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BMW X5 Cold Temp Problems



  • sky23213sky23213 Posts: 296
    Let me start with my thanks to the posters who shared their experience with the cold weather issues the X5/X3s have had.
    WOW! I guess it's good to do a little research in advance. We are planning to replace one of our cars this summer, and I started my research early. One of the vehicles considered is the X3, probably CPO 2005-2007. What really concerned me was not only the fact that I live where cold means COLD, but the way BMW NA treated people. This is BMW after all, not Kia.
    As a comparison, one of our cars is a '05 CRV, so I follow closely the forums for the vehicle. Older CRVs had an issue with the A/C, but Honda treated people quite differently than the way described here regarding the Oil Separator issue. Many posters were covered 75-100% for vehicles way out of warranty, even though with Honda's A/Cs it was more of a matter of inferior quality part, rather that inferior design which appears to be the case here.
    Maybe someone will say that a few people are overblowing rare problem here, but I'll have to disagree - as the previous poster mentioned "The service guy told me literally they had had 35 dead cars brought in that week alone due to the cold weather separator failure.. That seems a lot. And here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area there are only two dealers, so not much of a choice.

    I guess I'll have to do some more thinking. We were ready to make a step up, actually waited until we were comfortable not only with the higher price of BMW, but the price tag of its maintenance. I fear $100+ oil changes and $500-700 maintenance no more... but a blown engine on a BMW really brings fear to a man's heart.
  • psm18psm18 Posts: 9
    I have the same problem on my 2002 X5...who do you call at BMW to ask for money?
  • So I live in New York now, but my hometown is Minneapolis, and eventually will move back there. Right now I have a 5 series, but I really like the X5 a lot. Many people in Minnesota have it and say it's great in the snow and on the dry pavement too. I have heard things that it's not a "cold weather" type SUV or car. People who I have spoken with in Minnesota say that occassionally the doors freeze, or locks freeze up, sometimes there is trouble with starting, the navigation doesn't work always, sometimes the heat isn't great, gas mileage can go way down. So besides looking a heck of a lot better than that of it's competitors, why don't I spend the same or less money on the Lexus RX or LX? I understand it won't be as fun to drive but you never hear about any issues with the Lexus like you do with the X5.

    Any advice?
  • I have a 2003 X5, same thing happed to me yesterday and it was 7F.
    The dealer is asking for 3K to fix the oil seperator and gasket...
    It is really painful. Should the dealer take some responsibility since it is known problem? Can someone advise?

  • Ultimate driving machine my [non-permissible content removed]! I am beyond Mad! This is just damn dangerous. You expect more from BMW. My BMW X5 stopped cold in the middle of the highway on January 8th. There I was, wondering what the heck happened! Thank God I made it over to the side of the road without being smashed by a big truck or something! 2 cars pulled in behind me and said that they thought my car was on fire!!! My heart rate went up another 500 points! Pissed... just a little! It was thought initially that my engine locked up, and then it was discovered that the oil separator thingy was the problem because apparently even though they sold a family that lives in the middle of northern Minnesota this vehicle, I guess I was supposed to understand that it was not suited for cold weather and it could be deadly. I would not have purchased this car without a doubt again! I call the after manufacturer warranty company and say... "Was I supposed to move to Florida to not have a dangerous car for my family???" They tell me, I am sorry mam, I can't help you because this part that is the issue is not part of the 'engine'... OH... REALLY????? But, the dang engine won't work if this insufficient dangerous part is not repaired!!! Evidently it is not insulated well enough??? But they sell it to people in frigid corners of the earth and tell them it is great on snow! Yeah! Until your butt is stuck in the middle of nowhere, or hit by a fast moving vehicle behind you, or starts on fire! I bought the car because I thought it was the SAFEST car on the market! I am LIVID! Thank God above that my children weren't in the car and that noone got hurt. Not by any thanks to BMW, but to GOD ABOVE ONLY! Apparently there is a technical service bulletin out about this, and BMW knows this, but still sells me a car after knowing this fact for quite some time! Sounds like negligence to me! BMW better take care of this the RIGHT way! They will pay for the towing and all repairs! This should be an official RECALL, not a Technical Service Bulletin that thankfully was shared with me by a mechanic that knows BMW's (but does not work for BMW) URGHHH! :mad: :lemon:
  • I'm familiar with the sick feeling of getting slapped with the bill. I'm glad that is so over! Re-reading posts 20-39 might lead to some resolution. Good luck :)
  • Thank you for sharing the information. You are right. It is really dangerous.My car failed in freeway too.BMW should take care it right away. Is there a service bulletin?
    I talked to the dealer yesterday, but they say BMW is not doing recall or anything so there is nothing they can do.They will not share any cost.Maybe I'd better claim
    to BMWNA.Not sure if it will help any.Disappointed with BMW!
  • Please, please consider going the route of asking for a rep review your claim for having the dealershipl work with BMWNA to reimburse you for costs. The idea of having me go public with the info was enough for the dealership to absorb the costs. It sucks for the dealership some, but more for us if we eat the costs and none for the BMW "utlimate driving machine" entity.
  • mpls6mpls6 Posts: 1
    I have an 05 325xi, like many of you, I bought it to have a great car that would be a great winter car also. My oil separator failed in rush hour on a freeway one cold morning last month. $1500 later I am trying to get Motorwerks BMW and/or BMWNA to take responsibility for something they knew was a defect before I even bought the car. So far the closest I have come is a service rep. who said they would have covered it if I had towed it to Motorwerks (he also said it would probably happen again!) and a BMWNA customer service person who said they might cover it if Motorwerks would inspect the work to make sure it was done right. But, I can't get a response from Motorwerks. This has been a huge disappointment.
  • I had the same thing happen last month. In working with the dealer and BMW of NA, it looks as though I will be getting reimbursed for the full amount. I will know shortly but BMW of NA has been extremely accommodating.
  • There are a quite a few x-5s in Alaska. So in trying to understand what happened to my x-5 I am surprised to find that this is a design flaw/common problem. I bought a 2003 x-5 with 42K miles from the local Mercedes dealership. I wanted to be up higher with side and curtain airbags to compete with the bigger SUVs and trucks. I previously drove a front-wheel 1997 Saab 9000CSE. The x-5 was out of warranty when I bought it. I've regularly maintained it since buying it 2 years ago, but haven't always gone to the dealership to have the work done. This winter has been cold at times (-10 to 35F). Sunday, I drove the car without problem for about 20 minutes. I stopped at a light and a few seconds later noticed that the car stalled. I looked out the back because I was in a middle lane and saw light white smoke dissipating out the exhaust. I tried turning the engine on but it would not start. I had the car towed to a local foreign car auto service which I previously used. The mechanic is saying I need a new engine which will cost me $8500 because the engine seized. I do not know anything about bmw engines. I do not have alternative transportation and as a single mom, am scrambling to make sure I get to work, for my kids to get to their activities and to figure out how I can pay for getting my car running again. There is one dealership in Alaska, not known for its customer service savvy. What possible recourse do I have?
  • Hi,
    I am looking for a new car and confused on what to buy. Although 350 is not comparable in size to X5, I have heard several negative posts about BMW in cold weather, steering problems etc. I have not owned either BMW or Lexus in the past. I am looking for some help... I love the X5 shape and heard BMW has great engineering.

  • nycx5ernycx5er Posts: 4
    2 years ago I came out of an Acura MDX (old body design). I was rear ended and car was totaled. I decided to switch to X5 because I also liked the body. I should have realized that the Acura saved my life and it was problem free! A close friend was coming out of an X5 at that time and strongly advised me against it. I made a mistake. There are several flaws with its operation and BMW never admits it or does anything to make the problem right. Do yourself a big favor. Do not do the X5!! The new MDX design I see on the road has grown on me and the 3rd row seat often came in handy. Anyoone who has Lexus loves them and the Volvo is great too. Good luck!
  • nycx5ernycx5er Posts: 4
    btw...the 3.0's pickup is not great. The Acura and I bet the Lexus will blow the X5's performance away. I average 13.5 mpg on X5. To get better pickup you'll need the 4.4 and probably get 10 mpg :cry:
  • nycx5ernycx5er Posts: 4
    brakes squeal and BMW says its normal. Car jerks forward for the first 5 minutes after starting. "normal" but then they advise me to use sport drive until the car warms up. Run flat tires hard ride. $400 each to replace. Needed to replace one a week after delivery. Better get insurance. STAY WAY I guarantee you'll be happy you did or very sorry if you don't
  • ericksomericksom Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 X5 4.4i and have the same problem(failed oil seperator). My first broke down was in Jan 2008. I had a repair done and costed me $2200.00. Just one week later, my car broke down again with the same problem. The dealership repaired at no cost. Jan of 2009, it broke down again three times in two years. It was still under two years service warrenty. They told me about the moister in the engin and offered a solution to the problem. they said there is an upgrade for the oil seperator that wraps around the unit keeping moister away and will cost about $950.00. Has anyone been given this service advice? I did not have the work done yet. Afraid of a scam.
  • gangesganges Posts: 2
    I am new to this forum but I learned that many owners of bmwx5 in colder parts of country have had similiar problems as I had in Dec.2008.Sudden engine stall while driving in below zero degree in Wisconsin similiar to owner in Alaska deado3bmwx5.I was told that this happened because water condensation froze breathing hose shut, engine cylinders got flooded with oil" locking up motor".Oil also leaked to other parts under hood requiring lot of cleaning replacement of damaged parts.Total cast over $1600.I wrote to BMWNA Customer Relations regarding this problem to see whether they can help me with the expenses and the person called me to say that they cannot do anything because 1) it is out of warranty. It has done 97000 miles and it is 2001 BMW X5 3.0i. 2) There is no recall for this problem and he did not seem to acknowledge that this is a real problem. He would not give me any wirtten response. I find that many car owners with the similar problems have similar response from BMW N.A. I believe it is potentially serious problem and one can have serious injury or even fatality due to sudden stalling of the engine in cold weather and I wonder if anybody has communicated this problem with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and what has been their experience. I just wrote a letter to the U.S.Dept. of Transportation. I will keep you posted with the response.
  • I have 04 BMW X3 42000k miles, engine oil separator failure. it was happened on Dec 7, 09. So that will cost me $1500.00 to fix. there is a bulletin 11 08 03 issue on Feb 2009 but dealer never notify the owner. BMW suck, next car will not be BMW.
  • Hi there,

    It was very cold this morning when I started my vehicle - 40C and let it run for 10 minutes. After driving for about 10 minutes. I saw smoke coming from the vents and oil dripping from the bottom of the car. My mechanic has taken all the covers off from the bottom of my car and came to the conclusion that it is a gas kit.
    I am driving it now. He wants me to drive it in to find out if it repeats it again. Burning smell has definatley decreased. Do you think this is a oil separator issue??
    I usually park my car in a under ground heated parking but unlucky me the coldest night I park it outside the North Agricom in Edmonton Alberta, Canada.
    Please help. Thanks
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I believe you mean "gasket".

    It does sound like it could be the oil separator issue. The easiest way to tell is to place a piece of cardboard or similar under your engine after you park your car. When you come out in the morning, you will be able to see how much oil you are leaking and where it is leaking from. Give your mechanic a general area where it is leaking from and he will know where to look.

    It is also possible that the very cold weather caused the gasket to shrink enough to cause a leak and once it warms up it will no longer leak. This would surprise me a bit if this was the case but it is possible.

    By the way, a little trivia for you: -40C is the same as -40F. After that the temperatures diverge again. :P
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