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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 02-04-2016, 07:23 PM
blackx5al blackx5al is offline
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E70 Best Driving/Ownership Practices for the long term

In your experience what are some basic tips for the use and ownership of the E70 for longterm reliability? I am particularly interested in the N63 engine but any anecdotal E70 evidence is useful.

I know it sounds like a basic (maybe even stupid) question, but I've been reading this forum for a while and have come across a variety of opinions.

Some people swear that these cars and engines were designed for heavier use than the average American commute and require longer runs at higher RPMs for better lubrication. Others seem to baby them. Don't know how well either approach really works.

I have an '03 325Ci 5MT with over 200k miles on it that's been very reliable and still fun to drive with 0 suspension or major drivetrain issues (other than small oil leaks, coolant system, pulleys, coil pack, fuel pump, and crankcase ventilation valve - all of which were easy diy fixes). That car has served through years of daily mixed city-highway 80 mile commutes, crossed the country East to West and multiple times North to South, has seen plenty of WOT and >5k RPM time, snow, hurricanes, tropical heat, desert, and frequent harmless second-gear drifting around a particularly fun turn on the way to work. IMO what made it last so well was just well-timed maintenance (done by me), long commutes, mildly aggressive driving, and a bit of luck.

Now my '12 X5 50i is a totally different beast and took some time to get used to and start enjoying. For one, I'm hesitant to do any work on it myself and have been taking it to the dealer. I'm worried about Valve Stem Seals and don't know the long term reliability of the transmission. Although I have extended warranty, the dread of going to the dealer AGAIN if something breaks makes me want to baby the car, and sucks the fun out of ownership.

This forum is full of posts about issues and mistakes. What I'm looking for are stories about what has worked for you. What additional maintenance have you done and what's your driving style like? Even small things like: do you use the paddle shifters a lot, do you drive in sport mode a lot, do you try to coast more or engine break, do you make sure you run it for a certain amount of time after cold starts, do you take it off road, etc. Really curious to hear some ownership stories. I hope there's more to these cars than all the posts here about them breaking down.
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2016, 05:09 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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I just passed 10K miles of CPO '12 X5 35d ownership. I charge the battery weekly. I drive locally in S and M to keep above 2K rpm on my tiny cold Island.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2016, 09:04 AM
edycol edycol is offline
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I bought 35d used, CPO on Oct. 29th, 2015 with 34,904 miles. I have now 44.956, zero issues (well my horn went bad).
I drive a lot on back mountain roads, and red line is very often thing for my car. I drive a lot in manual mode since it provides better dynamics through curves. I simply enjoy that, especially huge diesel torque when you getting out of curve.
Although I am pushing car hard, my consumption with time got better. Two things possible:
1. Car was babied before me.
2. I used at 5K Mobil1 5W30 ESP oil that has by far lowest SAPS content of all Low-SAPS oils on market, which probably triggers regeneration less often.
My take would be:
1. Change oil every 5K and use Mobil1 0W40 or Castrol 0W40. Forget dealership oil. Although dealership oil meets LL-01 for N63, I am not sure it meets MB 229.5 which is much more stringent specification, especially when it comes to carbon deposits.
2. Take your car out! Once oil reaches temp. hit it hard. Do not spare it. Hitting redline once a month won't do anything. Driving 2hrs on edge will do a lot for engine, as long as you have everything working properly, and good oil.
Driving lot outside will keep your battery in working order.
3. It might sound stupid, but keep car in the garage.
4. When you park car, before shutting it off, turn off everything inside: seat warmers, ventilation, lights, radio, AC, etc.
5. Change AT fluid between 60 and 100K. BMW claims it is long life fluid, it is not!
6. Do same with transfer case and differentials.
7. Change thermostat and water pump at 60-80K.

Someone else add stuff I cannot remember now.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2016, 09:10 AM
JGard JGard is offline
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The annoying part about doing the thermostat/water pump is that the EGR Cooler is in the way and these seem to be very prone to failure (on the diesels, no idea if the gas engines have this). Mine was fine, then I did the thermostat, and reinstalled the EGR cooler to spec. Within 1,500 miles it cracked and I was stuck buying a new one since my aftermarket warranty wouldn't cover it
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2016, 09:17 AM
edycol edycol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGard View Post
The annoying part about doing the thermostat/water pump is that the EGR Cooler is in the way and these seem to be very prone to failure (on the diesels, no idea if the gas engines have this). Mine was fine, then I did the thermostat, and reinstalled the EGR cooler to spec. Within 1,500 miles it cracked and I was stuck buying a new one since my aftermarket warranty wouldn't cover it
Gas one does not have it.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2016, 05:01 PM
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roboe60 roboe60 is offline
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I drive my X5, 740i and 530i in sport mode over half the time. Seems odd to me not to. I keep them well maintained and am not concerned about driving on long trips at 80 mph.

I routinely drive my 01 740i Sport on round trips from Indy to Cincinnati, St. Louis and Chicago and love cruising at highway speeds. Just had the X5 to Chicago and back since the 740 takes a winter nap. The X5 is not the cruiser that the 740i is, but it rides comfortably with the added safety of the AWD in the winter months.

If they break, I will fix them. (Or should I say, when they break, I fix them!)
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:09 PM
eeyore8 eeyore8 is offline
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Good question. I'm interested in responses too. As for me, I want my 2012 to last well past 100,000 miles. Currently at 63,000.

- I changed all drive train fluids at 50k (trans, trans case, both diffs).
- Change oil ~ 7,000 mile intervals
- On cold start I let idle reduce and drive gently for 5-10 min.
- I drive gently 50% of the time, spirited 40%, and hard 10%
- At least once a month I do a WOT blast (gas to floor for 5 seconds or more)
- Plan to replace spark plugs this winter.
- Use sport mode maybe 30% of the time
- Drive about 50/50 highway/city
- Drive off road maybe 5% of the time (easy dirt roads)
- Use battery charger about once a month to fully charge
- Car is garaged and washed once a week
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2016, 05:01 PM
blackx5al blackx5al is offline
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Thanks for the responses so far. You're all confirming what I wanted to hear: X5 is still a BMW and should be driven like one. I've already started planning for a transmission and diff fluid flush in the next six months or so. Gonna start looking into getting an AGM battery charger as well. Do you all change your own oil? I'm all for that but I'm concerned it'll come back to bite me the next time I have to use my extended warranty.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2016, 05:16 PM
flexstar flexstar is offline
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I have an E70 2012 3.5 that I ordered and took delivery at the PC. I considered trading for a new F15 but after driving one I decided why spend $32k on a very similar car just to say it's brand new. My car only has 33k on it and it looks like it just came off the line at the plant in Greer, SC. It's a great driving car, handled very well,l and still look similar to the 2016 F15's. All my services have been done at the local BMW dealer by the same tech. As with any piece of equipment maintenance is the key. X5's are great vehicles and the drive and visibility are great. I feel like my "ride" is somewhat a part of me. Enjoy your new X5.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2016, 06:11 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackx5al View Post
[ ... ] I'm all for that but I'm concerned it'll come back to bite me the next time I have to use my extended warranty.
How? Be sure and keep your receipts documentation of properly specced oil.
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2016, 12:56 PM
Kostyan Kostyan is offline
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just enjoy it every day of the ownership. Race some soccer moms in their minivans or some riced out Civics, if that can make the ownership experience better :-)
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2016, 01:34 PM
edycol edycol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackx5al View Post
Thanks for the responses so far. You're all confirming what I wanted to hear: X5 is still a BMW and should be driven like one. I've already started planning for a transmission and diff fluid flush in the next six months or so. Gonna start looking into getting an AGM battery charger as well. Do you all change your own oil? I'm all for that but I'm concerned it'll come back to bite me the next time I have to use my extended warranty.
Do not do transmission flush! Change fluid and filter.
Oil change? I do it myself every 5K. Keep receipt, use proper spec (LL-01 for gas or LL-04 for diesel) and buy filter at local BMW. If something goes bad with engine and they claim it is oil, burden is on them to prove that you used wrong oil. By the law, you can do your own oil change!
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2016, 01:54 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edycol View Post
[ ... ] By the law, you can do your own oil change!
That would be the Magnuson-Moss Act 15 USC 2301
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2016, 09:29 PM
blackx5al blackx5al is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
That would be the Magnuson-Moss Act 15 USC 2301
Thanks, that clears it up. I'll be sure to go back to doing my own oil changes.
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2016, 09:34 PM
blackx5al blackx5al is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kostyan View Post
just enjoy it every day of the ownership. Race some soccer moms in their minivans or some riced out Civics, if that can make the ownership experience better :-)
Oh it does. Sometimes as I coast to a stop light I notice people behind me change lanes as if to avoid a "slow SUV" after the light turns green... they have no idea. hahaha
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2016, 09:52 PM
blackx5al blackx5al is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flexstar View Post
I have an E70 2012 3.5 that I ordered and took delivery at the PC. I considered trading for a new F15 but after driving one I decided why spend $32k on a very similar car just to say it's brand new. My car only has 33k on it and it looks like it just came off the line at the plant in Greer, SC. It's a great driving car, handled very well,l and still look similar to the 2016 F15's. All my services have been done at the local BMW dealer by the same tech. As with any piece of equipment maintenance is the key. X5's are great vehicles and the drive and visibility are great. I feel like my "ride" is somewhat a part of me. Enjoy your new X5.
I actually like the E70 look more than the F15. Maybe the new design will grow on me, but the E70 seems to have a more aggressive stance, especially fitted with the 20's. The wheels seem to be pushed out more to all sides with bigger fender bulges and less overhang front and rear, the rear glass has a more aggressive angle and is taller, and there seems to be more straight lines in the overall shape of the car.

Glad your X5 is treating you well.
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2016, 05:31 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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On the subject of best practices, I always act as though other drivers are less attentive than I. I prefer to be at the limit line of a intersection and watch the cross-street light to anticipate my green light.

On the Interstate, my rule is - faster than the slowest and slower than the fastest. I'll never impede a fassthole's meeting with destiny.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:50 AM
eeyore8 eeyore8 is offline
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Quoting George Carlin: "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:12 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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They're racing from idiot to fassthole.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:18 PM
blackx5al blackx5al is offline
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That is indeed good advice. Will usually keep you out of trouble with the law too. Never good to be the outlier on the road. And stay out of the left lane unless passing! I've noticed great variation between how often that last rule is followed from state to state. It almost seems likes drivers in some states don't know about it. It really makes the highway safer when people follow it.

What are your thoughts on downshifting to engine brake? Where I am there's a lot of roads with long 70mph straights and traffic lights about 5 miles apart. I always cringe when I get caught by a red light at the last minute and have to do a 70-0 stop with this 5,400 lb truck. Downshifting would reduce the wear on the brakes, but is doing so habitually causing unnecessary stress on more expensive components elsewhere? If so, when is a good time to engine brake?
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  #21  
Old 02-11-2016, 02:53 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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The components are designed to transmit mechanical power, acceleration or deceleration changes the direction and source/sink functions.

Because I don't believe extra stress/wear is caused, engine brake first, then friction brake. Exhaust compression braking of diesel motors is very effective, efficient and economical. ETA much later: Economy guidelines for my TDI had me in gear and off throttle down to 950 rpm when the ECU again fueled to maintain idle. Trailing throttle in the TDI and maybe all diesels stops fuel feed.

Just when to brake is too situational for broad guidelines. I ride/power a human powered vehicle, and practicing rolling hills is very satisfying.
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Last edited by Doug Huffman; 02-11-2016 at 04:34 AM.
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  #22  
Old 02-11-2016, 07:58 AM
edycol edycol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackx5al View Post
That is indeed good advice. Will usually keep you out of trouble with the law too. Never good to be the outlier on the road. And stay out of the left lane unless passing! I've noticed great variation between how often that last rule is followed from state to state. It almost seems likes drivers in some states don't know about it. It really makes the highway safer when people follow it.

What are your thoughts on downshifting to engine brake? Where I am there's a lot of roads with long 70mph straights and traffic lights about 5 miles apart. I always cringe when I get caught by a red light at the last minute and have to do a 70-0 stop with this 5,400 lb truck. Downshifting would reduce the wear on the brakes, but is doing so habitually causing unnecessary stress on more expensive components elsewhere? If so, when is a good time to engine brake?
I am always downshifting. I am in mountains so engine braking is sometimes must considering ice, snow etc.
Yesterday I was coming back from Keystone resort on I70, and was probably in M mode downshifting and upshifting for 80 miles.
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