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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #26  
Old 01-04-2010, 07:38 AM
Raimo Raimo is offline
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The job is fairly easy, but the access to these parts is limited. It doesn't require any special tools too.
There is actually no need the change the dipstick or separator, they just need to be washed. The thing is that you can't see inside the separator, so it's difficult to tell wheter to change it or no. It depends on your driving habits, but changing it once a year should be more than enough.
Also, checking the inside of the intake manifold for sludge it a good idea too.
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  #27  
Old 01-04-2010, 07:52 AM
almostdone almostdone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernaldamerican View Post
almostdone - what was the interval between each of the 4 replaced oil seperator valves (mileage / timeframe)? I am extremely dissapointed in the reliability of the X5. Its a love hate relationship.
I have had the car for three years. this is my third winter. The first winter, no problems, the second winter is was in the shop three times between Nov-Feb, with this problem, than this year. I agree with the love/hate relationship. I am so sad over this.
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  #28  
Old 01-04-2010, 12:59 PM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnbmw View Post
You need to pull out the oil dipstick every now and then and watch for sludge build-up on the dipstick, right? If you see sludge, you need to take it to the repair shop and have them change the separator parts? Anything else?
Many newer BMW's no longer have oil dipsticks and rely on oil level sensors instead. It's been mentioned that one possible indicator of impending failure is beige/light brown sludge on the bottom of the oil filler cap on these engines.

Now that I think about it, I don't remember any failures on any of these new engines but maybe I've forgotten.

Could eliminating the dipstick actually be an attempt by BMW to mitigate the problem?
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  #29  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:00 PM
adrianho adrianho is offline
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Victim of oil separator issue

Hi all, discovered this thread after my 2004 X5 died on the freeway this weekend in -10 degree weather. I called the tow company and the dispatcher said, "sounds like an oil separator problem, we have 3 other X5's that we've towed today."

Today I was told that my engine seized and the best option is to put a new (or used) engine in at a cost of $12K - $14K.

I'm out of warranty so I'd have to shoulder all the costs, any thoughts on what I should do or whether it's worth trying to contact BMW N.A. given that this seems to be a well known problem.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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  #30  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:25 PM
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finnbmw finnbmw is offline
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Found this on another forum: http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...separator.html
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  #31  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:37 PM
adrianho adrianho is offline
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Great find, thanks! Gives me a bit more ammo to try the BMW N.A. route. I've had the car serviced regularly by the dealer and they clearly never installed the heated wrap kit.

I'll let you know what I find out.
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  #32  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:49 PM
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finnbmw finnbmw is offline
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You're welcome! Here's another one: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=905630

I just used a simple Google search, so good luck! Let us know what BMW will do for you.
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  #33  
Old 01-04-2010, 09:41 PM
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Thanks for the links. Didn't know the problem was so widespread and predictable. Definitely glad I didn't buy used.
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  #34  
Old 01-04-2010, 09:55 PM
driftingricegod driftingricegod is offline
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do the oil change every 7500 miles... it was an advice from the BMW master tech.
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  #35  
Old 01-04-2010, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driftingricegod View Post
do the oil change every 7500 miles... it was an advice from the BMW master tech.
I don't believe in the 15-6K intervals either and have been changing it around 8500 miles. Still wondering if the lack of a dipstick tube to become clogged will help prevent the problem somewhat.
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  #36  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:45 AM
almostdone almostdone is offline
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update:

Quote:
Originally Posted by almostdone View Post
Well I just watched my BMW X5 being towed away for the 4th time for the oil separater problem. Each time in the shop it is 'this is the right fix'! We'll see. I came across this site as I was looking for new cars! I am so afraid to start my car and have no trust in it. Each time I start it I have to say a prayer and hold my breath that it will not have a big black smoke ball if the temp is below 20 degrees. Although it is below zero today, the other 2 cars in the garage had no problems. A saturn with 150000 miles on it and a Jeep. Makes me wonder. I have spent more money on keeping this car on the road that I refuse to do it any longer. Once I get it running, it is gone and I will never get another BMW. I saved my whole life to get this car and now am slowly going into the poor house from the repairs. Although BMW has been wonderful and have acknowledged this issue and has worked with me, I cannot continue to put good money into a bad product. Very sad as I love it when it is running! In reading the other posts it states to drive it around and don't take it on short trips.....I don't think a car that costs this much I should have to be so selective in where I drive it to, or drive around for an hour before I go to the grocery store. I would think that I would get more reliability than a 6 year old saturn way past its prime. The fact that I have to keep the saturn as a backup because I never know when my BMW will work is really wrong! Sorry BMW!

Update: Well, I am picking up the X5 tonight with a 'brand new fix'. The techs don't sound confident, but what can I do. the service department has been wonderful, but unfortunaltey they cannot make me feel warm and fuzzy that this won't happen again-because they do not feel warm and fuzzy. We will see!
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  #37  
Old 01-06-2010, 09:21 AM
jkwolfe1 jkwolfe1 is offline
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Called the dealership this morning to price the CCV and hoses change and was quoted 850.00 (which he said was the "INEXPENSIVE FIX!)!! He offered the "expensive fix" which included a "heated intake manifold" but since I'm fond of consciousness, I didn't ask him the price. Oh yeah, the 850.00 didn't include the valve cover gasket but does include a new dipstick tube. My '03 X5 is running great but i've noticed the dreaded sludge on the oil filler cap and the CCV hose that runs off the valve cover...and since I live in south dakota, it seems I should get be getting busy busting my knuckles! Thanks for all the info on this difficult problem!

Last edited by jkwolfe1; 01-06-2010 at 09:22 AM. Reason: addition
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  #38  
Old 01-08-2010, 05:30 AM
adrianho adrianho is offline
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Happy ending

Well thanks to the help of finnbmw and others here I picked up my repaired X5 last night from the dealer with all of the work comped (even though I am out of warranty) apart from a minimal $250 gesture from me!

There's probably a few lessons here so I thought I'd tell the whole story.

Last Saturday my 2004 X5 died on the freeway shortly after starting up. Typical symptoms, white smoke and then engine failure. I had the car towed to my local repair shop - not the dealer - who diagnosed the oil separator issue and who gave me news that my engine was seized and that I was looking at a $12-$14K repair for a new engine.

Based on the links that finnbmw found, I called BMWNA and spoke to one of their reps. I explained what had happened, mentioned that I'd seen service bulletins about heated wraps and asked if they could do anything to help. The rep asked if I was at a BMW service center, I said no and he said I'd need to get it looked at by an authorized service center before they could comment and suggested I take it back to my dealer. I asked if he could tell me if there was any chance of relief because I didn't want to tow it to the dealer simply to be told it was going to be $14K. He said he couldn't comment, but then asked me to hold and went to talk to his manager. He came back and said, "my manager thinks you should get it towed back to your dealer."

So I take the car back to the dealer. It is now Tuesday afternoon, the service dept there says they can look at it on Wednesday. On Wednesday evening, they call and say they've been too busy but can look at it 1st thing on Thursday. Then on Thursday morning they call and tell me that the insulated wrap was installed but the heated one was not installed. They've discussed the matter with BMWNA and have decided to fix everything at their expense and only ask for $250 from me to cover towing expenses and "goodwill."

They don't mention the seized engine and I picked my car up Thursday night.

While I am ecstatic about not having to pay for the repair, I am also pretty pissed off at my local shop because clearly the engine was not seized. Obviously this was a rip-off attempt and I'm just lucky they asked for too much so I felt the need to contact BMW. Ironically this shop - Autopia - promises "service you've never dreamed of." I think they're right, I never dreamed someone would try to sell me an engine I didn't need.

At any rate all's well that ends well and so thanks again finnbmw and thanks BMWNA and Motorwerks BMW. I'm glad there are people and companies who do the right thing.
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  #39  
Old 01-10-2010, 12:00 AM
Raimo Raimo is offline
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Wonder what that 'heated wrap' actually is ...
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  #40  
Old 01-22-2010, 02:05 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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i dont have any sludge on my dipstick and my ccv is bad
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  #41  
Old 01-22-2010, 06:14 AM
jkwolfe1 jkwolfe1 is offline
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mujjuman--how do you know that the CCV is "bad"?
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  #42  
Old 01-22-2010, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mujjuman View Post
i dont have any sludge on my dipstick and my ccv is bad
You won't see it on the stick. There is a seperate 2nd passage half way down the tube if you have the original design.
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  #43  
Old 01-22-2010, 10:21 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Since this problem seems to be fairly common I question why BMW does not add an CCV service to their regular maintentance program? I suspect they probably don't want to pay for it for those under original or extended warranty. Seems as if it should be at least listed as a recommendation for Service II.

Last edited by UncleJ; 01-22-2010 at 10:24 AM.
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  #44  
Old 02-01-2010, 09:11 AM
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2000-Present should pretty much narrow it down. Seriously, it's a flaw in BMW's design, nothing else to it. www.bavauto.com sells this part for around $350 that comes w/ an insulating wrap, but it's still pretty pointless. In the N62 X5's, you can add the heated intake manifold at the cost of around $3500, which is absolutely stupid.
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  #45  
Old 02-01-2010, 01:27 PM
RedRockin RedRockin is offline
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Hi, taking delivery tomorrow 2010 30i. From reading this thread, and all posted links, it appears as tho this issue may be fixed. Anyone have any input about the 2010s? Do I need to watch for this (AZ mountains)? Days always over freezing, nights can go as low as mid teens. The other possibility that comes to mind is that this issue takes a while to build up so unlikely to see any posts relative to '09s and 10's. T.I.A.
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  #46  
Old 02-01-2010, 01:43 PM
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m5james m5james is offline
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BMW has come out w/ a "fix" supposedly, but even the BMW tech Killcrap says the insulation wrap on the newer parts is useless. With your car being an '10, your probably good for about 3-4yrs.
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325hp 98 740iL, black/black - Eatin 540's & $hittin 318's
PERFORMANCE:///M5 6spd conv., Iron sleeves, L/W Teflon coated pistons, 3 angle valvejob, P&P head, cams, electric fan, CF intake tube w/aluminum heatshield, Magnaflow 14816'd
INTERIOR:
Hardwired V1 above rearview, 12" RE Audio DVC sub, MTX 81000D, silver trim, 5% tint
EXTERIOR:19" Beyern Mesh staggered, Shadowline kidneys, Axxis pads
01 X5 4.4 - F90BT, L5
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  #47  
Old 02-01-2010, 03:00 PM
RedRockin RedRockin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m5james View Post
With your car being an '10, your probably good for about 3-4yrs.
3 yr lease! Thanks.
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  #48  
Old 02-04-2010, 07:27 PM
randf randf is offline
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add another X5 to this list

I also just "discovered" the oil separator problem after mine died on monday. it hadn't been run all weekend long after an unusual cold snap here in Virginia. i drive it daily 30-45 minutes each way to work at up to highway speeds.

fortunately the car died about 50 yards from the house. i had started it and let it run for 10-15 minutes while i cleaned the snow. after turning out of the driveway it just died. would not start and had it towed to a local non-dealer "german car specialist" garage.

got the word back today that the engine had hydrolocked, it is likely a oil separator problem and it had oil in at least one cylinder. they took measurements to see if any indication of bent/broken rods, before proceeding with anything else. at least there seems to be no damage there. the shop manager forwarded the SIB bulletin of what appears to be a known problem.

i called BMWNA customer service. the guy looked up my VIN and said "sorry, car is out of warranty". he said that although the SIB had been distributed, it did not indicate a "known problem" and that bulletins were just sent out to help educate dealers.

i asked if BMW was willing to help with any of the repair costs of a known problem and he said that since the car was at a non-dealer garage that they wouldn't even consider it. he said to talk to my dealer about transferring the car first and then BMW might be able to assist.

i hate the thought of moving my car in it's current condition and taking away business from the current garage, but have been reading all evening about the potential bills for repairs due to the oil separator problem...anywhere from a $1k for cleaning/replacing fouled parts up to entire engine exchanges.

this seems like much more than a minor X5 issue on a few vehicles, it seems to be common knowledge on most if not all BMWs. why has it gone on for so long with no acknowledgment/recall from BMW?
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  #49  
Old 02-07-2010, 07:51 PM
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m5james m5james is offline
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BMW...admit they're wrong....phhffftt!! Ask Toyota....recalls cost money, so unless it kills at least 10-20 people first, it's not a "problem", regardless of the vehicle costing $20k or having higher expectations for a vehicle costing $60k.
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325hp 98 740iL, black/black - Eatin 540's & $hittin 318's
PERFORMANCE:///M5 6spd conv., Iron sleeves, L/W Teflon coated pistons, 3 angle valvejob, P&P head, cams, electric fan, CF intake tube w/aluminum heatshield, Magnaflow 14816'd
INTERIOR:
Hardwired V1 above rearview, 12" RE Audio DVC sub, MTX 81000D, silver trim, 5% tint
EXTERIOR:19" Beyern Mesh staggered, Shadowline kidneys, Axxis pads
01 X5 4.4 - F90BT, L5
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  #50  
Old 02-07-2010, 08:19 PM
paulgreen paulgreen is offline
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I have a really high tech question.

The lid from my windscreen washer reservoir on my X5 fell off and it lodged somewhere invisible down below.

Where can I get a new cap? I am in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
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