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      03-31-2020, 06:33 PM   #1
7thGear
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Drive modes again

Many of you guys have seen the chart showing what happens to steering, suspension and shift characteristics in the Comfort, Sport, Sport+, DTC and DSC OFF settings.

I've never liked this chart because it doesn't show all the combinations. For instance, what if you're in Sport mode AND you press DSC OFF at the same time (both DTC and totally off settings)? The chart doesn't show that.

One combo doesn't make sense - Sport+ and DTC - since you get DSC off (DTC on) in Sport+ automatically. But what about regular Sport mode? Can I turn DSC off completely (long button press) while in regular Sport mode? The chart doesn't indicate it, and the manual is notoriously non-helpful.

I'm new to the car, so I decided to test the interaction between the DSC off modes and the Sport/Sport+ modes. I went for a short drive since it was a nice warm day.

Problem is, as soon as you hit the DSC OFF button (either short or long press), the cluster display no longer shows which drive mode you're in. I didn't detect any differences in chassis stiffness or steering feel, so I'm not sure what it's doing. It's possible that as soon as you turn DSC off completely (long press), it automatically puts you in Comfort.

Does anybody know what happens to the setup in these instances? I honestly couldn't tell.

Sport, DTC on (DSC off)
Sport, DSC off competely
Sport+ DSC off completely

Thoughts appreciated.
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      04-08-2020, 02:17 AM   #2
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It does feel like it goes back to comfort. I think i read some forum thead on it years ago where it was discussed and confirmed. Anyway i have always thought that its in comfort when turning traction/stability off. Another wierd thing with drive modes is cruise control. Cant use it when in Sport+. Liked to have stiff ride on the motorway with adaptive shocks in sport+ but could not do that with cruise on. Now I have coilovers so does not matter anymore.
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      04-10-2020, 01:31 AM   #3
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Yeah it is pretty simple, there are only five modes in total. Comfort, Sport, Sport+, DTC and DSC OFF. You cannot combine them. You can only combine DCT modes (D, S, M) with these five modes.

And the chart you are referring to is actually misleading. The steering in DSC OFF mode is same as sport+. Steering in DTC is similar to sport. Also pretty sure you get slightly less slip in D when in DSC OFF compared to normal. Throttle response you can adjust in your tune, and it has two mappings, one for sport (sport, sport+) and normal (normal, DTC, DSC OFF). I use exactly the same throttle map for both sport and normal. Exhaust burble coding is actually also different for sport and normal which is not mentioned in the chart. We get more burbles than 335i even in normal.

As for cruise control, it is true it wont work unless DSC is completely ON. It will also exit cruise control is wheel slip is detected, like in case of water.

I am not sure what happens if you try to turn DSC OFF while drifting. We tried it in my friends M135i, and it wouldn't exit DSC OFF mid drift. You would have to wait until the car was out of the over steer before you could get the system back into normal mode. Fun fact I think.

It seems an advantage of our DSC OFF is that the e-diff thing works better and more aggressively if you run an open diff compared to 3-series. However the software might be the same, and then the explanation is just the more rear biased weight distribution. The system works better with high friction in general (ie not in the rain). Also compared to 1 series M coupe, we do not seem to have the problem where DSC tries to compensate for over rotation during trail braking. At least I haven't noticed this. It might happen if ABS kicks in though. I guess the 1M is also more willing to rotate on trail braking due to the clutch type lsd. Im running the quaife atb.
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      04-10-2020, 10:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn View Post
Yeah it is pretty simple, there are only five modes in total. Comfort, Sport, Sport+, DTC and DSC OFF. You cannot combine them. You can only combine DCT modes (D, S, M) with these five modes.
But you CAN combine them. In fact, Sport+ is the obvious example. It combines SPORT and DTC. That's what the "+" means. You can combine COMFORT with DTC, DSC ON and DSC OFF. You can put the car in SPORT and then turn DSC OFF.

Your comments regarding tuning options don't apply to me as I have no plans to tune my car.

Maybe this will make my question more clear:
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      04-10-2020, 11:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thGear View Post
But you CAN combine them. In fact, Sport+ is the obvious example. It combines SPORT and DTC. That's what the "+" means. You can combine COMFORT with DTC, DSC ON and DSC OFF. You can put the car in SPORT and then turn DSC OFF.

Your comments regarding tuning options don't apply to me as I have no plans to tune my car.

Maybe this will make my question more clear:
No you cannot combine them. It is a very common misunderstanding. There are only five modes. Whichever button you pressed last selects the mode. If you are in sport you dont get into sport+ by pressing the dsc button. If you do that you just enter DTC mode (short press) and that gives you normal throttle with sports steering. Long press gives you DSC OFF which is normal throttle with sport+ steering.

Just drive the car and feel it by yourself. It is super obvious if you slalom a little etc.
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      04-10-2020, 11:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn View Post
No you cannot combine them. It is a very common misunderstanding. There are only five modes. Whichever button you pressed last selects the mode. If you are in sport you dont get into sport+ by pressing the dsc button. If you do that you just enter DTC mode (short press) and that gives you normal throttle with sports steering. Long press gives you DSC OFF which is normal throttle with sport+ steering.
The table says differently. Look at it. In both DTC and DSC OFF, steering as well as everything else is always in "basic" or "comfort". There is no such thing as "sport+ steering". The table shows are only two possibilities for steering - basic or sport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn View Post
Just drive the car and feel it by yourself. It is super obvious if you slalom a little etc.
I've tried. I cannot detect any difference in steering feel, regardless of what mode I'm in. Maybe it's only obvious at slow speed. I drove 911s on various tracks for 15 years and I think I'm pretty good at feeling a car's dynamics. I'll keep playing and see if I can figure it out. What I really want to see is a BMW engineering document that explains in minute detail how every system in the car acts in every possible driving configuration. Little chance of getting that, though.
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      04-11-2020, 10:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thGear View Post
The table says differently. Look at it. In both DTC and DSC OFF, steering as well as everything else is always in "basic" or "comfort". There is no such thing as "sport+ steering". The table shows are only two possibilities for steering - basic or sport.
Im very aware the table is wrong. Found out many years ago, and I told you already in my first post. You can clearly feel a difference in steering weight and transparancy when going between the five modes. In my opinion DSC=off feels like sport+ and DTC feels like sport. I like the dsc=off feeling the most. Sport+ does feel different than sport steering to me. I could feel it when my front was stock, and I can feel it even more now that I am all bearing and -3deg camber up front. I do not have adaptive suspension, and throttle response is the same, so none of that plays into the steering feel on my car.

If you have a different opinion that is fine by me, I was just trying to help you understand your car. There is a possibility that 35is has different coding, and it might be the same with EUR vs USA versions. I do not know. Mine is EUR 35i.

Last edited by Asbjorn; 04-11-2020 at 11:04 PM..
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      04-13-2020, 11:32 AM   #8
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Okay, I do appreciate your helpfulness. I'm just experiencing it differently on my car, which is a 35i with the adaptive M suspension. It could be I'm not paying attention to the right things as far as steering goes. Is it the steering ratio that changes between the different modes, or just the heaviness? The adaptive suspension makes it difficult to judge the effect on chassis stiffness, since it adapts continuously based on driver inputs and road conditions. The shift point differences are obvious between comfort and sport/sport+, but I haven't been able to discern any differences between sport and sport+ in that department. So I guess it's just in steering response where our experiences differ. I've been able to drive very little so far, as I'm unable to register my car until the title paperwork moves through the CA and CO motor vehicle hoops, which appear to be at a standstill until things get back to normal. It's now been 8 weeks since I picked up my car and I still can't even get a temporary registration, much less plates. A few trips around the block is all I can get away with at the moment.
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      04-21-2020, 06:00 PM   #9
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The steering ratio doesn't change, it's only the amount of assist that changes. "Sport+" confuses a lot of people because it makes them think there's a third setting for steering, throttle pedal, suspension, etc. All it really means is "Sport mode plus DTC". There's no difference between going into Sport+ and going into Sport and then pressing the DSC button once.

The chart doesn't really help things with the "comfort" under the DTC button settings because it doesn't mention that those settings are based on the assumption that you just started the car and touched nothing else. What it should say there is "no change". So if you go into Sport mode and then turn DSC fully off, you're still in Sport mode and if you're in Normal mode and turn DSC fully off you'll still be in Normal mode.
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      04-26-2020, 07:12 AM   #10
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Gonna correct what I said earlier after some express way testing today. At high speed:

normal mode = normal steering
traction mode = normal steering

dsc=off mode = sport steering
sport mode = sport steering
sport+ mode = sport steering

So tangent seems right about there only being two steering modes. However pressing sport and the pressing dsc button once has nothing to do with sport+ in terms of steerjng feel. Because that gives you traction mode.

I guess what confused me back in the day, was that the steering weight changes with speed, so you have to test at a constant speed. Before I was testing at city speeds, and the weight of the steering seems very speed dependent at those speeds.

Last edited by Asbjorn; 04-26-2020 at 07:18 AM..
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      04-27-2020, 12:51 PM   #11
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Hi, I have a question regarding the drive modes as well. My understanding is that the exhaust sound changes a bit when in sport mode. Does the sound change further in sport+ mode? Thanks. Paolo
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      04-27-2020, 01:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo B View Post
Hi, I have a question regarding the drive modes as well. My understanding is that the exhaust sound changes a bit when in sport mode. Does the sound change further in sport+ mode? Thanks. Paolo
No, exhaust flap logic does not look at mode.
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      04-28-2020, 08:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjahl View Post
No, exhaust flap logic does not look at mode.
The exhaust solenoid may react the same in Comfort vs Sport, but the burble on throttle lift off is noticeably more prominent in Sport/Sport+ than it is in Comfort. That's due to fuel injection rather than the exhaust system though. Aside from the burbling, the exhaust sounds the same to me in all modes.

It may also depend on the trim level. My car is a 35i.
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      04-28-2020, 08:50 AM   #14
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After reading all the threads about this that I can find, both in the e89 forum and e90 and f30 forums, I am convinced that the chart provided by BMW is accurate and correct.

It helps not to think in terms of modes. A "mode" is just a collection of dynamic settings that control 3 things:

power steering boost level
throttle pedal feel
suspension parameters

There are 5 modes - 3 dynamic modes and 2 DSC modes. Each mode is entered by pressing the appropriate button. All of the dynamic settings pertaining to each mode are presented in the chart.

If you're in Comfort, Sport or Sport+, and you press the DSC OFF button, you are now in DSC Off (DTC) mode, which has all the same settings as Comfort, even though you are not in Comfort mode any longer. The previous mode is never remembered.

If you're in DSC Off (either DTC or DSC OFF) mode, and you press the Sport button to enter into one of the three dynamic modes, DSC will be automatically set ON again.

The DCT (transmission) also has modes (D, DS, M), but those only affect how the transmission behaves. The DCT mode does not have any effect on the dynamic settings (steering, pedal, suspension).

The steering is Servo-controlled, and no matter what mode you're in, it continually adjusts the amount of power steering boost depending on speed, so detecting differences in steering feel depends on more than just knowing what mode you're in. I think that accounts for why some people believe there is a difference in steering feel between Sport and Sport+, for example. Such comparisons can be deceiving.

Same goes for the suspension parameters. I don't know how the standard suspension works, but with the Adaptive M Suspension that comes with the M Sport pkg, each corner of the car is constantly adjusting itself to both road conditions and driving inputs (driving style). This occurs regardless of which mode you're in, but there are two parameter "ranges", Basic and Sport. Again, like steering, comparing modes based on suspension feel can also be complicated.

One thing that annoys the heck out of me is the fact that when DSC is OFF, the dash light remains lit at all times. It's not hard to ignore during the day, but at night it is distracting. I wish that indicator light could be coded out.
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      04-28-2020, 08:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thGear View Post
After reading all the threads about this that I can find, both in the e89 forum and e90 and f30 forums, I am convinced that the chart provided by BMW is accurate and correct.

It helps not to think in terms of modes. A "mode" is just a collection of dynamic settings that control 3 things:

power steering boost level
throttle pedal feel
suspension parameters

There are 5 modes - 3 dynamic modes and 2 DSC modes. Each mode is entered by pressing the appropriate button. All of the dynamic settings pertaining to each mode are presented in the chart.

If you're in Comfort, Sport or Sport+, and you press the DSC OFF button, you are now in DSC Off (DTC) mode, which has all the same settings as Comfort, even though you are not in Comfort mode any longer. The previous mode is never remembered.

If you're in DSC Off (either DTC or DSC OFF) mode, and you press the Sport button to enter into one of the three dynamic modes, DSC will be automatically set ON again.

The DCT (transmission) also has modes (D, DS, M), but those only affect how the transmission behaves. The DCT mode does not have any effect on the dynamic settings (steering, pedal, suspension).

The steering is Servo-controlled, and no matter what mode you're in, it continually adjusts the amount of power steering boost depending on speed, so detecting differences in steering feel depends on more than just knowing what mode you're in. I think that accounts for why some people believe there is a difference in steering feel between Sport and Sport+, for example. Such comparisons can be deceiving.

Same goes for the suspension parameters. I don't know how the standard suspension works, but with the Adaptive M Suspension that comes with the M Sport pkg, each corner of the car is constantly adjusting itself to both road conditions and driving inputs (driving style). This occurs regardless of which mode you're in, but there are two parameter "ranges", Basic and Sport. Again, like steering, comparing modes based on suspension feel can also be complicated.

One thing that annoys the heck out of me is the fact that when DSC is OFF, the dash light remains lit at all times. It's not hard to ignore during the day, but at night it is distracting. I wish that indicator light could be coded out.
I agree with all you said. But DSC=off is definitely 100% sport steering on my car.
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      04-29-2020, 09:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn View Post
I agree with all you said. But DSC=off is definitely 100% sport steering on my car.
Have you noticed if it depends on which mode you started from? IOW, if you begin in Comfort and then turn DSC off, do you get the same result (sport steering) as you do when you go from Sport to DSC Off? I'm just wondering if the DSC Off mode actively invokes sport steering, or just leaves the steering at its previous setting.
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      04-29-2020, 09:01 PM   #17
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7thGear, thanks for the information about the exhaust note. I think you are correct because the increased burbling is what I've noticed too.
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      04-30-2020, 09:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thGear View Post
Have you noticed if it depends on which mode you started from? IOW, if you begin in Comfort and then turn DSC off, do you get the same result (sport steering) as you do when you go from Sport to DSC Off? I'm just wondering if the DSC Off mode actively invokes sport steering, or just leaves the steering at its previous setting.
The steering definitely feels heavier no matter if I enter DSC=off from normal or traction. This was tested by cruising at a constant freeway speed and zig-zagging a little.


And regarding the exhaust sound, it has been found that the DME
"burble tables" are different between normal and sport modes. It was also found that the stock Z4 burble configuration is more aggressive than 335i N54.

https://bmw.spool [remove space] street.com/threads/exhaust-burble-xdf-tables.5871/
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      05-01-2020, 09:25 PM   #19
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Thanks for the exhaust note information Asbjorn. I didn't think my ears were playing tricks on me.
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