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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • I just picked up my new BMW X5 yesterday from my Houston dealership and so far so great. Production on it was completed in early February. Does anyone know about any problems I should be looking for? I hope they worked out the kinks but you never know.
  • eliceelice Posts: 2
    I am in the process of purchasing an X5 4.4. I drive a Jeep now and have no trouble in the snow when its in 4WD. How does the X5 handle snow drifts?
  • bgm2bgm2 Posts: 15
    My production date was in late January and I picked up my X5 Fri Feb 9 here in Dallas. No problems at all in my early ownership of it.
  • ctk1ctk1 Posts: 79
    My was X5/3.0I build on Jan 2001 with 1,100 miles on it. After hand washing the car at car wash, the air bag in the instrument panel light on. Don't know what cause it to turn on ? Anyone has seen this problem ? Will bring to the dealer and have it check out.
  • My X5 4.4 was also delivered in February, of 2000. After one year and 10,000 mostly road trip miles, it has been flawless except for a battery drain problem last fall. That problem was easily fixed in a one hour visit to my dealer. My only problem other than that is my wife and I "compete" to see who gets to drive the X5. The loser gets the E class MB which is also a fantastic piece of machinery, IMHO.
  • We are long time (1973) BMW users and presently have a 740iL and M3. We have used American iron to tow our tent trailer when we go camping. We recently purchased a home in the mountains (6500 ft elev.)of So.Cal. and have had our Explorer sideways 3 times in the driveway (long, sloped and icy). We need to upgrade to a 4WD/AWD vehicle and would like to take this opportunity to purchase an X5. We would like to save some money and would rather get the 3.0 if it will meet our needs. We have 3 questions:

    1) Will the 3.0 adequately tow a 2000 lb. tent trailer. I'm mostly concerned about maintaining a reasonable speed up the "grapevine" without overheating? The low torque number of the 3.0 concerns me.

    2) How is the overall drivability in snow / ice?

    3) Would the stock 5-speed be better with regards to both questions 1 and 2?

    We are interested in responses from anyone with experience with the X5 under the aforementioned conditions, especially those living in the mountains of So. Cal or Colorado.
  • I have a 2001 X5 3.0 with the Navigation system and am having a problem with the volume adjustment. There is an on screen volume slider control for the voice prompt volume but it doesn't work. When the slider is moved to the max or to the min adjustment the voice volume is the same. Has anyone else noticed this problem?

    Also, I noticed that the tailgate doesn't fully latch unless it is slammed shut. If I don't slam it shut (very hard) when driving away I get the message in the display that the tailgate is open. Has anyone else had this problem?

    I have one more. Has anyone figured out what logic this car uses to memorize the climate control settings? Sometimes I notice that the climate control settings are the same as when I last drove the car. But sometimes, the climate control settings revert to a setting that I used days prior. The settings that seem to be memorized are the temperature setting, fan speed, and airflow locations.

  • I'm curious about how much oil should be consumed by the X5 3.0 engine. After 2500 miles mine used 1/2 quart of oil. This assumes that the oil was filled to the top mark on the dipstick when I puchased the X5 (I didn't check it when I bought it). What are others experiencing with this? I'm just trying to get a feel of what is normal for this engine. My prior car was a 1990 Lexus LS400 and at 120K miles, the oil dipstick still read completely full after 5000 miles of driving.

    Also, has anyone had the problem of the tailgate relatching after you shut the drivers door? To be more specific, I press the button on the dash to open the tailgate. I hear it unlatch and then get out of the car. When I shut the car door, I hear the tailgate latch. So when I walk to the tailgate it is not open anymore. This happens every time in my X5. I can still open the tailgate by using my remote control to unlatch it again.
  • If your X5 was new with only a few miles on the odo. I am going to hazard a guess that your oil consumption was due to the rings needing to be seated in. Top off the oil and check it again in 1000 miles. Hopefully there will not be any usage.

    I have no clue regarding the tailgate.
  • ms_joannems_joanne Posts: 69
    The X5 requires synthetic oil. I would take it to the dealer and let them top it off. That way you start documentation just in case....
  • ctk1ctk1 Posts: 79
    Anyone has problem with the airbag light goes on?

    My X5/3.0i has 1200 miles, the light is on. The technician has to order the module that control the airbag. After the new module replacement,the light goes off. The service tech take it out for test drive. After few mile drive, the airbag light turn on again. Service tech has no ideal.He advise me to wait while he contact the BMW head quater about this problem.
    I don't feel safe to drive around with the airbag malfunction.
    I don't expect this problem happen with 50,000 dollars SAV with only few hundred miles.

    Does any one know where can I write a conplain
    to ?

  • ms_joannems_joanne Posts: 69
    Yesterday I unlocked the tailgate (from outside) and then opened and closed the back door before actually opening the tailgate. When the backdoor closed it was enough force to latch the tailgate. I wonder if that is what happened to you?

    I thought of your note when that happened. :)
  • Yep, that is exactly what happens to me. Apparently shutting any door creates enough vacuum in the interior to pull the tailgate shut. I would think everyone that owns a X5 would be experiencing this. This happens every time I shut any door. It sort of makes the button on the dash to open the trunk useless because by the time you get out of the X5 and shut the door, the tailgate is locked again.
  • capalongcapalong Posts: 1
    CLOSING a door in ANY car, no matter how well built will NOT cause a VACUUM interiorly.
    If anything, it will cause an INCREASE in pressure in the cabin. OPENING a door, with all windows and doors closed, would cause a vacuum. I suspect that the security system computer is recognizing the door close as an intrusion or the increase in pressure in the cabin, by closing the door, causes enough disturbance that the security system locks all doors. The sensitivity of the this sensor is too sensitive. This sounds like a Very Sensitive Issue. Ha Ha Anyway its a BMW X5 bug and BMW has gotta fix it.
  • x5loverx5lover Posts: 11
    Just an update.
    We picked up our X5 3.0i(Jet Black/sandle, premium & climate package, CD in dash) on Feb. 8,2001 at 6 miles.
    Today, it's been driven 1090 miles and it's flawless. Very impressive and satisfied.
    We were having quite a hard time making a decision between X5 and MDX.
    But we are very happy we choose X5.

    The only thing that bothers my wife is drawing too much attention on the street when we are driving around. She hopes this will get better as X5 is getting common.
  • bernard1bernard1 Posts: 58
    I was told that the tailgate was designed to lock once all of the passenger doors were closed, safety issue. It is very inconvenient
  • netlawnetlaw Posts: 1
    I have just bought a Right Hand Drive X5 4.4iS for use in the UK. (Delivered next week after a wait of 15 months since ordering - you guys in the US have no idea how lucky you are!)
    What problems should I keep my eyes open for?
    [email protected]
  • holliannholliann Posts: 2
    The dealer and I have agreed on the price and now it is time to place the order. Has anyone out there seen an X5 in pearl beige metallic? I'm looking at that little color swatch and darn! I think it is a little too gold. Some 'too gold' colors are uuugly. I have a 1995 Accord in cashmere and my husband has a 1987 328i in Bronze-it. How does pearl beige metallic compare to these? I'm not a fan of silver or really dark colors. Next choices... white or topaz blue metallic. I agree with a previous posting... what is the natural interior choice for topaz blue metallic?
  • mainsailmainsail Posts: 2
    I have a X5 3.0 Silver Metallic/Black Interior (Premium, Climate, Sport packages and in-dash CD, dimming mirrors, Xenon and Premium Sound). It's really a great car - I already have 2600 miles on it, and it's been less than a month. Handles great in town, on the highway, and in snow. I do have some complaints, however.

    I too have the tailgate release/closing automatically problem. It re-latches if I shut any door before I get back to the tailgate. Not a great design, but doesn't bug me too much since the key also has a latch release and I alternatively can just unlock all the doors so the tailgate is open but not unlatched.

    I have some rattling - minor, but enough to irritate me - somewhere on the driver's side of the dash/door when driving. Anyone else have this problem? It's very difficult to determine exactly where the rattling is coming from.

    I recently dinged my car on a pointed planter so there is now a little area of chipped-off paint and an indentation in the lower part of my driver-side door. Any suggestions on the best way to hide/fix it? It's fairly minor, but again, enough to bug me.

    In response to holliann, I have seen the beige, and it does look like gold. Not a big fan, although I think another person was right to point out that color preference is so personal that you probably should not listen to anyone here without seeing the car color first. Other than silver and black, the third most popular color (at least by my observation) seems to be white, which is not bad.
  • vigorous1vigorous1 Posts: 15
    How come I was able to MORE than keep up with a 5 at altitude 3500 feet ASL with my turbocharged, 185 hp Saab 9-3 automatic?

    Does it get worse at altitude 4500? 5000? I live near the Rockies.

    I think I'd take a great big pass on the 5 and wait until the Saab AWD SUV comes out equipped with turbocharging that works at altitude and is fit out on a car/SUV whose manufacturer has consistently turned out some of the best foul-weather vehicles on the Planet.
  • farm4farm4 Posts: 2
    Hi, I'm new to this board. Have a X5 3.0 with 2400 miles. Slight wind noise from passenger side but the factory re. said this was from the design of the side mirror. It was 1 qt. of oil low and the service manager said this was normal in the break-in period. Had the oil filter changed. I wanted to put sheepskin seat covers on. Does anybody have any suggestion who sells a good product. Also I would like to change rims, I have the Star spoke 57(7 1/2-17) and would like to have the Star spoke 69(8 1/2-18). Is there a board to post this? Thanks for your time!
  • All of these problems seem like they are first year problems which is normal on new models, usually it is because the vehicle is barnd new and the company, in this case BMW, has no idea how to built this new vehicle, X5, but all of these problems should go away by the second year a model is out.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The BMW X5 is in it's 2nd model year already (2001). This fall, it will be in it's 3rd model year.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Posts: 278
    Didnt they start teh 01's in early 00?

    I seem to recall that they started the 01s really early.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Yes, I think the '01s were out slightly earlier than normal, around April?

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • rkuehnrkuehn Posts: 120
    As I recall the '00s came out late for the model year (Dec 99-Jan 00?), while the '01s came out early (May 00?) to coincide with introduction of the 3.0. I remember a few nasty comments from '00 owners regarding a year's worth of deprecition after only a few months.
  • cc44cc44 Posts: 2
    Hello Everyone...

    This happened to me 3 times so I decided to post it here. I wonder if anyone else experience this:

    Three times so far, no air was blowed from the center console air-grills ("air to the upper body" grills...) This happened when I first start the car in the morning. No air was blowed so I turned the engine off waited and turned it on again and the air started to blow again...

    I am debating on bringing the car to the dealer and have them check it or not. Because they will probably will tear this brand new care apart to find out what happened.

    Worse than that, this only happened to me 3 times in a month. Once the air blows again after 50 times of trying it just worked fine. So, the A/C will probably just work fine when I am at the dealer...

    May be this has something to do with the A/C program. Maybe it waits first to cool the air then blow it. I don't know...

    I think that there are "electronic flaps" inside these air-grills... When I start the car these flaps automatically opens and the air blows thru them.... Is there a possibility that for some reason they can not open?

    Thank you.
  • jillpmcgjillpmcg Posts: 1
    Okay, I need to know if anyone else has this problem.

    I ordered a new X5 4.4 in January and received it late Feb. Everything was great! I could not love my new car more until the winter thaw began.

    I live in Virginia and so getting up into the 50's and 60's is not unusual for March. Well, as the temperature changed so did the tailgate. It seemed like on the warmer days the plastic would begin to rub, squeak and rattle. I thought it must be my imagination since I just paid over $50,000 for a "SAC". Well, sure enough, it was not my imagination it was a problem.

    Unfortunately, I live about 2 hours away from my Richmond dealer so I had to make an appointment with the service dept. As luck would have it, the day I take my X5 to the dealer the problem was not very evident. So, with not knowing exactly what the problem was the service tech took apart the tailgate, put in some foam rubber and made some adjustments. I drove away that day without the squeak and rattle.

    Three days later the squeak was back! This time the problem arose when the hemps were cooler. What ever the service guy did just reversed the problem.

    Soon after that last trip to the dealer I got a company car and only drive the X5 on the weekends. This made me more slack about getting something done about it.

    Just this past weekend my husband and I were in Richmond and dropped the X5 off for the day. Once again they dismantled the tailgate and put more stuffing in it. Once again, we drove away in a quiet car. Two hours later, as we were pulling into our gravel lane... you guessed it... it was back!

    Now I am at my wit's end! Please let me know if anyone else has this annoying problem! I am about to go crazy!
  • ddavis001ddavis001 Posts: 14
    vigorous1, the altitude will, in fact, affect the resulting HP your the engine is able to produce, unless, of course, there is something to compensate for the thinness of the air, hence a turbo-charger or Supercharger.

    Yes, it will get worse as the altitude in which you are driving increases.

    Maybe someone can elaborate, but there is an approximation of about 10hp per 1000ft or something like that -- but I am just trying to recollect what I read in an article a long time ago.

    Dave? Maybe you can shed more light on the subject.
  • lokchalokcha Posts: 5
    I'm quite familiar with this problem on the German cars with climate control. If your X5 has the Automatic Climate Control (buttons instead of dials to control the system) which, i think all American X5s have, then this could be the reason. The reason is because the system is automatic climate control, so depending on the temperature set, the air distribution is set automatically accordingly. If the temperature chosen is 22 degrees celcius, and the area around the dashboard vents is 18C, but the area around the windshield is 28C, the air distibution will all go to the windshield, allowing the temp near the dash vents to warm up to 22C and the windshield temperature to come down to 22C, thus keeping this contant temperature around the car. Usually, to fix this, just leave the car on, and drive, and usually the vents openup later on. If you would like all the air to comeout the front vents, then press the bottons on the left and right sides of the airconditioning panel marked with a person and an arrow towards them, and another one with the arrow pointing upwards. then set the airconditioning to a low temperature, and after a while cold air should be coming out of the dash vents. If this doesn't work, keep me posted and i'll see what else can be done. Good luck!
  • Great Forum.

    Narrowed down selection to 3.0 X5. Base package.

    Does anyone have a trailer hitch on theirs for carrying bikes.

    I'm curious if the rear suspension can support 4 mountain bikes (approx 200 pounds including the rack, 2 adult passengers (300 pounds) and luggage (set. 150 pounds).

    Specifically will the suspension sink so low that the X5 will catch air in the front.

    In Canada, the self-leveling suspension is part of a very expensive option package which I'd like to avoid if possible.

  • vinu_neurovinu_neuro Posts: 22
    I have decided to get the 3.0i, but am not sure whether the Sport Package is worth it. Since the suspension is stiffer, will the ride be worse? I heard that on the 4.4, the ride is horrible with the Sport Package. Is the same Sport Suspension used on the 3.0i?
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    To me, the ride quality of the SP isn't bad in the X5. However, I don't think it really transforms it as the SP does in a 525/530.

    I opted for SP on my 530i. My wife chose the standard setup for her X5.

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    The new BMW 6 Series convertible and coupe are among a set of Bimmers recalled for a problem with their engine-control modules. The affected BMWs -- including the 6 Series, the 5 Series, 7 Series and X5 -- amount to about 4,000 cars and trucks.

    BMW explains that "due to a temporary production fault of a supplier, deficient parts were supplied and installed in new 5, 6 and 7 Series and X5 models with V8 or V12 cylinder petrol engines." Vehicles included in the recall were built between May 12 and July 6.
  • jedy2jedy2 Posts: 1
    Hello everyone.

    I have a 2003 X5 3.0. It's been a year and I have about 18000 miles on it. I have recently discovered a squeaking noise when I accelerate between 20-40mph and slowly deaccelerate from 40mph back to say, 10 or 12mph. The noise sounds like those old cars that have not been serviced for a while and make sharp squeaking noises when braking. The only difference is that mine does that when I accelerate.

    I have taken it to the dealer 3 times. First they thought it was the tensioner and replaced it. Second time, they replaced the Vanos (Variable Cam Control), but it still has not solved the problem. Does anybody else have this problem or have heard of anything like this? I'd appreciate any suggestions or advice.

  • gene5gene5 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 X-5 beige interior. The front passenger door handles have bubbled-up and pealed twice and were replaced without question during their coverage under warranty. Now that they need replacing again, warranty expired, they want to charge for their replacement. I have found three other 2001 X-5 with beige door handles doing the some thing. I have observed that this has not occurred with grey door handles of other 2001 X-5's. Any one else with this problem on the 2001 X-5.
  • I have a 2004 X5 3.0 When the vehicle is cold and I back out of garage,the transmission is not engaging in drive after selecting drive.

    I was told it is because the transmission fluid is cold and thick and BMW has seen this before in the 3 series cars.

    BMW has a software update for the transmission and they complied with this in my vehicle. It did'nt help!!

    Probably will need a new transmission? Has anyone seen this before.

  • yagit1yagit1 Posts: 11
    I have a 2002 BMW X-5 with 23000 miles on it and yesterday was the 2nd time the battery went dead. First time i was on vacation for three weeks in December (I live in Ohio) and the second time I did not drive it for 1 week last week. Just want to know if anybody has the same problems with their batteries or does anybody know if there's anybody wrong with my car. I asked BMW about this and they said that batteries go dead if the car is not being used for long period of time...
  • yaziyazi Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2005 X5 3.0 and along with other optional packages I opted for Navigation and did not realize that the standard CD player will be replaced by a cassette player.


    I'm looking for advice on how to get a CD player installed for a reasonable price. Do I have to purchase and get it installed from a BMW dealer? or can I buy it from stores like Best Buy, Circuit City, etc and have them install?


    I appreciate all your suggestions.



  • I bought CD changer from EBay for less than $400(BMW OEM brand new) and installed it myself. Finding prewired for CD player was little tricky (thanks for other Edmund members' advise!) but rest was easy. Hope this helps.
  • cks1cks1 Posts: 3
    After few days of giving the deposit, I went to pick up the SAV from the dealer. I found that the ABS light was on. Didnt take delivery. Dealer says that it needs part replacement (hydraulic pump?) and said will replace it next week before delivering. I am not sure if this is an indication of a bad vehicle; and hence not sure whether to go for it or not.


    Did anyone else had similar experience? Any 'advice' from experts will help me make the decision.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    IMMHO there is only one thing that is done properly with these european, mostly BOSCH, systems.


    And that is when you select defrost/defog/demist mode you will always get lots of HOT airflow to the interior surface of the windshield. There is also a remote possibility, EXTREMELY remote considering this is most likely a wintertime only event, that this airflow will also be somewhat dehumidified via the cooling capability of the A/C.


    On a cold or coolish day ALL modern day automatic climate control systems will initially begin operating in "heating" mode, footwell and windshield interior surface airflow ONLY.


    Then as the passenger cabin warms, approaches, rises, your temperature setpoint, the system will switch to "cooling" mode. Initially to combined footwell/windshield and dash outlets, and then as the cabin temperature nears or reaches your temperature setpoint, to dash and windshield outlets only.


    It will do this, switch to cooling mode, on the COLDEST, DARKEST night in the depths of winter provided the cabin atmosphere is within a reasonable limit of your setpoint.


    Feel a bit coolish do you?


    If the radiant effects of the surrounding landscape is on the cool or cold side, as it typically would be during the winter and especially at night, then the human body will be extremely discomforted by the cooling effects of cool, 75F, and dry airflow directed to your face and upper body.


    The only thing I have found that works is to manually select footwell airflow only if I want the system to remain in heating mode on a cold day or when the radiant effects on my body are negative, COLD.


    Now, one would think that the system as described above would be perfect for summertime, mostly cooling, use.


    You would be wrong.


    The more the A/C is used, the colder the system airflow needs to be to maintain your temperature comfort level, the more the interior surface of the windshield will become CHILLED.


    That's right, the european designs automatically route a great deal of the system's cooling airflow directly to the interior surface of the windshield on the hottest day of summer.


    There are two problems with this, a lot of your A/C's cooling capability is lost into the great beyond via the poor insulation qualities of the glass. And should the windshield glass get cool enough, and/or the outside humidity high enough, you might find yourself sudden blinded by a heavy film of condensation on the outside of your windshield.


    Yes, it can happen quite suddenly, and at night it might take a few minutes to realize what has happened and act with the proper response, turn on the wipers.


    So, when using the system primarily for cooling the cabin, be sure the windshield airflow dusts are fully closed, and if the system does not allow you to do that, then place some sort of baffle over these outlets such that your windshield will not be cooled to the local atmosphere's dewpoint.


    Shorty after having the exterior surface of my windshield fog over completely and unexpectedly on a hot and humid June night in AL (2001 Porsche C4), I learned to close those ducts manually.


    Later I added a switch within the glovebox so I can completely disable the A/C compressor if I don't need it for cooling. And absent knowing when and if it will be functional for dehumidification I never want it to be used for windshield defogging or condensation prevention.


    I did notice on a VW Touareg forum that VW has a fix for the windshield cooling problem, I don't know if any other manufacturer does or not. I do know that Porsche refuses to even acknowledge it a problem even though I notified them of the VW fix which would probably also apply to the Cayenne..
  • Yes! I had the same problem on my 2003. A software update DID take care of mine. Good luck.
  • Has anyone ever done a seat replacement on the X-5?? I need a seat with more support for a bad back...either the BMW sport seat, or a Recarro Orthopod. Any ideas?
  • My 325i has the same thing. When cold the tranny is slow to operate but that situation disappears quickly. Don't worry about your tranny as we have over 200 000 km on ours


  • jake9jake9 Posts: 2
    I would like some opinions about purchasing a 2004 X-5 with low milage versus a new VolvoT-6. The pricing is within a few hundred.


    What do you think?
  • My X5 does stall when I turn from a stop. The ABS lights come on and it slows to about 2miles per hour. It has happened about 12 times. The dealer wants to replace everything for about $1,500.

    What is the simple fix you spoke about?
  • I have taken my 03 X5 3.0 in three times for the same problem...... Warped rotors. I live in Utah and it gets cold in the winter. After the third time replacing the rotors they told my wife to put it in sport mode and down shift manually when descending down a hill. I thing that is a load of crap. Has anybody else had this problem or is it just me? If not, what can I do to fix it. I am deployed to a forward location in the Middle East away from my family and I don't want my wife to be driving down the road and need to hit the brakes all of a sudden and then lose control of the car because of such a bad shimmy.
  • nickbnickb Posts: 1
    Yes My x5 is doing the absolute same thing, it makes the interior look bad and i have beige interior also, how much does it cost to replace these door handles?? email me at [email protected]
  • I have a 2005 X5 for two months and I love it but the position of the gas pedal causes extreme discomfort for me when driving for longer than 10minutes especially in heavy traffic, it seems the angle of the gas pedal pushes my foot too far back towards me... i have used cushions and changed the position of my seat various times but nothing seems to help...does anyone know whether i can have this altered? or any other solutions?
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