hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,039 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 BMW X5 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #8

Jan 102011

X5 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


1. the weather outside was -10 degrees celsius. 2. I own a 2003 BMW X5, 4.4 litre engine, V8. The crank case valve froze shut, causing oil to spill into the engine. This problem has occurred twice - once last winter (2010) and this winter (2011). It has cost me a total of $1,600 this year and $3,000 last year to repair. 3. spark plugs needed to be replaced, engine needs to be cleaned, and a new heater blanket was installed last year, but failed to keep the valve from freezing shut again this year!

- Burlington, Ontario, Canada, 00, USA

problem #7

Nov 182008


  • 53,000 miles
I have had several problems with my vehicle including failure of suspension system but of concern is when about 2 years ago I was making a U turn at a traffic light, completed the U turn and my engine died. Car came to a stop. I turned off the key and restarted the ignition and engine turned on again. This has never happened again but I am concerned that it might in light of recent articles that BMW has been having similar problem with newer cars.

- Altadena, CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 242010


  • 70,000 miles
2003 BMW X5 ccv "oil separator valve" has issues in cold weather and is known to fail. The problem relates to a non proper design where the valve can freeze. The engine block can then blow oil and cause fire. Before it blows the block the engine will have "hard starts" which will push frozen oil through the separator. If the ccv fails it will completely blow your engine gaskets. This is a known issue and their is a BMW X5 service bulletin that this should be looked at. BMW will not address the issue until it blows. It is a major malfunction that is not only expensive to fix well over the 3000 but very dangerous. I think an investigation into the BMW problem should be looked closely.

- Jackson, WY, USA

problem #5

Mar 082003


  • 48,000 miles


The engine seized without warning. At the time the engine stalled; light, white smoke came from the exhaust. The car and engine seemed to operate fine for about 20 minutes prior. No warning lights came up or smoke came from the exhaust during the 20 minutes of driving. Regular engine and oil changes were previously done. The mechanic is saying a new engine is required.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #4

Jan 212009


  • 82,500 miles
This past week Connecticut hit a very cold spell. 0. crank case vent valve froze. As a result, tremendous pressure built inside the crank case, the oil cap blew off and the engine stopped working properly. Have been told by the dealer that they have seen this problem before in the 2003 model year and that it is not an uncommon problem in very cold weather. We have also learnt the 2003 model has a design flaw where the valve is not insulated and newer models have changed the design to correct the problem. Part replaced by dealer. We were lucky our engine did not fail completely. Since this problem is known by BMW, and is a clear design defect. Shouldn't it be the subject of a recall?

- Ridgefield, CT, USA

problem #3

Mar 202007

X5 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 46,355 miles
Crankcase vent valve froze & blew off oil cap. Oil all over engine. Replaced crankcase vent value, w/ non original, & all hoses. Removed & cleaned out dipstick tube, distribution piece. Removed lower engine splash pan & stiffening plate. De-greased top & bottom of engine compartment. There is a service bulletin about this propensity for the crankcase to freeze. This is unacceptable in cold weather states. The auto is sold in the cold weather states regardless.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #2

Jun 082006

X5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,454 miles
: the contact stated while making a slow left hand turn, the vehicle stalled without warning, but restarted each time. The dealership reprogrammed the dme with version 43 and set the minimum idle to 750, this has corrected the problem. Updated 06/27/06 the consumers wife experienced the same problem.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #1

Aug 152003

(reported on)


  • miles
Model X5 RPM's increased rapidly with no pressure on the accelerator.

- Henderson, KY, USA

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