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Old 11-15-2012, 11:03 AM
EM06 EM06 is offline
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Location: Philadelphia
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2003 X5
X5 Honest Opinion Help

Greetings all. My name is Eric. i currently own a 2003 X5 3.0 Sport with a 5 speed manual transmission. having only recently learned the advantages to forums i figured i would start out by asking those of you for your honest opinions on what i should do with my suv at this time.

to give you some background i love my truck more than anything and to own a BMW SUV with a manual transmission is such a rarity that parting ways with it seems to be such a difficult task. the truck was originally my fathers and then handed off to me. however i seem to be having one problem after another. to make a long story short the car runs fine but it needs many replacements to pass inspection as well as some other things (sensors, new cats, shocks, and the list goes on) after taking it to the dealer (not a fan of) they estimated that to get the car to complete driving condition would cost me around 8 grand. clearly this is money that i do not have so i spent the last year driving the car anyway until i recently leased a new car but still kept the BMW since no one wanted to give me anything for a trade in. the car currently has over 180K miles but somehow still manages to get me from point A to B without any difficulty.

That being said now is the time for me to make a huge decision and where i would like some honest opinions. Do to the fact that manual transmission X5's are no longer even made do you think its worth it to hold on to the truck till i find the time and money to get it to tip top shape, or do you think its better to cut my loses now and sell the car depending on what i can get for it?
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:45 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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Location: Wadsworth, Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Mein Auto: Hover Car on Wheels
I'd love to see that eight grand work sheet the dealer provided you with, it sounds like they did a lot of "padding". At 180k the X probably needs a cooling system refresh done, as well as a suspension overhaul. New cats, I've seen cars go many more miles than 180k with no issues of cat failure, but if yours have an aftermarket set up from your local exhaust shop would be substantially cheaper then BMW cats.

The 5 speed E53 is a rare bird, those that have them love them those that don't think hard about trying to find one. Since yours has a little history to it (being in the family for a while) I'd think hard about holding on to it and getting her back in proper shape.

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Old 11-15-2012, 12:00 PM
EM06 EM06 is offline
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Location: Philadelphia
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2003 X5
it really is upsetting that for such a great car manufacturer all their dealerships are just filled with a bunch of pricks. they literally almost turned me against BMW completely. but then again i guess its the price we pay for sitting behind that "BMW" emblem. but i appreciate the reply, i deff would like to hold on to the car as long as possible so any advice is appreciated and hopefully within no time i will be able to call it my DD again
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:04 PM
watchurself watchurself is offline
Location: NYC USA
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 71
Mein Auto: 2002 bmw 4.4i x5 sprts pg
Hello Eric - I am also an X5 owner -mine is a 2002 4.4i 8 cyl automatic

having been a member of various forums (lately) for the X5 - i have found out - alot of X5 Owners are DIYers -meaning that they are handy with tools
and do alot of repairs themselves - I am not myself so i share the same concerns as you do in regard to repairs and it being worth it

my X has 166K on it - and so far i have no issues - but it is OLD and they do need upkeep which costs $$$$

so i would suggest to either learn to DIY as much as you can do and find a good indy (independant repair man)

going to the dealer is the LAST thing i would do as everything with them is like triple the cost -so their $8K suggestion may only be about $3-4K at an indy

lookinto the things that need to get done and get familiar with folks on these forums (Xoutpost.com is great also) as they are very helpful and often will

suggest helping you out with their time and helping you repair something - real nice bunch of people on both these forums - with lotsa info to share as well!!

Best of luck and i hope you decide to keep your X5 as they are alot of fun to drive and nice looking too

2002 4.4i BMW X5 - 166K Topaz Blue Ext/ Tan/Beige Leather Int

1994 Nissan Pathfinder SE 132K Black Ext / Grey Leather Int
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:46 PM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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Location: uk
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 206
Mein Auto: E53 X5 2004 3.0 SPORT

I bought a 2002 E53 X5 4.4i for about half the book value as it had a list of faults as long as your arm. Read through this forum, Buy the parts from ebay or from scrap dealers and do the work yourself. I am not a mechanic but have learned a lot about my ride from this forum and so far I have fixed almost all of the faults myself. Buy a good code reader so that you know what faults you have and the guys on here will advise you on how to fix them. I love my X now and it has been a great deal of fun fixing the problems and learning about the car.
E61 2.0D Auto

Last edited by white_lancer; 11-15-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:17 PM
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motordavid motordavid is offline
Location: Mtns of Western NC & SW FLA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 782
Mein Auto: '01 X5 3.0 '02VetteVert
I rec'd finding a good BMW oriented Indie in Philly area; a quick GOOG perusal shows several of them. Have them give your X a thorough look and estimate on what it would take to get it pass PA inspection. My guess is that $8Gs from the dealer is 2-3X what an Indie will charge to get you past inspection, maybe less.

Once inspected and legit, you can then decide if you want to dig into suspension, cooling sys replacement, etc.

5 spds are not common, though not a 'collectible' imo. If you do off it, it will be worth a lot more to someone, if it has passed PA insp. and/or could pass NJ inspec. Without that sticker it screams 'big dough to fix'. A 5 spd would be interesting to the right buyer, if you do decide to sell it, though the 6 spd is even more rare and desirable, imo.

As you say, it starts, runs, gets you around and you like it; get the sumbitch repaired to pass inspection, and then take you time on deciding what you should do, imo.
GL, mD
Ol'Uncle Motor
'01 X5 3.0 Sport, 5 Spd Manual, etc.
'02 VetteVert 6 Spd, Z51 susp.
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