really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
175,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. bmw recall (1 reports)
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problem #1

Jun 152020

X5 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

click to see larger images

fire from crankcase gas venting

My 2003 caught fire and the engine burned down to the ground on Monday, June 15, 2020. I googled what may have happened and this is a portion of the article that I found in Car and Driver magazine.

BMW is recalling 1 million cars in the U.S. for electrical fires, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The automaker filed two separate recalls that cover cars from the 2006 through 2011 model years. At issue on 740,561 cars is a positive crankcase ventilation valve heater that can short, melt, and ignite. Also known as a blow-by heater, it prevents ice from forming when treating the hot, combusted gas venting from the crankcase. BMW said it first discovered the issue on a single 2007 X5 in 2009 and began collecting damaged blow-by heaters in 2011 and 2012 but did not issue a recall. BMW did not specify how many fires have occurred but said that the “heat-related damage” was primarily “localized and self-extinguishing.” No injuries or accidents were reported, the company said.

The affected cars include gasoline non-turbocharged six-cylinder 2007–2011 328i, 525i, 528i, 530i, X3, X5, and Z4 models, plus the 2008–2011 128i. The recall includes all variants: rear- and all-wheel-drive powertrains in coupe, convertible, and station-wagon models. The problem is most prevalent in vehicles between two and eight years old, the company said. Manufacturing “irregularities” could allow moisture to collect near the blow-by heater’s electrical contacts and cause a short circuit, according to filings. Drivers may first notice smoke within the engine compartment or a burning plastic smell. Dealers will replace the blow-by heater starting in December.

I received the Takata airbag recall and my car was at Gephardt BMW in Boulder, Colorado in March 2020. A full diagnosis was completed and the electrically deficient part was never taken care of.


- Lizabeth S., Longmont, US