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BMW X5 Cold Temp Problems



  • Thanks for the tip. I will try this tonight or over the weekend. My mechanic has taken the bottom covers off from the bottom in order for me to figure out if it's still leaking.

    To be honest when ever I park the car for a longer period of time in my parking area I always check for the oil drops when I move the vehicle. It is little bit dirty to begin with, I will try this Card Board technology :) which you suggested.

    Yeah, one more thing he tightened the gasket bolts. Just in case.

    It surprised me a bit too but metal could shrink little bit in this kind of cold weather. Actually it went to -46C with chill I heard that night.
    So you think I should just sell this :lemon: or don't worry about it??
    This is a great website and I have started to like it lot. Thanks
  • When it was happened to my BMW x3 04, there are Lots of white smoke was billowing from the back, Engine became very sluggish. there are no oil leak below the engine, I love X3 but I'm considering to trade in my X3.
  • I've read quite a few posts about the oil separator problem, but I've not seen any information about whether or not this can occur on a diesel.

    Just yesterday I bought a 2010 X5 xDrive35D, and it will be delivered next month. We live in Utah, and have a heated garage, but it sometimes gets pretty cold here. Rarely below 10 F, but sometimes below 0 F. Our shortest drive would be 15 minutes or so one way, down, then up the mountain.

    So, is the diesel engine subject to the OS problem? Will the sort of driving we do ... perhaps to go out for dinner on a cold night ... be a problem?

    Thanks ... and wish me luck with my new car!
  • roogamroogam Posts: 1
    Same problem with my 2004 X3.(42000 miles) Very cold overnight : vehicle started to smoke very much, then died. BMW said condensation, oil separator blown. It will cost 1300 to fix. Should I fix, or should BMW fix at no cost, since this seems like a very common problem among BMW vehicles.
    Please advise.
    Thank You.
  • you need to contact BMW dealer or BMW of North America, LLC, they may help you with the cost. but for me I have to put up with my bill since my warranty has been expired. I have spoke with BMW Customer Relationship REP but they can not help me because I took my X3 to independent repair shops.
    Goog Luck
  • salemosalemo Posts: 1
    A message light popped up that said "Check Oil Level." Dropped into the dealership and asked him to check. He did and the engine was a quart low. When he drew out the stick he said, "look at this, see this smudge." (I could not see anything different.) He said this is a sign that your oil separator is going out. I asked him the price to replace and he said around $385.00 but would know when he had it opened up. There is not oil leak to the ground.

    Sounded odd and as I am a female I don't always trust what service suggests. Any thoughts please.
  • I currently have a 2004 X5 that has had oil separator issues EVERY winter. I take it to the dealership and every winter they claim to fix it. Obviously, these are just band-aid fixes since they don't actually work. Does anyone know of a 'true' fix? I'm so very frustrated with this vehicle. You'd think I bought a used Kia. The fact that BMX basically ignores the issue tells me a lot about the company.
  • Bethlen--
    to me it sounds like the only true fix is to have the oil separator replaced and not fixed. I had the dealership pick up the tab on the repairs after a report from the bmw field representative. I called BMW of North America and asked for one to look at my x5. It is a MANUFACTURER defect whether they admit it or not. One doesn't pay that much for a car to have a manufacturer balk at simple repairs.
  • I don't believe is oil separator from my experience, i had the same problem and i was told that, that would be due to cold build up in engine esp. in cold weather and improves when you take a long drive which i did and the problem resolved. I hate to see pple lose money like this esp. females
  • On December 26th, 2010 my daughter was driving our 2005 BMW X3 when it stopped in the middle of a street about a block from our house. There was a lot of smoke and for a moment she thought that the vehicle was on fire. We got it towed to a local service station that diagnosed the problem as hyrdo-locking. They cleaned it up ($280 with towing) but did not have a fix for the problem. I called Motorwerks BMW in Minneapolis and they asked me to bring it to the dealership and the earliest appointment was January 27th, 2011.

    On January 20, 2011, my wife was driving the same vehicle home from work at 11:30 pm when it stopped in the middle of a busy and dangerous intersection in Fargo, North Dakota. The temperature outside was -22F. She must have driven the car about 2 miles when she saw a huge white smoke coming out of tail pipe and within a few minutes the vehicle completely stopped. We got it towed to the same service station as before and called my insurance agent the next morning. The agent did some investigation and advised us to get it towed to another service station in Moorhead MN that works mostly on imports. This service station knew what the problem was as they had fixed five to six others in the last couple on months. They got the parts from the BMW dealership, fixed the probelm and I got the vehicle back yesterday. They also mentioned that somebody had tried fixing the problem earlier but did not finish it. We are the original owners of it and have always taken it to Motorweks BMW in Minneapolis for all work. The total without the two towing was $1084.

    I have read that other BWM owners living in cold places with high humidity have the same problem. I am scared to have any family member drive the vehicle. Have others had the same problem? Can it happen again? What should be done?
  • Where in Moorhead did you take it? I'm from Fergus Falls and had the same problem yesterday with my X5. I need to get serviced asap.
  • All Sports Engineering in Moorhead
  • wr1224wr1224 Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    I was driving one morning, when all of sudden my car started rocking back and forth, then a big white cloud of smoke came out of the exhaust and the car broke down. I took it to one mechanic who told me I needed a new engine. I wanted to get a second opinion so I had it towed to another shop and that mechanic told me it was the oil seperator and he just fixed 3 other X5's with the same problem. This is a defect and BMW should do something to rectify it. I was also told that the cold weather and not being driven enough was the cause. This is suppose to be the ultimate driving machine and it can't handle cold weather.
  • Everyone that is having a problem with their oil separator call the National Highway Safety Administration hotline or file a complaint online:

    Also call BMW of North America – ask for a supervisor in customer care. I apologize but I cannot post phone numbers or names on this blog.

    I have filed a formal complaint with the NHSA. You need to have your VIN number, the approximate mileage when the problem first occurred and the current mileage on your vehicle.

    I have also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and the Ohio State Attorney General's office.

    Make no mistake about it: this is a design flaw with BMW and a major safety issue.

    I have had 4 oil separators go bad over the last 4 years. The only way this issue is going to be escalated from a "service bulletin" to a full blown recall is to call the National Highway Safety Administration! Please do it NOW!

    This problem greatly depreciates the resale value of our vehicles not to mention the out of pocket costs due to repairs, lost wages, and towing to mention a few. None of us in good conscience could sell our vehicles in a Northern Climate and pass this problem on to the next owner - we need to unite and pass the problem back to the source: BMW.
  • Pretty much everyone replied earlier in this thread didn’t understand the problem isn’t with the oil separator, but with frozen oil freezing the oil separator because of the well below zero climates you’re operating the vehicle in.
    The solution:
    Wrap the oil separator with an insulating tape or insulating sleeve to help protect it from frozen climates and also to help the oil to get up to operating temperatures.
    This is what is recommended by another X5 owner.
    MahoganyX5 owner
  • breksterbrekster Posts: 1
    edited December 2013

    I have heard the ongoing issues with the x5 cold weather start, Exploding Oil separator ( had this happen to my wife s bmwx5. Had it taken care of under warranty but its still an issue. I had a oil pan heater installed and it helped but if you travel over night or take it to work or go shopping its kind of hard to plug it in every where you go. Will never buy another BMW will only recommend to friends not to buy BMW products. Something tells me BMW doesn't care about the customer ( what a HUGE MISTAKE) I live in Maine and it can get in the -30F on occasion . The X5 doesn't like it when it gets around 10F. _ have an old GMC pickup that only cost me 18k when new, starts every time, bmw cost me almost 50k, not a very good value.

  • I have had the same problem couple of weeks ago. I drive a 2005 530i (has the M54 engine) and while on the highway driving @ 60 mph in a cold night, white smoke bilowed out of my exhaust. Other cars behind me alerted me by flashing their beams . I was able to stop safely and find out checking the dipstick that there was no oil left in the pan - all had gone thru the enigne and burnt thru the exhaust. The exhaust was dripping oil... I towed the car to the BMW service center. The dealership diagnosed the problem as a frozen oil separator that pulled the oil into the engine. They fixed the problem for ~$1300 but they cannot guaranty against any future engine or exhaust failures from that incident. It is disappointing that BMW knows about this issue for so many years and haven't informed customers to replace it before major damage happens. I contacted BMWNA and waiting to hear if they will reimburse me for this charge. I find it highly irresponsible for BMW to let people have such terrifying incidents while they know that the original oil separator in M54 engines will eventually fail at cold weather states. Unacceptable.

  • Before I found out my engine oil separator on my 2005 X5 had seized up, I was told that something had broken inside my engine and I needed a new engine which would cost me $5400. I asked that shop if they were willing to meticulously dismantle the engine to attempt the find a less severe, less costly issue. They were unwilling to do so but were quick to tell me it was necessary to dismantle the engine to complete failure so they could apply for the BG (aftermarket) engine warranty. (I then found out they have several complaints against them for falsifying warranty claims.) I quickly pulled my vehicle from that shop and tow it to another shop. That shop found the separator problem and can repair it for $1300. I was planning on driving this vehicle for a looooong time! In 2 years, I've put an additional $7000 into repairs of the vehicle. I believe the shop that was originally doing the work on my vehicle actually raked me over the coals on repairs. I have known them since I was 14 so I'm very disappointed. I spoke with the BMW service department and they didn't even tell me there was a technical service bulletin on this problem. I believe I have some recourse somewhere and I'm not going to stop until I get it! I would advice anyone NOT to purchase a BMW!

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