bmw breakdowns


Do BMWs Break Down Often? When Do They Start Having Issues?

When thinking about luxury sports cars, BMW is probably the first automaker that comes to mind. For years, BMW has been known for designing and building vehicles that are meant to be pushed to the limit on the racetrack and the highway. With their mix of highly engineered components and comfortable interiors, they are some of the best cars on the market, and they have a price tag to match. However, they are not known for being the most reliable vehicles, and it is important to understand why.

BMWs have some issues when it comes to their reliability and their tendency to break down. If you are considering purchasing a BMW, you should know what to expect and some of its most common problems. By taking the time to find out when BMWs start having issues and what the major repairs are usually needed, you can be ready when they come up.

Are BMWs Reliable?

While BMW makes some of the most high-performance cars on the consumer market, they are, unfortunately, also one of the least dependable. According to RepairPal, BMWs have a 2.5/5 reliability rating, which is considered incredibly low. This stems from the fact that they have an average repair shop visit frequency of 0.9 times per year, which is substantially higher than the average for all automakers of 0.4. If you purchase a BMW, you can expect to bring it to the shop for repairs and service more than twice as much as you would with another vehicle.

BMWs are also known for being incredibly expensive to repair whenever they have to go into the shop. On average, 15% of the issues they experience are severe compared to the overall average of 12%. On top of that, they have an annual repair cost of $968. When this is compared to the overall figure of $652 for other automakers, it is easy to see why owning a BMW is incredibly expensive, and their low reliability is something to keep in mind and be ready for if you are considering purchasing one.

When Do BMWs Start Having Issues?

How soon a BMW will develop serious issues heavily depends on the individual vehicle. The model, maintenance frequency, and type of driving that has been done on it will all affect how quickly it will begin having problems. Some BMWs last for well over 100,000 miles before any problems occur. However, others start to have issues right away. Depending on the reliability rating of the individual model and the model year, you may not have to bring your BMW into the shop for quite a while.

That being said, most BMWs start having some serious problems at around the 100,000-mile point. Buying a new BMW will come with a factory warranty that is good for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. If your car is still within this timeframe, you can take it to the dealership and have them repair it. If you purchased your BMW used, or it is out of the factory warranty, you will be responsible for getting it repaired.

Common BMW Problems

Before you purchase a BMW, you should know what problems you can expect so you can be prepared. While not all BMWs will develop the same issues, there are some incredibly common repairs that they tend to go into the shop for due to design flaws and component quality. Being able to keep an eye out for these problems and get them fixed right away can help prevent them from becoming even more serious later on.

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Oil Leaks

BMWs are notorious for leaking oil no matter what model you end up purchasing. Specifically, the oil filter gasket and valve cover gasket tend to be very brittle and will wear out exceptionally fast. If a vehicle is leaking oil, it will not get the lubrication it needs to run smoothly, which can cause serious problems like warping and seizing. Keep an eye out for any oil leaks whenever you pull out of a parking space, and have a mechanic look at the gaskets if you notice stains on the ground.

Water Pump Failure

Over the years, BMW has issued several recalls for their water pumps due to design flaws and known issues. Unlike most cars, BMW’s water pumps are electrically powered and plastic, making them very susceptible to heat and wear, especially if you regularly drive in hot weather. If a vehicle’s water pump fails, the engine will overheat, which can be quite serious if it is happening all the time. Whether or not your specific BMW has had a recall on the water pump, you should keep an eye on the engine temperature and make sure it is regulated properly at all times.

Timing Chain Issues

One of the biggest issues that BMWs are known for is a problem with the timing chain. When the timing chain wears down, it can start to deteriorate, which will result in rough idling, strange noises, and metal shavings getting into the engine itself. What makes this such a big problem is that replacing the timing chain requires a major dismantling of the engine. Unlike a timing belt, which is easy to access, the timing chain is located within the engine. If you are thinking about buying a BMW, it is a good idea to keep your ears open for any unusual noises coming from under the hood.

How to Keep a BMW Running Smoothly

If you want to keep your BMW running smoothly, the best thing you can do is keep it as well-maintained as possible. Vehicles that get their regularly-scheduled maintenance, including oil changes, transmission fluid changes, and coolant flushes, have a much better chance of lasting for many years regardless of the automaker. Staying on top of service and maintenance will ensure that none of the known issues will be exacerbated by poor upkeep and missed maintenance appointments.

You should also be sure to keep an eye and ear out for any changes in how your BMW performs. Strange noises, odors, and behaviors are all symptoms of mechanical issues, so the second something changes, you should have it looked at by a technician. Car problems tend to have a domino effect, so the sooner you can address a change, the better off you and your BMW will be.

Protect Your BMW With an Extended Warranty

If you want to make sure you can get the repairs you need for your BMW, an extended warranty is an excellent option. With quality coverage, you don’t have to worry about keeping your BMW running smoothly because you can get help with all kinds of issues and repairs. With an extended warranty, you can make your BMW more reliable and be prepared for any problems that come along. Explore our extended warranty provider reviews and buying guide to find out which extended warranty will work best for you and your vehicle.

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