They may be an ultimate driving experience, but with some models you better really enjoy that experience. Let's get into if owning a BMW is right for you what you may expect if you do own one.
What Are Common BMW Problems?
Exhaust and emission issues are common with many BMW models, which can make it challenging to pass smog tests when trying to register the vehicle. 13 percent of BMW owners have had to get this type of issue repaired. Suspension problems are also common and are reported by five percent of BMW owners. In some cases, the suspension issues were severe enough that drivers could not use the vehicle until the necessary repairs were performed.
Restraint system failure is a common problem with BMW models and can cause the error light for seatbelts and airbags to fail due to a seat weight sensor. A cooling system failure is another problem that has become widespread because many of the internal components in the cooling system are made out of plastic.
You may also encounter locking system issues when using the key fob to get in and out of the car each day. The key fob and car sensors can fail to remain synced, which makes it difficult to automatically lock or unlock the car from several feet away. If this issue occurs, the key fob often has to be replaced.
Do BMWs Have A Lot Of Problems?
If you want to determine if BMWs are prone to having a lot of problems, it's important to understand that it depends on the type of model. There have been some models that have been plagued with a variety of issues that can be frequent and costly.
The problems can begin the first year the BMW is purchased new and even become more consistent the older the car gets. In the same regard, there are also many BMW models that exceed 100,000 miles and rarely encounter any problems.
One of the most problematic BMW models is the 2008 BMW 535i, which has had a long list of problems. The 2007 BMW 335i and 2008 BMW 135i are more reliable models that don't encounter a lot of mechanical issues under the hood.
The reliability of BMWs can often be on a case-by-case basis. There are currently 12 to 13 N54 engines that are known to be the least reliable that are manufactured by the automaker. The automaker is currently ranking as an average car brand, earning three out of five stars for new and older models.
BMW Issues in Early Models
25 percent of BMW owners have to take their cars in for repairs when the vehicles are less than three years old. The problems they encounter are often related to the software, dashboard displays, lighting, and non-engine electrics. 40 percent of BMW owners report encountering at least one problem with their vehicle.
At What Mileage Do BMWs Start Having Problems?
BMWs typically start to experience more issues around 80,000-to-100,000-mile mark. Keep in mind that the type of repairs that are needed often depend on your driving habits and the amount of maintenance that is performed on the vehicle each year. If you don’t maintain your car you will most likely end up paying for your neglect.
Some models like the v8 X5s can start to have issues once it reaches 60,000 miles, which is an issue if you buy the car used. However, the E90 3 Series doesn't have many repairs that are needed even as it exceeds 100,000.
The more complex and upscale the car is, the more issues it can have as it gets older. This is because there are a lot more parts to performance cars, which means more things can break down over time.
BMWs can require more maintenance than other luxury cars in the industry. Many car owners fail to keep up with the maintenance because they don't want to spend the time and money investing into the upkeep of their BMW model. A lack of minimum maintenance provided can significantly increase the risk of repairs and can affect the longevity of the vehicle.
Is Owning A BMW Worth It?
When you're considering owning a BMW, it's important to remember that it's a mixed bag when it comes to the reliability of the different models sold. The automaker continues to manufacture newer models that seem to be more reliable because of their advanced technology and quality parts.
Leasing a BMW can be a safer option because the dealership will cover the costs of any repairs that are needed. Unfortunately, it can be a headache to constantly bring the vehicle in for service and can make it less convenient.
Consider how much you like the style, design, performance, and features when deciding if it's worth owning a BMW. Ask yourself how much time you have to bring it in for repairs and if you'll become inconvenienced by this if you choose a model that starts to have issues.
It's also important to consider your driving habits. If you spend a lot of time commuting, you may not want to end up stranded on the side of the road. If you only want to use the car for leisure purposes and don't plan to put a lot of miles on it, it can be less of a risk to own.
You can also consider buying a BMW that comes with a warranty to ensure you can protect your investment. The warranty can offer peace of mind and help you to avoid spending more to own it if the engine needs to be replaced or you're having issues with the emissions. You can always choose to sell the car once the warranty comes to an end.