really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
110,125 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.

2004 BMW X5 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #8

Dec 042018


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 BMW X5. While driving 55 mph on the freeway, the vehicle jerked severely. Suddenly, the engine powered down in the middle of traffic. The contact was able to pull the vehicle over safely onto the shoulder. A message indicating "fail safe" appeared on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home. The vehicle was later taken to ray catena BMW (543 tarrytown rd, white plains, NY 10607, (914) 761-5555) where it was diagnosed that a new engine and valve pump needed to be installed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and did not assist. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 012017


  • 157,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW X5. While attempting to start the vehicle, the engine stalled without warning and the oil service and battery indicators illuminated. The dealer was not notified. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, but did not offer any assistance. The failure mileage was 157,000.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #6

Oct 222015


  • 125,000 miles
The vehicle started smoking from under the hood while driving in town to the post office. Upon parking the vehicle at the post office, it caught fire under the hood and the fire dept. Had to be called to force open the hood to put out the fire. The entire front of the vehicle was damaged in front of the fire wall. The usps moved employees/customers to the rear of the building for precaution of explosion and smoke inhalation of the burning plastic, rubber and related parts. It was fortunate I could quickly park rather than being on the highway.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #5

Jan 052014


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 BMW X5. The contact stated that the service engine soon warning lamp kept flashing intermittently for an extended period of time. As the failure progressed, the vehicle started riding roughly, shaking, and vibrating. The first time the vehicle was taken to the dealer, the technician reset the code, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who replaced the coil springs and the spark plugs. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer a third time since the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure several times. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Armonk, NY, USA

problem #4

Apr 012014


  • 88,000 miles
My X5 has been a fairly reliable vehicle with some quirkiness along the way. I had a "crossover pipe" to start leaking coolant. The thing to look for is if you open your hood, and look in the center of the engine (from the front), there is a small hole. Coolant will collect and pour out of that hole onto the ground. The fix through BMW is anywhere from $9000-$10,000; if you are going to allow BMW to replace the part and labor charges with some parts. What happens is over time the seals go back in this part, and the only way to get to it is to open your entire engine, to replace the pipe. I went to a local car shop that specializes in foreign vehicle repair named kelly moss motor sports near madison Wisconsin, and they were able to do this job for under $3000. They did fantastic work, and my vehicle has not leaked since! this part will eventually go bad, especially if you live in a climate with constant hot temps or extreme weather that goes from hot to cold (both destroy the rubber gaskets in this pipe). I am attaching a link for those who want to see what the pipe looks like. Https://www.agacoolantpipe.com/product/N62-coolant-pipe.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #3

Jun 122013

X5 8-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
The BMW X5 is very poorly made and BMW does not stand behind any issues or care. My 2004 BMW X5 has the known jerking at low speeds, turns which feels like you have been hit in the [xxx] end. I also was going to work and lost all my coolant, the water pump and coolant pipe need replaced/repaired which is not a cheap job..it is more than the value/cost of this vehicle(if done at a BMW dealer). These issues are known and very common. BMW should issue recalls for these problems or give assistance for repairs instead of constantly making excuses and giving reasons on why they will not help! I have been and will continue to do anything I can to get assistance for my repairs and hopefully many others. BMW does not care about their buyers, unless it is a new vehicle and you do all your dealings with a BMW service department which I feel is unfair, customers should be able to choose any good mechanic instead of having to travel to and/or pay BMW outrageous fees for repairs. It is not safe to have these issues and run out of coolant(anywhere anyway from home) or to constantly have the massive jerk with the transmission. BMW needs to issue recalls and stand behind the tranny, coolant pipe, and water pump issues and failures. The BMW is not worth the money, they are made poorly, very expensive to repair, and have horrible customer service. BMW says the "internet and people say alot of things but that does not mean its a problem" and as I said to them...when many many people have the same issues then yes, it is a real problem!!!! it is not like people are asking for assistance or recalls on minor or normal repairs and maintenence!!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Shamokin , PA, USA

problem #2

Oct 102012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW X5. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the vehicle stalled and the trans fail safe program warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact pulled the vehicle over and restarted, as it functioned properly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that they could not determine the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 252012


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW X5. The contact stated that bruning fumes were emitted into the vehicle through the air vents. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnose that the diaphragm broke causing an oil leakage into the engine and as a result, the ccv valve needed to be repaired. Also, the mechanic stated that the vehicle was not included on any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made are of the failure who referred him to NHTSA. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Simsonville, SC, USA

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