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      04-01-2013, 02:21 AM   #1
Nicky_Santoro
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e90 LCI xDrive - loosing traction

Hi everybody,

I am sure that on this forum have been more then one discussion regarding xDrive, but not this topic .

Belive me, Iíve searched.

Here goes:

I own a 320d e91 11/2006, for 4 years now. It is time to change it with a 330d e90 2009-2011 (depending on what I find, aprox 100.000 km). For the last 7 years I had rwd, on my last e46 and on this e91. The only thing different now is that this one has 245 hp on rwd and more torque.

I know the capabilities of xDrive and the benefits, but I have survived all the winters, rains, and so on. I have no problem of still using rwd on my new bmw with winter tires. The winter is a different setup, and this is not the issue here.

My question for you is: how does the car act when you put your foot down at low speeds? I want the car to be manual transmission, if that matters for your answer. When I say low speeds I mean corners, uphill, launching.

I have tested the car and in 2nd gear at about 30km/h, putting my foot down Ö makes the car lose traction, meaning that it cannot use all those hp. I am not even talking about rain or anything, on dry surface. I guess when itís raining I have to drive it like my 320d?

I have tested the car with all systems on, dsc cutted the gas, but it took a while for the car to put that power down and glue me to my seat. For example, at 80km/h step on the gas until 130km/h, the car acts SUPERB. All the power is there and I feel that I am using it.

I want to avoid xDrive, because is a complex mechanism and a lot can go wrong, the car is heavier, about 25% more fuel consumption, etc.

I drove xDrive, I like it, I have no problem with the feeling, I am not the guy who drifts the car in traffic and takes turns power steering. I donít want rwd for racing or anything. I want this car to be sure that when I overcome someone in a 2 way open road I can put all the power to use. If this depends ONLY on the speed of my car and PERFECT dry surface, and I can use those HP after 60km/h I think I will better stick to my 320d rwd, or take a 330xD.

Is xDrive having any problems, in time, does anything brake? Is it some common damages that appear after a aprox amount of km? I am not buying my car new. Mechanics say that the system is complex and that the car has more chances to have mechanical problems.

I donít want to be the black BMW in this video
, who loses traction and canít put all the power down. Ok Ö itís raining, but, címon it happened to me on dry surface when I put my foot down on the gas. It is an extreme example, but it can happen in an extreme situation and it can put my life into danger.

Help me with a decission please, because you guys own BMWís with 3.0l engines, 330, 335 and have experienced what I am talking about.

Everybody tries to market xDrive for the winter, but I am not talking about that, I am talking about the case that I have explained in this post.

Thank you in advance!
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      04-01-2013, 05:55 AM   #2
BMW_Belgier
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Hello Nick

Before my 335i Xdrive, i had a 130i wich was RWD.

I had a lot of fun with that car! Really enjoyed it... when it was dry...

I sold it after 5.5 years because i was so sick of it, driving in winter with that car... Now i don't care what weather we have... I just enjoy the power

Get the Xdrive! If you want a sporty drive, prepare to change your suspension setup (coilovers) but you will enjoy the power so much more
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      04-01-2013, 06:04 AM   #3
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I'm on my second xdrive touring, and I love it! It feels more like a rwd car than, say, an Audi Quattro does. I've NEVER gotten stuck. I've had rwd BMWs that couldn't leave the driveway easily if there was an inch of snow.

I've never experienced any mechanical problems with the system, except for replacing the front CV axles on my last car.
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      04-01-2013, 06:31 AM   #4
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Thank you very much for your answers. I would have a couple of small things to add though.

Did you experience the sensation that you can't put all the power down and use it? did you look at that video? The 335d at 0:33 is really loosing power because it has too much torque on only one deck. If the power would be distributed fornt & rear, he would not lose it, am those extra hp that it has, would have been used, not wasted. The conditions are a bit extreme, but the slipping of the 335d is pretty extreme also, I mean ... it really looses grip.

Also, for petrol cars, they haven't got so much torque at low rpm, so the traction & power are not lost like a diesel. I know the fun you can have with the rwd , but i want to talk about the balance between power - traction - costs.

As far as I'm concerned, with the rwd in snow with all 4 winter tires & safe driving, you can cope with a eastern european winter ... 2 months per year. The things that the xDrive offers, the bonuses in snow, ok, I agree 100%, but I am more interrested in the aspects I have entered above.

Norm - replaceing the CV axles I think it's a major drawback, I think it's pretty expenssive.
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      04-01-2013, 07:38 AM   #5
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Petrol cars don't have the torque as diesel cars??? You mean petrol cars without turbos May i remind you that your diesel also has a turbo... without it would be a lot less impressiv...
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      04-01-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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Well I can tell you from a 328xi perspective in the winter it's awesome all seasons and we get a fair amount of snow here. Also more to your concern on dry nothing hooks up like it, my buddy has a 328i and he can't touch me off the line it looks just like that video you had above!!
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      04-01-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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Id never buy xdrive just cause bmw's have enough chance to break I dont need to throw awd into the equation too.
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      04-01-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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losing*
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      04-02-2013, 01:58 AM   #9
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I stand corrected, I will be more careful next time. I wrote from my phone and didn't read it afterwards. Look at my location

I have talked with a mechanic from BMW, I know him because there is where I take my car to. I've asked him to be very honest regarding the problems encountered at the xDrive models , and I trust him.
He has told me that all he has seen/heard was that the transmission box front to rear power was the only thing that broke, that 4x4 prompt which comes in the dashboard. That brakes because people tend to force the car above its limits, like mud, ice. If the car can't get out of that situation, the driver presses the gas, and all the wheels spin but the car doesn't move. That being the way the transmission box brakes. It is a rather expensive piece, about 2.500 euros.

If the car I will buy it's about 100.000 km / 62000 miles has that problem, or it's bound to happen in the next ... thousand km/miles, it's a risk I have to take.

He told me that the CV axles didn't brake, he haven't heard any cases. The only thing that broke was the bellows --> that rubber and it was at the non facelift model, after that BMW has changed their provider.

Also he told me that he drove the rwd model several times and he didn't experience any lost of power like I've described. He said thathe didn't force the car also and on rain, he was cautious and didn't step onm the gas.

The discussion with him has brought me to an even more 50/50 decision xdrive or rwd on this 245 diesel engine.

BMW_Belgier: 335i has 400Nm and 335is (rare model) has 450Nm. The 330d has 520Nm. I agree with you that petrol cars with turbocharger have a lot of torque ... but a diesel has a bit more torque at low rpm, that could be a case with the wasted power when launching or pressing hard on the gas at low speeds.
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      04-02-2013, 04:53 AM   #10
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there is not doubt that a diesel has WAY more torque there is no comparing them especially with fuel economy but I think you will be fine with an x-drive model. Ill tell you one thing its nice waking up looking outside and saying well that's not problem getting to work!!
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      04-02-2013, 08:31 AM   #11
Nicky_Santoro
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Aha, very well put. Though 'getting to work' part should be replaced with 'getting to the mountains'.

Ok, so you say that it would be no problem buying a second hand xdrive with about 62000 miles, no major risks.
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