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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #76  
Old 01-02-2010, 07:26 AM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Mein Auto: 2009 X5 35d 2007 Lexus LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by k80jr View Post
It's been only 1000 miles since I was at the dealer for a diesel exhaust fulid fill. The first fill was at 12k the second was at 18k now have 19k and just got the warning message again. I'll call the dealer on Monday to see if they can find out what's up. I will keep everyone posted. From what I've been reading on the forums there is a problem with false messages.
You either have a leak, or a bad sensor in one of the tanks. Let us know what the dealer comes up with. I've never seen that error and I've had mine for a year...

Craig
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  #77  
Old 01-17-2010, 08:04 AM
pbrink1 pbrink1 is offline
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At 2100 miles I got the low exhaust fluid warning light. I guess I'll have to bring it to the dealer tomorrow... what a PITA.
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  #78  
Old 01-17-2010, 08:45 AM
Scot Scot is offline
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At 2100 miles, as did several of us that posted similar mileages, your dealer likely did not fill up the main reservoir with DEF. If you take it back to the selling dealer, you should indeed point out to them that there are TWO fill necks that they need to put DEF in......the entire system should be approx. 6.5 gallons of DEF. The should not charge you for this.......even though the manual states that DEF isn't covered for 'top off' between oil fills....there is no way that 6.5 gallons would be used during 2100 miles. There are several threads on this between Xoutpost and Bimmerfest.
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  #79  
Old 01-17-2010, 04:46 PM
New2diesel New2diesel is offline
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I live in NY where it has been unusually cold. My wife was driving our X5 35D on Friday and got the warning that it would not start in 1000 miles because of the diesel exhaust fluid. Next day I drove it around in 40 degree weather while accessing the on board diagnostic menu in iDrive and the warning resolved on its own.
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  #80  
Old 01-18-2010, 11:02 AM
pbrink1 pbrink1 is offline
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Well, I just got back from the dealer. They had to put in 2.5 gallons of fluid in. Which I guess is about the capacity of the heated tank. They didn't find any leaks. The service manager said the fluid in the other tank was congealed because of the cold weather so it didn't transfer. Since I bought this car on 11/28 the temperature has not been above freezing so this makes me a little concerned about winter driving with this car even though it is parked in a garage. I only have 2100 miles on it. I got a little pissed when they wanted to charge me $60 for the fluid. He tried to tell me it is only free at service intervals so I had to get the owners manual out and showed him (page 226) that exhaust fluid replacement is part of the service plan. I have a feeling either the tanks weren't filled at delivery or something else is wrong. Does anyone know if the factory fills the tanks or is the dealer responsible for that at delivery? I don't have much confidence in this dealer after speaking with them.
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  #81  
Old 01-18-2010, 11:12 AM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbrink1 View Post
Well, I just got back from the dealer. They had to put in 2.5 gallons of fluid in. Which I guess is about the capacity of the heated tank. They didn't find any leaks. The service manager said the fluid in the other tank was congealed because of the cold weather so it didn't transfer. Since I bought this car on 11/28 the temperature has not been above freezing so this makes me a little concerned about winter driving with this car even though it is parked in a garage. I only have 2100 miles on it. I got a little pissed when they wanted to charge me $60 for the fluid. He tried to tell me it is only free at service intervals so I had to get the owners manual out and showed him (page 226) that exhaust fluid replacement is part of the service plan. I have a feeling either the tanks weren't filled at delivery or something else is wrong. Does anyone know if the factory fills the tanks or is the dealer responsible for that at delivery? I don't have much confidence in this dealer after speaking with them.
Mine came filled from the factory. I live in a cold climate, and I haven't had any problems, and I've had mine for a year now. I just had mine flushed and filled when they changed the oil for the first time.

Craig
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  #82  
Old 01-18-2010, 11:30 AM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbrink1 View Post
He tried to tell me it is only free at service intervals so I had to get the owners manual out and showed him (page 226) that exhaust fluid replacement is part of the service plan.

The language they've used is somewhat torturous...they exclude changes of the DEF outside of the normal service intervals: (From the 2010 manual)

"DEF changes performed outside the
recommended maintenance intervals as
indicated by the Service Interval Display"

Now, there are two things wrong with this: First, they reference 'changes' not refills. Second, they state that you will be alerted to the need for DEF service by a message based on the conditoons of use. When you run low, you get a warning. This is how they notify you of the need for service.

What they fail to state in their manual is that by "Service Interval Display" they actually mean "Service interval for the other scheduled items and not the DEF notice".

Clearly, they make it sound like 'an extra oil change outside the normally specified interval' is not covered, and neither would a 'DEF change outside the interval as recommended'... but the argument must be, first it is not a change, and second the car is indicating this service IS REQUIRED.

My 2 cents... just getting ready for when mine trips an error...



A
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  #83  
Old 01-18-2010, 12:06 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbrink1 View Post
Well, I just got back from the dealer. They had to put in 2.5 gallons of fluid in. Which I guess is about the capacity of the heated tank. They didn't find any leaks. The service manager said the fluid in the other tank was congealed because of the cold weather so it didn't transfer. Since I bought this car on 11/28 the temperature has not been above freezing so this makes me a little concerned about winter driving with this car even though it is parked in a garage. I only have 2100 miles on it. .....
Some things are not adding up.

2.5 gals is the capacity of the active (heated) tank. So to require the full 2.5 gals, would mean the Active DEF tank was completely EMPTY when you arrived at the dealer. IOW you coasted in Using a full 2.5 gals of DEF in only 2,100 miles is not very likely since that would imply that the 6.5 gals of DEF in both tanks would only last about 5,500 miles.

Here is some info gleaned from a presentation made by BMW at the ACEA SCR meeting in Feb of 2007.
"* As only the active-tank is heated, the passive-tank could be constantly frozen, if this occurs during a longer period, customer would have to refill the active tank, otherwise the warning system including the driver inducement would be activated.

* Even at long periods below -11C the heating concept consistently secures the UREA injection. The disadvantage is, that the customer could be forced to refill UREA in intervals of approx. 6.000 km."
When you combine the above info, with the diagram of the Urea Warning System in the attached pic, it is much more likely that your dealer OPENED a 2.5 gal DEF container but only USED part of it to top up the Active Tank.

BTW BMW sells DEF in two containers. One is about 1 gal (IIRC) and is designed for use by owners; it has a special lid that screws onto the DEF filler to eliminate spills and over filling. The other is a 2.5 gal jug.

Funf Dreisig
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Last edited by Funf Dreisig; 01-18-2010 at 02:15 PM.
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  #84  
Old 01-18-2010, 12:13 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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I am constantly amazed how BMW NA shoots itself in the foot when it comes to customer satisfaction. Why go to the bother of excluding between oil change DEF additions? It should not be a very common occurrence, unless there is something wrong with the system (in which case the warranty would apply anyway). It seems they are damaging their image and customer satisfaction for a very small cost savings. Since they flush and refill the system at the oil change interval, how hard would it be for them to just issue an SIB which tells the service people to check the miles until service, do a simple computation, and just add enough DEF to bring it to the next oil change, if it runs short between changes?
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  #85  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:30 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
I am constantly amazed how BMW NA shoots itself in the foot when it comes to customer satisfaction. Why go to the bother of excluding between oil change DEF additions? It should not be a very common occurrence, unless there is something wrong with the system (in which case the warranty would apply anyway). It seems they are damaging their image and customer satisfaction for a very small cost savings. Since they flush and refill the system at the oil change interval, how hard would it be for them to just issue an SIB which tells the service people to check the miles until service, do a simple computation, and just add enough DEF to bring it to the next oil change, if it runs short between changes?
I agree! This issue could blunt the acceptance of the BMW Diesels for some time to come. All it has to do is become "common knowledge" that DEF is a hassle and BMW charges diesel owners high prices for topping it up between oil changes. Undoing that kind of bad PR could, and probably will, cost BMW far more than just taking care of it for the customer.

BTW the calculation you mentioned is simple IF you have some idea of the DEF usage rate ranges for any particular model. IF BMW has this info (and they should), they certainly don't seem to be sharing it with the BMW dealers and techs. Otherwise, BMW techs would know almost immediately that the low mileage between DEF top up issues we've read about on this and other X5 forums indicate:
1 - The DEF system on that 35d is not working properly: leaking, wasting DEF, etc..
or
2 - Both tanks weren't and/or aren't getting filled properly.
or
BOTH 1&2.

FWIW I'd bet the DEF usage rate for a 35d is somewhere in the range of 1,800-2,000 miles per gal of DEF. At this rate most 35d owner's would not need to top up the DEF between oil changes (11-13,000mi).

Funf Dreisig

Last edited by Funf Dreisig; 01-18-2010 at 01:34 PM.
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  #86  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:32 PM
pbrink1 pbrink1 is offline
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Thanks Funf for the info.... I have learned a ton from this website. I wish I discovered it before I bought but oh well... The service manager was a little flustered when I said I refused to pay for anything, he then went on to tell me that they had a '09 X5 diesel as a service car last winter and they had to refill the exhaust fluid tank all the time. I then told him he wasn't making me feel any better for buying this car. Other than that I love the car, the diesel engine is a beast.
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  #87  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:55 PM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
I am constantly amazed how BMW NA shoots itself in the foot when it comes to customer satisfaction. Why go to the bother of excluding between oil change DEF additions? It should not be a very common occurrence, unless there is something wrong with the system (in which case the warranty would apply anyway). It seems they are damaging their image and customer satisfaction for a very small cost savings. Since they flush and refill the system at the oil change interval, how hard would it be for them to just issue an SIB which tells the service people to check the miles until service, do a simple computation, and just add enough DEF to bring it to the next oil change, if it runs short between changes?
I agree, I've had a terrible experience with BMWNA and my diesel X5. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have purchased my X5, or another BMW. This is my 4th BMW, and most likely my last!

Craig
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  #88  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:08 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I agree, I've had a terrible experience with BMWNA and my diesel X5. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have purchased my X5, or another BMW. This is my 4th BMW, and most likely my last!

Craig

I must admit it amazes me how stupid BMW NA can be at times.

BMW NA is STILL showing on their webstie, under "build your own," a $900 tax credit for the diesel X5, even though the IRS tax info is out and has confirmed it is still $1,800, same as last year. I, and others, have e-mailed BMW NA about this error more than a month ago, and they are STILL understating the tax credit for the X5 diesel by 50%.


Now, how stupid is that. It's one thing to make the mistake, but to ignore multiple messages from customers that inform you of the likely mistake, and then to do nothing, is hard to fathom.


BMW NA are you listening out out there?


P.S. Maybe we should start a pool to see who can guess the date when BMW NA realizes it is telling their potential customers that the tax benefit of buying a BMW X5 diesel is $900 lower than is actually is (unchanged from last year), i.e., they are overstating the cost of buying an X5 diesel by $900.

My bet is April 1, 2010.

Last edited by Penguin; 01-18-2010 at 02:17 PM.
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  #89  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:10 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbrink1 View Post
Thanks Funf for the info.... I have learned a ton from this website. I wish I discovered it before I bought but oh well... The service manager was a little flustered when I said I refused to pay for anything, he then went on to tell me that they had a '09 X5 diesel as a service car last winter and they had to refill the exhaust fluid tank all the time. I then told him he wasn't making me feel any better for buying this car. Other than that I love the car, the diesel engine is a beast.
You're welcome.

BTW your dealer's techs obviously know less about the 35d DEF system than anyone reading this thread. Anyone who has to "refill the exhaust fluid tank all the time" has a dysfunctional DEF system or dealer. In most cases, I'd bet on the later

Funf Dreisig

Last edited by Funf Dreisig; 01-18-2010 at 02:13 PM.
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  #90  
Old 01-18-2010, 03:18 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funf Dreisig View Post
I agree! This issue could blunt the acceptance of the BMW Diesels for some time to come. All it has to do is become "common knowledge" that DEF is a hassle and BMW charges diesel owners high prices for topping it up between oil changes. Undoing that kind of bad PR could, and probably will, cost BMW far more than just taking care of it for the customer.

Bingo.

They've paid $4500 to get consumers to buy their diesel...you'd thnk they could spend $100 here and there to deal with the relatively few DEF issues that come up ('relatively few' is in relation to how many $4500 eco credits they granted)

Making a good first impression is always easier and cheaper than FIXING a first impression...

Their issue is one of organizational communication. Plus they are a German company and not consumer centric. IMHO

A
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  #91  
Old 01-18-2010, 05:43 PM
cheapdate cheapdate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joegoesfishing View Post
Seems to be a problem with the Urea Storage/Injection system. At 1700 mi, my X5 displays a service warning that the "Exhaust Fluid is Low"; starting the mileage run down to prevent the vehicle from starting if the problem is not corrected. I checked for a leak & found no evidence of leakage whatsoever. This certainly should not be happening at 1700 mi. Annoying to say the least; undermining my confidence in the vehicle. Has anyone else experienced this situation?

Joe
My 2010 did it at almost the exact same milage...1690 went off after about 10 miles. Took it in for my tow package and have them checked it. All came up negative. Will let you know.
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  #92  
Old 01-18-2010, 07:50 PM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Originally Posted by cheapdate View Post
My 2010 did it at almost the exact same milage...1690 went off after about 10 miles. Took it in for my tow package and have them checked it. All came up negative. Will let you know.
On a 2010 35d w/ only 1690 miles and a correctly working DEF system, there are only two conditions when this should happen...
1 - The larger 'passive' tank was empty (e.g. it was never filled).
2 - The larger 'passive' tank was frozen.

So unless you were in sub freezing weather (i.e. <-11c for awhile) when the warning came on, 'All did [NOT] come up negative'. You and your dealer just don't know it yet

Funf Dreisig
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  #93  
Old 01-20-2010, 08:00 PM
hbmess hbmess is offline
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My warning light came on today saying the car won't start in 999 miles. The car has about 2,500 miles on it
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  #94  
Old 01-20-2010, 10:26 PM
Cdnrockies Cdnrockies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funf Dreisig View Post
On a 2010 35d w/ only 1690 miles and a correctly working DEF system, there are only two conditions when this should happen...
1 - The larger 'passive' tank was empty (e.g. it was never filled).
2 - The larger 'passive' tank was frozen.

So unless you were in sub freezing weather (i.e. <-11c for awhile) when the warning came on, 'All did [NOT] come up negative'. You and your dealer just don't know it yet

Funf Dreisig
We had this happen in December in our ML. It got down to -40 and we were told the pump froze. Hopefully we don't have the same problem in our X5.
__________________


'11 750 Li Xdrive Alpine White
'10 X5 35d Space Grey
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  #95  
Old 01-21-2010, 05:46 AM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Originally Posted by Cdnrockies View Post
We had this happen in December in our ML. It got down to -40 and we were told the pump froze. Hopefully we don't have the same problem in our X5.
Did you need to "top up" the fluid on your ML? Or did your ML DEF tank unfreeze and allow the DEF system to 'release' the warning on it's own?

FWIW the BMW documents on the web seem to assume that when 35d owners see the '1,000 miles to shut down' message they will not panic.

IOW BMW seems to think that 35d owners will....
1 - trust that their DEF system was filled and is working properly,
2 - understand that the DEF system requires the vehicle be stored and operated ABOVE -11c long enough to thaw the passive tank and allow it to transfer DEF to the smaller heated active tank,
3 - that 35d owners have quick and easy access to their dealer and/or at least one "owner approved bottle" of warm DEF in case it stays cold too long.

Based on the posts on this forum (and others) this sounds like a very big ask of new 35d owners. Particularly since we have pretty good evidence that several 35d DEF systems have not been filled properly and/or are not working properly.

FWIW if I lived where my 35d was stored for very long and/or operated very often, below -11c, I'd have a warm "owner approved bottle" of DEF at my house. It would be a lot less hassle than putting up with the BS others have been told by their dealer.

Funf Dreisig

Last edited by Funf Dreisig; 01-21-2010 at 06:08 AM.
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  #96  
Old 01-24-2010, 09:45 AM
windjammer windjammer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 X5 35D
Urea Warning

My warning light (2010 X5 Diesel) came on at 2400 miles. The dealer said the res. was down by 12 liters and that they could find no indication of leakage. He concluded they had not filled it fully at the distribution center. They also had another customer a fews ago; same model, same urea deficiency and same diagnosis.
I expect to learn over the next few weeks whether I have a leak or not.
By the way, when the mechanic spills urea all over the engine compartment, as mine did, you feel like you're driving an outhouse for a few days until the odor burns off. Really pleasant.
Will keep you posted.
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  #97  
Old 01-24-2010, 10:56 AM
ard ard is offline
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Do we know where BMW is supposed to fill the DEF? Factory, final VPC??? There has got to be documentation of this activity at some place....
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  #98  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:26 AM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Originally Posted by ard View Post
Do we know where BMW is supposed to fill the DEF? Factory, final VPC??? There has got to be documentation of this activity at some place....
Mine was filled at the factory. I asked that when I took delivery a year ago. Now, BMW doesn't want to pay for the flush and fill. I thought my vehicle came with free maintenance for 4 years. BTW, I'm not going to pay 200.00 the dealership is asking. I'm going over there tomorrow with the press release Penguin gave me the link .

There is no savings to owning a diesel with all these extra problems and costs. If I would have known then what I know now, I wouldn't have purchased a diesel BMW.

Craig
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  #99  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:31 AM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Mine was filled at the factory.
I suspect there is more that "factory" and "dealer" in this calculus.... when the dealer says "It was done at the factory" all this means is "we didn't do it".

There are multiple places in the process after they car is assembled where it can occur. for example, where are the cars fueled??? VPC? Perhaps the process is "one liter of DEF, 5 gallons of fuel during MFG.... then full prep at the last BMW factility" (Why pay to ship full cars via train?)
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  #100  
Old 01-24-2010, 12:10 PM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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My car came with 1/4 tank of fuel. I had to ask for a full tank of fuel at delivery. They even quit stocking bottles of water at both my selling and local dealer.

Times are tough. At my Lexus dealer, they have all kinds of snacks, drinks and even fruit. They just built a new dealership and it's very plush.

Craig
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