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Thinking about an X5

Discussion in 'E70 X5 (2007-2013)' started by BIMMIR, Nov 14, 2008.

    BIMMIR guest

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    We have a 3 vert, and now that that is in hibernation, are thinking of a winter vehicle. Have had in the past a 3 xi which was great in the snow. We are thinking of an X5 for the extra room. I know bimmers are not cheap to operate, and if you do preventive upkeep, they are great.

    Still, I'm reading a lot about the X5 being alot less reliable and problematic. (and costly)

    What have you heard or experienced yourself?

    Also, what are you getting for MPG? (I'd be interested in a 3.0)

    Autohaus guest

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    I assume you are looking to get the E53 X5 (first generation). Stay away from the early production years. Best to get a 2004-06. Smart choice with the 3.0, however, get it with the stick for the ultimate reliability.

    BIMMIR guest

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    Yes, 2005 or 2006 is what I'm looking at.

    Autohaus guest

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    Your best bet is too find a 3.0 with a stick (rare) at a dealership as a CPO car. You may have to travel to locate one. Start looking at the bmwusa website. You get alot of warranty with the CPO. Another alternative is to find one local from a private owner who has books/records.

    Jeron guest

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    A similar question was asked of our BMWCCA sponsor mechanic this week at our monthly meeting. He said the X5 of that era was very reliable compared to some of the other BMW models.

    The only item of concern I can remember is front half shaft boots, but thats common on any car with front u-joints.

    BIMMIR guest

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    Yea, front boots was one of the issues I heard about. Window regulators was another?

    Jeron guest

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    Window regulators would be my guess too since the 3-ers of that era eat them like candy. He said they weren't as common on X5's but maybe thats because X5 drivers dont roll down their windows. :)
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    Jeff Gomon

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    My recent X5 purchase insights...

    BEEMRR,

    Just bought a 2005 X5 with 30k miles 6 weeks ago after a fairly good search. It is the 4.4i with the 6 speed auto. I agree with most of the previous posts such as the 3.0i with the manual being pretty rare. Not certain it is MORE reliable than the auto, but regular maintenance and fluid changes are paramount for both. Also, ask owners of the 3.0 what their mileage REALLY is. It is no better, and sometimes worse, than the 4.4i as it has to work harder to move the same weight. I thought that was BS but saw 21-23 hwy on my 1000 mile family trip 2 weeks ago. City is not the best at about 15-17. Totally your choice, but don't let mileage be a deturrent, because it is not, in my experience, and after talking to many local 4.4 and 3.0 owners. The six is a great engine, but drive both before making decision. Option packages are different between the two as well, so be informed.

    After lots of research I found the following. If you are shopping for a CPO, BMW Leasing/Financial will sell lease returns to the BMW Centers for the base price and they in turn, mark them up based on the options. In this market, there are some good buys out there. I got lucky and found a loaded model with literally every option except the rear DVD player. My "05" originally stickered at $65,900 and with the $3k CPO Certification it was just over $30k.
    With the BMW finiancial 3.9% interest for 60 months (.9% for 36 months) on CPO's and BMW making the first 2 payments on 05's purchased thru December 2008, it was not a bad deal, especially since you could buy a well equipped Chevy Suburban or Tahoe and spend similar money!!!

    Have your BMW Center find one for you if they don't have one in house. Make them do the work. Make a list of interior and exterior colors that you like as well as a list of must have options, Sport or Standard, Luxury package, premium package, cold weather package, Nav, DSP, adjustable ride height, sliding loading tray, oversided 19" sport wheels, rear seat heat and addition rear side air bags, etc are some. If they do not have one coming back of lease locally, they can look elsewhere in the US.

    Knowledge is power. Be willing to walk away if it isn't right, there are more out there. I have ridden in a friends X5 in the snow with some dedicated Winter only tires these things are tanks. Much like your 325xi I would assume.

    I hope this helps and if you visit the E53 forum on this site, there is lots of information and owners there to ask as well.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Suspension issues, the same ABS controller problems as all German cars of the era, window regulators made of papier mache, Nav system issues (depending upon NAV version), random battery drain usually caused by the blower motor final stage (all BMWs of the era have this issue) but sometimes caused by NAV, cooling system issues common to all BMWs of the era, and that is all I can think of right now. Not trying to rain on your parade, but just consider this stuff when striking the deal. Get one with service records.
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    Jeff Gomon

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    Moosehead is correct, and I forgot to mention, the service records. A 2005/2006 should have all the service records and any issues it visited the dealership, any dealership, for service. You can spot a repeat problem model quickly or one that has not visited often enough. Both are not good in my opinion.

    Interestingly, moosehead mentioned the X5 suffers from the problems of "all German cars from that era." Not very confidence inspiring words if you are considering ANY German product...lol....but that would not stop me from buying one with a solid service record and one that made it in for prescribed visits. Don't forget, most of the 05's will have CPO out to 2011 and the 06's till 2012 (or 100k miles) so at least you have some warranty to fall back on. It is good to hear from someone who repairs these for a living as it gives a totally different perspective.

    BIMMIR guest

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    Thanks Paul, and Jeff (and others)

    My wife likes "the look" of the X5, but I've already heard some of the things you're talking about Paul. I'm glad to see your opinion on this Paul, because I trust you.

    I'd rather get her back into a 3 xi because it's better on fuel and has a lower center of gravity. She drives to work 35 miles each way, on country roads. When we had the 3 xi she had never felt more secure on the road in the winter. It's not unusual for us to get a 1 to 2 foot snowstorm.

    We'll see how it goes...thanks all!
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    mooseheadm5

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    Well, having worked on VW/Audi, Benz, BMW cars for a while, you start to notice common problems due to common suppliers. ABS controllers are nearly identical and all from Bosch. Brose window regulators go out all the time on many different cars (but are still better than the aftermarket replacements), etc. The blower final stage thing was a defect and has been superseded by a better part. These things happen, but it is best to know before you buy lest you spend all your money and then can't afford to fix the car.
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    mooseheadm5

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    THe 3xi will share some of these problems, BTW, but the suspension seems to be less problematic. The bonuses are mileage, handling, cheaper tires. If you were to buy dedicated snows and put her in the xi, there is not much more she could conquer with the X5. If the snow is too deep for the 3, she should not be out anyhow.

    Autohaus guest

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    Sorry to hijack the thread here Moosehead but how reliable is the first generation transfer case in the 2003 325xi? What fluid is needed to change out the transfer case fluid? Putting it on the lift, how long does the job take?
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    Jeff Gomon

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    Paul,

    Very well put...glad that there are upgraded/updated replacement parts to choose from as I have one of vehicles in that "era" as well. One would think that if a large number of failures occur, that those parts would be flagged as faulty or defective and whenever that part failed, if ever, it would be replaced at no cost no matter the mileage. I know that now, with the factory warranty and the subsequent CPO coverage, that items like the window regulators, ABS controllers and the blower final stage unit are covered, but after.....

    I would hope that Safety items like the ABS controller, apparently known to have a history, would be covered no matter the mileage, but I am sure they will not be. Again, perhaps I am just hoping that manufacturers would voluntarily stand behind their work, even if they are OEM suppliers like Bosch and Brose.

    Then again, the days of actually "fixing" something are long gone....now it is remove and replace entire components as they are usually too complicated to even attempt repair. Aircraft maintenance, my field for over 21 years, is very much like that. That is both good and bad, depending which end you are on.

    I will let you know about the deep snow prowess of the X5 with dedicated snow tires. I just installed a set of Blizzak DZ-M3's on OE 18" wheels and am sure I will have the opportunity with the winters we have here in the Midwest!!! I will carry my own tow strap just in case...LOL...lol...
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    mooseheadm5

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    Well, like my grandmother says, hope in one hand $h!t in the other and see which gets filled first (she is an odd bird.) They will not be covered, and just to make matters worse, the regulators have not been updated that I can tell, and the ABS units are just the same as the originals. Occasionally, there will be class action lawsuits resulting in "goodwill" repairs, but this is rare. Your best bet is finding a car that has already had all that stuff fixed and has the records to prove it.
    The worst part about some of the stuff is that you can't replace them without an Autolgic or GT1 (or the pass-thru tool, but that is risky) because they must be programmed to the car.

    As for transfer case on an xi, have not heard about many failures, but maybe check bimmerforums for info there. Not too many of them around here- it almost never snows any more.

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