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Buying a Used BMW X5?

Here’s what to look out for

So you’ve decided to buy a used BMW X5? While a Japanese make such as Lexus would bring more peace to your life, you’ve decided to eschew logical adult reasoning and take on the challenge of owning heavily depreciated German steel to enjoy all of the pleasures it will bring. The driving experience, heated surfaces, envy from the neighbors. Your idea of the spice of life is not knowing when the next water pump or window regulator failure will hit, sucking up your only free time on weekends for the foreseeable future.

All kidding aside, the X5 is a good SUV if you are an enthusiast who enjoys performing a good deal of DIY work. After all, if you’re reading this blog, you are likely a BMW enthusiast. Besides, the initial purchase price of a used X5 is going to be much less than that of a Lexus GX or some comparable Japanese suburb-crawling baby-hauler.

My best advice for owning a used X5 is as follows:

  1. You MUST own your own BMW specific diagnostic scan tool such as the one I use today, the Creator C310 available here for $55. This allows you to scan your own Service Engine Soon lights and diagnose issues without a trip to the dealer.
  2. As soon as you buy the X5, begin using maintenance parts from FCP Euro in Milford, Connecticut. Their lifetime warranty on everything they sell is 100% real and 100% awesome. I regret not purchasing parts from them from the beginning, as I would have saved a lot of money in years 4 and 5 on our X5 as items are replaced continually. Those guys are friendly, honest and I love going into their showroom parts pick-up to chat about cars and collect my goodies.
  3. Find a used example that has been kept with service records. Whether those are enthusiast owned DIY receipts for parts purchases, or extensive dealership invoices, that is what you want to see. If someone can’t find the records, or ignores your request for service records, move on. You want to find an example that has been well maintained and loved – this will save you money in the long-run.

Here’s my 5 Year Cost of Ownership on our used X5.

If you’re considering buying an E53 generation X5, check out my buyers guide here:

As we enter the beginning of year 6 of ownership this month, we are still working on some maintenance issues and engine trouble codes. The P1093 code for rich fuel bank has persisted, despite replacement of both pre-cat oxygen sensors. This may be a failed idle control valve, that may be our next replacement item.

We’re at a spot now that it might be time to consider looking into upgrading to the E70 generation X5, built from 2007-2013. The newer and greatly improved F15 X5 came later in 2014, but is still too expensive for us to consider at this time. The 2012-2013 X5 35i is what we are considering, and it looks to be a great balance of value for the money in today’s 2020 market. As soon as we can pick one up, my E70 used X5 buyer guide will be posted here. Stay tuned.

Shop BMW parts here.

Shop used BMW X5, X5 and M cars here.

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