Blog Post

9 Common BMW Service Issues

If you have a BMW, you may be aware of certain problems that always seem to crop up. If your BMW is new, you may not see these issues now, but you may down the road. Here we will go over some common BMW service issues to keep in mind as you enjoy your European vehicle.

1. Cooling System Failure

The cooling system features plastic fittings on the cooling system components. As the BMW gets on in years, these plastic pieces start to get brittle and fail. This most commonly leads to leaks.

Your coolant system is one of the most important components of your vehicle, as it keeps the engine at an optimal temperature and prevents it from overheating, points out Hot Cars. A coolant system failure can leave you stranded on the side of the road, so don’t neglect regular service, especially between 80,000 and 120,000 miles.

2. Oil Leaks

This seems to be more a common issue on BMWs older than five years. These leaks usually originate with the valve covers, as well as at the transmission and differential seals.

Oil filter gaskets are a related problem. The gasket connects the oil filter to the engine, and this can start leaking. In addition to increasing wear and tear, this can result in a whole host of other mechanical problems. Over the years, the gasket can get brittle; however, catching the damage early enough is usually an inexpensive fix.

You’ll know you have an oil leak when you notice a small puddle of oil underneath your vehicle. You may also detect a burning oil odor when driving, caused by an improperly operating fuel pump or leaky valve cover.

3. Tail Lamp Assembly

You will know your car has a broken tail lamp when you see the “Check Rear Lamp/Brake Lamp” light on your dash. Usually, corrosion leads to a bad bulb connection on the tail lamp circuit board.

4. Faulty Electronics

First, your instrument cluster pixels may fail to display correctly, usually due to a faulty LCD or circuit board. The odometer may pulse or disappear altogether. This is a relatively easy repair.

Other issues arise with the electronics box in your BMW, which has led to the recall of hundreds of thousands of vehicles.

5. Fuel Pump

Issues are quite common in relation to the high-pressure fuel pump, which may result in slow acceleration, engine stuttering at high speeds, or failure of the engine to turn over. If your BMW is out of warranty, replacing or repairing the high-pressure fuel pump is not an easy fix.

6. Electric Windows

BMW’s electric windows can break down and stay open, which is an obvious safety and security risk. This isn’t good, especially when you consider BMWs are the most stolen car in the world. This seems to be more of a common problem affecting the E46 model. You may need to repair or replace the regulator clips; if you don’t, this can enable slow-moving or immobile windows.

As a related problem, sometime the remote door locks do not work properly in BMWs.

7. Automatic Headlights

Sometimes, BMW automatic headlights stay on, even when not needed. This wouldn’t be so bad except they can drain the battery and worsen other electronics problems. This problem is tough to notice as the driver because. Perhaps someone else may point out to you that the lights are on in daytime. Or, perhaps you’ve been experiencing battery problems; in this case, it could be the automatic headlights that are to blame.

8. Steering Wheel Vibrations

This is most commonly found in the BMW 3 series. You may find that your steering wheel shakes or vibrates when you brake. Your thrush arm bushings could be causing this problem. They are essentially rubber units critical to your overall suspension system, commonly failing around the 75,000-mile mark.

9. Fan Blower Motor

If you have a fan blower motor that keeps running well after turning the car off, OR if your fan stays on for such long periods of time that it drains the battery, you may be looking at a failing resistor for the fan blower.

As you can see, many common problems can affect the BMW, but it’s possible you will never encounter any of these problems throughout your vehicle ownership. If you do, though, take it to your trusted mechanic.

Contact Rick and Ray’s Auto Plaza

If you have been having issues with your BMW, make an appointment with us in Fort Worth at 871-335-2073.