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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • Hello Cephus:

    I posted a message #389 a while back about my check engine light coming on on my 2001 X5 one week after purchase. Princeton BMW said it was gas pedal and replaced my gas pedal. The light came on again 1 day after I picked it up. They then said it was fuel bank 1 and 2 and that I need to replace the harness.

    You gave me some helpful suggestions. Since then I have been driving with the check engine light on. Last Friday, my transmission light came on. I took it to the dealer for a diagnostic test and they checked the DME for faults and found codes for mass airflow sensor, camshaft position sensor and crankcase vent control. Repairs are $1,250. They said the reason the check engine light first came on was because one of the above things failed, and now all three of them has failed which triggered the transmission light.

    Are these repairs necessary? Do you think that's what the problems are? I feel so helpless because I do not know whether these are major problems or small problesm that could lead to major problesm.

    Thanks, if possible can you please get back to me asap, I am supposed to take the car for repairs today at 10:00 a.m.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    It sounds like you have an air mangaement system error, all/or one of the above can give you this problem. Since you have had the pedal changed, let rule that out. that leaves pretty much the throttle body and the mass air sensor. something is feeding incorrect info to the dme. but that does not mean that the dme has gone bad on you either. the mass air meter would be the first thing i would get them to change, then the throttle body next. if you can get them to give you a print out of the errors in the car and send them to me i can figure out better what is going on. My email address is available on here.(make the subject "X5 issues") If you have any trouble sending it let me know. but let them give you a print out,then go afterwards with changing the above parts out. let me know if this helps...sorry for the delay its been the holidays
  • Hi Cephus:

    I have an appt to take it to Princeton BMW this Wed. They are the ones who initially changed the gas pedal, they won't charge me again for diagnostic. The funny thing is I was going to have someone else other than the dealer who diagnosed the airflow sensor, crankcase valve and camshaft sensor last week so I took it to a place specializing in foreign car repairs, he opens the hood and low and behold my mass airflow sensor was unplugged. Yes, unplugged. Apparently Essex BMW left the darn thing unplugged and they could not give me an answer why. Do you see why I'm mistrustful?

    This mechanic said he scanned OBD2 system and found no input signal to ECM from several sensors such as MAF and Cam position and others. I don't know what all that means. Can you explain.

    The next day, they scanned it again and the code PO102 Mass or Volume Air flow circuit low input.

    PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND ALL THIS JARGON. I am still trying to get the codes from Essex BMW.

    I'll email you as well to make sure you get this. Thanks a bunch.
  • Hi Steve:

    Were you ever able to find out why the transmission indicator light was on, I'm sorta having the same problem on a 01 X5.
  • Hi, my transmission light just came on, why did BMW tell you it's supposed to stay on and my dealer is saying there is a problem, I have 2001 as well and it wasn't on before, now when I got to start up after stopping it bucks and shakes and shudders, SCARY...

    Did you have any serious problems as a result or did you find out what was wrong?
  • Hi Cephus:

    I took the car to the dealer again today. Now they are saying I need to replace the wire harness. They also said there may be a problem with the mass airflow sensor and possibly camshaft. They want to fix the wire harness first and then see about the rest. I am trying to get them to do the mass airflow sensor first and then see but they are reluctant to do that. What do you think I should do. Remember the other dealer said it was mass airflow sensor, camshaft and crankcase control valve.
    Another service place and Auto Zone only came up with the code P0102/Mass or Volume Air flow circuit low input.
    Now these people come up with the wire harness. This is the same place who said there was something wrong with the wire harness back in my first post and you told me not to let them replace it. Should I go ahead now and have them replace?

    Please respond, I am desperate.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    The MAF sensor is a metalic film sensor that senses the flow of air as its being drawn into the flume(air manifold) this sends a input to the DME(engine module). it takes other inputs like the gas pedal and some other inputs and adjust the engines performane, like the VVT(Variable Valve TIming) to optimize engine performance and fuel comsumption.
    The reason the dealer got a OBD code for no input to ECM was because the MAF was not connected. After reconnecting it the codes should be reset. And hopefully they will not return.
    IF you have anymore trouble, rerun a OBD test and let me know what you got.
    Feel free send me a email if you have any more questions
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    What year is your X5? 6 0r 8 cyc.? is it still under the extended warranty?
    I would talk to them and ask them, if they got a reading from the mass air meter, and asked them "lets just try it, make me happy" (with a new MAF)but heck they can always say they did try it and it was not the problem, so they will still push for the harness, Asked them what they think is wrong with the harness, is it a cut wire, damaged pin? dig alittle ,if its either one of those it can be fixed ,they should be able to fix either one of those issues.
    If you do get them to change parts for you, always ask for the old ones.(put a small scratch on it so u can tell if they really changed it)and to make sure the parts they gave u as old, really came off your car and not the scrap bin
    Ask them why they think its the harness and not something else?
    Have they ohnm checked the wires from point a to b for the problem, if so, ask them what connector and pin numbers. then email it to me.
    Ask, if you change the harness and it does not fix it you'll have not to pay?
    ASking questions to probe never hurt, especially if you gotta fork over alot of $$$$
  • Hi Cefus:

    I believe it's a 6 cyc, 3.0, no it's not under extended warranty because I can't seem to find a reputable off market warranty company. I pushed them to try the MAF but they claim it had nothing to do with the harness (2nd time they came up with problem with harness). They did not try the MAF, actually the 1s time in august they quote me 976, last week they quote me almost 2 grand for the harness, when I ask about the difference in price, they came up with some b.s., then said they would charge me the 976 (Scammers).

    The problem is now the transmission light being on and the car actually jerks and shudders when I go to stop, what should I expect as it relates to this problem? They are probably going to come up with some astronomical repair to the transmission etc.? Any ideas, I am sure they will contact me tomorrow with bad news. Is it possible the camshaft is the problem? What about the shifter selector?

    Thanks for your help and I will ask them for the old parts.
  • 1av8r1av8r Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 BMW X5 3.0 and have had nothing but problems since day one. I have a lot of the same complaints as others vibration at a stop with car in drive, then goes away when put in neutral etc. The car has quite a few other problems I have not heard others complain of. For instance, When you park the car and lock the doors and come back later the front windows will be half way down. The windshield wipers will not reset to the park position about 99% of the time. It has been at the dealer at least 3 times to repair these with no avail. Recently the back brake lights have been intermittent. Now they are completely out, the dealer says that it might need complete new wiring harness or a new light bezzel he isn't sure yet. Also recently when you put the car in drive there has been a pause of about 3 seconds until the car will move almost like the transmission is slipping then it catches. Now also does it in reverse and in drive the pause is up to about 6 seconds until it takes off. The dealer says there are no fault codes and would like the car for 3 days so he can observe it and research it more. Does he think I am going pay for 3 days of labor just for an estimate to get a repair. Also the check engine light has been on for 2 months when i took it to him he reset the light and said it might need an engine wiring harness. Now today he says it has a vacuum leak somewhere and the engine is running lean and that is what is causing it. MY Dealer is Yark Automotive in Toledo Ohio and they treat me like absolute crap. They act like I don't have a freaking clue. I do work on airplanes and do have a clue. They never call me with info about my repairs I had to call 3 times alone just today they never called. When they diagnosed the check engine light the last time with the decree that it may need and engine wire harness they never even called me. My brother picked up the car for me and I saw it on the paper work and had to call them. There service is a JOKE. I did not purchase the car from them and they treat me like crap even when the car was under warranty. I have the extended maintenance to 100,000 miles but that is just for oil changes. I just can't believe a car with 62,000 miles is having such transmission problems with no fault codes, needs an engine wiring harness, and needs a wiring harness for brake lights. This car is a piece of crap. Do you have any suggestions as to what might be causing all of this. It is almost as though I have pissed them off my service guys so they are doing whatever they can to DICK with me and run my bill up. I have to drive the car over 50 miles to get service there,but it is the closest dealer. I have had a lot of problems when it was under warranty but they just acted like they didn't really care. They would say things like well we looked at it and can't duplicate it or they are all like that. I have an old 93 dodge truck with 123,000 miles and it doesn't vibrate like this thing. Doesn't BMW really care about keeping it's clientelle. I can tell you your customer service at dealerships is so poor and there products are so unreliable I would not even think of buying another BMW. They just turn there heads like there are plenty of other people to sell to so why deal with the vehicles with problems. I am amazed at the lack of concern from BMW on the same consistent problems with the X5 that BMW knows it has but will not address.

    Kraig N.
  • 1av8r1av8r Posts: 3
    I you find any help getting yours replace let me know. I think there should be a class action lawsuit against BMW North America. Lets find a lawyer that has a bad X5 like ours maybe he can help. I am sure there is one out there as bad as these things are. They should change the company name from BMW to BMM (Bring MORE MONEY!!)
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    For your wipers acking like that means the smallest wire from your wiper motor is not sending the reset signal to the GM(zke) that wire goes to just three places; wiper motor,GM(zke) and the rain sensor. Take a ohnm meter and check between the wiper motor(smallest wire) I think its black and green up to your rain sensor, same color wire and see if you have continuity. if you let me know and I can tell you what to check next.
    With your tail lights do they go off and stay off for awhile or what?
    With the windows is it all the windows or some and which ones?
    IF you have a vacuum leak try this, with the engine running take a spray bottle of rubbing alchol and spray on the hose, if you have a leak on the air intake side you will hear the rev up some.
    For you lean running you may also have a bad O2 sensor
    For the dealership telling you need a new harness don't buy into it.
    And from the sound of it I would try to find another dealership sounds like these guys are clueless and dont care
    Email me with this info put in the subject heading BMW X5, I'm working 12 to 16 hr days so it maybe a few days before I can get back to you
  • I have a 2005 X-5 that I'd like to install a BMW trailer hitch on. I can remove everything the instructions tell me to remove, but I can't see the park distance control sensors inside the bumper to see what kind of clips or connection is on each, I'm also in need of how the rubber is attached to the metal structure of the vehicle. Any help will be very much appreciated. kkkahn ">
  • yagit1yagit1 Posts: 11
    Hi, i'd like to know if anybody here has been using the trickle charger, i just bought one as this was recommended by the manager of the service dept because my car always have a dead battery if i leave my car for a long period of time (5 days-he said is long enough to drain the battery which of course to me does not make sense because i have read posts saying they never have a dead battery problem in situations like this.) If you have been using this charger can u please tell me the do's & don'ts of using this? Thanks and also can anyone tell me which of the companies offering extended warranties is best, i have an 2002 X-5 3.0 with 31,000 miles on it...thanks, again!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Your car's battery should hold a charge for at least 2-3 weeks while not in use, so I think maybe you have a problem there.

    Trickle chargers? Just plug 'em in. Read the instructions. Most are designed so that they cannot overcharge a battery---they'll just shut themselves off.


  • yagit1yagit1 Posts: 11
    thanks for ur quick response, i'm pretty sure i have a problem with my car but the service guys insist that i should not leave it for not more than 5 days, can u tell me what to do so i can at least know where the problem lies, my warranty is running out mid of this year, also just to let u know my car's battery has been changed twice since i bot my car in 2002... :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    It would be interesting to measure how much current is leaving your battery when the car is not in use.

    You should not accept the excuse that a car's battery goes dead in 5 days, if in fact that's what they are telling you.

    Something is wrong there.


  • mlock6mlock6 Posts: 22
    Is there anything I can do to reduce the firmness of the ride? Unfortunately, I have a sport pkg. with prem as well. My wife wants to sell the car if nothing can be done about the hard ride. The car only has 3,600 miles on it. Any ideas???

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    different tires and wheels or perhaps you can change the struts...but then you are in essence removing the very things you paid for originally, the sport pkg. But a less aggressive tire would make quite a difference I think.


  • kscctsksccts Posts: 140
    Hard ride...what was her last car...a Buick? ;)
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