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BMW X5 Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 2001 x5 thats having a similar problem. At first I thought it was the tranny so I took it to a bmw dealer and it revealed no dianostic problems they told me it was an internal problem with the tranny so I had the tranny rebuilt but that didn't solve the problem then they told me that it was my throttle body sensor so I had that replace too ..still the problem persist, a heavy shift into 2nd and 3rd gear. Now they are telling me that it may be the cooling sensor circuit.
    Did they solved your problem? And if so what was the solution?
    I'm getting @#% tired of all this crap from bmw...I should have bought a lexus instead ...they are 10 times more durable than bmw and the resale value and warranty is much better than bmw.
  • bmwnabmwna Posts: 32
    I’m with BMW of North America, LLC. I’m sorry to read about this problem with your BMW X5. If you want our assistance, please phone us at (800) 831-1117 or email us at, and mention Reference #200532000952 so that we can help you more efficiently.
  • yagit1yagit1 Posts: 11
    I had the same problem with my 2002 3.0 X-5 two weeks ago, I was on vacation for three weeks and when I came back the car was dead. It has to be towed to a nearby BMW service place, service guy said it has something to do with the light of the blower that was on the whole night which drained the battery. This was a new battery that was installed in Dec 2004. My car is 3 years old but already it has been towed twice and jumpstarted for at least two times. I have yet to speak with the dealer about these problems since my warranty is running out next year. I love my X-5 but everytime I go on vacation the car is dead when I come back. Any input on this? Thanks a lot! :confuse: :mad:
  • we own a 2000 X5 4.4i. during the last 2 years the windschield-whiper quit working
    randomly on 4 separate occasions! 3 times on the freeway in heavy rain. it scared the
    heck out of us. twice my wife escaped a crash by a hair. she is now to afraid to drive
    our "luxus safety vehicle" in the rain. only after the engine is turned off and back on it works again! we live in the pac. north-west!!
    are there other X5 owners with the same problem out there?
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    SOunds like it could be a wiper relay going bad(located in the e-box,in the engine area) or a module we call the ZKE might be going on the blink.
    The wiper system works like this; you turn on the stalk it sends info to the "ZKE" and it controls the relay, in turns controls the wipers speed. Hope this help
  • I have had a major problem with my X5 stalling when I leave a stop sign. The car goes into a safe mode and will only move at about 2 miles per hour. All the ABS and warning signs go off until I restart the car.

    What is the fix. I have been to 4 dealers and each time it cost about $1,000. with no fix.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    The next time it stalls take it to someone that will run a dianognics test on it, and go from there.or maybe post the results on here and i can tell you something about it. But if you feel comfortable with the next part, you can look inside the ebox located in the engine for any loose connections(put don't disconnect any) the ebox is located on the right side under the wiper cowling, and is held down by four 4mm allen heads, and snapped in the back. pull the top off and look around in there. there should be two silver modules(1 transmission(blue) and 1 engine(black)connetors a few relays :brown(wiper),blue(headlight washer)red and maybe one other blue. depending on options. and several connections, all you need to do is look around tug on the wires and see if any pop loose, if one does snap it into place and then have the car codes cleared. let me know what you find out
  • 2irie2irie Posts: 1
    You wouldn't believe this. I experience the same problem and I should have known better. But it relates to the car not getting enough juice from the battery/alternator. My problem was the alternator. The light was on when I was heading to the mall w/family. When this started I immediately drop them off @ cheesecake factory and proceeded to the dealer. Never made it. The battery died. After changing the battery, I limped home and replace the alternator myself. very easy job, not sure why the dealer wants $1000 to do the same. Problem fixed.
  • I had a great experience w/ a 3 series a few years ago and was surprised to see the X5 was so poorly rated for reliability by CR. I would appreciate some insight from owners.

  • Poorly rated for reliability in an understatement....get an X5 and you have to get medication for major migraines!! My sister and I both got one each..i have a 3.0 and she's got a 4.4i ....every 3 months or so one of our's is the mechanic's shop...they have major sensors issues among control arms, stalling, dead batteries, ignition coils, etc....we must have spent nearly $15,000 altogether ....go figure!!
  • bmwnabmwna Posts: 32
    I’m with BMW of North America, LLC. I’m sorry to read about this issue with your X5 stalling. If you want our assistance, please phone us at (800) 831-1117 or email us at, and mention Reference #200533300361 so that we can help you more efficiently.
  • the problem might be your ignition or more may be leaking or malfunctioning ...its a sick with all the X5s...have your mechanic check it out!
  • I have a 2001 X5 and have had numerous problems with it and am ready to give the car back. It is still under warranty (100,000). My car had the same issue and the fan drained the battery. They replaced the fan motor and all works. Since then the raditor exploded, the oil gasket now has ruptured and a new thermostat had to be put it. I am caught on the highway and have to be towed (4 times) I have had the car a little over a year. This is getting very annoying. Does anyone have experience with a dealership making good and replacing the car???? Or any help with talking to the dealers about chronic car problems???? :cry:
  • I have been considering buying a slightly pre-owned X5 and giving my wifes 05 Tucson to our daughter for college. After reading about so many problems with a $50k Bimmer, and having owned a Honda Pilot and Hyundai Tucson for last two years with not one problem, I think I'll buy another Japanese or Korean vehicle since they are convincingly trouble-free and durable.
  • Does anyone know of a hard cover for the cargo area? The standard roll up's really flimsy for a quality car like this.
  • I bought a new X5 2001 model in Feb. I bought it from the dealer and picked it up at BMW Spartanburg, SC where I participated in the driving school. Unfortunately, I had to wait an additional two weeks to pick up my vehicle because the salesperson ordered the wrong interior. I really enjoyed the X5 for a few years. At 50K miles my vehicle stopped producing heat. I took it to the dealer who informed me I had a cracked head. I was able to negotiate the price for the repairs down from $6k in March 2005. There was no indication on performance, gas mileage nor the temperature gauge that the vehicle was ever running hot. The negotiating took place because the service dept. determined there were no faults and agreed the temperature gauge should have gone to the red.
    The dealer has given me back the car several different times over the past nine months only to have the temp gauge go the red and the service engine light comes on. I explained to the dealer this inconvenience was unacceptable. My friends joke around that I have a permanent BMW loaner. I did not want the vehicle back until they proved the X5 was repaired. The dealer called to tell me after exhausting all efforts for the past nine months they want to return my unfixed car to me and get their loaner back. I was told only seven X5's in the country have this problem. BMW determined the problem was in the Software DME component. BMW would work out a repair sometime in the future. I obviously do not want a car back that is not repaired. I have not been able to get BMW nor the dealer to work out a fair resolution to the problem. I have a little reservation going with a new X5 however I don't believe BMW has made me feel good about this SAV. The dealer told me they would consider a trade-in however my vehicle has lost value since it is unlikely they will resell the X5 but rather wholesale it out. Why is that my fault? Can anyone out there tell me if you have had a similiar experience and what the resolution was? Does BMW care about keeping me in the BMW family or not?
  • my 2006 x5 did the same thing the first time it rained what is the fix?
  • I know my 2001 X5 was not an attempted breakin as the car cuff was on, had number of items in vehicle which were not taken , parked in my back yard. Has anyone had this problem as well? Had been having problem with with door not opening properly. Bummer. Warranty expired 10/28. After finding this forum a week ago I found, I too, had many of the same problems. Requested that my door handles be replaced, which they will do, but the install charge is $ 588.00,
    Still waiting, after a month, for the sun roof replacement. Water continued to leak causing my passenger side floor to become exremely wet causing mold.
    Love driving my X5, but now that I have to wait 2-3 days to get the window replaced, I'll be looking for another SUV as I can see more problems a coming.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    goto post 371 and call that number
  • Thank you. I called the number spoke with a BMW rep. and unfortunately I believe at this time I will have get some leagl advice. I was ready to buy another X5 and move forward. I am pretty disappointed with the way BMW has handled this problem. I am now wondering why I should reward BMW again and potentially have more problems with a new car. Thank you again.
  • Hello Cephus:

    I posted a message #389 a while back about my check engine light coming on on my 2001 X5 one week after purchase. Princeton BMW said it was gas pedal and replaced my gas pedal. The light came on again 1 day after I picked it up. They then said it was fuel bank 1 and 2 and that I need to replace the harness.

    You gave me some helpful suggestions. Since then I have been driving with the check engine light on. Last Friday, my transmission light came on. I took it to the dealer for a diagnostic test and they checked the DME for faults and found codes for mass airflow sensor, camshaft position sensor and crankcase vent control. Repairs are $1,250. They said the reason the check engine light first came on was because one of the above things failed, and now all three of them has failed which triggered the transmission light.

    Are these repairs necessary? Do you think that's what the problems are? I feel so helpless because I do not know whether these are major problems or small problesm that could lead to major problesm.

    Thanks, if possible can you please get back to me asap, I am supposed to take the car for repairs today at 10:00 a.m.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    It sounds like you have an air mangaement system error, all/or one of the above can give you this problem. Since you have had the pedal changed, let rule that out. that leaves pretty much the throttle body and the mass air sensor. something is feeding incorrect info to the dme. but that does not mean that the dme has gone bad on you either. the mass air meter would be the first thing i would get them to change, then the throttle body next. if you can get them to give you a print out of the errors in the car and send them to me i can figure out better what is going on. My email address is available on here.(make the subject "X5 issues") If you have any trouble sending it let me know. but let them give you a print out,then go afterwards with changing the above parts out. let me know if this helps...sorry for the delay its been the holidays
  • Hi Cephus:

    I have an appt to take it to Princeton BMW this Wed. They are the ones who initially changed the gas pedal, they won't charge me again for diagnostic. The funny thing is I was going to have someone else other than the dealer who diagnosed the airflow sensor, crankcase valve and camshaft sensor last week so I took it to a place specializing in foreign car repairs, he opens the hood and low and behold my mass airflow sensor was unplugged. Yes, unplugged. Apparently Essex BMW left the darn thing unplugged and they could not give me an answer why. Do you see why I'm mistrustful?

    This mechanic said he scanned OBD2 system and found no input signal to ECM from several sensors such as MAF and Cam position and others. I don't know what all that means. Can you explain.

    The next day, they scanned it again and the code PO102 Mass or Volume Air flow circuit low input.

    PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND ALL THIS JARGON. I am still trying to get the codes from Essex BMW.

    I'll email you as well to make sure you get this. Thanks a bunch.
  • Hi Steve:

    Were you ever able to find out why the transmission indicator light was on, I'm sorta having the same problem on a 01 X5.
  • Hi, my transmission light just came on, why did BMW tell you it's supposed to stay on and my dealer is saying there is a problem, I have 2001 as well and it wasn't on before, now when I got to start up after stopping it bucks and shakes and shudders, SCARY...

    Did you have any serious problems as a result or did you find out what was wrong?
  • Hi Cephus:

    I took the car to the dealer again today. Now they are saying I need to replace the wire harness. They also said there may be a problem with the mass airflow sensor and possibly camshaft. They want to fix the wire harness first and then see about the rest. I am trying to get them to do the mass airflow sensor first and then see but they are reluctant to do that. What do you think I should do. Remember the other dealer said it was mass airflow sensor, camshaft and crankcase control valve.
    Another service place and Auto Zone only came up with the code P0102/Mass or Volume Air flow circuit low input.
    Now these people come up with the wire harness. This is the same place who said there was something wrong with the wire harness back in my first post and you told me not to let them replace it. Should I go ahead now and have them replace?

    Please respond, I am desperate.
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    The MAF sensor is a metalic film sensor that senses the flow of air as its being drawn into the flume(air manifold) this sends a input to the DME(engine module). it takes other inputs like the gas pedal and some other inputs and adjust the engines performane, like the VVT(Variable Valve TIming) to optimize engine performance and fuel comsumption.
    The reason the dealer got a OBD code for no input to ECM was because the MAF was not connected. After reconnecting it the codes should be reset. And hopefully they will not return.
    IF you have anymore trouble, rerun a OBD test and let me know what you got.
    Feel free send me a email if you have any more questions
  • cefuscefus Posts: 45
    What year is your X5? 6 0r 8 cyc.? is it still under the extended warranty?
    I would talk to them and ask them, if they got a reading from the mass air meter, and asked them "lets just try it, make me happy" (with a new MAF)but heck they can always say they did try it and it was not the problem, so they will still push for the harness, Asked them what they think is wrong with the harness, is it a cut wire, damaged pin? dig alittle ,if its either one of those it can be fixed ,they should be able to fix either one of those issues.
    If you do get them to change parts for you, always ask for the old ones.(put a small scratch on it so u can tell if they really changed it)and to make sure the parts they gave u as old, really came off your car and not the scrap bin
    Ask them why they think its the harness and not something else?
    Have they ohnm checked the wires from point a to b for the problem, if so, ask them what connector and pin numbers. then email it to me.
    Ask, if you change the harness and it does not fix it you'll have not to pay?
    ASking questions to probe never hurt, especially if you gotta fork over alot of $$$$
  • Hi Cefus:

    I believe it's a 6 cyc, 3.0, no it's not under extended warranty because I can't seem to find a reputable off market warranty company. I pushed them to try the MAF but they claim it had nothing to do with the harness (2nd time they came up with problem with harness). They did not try the MAF, actually the 1s time in august they quote me 976, last week they quote me almost 2 grand for the harness, when I ask about the difference in price, they came up with some b.s., then said they would charge me the 976 (Scammers).

    The problem is now the transmission light being on and the car actually jerks and shudders when I go to stop, what should I expect as it relates to this problem? They are probably going to come up with some astronomical repair to the transmission etc.? Any ideas, I am sure they will contact me tomorrow with bad news. Is it possible the camshaft is the problem? What about the shifter selector?

    Thanks for your help and I will ask them for the old parts.
  • 1av8r1av8r Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 BMW X5 3.0 and have had nothing but problems since day one. I have a lot of the same complaints as others vibration at a stop with car in drive, then goes away when put in neutral etc. The car has quite a few other problems I have not heard others complain of. For instance, When you park the car and lock the doors and come back later the front windows will be half way down. The windshield wipers will not reset to the park position about 99% of the time. It has been at the dealer at least 3 times to repair these with no avail. Recently the back brake lights have been intermittent. Now they are completely out, the dealer says that it might need complete new wiring harness or a new light bezzel he isn't sure yet. Also recently when you put the car in drive there has been a pause of about 3 seconds until the car will move almost like the transmission is slipping then it catches. Now also does it in reverse and in drive the pause is up to about 6 seconds until it takes off. The dealer says there are no fault codes and would like the car for 3 days so he can observe it and research it more. Does he think I am going pay for 3 days of labor just for an estimate to get a repair. Also the check engine light has been on for 2 months when i took it to him he reset the light and said it might need an engine wiring harness. Now today he says it has a vacuum leak somewhere and the engine is running lean and that is what is causing it. MY Dealer is Yark Automotive in Toledo Ohio and they treat me like absolute crap. They act like I don't have a freaking clue. I do work on airplanes and do have a clue. They never call me with info about my repairs I had to call 3 times alone just today they never called. When they diagnosed the check engine light the last time with the decree that it may need and engine wire harness they never even called me. My brother picked up the car for me and I saw it on the paper work and had to call them. There service is a JOKE. I did not purchase the car from them and they treat me like crap even when the car was under warranty. I have the extended maintenance to 100,000 miles but that is just for oil changes. I just can't believe a car with 62,000 miles is having such transmission problems with no fault codes, needs an engine wiring harness, and needs a wiring harness for brake lights. This car is a piece of crap. Do you have any suggestions as to what might be causing all of this. It is almost as though I have pissed them off my service guys so they are doing whatever they can to DICK with me and run my bill up. I have to drive the car over 50 miles to get service there,but it is the closest dealer. I have had a lot of problems when it was under warranty but they just acted like they didn't really care. They would say things like well we looked at it and can't duplicate it or they are all like that. I have an old 93 dodge truck with 123,000 miles and it doesn't vibrate like this thing. Doesn't BMW really care about keeping it's clientelle. I can tell you your customer service at dealerships is so poor and there products are so unreliable I would not even think of buying another BMW. They just turn there heads like there are plenty of other people to sell to so why deal with the vehicles with problems. I am amazed at the lack of concern from BMW on the same consistent problems with the X5 that BMW knows it has but will not address.

    Kraig N.
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