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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • Hello,

    I'm shopping for insurance for my 2004 X5 3.0, and am wondering if it has Std Passive Immobilizer, Passive Alarm. From the manual, I can't find anywhere that mentioned it; however, the government web site ( says it is X5's standard feature.

    Anyone has any insight on this?
  • sinhartsinhart Posts: 9
    Hi Cefus:

    I was looking at the Edmunds post and see where you have been very helpful to other users. I have a question for you.

    I bought my X5 3 weeks ago and the 4 year warranty had just expired. My service engine light came on about 1 week after I picked the car up. I took it to the BMW dealer and they said they found fault with gas pedal and fuel trim bank 1 and 2. They replaced gas pedal $378 and cleared fault memory. Light came back on 2 days later and now they are saying they need to replace wiring harness/engine to the tune of $949. Call me crazy but this seems like a rip off to me. First of all, why don't they know for sure what the problem is? So if they replace the harness and the light comes back on then they're going to say it's something else?

    Anyway I took it to my regular mechanic who serviced my 325I. He said fuel bank 1 and 2 running lean but didn't see anything about wiring harness. What do you think is causing this? Is this a common problem and is there any long term consequences to driving the vehicle with the light on? Any advice you can give is appreciated. Plus, several times I am on E before I get gas and a couple of times I forgot to turn off the car. Would this cause the SES light to come on? This is so frustrating? Would this be something that an extended warranty cover? Also, what is the deal with the O2 Sensors?

    Also, can you recommend a good extended warranty company? I am looking at Warranty Direct and Auto Club? Are there any others who aren't scams?

    Sorry for the long email. Thanks for your help?
  • Just got an '05 and have noted the idle is rough. Took it in for service and they said there is an issue with valve timing in very warm weather (I'm in Arizona). They said that the valve timing was adjusted via software and wanted me to let them know how it is. Unfortunately, the adjustment seems to have worsened the problem. The service advisor said that the engineers in Germany are aware of this problem and are developing new software that will be available shortly. I would assume that "software" really means a new set of values for tunable parameters, but I could be wrong.

    Has anyone had this problem? How was it resolved?
  • I just experienced the same. my off-warranty '02 X5 3.0 had the rear passenger window creak, then drop into the door. Can I repair this myself? Advice?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Depends on whether you have the patience to take the window regulator out, and if BMW will sell you individual parts to replace the grommet or other .10 cent plastic part that probably failed in there. I don't know the make up of your particular regulator but most often a plastic grommet that rides in a slot, breaks off and the regulator arm can't hold up the window anymore. Sometimes the arm itself breaks so you need a whole new regulator.

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  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    sorry its taken me so long to respond, i just got from Germany, company work related.
    Well lets try a few things about the SES light, first off don't ever leave the engine running while you fill up the tank, if you do, you will get and engine light and it will go away after a few days. Reason behind this is a system called DMTL Ask a service rep if you want the whole story behind the fuel delivery system.
    Lets see how that goes, don't let them change the harness on your car, they should be able to see the readings of bank 1 and 2 in the their DIS tester. and if the DME is reading all the right input and sending the right ones out to the throttle body.
    As for the gas pedal I would try to get a refund on that job, they should of been able to look in DIS and seen if it was bad.
    But for now don't run your car so low and dont leave the switch on while you are filling it,let me know if you have any more problems and we shale go from there
  • Hi Cephus:

    Thanks for responding. No, I haven't had them change the wire harness, but the funny thing is I had my mechanic reset the code, it came back on after a couple of days. Then last week I was at my wits end because I needed to get the car to inspection so I could get my sticker, it was 1 week overdue inspection. Well, last thursday night, the light went off, just like that. It went off the week before but it came back on shortly afterwards. Well, this time it didn't. So I got up took the car to motor vehicle inspection and it passed with flying colors. Thank God. Sunday I called my mechanic to tell him the good news. I called him from the gas station so that if the light came on after I got gas then it may be gas related. Well, 15 minutes after I get gas, the light came back on, and it's still on.

    I am at my wits end, I don't know what to do. I think I am going to get a refund from BMW. The problem seems to occur when I go to the pump, do you think it could be a problem with the gas cap?

    Also, can you recommend a good extended warranty company? Thanks.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    Have someone do a DMTL leak test on your fuel system or a smoke tester will do, this will check for any leaks or a bad gas cap. A couple of places to look at is the gas cap(make sure the ignition switch is not on when you are refueling) or it could be a bad/worn cap, or one of the 3 hoses going to the carbon canister on the underside of the car. You will not be able to see this and will have to have the guard dropped on one side(outward side) to check this. Its possible that the middle line to the carbon canister is not seated fully or the o-ring in it is slightly pinched. but have someone run the DMTL test and go from there.
    As for a warranty, I cant really help you on finding that, sorry. Let me know how things turn out
  • burrsrburrsr Posts: 255
    We just purchased a CPO 2003 X5 4.4i, 18,000 miles. Love the car, but noticed that after a car wash or driving in rain, the rear passenger-side carpet is soaked. There are no leaks around the door, so it seems to me that water is coming in from below. Any others experience this? Any solutions? I plan to call the local dealer tomorrow. Thanks.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    Does it have a sunroof? If it does then thats your problem, the seal around the glass or the glass it self may need to be adjusted.
    If you don't have a sunroof, check the rear left and right air vents located under the rear panels between the tires and the bumper, possible that the vents may be upside down. the luvers should be black in color and about 5 inches square and the luvers should be staked like the tiles on a roof..
    If you still cant find it get a garden hose out and water it down while you are inside looking for it ,best of luck, let me know what you find
  • Cefus:

    Thank you so much, I will do that and see what happens, I will also have them check out the gas cap. You are a wealth of knowledge, thanks again for taking the time to respond. I will keep you informed.
  • Just had the same problem with our 2002 X5 3.0. (32,000 miles) Had the car for 3 months. After this past weekends heavy rains in the NJ the back seat floors were saturated. I checked around the seal of the sunroof and dry. the trunk/rear hatch...dry. It happened again the next day after I had cleaned/dryed the first leak. The car was sitting in the driveway during the rain the second time. I have an appointment with Essex BMW to look at it under warranty. I won't take the car back until they tell me they have identified and fixed the problem. I will keep their loaner car. :mad:
  • hilo1hilo1 Posts: 3
    The gas cap is probably loose. I drive with the service light on. It goes off and on. I'm going to ask for a new gas cap at my next service.
  • burrsrburrsr Posts: 255
    Ours was diagnosed and fixed rather easily. Turns out that within the rear passenger door, there is a sealed mold that multiple conduits/wiring harnesses run through. Apparently, one side of the mold was not sealed properly (likely from the factory), which allowed rain to run in between the bottom of the door and the door sill, rather than drain out properly. They removed the mold and ran a fresh strip of sealant around the entire mold perimeter to ensure one continuous seal. They test-drove thru the car wash multiple times before signing off on it and giving it to me. My service advisor was great; even showed me another 3-series in the shop in the process of having the same problem fixed (which is why I know so much about the problem). Anyway, though not common, it's not horribly uncommon, so it's likely the techs have had experience with this sort of thing...good luck.
  • I just leased a new 2005 4.4 with about 1200 miles. During the heavy rains in NJ I recently noticed a leak from the garage door contols. Has anyone experienced this problem before? I brought it into the dealership, they added additional insulation around the front of the sun roof, but it still leaks. Does anyone have an insight?

    Thank you
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    have someone check the sunroof seal around the whole outside and also the area between the two glasses, but it is a seal problem, also make sure the sunroof is closing and is pretty much flush with the roof line
  • Thank you very much!
  • I have a 2001 BMW X5. In the last couple of months the car clicks/rattles in the morning as I accelerate, then goes away. I took it last week to the dealership and after two days and $1000 they told me it was the water pump. Yesterday the car made the same noise but only longer and louder than usually. I immediately took the car back to the dealership and again explained the problem again. Today they told me they can find nothing wrong. The car makes a noise while I am accelerating and usually when it hasn't been driven for a while. The speed of the rattle doesn't change as I accelerate and doesn't occur when I release my foot from the pedal. Any thoughts or ideas? Anyone have a similar situation? I am getting frustrated with those at BMW. Thanks.
  • If you place x5 in park and rev the gas does it still click/ rattle ? 6 or v8 ? Is there any hesitation ?
  • I haven't tried the park and rev but will when next time I hear the noise. It is a V6 and there is no hestiation in the car. Just a clinkiing noise ususally when the car is cold. Any ideas?
  • xguyxguy Posts: 3
    I have a 2004 4.4 X5 automatic and when I step on the gas pedal I get some hesitation and then zoom. This happens from a dead stop and while driving. It seems like a software thing although I have had it updated at the dealer. Also, occasionally, the car will slam into gear from when starting from a dead stop. i also own a 2002 X5 3.0 and the throttle and transmission response are lively and it is completely different. What is wrong with my 2004 and is there an email address for BMW? Please help!

    Waning enthuiast
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Have you tried taking it to a BMW center service department? A 2004 should still be under warranty......
  • xguyxguy Posts: 3
    I do not live near the dealer. I have made an appointment for Monday. The service manager thinks it is a software issue. In check ing the internet I have found others that that have had problems with the car slamming into gear. The describe it as similar to being rear-ended. This should probably be a recall issue.

    I have not found out much regarding the throttle or transmission lag. I will post results after my service appointment.
  • Hi all Please help,
    2001 X5, 4.4, 83,000 miles
    Put new battery 2 weeks ago when the old one was dead one morning. 3 days ago the new one was dead. :cry:
    Mechanic checked says all fuses ok nothing wrong with battery but something is draining it. :sick:
    So I have been observing when I turn the car off the blower (to the floor of the interior)comes on (no matter what I do with the vent/radio/monitor) and runs for a while so I timed it tonight it ran for 30 minutes (only after a 15 minutes drive from cold!! Very odd). :confuse:
    One suspicion I have is could the Oxygen sensor need a replacement? I dont think it has been changed since I bought this car brand new, have 83,000 miles on it.
    Please note that I dont have the Aux vent programmed to vent the car when off, also I do not push the "Rest" Button to direct engine heat into the interior when car off.
    OOPs forgot to mention that Sunday night battery dies after two false Car alarms, does the alarm come on when battery gets low to prevent theft by dsconnection?
    Anyway it was off for only 3 hours when it died.
    So last night I disconnected the battery what a pain and reconnected it this morning and it started ok. Tonight after blower would not go off I pulled the fuse #64 and it stopped it, hopefull yI dont need a jump tomorrow to go to dealer, any ideas?
    Thanks in advance.
    Sorry if the previous message #362 does not make sense, this site removed my initial message cuase it had my email (I did not know was wrong) but they left my reply..continuation to that post #362 so now it reads funny? :(
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Okay I got rid of #362 for you.

    For future reference everyone, the warning about posting e-mail addresses is there under the "Post Your Message" label.


    shifty the host

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  • I've been having the same problem with my X5. The dealer has no idea was going on with the car. My car has been in the shop several times this month and nothing was done to fix the problem. They claim the wrong gas was put into the car. It mainly rattles when the weather gets a little cold. We are seriously thinking of getting ride of the car. We like BMW's but don't know if it's worth the headache. I guess this is why they have such a good warranty, because the cars are always having problems.
  • I've got the same problem on the same vehicle. My old dealer in los Angeles couldn't fix it, and my new one in Atlanta (I relocated) couldn't duplicate the problem. It is very annoying, and almost feels like you are being rear ended. I have made numerous complaints to both the dealers & BMW USA to no avail. I am not satisfied with their lack of an answer as it must be an apparent problem to many owners. I can tell you one thing for sure. I have leased many BMW's over the past years, and when my lease is up in 2 years I'm going to take a long hard look at the new Audi suv and the Cayenne. This is my 2nd X5 and the quality is not much better than my 2001 was. The only thing that made me return was the free full service maintenance, but I think Audi has that covered too.

    On another matter, can anyone recomend a snow tire for this vehicle. I have 255/50r19 michelin Diamaris oem tires in the front and 285/45r19 in the back. I'm driving up to canada this winter & I need to find something. Thanks
  • Here is my situation, I have a x5 4.4 w/ sports package on order with 18" rims and all season tires, husband wants to go with the 19" rims but that would make the back tires a little wider than the front and have performance tires on it. I had a ml320 with performance tires and larger tires in back and it was TERRIBLE in the snow. Will the 19's and performance be a bad choice?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    I think anything over 18" gives you very diminishing returns.

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  • xguyxguy Posts: 3
    My Monday service appointment revealed no codes for the tranny problem. The dealer did reprogram the throttle map as part of a "customer service measure" as distinguished from a service bulletin. Time will tell if this helps.
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