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  #1  
Old 10-06-2019, 03:12 AM
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In the market for a used BMW X5 35d

As titled says, I'm looking to purchase a BMW X5 35d soon. Preferably a 2012 w/ the 3rd row. I've owned a few BMWs e39, e53, and currently own a e70. I got plenty of mechanical experience with cars, including BMW. Now, I've never worked on any diesel cars before. My biggest question is how reliable is the 35d? What are some some common issues, and is there anything I should be looking for in regards to any problems? I'm sure I can tackle most of the work if needed, but I know diesel is a different beast than gas. If anyone can chime in on this I'd really appreciate it. Thanks guys.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2019, 11:57 AM
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They are reliable vehicles.
Most common issues are related to the emissions equipment. Once those are dealt with (read deleted) - you are good.
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2019, 08:40 PM
ard ard is offline
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ppi


you don't want to buy one that someone is dumping due to issues.....
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:18 AM
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So from the looks of it, it all seems to be emissions related issues for the 35d. My 3.0si just feels like it lacks that "power" when punching it and is super thirsty when it come to fuel economy. I'd also love to take some cross country trips and the idea of a diesel just seems right. Would also like to do some towing once in a while. I do live in Chicago aka chiberia and it gets stupid cold, but I also have a heated garage so I'm not worried about it not starting in the cold. So with all that said, is it worth it? I've read some threads on various forums and that damn emissions system seems like a biatch. Looks like diesels are exempt from emissions testing in my area. I would definitely delete the egr right away since that seems to be one of the annoying issues, but the DPF and SCR seem $$$ when it comes down to the delete. So . . . . I'm starting to look around, there's not a lot of diesels in my area so most likely I would get one out of state. Is it worth it in the long run or should I just get a xDrive35i?
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2008 BMW X5 3.0si Alpine White III w/ Beige Interior

CIC Navigation Retrofit
Custom Kicker Sound System
3M Di Noc Black Carbon Fiber Interior Trim
Style 259's on Dunlop Sport Maxx Run Flat
Muffler Delete w/ Magnaflow 4' Exhaust Tips

2002 BMW X5 3.0 TitanSilber Metallic
Complete 2 Tone Black Montana Interior
Rear Privacy Sun Shades Retrofit
LED Interior Bulbs
35% Tint Front Back Rear
Magnaflow Custom Exhaust Tips (Stock Mufflers)
Style 153's on Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P

Last edited by BMWX5CHI; 10-08-2019 at 03:10 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2019, 10:00 AM
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X35d is great for travel. Find one that has had the egr done, not that it's crazy hard, but it will save you the trouble for a while. Glow plugs and the associated module like to fail, again not too bad a repair (~$650 all in DIY). Emissions stuff is a "cross your fingers" set of items. We've done both NOX sensors and went used, looked for newest part number we could find, so that was only $90 for the pair.

We've put $2500 into ours over 2.5 years after a $14k purchase probe @132k miles. It's got 165k+ on it now and, since doing a complete front suspension, feels like a much younger vehicle. Finding one that was well maintained is key. We bought the dealer's personal vehicle and spoke to the shop who maintained it before purchase.

Not sure if our experience is typical... But we wouldn't hesitate to buy another x35d should something happen to this one.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:44 PM
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My 09 E70 35d has well over 130k. The emission control stuff is VERY unreliable in my book. Since I got the vehicle in 2012 everything in the em. control has been changed, some things twice or more (p.e. 4th active DEF tank, all under parts warranty.) Last major item I did was having the DPF cleaned and right before that the glow plug module stopped comms with the ECU. (With some magnetic sockets and long 1/4" extensions the GPM can be exchanged without removing the manifold. :-)

I also replaced almost all wear items in the suspension in the last 2 years. Again, some have been done twice or more. The passenger headlight for some reason had water in it earlier this year (not before and not happened since) and blew the electronics....

Right now it runs very well and then it is simply a blast. I feel the basic 3L diesel engine is solid.

This car is haunted, as soon as all repairs are complete it conspires to develop a new fault...
YMMV
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2009 E70 35d, black ext./black int./black headliner (shipped to Europe)

Hmmmm, love those black headliners!

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2015 Cayenne S (wife's new DD and definitely wroooommmmm)
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:58 AM
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The e70 in general is average to above average in reliability. But expensive to repair if you can’t diy.

Specifically the diesels... the m57 engine itself is fairly reliable, but it does have some problem areas.

Red boost hose failure
Engine mounts
Vacuum hoses
Thermostat need replacing before they fail (common on old cars)
Harmonic balancer failures (skip fluid damper)
Egr coolers cracking
Scr tank failures
Dpfs fail around 150-170k
Nox sensors
Carbon build up

The nox sensors and scr tank are under a 10/120k warranty now. Deleting will cost a few grand, and if the car hasn’t had trouble with this stuff save the money. You can do an egr only delete.
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2019, 08:24 AM
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Hey- I've got a good amount of hands on experience with the 35d. I bought mine at 203.5k on new years this year, and I'll be turning over 240k miles on my way home from work. 11 months, about 36k miles on a high milage unit, I feel I'm qualified to talk about reliability.

First of all- common problems that were mentioned- emissions. True. Mine started throwing active tank sensor codes at 200k miles. I bought it wih that problem, knowing I'd be deleting it soon anyway. You can find craz deals if you're willing to delete off the bat- I bought mine in great exterior and interior condition, just with 203k miles and an emissions code, for $4300. The delete cost me $2000 flat including labor and tune.

Boost hoses do go at high milages, the red one being more common. Really, the hose is fine, but the seals go, so it kind of seeps oil everywhere. Annoying and messy but not a crazy pressing problem.

Thermostats are common to go about every 100k. This sounds scary, because most thermostats fail closed, so you overheat.... but not true for the m57. They fail OPEN nearly every single time. It's not something that needs replacing until it actually goes bad. It won't throw a code or anything, but the motor will run a bit colder than it should, it should run at 88c and it'll fail and run between 55 and 80c. The way to tell is that your gas milage will plummet from your normal average, for no apparent reason. Then you use a reader that can pull real time data and check the temps. It it's below 86 after running more than 10 mins, the thermostat is bad. So, don't let this one scare you. It wont leave you stranded.

The Harmonic balancer is an issue, they basically go bad and blow up. They take out accessories and belts and overall it's not a good time. I've never replaced mine, but I'm going to soon. There's no way I've got the factory unit on still. Fluidampr is the go-to, but their great reputation was tarnished when they had a bad batch of units and had to recall a bunch of balancers, and it caused damage on a few select cars. From what I heard, they didn't handle the situation well, so now people sometimes don't recommend them. YMMV, but I'll be installing a new fluidampr when it's time for my HB.

DPFs don't really have a timeline- it's super use dependent. My DPF was in GREAT shape when it was removed at 215k miles. barely any ash in it, differential pressures were great. That's because my vehicle drove over 25k miles a year- these diesels and their systems are VERY happy doing distance highway driving. They are less happy doing city, stop and go, etc say in and day out. THAT SAID, A deleted diesel has no problems doing stop and go, city, day in and day out. it's only an EGR/ DPF/ emissions problem.
Engine moutns need replacing just like literally any other vehicle, once at high milages, it's something to look out for.
Glow plug controllers go- this leaves a check engine light. Lots of people pull the whole manifold, becasue when the controller goes it usually throws codes for one/ a few specific glow plugs. 95% of the time, replacing the actual plugs is entirely unnecessary. 2 hours, $140 from FCP with lifetime warranty, and some aggravating tight spaces to work in, and you can swap the controller out without removing the manifold. I had glow plug 1 and 5 codes, and my diesel started fine, but sometimes missed in the very cold on startup. Now with the now module, it starts much more smoothly in the cold.

As far as the COLD- don't worry. Seriously. At all. My 35d started fine in -10f, I go to vermont in the winters sometimes and my car sits outside, and gets cold cranked while still covered in snow. It doesn't even crank longer. When really cold, you might see the glow plug symbol come up, and it'll warm the cylinders for a second or two, and then crank on it's own. It starts up fine. Just like a normal car, make sure your battery is good for the winter, but as long as your battery is strong you'll have NO issue.

Those are the major issues I've read or experienced. Maintence that isnt mentioned above that I can think of would really be transmission based- refreshing the fluid, filter, and some of the seals in the trans is SUPER DIY friendly, and nets a much smoother and happier transmission.

As far as a vehicle for towing- this is a GREAT one. Have good trailer brakes, and a tongue scale, and be careful about how the trailer is loaded. I don't have the levelling suspension, but I put helper air bags in my rear springs. They helped A LOT in smoothing out the ride, and bringing my sag back up. I tow fairly regularly, and at the beginning of september did a 2300 mile trip over 4 days of driving, towing my 18' Big Tex car hauler loaded with my drift car, tools and spares. I suspect my trailer was close to being at it's gvwr, which means I had about 7000 lbs behind me. I averaged 19.5 mpg doing 70-75 over the pocono mountains, and always had an abundance of extra power on tap. My trailer has 2 brakes axles, which definitely helped. a well set up brake controller aided in making my drive VERY comfortable, and on the highway, other that stronger gas an brake inputs, you could barely tell we were towing. It was an awesome, amazing way to tow long distance.


The M57 motor is an amazingly reliable motor once it's deleted. Most of it's issues stem from emissions systems, and it was reliably around in various forms for many years before emissions were a thing. Overall I LOVE my X5. I get 28-30 mpg on my NJ highway commutes (with traffic) and it's a GREAT commuter car. It's practical enough for me to fit 4-5 drift spares in the trunk without folding seats down, and all of my emergency/ recovery stuff fits under the trunk. It tows 5-7k lbs of drift car and trailer with ease, and I can even put my dirtbike on a hitch carrier behind it if I'd like. 28+ mpg highway, and all the creature comforts of being a bmw. While towing 7k going 75mph up highway hills effortlessly, my rear passenger had hit heated seat blasting, and the 4 zone climate going, while my $400 retrofitted carplay played us music and google maps was on the screen. For $4300, I can imagine a better vehicle!
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:23 PM
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" It it's below 86 after running more than 10 mins, the thermostat is bad. "

Not 86 but 82 Is reasonable in colder weather with stop and go traffic. Highway 86 is not a problem though.
I've changed the thermostat twice (free fcpeuro replacement) to be sure. I had tested the new one before putting it in hot water with slow heat and it checked out around 88C so it wasn't bad just depends on your driving pattern.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:30 PM
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Just goes to show that all parts aren’t made equal. Mine sits at arpune 85-86C at idle with 20 ambient temp! If I was driving it at all, it would surely be up there too.
When mine failed it had a hard time getting above 67c, and on the highway I saw 59c once. She was cold.
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