2017 BMW X5 - does this estimate sound right?


The engine light came on and I took it to the shop. The issue is how it is written on invoice - Performed, vehicle test. found faults for for Vavletronic position along with under,voltage faults stored. Ran test procedure for vavltronic system.,recommend replacing eccentric shaft, along with servomotor as per test,plan. Cost is a little over 7K. 37K miles on vehicle, should eccentric shaft wear out so fast? Are they defective or poorly made?
Replace $4500 in parts. Does that sound right?

I can’t speak to the engine concern directly, however the under voltage codes concern me. A low or defective battery can trigger several faults on startup. Did they say what caused the under voltage codes? I would make sure the battery was ok and see if the code returns once cleared.

Let me preface this by emphasizing that I am not a mechanic. Now then, it sounds like the shop wants to replace your camshaft because of low voltage to the VVT servo motor? That seems a bit much to me and I’d love to hear the rationale, if any. Color me skeptical.


sorry Dave if you think that was directed towards you. it wasn’t. when you wrote you were not a mechanic it reminded me of this mug. I am in one of those moods. :upside_down_face: :rofl:

No offense taken. Returning to the topic at hand, can you shed any light on the issue at hand? I really want to understand the shop’s diagnosis.

BMW’s Valvetronic is more than just a variable timing camshaft, it’s variable lift, and this involves other parts of that complicated system.


It sounds like a complicated engine design. Complicated unfortunately also often means more likely to require periodic maintenance and repairs. BMW’s generally give good performance though, so it’s a compromise. It’s not a parts quality issue. BMW’s have a reputation for excellent quality. The price quoted, both parts and labor, doesn’t seem out of the ordinary for this sort of repair. If you want to avoid this sort of problem going forward, make sure you have all the routine maintenance work done on schedule, especially the engine oil and filter changes. Maintaining near perfect oil quality (and oil level) is a very important factor for this sort of engine design.

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Here’s a short writeup on BMW’s Valvetronic system.


If it’s the 3.0si they have always been problematic. The estimate sounds about right. They also suffered from the wiring harness between the servo motor and the engine management system. I’ve worked on a fair few of these and they do get expensive quickly.


Does a BMW not have a powertrain warranty, which would cover engine/transmission problems on a 5-year old model with just 37,000 miles on it? Or is there more to the story, such as a salvage title, which would void all warranties?

Also, I am absolutely floored by the responses here saying that since BMW’s have this high-tech VVT system, therefore costly repairs are to be expected, especially if you don’t use the special grade of oil which they recommend. Here’s the thing: even the cheapest economy cars sold within the past 20 years would crest 100,000 miles with semi-decent maintenance, meaning that as long as you keep the oil and coolant full and change them semi-regularly, the car will make it to 100,000 miles, even without doing any of the other recommended maintenance. This BMW didn’t even crest 50,000 miles, and already it needs major engine repairs to the tune of $7k, and people here feel that is reasonable???


Remember I’m the one that own two cars, the newest of which is 30 years old. But if I purchased a high-end car w/ that sort of engine design I would be expecting spending $7 K on a repair bill by 50K miles. Comes with the territory.

Bust My Wallet


Car ninja. He is good but pricey.

Back in the '80s, when so many BMWs in NYC had their expensive radio stolen, it was said that those initials stood for Break My Window.

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My question isn’t whether the estimate is right, it’s whether the diagnosis is right.
I’d pay to get a second opinion from a top-notch BMW shop, assuming the powertrain warranty is over.

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How often do you change the oil?
Using oil as specified by BMW?

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Also… how often do you check the oil?
How low has it gotten before you added additional oil?

I figure this car has a low oil light; and the OP never ignored it.