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-   -   New X5M owner, used X5M problems and seeking advice... (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x-m-forum/90438-new-x5m-owner-used-x5m-problems-seeking-advice.html)

seriousPSI 12-10-2012 09:08 PM

New X5M owner, used X5M problems and seeking advice...
First off, want to say this is a great site and really appreciate the information I've gathered here over time for not only the X5M but for my previous X5's as well. For the first time, I have real problems with an X5 and I'm wondering what to do or what to expect with either the dealer or BMW NA? My apologies for the length of the post in advance... but must share the lenghthy saga to get that advice...


I bought my black/black X5M on Sept. 4th with 35,000 miles and a Feb. '10 in-service date. Great condition, realistic annual mileage, and a really clean service history when bought. I bought the car from a BMW dealer in Jacksonville, FL and live in Atlanta, GA area as there were limited 2010 X5M's available in July '12.

Since I've owned it it has been to the dealership in ATL 4 times for a total of 33 days (coincidentally 33%) of the time I've owned it and I have been affected by problems with it for 55 days (55%) of the time I've owned it. :yikes:

Obviously, with that sort of service action going on I could post a really long thread with a ton of details... but here's my minor attempt to shorten it:

Visit 1:
Symptom: Engine Limp mode on 9/22
Dealer Analysis: Cylinder 8 Coil & Boot Failed causing damage to spark plug.
Dealer Time: 2 days
My Analysis: Ok, it happens... no problem.

Visit 2:
Symptom: White Smoke/Electrical Burning Smell from under hood mainly passenger front/side, driver side Angel eyes lights out, Squealing brakes in reverse that could ruin dogs for miles.
Dealer Analysis: Changed Front Brakes and Angel lights, could not reproduce electrical smell or smoke/nothing found.
Dealer Time: 4
My Analysis: Sucks for front Brakes and Angel Eyes out at 35,000, but OK. Unfortunate unable to reproduce smoke, electrical burning smell was easy to reproduce daily for me leading up to this visit but let's roll.

Visit 3:
Symptom: Went up in white smoke in my garage same day I got it back from Visit 2, same distinct electrical type burning smell.

***SA and mechanics both noticed the burning electrical smell when I took it in as they came out to meet me.

Dealer Analysis: Brought BMW field techs in, couldn't pinpoint problem and admitted it, cleaned crud or "foreign material" from under turbo's and off of exhaust.
Dealer time: 21 days
My Analysis: BS. 5 weeks into White Smoke/Burning Electrical smell nothing would be on the exhaust unless it was consistently being replenished from another source. Made head mechanic and SA explain to me directly how they felt this explanation was even feasible and why they felt it was safe for me to drive my family (wife/2 yr old) in or even park in my garage.

Visit 4 (current one, supposed to pick up car tomorrow):

Symptom: Went up in even more spectacular white plume in my garage again day after I got it back from Visit 3. Though this time I also get the "Increased battery discharge warning" a few of us have seen.
Dealer Analysis: Brought in representative they say this time... have magically found problem they think. Coolent hose going into bottom of engine is leaking under high pressure when hot only, not when cold and under pressure (or something like that). That is supposed to be source of "foreign material" on exhaust. Also, they pulled out all the fans in the front of the car to test them, not sure on verdict until tomorrow but that is supposed to be source of distinct electrical smell. Replacing battery as well.
My Analysis: What the hell have I gotten into? I've driven the entire 2013 lineup in the loaner pool. I believe all the above is broken, but I really struggle at this point to believe I'm done with issues for any real length of time. I've driven my vehicle for a grand total of 1 hr and 20 mins. since November 6th.

Also, Somewhere in the vicinity of visit 1 & 2 the power of the car decreased, feels about 20% or so to me. It's not throwing check engines or anything like that, I can just really tell due to increased downshifting and lack of acceleration to what I had before in both regular and M, automatic or manual. And no, it's not because I've been driving a bunch of underpowered loaners for the better part of Nov. & Dec. :p:

Dealer says this may be due to the battery issue, winter gas or bad gas. I guess we'll see... I asked them to double check turbos/hoses but they say it will throw a warning/code if something is wrong.


So that's where I'm at. I called BMW NA on 12/5 to give them a "head's up" and full details of the situation. They did escalate me on the phone to a "Resolution Specialist" because of the obvious safety issues involved (ie. Burning electrical components). Said he would discuss compensation with me if that's what I wanted. I wasn't willing to discuss any of those details because I still don't even have a fixed vehicle yet and the saga is still ongoing.

So to finally end and free back up your time...

What could/should I expect or be looking for here and from whom? BMW NA or Dealer?

***Lemon Laws don't apply to "used" cars in Georgia so no dice (not sure of other states).

In no particular order:

*Manufacturer's buyback, am I really there with BMW NA?
*Trade it in at dealer in ATL? Remember dealer fixing it here did not sell it to me.
*Trade it in at original BMW dealer? Was from their affiliate used car dealership next door, all owned by same group including the actual BMW dealership.
*Extended BMW Warranty?
-Only warranty I would get. $6,300 for 7r/100k or slightly less for 6yr/100k, what % should they give of that?

Please chime in if you would and appreciate it.

330i ZHP 12-12-2012 03:53 AM

this sucks to hear - i just bought a 2012 with 12k miles and on the 3rd day had smoke and what smelled like burning electrical

turned out on of the small rubber hoses (secondary cooling system) on top of the engine had a pin hole leak and was spraying coolant all over turbo heat shield.

Then found out - that previous owner had never had the recall for secondary cooling pump taken care of....

I hope that this is not a sign of things to come

I am now driving a $75k Honda Accord loaner car....

seriousPSI 12-12-2012 05:53 PM

Yeah, it definitely sucks but... this does not represent most people's experience in any way. You "usually" only hear from folks like me that have been through the ringer more than most. There have been people on here that have worse experiences and many many more with better. I posted my experience not to concern people, but to seek advice on where to go with the unusual situation I'm in because of it.

I would not worry about my experience being a roadmap for your X5 M in any way, shape or form. Pinhole leaks can happen in any vehicle, I'm no mechanic but considering the pressures some of these hoses are under they may happen even more in high performance vehicles like ours. Get it fixed and I hope you have no further problems, at least they could easily find the source of the problem so that's promising. :thumbup:

*** So my update for those who wonder where this will go...

Got the car back yesterday evening, drove it straight home and turned it off in the garage. Smelled of coolant in the cab on the drive and as I got out of the car I was treated to a 16 minute serenade consisting of varying sounds of whining, washing machine and dying calf from my turned off engine. This I of course video'd and showed to both the shop foreman and service manager this AM who spent some time with me and were clearly mesmorized by it. They of course were apologetic and the shop foreman said I was not supposed to get my car back yesterday as they had an advisor coming in Friday to see it. Well they have it back now anyway...

The main problem I've had is with the secondary cooling system, as the smoke, electrical smell, and now obscene noises have all happened after the car is turned off. Foreman said the washing machine sounded like a cavitating pump and that the actual period of running coolant through the car after you turn it off does indeed last 16 minutes. It didn't happen when I took it to the dealer of course so just another ittermittent issue.

Anyway, I called BMW NA to give them the updated info. and inform them my official request for a manufacturer's buyback. Rep said he didn't blame me... before yesterday's happenings I was on the fence for accepting an extended warranty but I believe now I need to get out of it. Whether that is trade assistance or buyback offer we'll see, I would imagine the former. Apparantly it did get escalated because I did get a call from NJ headquarters this afternoon and they told me they are gathering info. from the service manager (who's name she knew). So things are progressing.

Will keep you guys posted if there is any interest to see what the process is like...

seriousPSI 12-12-2012 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by 330i ZHP (Post 911244)

I am now driving a $75k Honda Accord loaner car....

...and what is with this? BMW Dealership I assume so that's surprising.

pnoyako85 12-13-2012 01:44 AM

Man Im thinking about the X5m how good they are..idk maybe it was a bad owner prior to you who didnt do any maintenance.But i would hope they will compensate you with all the troubles it has given you...maybe they can get you into a NEW //M with no problem whatsoever.

ard 12-13-2012 02:14 AM

The 'lemon law doesn't apply in Georgia" is incorrect, IMO. Get a real opinion. As long as the car is under the MFG warranty, it should transfer to any subsequent owner. My recollection.

I dont think they will do a buyback unless they have a legal obligation...and IF they do, the law may establish the parameters of how they calculate it

seriousPSI 12-13-2012 05:29 PM


Originally Posted by ard (Post 911458)
The 'lemon law doesn't apply in Georgia" is incorrect, IMO. Get a real opinion. As long as the car is under the MFG warranty, it should transfer to any subsequent owner. My recollection.

I dont think they will do a buyback unless they have a legal obligation...and IF they do, the law may establish the parameters of how they calculate it

Governor's Office of Consumer Protection

This is where I got this from, under "Does the Lemon Law cover all vehicles?". I'm sure there are several ways to interpret it and lawyers can find several ways around it.

I'm thinking they will try to offer trade assistance first. I don't expect them to offer a buy back without an attorney or a long process at the very least.

k-lo 12-31-2012 03:16 PM

Any updates on this OP?

seriousPSI 01-24-2013 08:47 PM

Hey guys, haven't disappeared, just waited until I had some definitive news...

So I finally got the car back on January 16th. They brought in a "master" X5 tecnician from BMW NA that I had to meet at the dealer on January 8th. Nice, smart guy. He found air in the coolant system which explains the whole 16 min. cavitation sound I heard last time I had it home. This botched coolant bleed, which was because of the previous coolant hose replacement, cost an extra 36 days in the dealer. The dealer also replaced the fan housing, alternator, some bulkhead trim and NAV/CIC head unit and updated the maps to 2013 (because CIC died while in the dealership) per his recommendation. Full detail (which is the best detail job I've ever seen period) and full tank of gas, which of course was only at a quarter tank when I got there because they only had 36 days to prepare... anyway, they called all this "goodwill". I consider the map update, detail job and eventual topping off of the tank goodwill or at least descent, but nothing else.

So, my "offer" after 69 days in the dealership... 3 payments. Great, thanks. Keep in mind I've been paying for the car while driving a loaner for 69 days as well. No buyback which doesn't surprise me, no trade assist which does surprise me for a guy that's had a few BMW's before this one. No CPO, no offer to help on extended warranty, etc. Master technician asked if it was CPO'd while we were driving around so he hinted at it, and he did mention to me they'd like to send me with two passes to the whole X5 plant & track experience in Greer, SC which would be really cool.

But all that is not to be... I had until today to accept the 3 payment offer, which I of course did not. I faxed all the paperwork to a lemon law/breach of warranty attorney last week as a precaution, today they called and confirmed they would take the case as a breach of warranty and I told them to proceed. Likely outcome will be a cash settlement in a couple months of some sort, whatever, I don't have to pay attorney fees as they build that into the settlement.

I didn't want to do that or it to get to this, not my style at all. I've been driving BMW's since I could afford one and have driven the X5 model for 10 years total so I'm a fan. But dealing with my "advocate" at BMW NA was a horrible experience as a consumer. Not that she was a bad person, but she wasn't a decision maker and could only pass on information. And the most frustrating part was I never knew who I was dealing with or getting answers from, whether it be technicians, the dealership or BMW NA. I believe it was the dealer making the call as they asked for my loan payment information to reimburse the 3 payments (which I did not give), but I'm still not sure. The master tech that made the X5 Plant & Driving experience gesture works for BMW NA. They never put it all together for me. I like my SA at the dealer and the techs are nice guys at least to your face, but other than that screw that place.

I'm sure this confusion is all by design, but if any decision maker(s) would have just sat down or talked with me for 5 min. we could have likely negotiated and worked it out without much issue. Instead this was all just time, stress and pissed me off when I was very cordial to them through this entire process. IMHO, it shows your character/true colors when s**t doesn't go as planned and you have answer to it, and in that respect their response has been a giant middle finger.

So, back to the original point about the process... it sucks, I don't recommend it as many have eluded to in the past. ;)

330i ZHP 01-25-2013 12:02 AM

After the secondary pump and harness was replaced - the car had to go back - smells of coolant each time I turn off the car after driving. They cant find leak but can see dried white film from a misting leak (somewhere...)

Had to have backup camera software updated (due to intermittent error message), left rear seat belt locking mechanism had to be replaced, drivers door had to be taken apart to get rid of horrible squeak

Still worried about the coolant smell and evidence of mist spray...

I have downpipes, software, coilovers, muffler and some other stuff sitting here to be installed - but I dont want to do anything if I am going to need warranty work performed

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