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Do Bmw Engines Have Problems?

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By Author: Sherry Lin
Total Articles: 30
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BMW's engine line-up has a few models that have been plagued with frequent, costly issues but that's not true for all BMW engines. There are a few engine models that frequently experience a set of issues. However, on the opposite end, BMW has also launched engines that surpass 100,000 miles with no issues or few minor issues.

As per BMW owners, the 12-13-year-old N54 engines are some of the least reliable BMW engines. But BMW has now improved the engine quality significantly through constant development.

Even though the overall reliability of a BMW engine comes down to a case-by-case basis. It doesn’t hurt to know about the potential engine problems in advance if you’re planning on buying a used BMW engine. In fact, if you get stuck with a poorly maintained used engine, you might experience these issues more often.

Common Problems with BMW Engines

Oil Leaks

Most BMW owners with an older range of engines have experience oil leaks firsthand. The engine issues around oil leaks tend to develop around 100,000 miles. However, there’s ...
... no set milestone. They could pop up as early as 50,000 miles too. A few common components of the BMW engine that are likely to develop oil leaks:

• Valve cover & valve cover gasket
• Oil pan & oil pan gasket
• Oil filter housing & gasket

If you notice a pool of oil beside your BMW, it’s a tell-tale sign of an oil leak. Some other signs are excessive black smoke that indicates the burning of oil. Though most of these leaks need to be addressed immediately to prevent damage to the engine. Some of them don’t pose a much greater risk and can potentially be left alone for a while.

Unfortunately, oil leaks need to be repaired at some point and can’t be put off indefinitely. The repair costs of leakage in an oil gasket or pan can take you for a pretty penny as engine repair costs of luxury cars are a bit high.

Cooling System Issues

The second most common issue with BMW car engines is cooling system problems. Water pumps, coolant hoses, and radiators are the first to fail in some engine models. Some of them have even surrendered before 80,000 miles.

Mostly the reason is turbochargers. Turbo engines generate significant heat and put undue stress on the cooling systems. With the advanced engines should be advanced cooling systems but some models still lack that. Although, in recent years, the new BMW engines have been equipped with more advanced cooling systems that should hopefully resolve or at least improve these problems.


An engine can never be immune to issues whether it’s BMW or any other automaker. But BMW’s certain engine models have experienced a fair share of issues. Mostly these are 12–13-year-old models that frequently experience leakage and coolant issues. Though these issues have been resolved in the newer engine models. So, if you’re looking for a used BMW engine to buy, ensure that you buy a recent model.

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