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9 Common BMW Problems and What To Do About Them

BMW vehicles are known for their style, performance, and comfort. While BMWs are a popular high-end luxury vehicle here in Portland, they do have a few common issues that a reputable auto repair shop can and should address if they appear.

1. Faulty Automatic HeadlightsBMW maintenance portland

Automatic headlights are convenient. In most weather conditions, they eliminate the need for the driver to manually flip the headlights on while operating the vehicle. However, some BMW vehicles have issues with their automatic headlights staying on even when they’re not needed. This draw on the car’s battery can result in other electronics problems. Automatic headlight issues are hard to detect. If a BMW owner is experiencing battery issues or other mysterious electronic problems, find a mechanic that specializes in BMW repair to address the problem.

2. Discharging Batteries

Most BMW batteries last between 4 and 6 years. However, some BMW owners have found issues with their batteries discharging overnight. While battery problems can be the result of multiple electronic issues in the car, common causes include accidentally leaving lights on or doors open. Additionally, if the smart key is too close to the vehicle when it’s parked, this may cause battery problems over time. The smart key may keep the vehicle’s systems engaged overnight, resulting in lower battery efficiency. Contact a BMW repair shop to properly diagnose and fix the problem.

3. Corrosion of Alloy Wheels

Many BMW owners love their BMW alloys. However, some vehicles exhibit premature corrosion on the wheels. No solution exists to fix the corrosion, but talk to a BMW mechanic to find out what options exist for replacement and prevention. Avoid automatic car washes, as they use high-powered pressure washers to spray the wheels. Automatic car washes and other sources of high-pressure water force water underneath even the tiniest blemishes.

4. Malfunctioning Fuel Pumps

One of the most frustrating issues for BMW owners is a failing fuel pump. In 2016, BMW recalled more than 136,000 vehicles for problems with the high-pressure fuel pump. Other BMW models are afflicted with fuel pump issues as well. Often, these issues are a result of issues with wire contacts. Common symptoms of fuel-pump issues in BMW vehicles include poor acceleration, sputtering at a high speed, or an engine that refuses to turn. Contact a repair shop that specializes in BMW repair to fix the problem.

5. Faulty Electronic Systems

Not all BMW owners experience issues with their vehicle’s electronic system. However, BMW issued a recall that affected 300,000 U.K. vehicles in 2018. While BMW did not reveal the exact cause of the power supply issue that resulted in the recall, some BMW owners have noticed other problems related to the car’s electronics. A trained BMW technician should address any suspected electrical issue as soon as possible.

6. Door Handle Problems

BMW owners have reported issues with their door handles, particularly on the BMW X5 SUV. The most common symptom is a normal physical operation of the door handle without the door actually unlocking and opening. The solution to this problem is most often a complete replacement of the door’s locking mechanism. Make sure to take the vehicle into a BMW repair shop, as this repair requires specialist tools.

7. Heater Core and Coolant System Issues

Some BMW owners report problems with their vehicle’s coolant system and heater core. Often, the first symptom of a problem with the coolant system is the car overheating or not producing enough heat. Another symptom of coolant problems is a sweet smell coming from the heater; this is the smell of leaking coolant. Be sure to bring the vehicle into a reputable Portland auto repair shop if any issues arise. No one wants to be caught in an Oregon winter without a functioning heater!

The coolant system is also known to have faults. Most BMW coolant systems last between 80,000 and 120,000 miles. The best way to prevent issues with the coolant system is to keep up with regular maintenance.

8. Leaking Oil Filter Gasket

The privilege of owning a BMW sometimes comes with the cost of a weak oil filter gasket. The gasket that connects the oil filter to the engine becomes brittle over time. Make sure to take the car in for regular maintenance, because if this problem is caught early enough, it’s a relatively easy fix. However, if the gasket is left alone too long, the repair requires more time and money to fix. The best bet to avoid a leaky oil filter gasket is to ensure the vehicle gets its routine oil changes on time.

9. Failing Electric Windows

BMWs are known to have issues with their electric windows. Most often, the motor goes out. Without a functioning motor, the windows don’t close all the way. Open windows may attract thieves, and since BMWs are one of the most commonly stolen vehicles, this problem should be addressed promptly. Not only that, but it’s uncomfortable to drive with the windows open, especially in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

How Can Steve’s Imports Help?

If BMW owners in Portland, Oregon notice any of the above issues with their vehicles, they should bring it into Steve’s Imports. The highly trained and certified technicians at Steve’s Imports have enough experience to keep any BMW model running for years to come. We treat every BMW that comes into the shop as if it belonged to us, and customer satisfaction is our highest priority. We’ve been servicing BMW vehicles for so long that the 1600s we first worked on thirty years ago now come in for restoration work. Call today for an appointment and a high-quality BMW-specific service!