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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • 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?
  • 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.
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