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Old 01-16-2013, 12:00 PM
Boston X5 4.4's Avatar
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Boston X5 4.4 is on a distinguished road
Hello again and goodbye ....retiring the X

After about 7 1/2 years and ~100K, it is time for me and my ’04 X5 4.4 to part ways. Given that many of the same questions come up on the ole jukebox every now and again I thought that I would give you my take on some of the common stuff. As always, this is what I did in no particular order ….. and YMMV.

The X is a great ride and still holds it head high in its segment even after 10+ years. Enjoy yours and don’t believe all the bad news/issues you read on the forums…people like to complain more than give accolades and it might never happen to you. Mine was almost bullet proof and I hope yours is too.

Great forum and members!

Boston

Extended maintenance contract or not:
Short answer is do the math for your own situation. Figure out how much you will likely need over the maintenance period.
In my case I knew I would need a full brake job, at least one inspection and likely two, and two oil/filter changes so it was a no brainer relative to the cost at the time – for me!
If you are a DIY person then of course the answer is no as these are relatively easy to do. I live in the Back Bay of Boston …… doing an oil or brake change with tools on the street might scare the old Brahmin dears that there was a terrorist attack.

Extended warranty or not:
I choose not to get a third party warranty and figured I would roll the dice and pay out of pocket. If the actuarial bean counters are right (usually are) then most people will spend less in repairs that the cost of the warranty.
It worked well for me as I would only have recouped a very small percentage of the cost of quoted cost (from Warranty Direct). Decision relates to your risk tolerance really.

Cold starts/Oil separator:
It’s not Alaska but it ain’t balmy here in the winter. I did a ton of cold starts with short runs (<2 miles) in the winter….supposedly the kiss of death for the oil separator.
Well, I have never had a problem….never seen any yellow gunk under the oil cap. Guess I was just lucky. And yes, I did the drive (slowly) after start up rather than wait for her to warm up.

Window regulators:
I have two friends who have/had X5s and both of them have had to do the window regulator dance several times. I have not even changed one. So, what’s different? The only thing that I can think of is that I never drive with the windows open and both of them do. Why would that matter? Maybe coincidence…or maybe its related to that clatter that you hear in the door when you shut it when the windows are half down.

What oil and how often to change:
Mobil 1 5W30 …. every 7,500 miles or at least once per year. That’s what I did …you can use your own flavor/schedule/rationale.

Snow tires or all seasons:
All seasons are essentially no seasons … but the caveat may be that they may be OK for your situation. I had 17” snow tires/wheels for the first few years as I was going deep into Maine and Vermont for ski trips. I then switched to A/S tires on the 19’s and sold the 17’s, as I stopped skiing and in the really bad snow days that we get here I can just work from home or it’s a short cab ride to the office.
If you do decide to get snows don’t be hand wringing over what brand…I have had most of the usual suspect brands over the years on different cars and have not noticed a sig. difference.
And of course, driving summer tires in snow or icy conditions is a deathwish for you and others.

Flush ATF or not:
There is enough arm wrestling on here about this subject that you can pick which side of the fence you want to be on. My thought is either do it early and with some frequency or not at all…I believe that adding new ATF later in the game could stir up stuff that was better left where it was. I didn’t do it.

Transmission 1-2 2-1 shunt:
I had this and reprogramming fixed it initially. I find that it ‘creeps back’ over time and I found that using the gas pedal depress relearn worked for me …but could just all be in my head.

Ghost issues/gremlins:
Here are some things that have happened only once or twice over the years and have not been seen since ….thankfully.
- Hazard lights stuck in on position for 10 mins
- Self-leveling suspension inactive message
- Some transmission failure related message
- Low coolant/stop engine related message (coolant level was fine)

What have I repaired/replaced over the years:
Along with the various inspections and oil/filter changes that I did at an indy once the CPO ran out…. expansion tank, various control arms and suspension pieces, battery, brakes, handbrake, front outer CV boots, rear lights many times (using advice from forum), a few sets of tires, one belt, hose from power steering reservoir and that has been it. Yup, pretty lucky.

In case you are wondering about driving style, mine is drive it like you stole it most of the time…frankly, I don’t see the point of spending so much on a performance/better handling SU(A)V if ya don’t use it.

So, why get rid of it?
Well, first of all for what is now a 9 1/2 year old car I got off extremely lightly on repairs. So, by the law of averages, there are many common repair/replacement items that will need work over the next few years.

Also, I have deferred many maintenance items – need 4 new tires, front and back rotors/pads, repair crumbling cooling hoses, slight power steering and other fluid leaks, control arms and possibly a ball joint, and a few other items – probably $3-4K in total. Also, and more worrisome is a whine from the drive train that has puzzled my indy and is getting increasingly worse. Transmission seems to be slipping slightly - I haven’t put much effort into diagnosing/fixing as I knew I was going to be retiring it this year.

I would prefer to put this $ in deferred maintenance/potential repairs towards a new whip. Sure, it would be more fiscally prudent (maybe) to fix these items and run it for another 5 years but where is the fun there!!
Also, I have low tolerance for spending what is likely to be an increasing amount of time dropping off /picking up my car at the Indy as the frequency of repairs increases.


Last edited by Boston X5 4.4; 01-16-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 12:07 PM
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Very cogent & interesting post, Boston!
Good luck with whatever you get.
BR, mD
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:54 PM
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Just curious, what do you expect to get for your X. Are you selling or trading it in?
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:49 PM
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electricalserv x5 is on a distinguished road
good luck, It sounds like You enjoy the X5, and that.s what it,s all about.I went through all the heavy lifting on my X5, rebuilt engine, struts front and back,on and on and on, but I hope I am at the end, just the water pump,and check the ailment,and I am done.my x5 is sitting this winter out.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:23 PM
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thanks for this post. Very helpful.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:39 PM
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congrats on a long, fun, run.... you'll be in another x before you know it....

any indy's in the boston or greater boston area you'd like to suggest? i am looking.

thanks.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:37 PM
Boston X5 4.4's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis 3.0 View Post
congrats on a long, fun, run.... you'll be in another x before you know it....

any indy's in the boston or greater boston area you'd like to suggest? i am looking.

thanks.
I used European Car Doctors right next to Fenway - good 'mechanical' Indy - not sure how they would do with complex electrical gremlins though.

Traded for Q5 - very happy with change so far. Also, i was back at the Audi dealership yesterday and they said that the rear diff (and possibly transfer case) on my x5 is on it's last legs. So, they are wholesaling it - looks like I got out in time.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:39 PM
Boston X5 4.4's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motordavid View Post
Very cogent & interesting post, Boston!
Good luck with whatever you get.
BR, mD
Hey md - thanks and good to see some of the orig. still on here.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston X5 4.4 View Post
I used European Car Doctors right next to Fenway - good 'mechanical' Indy - not sure how they would do with complex electrical gremlins though.

Traded for Q5 - very happy with change so far. Also, i was back at the Audi dealership yesterday and they said that the rear diff (and possibly transfer case) on my x5 is on it's last legs. So, they are wholesaling it - looks like I got out in time.
Surprising to hear that such a hearty component is failing at that mileage. Guess it's time to change some fluids.
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