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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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  #1  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:00 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Thinking about buying X5 E53. Help please.

I am thinking about buying either an X3 or X5. I already own a 3 Series E46. I would really appreciate any advice you all can give me.

Are there any common problems the X5s seem to have (window regulators, water pump, etc.??

Are there any specific problems the X series might have that other BMW models do not?

What is typically considered low/avg./high mileage for an X5?

How does the X3 differ from the X5?

Anything else you can provide would be appreciated!!!
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2012, 07:09 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halltristan View Post
I am thinking about buying either an X3 or X5. I already own a 3 Series E46. I would really appreciate any advice you all can give me.

Are there any common problems the X5s seem to have (window regulators, water pump, etc.??

Are there any specific problems the X series might have that other BMW models do not?

What is typically considered low/avg./high mileage for an X5?

How does the X3 differ from the X5?

Anything else you can provide would be appreciated!!!
Which engine ofr E53 X5, 3.0 or 4.4?

The newest X3 is the same size as E53 X5.

If you can find low mileage, taken care E53, go for it. buying used is like getting a box of chocolate, you just don;t know what you get.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2012, 08:50 AM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPIA4v2 View Post
Which engine ofr E53 X5, 3.0 or 4.4?

The newest X3 is the same size as E53 X5.

If you can find low mileage, taken care E53, go for it. buying used is like getting a box of chocolate, you just don;t know what you get.
I'm looking at either a 2003 4.4L or 2004 4.4L AWD.
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  #4  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:33 PM
summerblues summerblues is offline
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Warning ! stay away from these cars unless you like to spend a lot of money on repairs, you have been warned
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2012, 02:39 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Originally Posted by summerblues View Post
Warning ! stay away from these cars unless you like to spend a lot of money on repairs, you have been warned
Please elaborate.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:04 PM
summerblues summerblues is offline
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would like to but it would be too lengthy,
what ever you do dont buy one with a self leveling system, they are almost always broken and expensive to fix,
make sure the axle boots are not cracked big $$$$$$, all in all even though its a great driving machine if you have a low tolerance for headaches
dont buy one, I know what Im talking about, having done almost all repairs on mine ,

also I noticed on Craigslist everyone is selling theirs and cheap (los angeles)
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:06 PM
summerblues summerblues is offline
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aLSO --


- Are there any common problems the X5s seem to have (window regulators, water pump, etc.??
ALL OF THOSE AND MUCH MORE.....



What is typically considered low/avg./high mileage for an X5?

MY X5 3.0 GETS DECENT MILLAGE 16/22 MPG

How does the X3 differ from the X5?

x5 FAR MORE COMFORTABLE
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:41 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summerblues View Post

How does the X3 differ from the X5?

x5 FAR MORE COMFORTABLE
So, if you had to do it all over again, would you opt for the X3 over the X5? I know the X5 is larger and more comfortable, but it uses more gas and seems to have a lot of problems while the X3 seems pretty reliable, according to X3 owners.

And as far as the mileage, I really meant "is there a certain mileage level to avoid." Do the X5s tend to have certain problems, at say, 120K miles?
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:48 PM
summerblues summerblues is offline
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x5's have problems at 60 K most of them, its also engineered to fail, yes saw it with my own eyes, dont know about x3
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:49 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Originally Posted by summerblues View Post
x5's have problems at 60 K most of them, its also engineered to fail, yes saw it with my own eyes, dont know about x3
Have you ever driven an X3?
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:50 PM
summerblues summerblues is offline
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yes, didnt like it too small, not very powerful
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:53 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Originally Posted by summerblues View Post
yes, didnt like it too small, not very powerful
The 2.5L or 3.0L?
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:53 PM
summerblues summerblues is offline
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not sure which one it was,
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:57 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Originally Posted by summerblues View Post
not sure which one it was,
So is your only complaint size/power on the X3? For all the trouble you've seem to have had with the X5, wouldn't size/power be a decent compromise?
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2012, 05:00 PM
summerblues summerblues is offline
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I dont know about the x3 you need to test a few out,
X5 is not necessarily trouble, just expensive to maintain,
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  #16  
Old 10-11-2012, 05:03 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Originally Posted by summerblues View Post
I dont know about the x3 you need to test a few out,
X5 is not necessarily trouble, just expensive to maintain,
Well I live an hour away from the closest dealer; no one around me really works on BMWs (though they claim they can); and most of the time it will be me fixing it, as long as it isn't anything major. So more or less, I have to take maintenance into consideration. If I can expect a lot of problems, it might be best to avoid the X5.
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  #17  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:31 AM
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reytran reytran is offline
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Sound bad but I'm in economic trouble since just recently got lay off. I'm selling my 09'650i and planning to buy 2001 X5 right here:
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv...324556569.html

How much would it cost average 1 year for this car? Would anyone help me. I'm seeing it today.
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  #18  
Old 10-12-2012, 01:36 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Is there anything that the X5 comes with as a standard option that the X3 doesn't?
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  #19  
Old 10-12-2012, 04:09 PM
Epimedic64 Epimedic64 is offline
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Have deep pockets and a lot of patience!

I own, drive and maintain a 2001 E 53 x5 with a 4.4. I have driven a 2006 x3. While the x3 is a good utility vehicle in a good introduction into the BMW world of SAV's (sport activity vehicle, BMW's label, not mine,) you really need to drive the x5 with a V 8 engine to get the true ultimate driving experience. This car is fast, handles great, and does turn a few heads. However it is not the perfect vehicle. It's off road capabilities are not that strong. In fact I would advise you not to take it off road. The occasional dirt or gravel road in hand was just fine. And on snow and ice it handles its own. But if you're looking for a little off road adventure take my advice and buy a Jeep.
It does however come with a few inherent problems that can really give you a headache and can take some money out of your pocket pretty quickly.
I will give you a list of a few problems that I've had with mine and approximately how much has taking me to fix it. Keep in mind I am very mechanically inclined and have done the majority of the work myself.

Replaced a faulty gas gauge part $120.00 used, time 2 hrs.

Replaced broken driverd inside door latch. Part $85.00 time 1.5 hrs.

Fixed broken gas pedal. New part $200.00 so I fixed the old 1 with the cabinet hinge. Works great. Almost an hour to fix.

After about 2 of driving it, it developing coolant leak
that I had a very hard time finding, at the same time I went through 3 alternators. It turns out that the alternator is a water jacketed alternator that fits in the front of the engine block when the coolant got too low the alternator would get too hot and burn out the contacts. Later I found the leak it turned out to be the radiator and I had to replace that as it was in the plastic part of the radiator and could not be fixed.

New radiator 59 dollars online. New alternators 175 dollars each. Total repair time about 4 and a half hours.

there are few other problems as recently come to my attention that I will have to fix in the near future I will listen for you now. As of yet I have not repair them but I do intend to repair them soon.

front and rear stabilizer bar links
faulty climate control temperature sensor, preventing heating or air conditioning fan to achieve maximum speed.

failing transmission temperature probe causing vehicle to go into sport mode shifting and not shifting out of each gear untill 4000 rpms.

camshaft position sensor causing a check engine light to remain on.

broken rear window regulator.

broken gas cap door.

need to replace front right fog light bulb, this is a projector light so it won't be cheap to replace it.

Dont get me wrong I still love driving this car but if you don't have some money at your disposal and time to fix these problems you will find yourself wanting to get rid of it quickly.
in hindsight if I had to do it all again I would probably save my money and get a 540 or even possibly an M5
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2012, 08:31 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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I've owned two E53 X5's. The first was a 2000 4.4i which I purchased with 80K miles. I had a couple of things I had to repair in that vehicle. The first was a MAF sensor at a cost of $350. The second was the transmission valve body at a cost of about $900...which was a bargain as my indy mechanic found the part for $550 and passed that cost directly to me without a markup. I say a bargain because BMW wanted $2,600 for the part alone. I ended up trading the vehicle in for reasons unrelated to the reliability.

The second was a 2001 4.4i which I purchase with 108K miles. The PPI revealed a number of things that needed to be done so I had the dealer reduce the price accordingly. The first was worn and split oil separator hoses...The repair for that was about $120 with $70 of it being the hoses themselves (there were two). The second thing that required repair was a torn CV boot. Worn CV boots are not uncommon at 100K miles. I ended up having my indy replace the entire axles as it cost $30 more than disassembling the shaft to replace the boot. I figured for $30 more why not get an entirely new axle. And I decided to do the other side since I was doing one side. That work was in the neighborhood of $600. That was the work identified in the PPI. After about a year of ownership I did replace a couple of the suspension parts at a total cost of about $1,000. This was when the vehicle has approximately 120K miles on it. Much of this stuff I would consider normal wear for any vehicle with this mileage. At this point, I feel the vehicle was good to go for another 100K miles. However I ended up trading it in at 126K miles for an E70 X5.

I don't know if this helps you. Given the two E53's I've owned were higher mileage vehicles I expected to put some work into them. The transmission valve body was a concern...at 80K miles I feel that was too early for something like that to fail. However things do break so one sample doesn't mean much.

IMO the X5 (both E53 and E70) are great vehicles and worth the maintenance repair. However I'm in a financial position where I can afford these level of repairs. I have a friend who has a 1999 Grand Cherokee. She drove my X5 and absolutely loved how it drove which got me to thinking...maybe she should get one. However she isn't in the financial position I am in and while she could afford to buy one the maintenance / repairs would likely be too much for her. We've performed some repairs on her Cherokee, for example we ended up replacing the Engine Control Computer which was all of $160 and 90 minutes to install. On the BMW that computer likely would have been at least $1,000.

My advice...if you can afford a higher than average cost of maintenance / repair then definitely buy an X5. I don't think they're as bad as summerblues makes them out to be but they're definitely not Honda or Toyota levels of quality so repairs are more likely. Furthermore when you have to repair them they tend to be more costly...at least in comparison to my friends Grand Cherokee.

If you have any questions feel free to ask...I'd be happy to answer anything I can.
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2012, 09:24 AM
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reytran reytran is offline
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Actually I was thinking if I'm getting the E70, I'll try to get the CPO for it and keep it the way it is. If I'm getting the E53, I plan to make over, replace with after market headlight and taillight as well as repainted and may put on some body kits (it's fun to do so and the original part is already too old and need major repair). About the cost, my 09' 650i already pain in the ass since I got cheated by the BMW dealer locally I just recently moved in. But I love X5. It looks strong and drive like a tank. I'm getting this for my sister. WIll be her first car so I wanna make sure if she hit some body, she better to be safe. Thanks for all the advice.

I saw a X5 online. With 132,000 miles on it. But the owner say he doesn't remember when was the last time he give it oil change, transmission or any other fluids as well as water pump or timing belt. The service engine soon signal is on (he says it's due to the break pad problem but will be fine just need to reset. I feel untrusted but the car run fine, I tried it on freeway too.
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:16 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Originally Posted by reytran View Post
I saw a X5 online. With 132,000 miles on it. But the owner say he doesn't remember when was the last time he give it oil change, transmission or any other fluids as well as water pump or timing belt. The service engine soon signal is on (he says it's due to the break pad problem but will be fine just need to reset. I feel untrusted but the car run fine, I tried it on freeway too.
This is something I would stay away from. If the owner doesn't even know the last time he changed the oil then who knows when it was last done. The computer will let you know as it is all computer based. Same for all of the other maintenance.

I also wouldn't trust his diagnosis regarding the illuminated Service Engine Light (SEL). The SEL does not illuminate for worn brake pads. There's a separate indicator for that. If you are seriously considering this particular X5 I would highly recommend you take it to a mechanic, preferably one who specializes in BMWs, and have a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) performed. Or, at a minimum, take it to an auto parts store and have the codes read. Many offer this service at no cost (but it typically limited to non-BMW specific codes). Having the codes read will let you know what is out of specification and will help you better identify what system(s) to investigate to locate the problem.

One thing I've learned in my car buying years is, unless you're a mechanic, it's typically less expensive to buy a vehicle which needs no or little work than one that requires major work. The savings of buying low and repairing tend to evaporate once you start the repairs.

Good luck!
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  #23  
Old 10-13-2012, 03:41 PM
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reytran reytran is offline
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But it waas cheap though. Out the door 6900 for that. He says replaced everything (trans, oil and all other fluids will cost less than a thousand.) But that car is 4.4 which has 12-18mpg. Not really big fan for that. And it's old probably need fuel cleaning service. I think maybe I just better get 07' E70. But it will cost like at least 21k. I'm not really have that much cash right now.

I found this online. I would love to receive your opinions about this. This seem legit to me. My sister probably only drive around maximum 200 miles/ a week.

Last edited by reytran; 10-13-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2012, 06:45 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Originally Posted by reytran View Post
But it waas cheap though. Out the door 6900 for that. He says replaced everything (trans, oil and all other fluids will cost less than a thousand.)
My concern is not what it would cost for you to change these fluids. It's that he doesn't know the last time he changed them. While I can understand the transmission fluid (since BMW marketed it as lifetime) the other fluids are cause for concern. Especially the oil. This is an indication he doesn't care about the proper maintenance of the vehicle and therefore it may not have been well maintained. An X5 is not a vehicle I would want to own if it had not been reasonably maintained.

With that said I see nothing wrong with you changing all the fluids if you should buy it. I did exactly that with the 2001 I bought...new oil, new transmission, new brake, new coolant, new transfer case fluids...gave me a known starting point for the vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reytran View Post
But that car is 4.4 which has 12-18mpg. Not really big fan for that. And it's old probably need fuel cleaning service. I think maybe I just better get 07' E70. But it will cost like at least 21k. I'm not really have that much cash right now.
You mentioned you had been laid off recently. IMO I would avoid BMW altogether because their proper maintenance and repair can be costly. I hate to steer you away from one but there are other vehicles with lower maintenance / repair / operational costs and are safe. When you find another job then come back to BMW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reytran View Post
I found this online. I would love to receive your opinions about this. This seem legit to me. My sister probably only drive around maximum 200 miles/ a week.
There's not much I can say about it as the description is fairly light and the pictures are such that even a poor finish on the vehicle wouldn't be noticable (I've looked at many vehicles that look great in pictures and not so much in person). If you are going to consider this vehicle I would highly recommend you take it for a PPI with a reputable BMW mechanic. And while I have no reason to distrust this particular seller my recommendation is to be skeptical / weary of anything a seller says about a vehicle they're trying to sell unless it can be independently verified (i.e. receipts for maintenance / repairs). Being trustful of a seller is how many buyers end up with a problem vehicle.
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2012, 10:41 AM
salvine salvine is offline
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I'm looking to buy a 04 right now and will only get a 3.0. I work on these cars for a lot of people and although th 4.4 is fun the costs are a significant amount higher. The 3.0 is the same as any other BMW with that motor. Oil and coolant leaks can be a significant repair on the V8's while most of these issues can be handled by a competent DIY on the 3.0. Get a 3.0 with plane jane suspension and no pano roof if you want to keep the repair costs down. Find one with less than 100k and have the trans serviced with OEM fluid. The GM gearboxes are known week points so a fluid change as early as possible is a must. Like I said, I work on these and I won't own the V8 even though I have the tools and skill. There is lots of info on the web so do a your homework. Have I mentioned to get a 3.0?
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