Six Common Problems with BMW from the Experts
Owning a BMW is an investment that goes beyond the initial cost. To truly get the most out of your car, you’ll need to regularly perform essential car maintenance like regular cleaning, oil changes, and tire rotations.
In addition to taking care of your vehicle, investing in a BWM extended warranty can help you avoid costly breakdowns. When it comes to owning a luxurious car like BMW, preparing for the unexpected requires researching common problems drivers experienced over the years.
Luckily for you, Endurance handles thousands of automotive claims every month and outlines the six most common problems to expect from your BMW.
The cost estimates for each repair include both parts and labor from claims submitted in 2019.
Water pump: Up to $1,260
The water pump helps push coolant through the engine, the engine cooling system, and the heating system. Since the coolant helps transfer heat from the engine block, the water pump is a vital part of the system that helps keep your car from overheating.
When the coolant reaches a specific temperature, it’s released from the engine into the cooling system. Then, circulates through the radiator, cooling down the coolant that’s flowing through, heads back to the engine to absorb more heat. When your heat is on, the hot coolant goes to the heater core and then back to the radiator.
The HVAC blower motor blows air over the hot core and into your vents to provide heat in your car. The water pump is what keeps you toasty in winter and cool in summer.
Common problems you’ll experience with the water pump are:
- Leaks – Your water pump can leak from three places. Leaks can spring from the weep hole, the shaft seal, and the housing for the engine block gasket. Some vehicles have a level sensor in the coolant reservoir that will let you know the coolant is low.
- Noise – The water pump spins and uses a bearing, so if the bearing starts to wear out, it will get rough and be noisy.
- Overheating – Your engine may overheat if your water pump fails. Some signs to look for are the temperature rising on the engine temperature gauge, warning lights, or the check engine light or service engine light is turning on.
- Steam – If your engine is overheating, steam may rise when the coolant comes in contact with the heat.
- Shutdown – Your engine may shut itself down if it is overheating. This safety feature is not in all cars, but if you have it, this feature will prevent you from starting your car until the engine is back to a normal temperature. If your vehicle shuts down on its own, you may have a severe engine problem.
Repairing a water pump alone can cost BMW drivers over $1,000 to fix. Investing in an extended car warranty provides financial relief for sudden breakdowns, and can make handling common problems for BMW less stressful.
Endurance also offers various levels of protection with flexible payment plans to ensure you’re protected.
Starter Motor: Up to $1,576
The starter motor provides the power that turns over your engine, helping start the car so you can drive. A dead battery, poor connection, or overuse can contribute to the starter motor not working properly.
Common problems you’ll experience with the starter motor are:
- Noise – If your starter has trouble getting the engine to turn over, you might hear a grinding noise or a clicking noise.
- Car won’t start – If your starter motor doesn’t have enough juice to start the vehicle, your car will fail to start. Issues with the starter motor should not impact you while driving, but you could end up estranged in a parking lot.
- Smoke – You may see smoke coming from the engine if your car won’t start, but this is generally a sign that something has overheated.
BMW drivers can agree they rely on their car to get them to-and-from locations. Continuing to drive with a starter motor that requires attention can result in your vehicle, not starting and needing to be towed to a mechanic.
24/7 roadside assistance comes with every Endurance protection plan to help get you to a local mechanic. If you also find yourself needing an immediate tow during a trip, drivers are provided road trip interruption coverage to help pay for both food and lodging.
Alternator: Up to $1,484
The alternator helps provide power to the starter motor and charge to the battery. It’s essential to look for your alternator’s issues because it’s also a key component in starting your engine.
The alternator helps convert alternating power to direct current and sends it to the battery so the starter motor can turn the engine over. The alternating current generates more power than a direct current and is used to keep the battery charged.
Common problems you’ll experience with the alternator are:
- Failure to Start – The starter motor may not rotate the engine if your alternator isn’t generating enough power. As a result, your BMW will fail to start.
- Dim lights – If your battery isn’t charged or your alternator isn’t powering other components, you may notice dim headlights or interior lights.
- Noise – When driving, pay attention for weird noises coming from your car. Grinding or whining noises may also start when you try to start your vehicle.
- Stalling – Your car’s fuel and ignition systems need the power to create the spark and spray the fuel that keeps your engine running. If your alternator isn’t working, the battery can lose enough capacity that it may even stall out while driving.
With drivers hitting the road less, your BMW can be more prone to breakdowns. Performing essential car maintenance can reduce the chance of your car breaking down or experiencing issues with your alternator, but breakdowns will happen over time.
Depending on the level of coverage you’re looking for in auto protection, Endurance provides additional financing options through the Endurance Elite Membership to help cover additional costs on top of the $1,4000 from the alternator repair.
Ignition Coil: Up to $1,124
The ignition coil conducts the voltage needed for your spark plugs so they can ignite the fuel. This car part is an essential component because it’s vital to ignite the fuel that allows your engine to start and the car to move! Typically, an ignition coil should last around 100,000 miles.
Common problems you’ll experience with the ignition coil are:
- Warning light – Your dashboard warning light may come on if the ignition coil is wearing out. Depending on your car, the warning light will look different – for some, the two loops will light up while others will have their “check engine” light come on.
- Failure to start – Since the coil is a crucial part of starting your car, you may notice engine misfires or problems starting.
A small part like the ignition coil can result in a repair bill over $1,000 for BMW owners. With extended auto warranty coverage, you’re provided peace of mind on the road and can avoid paying out of pocket expenses.
Power Door Lock Actuators: Up to $1,845
This long and complicated name is for a behind-the-scenes mechanism that helps unlock your car without using a key. Anyone with a remote unlock/lock button is familiar, even those without that feature likely have the auto-locking buttons in their vehicle. The works for this component are in the doors and contain many small parts to keep things going.
Common problems you’ll experience with the power door lock actuators are:
- Noise – The interior components may make a strange noise or different noise than usual.
- Erratic function – If your door locks typically respond to the button, such as locking and unlocking a rapidly or delayed response, something may be wrong.
- Complete shutdown – If your power locks stop working entirely, that’s a sure sign that something has gone wrong.
Failing to repair the power door lock actuators can result in more issues down the road, which is why auto protection matters now more than ever.
Depending on the mechanic, this repair can take a few days to complete, but with Endurance – customers are provided rental car coverage while your BMW is at the mechanic.
A/C Compressor: Up to $1,784
Your compressor helps keep your car cool and achieves this by compressing the refrigerant in your engine, turning it from a gas to a liquid. Inside the compressor, the rotary parts spin and push the coolant along to disperse the fluid throughout the engine, cooling it down and preventing overheating.
Common problems you’ll experience with the A/C compressor are:
- Noise – The compressor uses bearings to complete the rotations needed to circulate the coolant. As the bearings wear out, they can get rough and make more noise when in action. If your compressor is falling apart inside, you may hear a constant sound whenever you turn on your A/C.
- Leaks – The compressor has several seals. The main is the shaft seal and the case half seams. If these seals fail, they will leak. It may be hard to determine on your own, but a mechanic can help verify where a leak originates.
- Warm air – A condenser problem will often cause the warm wind to blow through the vents instead of nicely chilled air.
For the drivers who live in warmer climates – a damaged A/C compressor can result in uncomfortable car rides with no A/C. BMW are expensive to own, so you want to protect your investment when it requires attention.
Save Thousands on Costly Car Repairs
While BMW owners enjoy a smooth ride, it looks like they also may be in for some surprises related to their engine. Most of the significant issues customers had to repair involved the starter motor, alternator, or components that keep your engine fresh.
You don’t want your engine to overheat or stall out while driving, but based on common repairs for BMW owners, there’s a high chance this could happen to you.
Endurance offers the most comprehensive protection in the market that can provide you peace of mind. Plus, every plan comes with 1-year access to the Endurance Elite membership for FREE, where customers receive $250 in digital shopping dollars, key fob replacement, tire replacement, and more.
You can choose the coverage that works for you and create a custom warranty plan with one of our automotive experts. Call 855-460-6242 or fill out the online form to get a quote.
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After more than 16 years as a technician and service advisor, Adam Karner transitioned to the auto protection industry in 2009. As a Product Manager for Endurance Dealer Services, he brings valuable hands-on experience. Read more about Adam.