The BMW X5 Loading Sill Cover is made up of two hinged-together pieces that fail when heavy weight is placed on the sill cover, particularly directly over the hinged joint. The plastic eyelets connecting the two pieces break, causing the assembly to separate into two pieces. See Figures 1 and 2. Here are the steps to replace the Loading Sill Cover on a 2011 BMW X5. The process should be the same for any Model E70.
Purchasing BMW X5 Replacement Parts
As you can see from the referenced diagram, you need Part #14, which is the entire two-piece assembly. When you place the order, be sure to identify the specific part number for the interior color of your vehicle. If you order directly from your local BMW dealer Parts Department, shipping will be free for pick up there. You should be able to reuse all attachment hardware that you remove during disassembly, but order a few extra fixing plugs (part #17), because these are plastic items that could possibly be damaged during removal.
Replacing the BMW X5 Loading Sill requires no special tools, and should take 3 to 4 hours for someone with average mechanical skills. Here are the repair steps, as well as some additional tips I learned along the way.
Old BMW X5 Loading Sill Removal
- Remove Side Covers. See Figure 3.
- Remove Battery Cover/Floor Tray in lower storage compartment. There are five Phillips head screws securing this cover. See Figure 4.
- Remove the two Side Trays. These trays are held in place with plastic fixing plugs. If you are not familiar with this design, they are two-piece parts. Use a thin blade screw driver to pry up the center pin which enables the outer plug to collapse and to be pulled out. See Figures 5 and 6.
- Remove the two Access Covers. Use a thin blade screw driver to pry the cover loose, and then slide it off. See Figure 7 and 8.
- Remove the two-sided D-Column Covers. There are two Phillips head screws securing this cover and a hidden snap connector in back of this cover. Use a flat blade screw driver to pry the snap connector loose, while applying a steady pulling force to the cover. See Figure 7 and 8.
- Slide the D-Column Covers up above the ends of the Loading Sill Cover. See Figure 9.
- Remove the old Loading Sill Cover. There are four Phillips head screws securing it to the floor of the lower cargo area. Remove the screws and slide the base of the cover toward the front of the vehicle until it is free.
- Remove the one Metal Grommet from the old Loading Sill Cover and install it on the new cover at the same hole location. See Figure 10. The underside of the Loading Sill Cover has plastic clips that secure it to the floor of the cargo area. Figure 11 shows the Loading Sill Cover turned upside down and located next to the slots in the cargo area.
Installing New BMW X5 Loading Sill
- Install the new Loading Sill Cover assembly by repositioning the new cover assembly and sliding it backwards, making sure the plastic clips under the assembly properly engage the slots in the lower cargo area. It will not fully side into the final position until the rubber weather-stripping is lifted over the leading edge of the cover. One of the techniques I used to complete the installation was to first push it as far as possible and start the Phillips head screws. Next, I partially tightened the screws to put pressure on the cover, and then worked the weather-stripping over the leading edge, repeating this process until it moved into the final position. See Figures 12 and 13.
- Remove the small Cover Plates from both ends of the old Loading Sill Cover and install them in the new assembly. These covers pop out with a thin blade screw driver. See Figure 14.
- Reinstall all other parts removed in reverse order. See Figure 15.