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

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  #1  
Old 05-19-2013, 11:37 AM
shogo2040 shogo2040 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 X1, 2004 X3
I love my 2004 X3.. but... do I have to let it go?

Hi fellow X3 owners. I really really love my x3. I'm currently at 80,000 miles.. which I assume is pretty good for the 2004 model.

Over the past 2 years, I am averaging $2,500 on repairs every year on various problems (My mechanic has the car right now, and I store my invoices in the glove compartment, so I can't list the details at this time)

Thats roughly $200+ a month.

I am currently getting some engine repairs on a valve and a cracked cam. My friend told me that after the repair is done.. engine repairs are a domino effect and predicts I will have alot of expensive engine repairs coming up very soon and my so called "$200" a month average on repairs will skyrocket. I was advised from my friend to trade it it asap after the car is repaired.. and get a new car.

Do you agree? I love my x3. I want to keep it.. its a 3.0 top of the line fully loaded.. black on black.. beautiful leather.. pristine.. perfect.. I want to keep it!!! But if I'm starting to see repair bills at $5,000 (i made the 5k number up.. but who knows what the future holds? I heard of Rover repairs at $8,000)... then I'm screwed.

Please advise.. keep fixing the x3? or trade it in? the new X1 looks interesting. What kind or repairs does the future hold for my beloved x3 in the crystal ball?
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2013, 11:53 AM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2009 X3
How much would your new car loan cost?

Spoiler alert, ALOT more than $200 a month.

If you love it, keep it. But... if your love is waning, then upgrade to a new toy.
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2013, 12:14 PM
sshoemaker sshoemaker is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3
I am working on my wife's 2004 X3, 3.0 liter right now. Mechanic she used for years says the service engine soon light is on because of the MAF sensor and wanted to charge $500 to replace it. I ordered one myself at $98 and replaced it in 5 minutes time. Now, the transmission light is on as well as the SES light. And, the transmission bucks and hesitates. So, I put the old one back on and the car runs fine, but the SES light is still on. Trading on a Honda Pilot this week.
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  #4  
Old 05-19-2013, 02:56 PM
shogo2040 shogo2040 is offline
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Re: I love my 2004 X3.. but... do I have to let it go?

If i trade in for 10k and go for a stripped brand new x1 for $32k the monthly at low interest could be $300 a month..i tried the online calculator..not sure how realistic this is..but im glad bmw created an affordable x1...well..affordable if configured with pleather and no technology

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  #5  
Old 05-19-2013, 03:14 PM
shogo2040 shogo2040 is offline
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Re: I love my 2004 X3.. but... do I have to let it go?

Sshoemaker... i just test drove a honda crv which was as spacious as an x3. I also drove a ford escape..looks nice but the back seats were cramped like a sardine can...in progress of testing all crossovers.. just in case..but so far none of them is as good as my 2004 x3.

Im trying to think outside the box..if there was something like an extended warranty where u pay a flat monthly fee and if that $8,000 engine repair ever comes up..the repair is free...kind of like an insurance club. I saw something like this on a late night commercial but lost the info.

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Last edited by shogo2040; 05-19-2013 at 03:16 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2013, 05:25 PM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Re: I love my 2004 X3.. but... do I have to let it go?

Or... Drive that sob until the wheels fall off, then take a flame thrower too it. Sure it won't be worth as much, but that would fun.

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  #7  
Old 05-19-2013, 06:54 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Give the VW Tiguan a whirl. The features/options can be as bare bores or luxurious as you want, but it's a reasonably solid chassis. I dislike the gearbox (North American-spec) and it's not as dynamic as the E83 but it's not a complete snooze either if you ask it to be.

No idea why you'd be experience problems with the engine for the X3. They're generally the most robust part of BMWs, and I can definitely attest to my 2004 X3's reliability and durability under tough conditions.
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2013, 07:14 PM
fivepointnine fivepointnine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shogo2040 View Post
If i trade in for 10k and go for a stripped brand new x1 for $32k the monthly at low interest could be $300 a month..i tried the online calculator..not sure how realistic this is..but im glad bmw created an affordable x1...well..affordable if configured with pleather and no technology

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hate to be a buzz kill, but good luck getting 10k in trade! I was looking at trading it in on a CPO land rover or a new Jeep Grand Cherokee and it was like pulling teeth to get even close to 8k. Mine was a loaded '04 with 83k miles at the time. Im going to keep it for at least another year or 2. Engine and transmission wise its been good to me, but the sunroof that just broke bummed me out, and the weak A/C just makes me mad lol (yes it has a good charge)
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  #9  
Old 05-20-2013, 02:54 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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For whatever its worth I have a 2002 3.0i Z3 that I believe has the same engine. I bought the car new in October 2002 and have meticulously maintained it. It gets a Mobile 1 oil change and new filter every 7,500 miles or so even though that is only about half the interval the computer would take it. The engine compartment is almost show room clean. It now has about 145,000 miles on it and always was and still is a daily driver. Full throttle acceleration (5 speed manual) and maintained 80 mph speeds is something the car knows well.

I have not had any major issues with the engine but certainly have had to deal with age and wear related maintenance items. In the past two years I had to deal with a lot of fluid leaks, rotted vacuum hoses, etc.. All were dealt with as soon as an issue was noticed and my garage floor stays dry. Collectively I probably spent about $2,000 - $2,500 but once all these problems were dealt with they did not reappear. About two years ago I had one bad ignition coil that was easily replaced and I also replaced all the spark plugs. The A/C compressor failed with a shaft seal leak at about 120,000 but in Florida the A/C is on all the time except when the top is down. One of the more expensive engine leaks I had to fix was associated with the power steering pump and hoses. I cannot think of anything else engine related and I expect to get a lot more quality miles out of it. I did preemptively replace the water pump. I also preemptively replace the water hoses and belts at some reasonable interval. Therefore, I think your issues with the engine in your X3 may not be typical. (At least I hope not cause a few days ago I bought a 2007 X3 in pristine condition with 67,000 miles on it but no meaningful warranty).

The Z3 is the most wonderful car I have ever owned even comparing it to an M3 I once had and I expect to keep it as long as I can. The first generation Z4 just did not compare to it with respect to styling. The new Z4 is a really nice looking car but it is heavy as hell and just does not have the classic look the Z3 has. I never previously had a car longer than 4 years or so but the Z3 is a true keeper.

Last edited by RhoXS; 05-20-2013 at 02:56 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2013, 02:05 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Figure about $8-10K max trade in and probably a bit more for private sale -- but with those potential problems you may not want to go that route. Dump it and get a new one, it will only get worse and the value will continue to decline. Look at the Tig - worth a drive, and for a little hot rod check out the redone '04 Subie Forester turbo! Faster than the X1 with the 28i and very close to the 35i. The only one of the cute utes to pass the new offset crash test, along with (of all things) the Mitsui Endeavor! The X1 failed. Good luck!

Last edited by UncleJ; 05-20-2013 at 02:07 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-20-2013, 04:05 PM
stewart1890 stewart1890 is offline
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Cool It's a replacement but not an equal

I drive 125 back road miles every day with a back that was once broken, a neck that's a pretzel and legs that are half numb. I'd be on disability retirement now without my BMW. Always goes through the snow, water, flood leavings or whatever.

Would I trade it. Yes for another one, maybe a X5 or something at least as comfortable but you will be sorry if you think about an X 1. Look at all the low mileage ones on the market.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2013, 09:31 AM
shogo2040 shogo2040 is offline
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Re: I love my 2004 X3.. but... do I have to let it go?

Thanks everyone for your advices and time. Its going to be a tough call..the crossover industry increased 200% and by end if year every car company will be offering a crossover to get a piece of that hot apple pie...so many choices!!!

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  #13  
Old 09-05-2013, 01:26 PM
shogo2040 shogo2040 is offline
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My 2004 X3 was bought 2nd hand at the dealership as a former lowner bmw car.. maybe it was not broken in properly at the beginning. So I traded it in for a brand new 2014 BMW X1!! It only had 20 miles on it.. and I am breaking it following techniques described in the forums on this site.

There were alot of mixed opinions of the X1.. some like it, some hate it. But for me.. I friggin love it! It is my first brand new BMW. My budget was $30k for brand new.. (in 2006, I spent $30k on that 2nd hand 2004 X3).. and now that BMW makes a $30k car.. I figured.. why spend $30k on a new Ford/Honda/Toyota/ crossover? I originallly wanted the Hyundai Sonata Sport but it was $33k. So.. $31k for a brand new BMW or $33k for a brand new Hyundai? Hmmmmm... which one should I pick? Hmmmmm?

Of course I picked the BMW X1 !! Don't get me wrong.. the Hyundai interior / exterior "LOOKED" friggin awesome!!!! But the test drive felt .. uhm... not for me.

Anyway.. I am in pure JOY right now. I open the garage door and I can "smell" my brand new X1... the drive is just the best.. I am like the happiest guy ever. So lets see how well BMW Brilliance in China made this car.. I'll keep you posted in the X1 channels with my experience. Strange that in the paperwork it says its 70% made in germany, 5% made in US/Canada.. where's the other 25% in? cmon BMW.. just print it out!! CHINA! we all have internet access and can easily look this up on wikipedia hahaha..

Keep in mind.. its not a crossover.. its really in my opinion... a Sport Wagon. But hey.. a brand new X3 is beyond my budget.. and I don't want to buy used now that BMW is making cheaper models.

I did also test drive the Tiguan.. also fully loaded at $33k... that was an awesome ride btw.. very nimble and fun to drive.. but.. I really like to stay in the BMW family.. however if I were to buy a 2nd car I would really consider the VW Tiguan.
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  #14  
Old 09-05-2013, 05:29 PM
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fhopper fhopper is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 X3 3.0i
Mazda CX 5 2014 Grand Touring would be my replacement choice.
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2013, 06:05 PM
chewchewone chewchewone is offline
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Originally Posted by fhopper View Post
Mazda CX 5 2014 Grand Touring would be my replacement choice.
what he said... i test drove the 2013 way back and liked it except that it was under powered... i haven't test driven the 2014 yet.
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  #16  
Old 09-05-2013, 06:47 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Slightly off-topic, but wouldn't you know: my dad got a Tiguan SE 4Motion when his lease on the X5 diesel expired. And in an effort to keep repair costs and mileage down, we swapped cars for the last couple months so I've racked up a chunk of miles on this extended test drive.

It has confirmed what I already knew: the 6AT gearbox is rubbish. If you are a suburbanite you will never notice. But as an enthusaist who does a lot of backroad driving in hilly terrain, I'm 100% sure that whoever programmed it never actually tested it thoroughly. The torque converter/gearbox does random gear changes and the shifts are slow, with the occasional shift flare thrown in. Haven't driven a gearbox this rubbish in years. VW uses the 7-DSG in the rest of the world, but "Americans prefer the feel of a traditional automatic.".

You also miss the finer details you take for granted in a BMW. Examples:
  • The white backlighting for the Kombi-instrument is hard on the eyes at night, even at its dimmest setting.
  • Unless you get the SEL (pre 2014) or R-Line (2014+), a lot of convenience features are missing, and one has to retrofit them.
  • Brakes feel like mush, and stopping distances are just average. There is only one-spec worldwide for brake pads, so I guess customers just want less brake dust even at the expense of performance.
  • Door armrests aren't padded. One notices after a 6 hour drive.
  • No cubbies for storage in the trunk area. Where am I gonna put my bike tools?!
  • Split folding rear seats are cumbersome; bottom cushion moves forward when folding the seats so removing items can be a chore.
  • 2 overdrive gears in the gearbox are good for gov't fuel consumption numbers, but result in clumsy performance on the hwy.

Don't get me wrong though, the Tiguan is still a very good car and very competent in the bends and on mountain roads in spite of the idiotic gearbox (manual mode solves things). At prolonged autobahn speeds (130+ km/h) the Tiguan is way more composed than most other compact SUVs- I don't think twice about bringing it up 180-190km/h- and it has plenty of overtaking power.

But I've asked for my X3 back. It may be a dinosaur but it was engineered to be a driver's car, and I notice it when that kind of detail is missing. I enjoy the lower operating/fuel costs of the Tiguan but the X3 is just less irritating.

Last edited by AzNMpower32; 09-05-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2013, 02:29 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Sounds like you got a lemon, Our 04 2.5 is at 122 with no problems..
Its clean and tight...

just the normal Bmw stuff so far... BUT its a 6 speed not a autotragic ..

I think 90% of everyone's problems is automatics
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2013, 06:24 AM
sjladopoulos sjladopoulos is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 BMW X3 3.0si
Don't hate me please

My advice for you is, if you love the car, keep it and change your mechanic.

My mechanic is my friend too, if he would ever repair my car and say "get ready for more bills" i would shoot him in the head.

Domino effect = my a$$. That is what poor repairs cause.

Unless you have the itch for a new car, keep it and find someone that knows his $hit.
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2013, 02:02 PM
usaret usaret is offline
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I'm intrigued by the Infinity EX.
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  #20  
Old 09-08-2013, 07:30 PM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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my rule of thumb, 1o years or 100,000

Sell before 10 years old or 100,000 miles, IF you have done extra preventive maintenance. The normal repairs will eat you up after this point and perhaps before. CCV, shocks, intake, clutch, coolant system, oil filter housing, etc etc etc
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  #21  
Old 09-09-2013, 08:15 AM
sjladopoulos sjladopoulos is offline
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I'm intrigued by the Infinity EX.
No space in the rear and very shallow trunk

Otherwise fantastic vehicle
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