More work than expected on the BMW X5 35d diesel

Posted By on October 26, 2015

I picked up Brenda's 2010 BMW X5 35d on Friday night and started tinkering with it this weekend (yes, my wife's — bummer! — but her 1998 Rav4 needed to be replaced). She absolutely fell in love with the panoramic sunroof (see below) and didn't seem to mind the “many” creature comforts either. There were a few more issues than I expected even though I knew it was less than perfect. Hopefully there aren't too many surprise mechanical problems as I'm counting on this one owner SUV with all the service records to go a few more miles.

On the plus side, it is A LOT of fun to drive and handles like no other sport ute I've driven. This heavy, full-size “truck” (see mini tailgate above) has amazing torque and pulls through all 6 gears and gets quickly up to highway speed. Once cruising, the under 2000 RPM diesel engine feels like it is idling, even though it growling along at 70 mph. Hopefully we'll be able to close in on 30 mpg when on the highway too?

For now, it's learning how to take care of the things I can do at home. I've got to find a second keyfob, athough may have to have the chip matched to the VIN number — dealer only. There are a couple other issues that won't prevent driving it, but need to be addressed.

  1. Keyfob
  2. AC — checked the charge today, but it is fully charged and still not blowing cold?
  3. Plastic fastner on mirror and rear bumper
  4. Common firewall baffle (see Bimmerforum note below)
  5. There are 4 main parts but you may only need one or two parts. Theres the large main bulkhead tray/partition and if you locate the large rubber weatherstrip that seals to the hood, essentially three more vertical parts. Left (driver), center, and right (passenger). These prices are likely lower at ECS tuning or pelican parts and other online sites. They are likey 50% higher (or more) at local dealer. Screws can be reused, only hardware that likey will break on removal are the plastic expanding rivets, appears 4 on mine are new and had to be replaced. Not exactly sure the total quantity used, it depends on which parts are being removed.

    Most all the bulkheads ive seen broken (including mine) are the left/right partitions. Many say it splits due to heat which is possible, although mine were broken while at the dealer from techs or supporting fixtures applying pressure while doing the job. They are fragile. When mine was in for cylinder head valve stem seals (huge job) i took pre and post pics (lifelong habit when going to the dealer….some bad experiences) so i knew when/how they broke, although the dealer said they were replacing due to a 'known issue in a tsb' so i never had to press the issue of responsibility of replacement.

    Fyi….there are some small minor plastic pieces that are quite inexpensive in the overall assembly, however they are highly unikely to break unless in a hard collision….even then, they dont appear to create a structural hazard or airflow leak if they have small stress cracks. If being done at the dealer and not DIY, probably a $30 max increase in job. I did find all the required parts using these numbers on ebaynew from reputable oem bmw dealers for under $200, including 10 plastic rivets. Id still however buy from sites mentioned above in case a problem occurs. The main lower section is a LARGE delicate part.

    • bulkhead engine compartment top left qty1 51717169419 $59.07
    • Partition, engine compartment, top right qty1 51717169420 $59.07
    • Partition, engine bay, top center qty1 51717169421 $42.25
    • Partition, engine bay, lower center qty1 51717169422 $88.40
    • Expanding rivet D = 6MM qty?? 51111908077 $0.30


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