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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 12-11-2009, 07:06 AM
X5newbi X5newbi is offline
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Location: NorCal
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 2010 x5 35d
2010 X5 oil/brake fluid leak

Hi all,

I had been a background participant for the last 3 months. We had been reluctant to buy European cars due to reliability issues, but my wife test drove the X5 and was hooked. So despite my reservation, we ordered our new 2010 X5 35d in 9/09 and took delivery about a week ago.

First of all, the car drives awesome and looks great. But.......

First day in the garage, I noted a small blot of clear oil near the driver side wheel. Thinking it was from my old car, I wiped it clean and ignored it. 45 miles later, the oil blot/spot is back and is definitely from the new car. So, I get under the car and see oil dripping from the top of 2 lines connecting to the brake caliper. So, the car is back to the dealer and my wife is driving a rental Camry. Not sure when we will get the car back but a brand new car should not be spending more time in the shop than in the new owner garage. NOT HAPPY.... I cannot help but to have a flashback to catastrophic failure post I read a few weeks ago. Perhaps, he had a slow oil leak like this?

Questions for you all....

1. Did I get a lemon?
2. Has this happen to any one else?
3. I love the car and I want to give BMW direct feedback but how?
4. Should I demand free extended warranty now?

I cannot imaging BMW don't check for leaks as cars come off the assembly. This car literally leak either oil or brake fluid driving off the lot.

Sorry for the redundancy, I posted same note in newcomer thread as well.
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2009, 07:43 AM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Location: MO
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 613
Mein Auto: 2009 X5 35d 2007 Lexus LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by X5newbi View Post
Hi all,

I had been a background participant for the last 3 months. We had been reluctant to buy European cars due to reliability issues, but my wife test drove the X5 and was hooked. So despite my reservation, we ordered our new 2010 X5 35d in 9/09 and took delivery about a week ago.

First of all, the car drives awesome and looks great. But.......

First day in the garage, I noted a small blot of clear oil near the driver side wheel. Thinking it was from my old car, I wiped it clean and ignored it. 45 miles later, the oil blot/spot is back and is definitely from the new car. So, I get under the car and see oil dripping from the top of 2 lines connecting to the brake caliper. So, the car is back to the dealer and my wife is driving a rental Camry. Not sure when we will get the car back but a brand new car should not be spending more time in the shop than in the new owner garage. NOT HAPPY.... I cannot help but to have a flashback to catastrophic failure post I read a few weeks ago. Perhaps, he had a slow oil leak like this?

Questions for you all....

1. Did I get a lemon?
2. Has this happen to any one else?
3. I love the car and I want to give BMW direct feedback but how?
4. Should I demand free extended warranty now?

I cannot imaging BMW don't check for leaks as cars come off the assembly. This car literally leak either oil or brake fluid driving off the lot.

Sorry for the redundancy, I posted same note in newcomer thread as well.
Give the dealer a chance to figure out where the leak is coming from. I wouldn't say you have a lemon. I've had far more problems with mine and I've had it almost a year. The parts availability is my biggest complaint. I drove arond for 3 months with a check engine light waiting for parts. I also waited 5 weeks for a heated fuel filter. Both times, I had to get BMWNA involved to get the parts to my dealer. I haven't had your problem, but most likely, it's something minor. If you wanted something reliable, you should have purchased a Lexus. I know, I've had 5 and I have a LS 460 Lexus now. The last time I took my car in, they gave me a Mercury that looked like a police car. Why didn't they supply you with a BMW loaner? My dealer was out of loaners and I wanted the heated fuel filter on my car. It's really cold here now.

Hang in there,

Craig
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2009, 07:48 AM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Location: MO
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Mein Auto: 2009 X5 35d 2007 Lexus LS
If you want to call BMW and complain, 1-800-831-1117

I don't know what good it will do until you find out what's wrong...

Craig
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:23 AM
X5newbi X5newbi is offline
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Location: NorCal
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2010 x5 35d
thanks Craig.

I'll wait and see. I fully expected this car to have problems, but just not right off the lot. I don't see any use in complaining but I think a feedback to BMW engineer or quality control will only improve the brand. Performance and quality should be able to co-exist. I was just hoping BMW is not just another corporation but actually cared to improve their product and services.

The dealers were "out of loaner", but were nice enough to pay for the rental.

Will update the post when I hear from the dealer.
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:46 AM
Funf Dreisig Funf Dreisig is offline
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Location: USA
 
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Mein Auto: 77 530i & 09 35d
Quote:
Originally Posted by X5newbi View Post
.....
First day in the garage, I noted a small blot of clear oil near the driver side wheel. Thinking it was from my old car, I wiped it clean and ignored it. 45 miles later, the oil blot/spot is back and is definitely from the new car. So, I get under the car and see oil dripping from the top of 2 lines connecting to the brake caliper. .....
Oil in diesel engines does not stay clear very long. That coupled with the location, well away from the engine compartment, makes it much more likely to be brake fluid.

FWIW on our 2009 X5 35d there is only one brake fluid 'line' coming into the brake caliper. It's about 3/8" in diameter. There is another much smaller 'wire' that carries the signal for the brake pad sensor.

Funf Dreisig
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2009, 07:02 PM
X5newbi X5newbi is offline
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Location: NorCal
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2010 x5 35d
So, no surprise, the dealer can not find the leak. They looked where I saw the leak but said everything was fine. They think is melted cosmoline, a sealant put on for long distant transport? Any one heard of this? I googled it and it seems that some Mini owner had noted this as well. It's melting point is 42F, so I guess is possible. However,

1. I know brake fluid when I see brake fluid.
2. When I check in the morning which is way below 42F, the spot are not even gelatinous.
3. If it is meting undercarriage coating, I would expect spot in both side and not just under the driver front wheel.

The oil was dripping from the lower line connecting from the side wall to the caliber. I am not sure whether is the brake or the wire line.
I'll take the dealer's word for now, but I'll be taking pictures and bring them samples of the fluid when I notice more leak.

Thanks for the input.
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2009, 07:16 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
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Posts: 1,915
Mein Auto: Z4 and X5 Diesel
If it is the brake line, it will leak more when it is pressurized. You could try to Force the leak by pressing the brake hard a few time while parked, with some cardboard under the area to more clearly identify the location. If you can force a leak, collect a few drops in a baby food jar or something so you have a clean sample.

If this is the case, it might be leaking more while driving, so keep track of the brake fluid level.

Last edited by Penguin; 12-11-2009 at 07:18 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2009, 11:36 AM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Mein Auto: 2009 X5 35d 2007 Lexus LS
I doubt it's cosmoline. I know what it is, my other BMW's had it. The X5 is built in the U.S.A., so I don't see why it could have cosmolie dripping off of it. They put that on cars coming over on ships from Germany, not cars built in the U.S.

Craig
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2009, 11:40 AM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Location: Illinois
 
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Mein Auto: Z4 and X5 Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
They put that on cars coming over on ships from Germany, not cars built in the U.S.

Craig
True, but the engines come from Europe, although I don't know if they use any cosmoline on them in shipment. In any case I agree that cosmoline seems to be more of an excuse than a reason.
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2009, 12:02 PM
X5newbi X5newbi is offline
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Location: NorCal
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 2010 x5 35d
Well, definitely not cosmoline. Another puddle of light pink oil fluid this morning. Looked at the brake line and pumped it a few times but no leak. Noted fluid on a joint below the strut. Scooped up the fluid into a clear cup and brought the thing to the dealer.....

Up on the lift with the "master mechanic", finally see the oil dripping from a faulty strut seal. I am told they have the parts in the US and will take a few days to get here. I should feel lucky because the 35d has a heavier engine and this strut may have to come from Europe (probably not true).

Any how, glad we have identify the problem. Service had been great but can not help but feel slight annoyance. It is still a great car...especially with the bad weather.

What do you all think, is it just bad luck with faulty parts or did some thing happened on the transport?
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2009, 01:48 PM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Location: MO
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Mein Auto: 2009 X5 35d 2007 Lexus LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by X5newbi View Post
Well, definitely not cosmoline. Another puddle of light pink oil fluid this morning. Looked at the brake line and pumped it a few times but no leak. Noted fluid on a joint below the strut. Scooped up the fluid into a clear cup and brought the thing to the dealer.....

Up on the lift with the "master mechanic", finally see the oil dripping from a faulty strut seal. I am told they have the parts in the US and will take a few days to get here. I should feel lucky because the 35d has a heavier engine and this strut may have to come from Europe (probably not true).

Any how, glad we have identify the problem. Service had been great but can not help but feel slight annoyance. It is still a great car...especially with the bad weather.

What do you all think, is it just bad luck with faulty parts or did some thing happened on the transport?
I would say, it's just bad luck. My car came off the transport with 3 out of 4 wheels damaged at delivery. The salesman told me not to worry about it and BMW would take care of it. Well, like a fool, I took delivery. With two more trips to my selling dealer, BMW would only pay to re finish/repair my damaged wheels. 4 hour round trip twice. I raised hell with the dealer and they swapped my wheels from another vehicle. A big hassle and I learned a valuable lesson, don't take delivery. You can't trust a salesman, or BMWNA.

I hope you get your car fixed quickly. I've had a terrible problem receiving parts for my vehicle. I drove around for 3 months with a check engine light waiting on a air temp sensor. I also waited 5 weeks waiting on a heated fuel filter. Until I called BMWNA myself, who knows when the parts would have ever showed up at my local dealer. The parts supply is unacdeptable. I would leave my car and have them supply a loaner. Your parts will show up a lot faster in my opinion. BMW is paying for the loaner, not your dealer.

Craig

Craig
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2009, 05:55 PM
ard ard is offline
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Location: CA
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9,419
Mein Auto: '12 X5 35d/E39M5/996TTX50
Quote:
Originally Posted by X5newbi View Post
I should feel lucky because the 35d has a heavier engine and this strut may have to come from Europe (probably not true).
I would be concerned that the dealer/SA/whomever feels that they can lie to you with such impunity.

I just cannot tolerate people making carp up to me- say you don't know or whatever, but just blathering on to try and manipulate the situation is unacceptable, annoying, and will result in me pinning them down.

(ie "Oh, really?.. give me the part number...lets walk over to parts...lets run a national locate... where are they? right, thought so.")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I would leave my car and have them supply a loaner. Your parts will show up a lot faster in my opinion. BMW is paying for the loaner, not your dealer.
Absolutely good advice. A leaky strut is arguable a safety issue, they should not allow you to drive it- if the do, ask they to write 'safe to operate and drive' on the paperwork- not in hand writing, but on the documented work order.
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2009, 06:12 PM
X5newbi X5newbi is offline
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Location: NorCal
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 2010 x5 35d
Funny you should mention the safety issue. I brought it up with the mechanic. He swears the leaky strut will not be a safety issue. The car may not ride as nice over some bumps but should be fine. I guess I got talked into it since it will be mostly highway we drive.

Sounds like the parts will be here next week so..... any longer I might demand a loaner. I suspect I'll get the know this dealership well. Will save the trump card for later. Despite all of this, the more I drive it (which is not often, it's wife's car), the more I enjoy the car. No way would I drive a Lexus.

Talk about Karma, I did not order the adaptive drive because I was concern about the reliability of the electromagnet system. Now, look what that get me. 200 miles and 3 trips to the dealer already.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2009, 04:39 AM
tonywintn tonywintn is offline
Drivin' the dream
Location: Tennessee
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 187
Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X5 & 2007 Z4 si
If you start tracking the miles and your cost due to defects it will just eat you up. I logged over 1100 miles on my X5 just driving to the dealer for warranty repairs the last couple of years. My closest dealer is 50 miles away. I just spent $15 shipping my Sony blu-ray player in for warranty repair and $90 to my Heating and Air guy just to pop a defective thermostat off the wall and replace it with a new one under warranty. (I could have bought a new thermostat myself for less money- if only I had known the he was going to rob me like that!).
Don't beat up BMW too much for a defective strut. That strut came from a big name company and certainly should have been perfect. That strut should eventually end up in the hands of the responsible engineer of that company so they can analyze the problem and prevent future occurrences.
The hydraulic portion of the strut is a damper, not a structural component of the car. The oil is the damping fluid. As the oil leaks out, the damping characteristics of the strut will change.
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2009, 06:17 PM
X5newbi X5newbi is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 2010 x5 35d
I think a good relationship with the dealer will only help with future repairs. If all goes well, I won't raise a stink, but I hate dishonest dealer. My dealer seems to do high volume business and hopeful is more competent than honest.

In looking up potential trouble with struts, it seems Nissan is recalling a bunch of 2009 and 2010 altima/maxima for defective struts due to safety issues. I also came across a post by a new lexus owner who had my experience but was told by "askthequestion.com experts" that it should not be a safety issue.

I am incline to think the later, but is concern about the uneven tire wear if this drags on.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:14 AM
Craig B Craig B is offline
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Location: MO
 
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Mein Auto: 2009 X5 35d 2007 Lexus LS
Quote:
Originally Posted by X5newbi View Post
I think a good relationship with the dealer will only help with future repairs. If all goes well, I won't raise a stink, but I hate dishonest dealer. My dealer seems to do high volume business and hopeful is more competent than honest.

In looking up potential trouble with struts, it seems Nissan is recalling a bunch of 2009 and 2010 altima/maxima for defective struts due to safety issues. I also came across a post by a new lexus owner who had my experience but was told by "askthequestion.com experts" that it should not be a safety issue.

I am incline to think the later, but is concern about the uneven tire wear if this drags on.
Keep us posted and good luck. My biggest complaint is parts availability. I'm curious how long it's going to take for your part to arrive at the dealership.

Craig
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