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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - How come I see so many YouTube video's showing Q5 unable to drive up roller track or the one where offside rear wheel lifts and it cannot go any further? Is this the esp that shuts down engine power when slip occurs and if so is there a switch to turn it off? Although some video's mention its the esp causing the problem so far I do not see them showing what happens if esp is turned off so I assume it cannot be turned off. My son has an A6 Quattro and he finds it cannot get up some steep hills with esp on so he has to turn it off and then its fine.

Just want to know as thinking of Q5 but no point if YouTube video's are right.
 

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Can asure you that it wont stop up steep hills. Have tried my Q5 in some very steep hills in the mountains here in Norway, wtih the esp on, and a lot of snow. The wheels have not slipped once. Have not found it necessary yet to turn off the ESP. The quattro works great and it is one of the best four wheel drive system I have tested on a normal car. You do not need to worry.
 

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Hi - How come I see so many YouTube video's showing Q5 unable to drive up roller track or the one where offside rear wheel lifts and it cannot go any further? Is this the esp that shuts down engine power when slip occurs and if so is there a switch to turn it off? Although some video's mention its the esp causing the problem so far I do not see them showing what happens if esp is turned off so I assume it cannot be turned off. My son has an A6 Quattro and he finds it cannot get up some steep hills with esp on so he has to turn it off and then its fine.

Just want to know as thinking of Q5 but no point if YouTube video's are right.
HiQ4Q5,
I have to say I was somewhat suspicious of those YouTube videos when I saw them as it does not square with my experiences to-date through some very severe winter weather in Scotland. On this I have to agree with Absolute. I've been waiting for some more knowledgeable forum member to lift the lid on some jiggery pokery or other that explains the Q5's poor performance in those wheel-lift/roller-track exercises.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for reply but can you advise if esp can be turned off? (your reply suggests it can).

From my son's experience, reversing up a very steep drive in snow or ice and if offside rear wheel spins then he is unable to get up drive unless he turns off esp. If Q5 also allows esp to be turned off then I'd be certain based on my son's experience that Q5 would manage if this was last resort.
 

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Thanks for reply but can you advise if esp can be turned off? (your reply suggests it can).

From my son's experience, reversing up a very steep drive in snow or ice and if offside rear wheel spins then he is unable to get up drive unless he turns off esp. If Q5 also allows esp to be turned off then I'd be certain based on my son's experience that Q5 would manage if this was last resort.
There is a switch on the dash for ESP. The Q5 has ESP off mode especially for driving off-road. It adjusts the ESP settings to allow a certain amount of wheelspin. The ESP intervenes at a later point than normal.
I have never had to use it as yet, even though I live on a steep hill which has been covered in deep snow and ice through December. This was also before I fitted winter tyres.
Hope this helps.
 

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What you are seeing in the roller test video is BMW making the absolute most of a limitation of the Q5's TORSEN center differential. The problem stems from the fact that the TORSEN center diff is only able to transmit up to 65% (I think that is the correct number for the Q5) of torque to the front wheels (and up to 85% to the rear). If the rear wheels are on the rollers then it's difficult to send much torque to the front wheels (as you just can't apply torque to the wheels if there is nothing to push against), if the car is on an incline then chances are that there will not be enough torque available at the front wheels to move the car up. It's not a situation you are likely to be in very often - maybe if you do a lot of driving on ice up steepish hills!

The Q5 has a few electronic systems to help you maintain control in slippery conditions (the TORSEN center diff is not one of them - it's purely mechanical in operation). Firstly there is traction control which shuts down engine power and applies the brakes if it detects too much wheel spin (this is what "ESP OFF" is all about - it turns traction control off), then there is Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) which works independently on the front and rear axles by braking an excessively spinning wheel across an axle. The BMW on the other hand has electronic control of the center diff (basically an electronically controlled clutch) though the new X3 may have a slightly more sophisticated system than the system on the first X3's and X5's.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it for on road use.

If you really need to go extreme offroading then get yourself an old LR Defender so that you won't mind damaging it. Cheaper than damaging your Q5 or X3 or any other version of what are designed to be primarily road cars.
 
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