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Thread: X5 FAQ, common problems and model year changes

  1. #1
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
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    X5 FAQ, common problems and model year changes

    So it seems like there is a new thread every week or so asking what some common problems are on the either the X3 or 5.
    Having done a fair amount of research and owning a Bently manual on the X5 I thought I would start a thread on Common problems and what the changes were through the different model years.

    If you see anything wrong or have anything to add, post it.

    So to start with, model changes...
    2000, introduced with a 4.4l and optional small screen navi.
    2001, 3.0l introduced with either automatic or 5 speed manual. New 16:9 nav screen

    2002, 4.6is debut. 4.4 hp bumped up to 290. Adjustable ride height option added. Powered rear seat backs added

    2003, Adaptive brake lights added (according to Bentley, I never noticed), Nav updated to DVD based maps.

    2004, Facelift. New X-drive AWD system. N62 valvetronic 4.4 introduced. 4.8is replaces 4.6is. 3.0l got a 6 speed manual and v8's got new 6 speed auto. New headlights, tails, and Halo's (angel eye's).

    2005, Auto dimming mirrors and compass. Pano sunroof. Xenon adaptive headlights with auto leveling. PDC becomes standered on 4.4l's.

    2006, New interior bits and exterior wheels and colors.

    Engines
    M54 3.0 (2001-06) HP 225
    TQ 214 or 293
    (Bentley has 2 different numbers, I doubt its 293)

    M62 TU 4.4l (2000-03) HP up to 01, 282
    02 and 03, 290
    TQ 324
    M62 TU 4.6is (02-03) HP 340
    TQ 350
    N62 (04-06) HP 315
    TQ 324
    N62 4.8is (04-06) HP 355
    TQ 360
    Bentley manual says all X5's have air suspension in rear and sports have front and rear. I disagree though. My non sport 04 doesn't have any air suspension.

    On to common problems.
    -Cold weather crankcase vents condensate water and freeze up. There is an updated design now that minimizes the problem.
    -Excessive camber in rear wheels that's made worse by large diameter wheels.
    -Door carriers are prone to break.
    -The usual cooling system woes. Usually need to be overhauled around 100k. M62's sometimes have leaky valley pans under the intake. To check, look for coolant on the trans. bellhousing. 3.0l's have plastic impellers on the water pumps.
    -N62 has a water pipe under the intake that will leak at higher mileage. Its a royal PITA to fix. From what I hear though, BMW extended the warranty on this problem to 100k. Also there is an aftermarket company that makes an updated pipe that has more o-rings and can twist and expand into place, alleviating the need to rip apart the motor.
    -V8's have a composite plastic timing chain guide rails that wear out. Most dont make it much past 150k.
    -Air suspension can be a bit of a pain. Every used one I looked at had either 1 or 2 bad bags or had just had new ones put in.
    -False tail light out warnings. Here is a link to my fix. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1558664
    Feel free to chime in with other problems or features I missed. Maybe if we get a good comprehensive list we could get a Mod. to sticky it up top.
    Also, maybe someone can start one for the X3.
    Last edited by GSXRliterbikz; 02-20-2011 at 11:30 PM.

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    how much power do you need to tie up the hub spendle nuts on the steering axle for BMW X5 3.0i

  3. #3
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
    GSXRliterbikz is offline Addict Number 45573... Moderator
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    Bently says 420 Nm, 310 ft-lb. Replace nut (one time use).

    So in laymens terms, REALLY TIGHT. I dont think my tq wrench goes that high.

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    any common problems/ service that needs to be done on an 04 x5 with 85k?

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    any common problems/ service that needs to be done on an 04 x5 with 85k?

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    Carriers are major issues with the E53 as mentioned by GSX (great thread, btw). As an owner of five BMW's, less than 12 mos of ownership hasn't left a very good taste in my mouth concerning these vehicles - much less reliable than my other BMWs. Two carriers, crankcase vent and a/c condensor fan (part alone $480), needed to have dealer buddy diagnose. Only 65k on her, hoping close to done with the common problems...

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    X5 drivers seat will not adjust

  8. #8
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
    GSXRliterbikz is offline Addict Number 45573... Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclark5671
    X5 drivers seat will not adjust
    That's not exactly a common problem

    Sent from my SCH-R880 using BF.com

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    My 2001 X5 is having tons of window problems. The window regulator broke in the rear driver side and the drivers side window seems like it is stuck. Does anybody might know what is wrong with my driver side window?

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    I recently test drove eight X5's before buying one....all were 2003-2006. Every one of them equipped with 4.4 engine would rattle upon initial startup- lack or absence of oil pressure....usually only for 2-5seconds. Is this common, or is someone in our area selling faulty oil filters?

  11. #11
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
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    Thats the Vanos rattle. Very common and not an issue. Its due to seals in the vanos adjusters that go bad over time and allow the oil pressure in the units to bleed off while not running. It requires the vanos to be removed to fix, which is a ton of work. There have been no bad effects noted from not fixing though. Just do a search in the e38 sub-forum for Vanos rattle. The e38 uses the same 4.4.

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    Excellent info! Thanks for the direction

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    My 4.4L 2004, 165k had the following issues:
    - Waterpump replacement (common)
    - Radiator corrosion/leakage replaced (common?)
    - rear differnential bushes replaced (if you want to test, go in reverse, back to D and listen carfully; my car made a metal click sound going fw again)
    - 2 wishbones replace (think this is not common)
    - Steerwheel house replaced (expensive and unsure if that common, but you'll notice it straight away, a vibration when turning the steer and a scrapping sound)
    - Ventilator for interior makes a high beeping sound (common)
    - Indication of 'selfleveling inact.' believe this is common; had it only once.

    It sounds like my car is falling apart but actually its almost all acceptable wear, and if you budget for it than its no worry. The car is a great mix of power, comfort, speed and some off road capability, which makes it a great machine!!

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    Any issues with 07-09 models? I'm looking to buy in that year range.

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    Currently looking at an 05 BMX x5 4.4L auto with 110k miles. Price is reasonable and it is a great looking, clean and well taken car of. I know a little about cars (I've successfully pulled motors out of Hondas/Acuras, replaced blown head gaskets, valve stem seals, timing belts, water pumps, alterators, you name it) but I've never worked on a BMW before. The Honda/Acura forum is LOADED with useful information about repairs and DIYs.

    I kind of want a problem free vehicle for my wife to drive.

    I'm particularly concerned about any drivetrain issues these cars may be prone to having. Going to look at this vehicle this weekend!
    Last edited by bimmerlova; 10-21-2011 at 11:43 AM.

  16. #16
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
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    Its the same driveline as the 745 and 50 e65/6 chassis, also 545 and 50 e60's. They are pretty active over in those subforums. Also there is xoutpost. The motors are well built, trans are so so.
    An 05 will have the N62 motor (valvetronic). Do a google search to see all the common problems beyond what is listed here.

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    good information, thanks. Didn't make me feel better though, I've read a lot about 7 series tranny issues. =/

  18. #18
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
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    Just remember that most people posting online are mad at their car. People that don't have problems usually don't post online. I bought a 3.0 cuz of the info I read on the n62. Now I wish I had gotten the v8.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerlova
    ...

    I kind of want a problem free vehicle for my wife to drive.

    ...
    A problem free E53 X5 post-100k miles...impossible. You're better off going Japanese if seeking reliability for the Mrs.
    .2 cents from a 10 year E53 owner (3.0/4.4/4.6iS).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chilliwilli View Post
    A problem free E53 X5 post-100k miles...impossible. You're better off going Japanese if seeking reliability for the Mrs.
    .2 cents from a 10 year E53 owner (3.0/4.4/4.6iS).
    Not true! Last summer I bought a late model year '03 sport package 4.4i E53 (one of the last M62 V8s produced, I refused to look at the N62s due to the intermittent shaft lever issues and increased difficulty of many repairs when compared to the M62. Ask anyone who has done a valley pan gasket on both engines!!!) I searched for almost a year before finding......

    One owner
    Under 100k miles (98k)
    FULL BMW service records!!!!
    Florida delivered
    Clean CarFax showing car was ONLY registered in Fla. (no snow/salt)
    BMW PPI went thru with no problems found
    Owner trade for new Acura SUV (I bought from Sanford Acura)
    90 Day Dealer Warranty
    Cold Pkg
    Premium Pkg
    Rear Climate Pkg
    Sport Pkg
    Xenon Lights
    Premium Sound Pkg w/DSP (worth every cent of the $1,200 sticker +)

    Off the lot with tax, tag, title fees for under $15k.
    In the past 18mos and 40k miles I have had to replace the waterpump, coolant tank and FSR (under $350. for all parts + $70 for the Bentley Manual). That's IT! I replaced ALL fluids/filters shortly after buying this X5, CHEAP INSURANCE!!!!

    It regularly gets over 24mpg driven 75/80mph hwy (over 600 miles per tank, Tampa FL to Dallas TX with one gas stop).
    Has even towed a 6k lb trailer on TWO of the runs between Tampa and Dallas (17mpg).

    My point is, if you're buying a used X5, do NOT settle, find the RIGHT one!
    Last edited by TiAgX5; 11-02-2011 at 12:43 PM.

  21. #21
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    From a reliability standpoint - is there a preferred year / engine combo to target ? For example, it appears from my reading that the M54 3.0 i6's of 2005 had the best feedback..

  22. #22
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
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    I would agree. I think pretty much any year 3.0 is good. 00-03 m62's arnt too bad. 04-06 n62's would be the least reliable, but most fun.

  23. #23
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    If you do go with a V8, be aware that when driving an SUV, you will do almost ALL of your driving with torque, NOT horsepower. I bring this up to point out the fact that both the M62s and N62s have IDENTICAL torque numbers, 324 lb-ft @ 3600 RPM. The N62 has an additional 25 hp at over 5000 RPM, but most owners of vehicles with over 100,000 miles and no manufacturer warranty will not run their vehicles like they are on a racetrack.
    Last edited by TiAgX5; 12-02-2011 at 11:56 AM.

  24. #24
    GSXRliterbikz's Avatar
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    My X has over 100k and has been good to me. Only Ball joints and sway bar end links for suspension. It needed a DISA valve and intake boot when I bought it. So far thats it. Bought it with 60k and am pushing 120 now.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSXRliterbikz
    My X has over 100k and has been good to me. Only Ball joints and sway bar end links for suspension. It needed a DISA valve and intake boot when I bought it. So far thats it. Bought it with 60k and am pushing 120 now.
    I've little issue with the inline 6...def' the most reliable of the bunch. For me, it would've been perfect had it yielded similar power as the 35i.
    Last edited by chilliwilli; 11-10-2011 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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