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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • 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
  • 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?
  • Hello:

    I know your message is quite old but i got the same problem. Except the noise occur after 2-3hrs driving for me. Prior to the squeaky noise my brake light came on saying "replace brake linings" when i went to service they put new brake pads on. Since the new pads now i get the sometime loud squeaky sound.

    I never had that sound before even when my brake light was coming on. Did you get it fixed? if so what was the problem?

    I did some research and here was the most logical problems for squeaky brakes:

    **An early warning sensor on brake pads could be touching the rotor. When the brake pads wear down they squeak against the rotor. The noise goes away when you apply pressure to the brakes and that is because the pad shifts and the sensor moves away from the rotor.

    Note: Some German and newer American cars have warning lights on the dashboard that warn you if there is a brake problem.

    • A gravel or foreign object could be between the rotor and backing plate on the vehicle itself.
    • The braking plate could be bent and touching the rotors. You can try and bend the plate back in place. **
  • denalimandenaliman Posts: 16
    Something needs to be done about the door handles. My X5 is peeling again and almost out of warranty. This is the 3rd handle replacement. I've noticed that the newer X5 no longer have the same handles. BMW should replace the older handles with the new style. THis is definately a defect and a manor problem.
  • chipmunkchipmunk Posts: 2
    Hi Folks........Need urgent I stupid or what ?? I purchased a 2004 X5 Sport with Tiptronic and Auto control...
    Went Ski ing last week but the Snow overcame the Car ??..Rear wheels spinning and front wheels doing nothing...Thought this was a Four Wheel drive car ?? looking back I had the car in Manual mode (Not D)...was this the problem..?? does the Four wheel drive only come in the D mode..what am I doing wrong ???

  • HI,

    I am having the same problem with the "Trans. Failsafe Prog". Took it into the dealer and had the DME and EGS reprogrammed. Problem was fixed for a short while but the error came up again after 2months. Did the dealer fix the problem?
    Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks
  • the laws of physics are the laws of physics. snow is slippery.
    do you have snow tires? summer tires ain't worth didly in the snow, 4 wheel drive or not. they just have no grip.
  • What did you find out about your dead battery? What about the radio? When we got home from a week vacation our battery was indeed dead. Jump started but now the radio won't work. I checked the #7 fuse and several others. Any suggestions?

    Thank you for the input.

  • yagit1yagit1 Posts: 11
    Someone has to tow my car from my house because the guy who was dispatched to fix it, tried for many times to jumpstart it but failed and advised me since it's still under warranty to have it towed so the dealer will see that the battery indeed is dead. Dealer changed the battery and so far i'm not having any problems. My sister talked to a co-worker with the same problem and guy said that a cd left on the cd player uses up the battery too, i'm not sure why (anyone knows if this is true) but just to be on the safe side, I try to remove the cd when i turn off my engine.
    Good Luck!
  • I've had 2, 2K miles apart. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Perform all required maintenance on the vehicle. First differential failed about 105K miles due to a failed O-Ring. The dealer didn't find the leak which I observed (?), and the FD failed catastrophically (sudden explosion) while descending downhill on H17 at 60mph, when the shear forces on that part would have been greatest. I had an BMW factory trained independent put in the second differential, because I was pissed that the dealer had not found the failure and put my life/ the life of my daughter at risk. The second FD failed 2 K miles later, also on H17, also downhill, also at 60mph. This time, the front wheels locked immediately after the explosion, and the car went from 60mph to 0 on the order of a few minutes. It was like trying to drive a bucking bronco. I was lucky no one was following me closely, or I and several other people behind me would have been dead - the car was immovable blocking 1/3 of the highway on a mountain highway on a blind curve with a steep negative slope. The CHP made me floor the accelerator several times to break the front wheel lock. There was a second explosion, so I now have a complicated chain of events. Prior to the first failure, about a month before, the dealer had performed the 100K mile checkup. I was not informed of any issues with the front axle/ wheels/ leaking fluid in that region etc. After 1 month, my car is still at the dealers - they have just agreed to take apart the relevant parts. Has anyone else here heard of any other front or rear differential failures in this model or other models?
  • mep1mep1 Posts: 15
    Had the same thing happen to our 2002 X5 3.0 after not driving for two weeks in February. Dealer replaced the battery with no explanation as to why it may have gone dead.
  • janiex5janiex5 Posts: 1
    The rear tires on my 2000 4.4 wear out every 12k to 15k miles. The front tires last 35k. This is one of the first X5 built. Could the back differential be geared for a 3.0? The X5 was origionaly delivered with 3 front wheels and 1 rear wheel. The dealer exchanged the 1 incorrect wheel for the correct one after the first 15K miles when the tire dealer (replacing the warn out tires) noticed the error.
  • homeounerhomeouner Posts: 145
    My son is going to buy a BMW X5, W/ 4.2L v8 in spite of all the negative comments read in this post. Its loaded W/ 62,000 mls. We examined it top to bottom yesterday. The label on the radiator housing reads to use only BMW synthetic oil. We dont know what the previous owner used, is it ok to switch to regular oil? The low coolant lite is lit, but the bobber and visual inspection show proper coolent level? WE have not located the oil filter yet, Iam sure there is one. We could not find the dip stick to check the trans. oil, then we saw the label on the trans. pan where the oil is good for the life of the trans. If its not leaking on the ground you dont need to worry about it??? Looking at the battery there is a doomed container on top of the tire W/ a compressor and controls & tubing leading to 2 cyls. in the trunk area? Why?
  • ddeliseddelise Posts: 351
    Hello -

    My mother-in-law's X5 is about 2 months from being out of warranty. Do you know if it is possible to purchase a BMW extended warranty, and if so, what pricing should we be looking at?

    Thanks - Damon
  • homeounerhomeouner Posts: 145
    Re: extended warrantee. I looked into an extended warranty for a 2001 X5 W/ 62K, at a Virginia Beach dealer, they ask apx. $3000.00 for a 2 yr. 24,000 mls.
  • hilo1hilo1 Posts: 3
    On my 2002 X5 4.4, I've had to replace the power window regulators on both rear doors within the last 6 months. I have only 22K miles and the rear windows rarely got used. While raising the power window, there's a cracking noise and the motor runs and the window drops into the door unable to be closed. Anyone else with this problem?
  • homeounerhomeouner Posts: 145
    This is a continuation post #267; during our exam. of the X5 we wanted to remove the four wheels to see the brake pads & get a better view of the disks and running gear. After removing the 5 lug bolts the wheels were staying in place? After much pulling- tugging -kicking, several good blows W/ a #10 lb. sledge on the tire, each wheel then fell off. The short pilot hub on the steel disk had rust build up against the snug fitting bore of the wheel. This is supposed to be a No. Carolina car. Any way, never saw this before.
  • homeounerhomeouner Posts: 145
    The label under the hood on top of the radiator cover reads to use only BMW synthetic oil in the engine. Can regular oil be used without any problems.
  • I have a 2001 X5 with 44k on it. The local dealer in Allentown, PA offers an extended warranty through GE for about $2800, would give 3 more years of protection to a total of 75k miles. Does this make sense? Anybody know of a better deal, either near me or on the net?
  • kobayashikobayashi Posts: 50
    I believe the only way to get an offical extended BMW factory warranty is through the BMW CPO program (6/100K). You can by an extension of the BMW scheduled maintenance coverage as long as the vehicle is within the original factory warranty period when purchased.

    Third party warranties are available though dealers and elsewhere, but they are not BMW factory warranties and need to be closely examined for coverage details and exclusions.
  • kobayashikobayashi Posts: 50
    BMW's maintenance monitoring system computes oil change intervals on individual driving habits and other factors, but assumes synthetic oil is used. I do not think it would cause specific problems per se, but would effect the ability to follow the maintenance indicators.

    The requirement for synthetic oil is not the place to economize with a BMW.
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