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Q: Would you buy a high mileage (100k plus) BMW X5 on 2001 BMW X5

I'm thinking of buying a BMW X5 with 100k to 120k miles. What do you think? My last car (not a BMW) lasted 225k miles with little to no maintenance (regular oil changes, kept up on the routine stuff and had a great "roadside" mechanic)

- What do you think the average life of the X5 is? Can they easily get to 200k miles or will repairs get to frequent/expensive?

- Can a non BMW authorized mechanic do a good job on BMWs? He is a generalist (lots of Honda, Toyota, and American car experience but not much BMW specific).

- What main items would you tell me to look for in a prepurchase inspection. I plan to have a BMW shop do the prepurchase? What is a reasonable fee for a pre-purchase inspection at a BMW shop?

- Is there another BMW model that I should consider? I need 6 to 7 seats minimum....

- Any other advice? My other car choice is an Acura MDX. Dependability is important to me....

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

Thank You,
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The key thing is the maintenance. Sometimes I see a high mileage car (120k+) in an excellent condition, better than one with 60K.
Around 100K you should expect the following:
- breather valve / oil separator and all breather and vent hoses
-valve cover gasket with spark plugs
-condenser fan
-suspension issues, control arm bushings, ball joints, struts with mounts
-some bushings at the rear suspension, rear shocks
-window regulator(s)
-change "lifetime" ATF and filter in the transmission
-air intake hose, the connecting hose to the idle control cracks
-the VANOS might need to be resealed
-bunch of software updates for many controllers

The oil quality and replacement interval is very important. Remove the oil filler cap and wipe your finger inside the valve cover and see if there is excessive gunk and sludge deposit in there. Watch for "coffee ground" looking things.
I'd also scan all the modules for trouble codes.
I think 2 hours of labor rate would be a good price to pay for a pre-purchase inspection, including a scan test.
The problem is with a generic mechanic or shop that they probably don't have a GT1 or Autologic to correctly diagnose or update the softwares in your vehicle.
I'd suggest a BMW specialty shop if you plan to buy a Bimmer.
I hope someone can give you some good advice on the MDX.

Thanks Zee. Extremely helpful. Two followup questions...

- If the BMW specialty shop confirms that the vehicle has been well taken care of, what would you tell me I should budget for annual maintenance (assuming some of the listed items happen?). Just ballpark... $3k/year, $5k, $10k, etc.

- Do you have a suggestion for a BMW specialty shop in Salt Lake City, UT (zipcode 84106)
The above repairs are considered as "long term items", they should be good for the next 70-100K miles.
What I suggest to do: replace the engine oil in every 5000 miles, use a good quality oil, like Mobil1 5W40 or 0W40 with a Mann or the OE BMW filter (made by Mann, but cost you more).
Beside this, you can follow the rest of the regular maintenance.
If you can find an X5 6cyl. in good condition and with some luck, the average annual maintenance should be way less than $3000. Of course it depends on the annual mileage too.
Even if you have to do all the common repairs I listed, it should be somewhere between 3 and 4000 and you are back to the regular services, which would be an oil change in every 5K miles, a small service in every 15K and a bigger service in every 30K, brake system flush in every 2 years and cooling system flush in every 4 years, spark plugs and connectors in every 100K. Of course you still have the regular wear items, like tires, brakes, etc..., but you have these on any other vehicle.
One of the key thing is: do the maintenance regularly, use the correct fluids i.e.: the blue OE coolant - not the green one, and quality parts.
The other important thing is to find a good, honest Euro or BMW specialty shop in your area. Talk to their clients in the waiting room, check their BBB and/or Angie's list records.
I'll check if someone has a shop in your area among the good tech that I know from other forums and seminars or training. Give me few days, please.
Meanwhile you can use RepairPal's shop locator to see what's available in your neighborhood.
One more thing, before I forget it. I'm talking about the inline 6 cylinder engines. The X5 with a 4.4L and 4.6L V-8 has a lot more problems with engines and transmissions. They can be a real money pit. In the last 2 months I had 3 with major transmission issues beside the regular engine problems. I don't advice you to get a V-8.
Good luck to find one and enjoy it!

Thank you Zee. Your advice was extremely helpful. I'm beginning to understand that the BMW can be a dependable car that has reasonable annual maintenance costs, if the routine maintenance is kept up.

If you find any suggestions for a good independent shop for BMW work in Salt Lake City, please do let me know.

Best - Doug
Sorry, but it took for a while. If you still need a BMW specialty shop, contact to these guys.
They are specializing in European vehicles and in business over 16 years. They can certainly check a used car for you and give useful advices.

Alex's Autohaus
7470 S. State
Midvale Utah
Web site

i own one x5 2001 ,i love my car,and i am mechanic more than 30 years if all problems has been fixed.and car has over 100000 miles you can enjoyfor another 100 or more.but you must remember any repair or service cost twice as much as any japanise or domestic car.there is not any cheap price for parts or labor .as a exemple for you to remember,replace al four brakes with rotors pads and sensors cost of 800-900 hundred dolars .tires set of 4 front and rear 1300 hundred.engine replacment 26000 thausend dollars.if dose prices dopnt scare you,you will love this car for german eingeniering safety power acceleration beating mustang ,and corvette,they can only smell yours tail pipe.remember also today flling up your fuel tank $100 .for me i still have adventge of you i can repair my self,parts cost me less too.that my opinion of x5 4.4 liters engine
If you think about it in this way..... a lot of mechanics don't have a lot of experience with BMW's because generally they don't give a lot of problems. Any car, truck or SUV can give problems, what it boils down to is how good of an up keep they have received in the past. And what I mean is, a routine service history with someone going by the maintenance guide and doing what it says when it says to do it. And that's with any make. I have a 2006 BMW X5 4.8is with a bit over 100,000 miles and the only thing so far is the expansion tank and crankcase ventilation caps.
Hope this helps.
I have a very nice 2003 X5 all been completely service with a I'm almost new transmission with 36k certified miles six month warranty on it new rims and tires new battery new front axle and CV boots complete replacment new tuned up spark plugs air filter and oil change by certified BMW Porsche mechanic at factory works in fountain Valley California this way you will know you'll be getting a car that has completely been serviced and all the recommendation to get this car in complete safe and reliable working condition has been done for compression engine runs like a fine sewing Machine
no. why would any intelligent person buy a car that is 50% more to service...domestic would b a better choice
The money isn't always an object and we all have different taste.
I don't agree with your "buy a domestic, it's cheaper to maintain" statement. It won't necessarily cost 50% more, sometimes it's actually cheaper.
Here are few example: a 2000 Chevy Tracker window regulator cost $ 400.21, the same part for a BMW X5 $196.
2000 Chevy S10 Blazer OE fuel pump $ 654.21, 2000 Volvo S80 OE fuel pump $277.47


It would depend on the history on how that particular vehicle was maintained.

However, I do agree with ZeeTech. I drive a 2000 model X-5 that is 12 years old that is the soundest vehicle that I have ever owned. Investing 3,000 a year to maintain this X-5 was less expensive that purchasing a new car. I had purchased less expensive cars that did not hold up well over time. The way I see it, I probably saved 75% over that last 8 years in new car payments. My 2000 X-5 has over 110K and probably is due for a major service that will probably be in the 10K to 12K range. However, after that, it should be good for another 6 to 8 years. I do not know how BMW does it, but the quality of the paint and the interiors is amazing durable. The vehicle looks brand new.

Some of dash board LED lights are not legible in the dash board. The local BMW repair person told me that it probably isn't worth the $ 1,200 to fix it. I can live with it as the major indicators such as the speedometer, gas gauge, temperature are doing fine.
One selling point is that this car is very safe with a well designed suspension, braking system and other safety factors that make it an ideal second hand car for teenage drivers.

2000 X-5 owner
I recently went on EBAY and purchased a repair for my X% radio digits.
The cost was a fraction of the BMW unit and it was a snap to remove and put back in.
The radio looks like NEW!
The instrument readout on the speedometer are a matter of tiny bulbs in back of the speedometer.
Also a snap to change. Don't be afraid its east to do!
I'm buying one tomorrow with 225,000 miles. I saw a nice 2004 or 2005 x5 4.7 not the 4.4 with 120,000 miles for a little less than 4800. Now the 3.0 is the one my dad loves because it has everything. It's loaded. The guy wants 2800. Listen I've owned over 140 car's, sold over 100 and drove over 40. I'm young in my 20's. An Acura MDX great choice mate great choice. Also maybe a Nisan pathfinder, Honda Pilot 2006-2012 maybe a Nissan murano it's not bad. A Lexus the SUV 2001-2009 model's, a used Porsche SUV Cayanne I think? Also a Lincoln Navigator 1999-2003 run like a drean, air suspension ride nice, make sure to turn off before changing tires lol. Very nice. Also my FAVORITE IS The Infinity Jf 35/45 or Jx 45 something like that Bruv. Won't find a better SUV than that one, let me tell you why. It does over 300,000 miles, drives through anything, gas is fair, lots of room, your mechanic will fix anything, cars SUVs and trucks aren't rocket science. Your mechanic will learn how easy his job gets with whatever you pick. Don't listen to the ppl that have been ripped off hahaha idiots don't know where to go and get ripped off for labor 5 times what the price should be. I also suggest A Toyota Land cruiser from 1999 that is 6,000-9000 at 300,000+ miles. They haven't made to many but for the 1999 it's very durable for many reasons. Ppl aren't too familiar with them. The new land cruisers that are blue and yellow look like hummers are expensive and also great but I suggest you you buy The car SUV truck you want have a great time and don't think about it, have your mind on enjoying it if you think or worry yes definitely something will go wrong
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