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Old 07-21-2019, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 4
G FORCE is on a distinguished road
Hello! - New Owner '06 X5 3.0i

Hello everyone!

I have always admired the e53 platform and think they are one of the best looking SUVs ever made. Last year I purchased a new '18 Civic Si while I was living in Seattle because I no longer had the ability to wrench on my vehicles (space and tools) and my old Audi B5 A4 was starting to give me issues. The Civic was a great little car and served it's purpose but now that I am back home I didn't need a "new" car and the associated payment anymore. Consequently, for the last 6 weeks I have been looking for a reasonable X5 as a replacement. As much as I drool over the V8 models, I opted to narrow the search for the 6 cylinder to keep things simple. Unfortunately, there was limited selection in Albuquerque so I had to expand my search to neighboring states. Even then, price vs. condition was a difficult scenario and a lot of individuals don't want to deal with an out of state buyer, which is understandable. I was getting a bit frustrated but finally found a potential candidate and ended up flying out to Las Vegas last Friday to buy this one, sight unseen.

It's got a lengthly carfax history with multiple owners and it is showing 1 front accident in 2015 but retains a clean title. 140k on it. Buying it from a smaller dealer, I knew the risks but after more detailed pics and discussions, a deal was struck. They picked me up from the airport and I started the trek back home, albeit with a detour in Phoenix. In any case, I was pleased with the overall condition of the vehicle and it drove smoothly and without a hitch through the 700 mile journey. I'm happy with the purchase and hope it continues to run well.

I do have some things I want to address in the near future and while I've started my research, opinions are welcomed!

1) Sideskits - They have been painted over and obviously it hasn't held up well. I could repaint them or plasti-dip them but it's just going to chip again. I think running boards are a bit more of an investment than I think is worth it but maybe an option.

2) Radio Pixels partially out. Does anywhere do a core exchange so I don't have downtime? All I have seen is services where I send mine in.

3) 2nd key - I only have 1 key and would like a 2nd keyfob key. Dealer best bet?

4) Foggy Headlights - The headlights had some bad clear coat peel and fading due to the desert sun so this morning I wet sanded them and buffed them out. Much better but there is condensation I need to clean up. Is this the best way or are there replacement lens options at a reasonable price?

5) What is the recommended diagnostic software for these? I see BC Cables offers something similar to what there was for the Audis? The ability to see more diagnostics and tweak default behaviors? Any good?

Anyway, thanks for looking and hope to read, learn and eventually contribute to this seemingly great community! Cheers!

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Old 07-21-2019, 06:05 PM
Overboost's Avatar
//Binary is in my DNA
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC
Posts: 1,723
Overboost is on a distinguished road
Welcome to the family. She looks clean, someone took the time to put a 4.4 rear bumper lower valance and 4.8 mufflers on her.
  • 2004 E53 X5 3.0 ZSP (4/04 build date) Jet Black exterior/Sand Beige interior
  • 2002 E46 325i ZPP (2/02 build date) Alpine White exterior/Hell Beige interior

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The older I get... The faster I was...
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:32 PM
bcredliner's Avatar
.1 decrease 0-60 time = $1000 & DIY
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Little Elm,Texas. (40 minutes North of Dallas)
Posts: 6,892
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I would start with seeing if the paint on the 'side skirts' can be removed with a solvent that doesn't attack the plastic and see if you can refurbish them. FYI- I plasti-dipped my wheels several years ago. There has been no damage from weekly automatic car washes. Only damage has been when I have gotten new tires and that was easily patched to as good as new.

I haven't seen an exchange for pixel repair though I recall others have commented that they got the repair back very quickly. Suggest you do a search using pixel repair to find the thread.

I have always gone the dealer route but it is expensive. I don't know if it is true of all states but in Texas you have to show proof of ownership and identification before they will order a key from BMW.

After mid 2002 the headlights are sealed. They can be opened but it is difficult and very time consuming to open them without damage. IMO it is better to go to aftermarket complete headlights if restoring the exterior is not sufficient. There are many options of styles to choose from. There are several threads that go through the process to best repair the exterior with several grits of sandpaper and buffing stages.,usually that is all that is necessary.

INPA suite, same as BMW uses, can be purchased on eBay though I think the vendor of choice over the past years is not longer there. Some swear by it. I think it is cumbersome and not intuitive at all. I have to learn how to use it every time. Many who use it have a dedicated windows laptop since it takes lots of hard drive space. It runs best on Windows XP. Many have gone to the Foxwell NT 520 professional scan tool for Mini/BMW. Unless you want to do coding it is more than sufficient and extremely intuitive, very easy to use. Many also use an on the go app like Torque to monitor real time info because of convenience of no cord to the port is needed. However, you can view realtime info on the Foxwell scanner.
X5 4.6 2002 Black Sap, Black interior. 2013 X5M Melbourne Red, Bamboo interior

Last edited by bcredliner; 07-21-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 4
G FORCE is on a distinguished road
Thanks, Overboost! I thought it looks like it had some V8 trim on it. Very cool!

bcredliner, thanks a ton for the replies and suggestions. I'll explore the paint removal and potential plast-dip options after your advice. As far as the headlights, I'll have to weigh how much they bother me in the end haha; the aftermarkets aren't cheap. Great info on the scanners/diagnostic options. The Foxwell scanner seems like a reasonable and easy option for what I need. I would like to turn some features on and off but not sure I want to dive into a complicated software suite. Appreciate the help!
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:11 AM
andrewwynn's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 4,356
andrewwynn is on a distinguished road
Can't code with the foxwell it's the main reason I took me a long time to decide to buy it. Still is the best bet for service however I hate the windoz sloppy solutions.

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E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
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