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BMW X5 Cold Temp Problems



  • You are living my living nightmare! I too was given the driving habit speech; called BMW who says it "can do nothing"-->call the dealership to wrangle in a field rep. Well the dealership "were you satisfied with your service" person finally called back after 8 days. She will take it through her service mgr., the dealership mgr. to see about getting the rep out...

    I did get the impression that the redesign for the oil separator was relatively recent (-1.5 yrs?)

    It certainly can't be coincidence that during one of the coldest weeks of the year we ALL had the same problem can it? :confuse:
  • It's not a coincidence at all. One of the things the initial dealership service rep told me was, "this part just isn't designed to handle these kind of temperatures." It was about 5 degrees when this happened.

    I am astonished that BMW is clearly aware of this problem and has not instituted a recall. Had I been in a turn or at an intersection when this happened, I would have been powerless to avoid hitting anyting in my path. No warning lights, no visible signs of problems, just a sudden lock and stall on the entire vehicle.

    All I would say, DHR, just keep a record of everything and everyone you talk to.
  • Thanks, and I am keeping track of time, person and comments. I also did not have the indicator light come on and when I told the dealership this, there was no response to it. I too am looking at other vehicles right now. In cold weather, my locks (interior door)freeze and so do the door handles. I have to do multiple lock/unlock sequences to have them all open. The cloth on the covers between the front door and the windshill have puckered since the 3rd year and again, no response. I'm very unimpressed with the service I'm receiving as a faithful customer with an older (2001) vehicle.
  • alaskax3alaskax3 Posts: 1
    Lead off on a different but related thread. '05 X3 2.5 liter gas in Alaska, wouldn't start at -27F, on board computer recorded date, time, and temp when problem occurred, dealer said it was a crank sensor(tells plugs when to fire), replaced when part arrived, no further problems to date (it's been -15F a couple of days but not down to -27) will see how it goes. I also have an intermittent engine whistle when it's cold usually around 2200RPM but today also around 1900RPM (at -15F). I think it may be related to the VANOS system. I told the dealer about the problem last year when it happened, they said they weren't aware of any engine issues in cold temps (couldn't get the whistle to happen that day) now seems to happen more frequently though not when it's warm out (above ~ 40F). Anyone out there have similar cold weather problems?
  • dhr48864dhr48864 Posts: 16
    I haven't noticed on mine, but will be on the look out for it.
  • On March 6th My BMWX5 stopped on detroit freeway. I started the car in the morning and drove for about 3-4 miles and saw a huge white smoke coming out of tail pipe and within few minutes car completely stopped. The temperature was around 5degF. Towed it to the dealer and he said it was caused due to "moisture accumilation inside crankcase ventilitaion valve" Follwing parts to be replace, 1) crankcase ventvalve, 2)dipstick tube O-ring, 3) Valve cover gaskets, 6 spark plugs and vent hose. COst $1300. I bought this car new in 2003 and has 77,000 miles. This shouldn't happen this early. I have no warranty. I'm very disappointed with the car. This would be my first and last BMW. The guy who gave a ride back to work that day told me that he saw 2 other BMWs came inot the dealer for same proble. I think BMW has a huge problem on their hand and will not admit.
  • Sounds like the exact same problem, I also had a 2003 X5, 69,000 miles that died at 5 degrees F. Same story about moisture accumulation due to fumes an so on. I have a letter in to BMWNA regarding the issue and I intend to pursue the matter until they make restitution; I'll keep the results posted.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    I'll keep the results posted.

    That will be appreciated! :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • dhr48864dhr48864 Posts: 16
    I wondered about the effectiveness of a letter to BMWNA myself. I commiserated with my attorney (who uses the same dealership for her Mercedes) and she suggested I try the dealership-->field rep route first. I spoke to the service mgr. at the dealership last week to check on the status with the field rep and it didn't sound like he had done it...yet.
  • I spent a month speaking with the dealership, service department, BMW sales manager, BMWNA field representative. Ultimately, BMWNA took 75% off parts and I was out of pocket about 9K on the repair. That's not good enough.

    For that reason, I issued the letter. I contacted the BMWNA customer relations 800 (888) number and asked who I should send the letter to after describing the circumstances. They told me to send it to the CEO. It made me laugh a little, but I did so anyway.

    Believe it or not, I just heard back today from a low-level somebody. He asked me for some facts and is going to do an investigation. I told him that if they could just make me whole on the repair I would drop the issue (I too am contemplating the legal route).

    I regret the day that this problem results in an accident. Seems like BMW should wise up and get some notice out on this issue.
  • dhr48864dhr48864 Posts: 16
    I just got a call back this morning form the service manager at the dealership. He said he met with the field rep and after going over the paperwork, they say nothing about my "driving habits", but that I did not get an oil change in two years. They are offering to provide "trinkets" aka accessories or services up to a $500.00 amount. I have told them "no".

    I followed to the LETTER getting my vehicle serviced when the green lights turned to one yellow light, AS INSTRUCTED BY THE SALESPERSON! Now it seems they want to throw something else at me. Can you please post the address of who you sent your letter to (CEO)?

    I need to cool down before I post more. Any luck by anyone else?
    Attn: Tom Purves, CEO
    PO Box 1227
    Westwood, New Jersey 07677

    The gentleman who returned my call originally and who was to perform the investigation called me back yesterday to advise that BMWNA was not able to offer further concession. He asked me to consider the fact that BMW had already made the 75% concession on parts (~$12K), and that was really quite a response on their part. I advised that was not satisfactory and I would seek all available remedies under the law. That was enough to "keep my file open" for further investigation.
  • jonghanjonghan Posts: 4
    I have the same problem, the oil separator caused oil leaking and engine oil was all over inside the hood. Fortunately, my X5 did not stop becasue we located this problem at the dealer. The dealer said it is due to cold weather. The dealer asked $1500 to fix it. We did not use the X5 for a while and then fixed at other garage. Considering the BMW knows the winter weather in North America, not the antaractic, if this problem continues every winter, future consumer should know about this problem. Shame on BMW's promotion of "Ultimate Driving Machine" broken and stopped in cold weather.
  • jonghanjonghan Posts: 4
    I motion. If one of the most expensive SUV should stop on the highway during the winter, what else can qulaify "recall" than this?
  • jonghanjonghan Posts: 4
    It sounds like the dealers in North America have been received the same training from the manufacturer that every BMW customer has a bad driving habit. That was the consistent message and sometimes a sermon that I got from my dealer too. I really don't like the fact that one of the most famous brand name in automobile industry has such attitude and does not admit the design problem of oil separator. Ultimate driving machine should stop due to cold weather and moisture on the highway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • jonghanjonghan Posts: 4

    I just put this absurd design problem of Ultimate driving machine, BMW X5 into the web link above. I think this web receives, collects and studies vehicle problmes from customers.
  • grassosfgrassosf Posts: 2
    I have been a loyal BMW owner for over 15 years. I can’t help but feel the company is a victim of their own success and has lost connection to their customers. I made 4 calls to the corporate office receiving no meaningful help in resolution of this issue. A very frustrating experience ... They knew about the problem, but did not take preventive action. Even though the car is currently under CPO warranty (48 1/4 months old), BMW charged for all the “ware” items requiring replacement due to the oil contamination. Any part I paid for got changed immediately…. any part they pay for only gets changed after days of testing and evaluation. Their solution for cleaning out the system was to burn through ¾ of tank of gas as opposed to any disassembly and cleaning. After two visits totaling a period of 6 weeks (they finally provided a car for after the 5th week… a FORD) in the service center, my car is still not running properly. It blows smoke, has an unpleasant odor after driving (smells up my house), and idles rough when stopped in drive. Only this week has the service center started detailed evaluation and check-out. At this time, they can only identify that the engine has a slightly off-aim (rich) fuel mixture. Also, when I asked if the OSV part has been updated to eliminate this defect, the dealer stated that he is unable to tell me this type of information.
  • dhr48864dhr48864 Posts: 16
    RESOLUTION! I finally was able to resolve the out of pocket expenses with the dealership. I want to thank all of you for your input because without other recorded cases, I don't think the dealership would have budged.

    As you may recall, I went to the dealership and there were other vehicles that were going to be serviced for the same problem. I called BMWNA as suggested, got no help from them because they referred me back to the dealer. My attorney who also USED to go to this dealership directed me to ask for the BMW field rep. to step in and look at the situation. He did and the dealership offered to pay $500.00 in services or "trinkets" but would not go beyond that. I presented the dealership owner with instances of other BMW users with the same problem nationwide (at least the northern part of the nation :blush: ) and told him that BMW corporate may be able to take care of themselves, but this reflected badly on all dealerships who could not stand behind the name of their product or their local reputation. They came back with a check for full reimbursement and a boilerplate legal document stating that upon being reimbursed, I waived ALL AND ANY future claims to service (such as recalls, future discovered manufacturer defects, etc.) for this vehicle. I told them it was unacceptable and re-wrote the document to waive future claims to only the oil separator parts and labor.

    They agreed, I signed, I got my reimbursement and I now have an appointment with my local Toyota and Honda dealerships. Not the outcome I expected, but I don't care to re-live this experience a second time. Best of luck to all. I will remain online, but please think kindly of any little old lady you see driving her Honda down the road...
  • I am new to this forum, so please excuse me if my issue has already been discussed. Leased '07 X5 3.0 in August. No performance issues for the first 3 months. Since November experience the following symptom. Start her up "cold" (whether outside in 30 degree or inside 70 degree garage). 2-5 minutes warm up. For the first 3 minutes or so of drive, after stopping & release of brake pedal, the CAR LURCHES FORWARD. After 3 minutes, the symptom is gone. In December dealer "checked" for 2 days & told me that they were not able to duplicate the problem. They did, however, "reprogram DME and complete vehicle with latest software". The symptoms were corrected for 5 days and the X5 seemed like a vehicle with a miraculously different personality! However on Day 6 through today the lurch condition has returned. Now, 3 days at the dealer and I'm again told that they cannot duplicate the complaint. To add insult to injury (God forbid) I was told by their service manager today that the "condition" that I am experiencing is "NORMAL". In fact, he said, his 530 does exactly the same thing. He explains that until the transission fluid is allowed to warm up this lurch is normal. ARE THEY FOR REAL? I would appreciate knowing if anyone out there has experienced this condition. All suggestions on how I should proceed will be most gratefully appreciated.
  • I just want to start out that I am SO relieved to find others who feel my pain. I have a 2002 330xi with the same oil separator problem. I live in Minot, ND where we are below freezing almost half of the year and very often get -10F or lower temps in the winter. My car began leaking oil from the top valve cover. BMW told me over the phone that it was most likely a siezed engine oil separator which was not properly exhausting and so was causing overpressure in the engine and thus effectin the leak. The rep started to tell me how much it would cost when I mentioned that my boss had a problem with the same part. Only then did he mentioned that BMWNA knows about the problem and covers people on a case by case basis based on ownership history and maintenance records. I have the car used and some of the inspections/oil changes were done by the owner. So with my limited documentation BMW agreed to charge warranty rates for parts/labor and split the cost after that. So I ended up paying $500 for the upgraded parts which include more insulation and wider orifices so that water does not pool and freeze there. I was NOT happy considering BMW has known about the problem for at least 7 years and should have issued a recall long ago. They tell you the car is off warranty but that doesn't sit well with me considering they knew about the issue while it was on warranty and did nothing.

    I can also offer some more background on the problem. My boss actually has the same car as me but he has a 2003. The dealership told me that there are actually 2 different ways the oil separator can fail. If it siezes in closed position you get overpressure and valve cover leakage. If it siezes the other way you get catastrophic failure which includes all of your engine oil shooting out the back tailpipe. This actually happened to my boss and stranded his wife on the interstate. He had good documentation and he was fully covered. The funny thing that really deflates BMW's "good maintenance claim" is that he had a newer car with all maintenance records from certified dealerships and his car failed worse than mine which had DIY work done on it. Furthermore his car is garage kept and mine isn't. Even after all this his car just recently suffered the same fate again! BMW just came out with another fix to the problem, now they include a temperature sensor and a heated manifold. I guess only time will tell if this is effective. I don't think they had this fix 5 months ago when I got mine fixed. Anyway he called dealership and TOLD them they were going to ship car to Minneapolis (the closest dealership), pay for his rental, fix car and ship it back.....and they did.

    Now my car is once again leaking (it seems to be fine until temps go below approx -10) and when I explained it to a service guy at a dealership he immediately diagnosed it as a failed separator. When I called to have it replaced with the newly designed manifold I was told that they would have to have the car there first to diagnose. Additionally I was told they didn't even have time to deal with my car at the moment because they had so many other people dealing with the same issue. The service guy told me literally they had had 35 dead cars brought in that week alone due to the cold weather separator failure.

    This is a huge problem that BMW is well aware of. The sad thing is they don't put the word out unless you know about the issue beforehand. I called some import repair places in the Minneapolis area and they all told me that they replace dozens of separator parts each winter from people with the same problem. So all these people are unknowingly paying out of pocket for something that BMW should be alerting them to and paying for.

    I am so pissed at BMW right now, if they don't fix my car and cover all associated expenses [to include rentals] I will put this issue on every forum I can find, report it to the Better Bussiness Bureau, the local news. Anything I can do to return the [non-permissible content removed] pain BMW has sent in my direction. They can say the car is off warranty and i'm not lawyer but something has to be said for selling and MARKETING a car with all-wheel drive towards people in the snow belt and with a "cold weather package" and knowing at the same time that the the car in fact is no good in extreme cold weather. If you know anything else about this issue that can help to further this cause please let me know.
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