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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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  #1  
Old 03-30-2013, 03:53 PM
x5newbie2013 x5newbie2013 is offline
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Exclamation 2009 BMW X5 3.0 Leaking Clear Sticky Fluid

Hello

We just bought a used 2009 BMW X5 3.0 with 38000 miles from a dealer yesterday (not a CPO). Today we see a clear slightly sticky almost odorless fluid on the garage floor where the car had been parked overnight - towards the driver side of the car in the front. The car was moved out of the garage in the morning and almost 10 hours later the leaked fluid is still there (we just noticed it now), i.e. it has not evaporated.

Any suggestions and thoughts if this should be of big concern?

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x5newbie2013

Last edited by x5newbie2013; 03-30-2013 at 06:07 PM. Reason: The leak appears to be towards the driver side and not the passenger side as I had previously stated
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2013, 05:22 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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If it's anything but water from running the AC or a wash it is not normal and will need to be looked at. If it's coming from the cooling system you need to take care of it pronto and driving the car is probably not a good idea. That being said it's unlikely to be coolant because BMW coolant is not clear. If it's some sort of hydraulic fluid I would expect a warning to pop up soon.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2013, 05:49 PM
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finnbmw finnbmw is offline
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You still under warranty? If not, I would send an e-mail to the sales person and/or sales manager to establish timeline and then talk to the dealer asap. I would personally not drive the vehicle until I knew what the fluid was.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:15 PM
x5newbie2013 x5newbie2013 is offline
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Thanks for the responses - I shot an email to the dealer and will follow up Monday. I will also closely observe the leak tonight to determine if I should drive the vehicle tomorrow or wait for it to be checked during the week. And no, its not under warranty.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:32 PM
sofa6A sofa6A is offline
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Could it be brake fluid? Check the reservoir to see if it is full or low. Just guessing here but do wish you good luck with your new vehicle.
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:20 PM
wkt20 wkt20 is offline
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Is your 2009 X5 first registered before March? Otherwise you should still have warranty, BMW's warranty is 4yrs/50k miles. I have a 2009 X5 and my warranty runs out this April.

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  #7  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:36 PM
RockChips RockChips is offline
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Go to the local BMW dealer before warranty expires.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2013, 11:08 PM
ard ard is online now
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When you had the Pre Purchase Inspection done, did they comment on any leaks????

My guess is AC evap condensate. Depending on the temp and relative humidity in the garage it may not evaporate.

Run the car with the AC on hi and monitor under the car, see if it starts dribbling....

A
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2013, 08:36 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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My bet would be on a shock/strut failure. Clear, slightly sticky fluid -- exactly what I found when my strut failed in an X3. If it wasn't sticky then I would agree with Ard. In any case get to a dealer before the warranty goes south.
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2013, 09:32 AM
RockChips RockChips is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x5newbie2013 View Post
Hello

We just bought a used 2009 BMW X5 3.0 with 38000 miles from a dealer yesterday (not a CPO). Today we see a clear slightly sticky almost odorless fluid on the garage floor where the car had been parked overnight - towards the driver side of the car in the front. The car was moved out of the garage in the morning and almost 10 hours later the leaked fluid is still there (we just noticed it now), i.e. it has not evaporated.

Any suggestions and thoughts if this should be of big concern?

Best
x5newbie2013

Go to the local BMW dealer before warranty expires.

Also, get your transmission reprogrammed if you feel a jerk from standstill. Its a known issue.
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2013, 01:03 PM
x5newbie2013 x5newbie2013 is offline
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Unfortunately this is not under warranty - I think this was first registered around fall 2008. I will try to collect a sample of the leaking fluid, and would also schedule a service appointment with a BMW dealer. There were no leaks reported during the pre purchase inspection. I also had a mechanic who I found on bimmershops inspect it and he too did not report seeing any leaks (he performed the inspection in the audi dealer's service shop from where I purchased it). The only thing he reported (which I can also see myself in the iDrive menu) is that there was a status for brake fluid maintenance, but the dealer told him and also myself that they had topped up the brake fluid but could not reset the status indicator (i was told it could only be done at BMW dealership).

Thanks for the feedback so far, if there are other thoughts/suggestions, please keep them coming. I will report back with how this goes.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2013, 01:35 PM
wkt20 wkt20 is offline
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RockChips, what's the story behind the tranny reprogram, my tranny seems fine, would it be even better with the reprogram? What do I actually gain by reprogramming? People say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Should I heed the advice?

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  #13  
Old 03-31-2013, 03:39 PM
ard ard is online now
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Why go to a BMW dealer? The most expensive place to have anything done....

Does it drip with the AC running and the car parked? At least that will rule out AC.

AFAIK, I can think of nothing in a car that is 'sticky'... brake fluid, ATF, shocks, oil, diff fluid, freon...all slippery, none of it sticky. Shock oil is like mineral oil...although I havent sampled X3/5 fluid so i dunno. The fluid that runs out of the AC condensate drain can get contaminated with the intake air- pollen, sap, dust, etc... so sometimes this has color or 'character' to it. Especially after a car has sat outside for a bit.

The audi dealer misled you about the brakes- the car needed to have brake fluid FLUSHED, and it sounds like they just topped it off. It is true that a dealer can reset it, but what the audi dealer didnt say is that "we didnt do the required service". Did any of the PPIs note "brake service not performed"?

Keep us posted on this-

A
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2013, 03:56 PM
x5newbie2013 x5newbie2013 is offline
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Ard (and also others) it is possible that I am not very discerning whether its slippery or sticky - now that you mentioned this, I think my description should have been slippery rather than sticky.

There was no notation that brake service was not performed.

I drove the car slightly today and still observe the leak (the picture of the leaked oil was taken after the car had been parked maybe an hour or a little more after the drive), and took some pictures which I am attaching. Maybe this gives you a better idea of what I am experiencing. The pictures are from an area under the driver side towards the front of the car.
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Last edited by x5newbie2013; 03-31-2013 at 03:59 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:09 AM
zampag zampag is offline
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A mount? Not sure if any are gel/oil filled. Keep us posted.
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Last edited by zampag; 04-01-2013 at 08:16 AM. Reason: .
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  #16  
Old 04-01-2013, 06:28 PM
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soldmystang soldmystang is offline
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I'd be looking at the coolant were it me. Just went thru the same thing. Sticky, odorless and doesn't dry after more than 24 hours in the driveway.

My lower hose was leaking due to the coolant sensor located in that hose. However mine was on the right front side. If yours is leaking on the left front it might be the expansion tank. Mine cracked soon after the hose was repaired. 5 plus year old BMW plastics tend to fail.
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:19 PM
x5newbie2013 x5newbie2013 is offline
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I scheduled a service appointment for later this week, not driving the car in the meanwhile. I still see about 6-8 drops in the last 24 hours or so under the parked vehicle.

@soldmystang would you be able to give an approximate idea of how much it cost you to get your coolant hose/tank related issues to be fixed?
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  #18  
Old 04-02-2013, 04:19 AM
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Indie shop, $500 +/-
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  #19  
Old 04-02-2013, 07:14 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The strut fluid I found on my garage floor was clear and slightly viscous -- "sticky" was probably the wrong discription. Let us know what your's turned out to be.
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2013, 08:18 AM
ard ard is online now
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Just to clarify- ethylene glycol in antifreeze can be sticky..especially in concentration, like when some water evaporates out of coolant. It also can me slightly sweet, which is why it is a posioning risk for animals and kids. But a dab on the tongue shouldnt kill ya.



OP, GL

A
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  #21  
Old 04-02-2013, 10:06 PM
henrycyao henrycyao is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
Just to clarify- ethylene glycol in antifreeze can be sticky..especially in concentration, like when some water evaporates out of coolant. It also can me slightly sweet, which is why it is a posioning risk for animals and kids. But a dab on the tongue shouldnt kill ya.



OP, GL

A
I always thought engine coolant is kinda green in color. Why would BMW be clear?
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  #22  
Old 04-03-2013, 09:16 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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You probably already know this, but just in case... If you have any pets, do not let them in the garage until you get this sorted out. Some of the stuff that leaks from a car is highly toxic; you are already bummed by the problems with your new ride, and a sick dog or cat will only make things worse.

You may also want to see what NJ law says about implied merchantability in used car sales. Quite frequently, there is a period of time where you have a right of rescission if the vehicle is defective. Since the problem began the day you bought the car, you may have recourse. But if you wait too long you are SOL.

IIRC the A/C condenser drains on the passenger side of the car, slightly in front of the firewall. Since your puddle is forward on the driver side, I think you have a different issue. And A/C condensate is water, which should evaporate.
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  #23  
Old 04-03-2013, 10:09 AM
ard ard is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henrycyao View Post
I always thought engine coolant is kinda green in color. Why would BMW be clear?
Im not saying it is clear, but maybe you are quoting me buch just asking in general?

If you pour it into a cup it looks green, orange, etc...different brands/chemistries use different colors...but if it is only a little bit it can be hard to appreciate the color.

Then you have the issue of "Did the prior owner know they had a leak and just kept topping it off with water, thereby diluting the antifreeze, until he traded it"...
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  #24  
Old 04-04-2013, 07:35 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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X5n - Any updates as to what it turned out to be?
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  #25  
Old 04-04-2013, 08:03 PM
x5newbie2013 x5newbie2013 is offline
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Sorry have had the car parked in garage - the dealer from which I bought the vehicle, is as expected not being cooperative in getting the leak inspected. I will be taking the car to the indie mechanic on Saturday. This was the guy who had also inspected prior to my purchase and will also visit the dealer to see what recourse I may have.

Meanwhile - based on the feedback it seems likely that it is coolant, I put an aluminium pan under the vehicle, and the fluid is still dropping at about 4-6 drops a day, and its not evaporating. It appears green in color (maybe with some bluish tinge, but looks more green to me), is not sticky, but is slippery, and does not seem to have any odor (or I could not detect it). Today I opened the hood to peak inside the coolant expansion tank - the coolant level is below the MIN mark (the MIN mark was above the coolant i.e it was not submerged in the coolant).

If I need to drive to my mechanic (50 miles), and the coolant level appears lower than Min, should I top it off with a coolant that I can find at Advanced Auto Parts etc (Prestone???)

Last edited by x5newbie2013; 04-04-2013 at 08:17 PM.
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