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1
General X5 Forum (E53) / replace single tyre?
« on: January 22, 2018, 09:00:36 AM »
My '53 x5 has Michelins all round, but one of them (nearside left) is approaching legal limit. The Offside left is a matching Michelin but is a good tyre which has 4-5mm left.  I don't have any issues on the car, but will need to address the tyre that's due for replacement - do you think it will be ok just to replace that one? 

to my thinking that will result in less RR difference than there is currently.. 

2
General X3 Forum (E83) / Left hand power mirror doesn't...
« on: October 03, 2017, 10:49:53 PM »
So the electric folding works perfectly on the drivers side, but the left does nothing and feels a little loose.

Is this a common issue?  Is there a 'usual culprit' component that will have broken?  I'd like to fix it for her if I can!

All advice appreciated.

3
General X3 Forum (E83) / Faulty 'mode' button on Stereo?
« on: October 03, 2017, 10:48:07 PM »
Anyone had this?  Or have I missed something ?!

On my X5 the mode button switches between stereo sources.  On her X3, the mode button does literally nothing.  The default is the radio, and the only way to play a CD is for it to automatically start when you insert it, and the only way to switch back is eject the CD.. and the CD changer in the armrest is powered up but we can't switch to it..

Am I being dumb?!

In better news, the Bluetooth works perfectly with her iPhone!

4
So she's had her 2.5i X3 for a few days now and has noticed two issues.  Neither are major, but she's mentioned them..

For ref - the car has covered just over 100k, has a full service history, (most recent service only about 3k ago), is a 2.5i with a manual gearbox, I believe the engine is the M54 as it's a 2004 car.

1 - Small knock under braking.  I only drove the car briefly and didn't notice this, but she says occasionally when braking at low speed there's a knock noise - having dug into this it sounds like it's a single one-off knock just as the attitude of the car changes.  I am assuming it could be a bush - though the new MOT last week gave no advises.  Any thoughts on this would be appreciated!

2 - mild hesitation on acceleration in lower gears.  The idle is fine and smooth, and there's no lack of power, and the car will rev freely up the range.  This hesitation seems to be at lower revs (say around 2k) when accelerating, and is just a mild almost stutter at that point.  It's not bad, but seems to be consistently there.  It's not particularly noticeable in higher gears.  She's done a hundred or so miles in one mostly motorway journey with no issues - this seems to be only noticeable at lowish speed, low gears, round town.  She's not an aggressive driver at all, in fact quite the opposite.  There's no warning lights on or anything like that. 

I started googling - I'd never heard of VANOS before which someone suggested, and that doesnt sound fun - but it also sounds like vanos issues would have a more pronounced effect on the idle and power in general?   Also, Maf sensor seems unlikely given how silky smooth the car is in general, it's only this mild hesitation at that point of the revs.  Another source said vacuum leaks etc - at this point I thought I'd ask all you guys if you've had anything similar!!

all advice appreciated!

Thanks

Ben

5
General X3 Forum (E83) / Picked up an X3 last night :)
« on: September 27, 2017, 02:26:09 PM »
So have been looking for a while for an X3 for my ex - she loves my X5, and had her heart set on an X3, but only has a limited budget, so we've been looking at the very cheapest end of the market. 

Not surprisingly, we've seen some proper rubbish at dealers being presented as great condition..  (worst was a shockingly bad one with bad oil leaks from engine and diff, a really rough engine note, jerky clutch, a terrible MOT history for a few years where the advisory was that it was so overdue for a service he could hardly get it past emissions, then the following year it still wasn't done and failed and he put in capitals about it causing engine damage, it was showing several warning lights, AC was feeble and it was proper tatty all round - still up for 2.5k!)

We ruled out the 2.0d and the 2.0 petrol, along with any automatics, and narrowed the focus to 2.5i petrol manuals, and set the autotrader search alerts accordingly!  we were looking for proper histories, not mad miles (though if the history was perfect we wouldn't have ruled out a higher mileage one) and as clean as possible - she didn't want a battered school run special.  Not that we're fussy or anything ;) Though its frustrating how very few adverts actually resemble the truth - Immaculate shouldn't mean every panel is scratched and dinged!

Having ruled a few out, this one popped up on AT yesterday, and we were all over it - a hasty 230 mile round trip last night, and she's now a very very happy lady indeed!

It's a 2.5i petrol 6sp manual, full history right up to date with all the paperwork, really good mot history too and a brand new MOT with no advises (again), almost new tyres all round, new discs and pads all round, bone dry on diffs and gbox and engine, no knocks or clonks or rattles (can see it's had a couple of new lower arms/bushes), brand new 5yr guarantee battery, and is absolutely immaculate both inside and out. No parking dings, no scratches, couple of (tiny) stonechips on leading edge of bonnet. Has bluetooth as well.  Has clearly been very well looked after indeed!  Private sale, very nice older chap,  and I reckon this was a bargain at £2.6k.







Issues?  Passenger side folding mirror doesn't, and a fingernail sized patch of bubbled plastic cover on the window trim by one rear window.  ummmm..  That's it.  Drives absolutely beautifully, nice clutch, great brakes, everything silky smooth and everything seems to be 100% working.

It was interesting for me to compare with my X5.  I definitely prefer the ride quality of the X5, as the X3 seems not quite as unruffled by poor surfaces.  I prefer the brakes on the X3.  I prefer the stereo in the X3. I like the low boot floor in the X3. I prefer the 'spacious' feeling in the X5, the 3 definitely feels more cramped in the cockpit, while not being a small car at all!  I reckon I'd be very happy with an X3 - but would want the 3.0 diesel version.  She does very few miles, so the fuel figures of the 2.5 petrol were not an issue for her.

Immediate plans:

 - Install an Aux cable for the stereo
 - Work out how to pair hew iphone to the bluetooth unit
 - do the same LED headlight upgrades we did on the X5
 - maybe replace the bootlid bmw badge as it's a little blemished
 - replace the number plates as both are looking a little tired.

think that's it!

Looking forward to seeing how this works out for her.

6
General X3 Forum (E83) / What to look for - Cheap X3..
« on: September 08, 2017, 01:17:26 PM »
So my ex-gf has spotted this car for sale..  Fresh MOT etc on it..

I know nothing about these engines or this model.  She loves my X5, and this really appeals to her!

Would really appreciate your thoughts and advice!  It's a cheapy one, but is still pushing her budget, so a) don't want to get it wrong, and b) there's not much more ££ to add.

She drives very few miles, circa 5k annually, mostly school runs and shopping and the occasional 40mile motorway run to visit me.  Manual is her preference too.

Please help!

7
General X5 Forum (E53) / LED Headlights.. Wow!
« on: August 24, 2017, 03:22:39 PM »
I already had HIDs for the dipped beam lights, which were excellent - very strong lights, nice white colour, great coverage. 

But - when going to main beam, the standard bulbs I had didn't really add anything, as the dipped were so good. 

Picked up a set of these after a recommendation in a facebook group, and they arrived today - £33 delivered from Amazon, nicely made, took about 2 mins to replace.  They have integrated cooling fans and a little inverter for the power, build quality looks fine.


https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XX1V25H/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_f1PNzbX0PPS1G

They're canbus compliant, and I have no errors showing.  What's not clear from the pictures is that there are LEDs both sides.

Turned them on, and well, judge for yourself as these are 1pm daylight pictures!

You can see the HIDs I already had compared to the standard main beam.


8
General X5 Forum (E53) / EGR Delete / bypass?
« on: July 21, 2017, 12:14:21 PM »
On past vehicles, I've had great results from eliminating the EGR, followed by a clean (like terraclean).  In fact I've been truly shocked at how much crap has needed to be cleaned out that results from the EGR process.

On one, it totally resolved a recurring limp mode issue, as well as a much smoother and stronger response. I've ended up viewing EGR bypass as a positive thing.

Every vehicle is different though, so what's the view here on doing this on the E53 3.0d?  Is this a popular route to go down?  Any particular challenges?

Mines a 53 plate pre-facelift model.  It's been remapped already, and is a super drive - I'm not looking for performance gains, its more I just like the idea of stopping all that crap being chucked back in.

So, have many done this?  any recommendations welcome!


9
This covers the installation of a Parrot MKi9200 into an E53 with the widescreen SatNav head unit.

The parrot gives full Bluetooth hands free, including voice control of dialling and answering, contact synching,  USB music management with artwork on the display unit, Aux input, Bluetooth streaming audio etc, and intelligently mutes the normal stereo while in use.  It’s a good solid unit – I’ve had the same one in 6 different cars now.


You will need:
One parrot MKi9200 hands free kit.  This has a display module, a dual microphone, a USB and aux interface lead, the controller itself, a remote control unit with scroll wheel and interface leads for standard units.



One BMW SOT lead – this fits ‘between’ the existing amplifier and the speaker connections, and provides the interface point for the parrot to connect to.



One 5m long loom extension cable, to run from the parrot controller back to the electronics in the boot.
I bought all my kit from justcarkits.co.uk – used them for years and they’re really helpful, but there’s plenty of other sources.



Screwdrivers and a set of Torx bits

Socket set

ESSENTIAL – a set of trim pry tools – I wouldn’t consider doing this without them, they make it SO much easier and hugely reduce the risk of damaging trim.



Turn your Ignition OFF!

I start by gently prising the stereo surround from each side.  Dead easy with a plastic pry tool, and it just pops out.


There are four torx heads holding the stereo in, located here:  I’ve seen people opening the flip front and pulling the stereo fuse to lock it open etc – but frankly a fine torx tool simply works without the need to go through all that, it’s very straightforward.


Pull the stereo out, and let it rest carefully so as not to scratch anything.  On this pic you can see the location of the official AUX IN connector on the loom – I already had this fitted, but if you don’t – this is where it goes.


Gently pry the wood trim to the side of the stereo towards the steering wheel.  This makes an excellent place to mount the Parrot Display, and the display lead can simply be tucked behind that trim and routed into the cavity behind the stereo ready for connecting later.





Use plastic pry to remove the ‘AIRBAG’ plastic cover on the A pillar.  This simply hides the TORX screw head which holds the A pillar in place.  Once removed, its easy to pull the A pillar to one side – go careful and don’t use anything sharp, there IS an airbag behind there.  You wont need to disturb it if you carefully route the microphone cable around it.



Here’s where I mounted the microphone:


In the boot, remove the boot floor and the spare wheel.  Use your socket set to undo the bolts holding the compressor dome frame, and lift the whole assembly out of the way.

Unscrew the electronics cover panel



This is the connector you are looking for – the big square connector on top of the radio amp.  Make sure your ignition is off and keys in pocket before disconnecting anything!



use the lever and disconnect the connector.  (if you’ve not done this before, look at the lever on your parrot lead, to get how you pinch the release before lifting the lever!)   Make a note of the two additional connectors highlighted, as you’ll need to transfer these too in a minute.


Connect one end the parrot SOT lead to the amp, and the other end to the lead you just disconnected.  Transfer the secondary connectors from the old lead back onto the amp as shown:


TEST!  At this point, if you turned your radio on you would have no sound.  However - you can connect the 5m extension cable temporarily, and plug the blue parrot control unit to the other end.  Try your radio now, and confirm that you have sound coming through the speakers as normal.



If all good, switch everything off again, disconnect the blue box and start routing the leads – make sure nothing is going to be ‘pinched’ or crushed when the frame and wheel are back in place.



Pop out your rear bench seat (lift from front edge) and bring the extension cable through from the rear to the nice big gap under the seat.



Pry off your front and rear door trims, so that you can tuck the cable well away under the corner of the carpet




In the passenger footwell, the lower trim is held with a screw and two twistlock connectors.  With that and the side trim free, its easy to route the cable up to the cavity behind the stereo.



I ran the USB and AUX lead down from the stereo cavity and into the front ashtray –there’s a hole in the side of the ashtray which I needed to enlarge a little to get the USB connector in, but it tucks away nicely.  Some prefer to have this in the glovebox.



That’s pretty much it – connect up the extension lead, the USB lead, the Microphone lead, the display lead and tuck it all away tidily behind the stereo.
Find a place that suits for the controller and stick it there.



Turn your ignition on – it will boot automatically, you’ll need to go through the usual pairing process (only once, it’s remembered after that) and job’s a goodun! Click the green button to activate voice dialling. Plug in a big USB full of music.  In audio effects, you might want to turn off the bass expansion as it’s a bit overplayed!





Hope that helps..

Ben

10
General Discussion / Alloy refurbishment - south
« on: June 22, 2017, 09:42:22 PM »
Any recommendations?

Mine aren't battered, scratched or scabby, just losing some lacquer - would be nice to get refreshed.

I'm in Havant, so anywhere Chichester to Fareham of interest, I work in Waterlooville..

11
Problems / MOT advises?
« on: June 22, 2017, 09:40:20 PM »
So I put my new x5 in for an early MOT for peace of mind (there was only a couple of months left on it anyway)

Failed on:
 - Offside Front Front suspension has excessive play in a lower suspension ball joint rear arm (2.5.B.1a)

Got that fixed, and the handbrake adjusted (drums needed cleaning out etc) and she now has a new MOT.

However, I have three advises:

 - Nearside Front Suspension arm has slight play in a pin/bush front arm outer bush (2.4.G.2)
 - Offside Front Suspension arm has slight play in a pin/bush front arm outer bush (2.4.G.2)
 - rear differential oil leaking from drive shaft seals

Looking at the past MOT history, the oil seepage from the rear drive shaft seals was an advise over the last couple of years too.

So..  Is this a common issue? Do I need to worry? She's only done 88k now, and has only been doing about 5k a year for the last few.  Any thoughts on predicted costs would be great.

Also, since having the balljoint done today, there's a slight drift to the left now, so I'm assuming an alignment is required - should that be all four, or will just the fronts be sufficient?

Thanks!

Ben

12
General X5 Forum (E53) / This week's upgrades and progress..
« on: June 19, 2017, 05:30:31 PM »
Got some nice jobs done this week! Have only had her a few weeks, and she's proving to be superb.

3.0D manual, remapped to around 238, only 83k, 1 owner from new until 3 weeks back, FSH, widescreen nav, dual climate, Webasto (with genuine webasto remote activation), HIDs, etc etc.



So, this week:

- Dashcam installed, with permanent supply using switched feed from within headlining, so no unsightly cabling about the place, and fully automatic operation.

-  AUX input cable installed (genuine bmw one, was an absolute doddle to fit, is now hidden in centre console ashtray so can be used as required.  Will be replaced by full parrot kit in due course, but I need a day to do that and won't have it for a few weeks)

-  SatNav firmware upgraded to v32, and 2017 map disc installed. (Also found the hidden menu and enabled 3D perspective view on the satnav - much better!)

-  Front sidelights replaced with LED ones - perfect match for the HIDS and look great. No warnings either. I picked up a spare set just in case!

-  2hrs of T-cut and polish dealt with a few little blemishes and also where it was keyed in the first week of ownership (buggers!!)

-  Rear wiper replaced with an E70 arm and blade (the spring had gone on the old one) and new front wipers fitted.

 - Small repair to inner light in upper tailgate where the plastic clip was broken - VHB tape is marvellous.

Next steps:

Repair: She's going in on Thursday to have a rear lower control arm replaced, as it's got some play in it. (Not sure yet of the cost!) and have an early MOT put on - its not due yet, I just want the peace of mind and a thorough check over.

Towing: Shes going in the following day to have a second socket put on for towing the caravan, currently only has single electrics.

Hands free: I have a parrot 9200 I pulled out of my Audi - I've now received the proper bmw lead for this, and the 5m extension cable for the loom to run through to the boot - need to double check I have everything before attempting this!

Phone Bracket - I'd like a nice holder for the mobile - so many of them are utter plakky rubbish, any recommendations appreciated.

Mats - I want to replace the horrible chunky rubber mats, with QUALITY carpet ones.

Dead pixels - the Satnav is perfect, but the panel under the speedo has some dead pixels - need to look into whats involved to fix these!

Alloys refurbishing - theyre not scabby at all but are starting to lose the lacquer - would really like to get these back to looking all nice and shiny all over.

Investigate LED upgrades for the main beam.  The HIDs for dip are simply superb, but the mains don't really add much at all.

Find some paint to repair a little patch where the matt black paint on the trim round the window has peeled - its only a little bit, but unsightly.  Again, all suggestions welcome!

Watch this space!  What have you done to yours?



13
General X5 Forum (E53) / Any towing tips??
« on: June 19, 2017, 04:50:26 PM »
I've been towing a long time, so not expecting any major hassle at all, but if there are any particular X5-related foibles to be aware of I'd be grateful!

Truck is a 3.0d with a manual box (lovely!), remapped to around 238BHp, and towing a medium size 2 berth van (max rating of 1180Kg, so not too bad at all) - I'm expecting it to be a complete doddle.

Are the genuine beemer extension mirrors worth having?  (Anyone selling any?!) or shall I just use the usual cheap and cheerful ones?

Thanks!

14
Newbies section / New to me, low mileage 1 owner, v pleased
« on: June 07, 2017, 11:20:37 PM »
Evening all..

Just picked up my first X5 - purchased privately from the guy who bought it new 14 years ago so I'm only the second owner..  only 83k from new, garaged all it's life, and he's just retired having sold his garage business, so if this is anything other than properly maintained there's no hope!

He was proper fussy, too.  It's a 3.0 diesel with a manual gearbox  :) , properly remapped (not a tuning box) to about 234brake, but other than that and HIDs she's very standard, and immaculate - interior also completely unmarked. FSH as you'd expect, he's just put new tyres on too.  Has the navigation but no bluetooth.
I have every paper from new, other that servicing/tyres/brakes there's been very little needed, though the turbo was replaced under warranty when it was about 2 years old. Oh and a new drivers door handle.




So far, I've done about 500 miles - no rattles, knocks or creaks whatsoever, she drives absolutely like new and pulls very nicely. (very pleased, after having a dog of an A6 quattro that has been a total moneypit!)  I've had two 3 series with the 3.0d in, one auto and one manual, and having had both am very pleased to find a manual X5!

Only one fault spotted so far - the spring loading on the rear wiper arm is poor, and doesn't contact the glass well even with a new blade - suspect a replacement is going to happen in short order. 

Plans - I have the 5m long leads on order for the installation of the parrot bluetooth (I'm always on call so this is essential for me) - that sounds like it'll be a pain to install though. I also need to locate a switched supply for the dashcam.

I also want to get the alloys re-lacquered - they aren't scratched or scabby at all, but the lacquer is starting to disappear and needs re-doing.  I quite like the 19s so they will stay.

Oh - and it has the heavy duty rubber floormats.  Ugh.  I will be wanting to source a nice set of quality grey carpet ones.

That's it for starters!  Hi all :)

Ben



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