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BMW2 12-13-2012 07:04 AM

Need Help with Buying X5
I am considering getting a used E53 X5 BMW ( 2000-06). I need help knowing what to look for. I will be driving primarily back and forth to work, which is a 50mile commute ( one way). Also, are these suvs reliable ? I have been seeing a lot of mechanical problems. If I keep the car maintenance well will i have any problems? Also, how much do you expect it cost to keep the car maintenance a year? How is it on gas? .. Just need your insight !

Thanks !

james.e30 12-14-2012 08:47 AM

A quick search on this forum returned:

Read these, there are more threads on the forum if you do a search. Any car will have mechanical problems eventually, if you don't do the work yourself you can expect to pay more for routine maintenance on a BMW. Bimmers aren't for everyone, but are a joy to drive. Be sure you know what you are getting into before you buy.

For reliability and fuel economy, look for a 3.0L engine. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.


QSilver7 12-14-2012 09:38 AM

ditto...there's lots of past threads that start with the same question you asked... :)

Graham132white 12-14-2012 10:05 AM

I think these E53 X5's are totally hit and miss.. You might get one that's done 200k with no service history that runs perfect with no mechanical issues or you might get one like me with only 80k full bmw service history that cocks up with new faults every week without fail.
In the last year it has had 4000 spent on it, it seems to be as soon as I fix one thing, another big problem pops up!
It's a real Love Hate relationship with this car! :dunno:

thecushion 12-15-2012 07:47 PM

If I can help....Don't buy any X5 unless you like throwing your money away in a deep dark endless pit or its still under warranty . Sorry to be the one to tell you this. I too wanted one for my wife to match my E39 but after all the reading and research and talking to my INDY...Intercourse Negative!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

magic 12-28-2012 03:25 PM

I need help too. My choices are a 2004 X5 with 96,000 kms, and two of 2006 with 150,000 kms and 138,000 kms. All are with V6 3 litre engines.

It is obvious that how each car was maintained plays a major role but are there major differences in the 2004 to 2006 ones. I am presuming that all these are E53 vehicles as none has the 3rd row seating in it.
I am in Canada.

Graham132white 12-28-2012 03:46 PM

You mean straight 6, 3.0 engines! BMW never made a V6!

I would go with the 2004 with less mileage. Same face lift E53 car but presumably a lot cheaper. E53's are loosing value fast in the UK, dunno about Canada but I'd buy as cheap as poss with best history and mileage because the prices are dropping by the month.

magic 12-28-2012 05:02 PM

Thanks. My mistake a straight 6. Yes the prices are dropping for the 2004 to 2005 X5s.
There are better priced 2004 4.4 X5 with better mileage too than the 3L ones.

If there are no major changes between the 2004 to 2006 then I guess the best option would be to look at the mileage and of course the history and then buy it.

There is a 2004, 4.4 with almost all the options apart from a Satnav for 13,000 Dollars with 104,000 Kms. The options include heated steering wheels and memory for steering wheel too.

Graham132white 12-29-2012 03:17 AM

I have a 4.4i and if the price for the 4.4 is cheaper than the 3.0, I would deffo consider the V8.

You get virtually the same MPG on the V8 along with more power, more torque and a lovely engine note.

Just make sure you check for any oil leaks, you should look for one with a totally dry engine underneath. If you can get hold of a code reader also, I would recommend checking the live data readings to see where the fuel trims are sitting. The long term trims should be no more than + or - 5. Anything higher will give you horrible economy and possibly expensive problems to diagnose and fix down the line.

After owning an X5 for the last 12 months, I wish I knew all the things I know now after a huge amount of research and work, before I bought one. I would have still bought one but would have known what to look for..... The list is massive!

Good luck!

teacop 12-30-2012 02:36 PM

I have a Sterling Gray 2005 X5 4.4i as pictured above. Its loaded excluding Nav with 74k and current maint. Blk leather...For Sale $16800

magic 12-30-2012 07:43 PM

Cheers Graham. I am looking at a 2004 with 135,000kms with a lot of options including adaptive head lights and front and rear heated seats, heated steering etc.
The other is a 2005 with 107,000 km with less options. Both are 4.4s.
I am going to get a diagnostic scan done by BMW before I buy them. I wish I still had the BMW diagnostic software with me. I gave to a friend.

Graham132white 12-31-2012 04:00 AM

You don't really need BMW diagnostic software just a hand held code reader that covers live data. They are only cheap...

That 2004 sound nice with all the extras.. The V8's are a dream to drive I must say. :thumbup:

Graham132white 12-31-2012 04:01 AM


Originally Posted by teacop (Post 7279611)
I have a Sterling Gray 2005 X5 4.4i as pictured above. Its loaded excluding Nav with 74k and current maint. Blk leather...For Sale $16800

I think Texas to Canada is a bit of a drive!! :tsk:

magic 01-01-2013 01:47 PM

Graham, the issue is should I choose the 2005 4.4 with lesser mileage or the 2004 with more options? As for the hand held, the diagnostic software does much better than the hand held. I used it a number of times on a 740 I had a couple of years back.
It connects with the connector under the bonnet, and not the OBD connecter under the dash.

Graham132white 01-01-2013 02:05 PM

Sounds like you have a dilemma! It all depends if the extras are worth it to you I suppose. There is a lot of stuff on mine I just never use but I had to have when I bought it..

Also, the X5 does not have the under bonet round connector like your 740 would have had. The only means of connection is the OBD under dash on the X5's and realistically you only need to see simplistic results off a code reader, ie pending codes, stored codes and obviously fuel trims can give a big picture of how the engine is performing without fault codes.

Good luck on your decision. :thumbup:

magic 01-01-2013 02:22 PM

Thanks Graham, now I have another worry after reading a thread here. It is the dreaded Oil Separator issue. I know in England you would not have this problem as the temperature rarely falls below 0C most of the winter while here it is below 20C a lot of times.
So that is another issue that I may to struggle with.

Graham132white 01-01-2013 02:34 PM

Yes, we only get a few months of max -10 and Canada can be very cold I know.

The oil seperator on the 4.4 is something that need to be changed more often than BMW say, regular oil changes are a must on the 4.4 too.
There are a lot of people on this forum who expect items like the oil seperator to last forever but they do not. Also, if you read into that other post regarding failure, there are a lot of people getting confused between the actual oil seperator and the inlet manifold CCV diaphragm.

I wouldn't recommend any BMW if your a regular short journey driver. All BMW crank case vents are sealed and are a cold weather nightmare if not kept on top of.

magic 01-01-2013 03:18 PM

Thanks Graham. My trips are both long and short. That said my 740 did not seem to have any problems being driven in this cold. I do not expect the separator it to last forever and I intend to put in new ones if I buy any X5. My biggest concern now is would it be so gone that even if I replaced the oil separator and the CVV diaphragm is changed the end result would be the same disaster?
I am getting it checked by an authorised dealer of course and would demand a warranty from the used car dealership.

I have also started to look at at the Touareg since then. I know that there are not the same but unless I can a clear idea about these problems I am scared to buy a X5.

Graham132white 01-01-2013 03:55 PM

Touregs are nice motors but I can't comment on their issues or common problems...

If the X5 shows no signs of any colour smoke at all and fuel trims are around what I said (this is one of the reasons I said to check them) any small failure on the oil seperator hoses would provide the engine with a vacuum leak and throw your mixtures at the oxygen sensors, hence check long term fuel trims before buying.
I honestly wouldn't worry too much about CCV failure or previous disasters as long as all above are in line. As long as your journeys get the car to at least operating temperature (which happens very fast on the V8 trust me) I would not worry, just keep well serviced and check your hoses every few thousand Km's throughout the winter at least, and give it a good blast now and again to blow them hoses through!

magic 01-02-2013 04:36 AM

Thanks Graham. I am going to have a thorough look at these vehicles hopefully on next Monday.

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