Top 10 Most Common E53 Repairs So you’re the proud new owner of BMW’s first generation X5 SUV. What kinds of repairs will you encounter during your ownership journey? Well, have a look at the Bimmerzeit top ten most common repairs and failures of this model. None of these jobs are particularly difficult to repair yourself as a DIY, and you can follow all of my step by step BMW repair tutorials to help you along. To see all 83 of my X5 video repairs in a YouTube playlist, click here. 1. Exterior Door Handle Carrier Replacement The exterior door handle carrier is made with a unique design on the E53 which features a cable and aluminum frame that pivots to actuate the door lock mechanism. Over time, the cable (like a bike brake or shifter cable) stretches and no longer actuates the latch properly. I’ve owned two X5’s and have replaced the driver and passenger front carriers on both of them. Very common failure item. To order a new carrier, buy here. 2. X5 …
This one little gear will save you over $4,000 USD The BMW X3 and X5 are known for their incredible x-drive all wheel drive systems that power through stormy winter conditions and keep you safe on the road. They’re also known for being incredibly robust, rarely having any major failure of the transfer case systems, as they are typically overbuilt by design. The X5’s ATC 500 transfer case is particularly robust. However, one small detail was overlooked on the design by BMW mechanical engineers: the small plastic gear inside the transfer case actuator motor. This small gear typically fails between 90,000 -120,000 miles in the X3 and X5. When it does fail, it throws the car’s computer systems into disarray and will show the trifecta of lights: Brake, ABS, and 4×4 DSC lights will all illuminate on the gauge cluster. Perhaps this is a planned failure, kind of like BMW’s version of planned obsolescence. If millions of X3 and X5 suffer this failure, that means millions of new reasons for customers to either pay heavily …
One of the most common wear points in a car is the steering wheel, since it sees a ton of use and abuse over the life of the car. The M tech sport steering wheels in particular have a way of wearing and peeling badly that BMW didn’t really plan for. Original versions of the sport steering wheel trim have a black coating that peels and scratches off over time, revealing the white bare plastic beneath it. Updated versions now available seem to be from a black plastic, which should wear better instead of peeling over time. Updated trim is available here. One of the cheapest and best upgrades you can make is to replace this trim piece, which is about $75 or so online here. I recently replaced the trim piece specific to the E53 sport models, and detail the steps on how to remove the steering wheel so replace the trim in this new video below. Most sport package cars require the airbag and steering wheel to be safely removed before the …
Every BMW owner needs to own a diagnostic scan tool or two. Even the most basic setup, including a cheap OBD-II scanner like this one and a cheap airbag tool will save you hundreds if not thousands over the years of your Bavarian ownership. There’s really nothing more satisfying than scanning a car for friends and family when they’re in trouble, and saving them from paying a $100 diagnostic fee to some repair shop.
With today’s advances in fuel economy in new BMW models, those of us driving older models will try almost anything to squeeze out a few extra miles per gallon for our daily drivers. Keeping the tires properly inflated, ensuring fresh synthetic oil is flowing through the veins, and rebuilding those vanos units are the tried and true methods for maintaining better fuel economy.
How do you tell if your BMW has a bad thermostat? Thermostats fail in one of two ways; they either fail stuck open or fail stuck closed. When they fail in a closed fashion its usually easy to tell because your car will likely experience severe overheating problems with the temperature needle buried in the red. This is the most dangerous type of failure because an overheating engine can cause major damage, including head gasket failure and cracks in radiators and cooling system components. In more severe cases, head bolts can strip the weak threads in the aluminum block of an M54 model engine.
Cleaning the wheels on a BMW with OEM brake pads can be a tedious part of your detailing schedule, but it doesn’t have to be. Finding the right wheel cleaner and technique is the best way to cut down on time spent cleaning brake dust out of every nook and curve of those expensive factory wheels. Today I’ll discuss the Sonax Full Effect wheel cleaner and how I found it for cleaning BBS wheels on a BMW.
I’m sure all of us will experience this at some point: you’re going about your life cruising to work in your BMW and you crack your window open for a little bit of fresh air. It makes a horrid clunk sound and you immediately realize that your window isn’t going back up anytime soon. It’s likely that you need a new window regulator; but how do you keep the window up until you can get it fixed?
Shopping online for replacement parts for your BMW has never been easier thanks to this brand’s massive enthusiast following. You can purchase parts at just about any major outlet, with brands ranging anywhere from low end suppliers to the good old German-made brands. Wether you are shopping for your E30 or E46, here are my favorite online vendors to order parts from.
Your leaking oil filter housing gasket has been bothering you for months. Its dripping onto the driveway, requiring a weekly top-up with expensive synthetic oil. “How much money can I waste on oil this month?”, you ask yourself. I totally understand why the average BMW enthusiast would avoid this job for months at a time, however. Digging into this project will take anywhere from 4-6 hours depending upon your proficiency and what other items you replace along the way.