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X3 F25 (2011 - 2017)
The second generation X3 added style and new features to the BMW's mid-sized SUV. Talk about the BMW F25 X3 with other X3 owners now!

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  #1  
Old 11-24-2019, 01:00 PM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Considering F25 w/ N55

Hi all,

Looking for some opinions as I begin my search. My wife recently was in an accident where our Lincoln MKX was totaled. She wants something a little bit smaller with better handling and more power. We nearly purchased an F25 four years ago, but couldn't pass up the deal on the MKX.

Anyway, At this point in my research, I'm aware of the valve cover gasket, oil pan, and the water pump failures. There is a 4th that I can't think of right now. Anything else I should be considering? I'm hoping to find a 1-owner with service records, but we do have a limited time that I can search so I may have to give on that a little.

In terms of maintenance, I'm comfortable doing just about anything (fluid changes, brakes, suspension, gaskets, etc) except anything requiring a lift. I have, or have quick access to, most tools required to do routine maintenance so I should be covered there.

I'm mostly looking at vehicles that are in the 70-80k miles, so I know many of these issues may be coming up soon and am prepared to deal with what I've listed above.

Appreciate any opinions, and plan to continue searching on the forum.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2019, 01:19 PM
scostuart scostuart is offline
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With the higher mileage F25....prolly need transmission flush.... especially if you get a newer model with the ZF8 transmission.

And prolly new battery.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2019, 02:04 PM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Originally Posted by scostuart View Post
With the higher mileage F25....prolly need transmission flush.... especially if you get a newer model with the ZF8 transmission.

And prolly new battery.
I was thinking of doing all new fluids when I purchase one. I assume the battery is DIY.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2019, 02:43 PM
scostuart scostuart is offline
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You will need to program the vehicle to recognize you have a new battery.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2019, 03:47 PM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scostuart View Post
You will need to program the vehicle to recognize you have a new battery.


OK thanks. I will research how to do that.

Iíve found a semi-local 2013 that is a 1-owner but has 92k miles. A little higher than Iíd like on the miles, but Iím hoping they have decent service records.

Iíve essentially limited my search to 35i, X drive with the sport seats (I think thatís what they are called). Are the upgraded seats noticeably better? The look much nicer, but Iíve not sat in them. Only the base ones.


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  #6  
Old 11-25-2019, 01:24 AM
scostuart scostuart is offline
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Originally Posted by whoathere View Post
are the upgraded seats noticeably better? The look much nicer, but iíve not sat in them. Only the base ones.


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yes
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2019, 10:12 AM
tlcoulter tlcoulter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoathere View Post
Hi all,

Looking for some opinions as I begin my search. My wife recently was in an accident where our Lincoln MKX was totaled. She wants something a little bit smaller with better handling and more power. We nearly purchased an F25 four years ago, but couldn't pass up the deal on the MKX.

Anyway, At this point in my research, I'm aware of the valve cover gasket, oil pan, and the water pump failures. There is a 4th that I can't think of right now. Anything else I should be considering? I'm hoping to find a 1-owner with service records, but we do have a limited time that I can search so I may have to give on that a little.

In terms of maintenance, I'm comfortable doing just about anything (fluid changes, brakes, suspension, gaskets, etc) except anything requiring a lift. I have, or have quick access to, most tools required to do routine maintenance so I should be covered there.

I'm mostly looking at vehicles that are in the 70-80k miles, so I know many of these issues may be coming up soon and am prepared to deal with what I've listed above.

Appreciate any opinions, and plan to continue searching on the forum.

Thanks in advance.
My wife's Cadillac SRX was totaled last May, and we bought a '16 F25 with the N55 engine. It had 60k miles, and it is a terrific car. The handling and performance are way better than the Caddy, and it is just as comfortable, if not more. I have a '11 E93 with the same engine (with the Performance Pack added), and it has been sorta trouble-free. It has 60k miles too, and I have had the HPFP, oil filter housing gasket and radiator expansion tank replaced.
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2019, 10:19 AM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlcoulter View Post
My wife's Cadillac SRX was totaled last May, and we bought a '16 F25 with the N55 engine. It had 60k miles, and it is a terrific car. The handling and performance are way better than the Caddy, and it is just as comfortable, if not more. I have a '11 E93 with the same engine (with the Performance Pack added), and it has been sorta trouble-free. It has 60k miles too, and I have had the HPFP, oil filter housing gasket and radiator expansion tank replaced.
Thanks for the input! The part of the equation that I hadn't mentioned yet is that I would like to get an F10 with the N55 and have wondered if that's a smart idea or not. Having two vehicles with the same drivetrain makes sense to me, but don't know if it's that common.

I would love the N63, but that seems a bit unnecessary.
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:45 PM
littleredcar littleredcar is offline
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Many forum members have reported that if you replace the battery with the same size and type, registration merely puts a text comment into the system noting the date and mileage of the replacement.
I think I'd try just replacing it without registering it unless I already had the device to do the registration myself.
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2019, 07:16 PM
Z4530i Z4530i is offline
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1. Coolant overflow tank leaks at the bottom; replace tank.
2. Change transmission and transfer case fluids at 80k; make sure you do it correctly. I've heard there's programming wrt the transfer case fluid change.
3. There's a smog related valve in the valve cover that may clog up. You can tell by; whistling noise, and resistance to removing oil cap on valve cover due to suction from the engine side.
4. If it's one of the older X3's, BMW used to do oil changes at 15k, which they finally realized is too long. Thus some of these cars (like my wife's), had some varnish build up in the engine. Use a good BMW rated oil and a great filter, and change very 5-8k to remove any build up. I've kept her's at 6k intervals.
Don't know about the valve cover or oil pan leak, but this engine (in any car) has bad gaskets (rubber template) in the oil filter housing (where it attaches to the engine block, and the water circulation attaches to the housing).
If you buy from a BMW dealer, get them to update the programs in the car (usually takes 2+/- hours).
Makes sure tires on the same axle (front, rear) are near identical in diameter.
Great car though. Wife is getting new 2020 X3 M40i. Our son is eagerly awaiting her 2012 X3 35X with over 115k mikes.
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2019, 07:48 PM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4530i View Post
1. Coolant overflow tank leaks at the bottom; replace tank.
2. Change transmission and transfer case fluids at 80k; make sure you do it correctly. I've heard there's programming wrt the transfer case fluid change.
3. There's a smog related valve in the valve cover that may clog up. You can tell by; whistling noise, and resistance to removing oil cap on valve cover due to suction from the engine side.
4. If it's one of the older X3's, BMW used to do oil changes at 15k, which they finally realized is too long. Thus some of these cars (like my wife's), had some varnish build up in the engine. Use a good BMW rated oil and a great filter, and change very 5-8k to remove any build up. I've kept her's at 6k intervals.
Don't know about the valve cover or oil pan leak, but this engine (in any car) has bad gaskets (rubber template) in the oil filter housing (where it attaches to the engine block, and the water circulation attaches to the housing).
If you buy from a BMW dealer, get them to update the programs in the car (usually takes 2+/- hours).
Makes sure tires on the same axle (front, rear) are near identical in diameter.
Great car though. Wife is getting new 2020 X3 M40i. Our son is eagerly awaiting her 2012 X3 35X with over 115k mikes.


Thank you for the detailed reply! It is much appreciated.

The oil filter housing was the other common issue Iíve found through searching.

The two vehicles I have found that are semi-local are both near 75k miles. Both are for sale through non-BMW dealers. On the Carfax of one of them, I can see it has made several trips to BMW dealers over the course of its life for pretty routine maintenance, but also a lot of wheel/tire balancing. Not sure what exactly that means, but is it possible to get records from either BMW or the dealership for this specific vehicle using the VIN?

The other one has a much less detailed Carfax, and two previous owners, each having the vehicle for roughly 3 years (first owner was a personal lease). Not nearly as many visits to the dealer documented in the Carfax, but Iím not sure if that means anything.


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  #12  
Old 11-25-2019, 09:26 PM
carsbillz4 carsbillz4 is offline
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There is a 2015 listed right above your inquiry. Islandbound. Sure looks nice and it is low miles. Z4530i listed what I would consider very accurate - Good luck with your search and hope your wife is OK
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2019, 08:24 AM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Quick update.

Drove a 2013 35i, and wow. Wasn't expecting it to be as quick as it was. I thought it was fun, but don't know that it's necessary for my wife as a daily.

Thoughts on the 2011's with the N52? There's one in my town with 70k miles, private seller, new tires and maintenance records for a really attractive price. Seems like the N52 was a sound engine mechanically based on my quick research.
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2019, 10:02 AM
carsbillz4 carsbillz4 is offline
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N55 35i

I bought the 2011 X3 35ix for my wife. She keeps in normal mode and really likes the performance. We had a 2011 335ix sedan and sold that because it was low and at our age getting in and out of a low vehicle was a pain. I do not know much about the N52 but I do love the N55.
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2019, 11:22 AM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Originally Posted by carsbillz4 View Post
I bought the 2011 X3 35ix for my wife. She keeps in normal mode and really likes the performance. We had a 2011 335ix sedan and sold that because it was low and at our age getting in and out of a low vehicle was a pain. I do not know much about the N52 but I do love the N55.


I loved the performance of it. They are just hard to come by locally, especially private party. Iím also in the market for a new vehicle, but I have the luxury of time and can watch for a good deal. We need to be in a vehicle by Friday, or we start paying for the rental. Thatís partially why I am leaning towards this N52, as my wife probably wouldnít even care about the N55.

I was considering an F10 for myself, but I may go with a 35i X3 because I loved the one I drove.


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  #16  
Old 12-17-2019, 01:27 PM
CoolShirtDude CoolShirtDude is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 BMW X3 2.8i F25 N52
I purchased a 2011 X3 with the N52 after my E83 was totaled. The E83 has the N52 with the ZF 6 speed.

I get an average of 18 MPG combined.

The N52 is a solid engine, serpentine belt, valve cover gaskets and oil filter housing gaskets are known maintenance items.
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  #17  
Old 12-18-2019, 03:42 PM
mjosco mjosco is offline
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I'd get the X3 3.5 with the M package. The electronic suspension and sport shift program are great and the sport bumpers and monochrome paint scheme makes it look SO much better. I love mine. It's like a mini X5M with the performance adds. Very fun to drive. I get 23mpg avg if I drive like a sane person.
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  #18  
Old 12-18-2019, 05:34 PM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Originally Posted by mjosco View Post
I'd get the X3 3.5 with the M package. The electronic suspension and sport shift program are great and the sport bumpers and monochrome paint scheme makes it look SO much better. I love mine. It's like a mini X5M with the performance adds. Very fun to drive. I get 23mpg avg if I drive like a sane person.


Thanks for the reply. The M package really is sharp on the exterior. Sounds dumb, but my favorite part is the painted trim pieces to match the color of the car. Looks very sharp.

I know I have been all over the place, but I finally put a deposit down on a car today. 2011 X3 with N55! Going to pick it up on Friday. Price and options were right. Looking forward to picking it up!


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  #19  
Old 12-19-2019, 06:34 AM
HighDeaf HighDeaf is offline
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just purchased weeks ago. 2012 m sport, n55. Still exploring features and abilities. Loving it so far! No kick to open hatch unfortunately
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:02 AM
Duchess22 Duchess22 is offline
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Originally Posted by HighDeaf View Post
Attachment 876019



just purchased weeks ago. 2012 m sport, n55. Still exploring features and abilities. Loving it so far! No kick to open hatch unfortunately


Did you test the m40i in Either the x3 or x4

Iím on the fence regarding body styles. Iím not afraid of a few years old like you. Iím rolling in a 2011 335 coupe.

If the x series n55 heart is enough (possibly tune) or m40i for oem juice.


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Old 12-19-2019, 07:12 AM
HighDeaf HighDeaf is offline
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I didn't test the M40i, out of my price range at the moment. This vehicle had maintenance items done by the dealer before purchase. Valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, battery. All other items identified as done i recent years, water pump, oil pump gasket. So i figure i should have at least a year or two of trouble free maintenance.

Only mod I've done so far is fitting H&R springs, oh and installing M5 wheels!
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:59 AM
Duchess22 Duchess22 is offline
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Originally Posted by HighDeaf View Post
I didn't test the M40i, out of my price range at the moment. This vehicle had maintenance items done by the dealer before purchase. Valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, battery. All other items identified as done i recent years, water pump, oil pump gasket. So i figure i should have at least a year or two of trouble free maintenance.



Only mod I've done so far is fitting H&R springs, oh and installing M5 wheels!


Nice!!! Those wheels look great! The 40i is a beast. But still up in the air for the long term. Iím thinking of doing some minor tuning to my e92 and maybe keep it one more year to tide me over. Then hop back in the market.

I kinda like the x3 and the x4 for different reasons. Mainly the roofline. The larger wheels make me want to investigate if the look changes the overall aesthetics.


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  #23  
Old 12-26-2019, 04:26 PM
whoathere whoathere is offline
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Considering F25 w/ N55

Finally delivered. Iím not the biggest car-guy, but man does driving this put a smile on my face.




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Old 12-26-2019, 04:39 PM
carsbillz4 carsbillz4 is offline
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ride

Looks nice - enjoy the experience
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  #25  
Old 12-27-2019, 09:35 AM
HighDeaf HighDeaf is offline
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Nice ride friend.
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