BMWs might be known for being some of the most reliable luxury cars on the market, but like everything designed by human minds and built by human hands, problems can crop up. Some of these issues are minor, while others can leave you stranded on the side of the road if you don’t address them quickly.
Addressing these problems can help you optimize your Bimmer for the most ideal drive no matter where you take it. Let’s look at four of the most common BMW problems and how to prevent them — or repair them when they do occur.
1. Power Window Failure
One of the best parts of owning a modern car is the convenience of power windows — at least, until they fail and end up stuck open or closed. Any BMW equipped with the E46 window motor and regulator might experience problems.
The regulator clips can break, which means your windows will move slowly — or not at all. These problems are easy to fix, but they do require taking apart the entire affected door to access the window regulator.
2. Oil Leaks
Oil only works if it’s able to stay in the engine compartment. BMW’s have a habit of developing oil leaks once you pass the 55,000-mile mark. Some are easy to repair — the valve cover gasket and the oil filter housing gasket being two of the most accessible oil leak related repairs — while others, like the rear main seal, may require the assistance of a professional.
You can repair some small leaks without disassembling the engine by using products that act as stop-leaks. However, while being a temporary mechanic might be convenient, it won’t work for larger or more complicated leaks.
3. Cracked Rims
Many BMW models come equipped with 19-inch run-flat alloy rims. While these rims look amazing, they are prone to cracking — and a poorly placed crack can puncture your tire, leaving you stranded.
It is important to note that this is only a problem for Class Series vehicles sold between 2009 and 2012 — BMW settled a class action suit in 2015. Although there’s not much you can do to prevent this other than driving safely, it is something to be on the lookout for if you’ve got a Bimmer from those years with the original rims.
4. Coolant Leaks
This BMW problem is specific to the BMW 3 series, but that is a great variety of cars to choose from. Regardless of the year, coolant leaks always manage to crop up. These can have many different causes, from a cracked radiator cap to a blown head gasket to a hole in the radiator itself.
No matter what the reason is, it is something you need to repair quickly. A lack of coolant could cause the engine to overheat — plus, the coolant is toxic to animals and the environment.
BMWs are, by far, one of the most reliable brands on their market — but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their share of problems. Being aware of these four common problems can help keep your car running and prevent you from ending up stranded on the side of the road.