hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,351 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.

2008 BMW X5 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 BMW X5:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 BMW X5 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Dec 282015


  • miles


My dashboard light flick engine, ABS, parking break will shut off vehicle less than 10min driving with caution.

- Wyandanch, NY, USA

problem #39

Aug 302015


  • 69,000 miles
Overheating issue. I fixed the thermostat and the water hose but car immediately overheated once I got on the highway. This caused the car to immediately shut down on the freeway. This was a very dangerous situation.

- Paterson, NJ, USA

problem #38

Feb 262016


  • 40,000 miles
Engine, acceleration shutdown (on interstate highway - 2/26/16); monitor display false message of "warning: Engine hot; overheating." Engine not hot or overheated; cool to touch. Coolant level full. Car disabled. Car gave 45 seconds at full acceleration before sounding high pitched fan noise, then displaying "warning message" on center monitor, then losing pedal acceleration power on extremely busy interstate 87 South highway at night, with intermittent emergency shoulder access. Dangerous to maintain maneuverability to safety with high velocity trucks and cars barreling alongside vehicle. Suspected part defect is "electronic temperature gauge" sensor, causing car to instantly disable when it isn't hot. Car is seldom driven and under 40,000 miles. Problem is suspect and reported on a variety of BMW series, including every model year X5 at: repairpal.com/cooling-system-component-failure-after-60000-miles-139 and www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?T=561024.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #37

Aug 302012


  • 55,000 miles


I purchased a 2008 BMW X-5 with 50,000 miles on the odometer. I was shown proof from the used car dealership that the vehicle had only one prior owner, a female in her mid 50's. although the vehicle was immaculate and looked brand new, it needed a new right rear air suspension bag 3 months after the purchase and started leaking oil. Since purchasing the vehicle in 2012 I have continued to take the vehicle back to the same dealership at which time they clean the oil underneath, remove gaskets and bolts and reassemble everything to include using generous amounts of silicone. I recently took the vehicle back to the dealership and the owner did his usual "patch job" but he said this isn't working anymore and that the oil leak is actually coming from a failed gasket that is not accessible without removing the motor to the tune of $6,000 or more. The owner of the dealership further mentioned that the left rear air suspension bag has failed and needs to be replaced, as the car sits off camber while parked. The most important thing is that my vehicle had one owner, a middle aged female, my wife drives the car to the supermarket and kids school, not the race track so the failed gasket is clearly not the result of abusive driving, rather a manufacturers defect. According to the owner of the dealership, the 4.8 liter V-8 in my 2008 X-5 has been recalled for the same problem in the BMW 5,6 and 7 series. I am wondering if and when their might be a recall on the X-5's, as I do not have the money to replace the vehicle, yet I cannot afford to pay $6,000 + to fix the problem. I have talked with a lot of people both in and out of the car industry and the consensus is growing stronger and stronger that BMW uses faulty gaskets on purpose to make their money on the service end. BMW, the ultimate "servicing machine." My 2003 Ford Explorer, 218,000 miles has never had an issue?

- Paradise, CA, USA

problem #36

Sep 292014


  • 37,000 miles
My 2008 X5 3.0si started just out of the blue to have this super loud fan noise while driving in town to pick up my kids. It was not even hot outside so I was wondering what's wrong with it. Also got the water overheating warning. Brought the car to the dealer and it was determined that the water pump was faulty. Cost me almost $1400 and the car had only 37000 miles on the clock. Why is there no recall for the 2008 6cylinder engine?

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #35

Nov 282015


  • 126,000 miles
Engine stalled at traffic light. Unable to restart car. Everything completely locked down. Car had to be towed.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #34

Aug 222015


  • 57,000 miles


Car stalled and the message appeared on the dash board "engine too hot. Pull over and contact BMW representative". the issue is the water pump going bad causing engine to become hot. The dealer is saying that a new water pump is required.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #33

May 252015


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW X5. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled without warning. After restarting the vehicle, a rumbling noise was heard coming from the engine. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Norfork, VA, USA

problem #32

Mar 302015

X5 6-cyl

  • 91,848 miles
I noted that the vehicle was not running properly so I took the SUV into an authorized BMW service center to be inspected and repaired. I was notified that the vehicle had experienced a burned up wiring harness from a short circuit to the disa valve on the engine. I was also notified that cylinders 1, 3 and 5 had failed ignition coils, which was the reason for the poor operating performance. I was also informed that the vanos valves were sticking and may need replacing. Prior to the poor running performance, last year we experienced the car filling with smoke and had to evacuate the children and adults from the car when driving the car. The car was inspected and no problems were discovered and the smoke did not return, no codes were found. A few months later, November 2014, the car suffered a "major drive failure" warning message and would not shift into gear from an engine idle condition. Car was towed to a BMW mechanic and inspected. It was discovered that a fuse had blown and was replaced without further incident. From an engineering and design perspective, no wire on a car should melt and burn, since fuses are required to protect the circuits to prevent that very event. BMW of turnersville, NJ completed the inspection under invoice #[xxx]. I fell BMW should replace the failed wiring harness and disa valve, since it caused the fire by its failure. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #31

Sep 162014

X5 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
My wife was driving to pick up my son from school and she noticed a loud humming noise after about 15 minutes into the drive. The radiator fan kicked in because the engine coolant got above a certain temperature. After 10 minutes the warning label popped up to stop as soon as possible due to coolant temperature high. Also no hot air was coming from the heater. My suspicion that the electric water pump was failed was also confirmed by my dealer billjacobs of naperville which did the repair on the 31.March 2015.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #30

Feb 012015

X5 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles


Warning came engine overheating stop and call dealer.cooling fan blowing at full speed as if plane has started. Took to local mechanic who diagnosed water pump failure and told after 5 years majority of these cars having this problem and he has repaired many of them.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #29

Jan 012014

X5 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The vehicle shakes, runs rough and turns itself off when braking/stopped at red lights. I have taken the car to BMW naples and another repair shop. They requested I have a tune up and replace two sensors which I have done. Thousand of dollars later and the problem was not fixed. No one can tell me what the problem is. I have researched it online and found other people are having the same problem with their BMW X5.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #28

Jan 232015


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW X5. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 35 mph, the message ¿engine temperature high, drive slowly to cool the engine¿ and the engine warning indicator illuminated. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the electric auxiliary pump failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #27

Apr 042014


  • miles
I had already submitted a complaint under 10586821 due to the radiator but did not include that the mechanic said that the reason that radiator went out was because of the malfunction of the water pump which I also had to replace. I was told to amend the complaint once received but I never received anything in the mail. BMW knows that there is a problem and refuses to fix it. Also the passenger airbag indicator has been on for over a year. I was told that I would have to remove and have the airbags and sensors replace. What is the purpose of having something that is suppose to be for safety but it's malfunctioning. Therefore I have airbags that are not going to protect anyone in the course of an accident. This is also a common problem with BMW. This is not an age of car item because I had less than 40,000 miles when the indicator came on.

- Hazel Crest, IL, USA

problem #26

Sep 072014

X5 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
While driving on interstate 95 in philadelphia Pennsylvania just North of the airport my vehicle simply shut off in post game rush hour traffic. The engine stopped running and the power steering and power brakes failed. It was nothing short of a miracle that me and my son were not harmed and that we were able to muscle to car off the road. This car had 66,000 miles on the odometer and according to BMW, after my call, was not part of the 2008 X5's voluntary recall for this model year with normally aspirated in-line 6 cylinder engines to replace the low- pressure fuel pumps. Interestingly, in the BMW press release dated October 26, 2010 - 1130 am edt they stated that they had notified the ntsba that these pumps fail on my make and model of which they recalled 20,800 cars, the engine will stop running and the driver will lose power assist for the steering and brakes. Wow, at 50 mph on a super highway that was a nightmare and extremely dangerous.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #25

Aug 152014

X5 8-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
On a recent ride home from vacation (summer 2014), my family and I had to endure our 2008 BMW X5 stalled out and slowed to about 30 mph on interstate 95. There were no warnings of a potential problem or any upcoming maintenance needed. The information screen stated cruise control/engine malfunction. We were extremely surprised, overly alarmed and frightened as this was a dangerous and unsafe event. We were not using and have never used the cruise control. My family was scared of this unsafe ordeal but thank god, no one was injured. After researching these conditions, we found this similar incident occur to many other X5 BMW owners and date back as far as 2001. This throttle body defect is a safety issue and can cause bodily harm or death. If this car decreases in power, especially on an interstate, serious and deadly accidents can occur. Quite interesting is that this same diagnosis was identified with previous owners who've only owned their vehicles less than a year. Research shows this condition has been an issue for the past 10 years and BMW has not acknowledged, recalled and corrected the problem. My 2008 BMW X5 has about 52,000 and receive regular maintenance on time and as required. More important, the day before the incident we checked the vehicle system check and all systems were "ok." And two days later, the car shut down with no warning. My car was taken to northwest BMW in owings mills who diagnosed the problem as a throttle body defect.

- Owings Mills, MD, USA

problem #24

Aug 042014

X5 6-cyl

  • 50,330 miles
The 2008 X5 3.0L started to sound like a jet engine with the super loud fan noise. I thought the car was going to blow up. Took the car in for repair, and luckily the engine hadn't overheated yet. They found that the water pump was faulty, which caused the wiring to burn out, and observed oil leakage near engine. If I had driven the car any more, it would have caused significant damage to the engine of the vehicle. BMW service center told me that I have to replace the water pump, thermostat, and other parts including gasket something. Thank you.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #23

Jul 162014

X5 8-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
My BMW occasionally stalls at a low speed after a brake or in a turn. The engine is quietly off and the engine light is on. When I restart the engine, the engine light is off and it drives normal. It looks like a minor problem, but can be hazardous. At one time, my car stalled after I made a brake and started to turn. Suddenly I feel the steer wheel is locked and I lost some brake force. I almost crashed into the brick fence at the side of the road. It was really scary. I think it could be even more dangerous if it happen in certain circumstances, for example, brake before entering a highway, slow turning on a bridge. I've sent my car to the dealer and they traced no error and problems, and ask me to drive until the problem become more obvious. I wouldn't do this because with this problem the car may become a killing machine for myself and other people on the road. I do hope you can help me to contact BMW to find a solution.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #22

Jun 012014

X5 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
When I was driving around 30 mph and about to merge onto the highway, an orange warning sign came up that the engine was overheating and then immediately afterward a red sign came up stating that the engine was overheated and I could hear the loud noise from the fan. Immediately after that the vehicle stalled and I had to pull over to the shoulder. I waited for about 15 min. And when I restarted the vehicle, the fan was still loud and the red engine overheated sign came up again. I then had the vehicle towed to a repair facility. They diagnosed the issue as a defective electric water pump and said that the water pump and thermostat need to be replaced. The estimate for repair including parts and labor is around $1700. The vehicle is beyond the 4 year, 50000 miles warranty and apparently there are no recalls for this issue. Searching the internet, I am seeing numerous complaints from 2008 BMW X5 owners who experienced this exact same issue and had the same diagnosis. This is a very serious safety issue - when driving on a busy highway and suddenly losing all power in the vehicle, very few drivers would be lucky enough to pull over safely and avoid a serious accident. I request that the NHTSA consider this serious safety issue from a recall perspective due to the potential harm it can do to the lives of motorists who may not be lucky enough to avoid a serious crash. I believe the manufacturer should be held accountable for the basic safety of the vehicle. They should the needful to help owners fix the issue proactively, before it causes harm to more motorists.

- Boxboro, MA, USA

problem #21

Apr 302014


  • 46,000 miles
I was driving home from store when the coolant fan came on and would not go off. Display stated that the engine was over heating and if it continues take it in for service. The next morning I turned on the car and the same thing happened and was told not to drive the car because could damage the engine. Had the car towed and was told that it was the radiator. Was told that BMW resigned the radiator there for the hoses had to be done over. There was never any other indication prior to this. Was on my way driving out of town. Looked online and it appears that this is a common problem. This should not be happening with only 46,000 miles on the car. I have been the original owner.

- Hazel Crest, IL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?