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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:48 PM
calntheplay calntheplay is offline
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Location: Roseville
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: '04 X5
Unhappy First week of ownership and we broke down

I just purchased an X5 3.0 w/ 85k last week. In addition I also purchased a warranty through my credit union (route 66) that doesn't take effect until 1000 miles or so. The previous owner rigorously maintained the vehicle at a dealership, so I felt confident in this purchase.

Anyhow, 3 days after purchasing the vehicle, the battery light flickered off and on for a couple days until the "transfalse prog' turned on, within 5 miles the entire vehicle shut down. I had my 2 year old daughter in the car with me in 105F degree weather. Fortunately, we broke down on a hill where I could roll the vehicle backwards into some shade away from traffic.

I had the car towed to a local independent shop, "Performance Motors" in Rocklin, Ca.

The manager I was working with came back and told me the alternator would need to be replaced. The damage $780. $600/Alternerter (refurb bosch) $180/labor + tax= $840 bucks total

I asked him if I could go out and purchase my own alternator to save a little money, which he seemed fine with. We lose the 1 yr labor warranty though.

So last night and all this morning I've been shopping around for a 140 watt Bosch part #12317551253. I've read on several forms that Bosch Alternators should have the part # begin with AL to guarantee it's a Bosch rebuild.

I called up several places and only Napa ($269) says it has one but needs to be shipped to there location. autoparts warehouse says that there alternator, Bosch W0133-1828340 = Bosch AL9413X ($176). Which completely added to my confusion because I ask for part number 12317551253, and that's what they came back with. But $176 is screaming cheap and they claim it comes from Bosch reman. There are also Valeo (Brand new) for $321.

I've considered having the alternator rebuilt locally. But time is of the essence.

With so many options and Brands & pricing that varies GREATLY, I don't know who to trust. And I don't want to pick one because it's the most expensive, with the theory (you get what you pay for). I want to get one where I can feel confident that it will not crap out in a year, labor is not cheap!

(Side Note: are there any other 'specific' parts/belts that you'd replace since the mechanic already has everything out? I've read serpentine belt, AC belt, Bottom Radiator hose, tension pulleys'. Am I missing anything?)

The list I've devised for alternator(s) & pricing are linked-

http://www.******************. com/s...3-1828340.html (Auto parts warehouse)


Any help or experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Last edited by calntheplay; 07-14-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:47 PM
BM0rri5's Avatar
BM0rri5 BM0rri5 is offline
Location: Tulsa, OK
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 120
Mein Auto: 2009 BWM 750Li
I don't know if this will make you feel any better about your X5 purchase... On the second day I had mine it wouldn't start, or it would start & die a couple seconds later. Then the next day the turn signals quit working for about 15 minutes, then start working again.

Fastfoward 7 months, I've put 13k miles on it and I have zero complaints (minus gas mileage, but I did buy a 4800lbs V8). Only have had to get towed home twice (both times for the same reason, blown radiator hose).

Give her some time... You'll start enjoying her more.
Brodie Morris | Tulsa, OK

2009 BMW 750Li - Mineral White Exterior - Oyster Interior
2010 Range Rover SC - Zermatt Silver Exterior - Jet Black Interior

2003 BMW X5
2002 BMW 745i
2008 Range Rover HSE

Last edited by BM0rri5; 07-15-2012 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:32 PM
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Zulu95 Zulu95 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Show Me
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,019
Mein Auto: 2001 X5 3.0L
Check out as they are some of the best in the BMW parts business. The problem with some of the places you looked at is that their "remaned" equipment can mean anything from cleaned and repainted to stripped, cleaned and faulty parts replaced followed by a full test after rebuild.
I have read horror stories of people on their third alternator replacement in 3 to 4 months from some of these "cheapest parts around" places. When you have to pay $180 per R&R the cheap up front price is soon lost.
Sent via Telegraph wires using my Morse Key.

2001 X5 3.0L
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:08 PM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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Location: Wadsworth, Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,566
Mein Auto: Hover Car on Wheels
I have the correct alternators for your X5 avaible HERE. I'd stick with the 120 since you're X was originally equipped with it.


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Old 07-17-2012, 06:21 PM
Mudnyrey Mudnyrey is offline
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Location: Beaverton, OR
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 93
Mein Auto: X5 3.0i
I replaced my alternator not to long ago myself, the KUNI BMW was similar to the prices you listed. I had brought my car in and had it checked out by Kuni. My problem wasn't a charging issue, but rather a shaft bearing going bad on the alternator. However, I was told that my alternator was a 120A, So going on this information I had purchased one from European Discount Parts for $179 with core, Bosch re-manufactured. As the tag of the unit was hard to read (Located on the back) once the old alternator was removed, I found that I had a 140A alternator instead and had to re-order the correct unit. So make sure yours is correct. BMW made 3 different alternators: 90A Valeo, 120A Bosch as well as a 120A/140A Valeo. This is going off a 3.0L 2004 model.

Since I had the surpentine belt removed, I replaced that since had a few cracks on the ridges as well with the two Idler pulleys. Removal an replacement was easy, it's necessary to remove the battery cable which is located underneath the spare tire.
In all, I saved $700 and spent roughy $300.

This is by far the most simplest and easiest vehicle I have worked on and maintained. It's been a great vehicle! Purchased it with 98k miles and now it has 148k. No major issues! Enjoy yours!

A great tool to use for your BMW is

Last edited by Mudnyrey; 07-18-2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:39 AM
jamine16 jamine16 is offline
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Location: london
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: x5
I had the same bad luck as you!

My DME decided to die after 4 days of ownership. Hopefully that's the first and last problem I have.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:52 PM
emin_shak emin_shak is offline
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Location: california
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2002 bmw x5
i had this problem, most likly is your battery. think about changing it if you havent, and get alternators for junkyards they work fine from there.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:26 AM
Chaoski Chaoski is offline
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Location: USA
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 32
Mein Auto: Vehicle
For whatever it's worth. When my mom bought her brand new X5 back in 2006 it was at the shop at least 5 times within the first 2 months.

Surprisingly it has been pretty reliable since.

I've had # of German cars over the years and spent 100s of hours working on them...I will not own one outside of warranty period.

Just like tiger tanks in WW2, these cars are WAY too overly complicated for no apparent reason at all.

Nothing has changed since WW2 when it comes to German Engineering.
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