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Old 12-10-2012, 09:08 PM
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seriousPSI seriousPSI is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Norcross, GA
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New X5M owner, used X5M problems and seeking advice...

First off, want to say this is a great site and really appreciate the information I've gathered here over time for not only the X5M but for my previous X5's as well. For the first time, I have real problems with an X5 and I'm wondering what to do or what to expect with either the dealer or BMW NA? My apologies for the length of the post in advance... but must share the lenghthy saga to get that advice...


I bought my black/black X5M on Sept. 4th with 35,000 miles and a Feb. '10 in-service date. Great condition, realistic annual mileage, and a really clean service history when bought. I bought the car from a BMW dealer in Jacksonville, FL and live in Atlanta, GA area as there were limited 2010 X5M's available in July '12.

Since I've owned it it has been to the dealership in ATL 4 times for a total of 33 days (coincidentally 33%) of the time I've owned it and I have been affected by problems with it for 55 days (55%) of the time I've owned it.

Obviously, with that sort of service action going on I could post a really long thread with a ton of details... but here's my minor attempt to shorten it:

Visit 1:
Symptom: Engine Limp mode on 9/22
Dealer Analysis: Cylinder 8 Coil & Boot Failed causing damage to spark plug.
Dealer Time: 2 days
My Analysis: Ok, it happens... no problem.

Visit 2:
Symptom: White Smoke/Electrical Burning Smell from under hood mainly passenger front/side, driver side Angel eyes lights out, Squealing brakes in reverse that could ruin dogs for miles.
Dealer Analysis: Changed Front Brakes and Angel lights, could not reproduce electrical smell or smoke/nothing found.
Dealer Time: 4
My Analysis: Sucks for front Brakes and Angel Eyes out at 35,000, but OK. Unfortunate unable to reproduce smoke, electrical burning smell was easy to reproduce daily for me leading up to this visit but let's roll.

Visit 3:
Symptom: Went up in white smoke in my garage same day I got it back from Visit 2, same distinct electrical type burning smell.

***SA and mechanics both noticed the burning electrical smell when I took it in as they came out to meet me.

Dealer Analysis: Brought BMW field techs in, couldn't pinpoint problem and admitted it, cleaned crud or "foreign material" from under turbo's and off of exhaust.
Dealer time: 21 days
My Analysis: BS. 5 weeks into White Smoke/Burning Electrical smell nothing would be on the exhaust unless it was consistently being replenished from another source. Made head mechanic and SA explain to me directly how they felt this explanation was even feasible and why they felt it was safe for me to drive my family (wife/2 yr old) in or even park in my garage.

Visit 4 (current one, supposed to pick up car tomorrow):

Symptom: Went up in even more spectacular white plume in my garage again day after I got it back from Visit 3. Though this time I also get the "Increased battery discharge warning" a few of us have seen.
Dealer Analysis: Brought in representative they say this time... have magically found problem they think. Coolent hose going into bottom of engine is leaking under high pressure when hot only, not when cold and under pressure (or something like that). That is supposed to be source of "foreign material" on exhaust. Also, they pulled out all the fans in the front of the car to test them, not sure on verdict until tomorrow but that is supposed to be source of distinct electrical smell. Replacing battery as well.
My Analysis: What the hell have I gotten into? I've driven the entire 2013 lineup in the loaner pool. I believe all the above is broken, but I really struggle at this point to believe I'm done with issues for any real length of time. I've driven my vehicle for a grand total of 1 hr and 20 mins. since November 6th.

Also, Somewhere in the vicinity of visit 1 & 2 the power of the car decreased, feels about 20% or so to me. It's not throwing check engines or anything like that, I can just really tell due to increased downshifting and lack of acceleration to what I had before in both regular and M, automatic or manual. And no, it's not because I've been driving a bunch of underpowered loaners for the better part of Nov. & Dec.

Dealer says this may be due to the battery issue, winter gas or bad gas. I guess we'll see... I asked them to double check turbos/hoses but they say it will throw a warning/code if something is wrong.


So that's where I'm at. I called BMW NA on 12/5 to give them a "head's up" and full details of the situation. They did escalate me on the phone to a "Resolution Specialist" because of the obvious safety issues involved (ie. Burning electrical components). Said he would discuss compensation with me if that's what I wanted. I wasn't willing to discuss any of those details because I still don't even have a fixed vehicle yet and the saga is still ongoing.

So to finally end and free back up your time...

What could/should I expect or be looking for here and from whom? BMW NA or Dealer?

***Lemon Laws don't apply to "used" cars in Georgia so no dice (not sure of other states).

In no particular order:

*Manufacturer's buyback, am I really there with BMW NA?
*Trade it in at dealer in ATL? Remember dealer fixing it here did not sell it to me.
*Trade it in at original BMW dealer? Was from their affiliate used car dealership next door, all owned by same group including the actual BMW dealership.
*Extended BMW Warranty?
-Only warranty I would get. $6,300 for 7r/100k or slightly less for 6yr/100k, what % should they give of that?

Please chime in if you would and appreciate it.
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