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  #1  
Old 03-08-2017, 06:20 AM
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Considering a used E53 X5

Shopping around for a used E53 X5 with the diesel, 04 models upwards.

I have noticed on the models I have driven (all auto's), when going wide open throttle the transmission revs out quite a bit then has a bit of a delay/slip when changing up gears.

Is this normal?

Every X5 I have driven so far has done this, with issues on most forums about the transmission on X5's ( 6 speed auto ZF) it has me wondering.

Do they normally shift like this? or do these transmissions not have much life left in them?

They seem to shift fine when manually selecting gears.

Are there other things I should be aware of when shopping around for a used E53?

I have also found not a whole lot of information about the diesels for the X5 - can't seem to find any workshop manuals or servicing guidelines anywhere I look other then this - BMW Workshop Manuals Which is clunky and hard to read
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2017, 11:32 AM
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Welcome! I recently joined X also but have 30+ years experience driving and working on BMWs.

In Jan 2017 I acquired a fully depreciated, cosmetically challenged, but good running 2005 X5 3.0 (gas) w/130k miles, no service history but evidence of some recent service.

The transmission (GM 5-speed auto) performs as you described with a pause between shifts that becomes more pronounced the further you open the throttle. Not much change after a fluid / filter change.

I would look for service records or at least some evidence of service if you are going to pay more than a $2-3k for an E53. Engine oil leaks can require a lot of labor to fix. Other than that, I would make sure all of the power options work and consider avoiding things like the panoramic sunroof, air suspension, navigation that tend to not age well. If you want to tow, find an X with a factory hitch already installed as these are hard to come by these days and aftermarket options aren't great.

Good luck!
Mark
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:15 PM
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I have a 04 E53 3.0 Diesel. The gear change is not the smoothest around town. I live in London but I have learnt to live with it. The management system when going down a hill and I am braking, the the engine decides to apply engine braking also! I find this annoying. Yes it saves the brakes and the x5 is a big heavy car... but the sudden jolt then high revs from the rpm range annoys me a bit. I would much prefer it if it was much more sophisticated in terms of pressure applied to brakes and the desent of the hill rather than it just going crazy at the sight of every hill.
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BMW X5 E53 3.0 Diesel Sport | Sapphire Black Dakota Beige Leather interior | Year 2004

What I had updated
Carbon Effect Steering Wheel
Panoramic Sunroof Fix
PVC Replacement
All glowplugs and glowplug regulator
New discs and pads all round
All new front suspension links, bushes and rods
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamby View Post
I have a 04 E53 3.0 Diesel. The gear change is not the smoothest around town. I live in London but I have learnt to live with it. The management system when going down a hill and I am braking, the the engine decides to apply engine braking also! I find this annoying. Yes it saves the brakes and the x5 is a big heavy car... but the sudden jolt then high revs from the rpm range annoys me a bit. I would much prefer it if it was much more sophisticated in terms of pressure applied to brakes and the desent of the hill rather than it just going crazy at the sight of every hill.
Same with mine - I normally drop into manual at the top of hills and manage the transmission changes myself - the full auto is too aggressive on the downshifts for engine braking, esp. when the engine is cold and I'm trying to keep the revs under 2k.

Up shift behavior is like the OP has noticed too but it doesn't ever really affect me as I rarely ever drive with WOT.... That not what I bought a 2 tonne diesel SAV for...

Driven normally (meaning sedately around town, briskly on highways and spirited on twistys) the transmission is pretty darn good.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mderienzo View Post
I would look for service records or at least some evidence of service if you are going to pay more than a $2-3k for an E53. Engine oil leaks can require a lot of labor to fix. Other than that, I would make sure all of the power options work and consider avoiding things like the panoramic sunroof, air suspension, navigation that tend to not age well. If you want to tow, find an X with a factory hitch already installed as these are hard to come by these days and aftermarket options aren't great.

Good luck!
Mark
Add a zero those prices - a good 3.0D X5 E53 is still $20-$30k down under....

The M75 engine seems to be pretty oil tight - so far! Need to check engine breather though - early versions foul easily and can lead to turbo failure.

"Factory hitch" means different things in different countries. Seems like only the USA got the Westfalia hitch you are probably referring to. Other countries have similar locally made options.
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Last edited by wpoll; 03-11-2017 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:36 PM
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Mine behaves similarly. '02 3.0 gas. On heavy throttle it shifts pretty quickly higher up on the rpms as it should. On medium or decreasing throttle it tends to pause as you describe, like a big gulp, before shifting. Not ideal but I've learned to live with it. I'm also displeased with the downhill shifting and I normally put it in neutral on the steep streets in SF.

As for normal acceleration from stop, mine does a sort of 'quick shift' through the gears, or so it seems. The motor revs up quickly and then drops like its changed gears but it really hasn't. On harder acceleration from stop it doesn't do this so I'm thinking its a torque converter issue. I haven't been able to nail it down or do a deep enough search here to find any insights yet.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:52 AM
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Still considering one of these cars. Though some have pretty high kms. Should I be worried?

Some are closing in on 400,000km!

The transmission is a little scary on these. I'm not gonna lie!

Also has anybody found some workshop manuals for the Diesel's?
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booki View Post
Still considering one of these cars. Though some have pretty high kms. Should I be worried?

Some are closing in on 400,000km!

The transmission is a little scary on these. I'm not gonna lie!

Also has anybody found some workshop manuals for the Diesel's?
As long as you can work on the car yourself and find a well cared-for example, cost of ownership can be kept under control. You'll also need to be handy with a laptop and software setups - or know someone that is.

High kms may mean more worn components and therefore more repair work but the initial cost will be lower.

Many transmission issues can be sorted yourself too, short of a full rebuild perhaps!

Workshop manual for the facelift diesel - BMW Workshop Manuals > X Series E53 X5 3.0d (M57TU) OFFRD > 1 Service Information > 0 Maintenance And General Data > 1 SI Modified Change Intervals E9x-M3-US

Owning an E53 has expanded my tool collection enormously - and mines been relatively little trouble.

Bought it 20 months ago with 175k on it, now has 205k and I've done: -

Normal servicing (oil, filters for oil, air fuel etc.) at 10k intervals etc. ($1,400)
Replaced thermostat ($170 plus $40 in tools)
Replaced engine breather ($140)
Replaced rear wheel bearing ($170 plus $400 in tools)
Replaced diff fluids at 200k ($140)
Replaced multiple AE bulbs ($80)
Replaced both Xenon low beam lamps ($100)
Many hours goofing with the poor electrical connections to the tail lights ($0)

I want to refresh the transfer box fluid but need the BMW fluid (although it's only a liter) and DIS software (I already have INPA).

HTH...
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