. Which is hard to do at low revs, and small throttle openings, which is kinda what non sport mode is doing, to keep emissions low.
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2015, 09:02 PM
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Mine is not a turbo so its obviously not turbo lag. In sport mode the lag is almost completely gone so its intentional. Calling BMW about this will almost definitely end up with them claiming they've never heard of this issue before... even though there is a software update available for at least one model.

I did try the throttle body reset myself and even after trying to avoid the placebo effect I swear the lag is not as bad. The problem is that I feel it doesn't always work and when it does it doesn't seem to stick for too long. That's aside the fact that I find it deplorable we have this type of issue on an expensive vehicle in the first place.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2015, 09:14 AM
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Really? I fully understand your frustration now.
Have you had a full tune up? Mass air sensor clean?
are there any aftermarket tunes that claim to help?
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2015, 05:20 PM
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With the flash tune I have on my X5D now the engine pulls hard all the way to the redline and the "torque dip" is non existent now. A few times i layed on it until 120-130 mph and some passengers were shocked with what it is doing now. That is with slight increase in boost under 3200 RPM and stock boost 3200 RPM to redline. I actually have a great desire to reprogram the transmission now so it is not downshifting all the time. Of course if the RPM are under 2000 there is some lag, and it gets really bad at high elevation.
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