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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair

izuluizulu Posts: 1
I have recently purchased a new X5. Since
ownership (8 weeks), the car has
been back to the dealer 4 times for the same
problem - remote locking only
works intermittently.

Have you heard of anyone else having the same
problems? - I live in Chicago
and they think it may be a frequency interference
with the antenna. At
least 5 other cars are known to have this problem.
It seems that the BMW Series 7 also has this
problem in Chicago.

Otherwise, this is a great car!


  • piercejapierceja Posts: 6
    Yes, you can read much more about this on the other X5 posts and also at
  • sherrykaysherrykay Posts: 1
    On 4/25/00, my new X-5 chugged, flashed the 'service engine soon' and stopped running. I had driven it for less than 1 month and it had less than a half tank of gas for the first time since I had received it. Roadside assistance towed my new vehicle to the dealer for repair. As of 5/26/00, my dealer has been unable to receive or get confirmation that the part needed for repair is available to be shipped. They continue to hope for it to be available soon - the issue is no inventory of parts and apparently, diminished
    motivation to pull one off the assembly line.

    This problem relates to the mechanism/valve that siphons gas from one side of the tank to the other.

    Issues for a buyer to be aware of when purchasing a first year model year - this kind of
    delay is disappointing.

    Any other owners with similar problems?
  • jjcalijjcali Posts: 2
    I would absolutely raise hell at the dealership every day, all day until they replaced your vehicle entirely! Why should you be so severely inconvenienced for BMW's lack of inventory support for their sales? Reminds me of my friend's MB 600 convert - he was paying $120K to drive the dealer's Ford Taurus for one week out of every month!
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    I would also raise hell with BMWNA. I think dealers have limited clout with corporate, but you, as a consumer, must go to the top to get action. A "Ralph Nader response" is appropriate right now-Give 'em Hell! Please let us know how this turns out. We need to stick together. Good luck.
  • PeterunPeterun Posts: 83
    I had ordered an X/5 several months ago and was to take delivery of it yesterday. Decided to drive the SAV prior to writing the check. In twenty minutes, the truck stalled seven times . . . .always when turning full circle. Seems that there is not enough boost in rpm's when the steering wheel is at full lock and the A/C is on. I wondered, as did my salesperson, if this is indiginous to this vehicle at this time. So . . . I passed on taking delivery until this problem is corrected. Any info. on this from anyone out there? Pete
  • piercejapierceja Posts: 6
    Did they fix your fuel tank problem? What was the result?
  • PeterunPeterun Posts: 83
    Nope, vehicle has been in since Sunday . . . no fix, no determination of what's not working correctly. I've decided to pass on this truck for now. Pete
  • bmwfan1bmwfan1 Posts: 4
    Holy smoke! I'm glad I tuned in. I was heading out to the dealership in the next few weeks to order the 2001 3.0i. BRAKES! I'm very interested to hear how the fuel tank issue turned out. Anyone else with bad experiences that I might want to think about. (It's too bad...the X5 is the best looking truck on the road.)
  • tellutellu Posts: 1
    I am thinking of ordering the 2001 x5 3.0 should I?
  • mbml55amgmbml55amg Posts: 57
    Absolutely maybe!
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    Every first model year vehicle is likely to have some problems, even my '86 Acura Legend was not perfect. You just have to play the percentages. How much trouble can you tolerate from these very complex, high strung sporty types? The trade off is the pleasure of driving a fantastic work of art.
  • imfree is right. There is alway first year glitches with any products including BMW and MB. Considering some of the few problems on the X5 thus far, they are very minor. Most of it was software related. The most troubling would be manufacturing, build quality, mechanical issues. It maybe too soon to speak of, but the X5 have seen very little of these.
  • x5fan1x5fan1 Posts: 1
    About two weeks ago I got delivery of my 3.0i. Drove it for 75 miles and noticed a noise coming from the front end .... bad front wheelbearing. Dealer was very apologetic, and the service department went above and beyond. It took a week to get the part, and another 2 days to get the tool to install the bearing(s) - they decided to replace both. Anyone else have this issue or was I the lucky one to receive a "one of" ? ps: I still LOVE IT!
  • arhoustonarhouston Posts: 1
    I've been driving my 2001 3.0 for a couple of weeks and have had no problems at all. I would highly recommend the vehicle. The complaints appear to be very isolated by comparison to most vehicles, especially the 1st model year.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826

    I am not sure what that means, that you have to have FORD reliability as back up for the superlative MB ??
  • herman8herman8 Posts: 1
    Thanks guys...glad I tune in this board. I have been wondering which one to buy: a X5 3.0L, ML 320 or the RX (my last choice.) As I am approaching my self-imposed decision deadline (when my Accord will be 5-year old), I feel like I may go for the more reliable RX... I am afraid that domestic workmanhip just can't beat the [non-permissible content removed]'.
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    You're my kinda guy. Go for reliability if you wish. German types can't get close to that. If you were wild and crazy, maybe, just maybe you would take a leap into fun driving. It's a difficult decision. Good luck, it's only money.
  • musafirmusafir Posts: 27
    If you are going for a japanese suv wait for Acura MDX, it will be better than RX.
  • abc007abc007 Posts: 1
    I don't like Rx because they are all over the street. So I ordered my X5 3.0
  • 3literx53literx5 Posts: 3
    I've had my 3.0 for just over 2 weeks, about 1100 miles. The major design issue is booming when the sunroof is the only thing opened.
    The defects are a whine when the AM radio is on (need to hear trffic reports in the SFBay Area) and the phone installation: the hands-free mike doesn't work, & they are supposed to fix it tomorrow.
    My Service Dep't fell down on the job in several ways; fortunately the sales side helped save the experience.
    I agree with the stereotype that Japanese-built vehicles are generally more dependable. Also, in my experience, they lack a certain "soul" that provides more driving enjoyment. Many people don't care about this--a car is another appliance, so it must just do its job & be reliable. If you also subscribe the the "slow in, fast out" school though, then German heritage is hard to beat.
    My 3.0's workmanship, fit and finish was just perfect, though. I think the mirror memory glitched once, but I'm not sure. Today, I had to do a turn-and-cut in a small parking lot; full steering wheel lock, a/c running, no hint of engine bogging down or stalling. It has never done anything surprising like that.
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    Let us know of your decision. I have owned some really reliable Asian vehicles that served me well, no problems. Then again, I have owned some really aggravating Euro types that spent time in the shop. Cars are like women, I believe. The ones that won't give you any trouble are kinda boring. The others drive you crazy but, what fun.
  • reddogsreddogs Posts: 353
    If thats the case then I got some hot YUGOS to sell to you, I would never make a choice based on whats "all over the streets", that is one of the worst mistakes you can make. But if you want to be unique, those YUGOS will set you apart in any neighborhood..........:0)
  • robert84robert84 Posts: 3

    Wow! I thought I was the only one! I was ready to buy a 3.0 X5 "cancellation order" the dealer had right on the spot. I took a test drive, and I found the "booming" sound caused by the open sunroof to be really annoying. The sound went away when I opened at least one other window, but then the wind through the cabin was just as irritating (at approx. 35mph).

    From this forum, I had heard of the AM radio "whine" problem caused by the alternator. The X5 I tested had the same problem. The sales person tried to persuade me that "no one listens to AM radio anyway", but then let me know that BMW plans to issue a fix shortly that would be covered under warranty.

    Also, I noticed that the rear seat headrests don't allow for a full "flush" fit with the backs of the front seats when they are folded down to increase storage space. Did I just miss something, or are these headrests permanently fixed in position?

    I've owned BMW's before, and I've always found the standard sound systems to be only adequate. The same is true in this car. Inside the dealership, I sat in another X5 with the 12-speaker DSP option, and the sound quality was definitely much better (if costly.)

    Other than that, I thought the car was great. The drive was way, WAY better than my JGC Limited. I may still buy one of these, but I plan to watch this forum closely for awhile before I do.
  • reddogsreddogs Posts: 353
    ...U R A MB dealer......
  • robert84robert84 Posts: 3
    Easy now, reddogs...

    Take a closer look at my message. I think the X5 is great, but not perfect. Even with the flaws I noted, I will probably buy one. However, I figure anyone planning to pay $50k-$60k for this type of car ought to be aware of some of the issues. If I didn't need a new car now, I'd probably wait until the next X5 model year to make my purchase.

    By the way, I also checked out the MB. IMHO, it's the ugliest car on the road, and it lacks the interior look & feel I would expect from a Mercedes. My neighbor owns a Merc sedan, and he states that his mechanic has confided that the ML is (or at least was....) a bucket of bolts.
  • erhiverhiv Posts: 1
    I too experienced the helicopter noise when the sun roof was open w/windows up. Very disappointing design flaw. (the sales person said they could not hear it) Again, very disappointing. :-( The radio/stereo is substandard, and I found it troubling that EVERYTHING seems to be an option. Perhaps they are taking advantage of the market, (which is understandable). I mean a 5-speed transmission and manual seats?!?!? PLEASE!
  • cwk1cwk1 Posts: 4
    My wife and I both love the X5. But, the 4.4 is way over priced. We waited 2 months for a 3.0 to arrive so that we could test drive it. Fabulous car but it is also overpriced.

    All I asked of our new vehicle (actually hers) is that it would have adequate towing capacity for my boat. Although rated for 5000 lbs. the 3.0 does it with mirrors(gears). No way I'm setting out on a road trip pulling my boat with only 215 ft. lbs. of torque. That's downright wimpy for towing.

    I found that I could get a loaded ML430 for about $1,500 less than a comparably equipped X5 3.0. My wife is disappointed, but seems to understand. Taking delivery tomorrow. But, I know I'll look at every X5 I pass and wonder "what if?"
  • cwk1cwk1 Posts: 4
    If it seems that X5's are over priced it's because they are. BMW markets its vehicles with about twice the margin of MB. Of course this extra "negotiating" doesn't pass on on a popular vehicle like the X5.

    I have been told by a supposedly reliable source that BMW will change its margins to more closely equal MB next year (2002?) They will keep the price equal to or greater than the current price by including more standard features. But, to me that means that a 2002 model will be less expensive than a loaded 2001 model. Something to think about.
  • ferarri11ferarri11 Posts: 91
    for the price of the X5 4.4, has anyone seriously looked at the Landcruiser or LX470- it seems to be a better deal, much bigger size, better space utilization, superior offroad ability,better ride and heavier discounts. it doesnt have the BMW handling but it is a true sport utility. i know both get lousy gas mileage, but that's a given.
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    If you really know anything about Ferarris (sic) you would understand why we shopped for LX's, ML's, and all the other high end SUV"s and then chose the X5. It is not as big, thank heavens, does not go off road as well and doesn't get discounted. How does it drive, ferarri11? Not like a Toyota.
  • sdblairsdblair Posts: 1
    Re: # 24

    drive was way, WAY better than my JGC Limited"

    Okay, I may be biased, having just bought a '00 JGC Ltd, but comparing it to the X5? For a minimum of $5k more based on the "TMV" (for a stripped '01 3.0), plus the sacrifice of off-road capability, I would expect a WAY better ride. The "SAV" is basically the manufacturer's way of saying, "Okay, we know your never going off-road, so we'll give you a fabulous ride with the added benefit of a high seating position and extra cargo space (relative to a sedan)."

    I compare the JGC's ride to my last car: an 88 Suzuki Samurai. It is WAY better, but what wouldn't be? For a truck, the JCG is great. IMHO, the X5 and RX300 are not trucks. They are not marketed to people who want trucks. Did you buy a JGC solely for its comfort and handling (i.e. you had no need or desire for off-road or towing ability)? Then you probably didn't really want a Jeep, and the X5 better meets your needs.

    I guess the point of my rant is; you can compare the JGC and the X5, but they are not comparable.

    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

  • loc2001nloc2001n Posts: 1
    I'm planning to buy a BMW X5 4.4i. However, it seems a little too much overpriced. Also, I'm wondering if its dependability is a thing to consider buying. Though with lots of questions and wonderings on my mind, I still LOVE it so much. Please give me some suggestions. Thanks
  • piercejapierceja Posts: 6
    Go with your gut. You won't be sorry.
  • bordsourcebordsource Posts: 95
    Hey, the X5 is a poor value, that's all there is to it. Anyone who buys an X5 buys it purely based on emotion, because the only practical reason for buying an X5 is safety (it's the safest BMW, or so the company says). It's got a puny cargo area, can't go off-road, needs snow tires to get through the winter, and on hard a hard rear seat. The ML and Land Cruiser might be more common, but they are far more practical. I wouldn't even try to tow with an X5, seeing that that engine (and the MLs also) are lifted straight out of passenger cars. Bottom line: if you want an X5, just get it. Your emotions won't regret it. Great handling, sonorous engine, great build quality and high-quality materials.
  • oinick1oinick1 Posts: 2
    It is not to tow. It is not to haul. It is not to dig through the dirt or climb over rocks. The X5 is not a sport utility vehicle.

    Here's what it is: a butt-kicking, great handling four door sedan that sits high off the ground with a high tech four wheel drive system built for the ROAD. BMW originally marketed the X5 under the slogan "anytime, anywhere", and this is exactly accurate. It is well built and powerful, and it drives better than (and unlike) anything else out there.

    My X5 has just rolled over on 8000 miles (had it since 12/99) and I am happier with it than any other car I've ever had (included the other 5 BMWs). No problems except AM engine whine. Love it, love it.

    Let's be honest: the only thing that truly compares to the X5 in purpose is the RX300. They are both on the road vehicles by design, but I won't even address why the BMW beats the hell out of the Lexus. (But it should, given its much higher price).

    As for reliability, if you're worried, but an extended warranty (I did). As for cargo capacity, I bought a roof rack and cargo box.

    If you like to drive fine cars, and are willing to pay the price, I am fully convinced you will no go wrong with the purchase of the X5.
  • angy888angy888 Posts: 1
    Oinick1: can you explain little bit more on this "high-tech 4-wheel drive system", maybe comparing it to other market leaders such as Audi's quattro or Suburu's AWD? I thought X5 just has a regular (with fixed-ratio torque split) 4-wheel drive system.

    PS: pick up my X5 this Friday.
  • bordsourcebordsource Posts: 95
    The X5's AWD system closely follows that of the M-class. As I understand it, torque is split 38 front and 62 rear. In the event of slippage, the system brakes the spinning wheel and reapports torque to the axle that can grip the best (however, I don't know if it can send 100% of power to one wheel like the ML). There is no low range, however.

    Oinick, we're saying the same thing. The X5 wasn't designed to do the things that SUVs do, even though (technically) it is an SUV. Because it can't do the things that other SUVs can, it's a purely emotional purchase (especially at $60,000+ for a fully loaded model). Speaking of that, there's no way that I'd pay $45,000 for a 3.0i. It's a nice car, but hey, for that cash, I think that an Audi S4 oir A6 2.7T would be right nice indeed.
  • racecar3racecar3 Posts: 4
    bordsource: your description of the X5 awd system being similar to the M class is correct. Also, the X5 CAN deliver all power to just one wheel if needed.... you can see a demonstration of this at the website.

    I just have always wondered... if it uses the abs brakes to brake the slipping wheel... how does it continue to know if the wheel is still slipping? How does the car apply brake and test slippage at the same time? I know it all happens very fast... but i'm just trying to figure out how it really works. I wish there were more in depth article we could read about how all the systems in the car truly work (i.e. awd, traction, etc.).

    On a side note... has anyone here driven the 19" tires with sport suspension in the snow? Do you think they are adequate, or will I have to purchase all new wheels and tires?
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    The M-class uses a centre differential to split the power 48%/52% under normal conditions when there is resistance. This near 50/50 split allows for extremely neutral handling in all weather conditions and on all sorts of surfaces. Since the system is only split 48%/52%, only 24% of the power can go to each of the front wheels, and 26% to each of the rear wheels.

    The X5 has a similar system, but uses a 32%/68% difference for a more traditional RWD feel. The problem with this disproportional ratio is that the vehicle can be tailhappy, something that is noticable on snow/icy slippery surfaces. Since the split is 32/68, 16% of the power can be routed to each of the front wheels, and 34% to each of the rear wheels.

    The only vehicle that can deliver 100% of the engine's power to an individual wheel is the Jeep Grand Cherokee with the QuadraDrive system and the Vari-lok axles with the auto locking differentials. The problem with this is that the components need to be strong (and hence heavy) to deal with the power. This weight adds to more unsprung weight, and is detrimental for handling.

    These systems use the ABS wheel speed sensors to monitor wheel slippage. I don't know about the X5's activation threshold, but the ML's 4ETS kicks in when it detects a 3 mph difference (in high range) or 1.2 mph (approximately a quarter turn of the wheel - in low range) between the slipping wheel(s) and the other wheels.

    I've driven the Sport Package in snow, and I think that you should follow your salesman and BMW's advise. These are definitely NOT suitable for those conditions, and you'll be putting yourself and others in danger if you do. Not only are the Sport Package Bridgestone Turanzas' rubber compound not suitable for snow, but the close threads clog up extremely quickly with snow. I don't think that any tire company in North America makes winter tires for those 17", 18" or 19" wheels, so you may be stuck with the all-seasons. The all season Michelins MXV4s are also highly street biased with close threads, however they are much better than the Turanzas in the snow.
  • racecar3racecar3 Posts: 4
    Without doubt, the X5 and mercedez too, have the ability to deliver all power to ONE wheel. By using abs to individually locking up the other 3 wheels.. all the power is transfered to the remaining one. There is a demonstration of this at the website under the ultimate driving experience section. They clearly discuss this ability.

    Secondly, there IS a 17" snow tire available now... I just forget the brand but will look it up later. There may even be an 18", but not a 19", YET! I am sure there will be.
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    Nope, you don't seem to understand. The traction control system doesn't brake the other wheels completely to a stop. It only applies the brakes intermitently, so the other 3 wheels still do spin. If they don't spin and are clamped down tight, how the heck does the vehicle move if 3 wheels are stopped completely? Obviously the other three wheels do not get dragged along by only the one wheel that has traction. Also, the power that goes to the other wheels doesn't get transfered in the process, because the brakes turn the power/energy into heat. Don't believe me? Have a look at this.:

    ML owners in the M-class mailing list have been discussing this system extensively since 1997, with the help of the MB technicians, and a pro-offroader (who has written a book about the ML and owns the site). We've pretty much figured out with this system already.

    Since BMW uses an identical system, everything applies as well. So, my previous comments still stand. Each of the front wheels on the X5 will only get 16% of the engine's power, and the rear wheels, 34% of engine's power.

    What do you have to say about that now?
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    Why do I have to take it to the other topic? I'm not off-topic here. Someone asked about how the X5's AWD system - which is very similar to the ML's system - works so I answered. If you don't like it, too bad!! Besides, someone else brought up the ML's system, not me. Look properly the next time before you start shooting off nonsense.
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    the neighborhood. Aling1 seems to be looking (lurking) for problems on the X5 board because some of us had the audacity to suggest that his ML, or rather MB's ML might be less than perfect. He's the one who suggested that Edmund's review of the X5 proves it is not a SUV truck. Duh?
  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Posts: 128
    Speaking of problems, BMW could have saved themselves the normal teething problem and design limitations (as Edmunds says, weight of a Navigator, less cargo space than a Honda CR-V) of the X5 and never made it. BMW should have taken the 540i wagon and added AWD. Would have cost about the same as a loaded X5 4.4i, much lighter, faster, more cargo space, better fuel economy, no need for 19" wheels in order to make 5,000 lbs "handle" better. It would have the AWD needed for winter and gravel roads. Maybe it wouldn't have the SUV looks, but who cares at this point.

    Really, BMW priced themselves out of the market with the X5. If they really wanted to compete, it should have been AT LEAST $5k cheaper, if not $10k cheaper. The LandCruiser or ML makes more sense. If you're concerned about "handling and performance", get an M3 and a used SUV.

    I think Audi is taking the right "road" with the upcoming "allroad". Height adjustable suspension (with up to 8" of ground clearance), 250 hp Twin Turbo, lighter weight, better fuel economy, more room, and very subjectively, better looks.

    If BMW wants to really "fix" the X5, send it to Jenny Craig to lose 500 lbs, get a 6-12" stretch job and take $5k off the price. They wouldn't be able to make enough of them.
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    If we could meet face-to-face and have this discussion in person, rather than in cyberspace, would you still be so strident, negative and insulting? I know that you feel very strongly about your ML but can't you just agree that there are other viewpoints, opinions and preferences for other vehicles than your own. You show your true colours in these posts and they are not becoming. Try to control your anger and do what you do best, give advice about that which you know. Don't keep coming here and slamming the X5. Your insults are very transparent. Give it a rest. Mercedes made some serious mistakes with the ML and despite your protestations many owners are very unhappy with the poor quality of this vehicle. As a MB owner, I hope they will make it right and build a vehicle that represents the badge. In the meantime, lots of ML buyers are disappointed, as consumer surveys and continuing comments from owners of model year 2000 vehicles so amply demonstrate. We don't mind constructive criticism or even difference of opinion. Just avoid the personal insults, please.
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    If BMW priced themselves out of the "market" with the X5, Why are they sold out for at least the next 12 months? Your marketing analysis of the X5 is way off base.
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    but did I slam the X5 at all when I posted here about the AWD systems? No, I didn't. In fact, I was doing just fine discussing the info with "racecar3" when someone had to cut in and start with the insults. Where do other peoples' preferences, viewpoints, etc. for other vehicles come in? I never mentioned anything of the sort in my previous posts.

    If "pierceja" would open her eyes and look carefully, I was merely pointing out "racecar3"'s mistake in saying that the X5's (and ML's, which HE brought up) system could directly 100% of the engine's power to one wheel. Why didn't anyone mention anything about going to another topic when racecar3 brought up the ML? Hmm, a double standard perhaps? YOU were the one who started with the "less than perfect" comments in post #48. I've often brought up the MB technology in the Subaru topics to explain how other similar Subaru technology works. NEVER have I received the response that you and pierceja have given me, in fact, it's just the opposite.

    I suppose now that bostonwhalr has brought up Audi, you and pierceja will be directing him to an X5 and Audi topic now.

    Hey, if you think that's how my "true colours" are, so be it. Believe me, I won't lose any sleep over it.
  • tbrown_4tbrown_4 Posts: 27
    As a happy '00 ML430 and '00 X5 owner, I pay
    attention to the M-class topic and the X5 topics. I really have to say that I was very surprised to
    read pierceja's and imfree00's comments to aling1.
    There were really quite unnecessary.

    Aling1's posts regarding the four wheel drive systems was really quite informative (and answered some of my own questions), and in no way more off topic than what others here have posted in posts number 37 through 39. Since no one squawked at those posters, I think that we should extend the same courtesy to aling1. If I could've answered those onick1's or racecar3's questions, I would've. But I couldn't and I'm glad that aling1 did.

    Peace all!
  • blehrlichblehrlich Posts: 92
    I have a 2000 X5 with a myriad of electrical issues. The vehicle has been back to the dealer a number of times, this time for 5 days (so far). The dealership, which is outstanding, has always provided me with a loaner. This weekend (a long one since the dealership is closed until 7/5) I was given a brand new Range Rover 4.6 HSE to drive (they also have a Land Rover dealership). Finally to my question: how does the all wheel drive system in the Range Rover compare to that in the X5? What type of behavior can I expect during New England winters?
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