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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,989
    Maybe a dirty bulb socket back there, a corroded connection, some water in the lens....things like that could increase electrical resistance and give a false signal.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    edited March 2010
    Anyone have any ideas on what would cause this?

    False bulb failure warnings are a common problem on the E39 5ers. Sometimes it's an indication that a bulb may be ready to fail. To eliminate the problem ensure that all the bulbs are OEM quality silver base bulbs(such as Sylvania/Osram "European" bulbs). Use a good contact cleaner on the bulb sockets and apply a thin coat of dielectric grease to the bulb base prior to installation.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,989
    I took one apart once and found corrosion on the printed circuit back there--cleaned that up and my friend didn't get the bulb failure message anymore.

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  • adbh1adbh1 Posts: 1
    edited March 2010
    had several rx's all good, my daughter wanted the has 57,000mi, out of warranty, and now needs a new radiator because the BMW service dept says the gasket breaks due to the temperature extremes of the engine???? Does this mean that every 57000 miles I will have to replace the radiator? This reason didn't work for me and I called the consumer affairs dept of BMW of America and asked Jim to help as an intermediary. He said it would take about 4-5 days. After more than a week, I called back to find he had not yet gotten hold of the service manager. I asked for his supervisor. His supervisor, Eric, said he would get back to me within the day. No phone call.....still waiting. As well I have a 2009 528 xi's electric window will not roll down in cold weather???? Don't get the love for the BMW brand...
  • laakylaaky Posts: 13
    Having given our 2003 4.4i X5 to our son Jan 2009, problems to really speak of over the time we had it. Thought it would be a great vehicle for him for several years! NOT! He has had to replace linkages $1800, rotors (4th time for were under warranty when we had it) $1500, tires..due to the linkage problem, the wear was uneven, $1200. Now, a valley pan gasket $1600+ since it is somewhere behind the these should never wear out and issue. We think the rotor issue is also a design problem...who would think these have to be changed every 20K! Thought BMW were rugged, well designed/built to last. Windshield wiper motor also..$700 although by looking at the problem, it could be repaired and not replaced. I hope BMW doesn't just build vehicles to make it through the warranty period!! The dealers in LI are hopeless. BMW needs to do something about that. The more I read, the more I am seeing that these vehicles are not what we all believed them to be, truly well built and reliable machines. Sad thing is we have now a 2009 X5 Diesel which so far is excellent...but are we in for a surprise there I am worried instead of being a Happy BMW owner. Our son has to get rid of his since he is not going to put any more $ into it...what will be next..he has only had it now 14 mos with all these costs! Who else has seen the valley pan gasket probm?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    edited March 2010
    I hate to tell you, but you are getting seriously screwed on those repair costs. For example, you should be able to get a set of front and rear rotors from a dealer for less than $500. Pads would be another $250, so you are paying a $750 labor charge for what should be a two hour job- tops. OEM quality rotors and pads would cost even less- @$390 for pads/rotors. As for tires, Tire Rack has the excellent Conti all season DWS tire for $700 plus shipping and installation. Wiper motor? MSRP is $350; how many hours did the dealer charge for labor? The valley pan gasket is a known problem with some V8s(which is why all nine of my BMWs have been inline fours or sixes). Still, I doubt that an indie shop would charge much over $1000 to do the same job. I strongly suggest you join the BMW Car Club of America and check out to locate a qualified independent BMW tech. Most shops offer BMW CCA discounts on parts and/or labor and CCA membership gives you access to a network of helpful tech information as well as an excellent monthly magazine.
    In my case I'm very fortunate in that I have an excellent local dealer who that offers great service at reasonable prices as well as a good indie BMW shop. As a result, the maintenance and repair costs for my 121K mile 1995 3 Series and my wife's 93K mile 2004 X3 are extremely low(@5 cents per mile).

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • laakylaaky Posts: 13
    Thanks and good infor to follow up on. You say the valley pan gasket is a known prob on 'some' V8's so am I correct that it is not a rampant problem? I wonder if BMW would do right and fix this at a reasonable cost. In today's mechanical engineering world, this type of failure should not exist. Reasonble maintenance expenses are acceptable, but we feel too much is falling apart too soon, and fear what will be next. I would like to think there is hope to feasibly keep this vehicle for our son a few more years.
    Will check out the independent service centers immediately. Will update as it goes. Anybody know of a great independent garage Central LI...with experience to back it?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    You say the valley pan gasket is a known prob on 'some' V8's so am I correct that it is not a rampant problem?

    I doesn't happen to all V8s, and it isn't as prevalent as leaky valve cover gaskets.

    I would like to think there is hope to feasibly keep this vehicle for our son a few more years.

    Like I said, the key is finding a good indie shop. Once you join BMW CCA you'll be able to contact local members and they can point you in the right direction.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • what is the oil grade for a bmw x5 2002 transfer case and hove to change the trans fluid
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,989
    which engine? There might be a difference in specs.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    edited August 2010
    Buy the transfer case fluid from a BMW dealer. Here is the official BMW transmission/oil application chart. In any case there should be a label on the transmission sump that states which ATF to use.
    An X5 ATF change DIY can be found here.
    I suggest changing the TC fluid and ATF every 50,000-60,000 miles.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • ala2000ala2000 Posts: 1
    I had exactly the same problem on my 2001 X5 around 80k miles. It relies on washer pump's bottom half's plastic elasticity to plug in to the washer tank. Over the years, the plastic lost its elasticity so the windshield fluid creeps up between the washer pump and windshield fluid tank which cause the dripping. I think it is design flow. If BMW can put a rubber washer between these two parts, then it will not leak or just replacing the rubber washer. Shame on the design.

    I will use Teflon/Plummer tape to wrap around the bottom half of the washer pump to see if it will stop the leak.
  • The dealership in Orlando told me the same thing. While under the maintenance warranty, I didn't question it and had them do it. Next time, after the warranty expired, the front brake job price was $700 for pads and rotors, which sounded inflated. I then replaced the pads and the pad sensor myself for about $100 and an hour of my time. The rotors looked good (thanks to the warning sensor alerting me of low pads, credit to BMW for that). The rotors had no wear ridges, I think I also used a micrometer to measure them but don't remember. I didn't even turn the rotors, and the brakes work perfectly smooth. That was a year ago and maybe 10K miles, and they're still perfect.
  • I also have a 2005 X-5 4.4. A similar problem happens with mine except it happens while moving too. Many times after slowing down for a corner, it will do what you described upon re-acceleration after going around the corner. This is at low speed and under normal easy acceleration. It has also done it during straight, easy acceleration. It was also accompanied by a sluggish initial take off in first gear. The dealer reset the software but it still does it sometimes. I now drive with an extremely light and easy pedal at those speeds in case it does it.
    Also, while driving along at 30-45 mph, the car will jerk and kind of hiccup, sometimes it will clunk like its slamming a gear. It feels like the trans or drive system. It happens only in 5th. I checked this by putting the selector in manual select to see what gear had the problem, and it only does the malfunction in 5th.
    Now, the dealer says its the trans valve body. They are unwilling to discuss how they arrived at that diagnosis though. Before trusting them to do the recommended $5500 repair, I want to know it will actually fix the problem. see my other post under trans failsafe.
    If you've had similar problems, please post your story and maybe we can come closer to figuring out the answer.
  • I have a 2005 X5 with low milage--about 35,000 now. A squeeky/rubbing noise started around 15,000 miles in the steering column which sounds kind of like a rusty hinge on a door whenever the steering wheel is turned. The dealer repeatedly said they couldn't duplicate the noise and when they finally acknowledged it the car was out of warranty. Twice they have done what they call "misc. steering repairs" that have not helped at all. The last time I was there they finally acknowledged the problem but said they'd never encountered such a thing before. They kept the car for several days and had their "best mechanics" working on it, and, in addition to the "misc. steering repairs" lublicated the steering column and said the problem was fixed. 5 minutes out of the dealer, the noise resumed. Any thoughts?
  • I would like to change the antifreeze in my bmw , can anybody help can I use the brand that is marked "for all cars"
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    can I use the brand that is marked "for all cars"

    Use BMW coolant ONLY.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thstonethstone Posts: 6
    edited October 2010
    Its fairly normal to have to replace the brake pads and rotors anywhere from 20K miles and up. Mine usually wear out around 25K miles and my tires (19" Diamaris) only last about 30K miles. I do the brakes myself for about $400 in parts from the dealer and the tires are $1400. These kind of maintanence costs are normal and expected every 30K miles. Also, expect the thermostat to start throwing computer error codes at around 100K. Its $800 at the dealer but you can do it yourself in 2-3 hours and about $110 in parts and coolent from the dealer.
  • thstonethstone Posts: 6
    edited October 2010
    You're taking a big risk in not replacing the rotors when you replace the pads. Why? The rotors could be slightly warped and you'd never know. The smooth rotors won't break in the new pads correctly or properly which means that the brakes may not perform as well as they should. The old rotors can wear the new pads faster.

    Remember an X5 is a big heavy truck. You want all of the stopping power you can get.

    NEVER ever take a short cut on your brakes. Pay whatever it takes to keep them in top working order. Your life and your passengers lives depend on them.
  • rcmay2rcmay2 Posts: 1
    the radio etc. on my 2007 bmw x5 stays on for about 10 minutes after I remove the remote control from the slot. How can I set this so that everything shuts off when I remove the remote controller?
  • One tire of my new BMW X5 is flat because of a nail. Should I go to the BMW to replace it? Or can I find a local tire store to fixt it?
    Greatly thanks for your suggestions.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    God no! I have a new tire sitting in my garage at this very moment to replace a non-repairable flat I got the other day.

    Go to Discount Tire or Tire Rack and order the OEM replacement. Have a local tire shop install it for you. Way cheaper!

    Actually, if it is flat because of a nail, your local tire shop can probably patch it for about $12.
  • I am looking at a warranty for my 2006 X5 4.4. I bought used on eBay, and I have 41,250 miles on the car. The warranty prices range from $3,500 for 36 month/60K miles to $4,500 for 36 month/80K miles. I don't anticipate having this car more than 3 years.

    Any advice for me? Are these warranties worth it generally for the X5? Given my low miles and little amount of time I'm planning on keeping this car, I'm not certain this is worth it, but I would appreciate some feedback. Is this a must do?

  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    The way I view extra warranties, it's kind of like insurance. The only difference is you're not likely to total your BMW in regards to a warranty.

    The general perception is that you will be ahead by taking that $3,500 (or $4,500) and putting it in a bank account and then drawing out of that bank account to pay for repairs.

    Could you have something that needs to be repaired that exceeds the amount? Yep. It just usually isn't likely. I have the same car that I bought used and other than the transmission issue that in my case was not fixed even after replacing the transmission, it seems to not have any major problems. Of course, I ended up with the 100,000 mile CPO warranty from the person who owned it before me. So for me, if I had bought one, it probably would have paid for itself. I believe I am the exception.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    My wife drives a 2004 X3 that we purchased as a CPO in December 2005; it now has over 100K on the clock and I never needed the CPO warranty. I had one warranty repair under the new car warranty- a defective passenger seat SRS sensor was replaced.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • I just replaced the oil level sensor and need help resetting the dash light that comes on when you turn car off. "check engine oil level"
  • i just bought a 2003 x5 and seems that when the car is fully warmed up when i come to a complete stop, the down shift from 2nd to 1st is rough and jerks anybody had same problem or maight know anything about this
  • bmw35bmw35 Posts: 1
    Can i purchase additional warranty as my warranty has expired on 101010 and how much it will cost me.I have 54,000 miles on it.

  • Frank - I have a 2008 x5 - same thing. Cover the brake well - it will sometimes jerk/lurch. So - I guess they have not improved the xDrive software since 2003!
    LOL! I'm not sure what can be done about it.
  • I have 2011 X5 xDrive 5.0 (since June). Not only I feel the down shift jerk, but also some gear grinding low noise, too. I hope we can get some insights from a BMW designer to understand why it is such a challenge!
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