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  #21  
Old 06-22-2022, 11:51 AM
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All BMWs are maintenance hogs because they’re complicated and arguably over engineered. If you stretch financially to buy one and then can’t afford to do maintenance on it, you’re going to have big problems.

But if you’re buying cheap for cash and then plan on spending money on upkeep, it’s probably cheaper than buying new or newer. It’s always cheaper to repair than buy new.

My daily driver is an X5 I bought for cash and and I’ve had minimal issues. I love it. I do put money into it on upkeep and preventative maintenance. I’ve had it for 8 years now and spent $8k initially with about $4k maintenance total. Not counting tires. So, about $1500 per year in cost. Dirt cheap.
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  #22  
Old 06-22-2022, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiubhartach View Post
All BMWs are maintenance hogs because theyíre complicated and arguably over engineered. If you stretch financially to buy one and then canít afford to do maintenance on it, youíre going to have big problems.

But if youíre buying cheap for cash and then plan on spending money on upkeep, itís probably cheaper than buying new or newer. Itís always cheaper to repair than buy new.

My daily driver is an X5 I bought for cash and and Iíve had minimal issues. I love it. I do put money into it on upkeep and preventative maintenance. Iíve had it for 8 years now and spent $8k initially with about $4k maintenance total. Not counting tires. So, about $1500 per year in cost. Dirt cheap.
That's been my experience as well. It works out much better than a car payment and I get to drive a car that is fun to drive. I also happen to enjoy working on it, so that's another plus.
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  #23  
Old 06-22-2022, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifty150hs View Post
That's been my experience as well. It works out much better than a car payment and I get to drive a car that is fun to drive. I also happen to enjoy working on it, so that's another plus.

Exactly. I enjoy driving it and also enjoy working on it.
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  #24  
Old 06-22-2022, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiubhartach View Post
All BMWs are maintenance hogs because theyíre complicated and arguably over engineered. If you stretch financially to buy one and then canít afford to do maintenance on it, youíre going to have big problems.

But if youíre buying cheap for cash and then plan on spending money on upkeep, itís probably cheaper than buying new or newer. Itís always cheaper to repair than buy new.

My daily driver is an X5 I bought for cash and and Iíve had minimal issues. I love it. I do put money into it on upkeep and preventative maintenance. Iíve had it for 8 years now and spent $8k initially with about $4k maintenance total. Not counting tires. So, about $1500 per year in cost. Dirt cheap.

Same here... I am in about $10,500 for purchase price plus six years of maintenance. For reference, on my local craigslist there is a private-party 1999 4Runner with the 3.4l and 251k miles for the exact same price!


Or I could choose a 2009 4runner with 97k miles for ... wait for it ... $27,500!


There is NOTHING logical about used Toyota prices anymore.
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  #25  
Old 06-22-2022, 01:51 PM
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HahahaÖ

I am pretty sure maintenance and repairs are a common practice for motor vehicle ownership.

When it comes to the E53.. Itís simply amazing the capabilities of this SAV. The P75 version has thoroughly proven this!

https://youtu.be/enG-XzZrg68
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  #26  
Old 06-22-2022, 05:28 PM
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Nothing wrong with an E53 as long as it hasn't spent time in winter salt use environments. Following is my complete replacement activity prior to selling my 2002 at 389,000 miles. At that point, I lost reverse gear - probably a solenoid as absolutely nothing happened when I moved the shifter into reverse, yet it still had all five forward gears. The buyer said he knew what it was and was happy to get a rust free vehicle with the factory hitch.



On a regular basis:

> Rotate tires, inspect pads & Rotors, CV boots, general look over every 5000 miles
> Oil / Filter change every 8000 miles
> Brake fluid flush every 30,000 miles

> CV Boot replacement generally every 75,000 miles
> Replace belts and clean CCV every 100,000 miles
> Replace differential and transfer case fluid every 100,000 miles
> Replace sparkplugs every 120,000 miles
> Replace expansion tank, coolant and hoses every 150,000 miles
> Replace brake pads every 163,000 miles (Akebono ceramics)
> Replace rotors-once at 63,000 miles (325,000 miles on current Brembos)

> Automatic transmission fluid Ė leave it alone in the GM 5L40-E

My unplanned repairs have included:

> Front axles at 60,000 miles (Prior owner didn't maintain CV boots)
> FSR at 78,000 miles
> Two sparkplug coils and accessory belt tensioner at 124,000 miles
> Alternator at 126,000 miles
> Front driveshaft and transfer case at 136,000 (used a salvage TC for cost savings)
> FSR (again) at 159,000 miles
> Thermostat and OFHG at 176,000 miles

> Front tension struts and power steering pressure hose at 192,000 miles
> Rear differential seal at 200,000 miles
> Secondary air pump at 224,000 miles

> Rear suspension bushings and upper rear control arms at 242,000 miles
> Thermostat (again) at 245,000 miles - at least it was warranty this time
> Steering column double U-Joint shaft at 245,000 miles
> Valve cover gasket at 245,000 miles
> Both fuel tank sending units, fuel pump and canister at 245,000 miles
> Aux fan when the harness got chewed up in the mechanical fan and shorted out at 259,000 miles
> Pre-cat O2 sensors at 260,400 miles

> Water pump at 262,800 miles
> DISA Valve and MAF at 264,000 miles
> Thermostat (again) at 299,000 miles (donít know whatís going on with these)
> Driver door handle carrier again at 310,600 miles (thought they had these fixed finally)
> Intermediate accessory belt pulley and oil level sensor at 310,600 miles
> Valve cover (not just the gasket) and OFHG at 317,000 miles (No measurable wear on camshaft lobes)
> All spark plug coils, MAF and fuel filter at 342,400 miles
> Third FSR at 347,000 miles
> Fourth FSR & harness connector at 357,000 miles Ė warranty this time
> Engine mounts and rear driveshaft guibo at 357,000 miles
> MAF, Thermostat (again!!!), All front CV boots 361,700 miles
> Pre-cat O2 sensor (Bank #1) at 366,000 miles
> Secondary air pump at 368,000 miles (prior was a used one off eBay)
> Air injection check valve at 377,000 miles
> Front brake tension struts at 378,000 miles
> Catalytic converters at 383,000 miles



I think a lot of my good fortune is due to four things: I live in Texas with short winters so I don't have a lot of the CCV condensation problems, my daily commute is 60 miles so the engine oil always reaches full operating temperature, I run the "M" series viscosity engine oil from May through September when I my driving includes 3000 miles of towing a 1400 pound Waverunner and trailer, and I stick with Shell gasoline.

I do believe Iíve figured out what goes on with the thermostat failures. Each one occurred within days of an extended idling period (3-4 hours) while commuting home at a crawl during very cold, icy weather. Under these conditions, every bit of engine heat was consumed trying to keep the windshield clear and the interior warm, so the engine thermostat would have been powered to stay closed or nearly closed most of the time. I suspect a higher current flow to the thermostat for that amount of time simply ďburned it upĒ.


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  #27  
Old 06-22-2022, 07:57 PM
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it's the unplanned repairs that I worry about

srmmm- I can't guarantee that I can (or will) maintain my 2001 E53 3.0i as well as you did your 2002, nor need to, as I only drive very little anymore. And the previous owner already did the "regular basis" items over the 3.5 years that he spent rebuilding the X5, prior to our agreed car-for-car swap last year, so I won't need to for awhile, since I've only put <800 miles on it in 13 months.

He also replaced/rebuilt the cooling system (but left the mechanical fan for me to upgrade to electric), the suspension (not a loose bushing or bad bearing to be found), put in new axles & CV boots where needed, and replaced O2 sensors and even the complete rear exhaust system, and lastly, the Vanos, timing chain, and guides. So, there hasn't been much under the hood or body to mess with, except for lean codes, caused by a failed MAF, since I got it.

I'm keeping your list of "unplanned repairs", as a sorta guide to watch-out for. At my current 2.01 "miles driven-per-day owned" rate, my X5 will reach your 2002 X5's mileage after 242+ years.
Name:  e53 3.0 2002 maintenance items.JPG
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'01 BMW X5-E53 3.0i (born 7/13/01)
topas-blau, Leder-Montana grau,
my new favorite project car

Plus four GM vehicles, Daily Drivers, and modified trucks for hauling & camping:
3 Chevys:
'09 HHR Panel LS 2.2L,
'08 Cobalt Coupe LS 2.2L,
'04 Silverado 2500HD WT Reg. Cab
+ a '98 GMC Sierra 1500 Ext. Cab

- and 20 others, now gone, that I've had over the last 56 years (not counting the stillborn "1965 ChevyII altered/gasser project")

Last edited by workingonit; 06-23-2022 at 10:15 AM.
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  #28  
Old 06-23-2022, 03:59 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Golden Coast/Lake Houston
Posts: 1,250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srmmmm View Post
Nothing wrong with an E53 as long as it hasn't spent time in winter salt use environments. Following is my complete replacement activity prior to selling my 2002 at 389,000 miles. At that point, I lost reverse gear - probably a solenoid as absolutely nothing happened when I moved the shifter into reverse, yet it still had all five forward gears. The buyer said he knew what it was and was happy to get a rust free vehicle with the factory hitch.



On a regular basis:

&gt; Rotate tires, inspect pads & Rotors, CV boots, general look over every 5000 miles
&gt; Oil / Filter change every 8000 miles
&gt; Brake fluid flush every 30,000 miles

&gt; CV Boot replacement generally every 75,000 miles
&gt; Replace belts and clean CCV every 100,000 miles
&gt; Replace differential and transfer case fluid every 100,000 miles
&gt; Replace sparkplugs every 120,000 miles
&gt; Replace expansion tank, coolant and hoses every 150,000 miles
&gt; Replace brake pads every 163,000 miles (Akebono ceramics)
&gt; Replace rotors-once at 63,000 miles (325,000 miles on current Brembos)

&gt; Automatic transmission fluid Ė leave it alone in the GM 5L40-E

My unplanned repairs have included:

&gt; Front axles at 60,000 miles (Prior owner didn't maintain CV boots)
&gt; FSR at 78,000 miles
&gt; Two sparkplug coils and accessory belt tensioner at 124,000 miles
&gt; Alternator at 126,000 miles
&gt; Front driveshaft and transfer case at 136,000 (used a salvage TC for cost savings)
&gt; FSR (again) at 159,000 miles
&gt; Thermostat and OFHG at 176,000 miles

&gt; Front tension struts and power steering pressure hose at 192,000 miles
&gt; Rear differential seal at 200,000 miles
&gt; Secondary air pump at 224,000 miles

&gt; Rear suspension bushings and upper rear control arms at 242,000 miles
&gt; Thermostat (again) at 245,000 miles - at least it was warranty this time
&gt; Steering column double U-Joint shaft at 245,000 miles
&gt; Valve cover gasket at 245,000 miles
&gt; Both fuel tank sending units, fuel pump and canister at 245,000 miles
&gt; Aux fan when the harness got chewed up in the mechanical fan and shorted out at 259,000 miles
&gt; Pre-cat O2 sensors at 260,400 miles

&gt; Water pump at 262,800 miles
&gt; DISA Valve and MAF at 264,000 miles
&gt; Thermostat (again) at 299,000 miles (donít know whatís going on with these)
&gt; Driver door handle carrier again at 310,600 miles (thought they had these fixed finally)
&gt; Intermediate accessory belt pulley and oil level sensor at 310,600 miles
&gt; Valve cover (not just the gasket) and OFHG at 317,000 miles (No measurable wear on camshaft lobes)
&gt; All spark plug coils, MAF and fuel filter at 342,400 miles
&gt; Third FSR at 347,000 miles
&gt; Fourth FSR & harness connector at 357,000 miles Ė warranty this time
&gt; Engine mounts and rear driveshaft guibo at 357,000 miles
&gt; MAF, Thermostat (again!!!), All front CV boots 361,700 miles
&gt; Pre-cat O2 sensor (Bank #1) at 366,000 miles
&gt; Secondary air pump at 368,000 miles (prior was a used one off eBay)
&gt; Air injection check valve at 377,000 miles
&gt; Front brake tension struts at 378,000 miles
&gt; Catalytic converters at 383,000 miles



I think a lot of my good fortune is due to four things: I live in Texas with short winters so I don't have a lot of the CCV condensation problems, my daily commute is 60 miles so the engine oil always reaches full operating temperature, I run the "M" series viscosity engine oil from May through September when I my driving includes 3000 miles of towing a 1400 pound Waverunner and trailer, and I stick with Shell gasoline.

I do believe Iíve figured out what goes on with the thermostat failures. Each one occurred within days of an extended idling period (3-4 hours) while commuting home at a crawl during very cold, icy weather. Under these conditions, every bit of engine heat was consumed trying to keep the windshield clear and the interior warm, so the engine thermostat would have been powered to stay closed or nearly closed most of the time. I suspect a higher current flow to the thermostat for that amount of time simply ďburned it upĒ.



What a record! Nice write up!
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  #29  
Old 06-23-2022, 08:01 AM
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Posts: 227
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I bought mine a couple of years back and have spend more than the purchse value in maintenance. This was partially neglected maintenance, some unplanned failures (clutch fan, coolant pump) and ugrades (android head unit, hitch and a set of winter wheels)

is it good value... not sure. But I love driving the car, I feel it has more character than newer cars with double the price tag, and since I mainly use it in the winter and for hauling stuff, I don't mind filling it up with all sorts of junk. Also the wife loves it now so I can't get rid of it
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  #30  
Old 06-23-2022, 09:09 AM
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Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 45
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I've really enjoyed reading all of the different perspectives in this thread. The only opinion I can't really relate to is that the E53s are somehow "the worst vehicle that BMW has made." Hell, who knows ... maybe in time I will come to feel this way as well, but I hope not. :-)

One thing that stands out to me is that if you're considering owning one of these cars (or, really, any car of this age), you'd better (1) be willing to do most maintenance items yourself, (2) be pretty diligent about those maintenance items, and (3) actually enjoy doing them and learning about the car! Alternately, I guess, you could just have tons of disposable income that you don't mind parting with often and freely.

If I had to take my X5s into a shop every time something popped up, I would certainly not enjoy owning them nearly as much. As it is, in my 4 years of E53 ownership I've enjoyed learning about the cars and all of the interesting idiosyncrasies of German engineering. For the most part, I've found mine to be a pleasure to work on. And the collective wisdom of this list has been a HUGE help.

I guess in some sense it might be a "hobby" as some have mentioned, but I think it's more of a self-reliance/preparedness mindset. I consider time spent learning about vehicles to be very well spent and valuable, regardless of the vehicle.

What's that old saying from the John Muir VW manual? ... Come to kindly terms with your ass, for it bears you? :-)

Chris
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