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  #1  
Old 02-26-2013, 07:47 AM
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Good evening! Can I ask for some advice?

Good evening everyone.

It has been a while since I have been on this site and it has reminded me once again on the risks you take purchasing an X5! Unfortunately my love of BMWs (owned an E36 325i coupe for a few years, was an awesome car and reliable too) is pushing me back to my idea from a year or so ago of wanting an E53 (family you see)! However reading the international section again has started to make me doubt my decision. (There appears to be more complaints etc from US owners than pretty much anywhere else, maybe we Aussies don't expect as much?)

The reason is I have been able to find an 04 3.0d Sport with around 90k with a full BMW service history and pretty much all of the options that I like/want. I am seriously considering having a look at it as over the period I have been looking (quite a while) it is one of a small handful with the main options I wanted in a nice colour/trim combination that the wife likes, less than 100k on the clock and at a reasonable price compared to others I have seen ie too good NOT to look at least look at it.

If I do decide to have a look/consider purchase, is there anything specific that I should concentrate on? I know about the things like window regulators and tyre wear along with ensuring the transmission changes gears smoothly, however are there any other 'gotchas' I should look for that could end up with an expensive repair/replacement bill? I am reasonably mechanically minded and am not scared/afraid on doing DIY repairs/preventative maintenance etc. However I am still a bit hesitant to spend a reasonable amount of money on what is a 9 year old car, even if the kms are well below average. I still don't know whether to keep looking or just move on to something else ie different type of car/brand.

Any advice will be appreciated to put my mind at ease either way! I like my BMWs and had a great experience with my last one, but I don't want to get something that will turn into a money pit and make me hate the brand!

Kind Regards.

Last edited by Mafian; 02-26-2013 at 07:53 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2013, 09:47 AM
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hi there... welcome aboard!!!

making a recommendation on a used (or even a new car) car purchase is a very risky business...

There are over a million X5s on the road, the E53 and the E70, and there are a few thousand users of this board with only so many actively talking about the issues that they have with their cars... It is like being a brain doctor - it seems all patients are nut cases... people that have no issues either do not come to this board, or do not voice their opinions...

When you look at the car, look at the suspension components, as they are wear and tear items, like the bushings, look at the cooling system, as the BMW cooling systems are very sensitive... at 90 K kms/60K miles, the might have been underdriven, so drive it to see if performs well...

connect a diagnostic software, see if it pulls any codes (remember, they may have been erased prior to sale), check the electronics, as they are very finicky...

Other than that, go for it... lol... of course, if your heart desires it...
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E53 X5 4.6iS
147K mi - Sold May 2013
Tireprints left in:
USA, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Russia

E53 X5 4.8iS built 2005-10-17
66200 mi - June 2012
96000 mi - June 2013
112000 mi - June 2014
OEM fire extinguisher
OE first aid kit
OE tow hitch
OE TV module
OE aspheric mirror
K&N air filter
black/white badges
rear camera
4-channel video recorder

Here is the list of things I have done to the X
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2013, 05:08 PM
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Thank you for that information, that is exactly the type of stuff I was after. I agree with what you are getting at as people who have a bad experience of something are much more likely to say something than someone who has no real issues. The internet also doesn't help as it can be the same person on many different forums etc making it look like more are having problems. Then you get the people who don't have one at all but are just trolling!

I am not expecting it to be perfect, far from it and I understand that keeping it on the road will take effort! I am also willing to spend the time on weekends tinkering on it if required. It is more the risk of things like transmissions/turbos etc. Having previously owned a BMW I know that whilst they are brilliant to drive and well engineered, they are not what you call the most reliable/durable cars, especially if not looked after. As long as they are not a total lemon that spends more time getting fixed than on the road, the driving experience makes you ignore some of the faults!
Whilst not wishing to offend, the fact that they are built in the US also adds an extra black mark just like if they were built here as our respective automotive manufacturing industries don't have what you call the best quality control! Patriotism aside when we look into it, we all know this to be true! All I am after is a solid example that has no big ticket items ready to go pop. I don't really care if it has a few little niggly things that require some time/tinkering to rectify.

Unfortunately I don't have easy access to a scanguage/diagnostic tool so that one may be a bit more difficult!
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:22 PM
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the diag tools are available on the ebay, once you get a bmw, you can start looking for a set... as far as being made in the US, i understand your sentiment... at least, they are not made in russia - when i was eyeing up an E70 while in russia, i noticed on the documents, that they were made inkaliningrad, russian province on the far west, to minimize the taxes, from the Knock-down-Kits, KDKs... luckily, the diplomatic X5s were still made inthe US... not that i bought anyways, but, everything is in comparison... lol... chinese make the 3-series too, from KDKs...

just check the car out well, before commiting...

good luck
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:30 PM
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Have a look on Xdrivers in the UK who will give you a broad view on the diesels too. We have more oil burners than petrol E53s because of our ridiculously expensive fuel.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:05 PM
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Thanks X5Sport, will do.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:51 AM
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Now I have gone and done it. I checked it out and was better than I expected so I decided to get it. A couple of scratches on the inside here and there (from people wearing rings on the gear leaver plastic trim and door grips) but it is a second hand car and should not be difficult to rectify or even just left. Luckily for me it had receipts for a recent castor bush replacement as well as CV boots/coolant/pads etc etc by a reputable Euro/BMW mechanic. Tyres were very even in wear and it pulled up rock solid without any pulling to either side. Transmission was VERY smooth in changes with no clunks anywhere, even when coming to a stop/on/off the power and much better than our current car. There were also no rattles and clunks from either end over bumps etc and everything felt rock solid with no obvious movement etc. The engine was an absolute peach, smooth, quiet and very strong. All electrics worked as advertised except the TV screen has a few dead pixels in the middle which I have seen on many before. May need some suggestions for that one! It didn't effect the operation of it though. Outside, other than a scratch on the outside of the LH mirror it was very straight with no obvious blemishes. Will see when I go to wax it how many it has! Will see how it goes and hopefully it won't make me regret my decision. I was impressed how it drove and was one of the best I had driven in the time I had been looking by a long shot. Time will tell if it was a sound purchase I guess, but it gave me the right feeling and I also had an impartial friend with me who is not afraid to call a spade a spade and play Devil's Advocate and make sure my heart didn't over-rule my head! So now I may frequent this site even more and hopefully for a good reason. Thanks to those who replied above.

Regards.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2013, 01:02 AM
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congrats on the purchase!!
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2013, 01:39 AM
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Hope this works. When I finally get it delivered etc I will take a couple more.

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  #10  
Old 03-02-2013, 01:49 AM
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nice...
sport... running boards... clear corners... adaptive xenons... are the tires staggered in size?

now is good time to mod... reverse camera... delete front parking lights...

but i don't think you can fix the steering wheel - it will stay on the wrong side of the car!!!!
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