On this article we will list the 6 most common problems repair on the e70 BMW X5. The e70 BMW X5 was produced from 2007-2013 and it is another popular SUV we often repair at Tolima’s Auto Center. This is the second generation BMW and the beginning of the thoroughly modern era of BMWs with Idrive and many other electronic features. This second generation X5 is bigger than the previous generation X5 and features a more complex suspension and engine choices.
1. Thrust Arm Bushings and Control Arms
BMW is known for making vehicles with handling prowess even in their SUVs. This also means that their owner tend to drive them harder and as a result their suspensions require more maintenance. The thrust arm bushings get worn and develop play in them. Drivers get a distinctive wheel wobble feel when applying the brake from highway speeds aside from traditional suspension clunks. The ball joints develop play or the bushings tear requiring replacement of these front suspension components.
2. V8 Valve Seal Failure
On the V8 equipped BMW X5 models owners will notice puffs of blue smoke coming out of the rear tail pipes. This is indicative of failing valve seals. For some reason this affects only V8 engines and not the I6 engines. The valve seals get hard and brittle then let oil get sucked into the combustion chamber. When the problem worsens the car will make more smoke and the engine will burn large amounts of oil causing low oil conditions.
3. V8 Water Pipe Leak
On the v8 engine there is a water pipe that connects to the water pump that is made out of plastic. Over time and heat cycles the plastic pipe gets weak and brittle which causes it to leak.
4. I6 Electric Water Pump
The Inline 6 cylinder X5 models have electric water pumps. Traditional water pumps like the one on the V8 engine are drive by the engine’s serpentine belt. The 6 cylinder water pump is entire electric and tends to fail without notice. Suddenly they burn out and the car will start to overheat. The electric water pumps are also expensive to repair and since they tend to fail randomly they can be quite a hassle to replace.
5. Oil Leaks
As typical with BMW engines both the I6 and the V8 like to leak from the valve covers and the timing covers. It is more of an expected maintenance item at this rate with how often these parts leak and how many we replace.
6. Transmission and X drive issues
We find that most owners ignore to service the xDrive All Wheel Drive system with fluid changes to the transfer case and differentials. Also the transmission fluid is supposed to be “lifetime fluid”, which means that you are supposed to drive the car until the transmission breaks! In reality these transmissions can last hundreds of thousands of miles when the transmission fluid is changed every 40k-60k miles depending on how hard you drive the car. Most people ignore these services and don’t want to do the maintenance until the transmission has problems. Once the transmission starts having problems it is a coin toss whether a fluid service will fix it or make it worse. That is why we recommend a transmission service is performed while the cars still have under 100k miles on the odometer. Also make sure the transfer case and differential fluids are changed to prevent issues with the xDrive system.
It was around this time that BMW started with the 15,000 mile oil change intervals. We recommend that anyone with these cars change their oil at 7,500 miles. We find that as these engines age multiple issues that require expensive repairs can be mitigated by simply changing the oil more frequently. These cars are maintenance heavy, but if maintenance is up to date including the “lifetime” fluids getting changed then they can be reliable. If you own or are looking to purchase the first generation e53 X5 then we recommend you check out this article here for the most common problems with that platform. If you have any issues with your BMW, feel free to Contact Us.