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      06-11-2019, 07:54 PM   #1
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100K car with garbage speedometer

Took delivery of 2019 X7 2 weeks ago. Immediately felt that the speedometer reading was high as cars passed me while I was supposedly doing "80". Checked the speedometer with two different apps (Waze and Speed Box) and the speedometer was over-reporting the speed relative to both apps by the same >5%. I then had my wife set her cruise control in her Mercedes to 75 while we were both side by side and I did the same as I watched her pull away.

Took the X7 back to the dealer and was told "there may be an issue with X7s reporting higher than actual speeds" but they were only obligated to be within a 10% variance of actual speed. Bah. I've driven dirt bikes with better speedometers.

Posting this here in case others have experienced similar issues and maybe BMW will realize that "within 10% of actual speed" isn't good enough and actual speed is expected in a car like this.
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      06-11-2019, 08:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x7-AR View Post
Took delivery of 2019 X7 2 weeks ago. Immediately felt that the speedometer reading was high as cars passed me while I was supposedly doing "80". Checked the speedometer with two different apps (Waze and Speed Box) and the speedometer was over-reporting the speed relative to both apps by the same 5%. I then had my wife set her cruise control in her Mercedes to 75 while we were both side by side and I did the same as I watched her pull away.

Took the X7 back to the dealer and was told "there may be an issue with X7s reporting higher than actual speeds" but they were only obligated to be within a 10% variance of actual speed. Bah. I've driven dirt bikes with better speedometers.

Posting this here in case others have experienced similar issues and maybe BMW will realize that "within 10% of actual speed" isn't good enough and actual speed is expected in a car like this.
This is on purpose as a safety feature. You can usually have it coded off.


https://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1448247
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      06-11-2019, 08:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
This is on purpose as a safety feature. You can usually have it coded off.


https://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1448247
Thanks for the link. If anything, I guess it means my suspicions are probably correct. This is my first BMW and I'm surprised if it's true they bake in a 5% overage... which effectively means the faster you go, the higher the delta. I don't remember anything like this with Mercedes, Jag or Audi.

Next question: Is there anything that can be done about it on a USA vehicle? How would I go about getting it "coded off"? The dealer was not helpful.
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      06-11-2019, 08:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x7-AR View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
This is on purpose as a safety feature. You can usually have it coded off.


https://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1448247
Thanks for the link. If anything, I guess it means my suspicions are probably correct. This is my first BMW and I'm surprised if it's true they bake in a 5% overage... which effectively means the faster you go, the higher the delta. I don't remember anything like this with Mercedes, Jag or Audi.

Next question: Is there anything that can be done about it on a USA vehicle?
You can ask one of the many coding folks if they can code it off for you or you can learn to code yourself. Not sure if it is possible yet with the G07.

I don't believe Carly or BimmerCode have added that functionality yet.
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      06-11-2019, 09:00 PM   #5
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Could be coded to certain wheel size which you may not have as a factory option as well. Wheel size could throw you off by a few mph
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      06-11-2019, 09:36 PM   #6
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BMW has been doing this for decades. Either add 5 mph to your reported speed or learn to drive a little slower and a little safer and avoid speeding tickets.
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      06-12-2019, 01:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x7-AR View Post
I don't remember anything like this with Mercedes, Jag or Audi.
My Mercedes GLE did exactly the same thing. About 5km/h difference at 120km/h (actual speed 115km/h by GPS when cruise control set at 120).
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      06-12-2019, 07:38 AM   #8
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Although the speedometer is off by 5% which absolutely drives me crazy and will be coded out as soon as it is available, I am happy to report the odometer is correct (actually reported about 1% under mileage)
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      06-12-2019, 07:56 AM   #9
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Yeah, my X5 was that way. I knew it was about -3mph off at 75. It made me drive a little slower and probably helped avoid speeding tickets. BUT I hear you, you like precision and want to know the actual speed so your not playing a guessing game at how fast your going.

Last edited by bjcarls; 06-12-2019 at 09:31 AM..
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      06-12-2019, 08:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
This is on purpose as a safety feature. You can usually have it coded off.

https://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1448247
I don't understand how it got to be considered a "safety feature" (in my profession, software engineering, "feature" is often substituted as a noun where "bug" is more appropriate). When I set my X7 cruise control for the speed limit, all of the other drivers on the road will be passing me and often attempt to communicate using sign language. I will have to calculate an appropriate speed to either set the cruise control, or manually follow. I do enough math at work; I don't want to have to perform mental convolutions just to enjoy a road trip, coexist happily with my fellow travelers, and avoid speeding violations.
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      06-12-2019, 08:40 AM   #11
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Historically it's an EU requirement.
It's been that way for a while.
I gave the same reply in the G05 boards.
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      06-12-2019, 10:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkH62 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
This is on purpose as a safety feature. You can usually have it coded off.

https://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1448247
I don't understand how it got to be considered a "safety feature" (in my profession, software engineering, "feature" is often substituted as a noun where "bug" is more appropriate). When I set my X7 cruise control for the speed limit, all of the other drivers on the road will be passing me and often attempt to communicate using sign language. I will have to calculate an appropriate speed to either set the cruise control, or manually follow. I do enough math at work; I don't want to have to perform mental convolutions just to enjoy a road trip, coexist happily with my fellow travelers, and avoid speeding violations.
Sorry for the wall of text and I am not trying to be combative.


If you set it to 65 and you are going a few under that due to the intentional speed correction you are technically being safer.

Since the actual speed is lower than the displayed speed then if you get a speeding ticket, you thought you were going much faster and this feature may have just saved you some cash. E.G. Ticket for 78 vs 75 in a 65.

Normally, at least in the US you should be driving in one of the right hand lanes unless you are passing. Many states even have laws requiring it. If people are passing you doing the corrected speed limit and giving you sign language, you are probably in the wrong lane. If you set it to over the speed limit (5, 10, etc) and you are being passed with sign language, you are still probably in the wrong lane. Co-existing with your fellow drivers is less about your speed being a few MPH/KPH lower than it is to being attentive and moving to the correct lane when necessary.

Now, although it is a safety feature, it is also most likely a legal and public relations feature. For instance, if you set your cruise control to higher than the speed limit and you get in an accident, at least you were not going as fast as you thought which is safer, allows BMW to argue that you set it significantly higher than the speed limit or modded your car if you try to claim something was wrong with the speedometer, and saves some reputation since you were not going as fast as you thought.

With all that being said. You know that the feature exists and you know it can be turned off at your own risk. I don't see the problem since you can set cruise control to whatever desired speed you want to drive at and typically that's faster than the speed limit for most people.
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      06-12-2019, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
....Normally, at least in the US you should be driving in one of the right hand lanes unless you are passing. Many states even have laws requiring it. If people are passing you doing the corrected speed limit and giving you sign language, you are probably in the wrong lane. If you set it to over the speed limit (5, 10, etc) and you are being passed with sign language, you are still probably in the wrong lane. Co-existing with your fellow drivers is less about your speed being a few MPH/KPH lower than it is to being attentive and moving to the correct lane when necessary...
I always say if you're in the left lane, you better be the fast car on the road - if not, GET OUT OF THE LEFT LANE!
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      06-12-2019, 01:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
With all that being said. You know that the feature exists and you know it can be turned off at your own risk. I don't see the problem since you can set cruise control to whatever desired speed you want to drive at and typically that's faster than the speed limit for most people.
I'd just prefer to know at a glance how fast I'm really going, than to have to multiply my indicated speed by 0.95 (if that's even the actual correction factor; is it linear, are there ranges with different factors, etc.) to get to my true speed.
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      06-12-2019, 01:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
Sorry for the wall of text and I am not trying to be combative.


If you set it to 65 and you are going a few under that due to the intentional speed correction you are technically being safer.

Since the actual speed is lower than the displayed speed then if you get a speeding ticket, you thought you were going much faster and this feature may have just saved you some cash. E.G. Ticket for 78 vs 75 in a 65.

Normally, at least in the US you should be driving in one of the right hand lanes unless you are passing. Many states even have laws requiring it. If people are passing you doing the corrected speed limit and giving you sign language, you are probably in the wrong lane. If you set it to over the speed limit (5, 10, etc) and you are being passed with sign language, you are still probably in the wrong lane. Co-existing with your fellow drivers is less about your speed being a few MPH/KPH lower than it is to being attentive and moving to the correct lane when necessary.

Now, although it is a safety feature, it is also most likely a legal and public relations feature. For instance, if you set your cruise control to higher than the speed limit and you get in an accident, at least you were not going as fast as you thought which is safer, allows BMW to argue that you set it significantly higher than the speed limit or modded your car if you try to claim something was wrong with the speedometer, and saves some reputation since you were not going as fast as you thought.

With all that being said. You know that the feature exists and you know it can be turned off at your own risk. I don't see the problem since you can set cruise control to whatever desired speed you want to drive at and typically that's faster than the speed limit for most people.
Precision and accuracy should be valued. Additionally, this is not proving easy to get "turned off". The dealer and BMW have ignored my requests. I find it more dangerous to be preoccupied with doing percentage math at highway speeds. The delta is not constant and changes based on speed. It would be easier to adjust if it were, say, always 1 or 2mph over.

What logic would suggest that when a consumer buys a clock, scale or drill for that matter, they want a percentage off for minutes (so they are not late for appointments), pounds (so they eat less) or RPM (so they don't strip the screws)??? It's garbage. Give consumers valid information and allow them to make their own decisions with it. I have a Mercedes and Jag and they are all spot-on so I'm doubtful of a "legal and public relations feature." I also agree with the above comment that this fails as a safety "feature" since it requires some amount of continual driver distraction to convert back to reality.

Last edited by x7-AR; 06-12-2019 at 02:23 PM..
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      06-12-2019, 02:46 PM   #16
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My m6 is spot on, but this is pretty disgusting. I am your customer not your child BMW.
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      06-12-2019, 03:37 PM   #17
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Here's the official do-nothing, take no responsibility reply from BMWUSA:

Most speedometers have tolerances of approximately +10%. A “speedometer advance” is necessary to compensate for negative tolerances in tire diameter, electronic controls, tire temperature, tire pressure, vehicle load, and other factors. Vehicle manufacturers typically calibrate speedometers to read high by an amount equal to average error to ensure speedometers do not indicate a lower speed than the actual speed of the vehicle. The discrepancy you noted is within BMW specifications.

So to summarize, BMW admits to a "speedometer advance" and suggests that it's ok because other companies do it and says it's necessary to compensate for changes in tire factors.

I'll skip the admission by BMW to "speedometer advance" since it appears I'm late to the party and everyone knows about BMW speedometer inflation. I'll also skip the lame excuse they gave that other companies do this so it's ok. What seems like BS to me is that this is even necessary. I would think the biggest factor regarding tires is wear. Since circumference is proportional to diameter, as your tires shrink in size, the car is actually going slower than the speedometer reads, not faster. The speedometer is going to report higher speeds over time as diameter changes with tire wear. Therefore, I would predict that if you have a 5% speedometer variance with a new car with new tires, that variance will get worse with tire wear and not close the gap ("compensate for negative" blah blah blah per BMWUSA).

If and when someone reads this that has more coding knowledge than me (read "any coding knowledge") and has a solution for the BMW intentional "speedometer advance" in my 2019 X7, please reach out.
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      06-12-2019, 05:15 PM   #18
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Don't follow why this matters so much to you
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      06-12-2019, 05:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x7-AR View Post
Here's the official do-nothing, take no responsibility reply from BMWUSA:

[COLOR="Navy"]Most speedometers have tolerances of approximately +10%. A "speedometer advance" is necessary to compensate for negative tolerances in tire diameter, electronic controls, tire temperature, tire pressure, vehicle load, and other factors. Vehicle manufacturers typically calibrate speedometers to read high by an amount equal to average error to ensure speedometers do not indicate a lower speed than the actual speed of the vehicle. The discrepancy you noted is within BMW specifications.[/COLOR]

So to summarize, BMW admits to a "speedometer advance" and suggests that it's ok because other companies do it and says it's necessary to compensate for changes in tire factors.

I'll skip the admission by BMW to "speedometer advance" since it appears I'm late to the party and everyone knows about BMW speedometer inflation. I'll also skip the lame excuse they gave that other companies do this so it's ok. What seems like BS to me is that this is even necessary. I would think the biggest factor regarding tires is wear. Since circumference is proportional to diameter, as your tires shrink in size, the car is actually going slower than the speedometer reads, not faster. The speedometer is going to report higher speeds over time as diameter changes with tire wear. Therefore, I would predict that if you have a 5% speedometer variance with a new car with new tires, that variance will get worse with tire wear and not close the gap ("compensate for negative" blah blah blah per BMWUSA).

If and when someone reads this that has more coding knowledge than me (read "any coding knowledge") and has a solution for the BMW intentional "speedometer advance" in my 2019 X7, please reach out.
It's not a take no responsibility thing though. They have a responsibility to make sure their vehicles comply with all laws where they are sold. Laws usually dictate that speedometers absolutely cannot read slower than actual speed so BMW and other manufacturers add speed to compensate.

Here is more on it.
https://www.thrillist.com/cars/your-...-japanese-cars

Can you just use whichever app makes you happiest? Technically, GPS-based speed calculation will always be more accurate than wheel rotation based due to the changes in tire size over time. However, when testing this earlier today, it appeared Waze was polling every couple of seconds so it was lagging behind the X7 Speedometer changes. For instance I was completely stopped and Waze said 5mph. I set cruise to 60 and as soon as my speedometer hit 60 Waze was at 50, more than the tolerance. It soon normalized, but still it was lagged.

What resolution would make you happy? Coding is not hard as you suggested earlier, it just takes research/practice. You can also pay a 3rd party to code it. BMW will not do it since it is a legal liability for them.
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      06-12-2019, 06:21 PM   #20
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      06-12-2019, 08:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
It's not a take no responsibility thing though. They have a responsibility to make sure their vehicles comply with all laws where they are sold...

Here is more on it.
https://www.thrillist.com/cars/your-...-japanese-cars
Thanks for the link. Interesting read. However, even that article says, "For ordinary passenger vehicles, there’s no law in the U.S. that regulates speedometers" so saying "they have a responsibility to make sure their vehicles comply with all laws where they are sold" doesn't seem relevant to My X7's >5% "speedometer advance" issue since it was built in SC and sold in the USA. Also BMWUSA cited tire factors anyway, which also doesn't seem to substantiate the extent of the advance.

Since this is my 1st BMW, I think their approach to this issue is extreme relative to my current and past vehicles (and I've had many). My current Jag is 1mph higher at 80mph based on Speedbox. My Mercedes is also 1mph off at 80mph. The BMW was 4mph off at 77mph and the delta just gets higher with higher speed.

I think 1 or 2% over would have been a better choice rather than >5% if there needed to be an overage at all. I also think the dealer should disclose the actual "speedometer advance" so there aren't customer surprises and needless service inquires following purchase.

Last edited by x7-AR; 06-12-2019 at 08:43 PM..
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      06-12-2019, 09:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x7-AR View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jokinawa View Post
It's not a take no responsibility thing though. They have a responsibility to make sure their vehicles comply with all laws where they are sold...

Here is more on it.
https://www.thrillist.com/cars/your-...-japanese-cars
Thanks for the link. Interesting read. However, even that article says, "For ordinary passenger vehicles, there's no law in the U.S. that regulates speedometers" so saying "they have a responsibility to make sure their vehicles comply with all laws where they are sold" doesn't seem relevant to My X7's >5% "speedometer advance" issue since it was built in SC and sold in the USA. Also BMWUSA cited tire factors anyway, which also doesn't seem to substantiate the extent of the advance.

Since this is my 1st BMW, I think their approach to this issue is extreme relative to my current and past vehicles (and I've had many). My current Jag is 1mph higher at 80mph based on Speedbox. My Mercedes is also 1mph off at 80mph. The BMW was 4mph off at 77mph and the delta just gets higher with higher speed.

I think 1 or 2% over would have been a better choice rather than >5% if there needed to be an overage at all. I also think the dealer should disclose the actual "speedometer advance" so there aren't customer surprises and needless service inquires following purchase.
There actually is a law. This article explains it a bit better with a reason why a car manufacturer may choose a higher value for the padding.


http://www.oecbi.com/blog/vehicle-sp...-really-going/
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