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Check Engine Light and/or Engine Overheating on BMW X5

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The thermostat may fail resulting in engine overheating and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light. Replacement of the thermostat along with a complete inspection of the cooling system will be necessary to correct this concern.

Overheating can cause severe engine damage. If the engine begins to overheat it is recommended to stop at the first available location and have your vehicle towed to a repair shop.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 81,306 (45,000–144,870)
Engines affected: 3.0L 6 Cylinder, 4.4L V8, 4.8L V8, 6 Cylinder
8 model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, more2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
50 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 21 comments
I am so disappointed in the x5. So many times have my wife and I had to rely upon our Honda because of this malfunctioning "luxury" vehicle. If you are thinking about buying a BMW, don't...unless you have money to waste. This car has been in and out of the shop all year. First the ac would not work on one side, then it stalled at my wife's work due to computer problems. Last month we had to have the radiator replaced (two thousand dollars) and yesterday I was left stranded on the side of the road because it states the temperature was too high. My 95 Honda is much more reliable than a 2008 BMW, and I state that with all honesty. I barely got this dissapointing vehicle back to my garage today and I will keep you posted on the outcome.
Engine light on due to bad thermostat.
I purchased my 2008 BMW from Carmax on August 2012. Since then I have had so many issues with the car. In the beginning, the brakes were squeaking, the steering was tough. I had that repaired. On february 2013, the car was leaking the antifreeze; I had to get that repaired. Carmax stated it needed a new hose which was normal wear and tear and it could not be covered under my extended warranty. That was a total of $500.00 for a hose! On May 1, 2013, my car just randomly pops up stating my car is overheating and I need to pull over. No warning prior to that and about 10 seconds after the message displayed, my just shuts down. I had to get it towed to Carmax. Carmax stated it was a "thermostat" issue and that they would run a full diagnostic on it. After running a full diagnostic, they stated there wasn't anything wrong with the car and I shouldn't expect any more problems at all from it. The car then was ready for pickup on May 8th. Yesterday, May 22nd, my engine light comes on. I contacted Carmax and being as though my car was recently in the shop two weeks ago, I would of expected them to tell me to bring my car in immediately. Their response was, my car can't be seen until May 31st! This is the 4th issue in 8 months! This car is a bad purchase and I would not recommend it to anyone.
2009 x5. AC stopped blowing cold on passanger side at 53000. Over heated at 57000. After seeing these postings with the exact same problem BMW needs to make things right
Oil leak around engine. Plus coolant leak area unknow.
After several times of taking my car to the dealer because the low coolant light appeared,they never saw any problems. Finally today my engine ran hot and I had to have it towed to the dealership. Why do I have the feeling this is going to cost me an arm and a leg.
overheating
Car overheated, slowed and stopped. Towed to the dealership, was told water pump was not pushing coolant thru the system "fast enough"
Was told I need to repace pump and thermostat for 1700.00

I gotta do it...
Car overheated and shut down, was towed to BMW dealer. Water pump and thermostat was replaced by dealer.
Besides all the other problems truck overheated and now I'm screwed.over engineered junk
overheated, towed to dealership was told water pump failure to delivery the coolant, Replaced under warranty. But 1 month later.. engine light come/stay on, took to dealership, was told oxygen sensor went bad..will have it replace when part come in. Not sure what next... I will trade this junk in as soon as they fixed the problem. I am very disappointed BMW grand now.
vaccume leak caused engine light to come on
The engine ran hot then it stated it was overheated
temp guage takes forever to read half way and coolant leaking from reservoir. i replaced the reservoir and the o rings still need to replace the thermostat
Exactly.....
Coolant temperature on display and car began to overheat.....had to have towed to dealer and needed to replace thermostat....water pump....Coolant reservoir....radiator cap......total cost $1328 at Annapolis bmw. Always a pain when car breaks down but always good service at bmw of Annapolis so I'm back on the road again
Just hit 100k and check engine light came on. Definitely the coolant system/thermostat. I drove through a car wash the other day prior to the engine light turning on and there was a ton of smoke coming out from under the hood. It was choking the whole time while driving through. Then yesterday the engine light turned on and after reading the articles, I am sure it is a thermostat issue. Also when AC is turned on cool air is only coming out on drivers side and warm air comes out of passenger side.
Same problem. BMW now replacing engine head - thank God I bought extended warranty.
I bought this X5 2008 last year as a certified car. the engine light went on and off many times. I took them to the dealer but they said no problem. in one year I took the to the dealer more than 10 times!!!! finally with all the problems they fix it. but I had to spent out of my pocket $4000!!!!
Engine overheating light came on twice in a couple minutes on the way to work. Pulled it over to cool it off and called BMW to see if I can get it taken care of. Just out of warranty... hopefully their electronic sensor notified me in time before damage. I miss having the temp gauge that I had in my 330Ci, which coincidentally also popped a coolant hose and lost all it's coolant on the way to work one day as well. Stopped it in time quickly to get it towed and fixed before significant damage but the gauge is what really helped me to spot it quickly. I want the gauge back along with a manual parking break. I've heard the Henry Ford "faster horse" analogy but I think some things really shouldn't be messed with that are mechanical clearly. They haven't solved their problems so please keep the gauge there to let me know.