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Old 07-16-2020, 01:43 PM
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Coolant Leak E53 3.0i X5 $7,400 to fix? Pics inside, please help

I have a 2001 E53 3.0i X5 that I dearly love! It has 180,000 miles on it. I bought it used a year ago with about 165,000. Calif. car, one owner before me.

Took it to the dealer with coolant leak on driver's side. Diagnosed as o-rings from transmission heat exchanger leaking.

Since it's a 2001 they want to replace entire coolant system at $7,400 since they say parts will break as they go in there and they won't do the work unless I do the entire overhaul.

What would you recommend? I'd like to keep the car, I've had many cars in my life and this one really is one of my favorite vehicles to drive, I tried a newer one and still prefer my 2001.

Here are some photos from the dealer.



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Old 07-16-2020, 01:53 PM
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They are right that going through and replacing the cooling system is a good thing. If you read on the site a lot of people do this about every 100k. You don’t want to piecemeal it If can avoid because as one thing fails it typically indicates that every thing is close and you’ll be chasing failures.
With that said ... WTF! $7400?
Ridiculous. If you are competent you can do everything in a day (plan a weekend if you worried)
Cost for parts should be a few hundred.
If you can’t do it yourself, shop independent shops. Also, some shops will let you supply your own parts if you work it out with them. Do not pay $7400
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jcp240z View Post
If you canít do it yourself, shop independent shops. Also, some shops will let you supply your own parts if you work it out with them. Do not pay $7400
Thank you for your reply. I live in a small town, I will call a couple of the independent shops. I wonder what a fair price would be for this? I don't mind paying for good work, but I did think $7,400 was excessive.

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Old 07-16-2020, 02:04 PM
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They are a bit correct on the stuff will break when touched but the job can be taken on with see what breaks thought process.

The only significant concerned to me is of there was cross contamination across the transmission heat exchanger.

I replaced a radiator in 1999 Volvo last November and the clips that hold the exact part shattered on removal but replacement clips and o-rings worked fine. Find a neighborhood qualified outside the box thinking mechanic.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:13 PM
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Find a neighborhood qualified outside the box thinking mechanic.
Just called one of the independents in my town, he said he doesn't work on them and referred me back to BMW as he doesn't think anyone in town works on them.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:17 PM
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This is not really a bmw only qualified job. Call more first. Also if you are mechanically inclined might be a good excuse to do some of your own repairs. Especially if you have an alternative transport while waiting for parts etc.

Several people on xo have done cooling overhauls with parts lists and photos. There are likely YouTube videos going over each major step.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:24 PM
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Also if you are mechanically inclined might be a good excuse to do some of your own repairs.
It's a bit out of my wheelhouse. I'm a senior gal and would have tackled it a few years back, but not now.
I've reached out to a mechanic friend who lives far from me, but he may be able to suggest a mechanic.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:36 PM
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Update, I found a mechanic (out of town) through my mechanic friend, and he's familiar with the BMW system, so I'm taking it to him on Tuesday.
I'll report back his findings and the course of action I'll take.
Thank you all for your quick replies, I now have a plan that I didn't have before starting this thread.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:38 PM
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XO doing its job.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:39 PM
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XO doing its job.
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