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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • tucson18tucson18 Posts: 2
    Thanks cefus,

    I spoke to a BMW mechanics and he told me that the rotors were intentionally thin to save weight on the car...hence the need to change the rotors with the pads at 50K miles. The break wear sensor replacement is a good idea for anything under 50K. Thanks for the quick reply.
  • mbbmw2002mbbmw2002 Posts: 7
    Hi everyone,

    I am considering a 2005 X5 4.4i. I have read on this forom some of the problems such as brake lining, window regulator, battery, and interior detailing.

    Is there anything else concerning the quality and reliability of the vehicle?

    Thank you
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    You have to think about this , the X5 is now in it's fifth year of production, alot of improvements have been made over the years.

    Yes they are still using the same battery company, that they have been in the past years (this is the last year for them), and that issue will soon be gone.

    The brake and rotors are something you might want to ask about at your dealer, how long will they last? and how long should they last?..Bmw uses a brake pad that loves to make dust.

    Im a little bias, sense I do work there, but if I had a choice of X5s to buy this would be the year to get one, o and mine would be the red motorsport one.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "but if I had a choice of X5s to buy this would be the year to get one"

    Why? You figure the new X5 will have a litany of problems? Or you don't like the way it looks?
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    I have seen and built the new X5 and to me(and this is my opinion) I don't like it. I think the way the current X5 looks is great as it is. I can't go into any details as how the next gen of X5s will look. But it will have some really neat and new options that the current X5 doesn't have.
    But I like the motorsport package.....but I also like the early 80s RX-7 so go with what you think
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Thanks for your comments. Understandably they wouldn't want you to say too much about the new X5.

    Can I ask you a question about the BMW alarm? (Actually I should have thought to ask you first rather than posting all over Townhall). I actually have a Mini but I believe the alarm is basically a BMW unit. My question is, if you park on an incline, or where the car is slanted to one side (ie. on a low shoulder), do you need to disable the tilt sensor to prevent false alarms?

    Thanks in advance.
  • x5x5x5x5x5x5 Posts: 9
    Hello Cefus,

    Thank you so much for helping me with some problems.

    I brought my X 5 to the dealership and they ran their diagnostic test. I did receive excellent service and was treated very well by everyone I met. They gave me a white Z4 over the weekend and I really had fun driving that car. The Z4 is the best looking sports convertible out there at this time.

    They said the mass sensor is bad and making the service engine soon light go on. They said my O2 sensors were good. The OBD 2 test at Advance Auto said O2 sensor banks 1 and 2 were running lean.

    They wanted $475 just for the mass sensor. Does it sound like it is the problem to you? He said if you replace the mass sensor you will have to drive the car about 100 miles before the SES light would turn off.

    They said I need a new coolant reservoir and a new bracket which will fix the low coolant level code. Are you familiar with the new bracket? I read a service bulletin about the low coolant level code and it said the problem is that the sensor is touching the metal right below it causing the code to come on. They recommended a new reservoir and new bracket that will hold the sensor away from metal below it. I really wonder if that will fix the problem. Please let me know what you think.

    I am still looking for a telescoping steering wheel motor. Please let me know where I can get a used one.

    Do you have any advice on getting a 2001 X5 aligned? My front tires are starting to feather.

    Thank you for your help.

    Jim T.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    Yes a mass air sensor would cause your problem, I would have them try a new one on your car and if it works have them replace it or you go get another one and replace it yourself.
    As for your tires you have to look at the tread, how is it wearing? is it on the outsides, insides, random highs and low spots in it, or is it worn in the middle? That will tell you what you what alignment you will have to do from there. But a good tire rotation is a must, I do mine every oil change.
    As for the coolant sensor, I haven't seen the service bulletin, to give a response about it, but if there is one then its out there its for a reason. But if you don't want to spend the money right now you could just place a small jumper wire across the two pin holes in that connector and the light will stay off, insert the wire and cover it with electrical tape. as a temp fix
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Hi cefus:

    Do you have any info on the BMW tilt sensor I asked earlier in Post #312?

  • comanchecomanche Posts: 1
    I thought the first year of the X-5 1999?
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    Email me,I have good news on a tilt sensor, make sure you put X5 in the subject field, so I don't erase it
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    Hey email me, I have info on your steering column motor , make sure you put X5 in the subject field.
  • jross2jross2 Posts: 1
    Hello Jedy2,

    I was browsing through the forum to find any discussions related to the squeaky noise during acceleration. I found yours. I also noticed cameliax5's response but it seems there was no real solution. I have taken my x5 to the dealer once for a routine inspection and they said it was an air intake noise. I don't think they realized it was the breaks. Anyway, since then it has become worse and really annoying. Have you been able to resolve the problem?
  • bmwagbmwag Posts: 1
    Hi. There are a number of possibilities for a flat battery. I would be almost sure that the radio will work for only 20 minutes after switching the car of. Check rear door luggage, sometimes remains open, and only the rear int lights will remain on, hard to notice from outside the car.

    If CD remains operative, may be a problem of sleep mode of the CU involved in CD Changer, anyway, best thing to do, take it to a dealer, they should be able to see histogram of sleep mode on the car.

  • brennbrenn Posts: 1
    I purchased a standard BMW 6 CD changer about 10 months ago. I installed and it functioned fine until two weeks ago. Now, the display on the stereo constantly reads "NO CDs" and the changer doesn't seem to audit the cartridge the way it used to. I've power it down multiple times with no results. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    BWM: I find it absurd that I am dealing with this issue on a $65K SAV twice in less than a year. :mad:


  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    The only way that I could tell you to try is swap it with another one,and see if that does the trick, or maybe take it to a dealer and have them check it. Thats about all you can really do on those things, its either gonna work or not. Sorry I cant help any more then that
  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    Hi Everyone,
    does the 06 X5's have the aux input for IPod's or do you have to get it dealer installed?
    Thanks for the help
  • simone2simone2 Posts: 1
    I just bought an X5 on a 51 plate (uk) done 51K, 3.0 diesel sport. it was fine for a couple of days, then all of a sudden it started producing huge amounts an black smoke out of both exhausts, i let it cool down, as i had just had a tracker fitted and they had to leave it running for a while, so i thought it might be a build up. Its still smoking, not black now, but more white/blue, and not as much. Apart from the smoke the car seems to run fine and the dashboard does not have any lights showing.

    Before i go back to the seller screaming like a banshee, does anyone have any ideas on what it could be?

    Many Thaks
  • lsufan6970lsufan6970 Posts: 10
    I currently have a 2002 530i. By the time we put a Britax car seat facing backwards behind the passenger seat, no one can sit in that seat. My wife and I are currently looking at a 2005 X5 4.4 in order to get a little more room. Has anyone installed a large carseat such as the Britax without having to put the passenger seat on the dashboard?
  • kscctsksccts Posts: 140
    Hey, Shaq, how tall are you and your spouse? We have a 2001 530i and the Britax Marathon. While we now can face the seat forward, we didn't seem to have too little room when we were mounting it backwards. I am 5'11" and my wife is 5'9". ;)
  • trockietrockie Posts: 1
    I'm considering a 2002 X5, 3.0 liter, 41,000 miles; $28,500. Questions:
    How reliable is it from a maintenance perspective? Does this seem like a fair price? Any other advice?
  • mdm1mdm1 Posts: 1
    I have a 05 x5 4.4 8k miles. when i first picked up the car it would get about 21mpg. I recently drove the car on a long trip about 300 miles and drove the car hard 80-90mph, now the caar gets about 16=17mpg at about 70=75mph. The dealer says there are no error code from the computer. Any ideas on decreased mpg I recently drove the car on the same trip still poor mpg.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    If, like you said"you drove the car hard" then you will get poor gas mileage in any car. I would recommend staying out of the pedal, The X5 is a hungry animal when you push on the throttle. The car also learns the way you drive and makes all kinds of adjustment in suspension,performance and handling. Give it a steady drive time and let it relearn you as a new driver.
  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    Anyone get the sport package on either the 3.0 or 4.4 and leave the "all seasons' on through the winter in the northeast and how did you do? Just seeing if I should pass on the sport package with my order living in CT. Thanks, djocks
  • any one ever put one in a 2001 x5??
  • zoom5zoom5 Posts: 2
    Hello All.

    I am currently considering a 2006 4.8 X5. I love the car, but many experts (from various websites) are not much enthusiastic about it. :cry:

    Any advice?
  • I was looking at the X5 4.4 myself and I live in Trumbull. Let me know how your research goes and if you have a positive experience with a particular dealer. I had some similar concerns considering the weather around here. The sports package is nicer on the eyes though. I may go for that and get some winter tires and wheels as well.

    Best of luck in your search.

    By the way.. I have an old buddy named Dave Jockel.. we called him DJocks! Not sure if it's you.. small world if it is!

  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124

    How are ya buddy. It is a small world. Not sure which one I have here but I have done a lot of looking. I am up in Wallingford now with Amy and a 2-year old daughter.

    It does sound like you have to change the tires on the 4.4i if you get the sport package. I have an '03 330i and I have put snows on it every season. It is not that big of a deal but the snows for an X5 will not be cheap.

    I will say this though, for X5's now is the time... Especially for a lease. The money factors are awesome right now and if you can afford it go for it.

    For example. the comparable lease for a loaded 325i and an X5 4.4i well equiped is about the same. There is a 20K difference in MSRP. There is no comparison to leasing from BMW. Alll service included, and first class all the way. When I bring in my 3, sometimes I ask for a loaner and they just hand me the keys to something in the parking lot and I go get some stuff done.

    I have researched dealerships a lot also. I got mine at BMW of Watertown. If you call ask for Scott D. and drop my name. He is a good guy and can help you out. I have also heard good things about BMW of Ridgefield.

    If you need more info email me at [email protected]

    I am really leaning towards another 3, it is just a hard time right now because they are not giving much help yet.

    Good luck, and I hope you still get a chance to hit them....

  • I am considering leasing a BMW X5 3.0i. I currently have a 2004 4Runner and am thinking of trading in mainly because I am quite unhappy about the myriad rattles and the H2S odour under hard acceleration and the loud engine when the Climate Control is on. I love the look of the BMW but do not want to get into the hassles of another car if the X5 has any issues with rattles and maintenance.

    Can all the owners here please help me by letting me know if they have experienced some annoying rattles that are hard to fix, the dealer expertise in these matters and also the overall experience with their X5's? Also, I guess the X5 needs premium unleaded only, so have any owners run their X5's on regular?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!
  • :( I have 2001 X5 with 75,000 miles and the shop that services the car, was amazed at my suspension light being on. They have never had this happen since the X5 was introduced,and mine was the second call with the same problem that day..The other X5 lost air and was really low in the back. My concern,is it safe to drive my car ? I live about 125 miles to the nearest service. I've pulled all the correct fuses and they good. Any Advice ? :(
  • 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: 64,490
    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.
  • 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?
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