hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,667 miles

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problem #3

Jan 202009


  • 109,000 miles
On cold day, '01 BMW X5 3.0, started, briefly warmed and driven 8 miles B/F engine quits and will not restart. No warning lights, nor overheating involved. Mechanic indicates engine completely seized due to oil separator freezing from residual condensation in air as well as crankcase resulting in oil forced into cylinders, choking motor, and cracking connecting rods. Engine has now failed requiring a new or used motor - estimated at $7,500 replacement (not to mention significantly lowering resale value since new motor will not match VIN). Vehicle has been meticulously maintained beyond manufacturers recommended intervals (eg: Oil change every 3K miles with BMW spec'd oil and filters). This is a very common problem with BMW, particularly the X5 - oil separator in subsequent years was redesigned to address issue. No warning from dealership who maintained car until 2 years ago. This is a well documented problem that has now caused catastrophic engine failure and could very well cause catastrophic injury or death of vehicle occupants if engine fails on highway, rather than on a neighborhood road driving @ 5 mph.. BMW should have made a recall on this part before this issue started occurring with regular frequency to anyone living in a cold climate. Old parts and motor are still available - at least for the current time. Will need to be disposed as a core charge in near future once new engine can be located.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 022008

X5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles
I have a 2001 BMW X-5. on a cold day in January of this year I left work and drove approximately 25 miles when my yellow check oil light came on. I could smell oil and noticed that my vehicle was smoking out the exhaust pipe. I went to the nearest service station and turned off my vehicle to check the oil. When I pulled out the dip stick, oil shot out of the hole and sprayed all over the interior of my hood, on my face and all over my clothing. The oil crankcase had become pressurized and was forcing the oil out the engine, through the rings and valve covers. After wiping off my face, hands and clothing the best I could, I added three quarts of oil to return the level to acceptable conditions. Repairs needed to get new gaskets and oil separator, PCV valve, dip stick guide tube and hoses. These repairs cost $1690. Later I understood that BMW was aware of this problem and had issued a service information bulletin # si B 11 08 03 to its service department. I also heard that more than 100 similar events occurred in minneapolis during the first cold spell of this season. BMW should have informed owners of BMW of the need to replace PCV valves if required to both prevent potential damage to cars and drivers who like myself responded to the situation and ended up being sprayed by warm engine oil. A potential fire hazard existed with oil being forced from my crankcase into the engine compartment.

- Antioch, IL, USA

problem #1

May 102004


  • miles
While driving 10 mph, the vehicle stalled. The driver tried to restart but was unable to start. The driver noticed that the check engine light flashed on then off. The driver had the vehicle towed to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic informed the driver that the engine needed replacing due to head gasket failure.

- Odenton, MD, USA