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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 04-05-2013, 11:38 AM
figman figman is offline
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Location: Westchester County, NY
 
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Mein Auto: Mitsubishi
'06 X3 Frustration

Hi All: The wife's X3 '06 with only 52K miles, I always believe on the quality of BMW vs anything else but lately I started to have my doubts... While the car had warranty nothing happened for three years, ran beautiful, fun to drive even during the winter in NY. Last year warranty ended, honestly did not even consider extended warranty (big mistake). Since December, almost every other month I had a problem. First, oil leak from oil filter canister gasket at 49K miles, pay a bunch of money at dealer to fix it. Early February another leak, I thought it was the same oil leak, went back to dealer and turned out to be the lower radiator hose leaking coolant; 51K miles. Since I was there I said what the heck go ahead and fix, I was told the hose comes with a temp sensor so I had to replace both, another bunch of money. Since I had two leaks in the last three months I have been checking under the car more often. Just two weeks ago my mechanic put in new brakes all around and replaced the two bushing that connect the control arms to the chassis, everything has been dry, I "said" good. Just yesterday I checked and there is another leak, I have not been able to determine but it looks like coolant, because these cars have the plastic shield covering the engine unless you park in an incline sometimes is hard to tell if you have a leak, yes third leak in four months. I don't mind paying money for maintenance at all but is frustrating to have a BMW with only 52K and three leaks and broken bushings on such a "quality German vehicle" What else is coming my way?, should I get rid it while? I can, I have been told the '06 is a good year to keep, the wife like the car and I feel my family is safe on it but now I have my doubts.

Frustrated...

Figman
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2013, 12:07 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Fig, I feel your pain (to quote a former president)! I too had a "bulletproof" '06 that I eschewed the extended warranty on and have been regretting it ever since! I do not know why I didn't listen to the sages on this board that kept repeating the mantra "I would not own a BMW without a warranty" and am now paying the price. Everything seems to go south as these age. Things dry out and crack, dashes and interior pieces peel, seats crack, interior pieces come adrift, struts leak, MAF's do what they do and break, and then there are the leaks. Enough! I have 93K now on mine and am looking at serious maintenance and repair costs (even at an indy) coming up. The next CEL will do it for me -- off to something else (with a warranty!). Actually I may even lease my next one, just to "force" me to trade it off when the warranty runs out (or gets close to it). I don't think that my next ride will be a BMW either.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2013, 12:44 PM
halltristan's Avatar
halltristan halltristan is offline
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Mein Auto: 325i and X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by figman View Post
Frustrated...
Figman
you need to learn hot to do some of this stuff on your own. Nothing you've mentioned is either difficult or expensive if you do it yourself. The only exception is the oil filter housing gasket- that would have taken you several hours on your own.

Your problem is that you keep running to the dealer every chance you get. The lower radiator hose is like $30 and you could have easily done it on your own in about an hour. I bet it cost you $200 at the dealer though. Seriously, you can get on here and find step by step instructions to fix the problems you're having. You don't have to be a mechanic. You only need to know how to read. A lot of people on this board have admitted to knowing nothing about cars before hand and yet later accomplish repairs that would have otherwise cosy thousands!!!
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Last edited by halltristan; 04-05-2013 at 12:48 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2013, 01:38 PM
eugenegolubtsov eugenegolubtsov is offline
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Location: PA
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 X3 & 2007 Z4
06 problems

Hi,
have a simular case on my hands.

BUt what i did is once i discovered this and that is happening.
I just drove it in my mechanic and told him to replace CCV and every other hose and gasket that is bad, cracked or leaking.

Spend close to 2000 doing it, but no vacum leaks and no oil or coolant on the drive way after.

Just word of worning and a lesson learned the hard way.
Make sure machanic you are using has the smoke machine to test the ccv hoses before and after fix.
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2013, 08:40 AM
ZZROCOOL ZZROCOOL is offline
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Location: New York
 
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Posts: 16
Mein Auto: E46 M3 & E83 X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by figman View Post
Hi All: The wife's X3 '06 with only 52K miles, I always believe on the quality of BMW vs anything else but lately I started to have my doubts... While the car had warranty nothing happened for three years, ran beautiful, fun to drive even during the winter in NY. Last year warranty ended, honestly did not even consider extended warranty (big mistake). Since December, almost every other month I had a problem. First, oil leak from oil filter canister gasket at 49K miles, pay a bunch of money at dealer to fix it. Early February another leak, I thought it was the same oil leak, went back to dealer and turned out to be the lower radiator hose leaking coolant; 51K miles. Since I was there I said what the heck go ahead and fix, I was told the hose comes with a temp sensor so I had to replace both, another bunch of money. Since I had two leaks in the last three months I have been checking under the car more often. Just two weeks ago my mechanic put in new brakes all around and replaced the two bushing that connect the control arms to the chassis, everything has been dry, I "said" good. Just yesterday I checked and there is another leak, I have not been able to determine but it looks like coolant, because these cars have the plastic shield covering the engine unless you park in an incline sometimes is hard to tell if you have a leak, yes third leak in four months. I don't mind paying money for maintenance at all but is frustrating to have a BMW with only 52K and three leaks and broken bushings on such a "quality German vehicle" What else is coming my way?, should I get rid it while? I can, I have been told the '06 is a good year to keep, the wife like the car and I feel my family is safe on it but now I have my doubts.

Frustrated...

Figman


You need to find a local shop to do the work. Auto Mechannica in Mt Vernon is a BMW CCA member and does great work. OR Rouge Engineering in NJ about 30 min from Westchester. I live in Armonk. Both are great options.
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2013, 06:23 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Mein Auto: 08 E83; 97 MKIII; 84 GMC
If I understood your post, if the warranty ended on your '06 last year, you DID have the extended warranty (6 yr/100k miles). Your complaints are all about failing rubber parts, which more often than not arise from age and LACK of driving, not miles driven. With limited use, gaskets and o-rings are more apt to dry-rot and fail. You may have only 51k miles but the vehicle is still 7 years old now; 7 thousand miles a year is on the low side. If you are going to drive an older car (yes, 7 years IS old when it comes to rubber seals exposed to numerous heating/cooling cycles and dry periods), leaks are part and parcel for the course. EVERY piece of mechanical equipment on the planet is going to develop assorted leaks with age, and in my mind aren't as much a measure of quality as mechanical durability. Gasket replacement is easy; if you plan to drive an older vehicle, either learn to do simple fixes or prepare to pay someone. I've gone through several specific o-rings and gaskets on my '97 Jetta, and have replaced damn near every piece of rubber in my '84 GMC
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Last edited by dukedkt442; 04-07-2013 at 06:24 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2013, 06:30 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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06 = M54 engine. All the "issues" you are experiencing are normal problems for the M54 unfortunately. BMW decided to use the crappiest rubber under the hood for that engine. As the rubber ages and heat cycles, it gets brittle. The oil canister o-ring is a perfrect example of crappy rubber.

I can blame 95% of the crap that breaks on any car related to rubber failing in some form.

Last edited by bluskye; 04-07-2013 at 06:31 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2013, 08:52 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Although there are some fairly predictable things that will fail in time on the X3, some owners get surprised early on while others get extended problem-free driving.

I agree with duke that many cars don't react well to doing low annual miles, especially German ones. With regular long and fast highway runs you might be wearing out some consumable parts quicker, but overall the car thrives on it.

During my warranty period I was doing below-average annual miles and had one or two things go wrong, while since then I have doubled the annual miles and have been relatively problem-free.

Did have the oil filter housing gasket (OFHG) go suddenly at around 62K miles though. It's a 2.8 hr. flat-rate job, so with the $14 gasket shouldn't be any more than $300 at an indy - more like $400 at a dealer I suppose.

The E46 folks expect valve cover gaskets to fail before the OFHG, but only by about 10 or 20K miles. About the same price as the OFHG job, maybe a bit more.

Interestingly, I was reading on an E46 or E90 forum about someone who had the OFHG job done at a dealer and a few months later saw the temp. sensor in the lower rad hose was leaking.

Turned out the dealer had not re-fitted the electric engine fan shroud properly after the OFHG work and it had chaffed against the hose or the sensor. (The shroud has locating tabs that go into slots or something.)

Possible that might have been the trigger here, but not necessarily. (But in general, I thought upper rad hoses go first because of higher heat. Maybe not? At least upper ones are easier to keep an eye on for softness, browning, collapse, etc.)

Anyway, for figman to have all that happen before 52K miles, does seem unlucky, as does UncleJ's out-of-warranty experience.

Hard to say what to do after having a cluster of such problems.

Could be that some X3's are more prone to troubles and they will continue, or you get a reprieve for the next 30K miles or so.

If you bought it used when it was 2 or 3 years old, might be best to cash in now while you are still ahead (sort of).

If owned since new, you are more attached to it and it's fulfilling a vital role in the family's life, I'd say take a chance and stick with it.
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:42 PM
fivepointnine fivepointnine is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3, Mercedes CLK500
lost my CCV at 63k miles
MAF boot at the same time
VCG at 71k miles
belt tensioner started to get noisy at 75k miles
front tension rods (forward control arms) at 77k miles
OFHG at 82k miles

owned since 59k miles, currently at 85k miles, planning on keeping mine for a while, just have some money available in reserve for any emergencies (I keep about 1k available in reserve)
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:07 AM
raaizin raaizin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
If I understood your post, if the warranty ended on your '06 last year, you DID have the extended warranty (6 yr/100k miles). Your complaints are all about failing rubber parts, which more often than not arise from age and LACK of driving, not miles driven. With limited use, gaskets and o-rings are more apt to dry-rot and fail. You may have only 51k miles but the vehicle is still 7 years old now; 7 thousand miles a year is on the low side. If you are going to drive an older car (yes, 7 years IS old when it comes to rubber seals exposed to numerous heating/cooling cycles and dry periods), leaks are part and parcel for the course. EVERY piece of mechanical equipment on the planet is going to develop assorted leaks with age, and in my mind aren't as much a measure of quality as mechanical durability. Gasket replacement is easy; if you plan to drive an older vehicle, either learn to do simple fixes or prepare to pay someone. I've gone through several specific o-rings and gaskets on my '97 Jetta, and have replaced damn near every piece of rubber in my '84 GMC
I would disagree with this. I have had 2 cars over 10 years old that was a dry as a bone underneath. I also had a 1971 corvette which was totally original(purchased from original owner in Texas) which was bone dry when I sold it in 2007. BMW does have some serious issues with the basics seals, motor mounts, springs breaking, sunroofs, transfer cases, and HPFP. This is my wifes car 2008 X3 and quite honestly I dislike all the isses with it. I had transfer case go at 43k out of warranty due to time. By the way my 1988 jeep had 180k on original xfer case and 1996 explore had 211k on original xfer case. I am pretty sure we wont buy another. I guess it would depend on if we have any more issues. Too many owners are too protective of the vehicle they drive and make too many excuse for an inferior product. I guess I am not ready to drink the koolaid yet. A '97 jetta is 16 years old '84 GMC is 19, not a seven year old car

Last edited by raaizin; 04-08-2013 at 06:09 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2013, 05:34 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Mein Auto: 08 E83; 97 MKIII; 84 GMC
Quote:
Originally Posted by raaizin View Post
I guess I am not ready to drink the koolaid yet. A '97 jetta is 16 years old '84 GMC is 19, not a seven year old car
'84 GMC is 29, not 19, but only has 110k miles and has gone several sets of gaskets in that time. It was driven on average only 3700 miles per year. Since '07 on the Jetta, I've replaced the VC gasket twice, oil cooler gasket and oil pan gasket once. Transaxle seals perpetually weep. I replaced the VC gasket on my E46 at 60k miles. Rubber dries out an leaks, no matter who purchased it from a supplier and installed. It's got nothing to do with "drinking the coolaid," but realizing that every seal or gasket in every machine will leak. I'm continuously replacing gaskets and seals on diesel engines on the ships I work on, marine diesels the size of an E83, and possibly some of the most reliable engines on the planet, considering the abuse they take. Not trying to argue, but many seals and gaskets are meant to be replaced; they a fairly normal maintenance item, and cheap and easy to replace. Should head gaskets need to be replaced often? No. Valve cover gaskets? Yes. Mechanical issues like failing T-cases are a much more troublesome than a leaking OFHG.
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2013, 01:22 PM
figman figman is offline
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Thank you all for your comments, we can go back and forth all day with issues on rubber parts. The problem turned out to be a leak on the overflow hose that connects to the side of the engine and the reservoir tank; both had leaks, the tank which is plastic and the hose which rubber, I agree it is only 52K miles but in time is 7 years of winters and summers, that I agree what I don't agree is on the quality of the materials which these parts are produce. I just got rid of my Japanese car and in 15 years never had a leak other than a valve cover gasket. Interesting back in early February I replaced the lower hose and temp sensor, now the middle hose was leaking and the reservoir tank, just in case I replaced the upper hose for now....

Thank you again,
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2013, 04:43 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Mein Auto: 08 E83; 97 MKIII; 84 GMC
The cooling systems on these definitely leave something to be desired, no discounting that. Cracked expansion tanks were completely unknown to my 25 years of wrenching experience prior to owning a BMW. Certainly with the M54 engine, many people decide to just preventively replace all cooling system parts at around 100k miles just for ease and piece of mind; rest assured, most parts will fail soon thereafter.
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:48 AM
xfufu xfufu is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 and 2011 328i

I am one of the Mr.Noing nothing and I am learning... need learn more or find a local good guy who deal with BMW....

Quote:
Originally Posted by halltristan View Post
you need to learn hot to do some of this stuff on your own. Nothing you've mentioned is either difficult or expensive if you do it yourself. The only exception is the oil filter housing gasket- that would have taken you several hours on your own.

Your problem is that you keep running to the dealer every chance you get. The lower radiator hose is like $30 and you could have easily done it on your own in about an hour. I bet it cost you $200 at the dealer though. Seriously, you can get on here and find step by step instructions to fix the problems you're having. You don't have to be a mechanic. You only need to know how to read. A lot of people on this board have admitted to knowing nothing about cars before hand and yet later accomplish repairs that would have otherwise cosy thousands!!!
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2007 X3 and 2011 328i...

Wanted list: I will get a M3, a Jaguar, and also a Range Rover, a small plane...
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2013, 11:57 AM
JBasham JBasham is offline
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Mein Auto: 2009 X3 3.0; 1979 323i
OP, if it's any consolation, we have a 325xi with the N52 motor, the successor to the M54 in your 2006, and we had all those same repairs done to it at around the same mileage.

If you are in the least bit handy and are willing to invest in a decent floor jack and a few hand tools, you can do much of this work yourself. People are surprised, for example, how dead easy it is to do your own brake pads and rotors.

Sorry for your trouble and good luck!
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