The Most Common Maintenance Problems Associated with BMWs

BMWs are recognized the world over for their slick design, top of the line performance, reliability and elegance. They are still a favorite for many luxury car fans over the world and never fail to impress with new innovations year after year. However, like most car models, they do come with their fair share of flaws and common issues. Here are some of the most common maintenance issues BMWs have.

Engine Cooling System

One of the main issues with many BMWs is overheating. While in many cases there are different human factors that can cause a motor to overheat or other issues such as an engine coolant leak or a water pump that’s faulty, the problem is more common with BMWs.

Shaking Steering Wheel

This issue is especially common with the BMW 3-Series. Many have reported that they felt their steering wheel shaking every time they applied the brakes, even gently. The problem eventually accentuates itself until the road wheel starts moving back and forth.

If this problem is left unattended for a long time, it could lead to more significant damage. Usually, if you manage to catch it at an early stage, switching to new control arm bushings will do the trick. However, if you don’t do something immediately, this could lead to brake rotor warping or ball joint failure on the control arms.

Radiator Leaks

Radiator leaks are also common with BMWs, especially the E36. Plastic parts on stock radiators on most E36s have a tendency to crack and melt over intense heat. The components that cause spring leaks are usually the plastic thermostat housing and/or top radiator pipe. When a radiator cracks, this can lead to coolant leaking, which then leads to the motor overheating.

Electrical Issues

Anyone who owns a 3-series or runs a BMW repair service will know exactly what we’re talking about. One of the biggest issues with the 3-Series is the battery. The cause for this is that the positive cable connector on the battery and the terminal that corresponds to it on the fuse box have a tendency to corrode and degrade over time. This often leads to complete loss of current in the vehicle, rendering it inoperable many times.

Motor Issues

3-Series BMWs also have a few issues when it comes to the engine. One of the main issue with three series engines is the fuel pump. In many cases, a dysfunctioning fuel pump will cause the motor to run rough or rough idle, stall and have long crank times. This is because the various sensors which work with the timing system have a tendency to become clogged, causing the vehicle to run in “limp mode”.


While BMWs are still by and large one of the most reliable luxury car brands out there, they aren’t perfect. So, if you were thinking of buying a BMW anytime soon, it would be wise to take these few facts into consideration, so you can factor in any eventual maintenance costs.

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