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      12-05-2018, 09:10 PM   #1
bmwpower603
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X5 M / s63 reliability

I am currently looking into purchasing a 2011 x5 M .. Iíve owned a few bmw v8s. Nothing of this caliber though. The x5 M Iím looking at currently has 127k miles. Which is a lot on these engines I assume. .

The one Iím looking at has a check engine light, which I havenít scanned with ista yet. But. Will be doing that tomorrow. (The car seems like itís in limp mode, and misfiring at idle) I assume itís probably leaky injector.

But I was looking to get some information of how these engines hold up overall. Do they ever need bottom ends , like the e39 m5, and some other v8 bmw sports cars.

How are the transmissions on these? I know the 8 speeds are good. But Iím not so sure about these.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. !
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      12-05-2018, 09:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bmwpower603 View Post
I am currently looking into purchasing a 2011 x5 M .. Iíve owned a few bmw v8s. Nothing of this caliber though. The x5 M Iím looking at currently has 127k miles. Which is a lot on these engines I assume. .

The one Iím looking at has a check engine light, which I havenít scanned with ista yet. But. Will be doing that tomorrow. (The car seems like itís in limp mode, and misfiring at idle) I assume itís probably leaky injector.

But I was looking to get some information of how these engines hold up overall. Do they ever need bottom ends , like the e39 m5, and some other v8 bmw sports cars.

How are the transmissions on these? I know the 8 speeds are good. But Iím not so sure about these.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. !
S63 is one of the best engines out there, that in case if it was taking care of especially at that milage.
I don't know what your budget and where in NH you are, but my 2013 is for sale, I also work in Salem, NH if you interested let me know.
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      12-05-2018, 09:58 PM   #3
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S63 is one of the best engines out there, that in case if it was taking care of especially at that milage.
I don't know what your budget and where in NH you are, but my 2013 is for sale, I also work in Salem, NH if you interested let me know.
Iím not looking to break the bank.
Which is why Iím looking at one with 126k. (Hoping to score it less than $12,000) That is, if it doesnít need a shit ton of work!
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      12-05-2018, 10:01 PM   #4
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Iím not looking to break the bank.
Which is why Iím looking at one with 126k. (Hoping to score it less than $12,000) That is, if it doesnít need a shit ton of work!
if you not looking to break the bank I wouldn't recommend looking at older X5M but that just me!

good luck to you!
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      12-05-2018, 10:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bmwpower603 View Post
I’m not looking to break the bank.
Which is why I’m looking at one with 126k. (Hoping to score it less than $12,000) That is, if it doesn’t need a shit ton of work!
if you not looking to break the bank I wouldn't recommend looking at older X5M but that just me!

good luck to you!
This is a true statement. Unless you can do the work yourself. I had an oil leak that cost me $4,900 in one visit to the dealer...
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      12-05-2018, 11:03 PM   #6
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if you not looking to break the bank I wouldn't recommend looking at older X5M but that just me!

good luck to you!
Generally considered reliable, but most service appointments are 4 figures... not 3.

I'm on my 2nd X5M where I purchased both with ~100k miles but with quality service & maintenance history. (Would still have #1 if not for a collision with a deer). I tried to stay away, but the experience is just too awesome for a low $20s purchase price.

Good luck!
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      12-06-2018, 08:56 AM   #7
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My understanding from two techs, one a foreman, the S63 are pretty reliable, better built motors especially compared to the N63. Other than odd vacuum leaks, a pretty stout engine.

Big thing seems to be to manage the under hood temps better to provide longer life to the adjacent components near the turbo and downpipes.
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      12-09-2018, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncmastr View Post
My understanding from two techs, one a foreman, the S63 are pretty reliable, better built motors especially compared to the N63. Other than odd vacuum leaks, a pretty stout engine.

Big thing seems to be to manage the under hood temps better to provide longer life to the adjacent components near the turbo and downpipes.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I think it's relative. I just bought a 2012 X5M with only 51,000 miles on it. The engine has been completely replaced with only 1,500 miles on it (with warranty).

How do you suggest keeping the underwood temps down?


dbl
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      12-09-2018, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbldare View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cncmastr View Post
My understanding from two techs, one a foreman, the S63 are pretty reliable, better built motors especially compared to the N63. Other than odd vacuum leaks, a pretty stout engine.

Big thing seems to be to manage the under hood temps better to provide longer life to the adjacent components near the turbo and downpipes.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I think it's relative. I just bought a 2012 X5M with only 51,000 miles on it. The engine has been completely replaced with only 1,500 miles on it (with warranty).

How do you suggest keeping the underwood temps down?


dbl
Easiest way would be to add catless downpipes... that makes a huge difference. Wrap them in lava wrap. You can get a turbo blanket as well. I've done this on mine and after driving it hard, you can put your hand directly on the blanket sitting on top of the turbos.
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      12-09-2018, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbldare View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cncmastr View Post
My understanding from two techs, one a foreman, the S63 are pretty reliable, better built motors especially compared to the N63. Other than odd vacuum leaks, a pretty stout engine.

Big thing seems to be to manage the under hood temps better to provide longer life to the adjacent components near the turbo and downpipes.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I think it's relative. I just bought a 2012 X5M with only 51,000 miles on it. The engine has been completely replaced with only 1,500 miles on it (with warranty).

How do you suggest keeping the underwood temps down?


dbl
Eesh! What was the cause?

Lava blanket on downpipes and turbos.
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      12-10-2018, 12:04 AM   #11
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I guess it all depends on what you mean by "reliable". I just turned away from a potential 2012 X5M purchase w/ 59,000 miles after the indy BMW shop I had do the inspection reported the control arm bushings are done with a bad engine oil pan and valve cover gasket leak, together with seem to be normal turbo coolant line leaks. I'm still interested in getting the right one but from what I've seen on this board, no way I would consider this a reliable engine. A beast SUV yes, reliable, no.
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      12-10-2018, 10:31 AM   #12
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All BMWs are going to have maintenance requirements from 75k-100k miles usually including all of the cooling system, suspension bushings, fuel pump, oil pan gasket, and valve cover gaskets. You will also have your normal maintenance of brakes, oil, spark plugs, etc.

The S63 has fewer issues than the N63 but looking for reliability in an M car on forums doesn't speak for normal use. M cars usually run an edge between performance and reliability in the first place. All their parts are going to be more expensive than normal parts on the same chassis. Additionally, most of the people you find on the forums are usually modding their cars to the point where reliability is non-existent.

You will have higher cost of maintenance in the X5M or any X5 because of the Xdrive design. A oil pan gasket replacement on a 2wd M3 will be cheaper than an oil pan gasket replacement on a X5 35i because the front axle runs through the oil pan. This is the same for the X5M, which has two oil pan parts: a lower and an upper. The lower is easily replaced but the upper requires the hubs, axles, differential, drive shaft etc to be removed before replacing the gasket. Cost difference? Indy shop might charge $400-600 to drop the subframe and steering rack to replace a 2wd oil pan gasket while they would charge $1600 to do an awd oil pan gasket.

Here are the things that have been done since I purchased my car (most under warranty:
59k miles - Exhaust Vanos Solenoid Bank 1
59k miles - High Pressure Fuel Pump Bank 1
59k miles - Fuel Injectors replaced cyl 1-4, 7
63k miles - Fuel Injector replaced cyl 8
63k miles - Turbo coolant hoses replaced
65k miles - Filtered Air Ducts replaced
65k miles - Charge Pipe hoses replaced
67k miles - Ignition Coils replaced
67k miles - Spark Plugs replaced
68k miles - Oil Pan Gaskets replaced, upper and lower
68k miles - Fuel Injector replaced, cyl 8
72k miles - Rear Air Springs replaced
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      12-10-2018, 02:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbldare View Post
Sorry to hijack the thread, but I think it's relative. I just bought a 2012 X5M with only 51,000 miles on it. The engine has been completely replaced with only 1,500 miles on it (with warranty).

How do you suggest keeping the underwood temps down?


dbl
Do the downpipes and wrap them, get turbo blankets, upgrade the hood to power dome plus vents.

I have also considered punching holes in the middle firewall plastics at the top when I go and replace them.

(Replacement required as the heat over time made them brittle enough to snap and fall on the downpipe covers to then melt into a stinky black goo pool that smoked at every spirited drive.)
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      12-10-2018, 06:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbldare View Post
Sorry to hijack the thread, but I think it's relative. I just bought a 2012 X5M with only 51,000 miles on it. The engine has been completely replaced with only 1,500 miles on it (with warranty).

How do you suggest keeping the underwood temps down?


dbl
Did you buy Kelly's white/ red rig? She is meticulous on her vehicles, it was an unfortunate situation on that block, but hopefully it will last a long time!

Someone asked up there, so if this is the one I believe it is, an indy shop went to change the oil pan gaskets, and found a crack in the block, from a casting flaw. Rig went to the dealer, got a whole new engine from BMWNA after some haggling.

Last edited by Colodano; 12-10-2018 at 06:28 PM..
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      12-11-2018, 12:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jandref321 View Post
All BMWs are going to have maintenance requirements from 75k-100k miles usually including all of the cooling system, suspension bushings, fuel pump, oil pan gasket, and valve cover gaskets. You will also have your normal maintenance of brakes, oil, spark plugs, etc.

The S63 has fewer issues than the N63 but looking for reliability in an M car on forums doesn't speak for normal use. M cars usually run an edge between performance and reliability in the first place. All their parts are going to be more expensive than normal parts on the same chassis. Additionally, most of the people you find on the forums are usually modding their cars to the point where reliability is non-existent.

You will have higher cost of maintenance in the X5M or any X5 because of the Xdrive design. A oil pan gasket replacement on a 2wd M3 will be cheaper than an oil pan gasket replacement on a X5 35i because the front axle runs through the oil pan. This is the same for the X5M, which has two oil pan parts: a lower and an upper. The lower is easily replaced but the upper requires the hubs, axles, differential, drive shaft etc to be removed before replacing the gasket. Cost difference? Indy shop might charge $400-600 to drop the subframe and steering rack to replace a 2wd oil pan gasket while they would charge $1600 to do an awd oil pan gasket.

Here are the things that have been done since I purchased my car (most under warranty:
59k miles - Exhaust Vanos Solenoid Bank 1
59k miles - High Pressure Fuel Pump Bank 1
59k miles - Fuel Injectors replaced cyl 1-4, 7
63k miles - Fuel Injector replaced cyl 8
63k miles - Turbo coolant hoses replaced
65k miles - Filtered Air Ducts replaced
65k miles - Charge Pipe hoses replaced
67k miles - Ignition Coils replaced
67k miles - Spark Plugs replaced
68k miles - Oil Pan Gaskets replaced, upper and lower
68k miles - Fuel Injector replaced, cyl 8
72k miles - Rear Air Springs replaced
That sounds like a lot of work, have you got it done at Indy/ DIY or dealership. How much was spent in all these repairs..Whatís your current mileage. I had to get my air suspension fixed and dealership charged me nearly 4000 CAD $
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      12-11-2018, 12:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colodano View Post
Did you buy Kelly's white/ red rig? She is meticulous on her vehicles, it was an unfortunate situation on that block, but hopefully it will last a long time!

Someone asked up there, so if this is the one I believe it is, an indy shop went to change the oil pan gaskets, and found a crack in the block, from a casting flaw. Rig went to the dealer, got a whole new engine from BMWNA after some haggling.
I would think that is it. He beat me to it by one day That engine should be trouble free for a while.
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      11-23-2020, 07:26 PM   #17
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Our 2010 was the most reliable of our fleet of M cars. Outside of maintenance I had zero issues from 49k to 76k. Now I replaced turbos, air pump, valve cover gaskets, all at same time.

I believe I have a fairly respected opinion on m car reliability. Our e60 M5 (manual) has had absolutely zero. Issues, candidly almost none of our cars need little but regular prevention maintenance. I think that's why there are so many issues on forums.

I don't think there is a better value out there, as soon as I put a hitch on it to pull track car, it will be about as good as it gets.
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      11-24-2020, 12:31 PM   #18
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I believe I have a fairly respected opinion on m car reliability. Our e60 M5 (manual) has had absolutely zero. Issues, candidly almost none of our cars need little but regular prevention maintenance. I think that's why there are so many issues on forums.
Totally agree and that's what I try to explain to everyone I know.
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      11-24-2020, 10:46 PM   #19
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I would think that is it. He beat me to it by one day That engine should be trouble free for a while.
Those re-manufactured s63 engine only includes the long block. Valve covers, down to the oil pan. Water pump, vacuum pump are the only items included. I do wonder if these engines come with the updated rear coolant cover.

I have finally purchased my X5 M just about a month ago. (full bmw service history.) And the car still needs major services. But is healthy, godwilling non-the -less.

My suggestion to anyone wanting one of these vehicles. Make sure it does include extensive service records. Or do NOT buy it. Simple as that.

I frequently talk to one of the highest profile BMW teacher in North America. Who has tuned the fastest cars in the world. And is a BMW encyclopedia. His exact words when I told him I purchased an X5 M. "N63 are terrible, S63 is much better." And I will only have to change the oil. ( I am A BMW tech so obviously alot more will be needed ) But as far as rod bearings, oil pump, timing chains.. These engines should do very well with 3-5k oil changes. Mine M had oil changes done at the dealership every 8k. Which isnt TERRIBLE, but should be done at 3k-5k moving forward.

As soon as I got my x5 M. I dug right into the engine. All my turbo coolant lines, were brand new. Updated rear engine coolant cover. Radiator is new, engine partitions, injectors are index 12. (but had plenty of oil on a few of them) So I performed a valve cover service. Cleaned off the injectors, replaced the seals, used some Techtron. I did the vacuum pump seal. Which was VERY difficult to do with the engine still in the vehicle. I also replaced the alternator, water pump, every vacuum line, coolant transfer pipe, spark plugs, and installed a turbo blanket. (which actually works wonders)

These engines are the pinnacle of motorsport technology. There will never be anything more advanced. Since we are slowly switching to electric. With that being said, these engines need extensive care. Care which I actually enjoy. It probably took me 80 hours or more to replace everything on the top end. And I still need to do oil pans upper and lower.

If anyone every attempts to work on the engine, and has trouble. Feel free to PM me. The engine is very complicated, and without the right tools, would be impossible to work on.

Cheers-
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      11-26-2020, 12:03 PM   #20
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Totally agree and that's what I try to explain to everyone I know.
Depends what you mean by prevention maintenance. If you're talking injectors, HPFP's, and vacuum lines, on top of regular oil changes, yes. Had a CPO 650i under warranty and had to have that all replaced in a year and a half of ownership. That's not reliable in my book. On the other hand, I have not had one hiccup in my X5M in almost 2 years/13K miles, knock on wood, well except for the coolant expansion tank. BUT, it has had 35K worth of repairs, i.e. new transmission, new turbos, coolant lines, control arms etc., before I bought it. When a BMW service manager tells me it's not going to be as reliable as a Lexus, I'll take his word for it. Having said that, yes, I do love my X5M, with full knowledge it can be a pain in the ass to own, LOL.
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      11-26-2020, 04:23 PM   #21
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Depends what you mean by prevention maintenance. If you're talking injectors, HPFP's, and vacuum lines, on top of regular oil changes, yes. Had a CPO 650i under warranty and had to have that all replaced in a year and a half of ownership. That's not reliable in my book. On the other hand, I have not had one hiccup in my X5M in almost 2 years/13K miles, knock on wood, well except for the coolant expansion tank. BUT, it has had 35K worth of repairs, i.e. new transmission, new turbos, coolant lines, control arms etc., before I bought it. When a BMW service manager tells me it's not going to be as reliable as a Lexus, I'll take his word for it. Having said that, yes, I do love my X5M, with full knowledge it can be a pain in the ass to own, LOL.
Your car has already had turbos, and transmission replaced?

Unless your over 200k miles. It sounds like the previous owner really beat the balls off that thing. That is not normal to have replaced both the transmission, and turbos.
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      11-26-2020, 04:56 PM   #22
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Yes, transmission replaced at 50K miles and the turbos, just before I bought it at 64K miles. It is for that reason why I bought this particular X5 although honestly, perusing this forums, it's not like OMG, why did that happen. A lot of warranty companies won't warranty an X5M, and if they do, they cost an arm and a leg, unless you get a hookup. That already tells you what the number crunchers think of the reliability of this platform, whether it was beat on or not.
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