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BMWs are high-priced vehicles, but, for the most part, they’re fun to drive. We expect maintenance costs and repair work with BMW SUVs. But cars shouldn’t be pits of doom that has you putting more money into it than you did when you bought it.

Out of all the BMWs, the X5 has had the most complaints. From the engine to electronics, to the transmission, the X5 has had the highest-priced repairs from models 2008 to 2013. shows some of those reported by BMW owners.

BMW X5’s stalling problem

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This cowboy rides 625 horses… at the same time. The all-new BMW X5 M Competition. #TheX5M #BMW #X5M #BMWM __ BMW X5 M Competition: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 13.0–12.8. CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 296–291. Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 3.8 s. Power: 460 kW, 625 hp, 750 Nm. Top speed (limited): 250 km/h (with optional M Drivers Package: 290 km/h). The values of fuel consumptions, CO2 emissions and energy consumptions shown were determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable at the time of type approval. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers optional equipment and the different size of wheels and tires available on the selected model. The values of the vehicles are already based on the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure the comparison between the vehicles. [With respect to these vehicles, for vehicle related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on CO2-emissions the CO2 values may differ to the values stated here.] The CO2 efficiency specifications are determined according to Directive 1999/94/EC and the European Regulation in its current version applicable. The values shown are based on the fuel consumption, CO2 values and energy consumptions according to the NEDC cycle for the classification. Further information on official fuel consumption figures and specific CO2 emission values of new passenger cars is included in the following guideline: 'Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen' (Guide to the fuel economy, CO2 emissions and electric power consumption of new passenger cars), which can be obtained free of charge from all dealerships, from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at

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Many BMW owners filed complaints about their vehicles. While driving down the road, usually at a lower speed, but sometimes at higher ones, the vehicle will just stall out.

Warning lights sometimes come on, other times they don’t. Without power, the driver has to find a way to creep over to the side of the road, out of traffic, to try to restart the car. It doesn’t restart, so they have to have it towed to a dealership repair shop or mechanic. Some owners were told that there was nothing wrong with the car.

Dealerships that investigated the problem further, found that there was an engine malfunction that made it seize, which put it into a limp mode, or safe mode. In most cases, the only fix was to replace the entire engine.

Obviously, a BMW engine isn’t cheap, so some owners faced a bill of about $7,000 and up to resolve the issue. Some got lucky and had it covered under warranty.

BMW X5 water leaks into the interior ruining electronics

One problem many BMWs have faced is water leaking from the drain tubes in the sunroof. Whether the water comes from a car wash or from sitting outside in a downpour of rain, the water won’t drain properly and finds its way into the interior of the vehicle.

Some owners are lucky and the water only damages a little of the carpet or gets on the floor mats. Most drivers aren’t so lucky, though. The water is notorious for getting into the areas on the passenger side where the electrical components are, which ultimately ruins them.

Owners won’t see the water and try to start their vehicles only to find out that it won’t start. Sometimes they can’t even get into the vehicle at all. The keys just won’t work. Once the water in the car dries up, some drivers can get it started without issue.

However, most find that the electronics are simply toasted, and they need to be replaced. Installing all-new electrical equipment is costly, though. Depending on how much damage occurred, the price could be as much as $10,000. BMW has taken on the repairs, but only for the models before the 2010 model year.

Transmission malfunction problems

Another expensive problem that arose in the BMW X5 is a transmission malfunction. Drivers reported issues, which include erratic shifting or a transmission warning light will show up on the dashboard. Sometimes, if you’re low on transmission fluid, the car will go into the limp mode to protect it from getting damaged.

The common issues of the transmission, according to, have to deal with the mechatronic sleeve or the bridge seal adapter. Fluid may leak around the sleeve connector coming from the transmission unit, causing the level to get too low to drive.

The seal adapter can get cracked causing all sorts of transmission issues. The dealership usually recommends a complete replacement of the transmission or a rebuild of the faulty one. Costs can be as high as $5,500 to repair the problem.

The BMW X5 has improved over the years since these problems plagued the SUV. While things are going well, there’s still a fair amount of issues that continue to plague the engine today with the newer models. However, the amount of complaints has decreased significantly.

Owners appear to be more satisfied with their purchases, so hopefully, with more improvements, the X5 can have a complete turnaround and these issues can be a thing of the past.