Do you maintain your x5 e53 yourself?...Your experience appreciated!
The forum is great for sharing joys and pains about BMW cars and I love reading all of the member efforts at self- servicing, but one must consider how cars have changed over the past 15 years in particular, which has unfortunately made them unserviceable by novices at home and even trained mechanics, and that is the computer equipment, which in BMWs, is the brain and central nervous system for the cars entire mechanical and electronic operation, and monitors every single aspect of the cars essential functions. This design setup is true of all BMWs from early 90s onwards and the e53s include a much more sophisticated generation of computer systems for problem diagnostics and sensor monitoring, which is apparently capable of monitoring 13 separate functions at the same time. Now, when it is time to replace parts, authorised dealers use a specialised computer system to test the vehicle after the work is done, which is something people at home just wouldn't have. Mercedes are the same. I worked on Mercedes cars, customising them for Australian use, before they became so sophisticated that I had no choice but to go away and study electrical and computer software engineering, and frankly, I don't look back! I'm now a Data Management specialist for a govt dept. But being a mechanic these days means you need to be qualified to service vehicles with computer equipment, trouble shoot with computers and calibrate with computers. And this is where most people get stuck. They fail to appreciate that BMWs in particular have parts consisting of subtle interrelationships with other parts, and require the utmost care during removal, assembly and replacement. You need to know the whole car before you can service them properly, and gone are the days when you could lift up the hood and remove the head to insert new valves and cylinder rings. Be warned, the e53, in my opinion one of the best cars BMW has ever, ever made, will elude even the most experienced mechanics.
Sure, change light bulbs and spark plugs yourself, even fit a new headlight or rear light and change the sparks, but if you want sleepless nights of anxiety, go ahead and try replacing the gearbox!
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