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BMW Engine Problems and What to Look For

BMW is a brand that has long been synonymous with reliable and luxury vehicles – a reputation the Munich-based manufacturers have maintained since 1917. Notwithstanding the automobile’s enhanced performance, there have been a few manufacturing defects along the way.

To say that these defects absolutely diminish the value of a BMW would be an exaggeration, however, to say that these defects should be ignored wouldn’t be fair to the well-crafted machine. If you’ve recently bought or are considering to purchase a BMW, it’s important to familiarize yourself with any common complaints regarding the vehicle.

This blog-post covers a list of common engine-related issues that have been known to plague the luxury car brand. We’ll be covering the issue, what causes it, and when you need to see a BMW mechanic.

BMW Engine Problems

1. Faulty Cooling Systems

Usually, the very first component of an engine to malfunction is the cooling system. The engine is prone to generating significant amounts of energy that can measure up to several hundred degrees. The cooling system is responsible to minimize the heat generated from the engine or to dissipate it.

Faulty cooling systems are problems seen in BMW F Series, E-90, and E-46 models. For all three models, the cooling systems tend to underperform. Although, granted there are indications given by the vehicle before a cooling system malfunctions.

For example, the ‘service engine now’ indication lights up in the F Series each time the cooling system overheats. Similarly, coolant leaks and high-pitched noises coming from the engine are indicative of the same issue for the E-90 and E-46 models.

2. Throttle Issues

Issues with the tuning of your vehicle can affect how smooth your vehicle runs on the road. With a luxury car brand such as a BMW, you’re expecting nothing but the absolute best. This starts with how well the car runs on the road.

A common complaint by BMW F Series owners is regarding the throttle. A lagging throttle holds your vehicle back from its maximum efficiency. If your car isn’t running as smoothly as it should be, have it inspected by a BMW tuning expert immediately.

3. Ignition Coil Failure

Nevertheless, regular servicing for any vehicle. It is imperative to change out your car’s spark plugs ever so often. If not replaced frequently enough, you might experience engine stalling and vibrations or your engine might not start at all.

4. Decreased Horsepower

Horsepower refers to the power an engine produces. BMW’s are known to produce anywhere from between 125-425 horsepower. The E-90 series in particular has a horsepower of 163. Decreased horsepower is a common complaint from E-90 and E-92 owners who complain that their cars aren’t running as fast as they once did.

Have your vehicle inspected by a BMW engine expert if you suspect decreased horsepower.

5. Oil Leaks

A complaint seen throughout BMW’s, regardless of the make and model of the car, are oil leaks. Oil leaks are common vehicle complaints in general. However, they’re also incredibly hazardous.

An oil leak is indicative of either a failing fuel pump or a leaky valve gasket. In either case, you’ll notice a puddle of oil under your car or smell burning oil whenever you’re on the road.

6.  Faulty DISA Valves

DISA valves are components found in the intake manifolds of most BMW. The component is intended to differentiate intake into the engine. However, if the valve malfunctions or is faulty to begin with then it can scatter materials into different compartments of the engine.

Rattling sounds coming out of the engine are usually indicative of faulty DISA valves. This is, however, the first indication of deterioration occurring in the engine. If you let it run on for longer than your engine will fail all together.

7. Defective Rod Bearings

A common complaint from owners of the E-90 series, defective or faulty rod bearings tend to come off and scatter inside of the engine. This causes a rattling sound to come from your engine each time you’re on the road. Have your BMW inspected by an engine expert the second you hear unusual sounds coming from the engine.


BMW’s are luxury vehicles, but they’re not immune to malfunctions here and there. Although none of these issues diminish the value of the vehicle altogether, they do undermine its performance – not something you’d expect out of a luxury car brand.

Having trouble with your BMW’s engine? Contact Southwest Repairs and Services and schedule a consultation. Our BMW experts will perform a full diagnostic evaluation of your engine and have it working to maximum capacity in no time!

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