BMW E53 X5 rear Air Suspension replacement DIY

BMW E53 X5 rear Air Suspension replacement DIY

I wanted to share my latest service work for the E53 X5. The air suspension system for the E53 plus a number of other models will eventually need some work, out of simple wear and tear.

In this case, the driver’s side rear suspension strut had a small hole at the point where the rubber flexes the most, and so would leak causing the X5 to sag on that side. Also, when doing this work, its a good idea to replace both sides at the same time. I found in my case the driver’s side was most likely original with an impressive 155k miles on it, with the passenger side looking much newer and likely still good. It was worth it thought to replace both.

This isn’t a hard job to do, with only a few simple tools and roughly 90 minutes to get the job done. In addition, make sure you get the correct components for your specific car, X or 5 series, with our without the sport package which mine doesn’t have.

Lastly, you will be jacking your car up so do it properly. Work on level solid ground, ALWAYS use jack stands, and never get under the car in any way while it is just on the jack alone. Also, make sure to torque your wheel lugs to the correct amount (105lbs for 2001 X5) once the tires are back on the ground.

If you your car is already displaying the “air suspension inactive” message, then you likely will need another step after the repair. That code is a “hard” fault, and cannot be cleared with a simple OBD reader tool. In some cases, pulling the battery for 10-15 minutes can clear the error, but more likely you will need an indie shop or your dealership to clear it with the correct tools. There are three possible paths.. the error will clear itself, which is slim. You can pull the battery which might clear the error, and lastly take it to your local shop and have them clear it.

Required parts and tools:
Air Springs, rear pair
Needle nose plyers
large flat screwdriver
Philips screwdriver
Jack stands (pair)
Floor jack (do not use the emergency spare tire jack)
10mm socket and wrench

Nice to have:
Good headlamp
Good lighting
Good music – BB King is always good for car work!



Mr. Afifi says:

I think you're supposed to remove both positive and negative terminal wires and vice grip together for 30-40 minutes and turn your headlights switch on to completely empty all energy and memory… then reconnect and everything should be completely reset… thanks for the great video…

Anthony Mattei says:

what you know about rear wheel open cuircut code? I have 2003 bmw x5 4.4 i already replaced abs speed sensor twice brake light s are on no idea if anybody can help me

Gary Cave says:

My new parts came in today. Took about an hour a side. 211,000 miles and the original parts from BMW came off the car. The results car drives now like new. The thing on dash is still on. But car is drivable.Thanks,Gary

Gary Cave says:

Great video. I just bought one of these suv's  yesterday and the rear suspension is sagging. When I open drivers door and passenger door I can hear the compressors kick on and the air suspension goes up. But after about a minute it looks like it looses pressure and goes back down. looks like low rider in back. you think the my suv has the same problem yours did? Thanks,Gary

Collin Morris says:

i know its self leveling, but is there a way to adjust it manually, for instance to get a softer ride?

Mat Man says:

Thanks for the vid!..doing mine this week!..also gonna try and keep my 05, X5 as clean and tidy as yours from now on!

Tiffany McCormack says:

For those of us that like to be thorough, thank you very much! I watched about 5 videos on this replacement as I do with all repairs, and yours is the best sir. Just the explanation and completeness is great. Thanks again.

steven Kaibintech says:

Nice video!

Camilson Mondésir says:

You need to readjust it with a software called “ISTA/D” You can do it yourself.

Savage Hookset says:


So I replaced the air bags. Thanks for the video, but the bags aren’t inflating and the warning ⚠️ light is still on. You mention something else might be wrong. Do you know what that might be? I was thinking about replacing the compressor. What do you think?

steven Kaibintech says:

Great video!

Ralph Jones says:

Thanks dude! Got a 4.6is that needs this done, did you buy OEM?

Abubakar Shaikh says:

i like video sir thanx

Giggidygiggidy12 says:

Would you do another vid for the rear suspension parts, including the shocks. Thank you for posting

Elvis Presley says:

Great video mine is leaking the same side,going to have a go at it myself now I have seen how easily you did it,thanks dude

Marco says:

Great video, very detail, your recommendations were spot on, Man you save me $1800. Parts were $113, 3 ton jack with safety stands $112.00
And no Im not a mechanic either, just a DIY man trying to save a few bucks. Did the job in 3 hours. I found installing bottom first was a easier method. Side note; almost got rattle when installing the part. problem was not enough room for new part. so i compress it and stuck the red cap back on. i really dont know what i did to stop the air suspension light from coming on. But i did remove both fuses, on the third try to get the compressor going. I insert 79 first then 87.
Part number from 1A Auto;
2001-06 BMW X5 Rear Air Spring Pair – 1ASSP00990

Phil Nguyen says:

Great video. Do you have a part number for the part and where you got it? Many thanks

Douglas Gower says:

very good video, many thanks.

Sunil Jagwani says:

I replaced shock for right rear as it was making lot of sound over bumps but now my X6 is showing level control failure (5F9A error code on scanner) this error is not going , now suggest me how to troubleshoot ? My email id is

iyad rsmi says:

appreciated mate, really got advantage from this video, thanks a lot

joÃØ says:

The best, most helpful video I’ve seen, very informative, thank you so much

Douglas Gower says:

awsome video well done

L Grullon says:

This was awesome! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Andy 222 says:

Hey man, thanks for the video, well done!

Bruce Leef says:

do I have to take put the fuse..n after the repair when do u insert the fuse back in

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