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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    I'm no expert, but I'll try to shed some light. I
    bet I'm going to have to create an X5 vs. Range
    Rover topic just to answer your question ;-)

    The R.R. system has been designed for on-road as
    well as off-road use. It has a high range, as well
    as a low range for the really tough stuff. The X5
    only has high range since it's not meant to go

    Low Range in the R.R. is accessable via the
    secondary gate on the H-shaped transmission
    gearbox. If you would like to try out low range in
    the R.R., stop the vehicle and place the
    transmission in Neutral, then move it over to the
    "N" position on the right side of the gate. After
    you hear the beeps, you're now in low range.
    Reverse the process to get out of low range.
    However, low range can only be used on
    slippery pavement, do not use it on dry pavement
    or you will risk damaging the transfer case. In
    high range mode, the R.R splits the power
    permanently and equally between front and rear
    axles at 50/50 vs the X5's 32/68.

    This 50/50 split allows for a neutral feel and
    significantly less oversteer than the X5,
    especially in slippery conditions. A 50/50 split
    is also ideal for off-road situations, since there
    will be less surprises. BMW engineers felt that
    the 32/68 split would simulate the RWD nature of
    their cars better. Unfortunately, this RWD bias can
    also have its side effects (more later on this).

    Like the X5, the R.R. also uses 4 wheel traction
    control to control wheelspin. The R.R. traction
    control system is identical to the X5's system.
    Since BMW used to own Land Rover, and BMW
    "borrowed" it for the X5 and 330xi after R.R
    engineers had developed the system.

    WRT the X5's performance in the winter, as long as
    you keep all of the electronic stability gizmos
    turned on, winter driving should be just fine.
    Turn the DSC off though, and you'll find that
    (particulary in turns), the rear end of the
    vehicle will want to pass the front end, just like
    typical RWD cars.

    Good Luck!
  • blehrlichblehrlich Posts: 92
    Thanks for the help, what do you know about R.R. winter behavior (I know it's off topic).
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    The R.R is excellent in the snow. The adjustable air suspension system allows you to raise the vehicle for maximum ground clearance (called Extended Mobility mode). Its 4 wheel traction control system also helps to keep the vehicle moving.

    However, the R.R lacks the stability control system (DSC) that the X5 or M-class has. DSC (or ESP for MB) does make a big difference when driving in the snow, since you don't have to worry as much about the vehicle sliding around.

    Hope this helps!
  • bordsourcebordsource Posts: 95
    Someone in here was wonderin if the X5's AWD system brakes the spinning wheel. And I think someone answered yes. The problem with this setup (which is curiously used by Land Rover) is that it fries the brakes after awhle. Also, because the system is indefeatable, you cannot just floor the car and hope that the tires burn through the snow to better traction. C/D and others have noted this as a big weak spot in the design of both the ML and the X5s 4WD/AWD systems. The Grand Cherokee takes home the prize in this category, though I hear that the Quadra-Drive system has not been very reliable at all.
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    It is true that repeated and sustained use of the traction control system can heat up the brakes. However, a huge part of this depends on the kind of terrain that you're driving on, and the speed you're driving at.

    If you try to blast across (at high speed) a long, deeply rutted and sandy dirt area - off-road - in any of these traction control systems equipped SUVs (with the exception of the Hummer), you will eventually end up with hot rotors. At this point, the system will shut down the traction control momentarily (but not the brakes which you control with the brake pedal), to allow the system to cool down.

    This heat issue has been dealt with partly by the manufacturers who have fitted these vehicles with oversized disc brakes, which are more able to dissipate the heat.

    It is extremely unlikely that you'll end up in this situation in normal winter/off-road, or even extreme winter driving situations. Note that the 4ETS only activates the brakes intermittently, so it's not at all like stepping on the brakes at all times. Also, no owner in his/her right mind would blast across these rutted off-road surfaces at high speed. The magazines do it just to prove a point, and since its not their personal vehicles, who cares? In regular on-road or off-road situations, the traction control equipped vehicles are more environmentally friendly since there minimal amount of wheelspin (before the system steps in) to erode the ground.

    Yes, the QuadraDrive system with the auto locking Vari-lok axles wins the prize at being able to move power to only one wheel, but it has design problems of its own, and has been a mechanical nightmare for owners and DCX. The next generation JGC will have an independent front axle for better ride quality and handling, so bye bye Vari-lok!
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    That should be "independent front suspension", not axle.
  • jmcnallyjmcnally Posts: 6
    I am not crazy about suv's, (sav) with that said I really like the x5; but I have a few questions before I begin looking seriously at it:

    -when will delivery of '01 begin, already?
    -tell about this "break squeal", just normal european brakes squeal, or really bad?

    -is the ride as good as they say it is?

  • racecar3racecar3 Posts: 4
    '01 has already begun... since this past march. However, if you order a 4.4 today, it can take until Nov. or Dec. to get because of the wait list.

    I don't have mine yet, but it all the test drives I took, I didn't hear any brake squeal.

    And yes, the ride is as good as they 'say'. Go test drive one!
  • jmcnallyjmcnally Posts: 6
    Is the wait list usually longer for the 4.4 or the 3.0?
  • racecar3racecar3 Posts: 4
    not sure... i think for the 4.4 it is longer.
  • oinick1oinick1 Posts: 2
    Wait time for the 4.4 is longer for now. BMWNA is emphasizing the 3.0 engine accross the line (i.e., into the 3 series and 5 series as well) and they are making more six cylinder x5's for now. By the way, have you priced a comparably equipped 3.0 vs a 4.4? Not much difference (about $5500, depending on the quipment you specify).
  • alexpalexp Posts: 70
    BMW AG will spend $300 million to expand production capacity in Spartanburg. They are planning to increase X-5 production. In addition, they said that company wants to develop sport utilities of other sizes, mirroring their brands. According to some gossip, results should be visible in about 2-3 years.
  • jmcnallyjmcnally Posts: 6
    Money is not a factor. I have enough problems with the gas mileage of a 3.0, but it's not that bad and it is also a ULEV, ultra low emission vehicle, which further offsets the bad mileage; whatsmore the 4.4 is not a ULEV, only an LEV, making it even more of a polluter. If that is not enough I have no need for the V8 and the extra second 0-60 it gives. I do my part for the environment and its a close call even getting the 3.0.
  • charlesm2charlesm2 Posts: 1
    Today I was fortunate to find this info site for the X5. Mine was purchased in December of 1999 and although I agree with the problems posted (noisy sun roof, am radio whine,etc) over all the X5 is one of the best vehicles I've ever had the good luck to own. Fast, fun, good visibility, comfortable it suits my purposes just perfectly. The one problem I have had was with the windshield wipers being out of commission for two weeks while the dealer sent away for a computer and when that didn't solve the problem a new wiper motor which did. Was I happy about the time I did't have the X5...definitely not but before I bought it I knew it was a first year car and hopefully that's the only problem I have. In order to really appreciate the SAV I think you have to drive it awhile in order to experience it. Thanks for all the info :)
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    Welcome to the board and thanks for your input. My x5 (February delivery) has been a great performer thus far and we hope for continued reliability. Build quality and driving pleasure is vastly superior to all other SUV's I tested.
  • randy3730randy3730 Posts: 1
    by any chance, has anyone had there X5 on the beach or in soft sugar sand???far shot, I know!!
    how well does it perform,traction-wise in such conditions???
  • anonymousanonymous Posts: 314
    February delivery? Holy cow. What model did you order. I am planning on going to bmw on thurs. for a test drive of both 3.0 and 4.4; but a feb. delivery date that is a little extreme and could very well change things for me.
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    February 2000. That's when I took delivery.
  • jmcnallyjmcnally Posts: 6
    Thank God! I was just over scouting the Mb lot, I like going when it is closed, and getting ready to shift gears and buy an Mb.

    I don't know why it posted me as anonymous? I have seen it before but I have no clue why it did that?

    Anyone: how do we post "hidden" messages. I don't want to be off topic and that seems the route to go?

  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    to post hidden messages, first post your message then click on the underlined, blue number of your message(#82 of 82). a screen will come up and one option on it says 'Hide'. click on that and you're done
  • arh4arh4 Posts: 3
    Back in June there were a couple of comments regarding stalling when the wheels were in a hard turning situation. I experienced this problem for the first time @ 2500 mi. Any diagnosis on this and has anyone else experienced this? Also, on my 2001 3.0 the temperature gauge never drops completely to the left, it's always splitting the blue zone even when it has been parked all night. Anyone else? Pls. post any comments. Thanks
  • mollysdadmollysdad Posts: 1
    I have an X5 and have been very disappointed. It seems there's been a new problem each week. Yes, they have been minor in nature, but it's a $56,000+ car. What's more, a few of the issues have existed since I picked it up. The attitude of the dealer salesperson was basically, hey, it would be a lot of trouble at this point to fix it. I've already put a deposit down on a new Lexus LX470 and plan to buy out the lease on the X5 and unload it. I was excited about this vehicle. The exterior design is spectacular, but the overall performance and the interior just don't measure up to the big price tag. Oh well, live and learn.
  • atty1atty1 Posts: 1
    I'm considering upgrading from my 98 JGC to an X5 3.0. I am curious as to whether there is any data on the X5's performance in the snow. My JGC performed spectacularly in last January's east coast blizzard (Baltimore, to be exact) and handled 20" of snow quite well. I love the X5 but would feel rather foolish if I found myself immobile in the next big snow at the helm of a 40K auto. Also, I;d like to get the 5 speed as opposed to the automatic. Any reviews on that?
  • robert84robert84 Posts: 3
    This issue is apparently easily remedied by firmware upgrade to the EMS (Engine Mgmt.System?) chip, or so the rep at SF BMW tells me. My neighbor has an X5, and his had this problem at delivery. The dealer was able to fix it the next day. Please let me know if your issue turns out to be different...
  • I have owned 4 BMW's over twenty years and I am seriously considering the X5 even though it is somewhat overpriced. I drove the vehicle and it met or surpassed my expectations. I am the original owner of a '89 325is and experience the same "booming" sound with my windows closed and the sunroof open as a previous writer mentioned with their X5. I would describe it as more of a fluttering or vibration noise. I'm wondering if this might be the same problem? I'll have to check this out the next time I drive the X5, as I did not open the roof when I first test drove it. Too excited about the handling and aesthetics to remember the sunroof. Thanks for the comment.
  • ssablessable Posts: 2
    I wrote #89 in this forum. Check it out. If you can, or care to get the 5 speed, I highly recommend it. I can't wait until I pass 1200 mile break in period so I can drive it over 4500RPM, which is what it is "asking for." Good luck!
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    Welcome to the wonderful world of X5's. Obviously you are well acquainted with BMW's. I agree, the Lexus didn't measure up to my X5. But, question....did you try the ML 430 or 55?
  • sonunsonun Posts: 1
    My X5 is currently in Production. I'm expecting delivery in about 3 months. I was reading an article earlier today about the Sports Package. The article says that the Sports package is too harsh and causes a stiff ride. This is from MSN carpoint.

    Does anyone here have thie option and agree or disagree. I do have the opporutnity to remove this option from my car right now.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  • imfree00imfree00 Posts: 22
    Personally, I thought the SP was a little jarring. But, my major concern was over the low profile 19" street tires that would not be good in snow (I live in the Rockies). However, this is strictly my opinion. Look back at the archives and you will see that some people don't find the ride harsh at all. And you get better on-road performance. Try to drive both versions and see what you think. It is very much a personal preference. Both versions are fantastic. I've had my 4.4 since February and still look for excuses to get in and drive it!
  • musafirmusafir Posts: 27
    This is my first BMW, I had contemplated buying ML, however , after comparing the two (I also checked out RX 300), I decided on X5. 1200 miles so far and no problems, dealer service has been excellent. I have not had any vibration or stall issues so far. Like SSABLE the only problem I have had is the head turning issue when I pass by other cars etc. I am very satisfied and happy with my choice.
  • ssablessable Posts: 2
    I didn't drive the ML 430 because I saw one and thought it was a little to big and boxy looking. It just isn't for me.
  • auburn5auburn5 Posts: 2
    Just took delivery on my X5 3.0.

    This is the 4th BMW I have bought in the last six years.

    Styling and drive are a dream, as usual.

    One small problem. The latches for the center console (holds the CD Holder) and the door for the CD player in the IP seems to "stick".

    Anyone else have this problem????

    Thank you in advance for your input.

    Note: I ordered the car the first week in May; it went into production on July 17th and I received the vehicle on August 3rd.
  • I had similar problem opening it up (a CD holder also); turned out a roll of tokens were inside and caused the jam. The mechanic just used sheer force to open it up. No problem since, and no more tokens either. Took delivery back in Memorial week. Our 2nd bimmer; the otehr one is a '99 323iC.
  • auburn5auburn5 Posts: 2
    Thank you for the feedback regarding the interior trim.

    Another question: Anyone out there having a problem with the Xenon lamps pointing too low.

    I know that they're self adjusting but my field of view on a level road is only about five feet high.

    Thanks again!
  • etnometnom Posts: 1
    When I ordered my SAV I saw no option for a digital phone. When the car (excuse me, truck) was delivered it came fully wired with a cradle for the phone AND NO PHONE. (Lots of wasted space in the armrest where the phone would go.) Checking with the dealer who says he checked with BMW I find that the phone costs somewhere around $1200. Over and above the 53K. I checked the cellular phone companies and none has a phone that fits into the space provided. Only the BMW phone appears to be an option. Basically BMW's response is "our way or no way".
  • I leave in Phoenix and I would love to hear how well or poorly the a/c performs? Thanks
  • ron4tvron4tv Posts: 1
    Long known for its price-gouging and take-it-or-leave-it attitude, BMW is up to its old tricks again with its new X5 sport utility. While the vehicle looks very nice, it is priced several thousand dollars ahead of its rivals at Mercedes and Lexus. What's more, its standard transmission is manual rather than automatic, suggesting that BMW has no clue about the market for SUVs, its initial successes with the X5 notwithstanding. So it comes as no surprise, in reading these postings, to find that the only phone compatible with the X5's pre-wired system is an absurdly priced one. Be advised that such is not the case with Mercedes, among others.
    BMW needs to understand and accept a couple of things. First, it builds fine cars, but not the finest and certainly not the world's ONLY fine cars. (Mercedes is better and has much higher status; Lexus is at least as good, probably better.) Secondly, price-gouging is, in the long run, short-sighted and self-defeating, as Mercedes learned in the recent past and even Porsche is showing signs of learning. Finally, a sport utility vehicle is almost always a family vehicle, meaning it needs to be designed not for the speed-shifting performance-car nut but for families, often the adult female member, who have groceries to haul and soccer teams to transport. The manual transmission is therefore inappropriate, as is the substantially smaller cargo space (relative to the Mercedes ML320/420 and the Lexus RX300)that BMW provides with its jazzy X5. And while the former shortcoming can be overcome for a hefty extra fee for an OPTIONAL automatic transmission, there is no fixing the latter.
    It will be interesting to see how the X5 does after the BMW zealots dash out and buy theirs. Something tells me the vehicle's niche will be decidedly more narrow than it needed to be.
  • I beg to differ, I not questioning any of your comments except for the fact that the Mercedes is also charging an absurd amount for its cell phone. Check it the comments on the M-Class board.
  • sas4sas4 Posts: 1
    I happen to own both a BMW and a Mercedes (w/ phone)and have a X5 on order. Both BMW and Mercedes are guilty of gouging one on accessories. The mercedes phone system is exclusive to mercedes as in the BMW. They are both priced equivalently. In the 1998 Benz ML430 the phone alone was priced at $1,895 (and it is a lousy phone system; much improved in the 2000 model year.)

    The X5 I have ordered is slated to have the 5-speed manual transmission. While most will purchase the automatic transmission, some of us prefer the 5-speed.

    Lastly, I know quite a few "adult female members" who not only do not see their role in life being relegated to hauling groceries but do love manual transmissions.
  • musafirmusafir Posts: 27
    The reason BMW offered stick shift in 3.0 is because a lot off BMW owners want it, they are more sports oriented than family car oriented. As far as Benz and Lexus being better thats a personal opinion. BMW has never marketed itself as a luxury sedate cars, they have always oriented themselves to the sportier nature. As far as Lexus is concerned they are usaually more intrested in copying what Benz does. Although, I don't own a Benz, but I will agree that Benz has more status, but ML 320 and 430 are not as good as X5, IMHO.
  • I own a 328i and I was about to order the a 5speed
    x5 for my wife. After talking to the dealer and finding out that they are not willing to negotiate! I went next door to the lexus dealer and bought the RX300 for $500 over cost $36400 and
    saved myself over $12000. I liked the X5 better but I also like a fair deal.
  • I'm frankly a bit disappointed that the 4.4 only comes with an automatic! I have never owned an automatic and after 2 BMWs ('83 320i 160k miles, and '85 325e 280k) and now a 239hp '98 Volvo S70T5 about to come off lease, I'm debating between the power of the 4.4 and its lack of a 5-speed with the lesser horsepower 3.0 with it.

    Can anyone share their personal experiences either way? My local dealership has neither model in stock for test driving (I'm looking for a dealer that does), but I doubt I'll have an opportunity to drive the right after each other. Does the 5-speed make up for the 20% less horsepower of the 4.4's automatic? Thanks!

    Oh yeah, and despite my wife playing chauffeur with the 3 kids and their friends, running to/from school, the store, the wherever in the minivan -- whenever she when she only our 3 children, she enjoys hopping in the Volvo to re-experience the fun of a turbocharged 5-speed. She is favoring the 3.0 so that she'll still have access to a 5-speed... but I'm not sold yet. And I think she's an adult female. :-)
  • Joe, I pray that your wife either has a sense of humor or doesn't visit this townhall, otherwise you could be looking at some serious "couch time."

    I drove a 3.0 stick and found it to be an odd (but OK) experience, partly because it was the first 4WD SUV/SAV I've ever driven with a stick. Be that as it may, I didn't get that "sport" feel that you typically get when you drive a 5 speed. My personal preference is the 3.0 in an automatic. That's what I ordered for my bride. I, on the other hand, ordered the 330ci with a stick for myself. Same engine but a completely different feel. The 330ci with the 5-speed and sport package is an absolute dream. Oops...sorry. Back to the 3.0. 5-speed...that's one of those thing that you'll have to test yourself. I did find that the power band was more robust on the 3.0 stick vs. the 4.4 auto in a few instances, however, under normal driving circumstances, you miss the extra power of the V8. Don't get me wrong...the 3.0 stick was a nice experience for me, just not totally pleasurable. You might find different responses from others. Lets see...
  • I am presently trying to decide what SUV to buy. My considerations are the BMW and the ML430. I had decided on the 4.4 but production lags tell me that I wouldn't have the car before the second quarter of this year. Too long. Is the 3.0 a strong enough engine for the weight of the car? I am a real estate agent and besides a lot of local driving, do a lot of highway, as well. I drove the ML320 and found its pick-up getting on the highway, weak. I had driven the 3.0 awhile ago and didn't notice any problems, however, I can't retry this due to the absence of any 3.0's now in my area. I hate the look of the ML430, but will opt for it if the 3.0 is considered by those that have it to be too sluggish on the start. I will be buying an automatic.
  • alingaling Posts: 598
    Many 3.0i owners are happy with their X5s, but others do find the acceleration just barely adequate from the get-go. After all, a 3.0L I6 engine is pretty small for a vehicle which is as heavy as a Lincoln Navigator (!!).

    Since you found the ML320's pickup in sufficient for your needs, I think that you will probably find the I6 X5's in sufficient as well. So, try out the ML430 again and see if you like it.

    As for the look, for '01, the ML55-like Sport Package is available, so perhaps you'll like that better. You can continue any discussions on the M-class by going here.

    Good luck!
  • Does ayone know what I should expect to get for a 3 liter X5 with manual transmission? Thanks!
  • I was lucky enough to be able to get a BMW X-5 over the weekend. It is a 3.0i with sports package and there was 4 of them. It is a heavy car for the horse power it comes in. Looks like BMW has made the Steptronic standard for the X-5s. In the sports mode the car accelerates beautifully. I love the sports package. Like it says in the review you drive these cars on road, for the pleasure. Expect to drive like a SUV, not like a porsche.
  • Have an X5 3.0 with xenon headlights. At night, people have been flashing their brights at us when we drive towards them. One guy even stopped his car and got out and started screaming at us!

    I know the things are bright and that bothers some people, but they actually do seem to be set awfully high. Haven't been able to get into the dealer to have them look at it.

    Anyone else with this problem?

  • alingaling Posts: 598
    Sounds to me like your headlamps are aimed too high. I haven't had a problem (no more than with other HID Xenon equipped vehicles) with oncoming X5s. Just bring your vehicle into the dealership and they should be able to realign them properly. You may want to do this soon too :-)

    Hope this helps!
    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • I live in the Mountains in So. Calif and am considering purchasing the X5. Does anyone have
    experience driving and handling the X5 under these winter conditions?
    Many thanks,
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