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BMW X5 Cold Temp Problems



  • dhr48864dhr48864 Posts: 19
    I just got a call back this morning form the service manager at the dealership. He said he met with the field rep and after going over the paperwork, they say nothing about my "driving habits", but that I did not get an oil change in two years. They are offering to provide "trinkets" aka accessories or services up to a $500.00 amount. I have told them "no".

    I followed to the LETTER getting my vehicle serviced when the green lights turned to one yellow light, AS INSTRUCTED BY THE SALESPERSON! Now it seems they want to throw something else at me. Can you please post the address of who you sent your letter to (CEO)?

    I need to cool down before I post more. Any luck by anyone else?
    Attn: Tom Purves, CEO
    PO Box 1227
    Westwood, New Jersey 07677

    The gentleman who returned my call originally and who was to perform the investigation called me back yesterday to advise that BMWNA was not able to offer further concession. He asked me to consider the fact that BMW had already made the 75% concession on parts (~$12K), and that was really quite a response on their part. I advised that was not satisfactory and I would seek all available remedies under the law. That was enough to "keep my file open" for further investigation.
  • jonghanjonghan Posts: 4
    I have the same problem, the oil separator caused oil leaking and engine oil was all over inside the hood. Fortunately, my X5 did not stop becasue we located this problem at the dealer. The dealer said it is due to cold weather. The dealer asked $1500 to fix it. We did not use the X5 for a while and then fixed at other garage. Considering the BMW knows the winter weather in North America, not the antaractic, if this problem continues every winter, future consumer should know about this problem. Shame on BMW's promotion of "Ultimate Driving Machine" broken and stopped in cold weather.
  • jonghanjonghan Posts: 4
    I motion. If one of the most expensive SUV should stop on the highway during the winter, what else can qulaify "recall" than this?
  • jonghanjonghan Posts: 4
    It sounds like the dealers in North America have been received the same training from the manufacturer that every BMW customer has a bad driving habit. That was the consistent message and sometimes a sermon that I got from my dealer too. I really don't like the fact that one of the most famous brand name in automobile industry has such attitude and does not admit the design problem of oil separator. Ultimate driving machine should stop due to cold weather and moisture on the highway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • jonghanjonghan Posts: 4

    I just put this absurd design problem of Ultimate driving machine, BMW X5 into the web link above. I think this web receives, collects and studies vehicle problmes from customers.
  • grassosfgrassosf Posts: 2
    I have been a loyal BMW owner for over 15 years. I can’t help but feel the company is a victim of their own success and has lost connection to their customers. I made 4 calls to the corporate office receiving no meaningful help in resolution of this issue. A very frustrating experience ... They knew about the problem, but did not take preventive action. Even though the car is currently under CPO warranty (48 1/4 months old), BMW charged for all the “ware” items requiring replacement due to the oil contamination. Any part I paid for got changed immediately…. any part they pay for only gets changed after days of testing and evaluation. Their solution for cleaning out the system was to burn through ¾ of tank of gas as opposed to any disassembly and cleaning. After two visits totaling a period of 6 weeks (they finally provided a car for after the 5th week… a FORD) in the service center, my car is still not running properly. It blows smoke, has an unpleasant odor after driving (smells up my house), and idles rough when stopped in drive. Only this week has the service center started detailed evaluation and check-out. At this time, they can only identify that the engine has a slightly off-aim (rich) fuel mixture. Also, when I asked if the OSV part has been updated to eliminate this defect, the dealer stated that he is unable to tell me this type of information.
  • dhr48864dhr48864 Posts: 19
    RESOLUTION! I finally was able to resolve the out of pocket expenses with the dealership. I want to thank all of you for your input because without other recorded cases, I don't think the dealership would have budged.

    As you may recall, I went to the dealership and there were other vehicles that were going to be serviced for the same problem. I called BMWNA as suggested, got no help from them because they referred me back to the dealer. My attorney who also USED to go to this dealership directed me to ask for the BMW field rep. to step in and look at the situation. He did and the dealership offered to pay $500.00 in services or "trinkets" but would not go beyond that. I presented the dealership owner with instances of other BMW users with the same problem nationwide (at least the northern part of the nation :blush: ) and told him that BMW corporate may be able to take care of themselves, but this reflected badly on all dealerships who could not stand behind the name of their product or their local reputation. They came back with a check for full reimbursement and a boilerplate legal document stating that upon being reimbursed, I waived ALL AND ANY future claims to service (such as recalls, future discovered manufacturer defects, etc.) for this vehicle. I told them it was unacceptable and re-wrote the document to waive future claims to only the oil separator parts and labor.

    They agreed, I signed, I got my reimbursement and I now have an appointment with my local Toyota and Honda dealerships. Not the outcome I expected, but I don't care to re-live this experience a second time. Best of luck to all. I will remain online, but please think kindly of any little old lady you see driving her Honda down the road...
  • I am new to this forum, so please excuse me if my issue has already been discussed. Leased '07 X5 3.0 in August. No performance issues for the first 3 months. Since November experience the following symptom. Start her up "cold" (whether outside in 30 degree or inside 70 degree garage). 2-5 minutes warm up. For the first 3 minutes or so of drive, after stopping & release of brake pedal, the CAR LURCHES FORWARD. After 3 minutes, the symptom is gone. In December dealer "checked" for 2 days & told me that they were not able to duplicate the problem. They did, however, "reprogram DME and complete vehicle with latest software". The symptoms were corrected for 5 days and the X5 seemed like a vehicle with a miraculously different personality! However on Day 6 through today the lurch condition has returned. Now, 3 days at the dealer and I'm again told that they cannot duplicate the complaint. To add insult to injury (God forbid) I was told by their service manager today that the "condition" that I am experiencing is "NORMAL". In fact, he said, his 530 does exactly the same thing. He explains that until the transission fluid is allowed to warm up this lurch is normal. ARE THEY FOR REAL? I would appreciate knowing if anyone out there has experienced this condition. All suggestions on how I should proceed will be most gratefully appreciated.
  • I just want to start out that I am SO relieved to find others who feel my pain. I have a 2002 330xi with the same oil separator problem. I live in Minot, ND where we are below freezing almost half of the year and very often get -10F or lower temps in the winter. My car began leaking oil from the top valve cover. BMW told me over the phone that it was most likely a siezed engine oil separator which was not properly exhausting and so was causing overpressure in the engine and thus effectin the leak. The rep started to tell me how much it would cost when I mentioned that my boss had a problem with the same part. Only then did he mentioned that BMWNA knows about the problem and covers people on a case by case basis based on ownership history and maintenance records. I have the car used and some of the inspections/oil changes were done by the owner. So with my limited documentation BMW agreed to charge warranty rates for parts/labor and split the cost after that. So I ended up paying $500 for the upgraded parts which include more insulation and wider orifices so that water does not pool and freeze there. I was NOT happy considering BMW has known about the problem for at least 7 years and should have issued a recall long ago. They tell you the car is off warranty but that doesn't sit well with me considering they knew about the issue while it was on warranty and did nothing.

    I can also offer some more background on the problem. My boss actually has the same car as me but he has a 2003. The dealership told me that there are actually 2 different ways the oil separator can fail. If it siezes in closed position you get overpressure and valve cover leakage. If it siezes the other way you get catastrophic failure which includes all of your engine oil shooting out the back tailpipe. This actually happened to my boss and stranded his wife on the interstate. He had good documentation and he was fully covered. The funny thing that really deflates BMW's "good maintenance claim" is that he had a newer car with all maintenance records from certified dealerships and his car failed worse than mine which had DIY work done on it. Furthermore his car is garage kept and mine isn't. Even after all this his car just recently suffered the same fate again! BMW just came out with another fix to the problem, now they include a temperature sensor and a heated manifold. I guess only time will tell if this is effective. I don't think they had this fix 5 months ago when I got mine fixed. Anyway he called dealership and TOLD them they were going to ship car to Minneapolis (the closest dealership), pay for his rental, fix car and ship it back.....and they did.

    Now my car is once again leaking (it seems to be fine until temps go below approx -10) and when I explained it to a service guy at a dealership he immediately diagnosed it as a failed separator. When I called to have it replaced with the newly designed manifold I was told that they would have to have the car there first to diagnose. Additionally I was told they didn't even have time to deal with my car at the moment because they had so many other people dealing with the same issue. The service guy told me literally they had had 35 dead cars brought in that week alone due to the cold weather separator failure.

    This is a huge problem that BMW is well aware of. The sad thing is they don't put the word out unless you know about the issue beforehand. I called some import repair places in the Minneapolis area and they all told me that they replace dozens of separator parts each winter from people with the same problem. So all these people are unknowingly paying out of pocket for something that BMW should be alerting them to and paying for.

    I am so pissed at BMW right now, if they don't fix my car and cover all associated expenses [to include rentals] I will put this issue on every forum I can find, report it to the Better Bussiness Bureau, the local news. Anything I can do to return the [non-permissible content removed] pain BMW has sent in my direction. They can say the car is off warranty and i'm not lawyer but something has to be said for selling and MARKETING a car with all-wheel drive towards people in the snow belt and with a "cold weather package" and knowing at the same time that the the car in fact is no good in extreme cold weather. If you know anything else about this issue that can help to further this cause please let me know.
  • sky23213sky23213 Posts: 300
    Let me start with my thanks to the posters who shared their experience with the cold weather issues the X5/X3s have had.
    WOW! I guess it's good to do a little research in advance. We are planning to replace one of our cars this summer, and I started my research early. One of the vehicles considered is the X3, probably CPO 2005-2007. What really concerned me was not only the fact that I live where cold means COLD, but the way BMW NA treated people. This is BMW after all, not Kia.
    As a comparison, one of our cars is a '05 CRV, so I follow closely the forums for the vehicle. Older CRVs had an issue with the A/C, but Honda treated people quite differently than the way described here regarding the Oil Separator issue. Many posters were covered 75-100% for vehicles way out of warranty, even though with Honda's A/Cs it was more of a matter of inferior quality part, rather that inferior design which appears to be the case here.
    Maybe someone will say that a few people are overblowing rare problem here, but I'll have to disagree - as the previous poster mentioned "The service guy told me literally they had had 35 dead cars brought in that week alone due to the cold weather separator failure.. That seems a lot. And here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area there are only two dealers, so not much of a choice.

    I guess I'll have to do some more thinking. We were ready to make a step up, actually waited until we were comfortable not only with the higher price of BMW, but the price tag of its maintenance. I fear $100+ oil changes and $500-700 maintenance no more... but a blown engine on a BMW really brings fear to a man's heart.
  • psm18psm18 Posts: 9
    I have the same problem on my 2002 X5...who do you call at BMW to ask for money?
  • So I live in New York now, but my hometown is Minneapolis, and eventually will move back there. Right now I have a 5 series, but I really like the X5 a lot. Many people in Minnesota have it and say it's great in the snow and on the dry pavement too. I have heard things that it's not a "cold weather" type SUV or car. People who I have spoken with in Minnesota say that occassionally the doors freeze, or locks freeze up, sometimes there is trouble with starting, the navigation doesn't work always, sometimes the heat isn't great, gas mileage can go way down. So besides looking a heck of a lot better than that of it's competitors, why don't I spend the same or less money on the Lexus RX or LX? I understand it won't be as fun to drive but you never hear about any issues with the Lexus like you do with the X5.

    Any advice?
  • I have a 2003 X5, same thing happed to me yesterday and it was 7F.
    The dealer is asking for 3K to fix the oil seperator and gasket...
    It is really painful. Should the dealer take some responsibility since it is known problem? Can someone advise?

  • Ultimate driving machine my [non-permissible content removed]! I am beyond Mad! This is just damn dangerous. You expect more from BMW. My BMW X5 stopped cold in the middle of the highway on January 8th. There I was, wondering what the heck happened! Thank God I made it over to the side of the road without being smashed by a big truck or something! 2 cars pulled in behind me and said that they thought my car was on fire!!! My heart rate went up another 500 points! Pissed... just a little! It was thought initially that my engine locked up, and then it was discovered that the oil separator thingy was the problem because apparently even though they sold a family that lives in the middle of northern Minnesota this vehicle, I guess I was supposed to understand that it was not suited for cold weather and it could be deadly. I would not have purchased this car without a doubt again! I call the after manufacturer warranty company and say... "Was I supposed to move to Florida to not have a dangerous car for my family???" They tell me, I am sorry mam, I can't help you because this part that is the issue is not part of the 'engine'... OH... REALLY????? But, the dang engine won't work if this insufficient dangerous part is not repaired!!! Evidently it is not insulated well enough??? But they sell it to people in frigid corners of the earth and tell them it is great on snow! Yeah! Until your butt is stuck in the middle of nowhere, or hit by a fast moving vehicle behind you, or starts on fire! I bought the car because I thought it was the SAFEST car on the market! I am LIVID! Thank God above that my children weren't in the car and that noone got hurt. Not by any thanks to BMW, but to GOD ABOVE ONLY! Apparently there is a technical service bulletin out about this, and BMW knows this, but still sells me a car after knowing this fact for quite some time! Sounds like negligence to me! BMW better take care of this the RIGHT way! They will pay for the towing and all repairs! This should be an official RECALL, not a Technical Service Bulletin that thankfully was shared with me by a mechanic that knows BMW's (but does not work for BMW) URGHHH! :mad: :lemon:
  • I'm familiar with the sick feeling of getting slapped with the bill. I'm glad that is so over! Re-reading posts 20-39 might lead to some resolution. Good luck :)
  • Thank you for sharing the information. You are right. It is really dangerous.My car failed in freeway too.BMW should take care it right away. Is there a service bulletin?
    I talked to the dealer yesterday, but they say BMW is not doing recall or anything so there is nothing they can do.They will not share any cost.Maybe I'd better claim
    to BMWNA.Not sure if it will help any.Disappointed with BMW!
  • Please, please consider going the route of asking for a rep review your claim for having the dealershipl work with BMWNA to reimburse you for costs. The idea of having me go public with the info was enough for the dealership to absorb the costs. It sucks for the dealership some, but more for us if we eat the costs and none for the BMW "utlimate driving machine" entity.
  • mpls6mpls6 Posts: 1
    I have an 05 325xi, like many of you, I bought it to have a great car that would be a great winter car also. My oil separator failed in rush hour on a freeway one cold morning last month. $1500 later I am trying to get Motorwerks BMW and/or BMWNA to take responsibility for something they knew was a defect before I even bought the car. So far the closest I have come is a service rep. who said they would have covered it if I had towed it to Motorwerks (he also said it would probably happen again!) and a BMWNA customer service person who said they might cover it if Motorwerks would inspect the work to make sure it was done right. But, I can't get a response from Motorwerks. This has been a huge disappointment.
  • I had the same thing happen last month. In working with the dealer and BMW of NA, it looks as though I will be getting reimbursed for the full amount. I will know shortly but BMW of NA has been extremely accommodating.
  • There are a quite a few x-5s in Alaska. So in trying to understand what happened to my x-5 I am surprised to find that this is a design flaw/common problem. I bought a 2003 x-5 with 42K miles from the local Mercedes dealership. I wanted to be up higher with side and curtain airbags to compete with the bigger SUVs and trucks. I previously drove a front-wheel 1997 Saab 9000CSE. The x-5 was out of warranty when I bought it. I've regularly maintained it since buying it 2 years ago, but haven't always gone to the dealership to have the work done. This winter has been cold at times (-10 to 35F). Sunday, I drove the car without problem for about 20 minutes. I stopped at a light and a few seconds later noticed that the car stalled. I looked out the back because I was in a middle lane and saw light white smoke dissipating out the exhaust. I tried turning the engine on but it would not start. I had the car towed to a local foreign car auto service which I previously used. The mechanic is saying I need a new engine which will cost me $8500 because the engine seized. I do not know anything about bmw engines. I do not have alternative transportation and as a single mom, am scrambling to make sure I get to work, for my kids to get to their activities and to figure out how I can pay for getting my car running again. There is one dealership in Alaska, not known for its customer service savvy. What possible recourse do I have?
  • Hi,
    I am looking for a new car and confused on what to buy. Although 350 is not comparable in size to X5, I have heard several negative posts about BMW in cold weather, steering problems etc. I have not owned either BMW or Lexus in the past. I am looking for some help... I love the X5 shape and heard BMW has great engineering.

  • nycx5ernycx5er Posts: 4
    2 years ago I came out of an Acura MDX (old body design). I was rear ended and car was totaled. I decided to switch to X5 because I also liked the body. I should have realized that the Acura saved my life and it was problem free! A close friend was coming out of an X5 at that time and strongly advised me against it. I made a mistake. There are several flaws with its operation and BMW never admits it or does anything to make the problem right. Do yourself a big favor. Do not do the X5!! The new MDX design I see on the road has grown on me and the 3rd row seat often came in handy. Anyoone who has Lexus loves them and the Volvo is great too. Good luck!
  • nycx5ernycx5er Posts: 4
    btw...the 3.0's pickup is not great. The Acura and I bet the Lexus will blow the X5's performance away. I average 13.5 mpg on X5. To get better pickup you'll need the 4.4 and probably get 10 mpg :cry:
  • nycx5ernycx5er Posts: 4
    brakes squeal and BMW says its normal. Car jerks forward for the first 5 minutes after starting. "normal" but then they advise me to use sport drive until the car warms up. Run flat tires hard ride. $400 each to replace. Needed to replace one a week after delivery. Better get insurance. STAY WAY I guarantee you'll be happy you did or very sorry if you don't
  • ericksomericksom Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 X5 4.4i and have the same problem(failed oil seperator). My first broke down was in Jan 2008. I had a repair done and costed me $2200.00. Just one week later, my car broke down again with the same problem. The dealership repaired at no cost. Jan of 2009, it broke down again three times in two years. It was still under two years service warrenty. They told me about the moister in the engin and offered a solution to the problem. they said there is an upgrade for the oil seperator that wraps around the unit keeping moister away and will cost about $950.00. Has anyone been given this service advice? I did not have the work done yet. Afraid of a scam.
  • gangesganges Posts: 2
    I am new to this forum but I learned that many owners of bmwx5 in colder parts of country have had similiar problems as I had in Dec.2008.Sudden engine stall while driving in below zero degree in Wisconsin similiar to owner in Alaska deado3bmwx5.I was told that this happened because water condensation froze breathing hose shut, engine cylinders got flooded with oil" locking up motor".Oil also leaked to other parts under hood requiring lot of cleaning replacement of damaged parts.Total cast over $1600.I wrote to BMWNA Customer Relations regarding this problem to see whether they can help me with the expenses and the person called me to say that they cannot do anything because 1) it is out of warranty. It has done 97000 miles and it is 2001 BMW X5 3.0i. 2) There is no recall for this problem and he did not seem to acknowledge that this is a real problem. He would not give me any wirtten response. I find that many car owners with the similar problems have similar response from BMW N.A. I believe it is potentially serious problem and one can have serious injury or even fatality due to sudden stalling of the engine in cold weather and I wonder if anybody has communicated this problem with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and what has been their experience. I just wrote a letter to the U.S.Dept. of Transportation. I will keep you posted with the response.
  • I have 04 BMW X3 42000k miles, engine oil separator failure. it was happened on Dec 7, 09. So that will cost me $1500.00 to fix. there is a bulletin 11 08 03 issue on Feb 2009 but dealer never notify the owner. BMW suck, next car will not be BMW.
  • Hi there,

    It was very cold this morning when I started my vehicle - 40C and let it run for 10 minutes. After driving for about 10 minutes. I saw smoke coming from the vents and oil dripping from the bottom of the car. My mechanic has taken all the covers off from the bottom of my car and came to the conclusion that it is a gas kit.
    I am driving it now. He wants me to drive it in to find out if it repeats it again. Burning smell has definatley decreased. Do you think this is a oil separator issue??
    I usually park my car in a under ground heated parking but unlucky me the coldest night I park it outside the North Agricom in Edmonton Alberta, Canada.
    Please help. Thanks
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I believe you mean "gasket".

    It does sound like it could be the oil separator issue. The easiest way to tell is to place a piece of cardboard or similar under your engine after you park your car. When you come out in the morning, you will be able to see how much oil you are leaking and where it is leaking from. Give your mechanic a general area where it is leaking from and he will know where to look.

    It is also possible that the very cold weather caused the gasket to shrink enough to cause a leak and once it warms up it will no longer leak. This would surprise me a bit if this was the case but it is possible.

    By the way, a little trivia for you: -40C is the same as -40F. After that the temperatures diverge again. :P
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