My daily driver is a 2004 BMW X5 with the 4.4L V8 and sport suspension. It is a fantastic vehicle in pretty much every way. We purchased it three years ago with 91,000 miles on it. Excellent condition, well cared for, mechanically sound, and so forth. It was also optioned up really nicely. Four months earlier, we had purchased another X5, but a large deer and 70mph don't mix well. Insurance company got me another one. The only repairs and service this vehicle has needed is sway bar link replacement, an alignment and a new battery. The original battery lasted two weeks short of 12 years. Just change the tire and oil and that's all it has required. It now has 165,000 miles on it and a several weeks ago, it started making a noise. A screeching and grinding noise under the hood. Ugh. That can mean only one of two things in this case. Either a belt tensioner has
gone bad or the water pump is failing. The positive news is that it wasn't a tensioner. The negative news is that it was the water pump.
I get an estimate for repair and wasn't too excited about spending four digits to get the water pump replaced. The wannabe mechanic inside of my head said "Hey, why not do it yourself?" I talk with a relative who does their own work on both BMWs and Mercedes and was highly encouraged. They would even come and help do it. I've done a
replacement on a Jeep Cherokee, so it's not like the concept is foreign to me. (insert hysterical laughter here).