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View Poll Results: How would you rate the reliability of your N52 Engine?
Highly Reliable! N52 = Happiness! 1 6.25%
Reliable with common problems. Easy DIY. 8 50.00%
Somewhat Reliable. More frequent difficult repairs. Shop time. 4 25.00%
Unreliable. I've experienced a lot of minor and major failures. 3 18.75%
Highly unreliable. Frequent major failures. N52 = No money and no friends. 0 0%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2018, 01:49 AM
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Arrow X5 E70 N52 Known Issues?

2008 X5, E70, N52, Currently 183k miles

I still love this car. Great looks and is running like a dream. Healthy. I take good care of my machines.

But, it was not a walk in the park.

Failures I've encountered;

Ignitions coils ~ 60k: Expected.
Vanos ~ 75k: Expected.
Ignitions coils ~ 105k: Expected.
Oil filter housing gasket ~ 110k: Expected.
Washer fluid pumps ~120k: Common?
Valve cover ~ 125k: Case vent failure. High pitch whining. Common?
Coolant hose failure ~ 125k: Common?
Passenger headlight washer ~140k: Either stolen or broke off during a drive.
Coolant hose failure ~ 140k: Common?
Inconsistent Heater Core ~ 150k: Heat on passenger not driver, flip flops.
Catalytic Converters ~ 150k: Codes of death. Not replaced yet. $3k job.
Front Passenger wheel bearing ~ 155k: Expected. With the right tools, stupid simple DIY. About 45 minutes!
Waterpump ~ 160k: Expected.
Vanos ~ 170k: Again.
Coolant hose failure ~ 175k: Common?
Oil filter cap failure ~ 180k: Common? Broken spring stop.
DISA ~182k: Lots of clattering during drives.
(3 coolant hose failures = 3 tows. Not cool; Too much plastic!)
~200k: Cat codes of death! P0420 P0430. Solved with spark plug non-foulers. Easy job, and saved $3195. You'll need at least 1.5" non-foulers. What you'll find at the local stores will not have the depth you'll need, even if you drill. Get them on Amazon.
P0015. Easy fix. Simply remove the exhaust Vanos. Spray with mis airflow sensor cleaner. Toggle the solenoid with a 9 volt battery. (Don't leave connected!) Reinstall.

What other common / not so common issues should I be aware of and keep and eye / ear out for? This car is great, and I'd like to keep it alive for the foreseeable future so anything additional "heads up" would be great.

Thanks!
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Last edited by mejim707; 05-13-2019 at 12:07 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2018, 03:32 AM
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No transmission service done yet?
Iíd drain and refill atf and change the pan.


Struts,( shock absorbers)? Still good?

Coolant Expansion tank (X5ís permanent headache)?

Rear and front diffs? Change the fluid, also transfer case fluid.

Have you had any issues with your fuel economy? What us your average mpg?


Many of the issues youíve had, are known and common in x5.
N52s common issues are the lifter ticks, vcg, ofhg, low mpg, low power at lower rpms, and the cooling system. ( hoses, o-rings, expansion tank...)


Iím surprised you didnít mention anything about engine other than some leak.


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  #3  
Old 02-06-2018, 10:14 AM
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Mine has 120,200+ miles. I have only had the coils packs and oil filter housing gasket done. I do ALL fluids and filters regularly at the correct interval. No lifetime BS for me. I have even changed the belts and pulley's recently. Proactive instead of reactive makes her run well. Most of the regular I DIY. Helps me keep an eye on things.
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2018, 07:07 PM
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Reliability for the first owner/leasee, then forget it. And parts are just too expensive. $563 for an eccentric shaft sensor? Come on...
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2018, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaBetaX5 View Post
No transmission service done yet?
Iíd drain and refill atf and change the pan.


Struts,( shock absorbers)? Still good?

Coolant Expansion tank (X5ís permanent headache)?

Rear and front diffs? Change the fluid, also transfer case fluid.

Have you had any issues with your fuel economy? What us your average mpg?


Many of the issues youíve had, are known and common in x5.
N52s common issues are the lifter ticks, vcg, ofhg, low mpg, low power at lower rpms, and the cooling system. ( hoses, o-rings, expansion tank...)


Iím surprised you didnít mention anything about engine other than some leak.


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Thanks for the reply,

I'm at least glad to know that the plastic parts failing is common. The repair were thankfully a breeze.

Shocks and struts seems fine. Good handling, very little roll and no suspension noises.

So would you suggest the next thing I replace is the expansion tank? I was thinking that but it still looks fine.

I am sad to say I have not changed the ATF or diffs / case fluid. I will be sure to do that in the next month. As of now the transmission seems fine but I shouldn't push my luck.

My blended mpg is 22 city/highway.
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Last edited by mejim707; 05-13-2019 at 12:08 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2018, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamania View Post
Mine has 120,200+ miles. I have only had the coils packs and oil filter housing gasket done. I do ALL fluids and filters regularly at the correct interval. No lifetime BS for me. I have even changed the belts and pulley's recently. Proactive instead of reactive makes her run well. Most of the regular I DIY. Helps me keep an eye on things.
Do you do your own ATF fluid, case and diffs? If so, any good DIY articles I should look for? Whats the difficulty of that work? I need to get to that this month.

Thanks
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Last edited by mejim707; 05-13-2019 at 12:08 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2018, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imalabil View Post
Reliability for the first owner/leasee, then forget it. And parts are just too expensive. $563 for an eccentric shaft sensor? Come on...


Are you buying it from the dealer?

I bought a brand new ďSiemensĒ sensor on ebay. The seller was a BMW tech, and guaranteed its item. For $150.


(Even though my original sensor was also good. Issue was not the sensor)


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  #8  
Old 02-06-2018, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mejim707 View Post
Do you do your own ATF fluid, case and diffs? If so, any good DIY articles I should look for? Whats the difficulty of that work? I need to get to that this month.



Thanks


ATF:
Requirements: Vehicle must be leveled during the fill procedure.

Atf must get to 35-45C during the fill procedure.

Either use a temperature gun, or use ista or inpa.




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  #9  
Old 02-06-2018, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imalabil View Post
Reliability for the first owner/leasee, then forget it. And parts are just too expensive. $563 for an eccentric shaft sensor? Come on...
That's too bad about your reliability. And yes, the eccentric shaft sensor is not only expensive but a big job to replace it. My valve cover failed and when I got everything back together I pulled a p0012 code. After investigation one of the possible issues was the sensor but thankfully it didn't come to that. You could get the part cheaper online but when you're stuck in a time crunch sometimes you have to eat the cost. When I replaced my DISA recently it ran me $400 for the part form the dealer. You could get it for $220 online, but, I had to get to work that morning so I was sol. I could probably have made it to and from work, but I drive 120miles a day on my commute and if that flap decided to finally give up it could potentially blow your engine by sucking the parts through the intake to the valves. It wasn't worth the risk.

But, if you ever inspect the eccentric shaft sensor and there are any signs of oil, you're pretty much going to have to replace it. If you end up replacing that you may as well replace the valve cover at the same time since the case vent valve has a tendency to fail.

Good luck with your car!
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Last edited by mejim707; 05-13-2019 at 12:09 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2018, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mejim707 View Post
.... If you end up replacing that you may as well replace the valve cover at the same time since the case vent valve has a tendency to fail.



Good luck with your car!

I purchased a $20 pink diaphragm valve, and replaced it during the eccentric shaft sensor job!

Works beautifully!

You have to use a chisel to detach and remove the old one (which is integrated into the valve cover and glue the new one to the housing. Saves you $300-400)



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