BMW is constantly developing new technologies for their cars and our mechanics at Executive Automotive continue to stay updated in order to provide quality service and repairs. In a world of Mitsubishi Mirage and Chrysler, a BMW makes a style statement and raises your status to the elite class of car owners. However, since most people buy a second-hand BMW, versus buying one straight off the showroom floor, many of these buyers know what type of repair problems they might have to face with this car if they purchase it. In fact, almost all used cars have repair problems. In many instances you are forever taking it to the mechanic for one repair or the other. If you are a newbie to the business of buying a used car… say a BMW, you need to be familiar with the repair issues you could face.
Following are the top five repair problems likely to surface in a BMW:
1. Door Locks
First in line are the door locks that often stop working, due to a faulty sensor. To check their range system, stand 10 feet away from the car and then press the unlock button. Did it work for all the doors? Now, test the locks by pressing the center console button as well. You need to make sure that all the doors unlock and lock at the same time. Quite often, one door will fail to unlock.
2. Window Regulators
When it comes to window regulators, BMW, has done its best to make them reliable. Not all models of BMW, suffer from this problem. However, you will face some difficulty in models such as 3 Series (E46). Often, the plastic clip of the regulator breaks and prevents the windows from moving up or down. When the problems starts to appear, when raising or lowering the window, it moves very slowly and then eventually, the motor fails.
3. Ignition Coils
Typically, the ignition coil in a BMW is supposed to last well above 100k miles. However, BMW often suffers from bad ignition at just 60,000 miles. What happens is that as the coils fail, the light indicating an “engine check” turns on, which causes the engine to misfire. At this point, you will feel vibrations and some shaking and sometimes the catalytic converter starts to glow red as the unburned fuel makes it way to the exhaust.
4. Coolant Fittings
BMW has various plastic fittings on many components. One such is the cooling system that often malfunctions due to the plastic becoming brittle. This causes a leak in the coolant pipe, which is often confused with a leak in the water pump. Since the pipe runs down to the engine, it is difficult to identify the problem. This is a tricky repair, which should be best left to the professionals.
5. Airbag Light On
In used BMWs, you will find that the airbag light turns on and off constantly. The problem lies in the clock spring or the weight sensor in the passenger seat. When the car starts, the airbag light turns on then constantly and stays that way.
This prevents the airbags from deploying during an accident. Usually, this problem is displayed on the iDrive, which gives you a warning of “service overdue”. This can be easily fixed and learned about beforehand with a scanner.
Hopefully, this list will help you identify the problems hopefully right then and there on the dealer’s lot, so that you don’t by a faulty car. Since BMW is an expensive car, the repairs done on this car are expensive too, which usually can go from $300 for car door locks to $6,000 for replacing the coolant pipes. So, check everything from the transmission to the engine and all buttons before making the purchase of a used BMW.