BMW has a reputation for producing some of the best luxury models on the market. Performance and comfort have always been strong points. However, these European-engineered vehicles do require more upkeep than some other models. Here are the top eight most common problems that BMW owners tend to encounter.
If you own an older BMW model, keep an eye out for oil leaks. Oftentimes, these oil leaks are caused by deteriorated gaskets that need to be replaced. Leaky valve covers and oil pans are especially common.
You never want the oil level to drop too low, which could result in serious engine damage. Until you’re able to get your vehicle professionally repaired, develop a habit of checking your oil level every other week.
Cooling System Failure
Some BMW models are notorious for cooling system failure. Because a failed cooling system will eventually lead to overheating, it’s an issue you’ll need to get repaired immediately. Sticking to the automaker’s recommended maintenance schedule will help prevent trouble.
In many instances, cooling system failure is caused by a worn water pump. Ideally, you have this component replaced every 60,000 miles. It’s also a good idea to have the radiator replaced at the 90,000-mile mark.
Failed Ignition Coil
Unfortunately, BMW Ignition coils tend to fail sooner than expected. When an ignition coil goes bad, electric current won’t be sent to the spark plugs. This means you’ll have trouble even starting your vehicle. It’ll seem as if your battery is weak.
Of course, performance will take a big hit. Among the tell-tale signs of a failed ignition coil including sluggish acceleration, poor gas mileage, and rough idling. The good news is that an experienced mechanic can easily install a new ignition coil.
Overly Sensitive Battery Terminal Sensor
Some models are designed with a battery terminal sensor. This feature is designed to cut power in the event of an accident, this reducing the risk of a fire. The downside is that minor impacts, such as driving over a large pothole, can also trigger the battery terminal sensor. Afterwards, drivers may not be able to start the vehicle.
The best way to handle the problem is to have your vehicle inspected by a reputable automotive shop. They’ll be able to permanently solve the problem.
VANOS is what BMW calls its variable valve timing system. This feature is engineered to maximize engine performance and efficiency. While the system is effective, it can cause an alarming engine rattle that’s similar to that of a spray paint canister. Your check engine light will likely turn on as well.
As you start to rack up the miles, the sound will only get louder. Special tools are needed to repair the problem, which means this isn’t a job for backyard mechanics.
Windows Stop Working
Inoperative windows can ruin a vehicle’s driving experience. Whether you’re placing an order at the drive-thru or simply want some fresh air, you need your windows to be in working condition. Unfortunately, many owners have encountered this problem. This would require an electrical repair appointment at your local auto shop.
If one of the windows stops working, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a faulty window regulator. The regulator’s plastic clips are prone to breaking. Also, your only option is to get a replacement.
Like any other automobile, BMW vehicles can experience a bad thermostat. Furthermore, this component typically lasts for around 100,000 miles. If the thermostat gets stuck open, your engine will have trouble reaching its normal operating temperature. Meanwhile, a stuck-close thermostat will contribute to engine overheating.
Luckily, a thermostat is one of the least expensive parts on your vehicle. However, replacement isn’t always easy. Mechanics often need to remove several other parts to even access the thermostat.
BMW owners learn their engines are designed with hydraulic valve lifters. If these lifters start to make a loud ticking noise upon starting your vehicle, this definitely indicates a problem. Additionally, while a loud lifter isn’t going to leave you stranded on the side of the road, it will become quite aggravating.
To ensure that your lifters don’t prematurely wear out, be sure to get an oil change regularly. Also, it’s just as important to use the right kind of motor oil.
BMW owners know that their vehicles have a tendency to suffer from electrical gremlins. However, the specific issue can vary from one model to the next. Additionally, some models have faulty turn signals, others may have cooling fans constantly running.
Of all the potential vehicle problems, electrical issues are often the hardest to track down. Lastly, you’ll need to take your vehicle to an expert repair shop.