BMW X5 Common Problems

BMW X5Want a decent 4×4? Why not take a look at what BMW have to offer in the form of the X5, a competent mid-range SUV. Available in both automatic and manual variations, this sporty yet practical car has been a favourite for both country dwellers who need a bit of power on the dirt roads and urbanites looking to make that strong impression.

If you are considering purchasing a second hand X5, be aware of these warning signs. Whilst the car is generally considered a safe investment, there are a number of widely reported problems that you need to guard against.

Excessive Wind Noise Problems

When you are taking your X5 for a test drive, be sure to listen out for a wind noise, which occurs more frequently when travelling at high speeds. This is caused by problematic and faulty door aperture seals, known to fail over time and disintegrate. The whole seal will need replacing around the door, however this is a fairly cheap part to purchase, requiring a simple fitting job.

Coolant Leaks

There is a known problem with the coolant system on the BMW X5, which can develop leaks over time. If the ‘fill coolant’ light on the dashboard remains lit even after the system has been properly topped up with fluid then this is indicative of a serious fault somewhere in the system.

Inlet Manifolds

One of the main culprits behind any potential issue with your X5 coolant system could be the inlet manifolds. This is a known vulnerability in the car and will cause a number of problems with the responsiveness of the engine, such as rough idling, poor starting and a rise in the number of stalls.

Air Mass Sensors

Another problem that will cause the BMW X5 to suffer from poor running is a widely-reported issue with the air mass sensors. This is more frequent in older diesel models and causes a certain kind of flatting out under acceleration, which should be fairly easy to spot during a test drive.

Gearbox and Transmission

Check under the car for excessive patches of oil. This may be caused by a known issue with the BMW X5’s gearbox plug sleeve seal, which is a part prone to failure, leaking oil from this area of the vehicle. Although this is a fairly cheap part to buy, it is quite difficult to replace and may require a trip to your local mechanic.

Steering Column

Thinking of purchasing a BMW X5 that was manufactured between 2000 and 2001? Be careful as a large number of vehicles made during this period were recalled due to a serious fault with the steering column. If your potential purchase is from around this time, have a look at the service history to check it was inspected and that any faulty part was removed.


Whilst it is necessary to check the brakes on any second hand car purchase, this is especially true with the BMW X5 where the four wheel drive system is considered to be particularly punishing on the callipers, pads and discs. A visual check should be enough for you to assess the state of the brakes and how soon the parts will need replacing.

The BMW X5 is a competent 4×4 that does the job in a big way. It has maximum comfort for its passengers and loads of space. Expect a calm and controlled ride on the road with few bumps and zero bustling. Quality reigns supreme in the cabin and everything about this vehicle spells performance. If you want a decent second hand SUV then you could do a whole lot worse than the X5.

This entry was posted in Cars, Maintenance and tagged , on by Justin Smith.

About Justin Smith

As the man at the helm of BreakerLink, it is no surprise that its Director, Justin Smith, has always had a keen interest in cars, bikes and most things wheeled. Having spent over two decades in the car parts industry, Justin combines his passion that since 2002, has successfully united those looking for new and used car parts with the breaker that supplies them. Follow Justin on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: These articles are for guidance purposes only. If you have any questions regarding any matter relating to your vehicle we would recommend that you seek the advice of an appropriate professional. We accept no responsibility or liability should you suffer financial or personal damages in relation to the advice stated on this website.