really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,475 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.

2011 BMW X5 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 BMW X5 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jul 282015


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 BMW X5. While driving at approximately 40 mph, an abnormal loud noise was heard from the vehicle and an unknown warning indicator illuminated. In addition, the brake warning light illuminated. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Hollywood , FL, USA

problem #24

Jul 112015


  • 79,800 miles
Driving from highway speed to exit then around 20mph, engine just stopped, went into neutral, steering locked, check engine lights. Depressed brake and was able to restart car. It happened 2 more times within the next 2 hours. Will be getting to dealer or BMW shop.

- Missouri City , TX, USA

problem #23

Jul 032015

X5 8-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
I was driving at the hallway at 65 mph and the power to the car shut off. I almost crashed into other cars, when the engine reduce power light came on. I pulled over and waited 10 minutes to start the car. I went back home and it happened again.....updated 09/28/15 the went to the shop four times, and no one was able to diagnose the problem. Updated 10/08/15

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #22

May 092015


  • 79,000 miles


My vehicles purchased last year from BMW local dealer {jackie cooper imports] is equipped with 8- or 12-cylinder, turbocharged engines.the circuit board for the electric auxiliary water pump overheated. This lead to a smoldering of the pump and an engine compartment. BMW was supposed to notify owners, replace the auxiliary water pump, thermostat, and coolant reservoir free of charge. The two safety recalls related to this problem apparently did not include my vehicle. Ref NHTSA compaign recall #11V521000 and NHTSA compaign recall # 12V161000. I have logged a complaint about this with the dealership, and their recall resolution department in vain. I am being charged for parts and labor which I belief should be free a snoted by the two recalls.

- Oklahoma, OK, USA

problem #21

May 042015

X5 6-cyl

  • 40,375 miles
My wife and a toddler were driving home getting off the bridge and about to get on the on ramp to highway in nyc (bqe). All the sudden the car overheated and went into limp mode. Luckily there were no car behind her otherwise would be rear ended. She was able to pull to the right from the left lane and got onto local street to wait for it to cool down. This car had many close calls for serious or fatal accident. This car only has a little ok 40K miles. This is too early for a water pump to fail. This car is out of warranty and the cost of fix will be over $1000. The worst is my wife uses this car for work and drive the kid to school. Can bmwna be contacted and put this failure into recall. Thanks

- Rego Park, NY, USA

problem #20

Apr 042015

X5 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
I was on my way out of town on interstate 94W, when without warning my vehicle started to slow down and I could not accelerate. A sensor displayed stating the vehicle was overheating and to drive moderately. I was in the fast lane and had to get over at a moment's notice even with the vehicle slowing down. The second occurrence was on a busy street with a speed limit of 45 mph, and the car overheated, and stated "engine hot" and it proceeded to shut down. I could not accelerate and was almost hit from behind but the car switched to another lane at the last minute. This car put my life into danger 2 times to many. Something needs to happen before someone dies.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #19

Apr 072015


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 BMW X5. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the water pump fractured. The contact heard the fan running extremely high. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who diagnosed that the water pump, the cooling system and the thermostat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 12V161000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 48,000.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #18

Jan 282015

X5 6-cyl

  • 69,569 miles
BMW X5 35I 2011 AWD, I was on major deegan highway exiting at 230 St when the my BMW X5 35I 2011 AWD sudden stopped and my heart when too my feet. The panel read "engine malfunction " I was in a daze not knowing what happen to the BMW X5 35I 2011 AWD and why did it stop all of sudden !!! I started again at a very slow pace less than 10 mph and trying to get out of the way of traffic on the exit on 230 street, I made it too the veterans affairs hospital at 8:30 or 9:00 am in the morning. I called aaa to tow to a shop than I was found out this BMW X5 35I 2011 AWD had a recall so I got it tow too portchester BMW where the vehicle is at now and don't when I will get back. If this is the problem with this BMW X5 35I 2011 AWD this BMW X5 35I 2011 AWD should never be on any us road at all its an accident ready to happen very dangerous, very dangerous for a BMW X5 35I 2011 AWD to have a sudden stop " engine malfunction " some one is going too die in this BMW X5 35I 2011 its too dangerous to drive and risk my life a us marine veteran. Take this BMW X5 35I 2011 off the roads of the United States before some want gets killed !!!!!!!

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #17

Jan 092015

X5 6-cyl

  • 59,600 miles
While driving on the highway suddenly car registered a fault saying "engine problems - reduced power" causing me to swerve and nearly causing an accident... the car drastically reduced power and I was able to limp home with reduced speed.

- Lewisvlle, TX, USA

problem #16

Nov 302014


  • 58,000 miles
While driving on highway 121 suddenly the lights came on and I was warned that if I don't pull over and reduce my speed my engine will suffer damage. This caused me to swerve and try to take the first exit, which luckily was coming up. There was a liquid discharge under the car. Water pump failed and thermostat burned out... damages over 1000 usd. This seems to be a theme with 3.0I vehicles of that year. BMW would not repair even though higher cylinder engines are covered under recall.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #15

Nov 252014


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 BMW X5. The contact stated that the vehicle over heated without warning and was not able to be driven. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for further inspection and diagnosis. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 11V521000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Marlborough, CT, USA

problem #14

Nov 152014


  • 52,560 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW X5. While driving 55 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn and the engine stalled. The check engine and brake warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the idle pulley bar and belt needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 52,560.

- Glenview, IL, USA

problem #13

Sep 192014

X5 6-cyl

  • 47,100 miles
This complaint specifically addresses the recall listed below. Even though this recall was issued in April, no resolution has been available. The very thing the recall was trying to prevent, happened to me and my family. Report receipt date: Apr 10, 2014 NHTSA campaign number: 14V176000 I was stranded Friday, 09/19/14, along with my wife and dog by my new to me X5. Yes, it was the vanos recall bolts that failed. The car only made it a few hundred yards after the cel and engine malfunction lights came on. The car shook, sputtered, and died and would not restart. We were left in a dangerous situation. Additionally, since the car would not start, we could not get it into neutral. It ended up taking us more than 5 hours to get a tow truck that had the equipment that would help us. No tow truck operator knows how or is willing to crawl under and remove the transmission cover and unlock the gears. The lack of ability to go this electronic transmission into neutral is really unbelievable. I cannot imagine a much more unsafe scenario. I checked on the vanos bolts recall twice in the last month and was told no parts were available. This recall should have been handled in a timely manner and not left until the car fails and places it's owners in a very dangerous situation. I'm waiting to hear back from BMW of nashville about how extensive the damage is to internals, but they already called and said it is sheared / broken vanos bolts. Specifically the recall issue. P.S. this happened on Friday. I tried to get a loaner car, Friday, Saturday, and today and am told none are available. We never ran into that situation with our last 2 vehicles, which were both infiniti's. it's ridiculous that I am stranded and can't even get to work due to a recall for a car that only has 47K miles.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #12

Sep 032014

X5 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
The car warning light came on as "reduced power". took the car into crevier BMW in santa ana. There is a recall on the vanos system for our car. We have had multiple problems before this as well. Last June, the engine oil housing unit was replaced. Now the problem points to the vanos on the diagnostic test done at the dealer. However, the dealer and BMW North America will not address the issues. Both keep telling us that the "parts are not available" and that there is a recall on the vehicle but will look into it only when or if the parts become available. Thus, for them to repair the issues right now, we would need to pay. This seems to be a scam and convenience on their part not to address the issues. I would ask NHTSA to please look into this type of practice and make BMW responsible and accountable to their customers. Thank you.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #11

Aug 012014

X5 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Only after about 10 minutes of driving in the neighborhood, we got a warning "engine hot, drive moderately" then a few minutes later, it said to engine hot, and to stop the car immediately. We had to pull the car over and after engine cooled a bit, take our 2011 X5 to the nearest shop in an emergency. The shop mechanic had to replace the water pump and said that it is a common problem with BMW X5, even though we only had 71,000 miles. I looked online and there is a recall affecting water pumps for BMW X5 2011 (engine and engine cooling:engine:other fuel types:turbo-charger recall number: 11V521000) but when I called BMW, it said that my particular engine is not recalled. The mechanic says this is unusual for such a new car to have engine overheating due to water pump failure, this should be investigated for safety issue.

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #10

May 082014

X5 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW X5. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the engine warning light illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician diagnosed there was a malfunction in the engine with the torque screw. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 09/05/14 updated 12/4/2014

- Co Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #9

May 022014

X5 6-cyl

  • 59,238 miles
Oon Friday, May 2, 2014 I was doing about 75mph on the expressway in atlanta heading home form a movie at around 1120pm and immediately without any warning or a engine light within my 2011, BMW X5 began to go into safe mode decreasing my speed from 75 to 0 in less than 60 seconds eventually stalling and unable to restart. The car took over and went into neutral by itself and I was unable to accelerate or control the speed on my own. Atlantas 285 expressways has multiple lanes and though traffic was not as heavy as it generally is during rush hours, I had to frantically navigate myself over six lanes to the shoulder road (avoiding the main lane by the exterior wall out of fear of someone hitting me from behind). I began to cry uncontrollably and immediately hit the sos option within the car and explain what just occurred to the representative on the phone. The lady was extremely pleasant and did her best to put me at ease and assured me assistance was on the way. I then called my husband and had him meet me there as well. Within an hour a towing company had come and asked me if I wanted them to take it to the nearest BMW dealership and I stated sure that dealership was nalley BMW.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #8

Aug 102013

X5 6-cyl

  • 36,350 miles
Vehicle lost all power (mechanical and electrical) without warning. This occurred while cruising at highway speed, under normal conditions. The vehicle lost power steering and braking became significantly more difficult. After drifting safely to the highway shoulder the vehicle remained disabled and could not started. The car exhibited no signs that it would start again. Instrumentation did not display information and towing was necessary. Several days after delivery to the BMW service center, technicians advised they had attempted to repair the problem. The stated cause was vanos bolts shearing off into the engine. However, on the test drive the vehicle suffered another complete failure, leaving it disabled. 56 days later a remanufactured engine had replaced the original due to failed repair attempts.

- Ebensburg, PA, USA

problem #7

Mar 312014

X5 6-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
Vanos intake and exhaust units need to be replaced, along with some other parts related to this. Car has been at the BMW center for almost 1 week. While I was driving down a busy road, the "engine malfunction, reduced power" error message came on. I also noticed, the car had turned off and I had not control over the power steering wheel or brakes. My main concern is this happening again, luckily I was not on the highway and had no one in front of me, otherwise it could have been much worse due to no power steering availability or brakes.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 122014

X5 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
My 2011 X5 35I has an acceleration delay. BMW has recognized it as an issue in the 535I models, calling it an "acceleration delay" and have issued an sib software update to repair it, but have not done so for the X5 model. I feel this issue is dangerous and a safety issue.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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