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Thread: Barely driven 2008 BMW X5 Catastrophe. Fix? Sell? Advice?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Barely driven 2008 BMW X5 Catastrophe. Fix? Sell? Advice?

    I am in the middle of a catastrophe after having been out of the country for 5 years. I left my brand new 2008 BMW X5 in the care of a relative who left the vehicle outside and unattended for the past 3 years. Apparently the water drains all clogged in the sunroof and leaked into the car. I was told the brakes were corroded and fluids of course need to be changed but the water damage has caused major/unknown damage to the electrical system and the entire carpeting would need to be replaced. I've taken the vehicle to a reputable dealership and also to an independent BMW shop who both told me the same thing. They both advised that the car may have additional problems in the future and were skittish about even doing the repair work. On the outside, the car looks perfectly brand new. The water damage never flooded the car, the mats are moist but no smell of mold/mildew. The car has only 13k miles and both locations told me the engine, transmission, wheels, seats, and body are in perfect condition. The repair cost comes in around $15k which seems steep. What should I do?

    After some research, I was advised that "Do-It-Yourself-ers" might be interested in reviving this vehicle. Would this be the best place to find people locally in the DC area who would be interested in purchasing the vehicle? The car is fully loaded and comes in at kbb at $25k if the water leak had not occurred. Any advice would be welcome. (Please don't admonish me on what happened to the vehicle, I've gotten plenty of that already. :-( Who knew rain water could destroy a brand new $65k vehicle within a few years?)


  2. #2
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    There are so many electrical connections, fuses, etc., under the carpet in modern BMWs that moisture can play havoc with many systems. This is almost like having a flood-damaged vehicle. I know you can't go back in time, but you might have to sacrifice with a deep discount to find someone interested in it. You could spend the $$ necessary to get the sunroof and/or door drains cleared, fluids changed, and make sure everything electrical is working and then pass it on to the next owner via CarMax, for example. Good luck!
    John in VA
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Fairplay, MD
    It might be covered by your auto insurance if you have comprehensive coverage. I have heard a number of stories of clogged water drainage causing significant damage to BMWs -- cars even totalled from it. For soliciting a purchaser, have you tried BMW enthusiast forums? Local Craig's List. Good luck.

    John in MD

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