Are you looking at some new BMW models and getting frightened by the prices? I was also in the same position a few years ago before I bought one.
With time, I discovered that one could save quite a lot of cash by getting a used BMW.
You will find many models on the market today that cost much less than new ones.
Nowadays, almost everyone associates BMWs with luxury, class, and style.
But what are these cars made of, what are their common problems, and are they worth leasing or buying?
Let us have an in-depth look at it and give you the basic information you need.
What BMW Has The Least Amount Of Problems?
The BMW E90 3-Series has proven to be a reliable car. The non-turbocharged BMW class offers you spaciousness, comfort, and satellite navigation. However, the oil filter housing gaskets and valve cover gaskets can develop leaks over time.
BMW models have a strong reputation for innovative technology and quality going back to decades.
These vehicles are popularly known for rear-wheel-drive reliability and powerful engines.
The company manufactures a wide array of styles, from sports cars to luxury models.
BMW Common Problems
As you champion a BMW model, it helps to know what you should expect in the long run.
So, when do these vehicles start developing problems? As you may guess, it’ll depend on the hardware in the vehicle and maintenance.
But here is a breakdown of some of the common problems with these luxury vehicles and the repair costs.
Coolant System Failure
The coolant system is among the most crucial parts of any vehicle.
That’s because it is responsible for keeping the car’s engine at optimum temperature and also prevents it from overheating.
With various parts that make up the vehicle’s coolant system, any of the components is likely to fail if you have driven your BMW between 80,000 and 120,000 miles.
If you’ve not replaced your reservoir, radiator hoses, and water pump by 100,000 miles, you need to consider doing so as fast as possible.
Although every vehicle you own will need a coolant system replacement at some point, very few cars are as unforgiving as the BMWs.
The BMW comes with cylinder heads, and its engine tends to be fitted tightly in the engine bay.
That means that the heat dissipation in these vehicles is not great.
However, if a radiator hose or water pump begins leaking, the engine will overheat pretty fast.
Suddenly you may need head gasket replacements, and that will cost you thousands of dollars.
It is worth noting that regular servicing and maintenance is the best way to prevent unwarranted and costly repairs.
The other common complaint that high mileage BMW drivers have is broken electric windows.
It is not only a concern for the driver’s comfort but safety too.
You cannot drive your vehicle or park it if one of the windows is down and open.
The windows regulator may bend and break, or its electric motor may fail.
Regardless of the component that breaks, it would be best if you replaced both at the same time.
That’s because when one breaks, the other one will follow shortly.
Leaking Oil Gaskets
BMW makes outstanding engines, but the company has had some significant failures in the recent past because their engines suffer from specific oil leaks.
The most common leak you will find on BMWs is the valve cover gasket leakages.
To prevent this problem from occurring, you will need to replace the valve cover gasket before 100,000 miles.
The most common leak you will see in higher mileage models is your oil filter gasket.
Most people have had to replace their oil filter gaskets severally on their E46 and E36 models.
These vehicles tend to begin leaking when their mileage is around 100,000.
The good news is that the oil filter gaskets are pretty easy to replace on 3-Series BMWs.
However, they are difficult to locate until the leak overflows.
The V8 BMW models have more significant issues with oil leakages.
The common ones include upper timing cover, valve cover, and valley pan gasket.
Valley pan gaskets are very costly to repair, and doing it yourself can be a very unrewarding task.
BMW left limited space for vehicle mechanics to repair the V8 engines, making maintenance difficult and expensive.
Broken Door Handles
According to research, not all BMWs have door handle issues.
However, most BMW E46 and E36 models have this problem, and the door handles are quite difficult to replace.
Most of the vehicles will not have door handle problems until they hit a higher mileage.
By far, the most common issue is the exterior handle on the side of the driver.
This handle will lift normally, but the door won’t open.
This occurrence is extremely annoying and will require a door handle replacement.
The adhesive around the leather interior handles on the newer BMW models also melts, creating sticky stuff that easily sticks to your fingers.
Many BMW vehicles experience some electric issues over time.
You may notice your BMW develops issues with window regulators, door lock actuators, passenger or driver restraint systems, or tire pressure monitor systems.
However, not all models succumb to electric problems.
Electrical problems differ depending on your BMW series.
Electrical issues are more common in most luxury models or any other model with some additional electrical features.
If you plan to invest in a BMW, ensure that you have access to a close automobile shop that’s conversant with BMW repairs.
Should I Get A Used BMW?
New or second-hand BMWs are excellent performers while on the road.
You will still enjoy the excellent performance even after buying a used vehicle.
It will surprise you that your second-hand vehicle will have superior performance than other new vehicles.
Depending on your preferences and requirements, buying a used BMW will provide you with the best driving experience for many years.
Moreover, the internal machine ensures that you can tackle any type of road without any problems.
If you are planning to purchase a second-hand BMW, do some research and get a nearby repair shop with a good reputation for BMW issues.
These vehicles have lots of specifics, and not all garages can handle their repairs.
Servicing your vehicle at a dealership might be too costly, so having a reputable BMW-specialized shop near you is a big plus.
You can also use their services to inspect the used vehicle you plan to buy before making the final decision.
Are BMWs Reliable?
BMWs are solidly built and well-engineered vehicles, but they are not as reliable as most Japanese brands.
The BMW vehicles are rated below average or average for reliability.
Once you buy a used BMW, it is given that your vehicle will need repairs from time to time.
One of the common issues causing problems for the BMW cars is using plastic parts instead of more long-lasting materials.
The other problem is the wide range of complex electronics in the vehicle.
The long service intervals used to lure new vehicle buyers do not help either. That’s because turbo-charged models are more prone to problems.
Insurance, repair, and maintenance costs for BMWs are higher than for average vehicles.
With premium gasoline, high-end tires, synthetic oil, high repair labor costs, and more expensive parts, expect to pay more thousands of dollars annually for your BMW than for a Toyota or Honda.
The average yearly repair cost for the BMW models is $968 per annum and $652 across all other models.
This figure includes both unscheduled repairs and scheduled maintenance.
BMW does not make the most reliable vehicles, particularly if you consider the most recent models.
Nevertheless, they manufacture top-notch performance cars, and most people who own them for a few years appear to be quite satisfied with them.
For instance, the older E46 and E36 models were driver-oriented and far more reliable in terms of annual maintenance cost.
The BMW vehicles come with modern technology, high-tech gear, and have beautiful looks.
The engines provide you with power, grit, and long-lasting quality.
These are some of the reasons why BMW cars compete with other popular models in class and luxury as well as in torque and horsepower.
BMWs are not the most problem-free car brands in the automobile industry.
They are fairly reliable, but they usually start having more significant and costly issues between 80,000 and 100,000 miles.
Fortunately, their handling, driving speed, and towing capacity and quality outweigh the high maintenance costs for many BMW owners.
Although the BMW models have a pretty high price tag, expensiveness and luxury do not automatically interpret them as reliable.
You still need to be extra careful if you need many years of low maintenance costs and a hassle-free experience with your BMW car.