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      10-12-2012, 08:33 AM   #1
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Calling All X3 (e83) Owners. Advice needed.

Hi all,

My fiance and I are in the market to pick up another vehicle... we're looking into the 2004-2006 X3's -- with 60k-90k miles.

I'm wondering if any current (or previous) owners had any issues with this car. What should I look out for, and what can I expect from such a vehicle with 60k+ mileage?

Thanks in advance for your help, and any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Edit: CarMD car report on vehicle health and common problems - attached.
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File Type: pdf YOUR TEST RESULTS.pdf (191.5 KB, 181 views)

Last edited by SE3P_to_E90; 11-29-2012 at 10:57 AM.
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      10-12-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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My wife has a 09 with about 35k on it. The SUV is great, rides nice and has good power, even beat my friends FR-S in it. Reliable it has not been though, but mine is a CPO. We have had the entire PS system replaced because of a bad hose that ran the system dry and we have had the efan replaced. They are known for random electrical gremlins too, we can drive along and randomly all of the lights will turn off and on, cant reproduce it and no codes.

Like I said though, we really like it, but I do not know if I would own one out of warranty.
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      10-12-2012, 10:07 AM   #3
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^ thanks for the heads up... PS System = power steering? That's a scare...

Warranty claims are what scare me the most - since i'll be picking up an X3 w/o warranty... I've heard about X3/X5's having quite a few electrical gremlins... let alone, all BMW for that matter. My e90 has some issues itself - radio stopped working >:[
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      10-13-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek8819 View Post
They are known for random electrical gremlins too, we can drive along and randomly all of the lights will turn off and on, cant reproduce it and no codes.

Like I said though, we really like it, but I do not know if I would own one out of warranty.
I have a 2005 X3 SAV and have seen similar electrical
gremlins, I push a button to do one thing and something else happens with nothing reporting a code or bring reproducible.

Make sure you check the air intake rubber boot, if it feels dry and/or hard replace it. With the tempature extremes they will suddenly get a small crack sending error codes, better to change it on your terms then when it fails randomly

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      10-30-2012, 03:46 PM   #5
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Unhappy Mid-Throttle stumble

As posted elsewhere we have the mid-throttle stumble, Wide open it runs fine, but a gradual passing situation (normality) makes you wonder if you are going to make it.

I have been to two dealers several times with many parts replaced. Still stumbles. Theory is that BMW will interface with Dealership at next oil change. This has been going on from 85,000 to the current 113,000 miles.

Car is fun to drive, yes, reliability is otherwise reasonable. Had the rear outside hatch switch fail while under CPO, but they would not cover it. Also, the battery in a key failed. This is not good as BMW says the battery can be replaced, but even if you use the Web solution to replace the battery you will need another key to reprogram the dead battery key!!! Not a pretty picture if you are many miles away from home and obviously do not carry a spare key with you. <<Dumb Design>>
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      10-31-2012, 09:15 AM   #6
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^ thanks for the heads up... I think i'll be making a purchase either for a 2004 or 2007 this weekend. I'll be sure to post updates.
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      10-31-2012, 12:35 PM   #7
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On a different topic, are there any x3 owners who have run a staggered setup?

A lot of the X3's i've been looking at have some pretty ugly wheels on them, and I would like to use my other set of rims if it won't cause any issues...

The wheels i have in mind are factory 197's -- which is staggered (18x8 front, 18x8.5 rears). I know BMW advises against deviating from a square setup on X-drive vehicles... however, i've seen some 335xi drivers run a staggered setup without issue.

Any advice on this would be helpful! Thanks in advance!!!
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      10-31-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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I bought my wife a 2005 2.5i X3 last year with 75k miles on it. It is a blast to drive. I second the comment on the air intake boot on the M54 engine. I changed the intake boot after a CEL was thrown. It was a pain to remove all the hoses, but it was pretty easy to do. You may also hear a 'whoosh' while accelerating which could intake a small intake boot tear.

On the staggered set-up: I have a e92 328xi with staggered wheels. The key is to keep the rolling diameter similar between front and rear. My 18"'s are 225/40 F and 255/35 R for a rolling diameter difference of ~0.2%. The tire diameter calculator on the e90post Wheels & Tire section is a good place to do the math automatically. Conventional wisdom is to keep difference less than 1%.
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      11-02-2012, 08:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kq328xi View Post
I bought my wife a 2005 2.5i X3 last year with 75k miles on it. It is a blast to drive. I second the comment on the air intake boot on the M54 engine. I changed the intake boot after a CEL was thrown. It was a pain to remove all the hoses, but it was pretty easy to do. You may also hear a 'whoosh' while accelerating which could intake a small intake boot tear.

On the staggered set-up: I have a e92 328xi with staggered wheels. The key is to keep the rolling diameter similar between front and rear. My 18"'s are 225/40 F and 255/35 R for a rolling diameter difference of ~0.2%. The tire diameter calculator on the e90post Wheels & Tire section is a good place to do the math automatically. Conventional wisdom is to keep difference less than 1%.
Thanks for the huge heads up! Going to look at (a very promising) x3 today. will post pictures later
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      11-06-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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Picked up an 06' X3 M-sport with only 58k on the clock. Get a PPI done before purchase, check cylinder heads for cracking, transfer case, rear springs.

Overall, no problems
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      11-08-2012, 01:06 AM   #11
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Upgraded 19" Style 179 with non-standard rubber,
staggered: 19x8 F and 19x9 R
rubber: 245/45R19 F and 275/40R19 R

no rubbing - I was glad I went only 19" and slighty larger rubber
softened the ride a little, otherwise the sport suspension was a killer
also the above setup was very close match for the front & back outer diameter for the tires

see: http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=684276


Quote:
Originally Posted by SE3P_to_E90 View Post
On a different topic, are there any x3 owners who have run a staggered setup?

A lot of the X3's i've been looking at have some pretty ugly wheels on them, and I would like to use my other set of rims if it won't cause any issues...

The wheels i have in mind are factory 197's -- which is staggered (18x8 front, 18x8.5 rears). I know BMW advises against deviating from a square setup on X-drive vehicles... however, i've seen some 335xi drivers run a staggered setup without issue.

Any advice on this would be helpful! Thanks in advance!!!
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      11-11-2012, 11:02 PM   #12
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We experienced bad front struts on ours at 80k. Easy to fix but $231 a piece for the parts. I know a tech that said he has seen a few front suspension issues over the years so our issue might not be all that isolated.
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      11-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the heads-up guys. Ended up taking delivery a couple weeks ago, and couldn't be happier. It's a 2007 x3 3.0si with m-sport everything. Just went to get it officially inspected, and all is well!

Alexsih - i wish i can see your car pictures with those wheels, but my work probably blocked the pictures. I'm currently on the sport-package rims (unsure what style), but they're 19"s and they're staggered! 235 front, 265 rears. I'm with you on the harsh ride - the sport suspension and low pro tires make the car really stiff.
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      11-14-2012, 02:27 PM   #14
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both my mechanic and BMW sales guy said to me that if I\m in a market for a 4x4 bmw to by E83 as it is the most reliable BMW from late models. It has very cheap suspension and parts are tried and tested.

Later I read a review on it which listed all the issues and in the end said the car is super reliable for its age, price etc.

Problem areas as others too said>

- blocked drains means water in car, check carpets to be dry!
- failing springs *esp on cars used on poor roads
- gearbox software glitch which means bad uphill performance
- turbos that fail on diesels
- water gets to headlight washer motors

In Europe, a 2l diesel with manual is considered the best and most reliable car to buy from BMWs I\ve seen in most magazines.
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      11-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by research View Post
both my mechanic and BMW sales guy said to me that if I\m in a market for a 4x4 bmw to by E83 as it is the most reliable BMW from late models. It has very cheap suspension and parts are tried and tested.

Later I read a review on it which listed all the issues and in the end said the car is super reliable for its age, price etc.

Problem areas as others too said>

- blocked drains means water in car, check carpets to be dry!
- failing springs *esp on cars used on poor roads
- gearbox software glitch which means bad uphill performance
- turbos that fail on diesels
- water gets to headlight washer motors

In Europe, a 2l diesel with manual is considered the best and most reliable car to buy from BMWs I\ve seen in most magazines.
Thanks for the heads up on this, research. Looks like you've done your HW as well

My BMW mechanic said these cars are pretty bulletproof. the only area where he sees problems -- are with the transfer cases. Typically, he said the TC's fail because the owner tows boats/trailers -- which this car really isn't meant to do. Other than that, minimal electrical problems -- it seems the electrical components are the same as it's e46 counter parts.

Overall, no issues thus far :knock on wood:

The only thing I need to get used to is gas mileage. I've been getting 24mpg on my e90 n52 (combined city/hwy), and i'm getting 17mpg on my e83. But, this isn't a big deal as i know i'm not driving a leaf lol.
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      11-21-2012, 09:46 AM   #16
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are there any X3 (e83) owners who have the factory alarm installed? I got my alarm installed from the dealer the other week, and i'm a little disappointed...

First, the alarm is pretty quiet. The acoustic arm/disarm is far more "quiet" than the alarm on my e90... Sometimes, i have to lock/unlock the car a 2nd time because i can barely hear it.

2nd... the acoustic ARM notification is "active" as per the BMW programming "machine", but the acoustic armed notification doesn't work. Easily put, the car doesn't beep when i lock it... anyone else have these issues?

Many thanks in advance for the help/advice!
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      11-27-2012, 01:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE3P_to_E90 View Post
Thanks for the heads up on this, research. Looks like you've done your HW as well

My BMW mechanic said these cars are pretty bulletproof. the only area where he sees problems -- are with the transfer cases. Typically, he said the TC's fail because the owner tows boats/trailers -- which this car really isn't meant to do. Other than that, minimal electrical problems -- it seems the electrical components are the same as it's e46 counter parts.

Overall, no issues thus far :knock on wood:

The only thing I need to get used to is gas mileage. I've been getting 24mpg on my e90 n52 (combined city/hwy), and i'm getting 17mpg on my e83. But, this isn't a big deal as i know i'm not driving a leaf lol.
Can't help with alarm but that gas milage is nothing crazy if you drive in town (heavy car, engine needs to spin 4 wheels not 2, etc). If I go for X3 i'd only get it in diesel here though. sorry for jacking the thread, lol.
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      11-27-2012, 03:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Can't help with alarm but that gas milage is nothing crazy if you drive in town (heavy car, engine needs to spin 4 wheels not 2, etc). If I go for X3 i'd only get it in diesel here though. sorry for jacking the thread, lol.
Diesel for sure! if there was a diesel option state-side, i would've gone that route. i've ridden in a 335d, and it's a whole different animal.
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      11-28-2012, 04:00 PM   #19
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Hey,
congrats on your purchase! My girlfriend also has a 2007 x3 3.0si. She purchased it having ~39,000 miles. Now at 88,000 miles the SEL came on. I had the code run through the local autozone and it returned "P0597 | Thermostat heater control circuit open". Probable cause "Failed engine cooling thermostat". Its weird because the car gave no indication of overheating and continued to run just fine.
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      11-28-2012, 04:43 PM   #20
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congrats on the purchase. I bought a '08 last winter for my wife and so far we really like it minus a few electrical glemins as mentioned (cd player stops working). I thought I would post regarding the staggered setup question. I bought 19" staggered rims for the x3 at the beginning of the summer and have loved them so far. Here is the post I made with some pics and sizing.
http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=672294
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      11-29-2012, 10:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagui1223 View Post
Hey,
congrats on your purchase! My girlfriend also has a 2007 x3 3.0si. She purchased it having ~39,000 miles. Now at 88,000 miles the SEL came on. I had the code run through the local autozone and it returned "P0597 | Thermostat heater control circuit open". Probable cause "Failed engine cooling thermostat". Its weird because the car gave no indication of overheating and continued to run just fine.
Thanks for the heads up! Just as an FYI, it seems those thermostat problems are the most common problem on these cars. i did a quick report with CarMD and the results are as follows - attached. It seems that the error code p0957 is the most common code being thrown...
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File Type: pdf YOUR TEST RESULTS.pdf (191.5 KB, 161 views)

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      11-29-2012, 10:46 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleung View Post
congrats on the purchase. I bought a '08 last winter for my wife and so far we really like it minus a few electrical glemins as mentioned (cd player stops working). I thought I would post regarding the staggered setup question. I bought 19" staggered rims for the x3 at the beginning of the summer and have loved them so far. Here is the post I made with some pics and sizing.
http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=672294
Nice looking ride! When i picked up the vehicle, i ended up getting the Msport model - which came w/ staggered 19"s from the factory. I'm running a similar tire size as you... i believe the fronts are 235/40/19 and the rears are 255/35/19. I might be slightly off on the sidewall measure. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see that you're not having any issues with the staggered setup.

The set I currently have on the vehicle has summer tires. This weekend, I plastidipped my winter setup, and will be putting them on the x3 in the next few weeks. Teaser attached
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