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BMW cars are well-known for being sporty, athletic, and fun. This brand uses the slogan “Ultimate Driving Machine” for the BMW M3 and works to build every car to the same standards. Although BMW offers some of the most fun cars and SUVs, they aren’t without fault. If you’re considering a used BMW, we’ve got some common problems across different models of which you should be aware.

Some BMW vehicles suffer from malfunctioning window regulators

This problem has plagued many BMW models and can be an annoying issue. The regulators continue to malfunction in BMW models because the automaker uses plastic regulator clips, making them susceptible to breaking.

Models affected:

  • 2007-2013 BMW 135i
  • 199-2006 BMW E46
  • 2019-2023 BMW X5

According to RepairPal, window regulator repair costs can range from $435 to $636.

BMW cooling systems are prone to several problems

Any vehicle’s plastic fittings and rubber seals wear and disintegrate over time. In many BMW vehicles, the cooling systems fail, resulting in faulty water pumps and coolant leaks.

Models affected:

  • 2006-2012 BMW 335i
  • 2001-2006 BMW 330i
  • 1999-2001 BMW 740i

Typically, these cooling system issues appear after 120,000 miles of driving.

Oil leaks are a common problem with some BMW vehicles

When you see visible oil spots and small pools of oil under your BMW, you’ve got a problem. These are signs of an oil leak, leading to engine sputtering during acceleration, overheating, sizzling sounds, and smoke from under the hood. The timing cover gasket, drain plug, oil pan gasket, or oil filter housing gasket deteriorating could cause the leak. Don’t ignore signs of an oil leak; it can lead to major repair costs.

Models affected:

  • 2013 BMW X3
  • 2009 BMW X5
  • 2000 BMW 328i

RepairPal reports BMW oil leak repairs range from $586 to $719 for the BMW 328i.

Some BMW vehicles still suffer from an electrical system recall

BMW recalled 500,000 cars in the United States in 2013 due to an electrical system issue. Another 700,000 models were also recalled in 2017 because they were prone to wire-related fire risks. Some BMW models still haven’t had these issues corrected. When researching a used BMW, check the NHTSA website to see if it’s subject to either of these recalls.

Models affected:

  • 2006-211 3 Series sedan and wagon models
  • 2007-2011 3 Series coupe and convertible
  • 2009-2011 3 Series diesel

If the recall repairs aren’t complete, visit a BMW service center to have the electrical system repaired.