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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • I purchased my X5 from Patrick BMW and the sales person I dealt with was Terry Shoemaker. His number is 847-310-4311. He is a very nice guy (albeit quite busy and not the best at returning calls in the timeliest of manners...but it's worth it. I got a great deal from them. None of the other Chicago area dealers would discount as much as Terry did.) The entire experience with Patrick was positive. I talked with their parts and service people and watched how they interact with customers and each other. Good job overall.

    Terry is a great guy and Patrick is a great dealer. If you do contact him, please tell him that Joanne sent you...maybe he will comp me a little something.

    Good luck!! This X5 is the best vehicle I have ever owned. It is more fun to drive than anything I have ever driven and I am just crazy in love with it. I have a huge smile on my face whenever I drive it.
  • finsupfinsup Posts: 2
    Uh, guys that noise isn't unique to the X5. My 2000 3 series had the same noise, as well as my X5. The noise I speak of is the "booming" noise. I believe it is caused by the rather large tires on the vehicle, however, once up to speed you don't notice it. I don't think it is something that can be fixed unless you want to completely dismantle the car...
  • manjpmanjp Posts: 1
    I bought my wife a fully loaded X5 3.0i for Xmas/B'day. It is a great vehicle. Really quite and really fun to drive. I got the climate control package and when I have the setting at AUTO the middle(upper body vents as BMW calls them) does not pump hot air. I have the rotating bezzle all the way to the 3 red dots and it still continues to pump cold air. Also, when I have it in a configuration such as lower vents and the middle vents, or the defroster and the middle vents I get hot air only from the lower vents or the defroster respectively. The car is at the dealer and they are keeping it overnight since they could not figure out what is wrong. I checked a few other X5s and the middle vents seem to be working fine. Has anyone else seen this problem? Also, looking at Dan's post I believe that there could be some issues with the climate control system.
  • kljohnkljohn Posts: 1
    I bought an x5 in early spring. For the last three months, my pretty truck has been without heat. Each moring I fill the radiator with antifreeze. BMW just didnt have the parts. No problem, I drive my pretty car with gallon of antifreeze in back seat.
    I suppose that really isn't such a problem when you consider that iv'e had the car in the shop three times because the engine would stall, when i took a hard left turn. BMW came to ma rescue and increased the idle. Now i have a fifty thousand dollar car that vibrates when sitting a a stop light. But the problems have only just begun. My newest problem is that my dash board looks like a pinball machine, and the care only shifts between 5th and 2nd gear.
    What can I say, BMW calls each time the car is serviced, and asks how would i rate the serive. And truthfully I have to say the service people are nice. Then I tried to tell the BMW rep. my problems, she said sorry I dont have a box on my form for that response. I aske who should i talk to about my dissatisfactions, the response was a rude person telling me to talk with the dealer.

  • KLJOHN, co-worker had the same stalling problems after numerous shop visits BMW did lemon the x5 and delivered on a brand new vehicle.
    It took from June 2000 until Oct 2000.
  • Picked up my beautiful blue X5 4.4 in November 2000. I now have 4000 miles on it , and over the past few weeks have driven in some deep snow and lots of ice. The X5 handles great ( better then my Jeep Grand Cherokee did ) in the snow and the DSC system is super. The X5 is super quite for a big ole V8, and handles fantastic. I had a very annoying problem with the integrated cell phone system and would like to share some advice. Apparently the X5 as that were built in October of 2000 and beyond had a wiring change in the radio and with the BMW cell phone system installed , when driving you would hear a dentist drill sounding "whine". This occurred the first day of ownership and the dealership ( who is the best ; Competition BMW of Smithtown NY ) tried everything in its power to fix it. The dealer had a factory tech come down and he could not find the cure. Since the whine was so loud I had them just take out the phone for now and I will wait and see if BMW finds a cure. Apparently I am the first person that this happened to.

    My main complaint is centered around BMW of North America not acknowledging the problem. After my car was in the shop for a week and after the factory rep confirmed he had no idea on how to fix the problem one would assume a letter would come from BMW aplogising for the problem and stating that they will keep in touch once they find a cure. Perhaps the huge success that BMW is enjoying has blinded them towards the basics of customer satisfaction.

    In any event , it is a great, great driving machine and I would recommend it to all.

    PS- Keep in mind that when you get a call from BMW after your car is in for service, the people you are speaking with are NOT from BMW. They are an outsourced telemarketing group whose client is BMW of North America.
  • Hey, I just started reading these different discussions on the X5, ML320 & MDX. I am in the market to buy one around the first of July and saw that you own two of them. In YOUR opinion, is either one of them really better?

    Thanks for your time!
  • tuan5tuan5 Posts: 4
    Hi ms_joanne. I read some of your message and I believe that in one of your message you stated that you know of a BMW dealer in the Norther Va who would give a discount (of $1500) can you please give me info on that dealership.

    Can you also give me the speicification and price of your X ?

    Thanks. My email address is
  • tuan5tuan5 Posts: 4
    I read a lot of posting here concerning problems with the X5. In particular with the stalling of the engine, freezing of the navagation system, integeration with the cell phone, key/seat memory, and engine light.

    Because the internet is not only a source of lots of useful information as well as MisInformation, I decided to call BMW coporate office to get their perspective on these matters. There response to these matters is that it is nothing more then isolated incidents. They are not aware of ANY widespread bugs or problems with the X5.

    Granted that one must take this info with a grain of salt, but are the people here reporting these problems reporting because
    1. They expect perfection out of the BMW badge and $50K badge
    2. Exaggerating isolated incidents
    3. The incidents are as widespread as being reported here

    Your input is greatly appreciated as is your complaints.
  • One could say that each owners problems would be an isolated incident. There is a TSB on the stalling. While we haven't experienced the items you've mentioned, we have had two minor problems (isolated). When many people have the same problem we tend to share, hoping BMW will fix these problems. I guess that we like some others were surprised that we would have any problems so soon into the ownership of this SAV.
  • Looks like BMWNA is once again in denial about the consistent X5 problems. They are all not "isolated" issues (just spend a couple days reading through the X5 archives at Granted some are minor and have been fixed by service/dealerships. But not all of them are minor (IMHO) and not all of them are being fixed. Here's a couple that I've had:

    1. Service Engine Soon light comes on, car runs rough and feels like it's going to stall. After driving for a couple miles, the car returns to "normal" but light stays on. Diagnostic test done by the service department confirms it's a "misfire fault" but doesn't pinpoint the faulty coil. After 5 days in the shop, nothing done. Can't replicate the issue. I was told to "see if it happens again, and if so, bring it back in" and I'll get another Enterprise rental for the week!! I've seen several other X5's with similar issues on the board.

    2. The car vibrates when stopped in drive with the brakes on (it stops vibrating when put into neutral). Service told me that I had the latest "software" from the factory and everything was normal. Normal? The vibration is so bad (thru the steering column, steering wheel, front seats, and both front doors) that the window switch plates on both front doors creak/squeak when I'm stopped at a light. Again, several others have complained of the same issue on the board and no one is having luck getting the problems resolved by BMW service.

    3. Rattles, squeaks, and creaks. Primary culprit - those darn fold-down rear seats. I now have 6 waxing pads shoved between each of the seats and seat/frame locations where leather rubs against leather or plastic. It's cut down about 70% of the creaking noise. I also have clicking noises coming from the steering column / front dash area when going over bumps.

    4. This might be an isolated problem (although I've received responses back from several folks on the E39 board with the same problem). My driver front seat (sport seat) moves/pops when making turns. Service has tried to fix it twice and has been unsuccessful. Next step might be to get BMW Technical reps involved since my local dealership is clue less as what to try next.

    Are those complaining expecting too much from a $50,000 vehicle? I don't think so. I've owned everything from a 1976 WV Bug to a 1999 Mercedes E320 and have never had so many annoying problems (especially in the first 3 weeks of ownerhship with less than 800 miles).

    I'm sure there are many X5's out there with little or no problems. I'm jealous. I love this car. The driving experience is like no other. I can't get enough of it (I find every excuse to run erands after work!!). I've got my fingers crossed that the problems will eventually be resolved, but frankly I'm fed up with BMW's denial about the problems and lack of conviction to fix them. Do they not want to satisfy their loyal customers??
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    Last week I went with my buddy to Peter Pan BMW at San Mateo, CA to pick up his order after waited for more than 2 month.

    He's so excited when his salesman gave him the car key. He jumped in and tried to start to car. Guess what! it didn't start at all. Dealer changed the battery, didn't work. In the end, the dealer had to order another X5.

    I was so flabbergasted. Does BMW test drive each vehicle before leaving the factory? If I were him, I am going to cancel the order period. IMO, $51,000(including tax & license) car is unacceptable to be death on arrival.
  • ctk1ctk1 Posts: 79
    To SteveX5

    I just pickup my X5/3.0i few days ago. I find out that my SAV has the same problem exactly as you mention. I speak to sale man and service tech at the dealer but they do not have clear answer. I think the light should goes out when all doors are lock or when the alarm is on. I see other X5 at the dealer, the light go out after all doors are close.
    I hope you can share with me how do you resolve this problem ? Thank you.
  • dpb54dpb54 Posts: 6
    In response to Tuan5, my 3.0 x5 has 12,000 miles and has been in for service about 5 times for a total of 11 days. This includes stalling, malfunctioning fuel guage, tailgate not closing, and wind whistle, amongst others. The dealer tries their best, but BMWNA isn't going to want to admit to any major problems with the cars. It appears, from the large number of people having difficulty with their vehicles, that the car was put into production too soon. They've been selling the cars and trying to work the bugs out using all of us as guinea pigs. BMWNA is difficult to get hold of (beyond a phone operator) and not the best at responding.
  • I have a 2001 X5 and the transmission selector light will not go off, when the car has been turned off. SteveX5 has written a message (#160) about this problem, but I cant seem to find a solution on this board. Does anyone else have a problem similar to this or have you heard of a resolution to this type of a problem. Please respond and thanks for your help.
  • ctk1ctk1 Posts: 79
    To : degunx5

    My does not goes out. I check with dealer. They contact BMW North America about the trans light. Service tech call me back and states that most of the latest build X5 (PRND)light does not go out. I went to different dealers and checkother X5, 8 out 10 SAV light does not go out.

    So far I have no problem of starting the X5 after it sit in the garage for 1 week (Cold weather in New England).

    Here is the for your reference. I Alos mention to the service tech about the "Direction Indicator" replacement, but they say that is not the issue, as long as it does not drain the battery. There is no problem.

    Note:Mine is X5/3.0i with Auto steptronic trans. Build on Jan 2001

  • Why BMW didn't just shoehorn the M5 engine into the X5 is beyond me. Instead they created a brand new (4.6L) engine when they already had a 4.8L engine in production. I guess new models still display many unexplained quirks, even BMW's.
  • To: ctk1

    Thank you very much for the information on the transmission light. I did call BMWNA about this problem and they mentioned that the light is designed to stay on, but I was not sure if they were pulling my leg. I still dont understand the need for the feature, but who cares as long as it does not effect the ride or starting. I do love my black X5 and it seems like I cant get enough of it.
    Thanks once again ckt1.
  • What I had heard is that the M5 wasn't tuned for and couldn't properly handle the X5 AWD system. I don't know if there was a weight issue (as it is quite heavy) or other issues ,as well. FWIW....
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    "BMW's answer to Mercedes-Benz's ML55 rips out 6.5-second zero-to-60s at 347 horsepower. With revised fuel injection mapping and new induction and exhaust systems, this SAV is missing little except an "M" in its name":


    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • 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....
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