1916 was the year when the dawn of BMW occurred in Munich and changed the automobile business forever. The quality of the initial cars made by the company fully known as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG was excellent, which proved to be an excellent hit for BMW, their engineered engines and cars started taking over the automobile business.
Over the years, BMW has constantly changed to keep the evolution in sync with the rest of the world. Numerous competitors have arrived with time with companies like Mercedes-Benz starting in 1926 and giving BMW some tough but much-needed competition. This competition resulted in BMW having to keep changing and evolving to hold a stake in the automobile industry, and that’s what they did.
Companies that do not evolve with time and care about their competitors often go out of business very quickly. This doesn’t just happen in the automobile industry. It happens in every market where there’s competition. People prefer to purchase products with the best performance and the latest technologies, and those companies who do not follow suit often fail very quickly.
But, if we closely monitor the progress made by BMW, they’ve continuously had the fair share of the market no matter what decade it was. This means they’ve continuously evolved as a company and adhered to the demands of their customers. It shows the success BMW has had over the years with the quality of its cars and engines, and that has contributed a great deal in BMW becoming a worldwide company as it is today.
The cars manufactured by BMW have classy and modern looks, the designs of which have been changing over the years as well. BMW has catered for the demands of their dear customers by not only improving the performance but also the exterior and looks of their cars. That is one of the reasons for them becoming super successful.
As far as engines are concerned, BMW is long known as Germany’s finest when it comes to manufacturing top-quality engines. That is why BMW not only competes with its competing companies in the luxury and wonderful exterior but also competes with respect to great and robust engine performance. This has resulted in BMW’s sustainability at the top-end of automobile companies’ charts.
BMW Engines with Issues
No matter how good something is, nothing is ever sustained perfectly. Although BMW has been manufacturing very powerful and robust engines in the past and continue to do so till this date, still there have been some exceptions when some engines haven’t delivered as expected, and in an attempt to maximize their performance and robustness, those engine designs backfired.
Their issues had a negative impact overall on BMW as a company, a scar that has been difficult to heal for BMW, but recent engines show signs of progress. Here, we will discuss some of the engines manufactured by BMW which have been causing people a lot of issues while driving. Some of the engines along with their car models are given below.
- BMW X5 330D 3.0 Engine
- BMW 320d 2.0 Diesel Engine
- BMW 520d 2.0 Diesel Engine
- BMW 1 SERIES 116i
- BMW 1 SERIES 118i
- BMW 3 SERIES 316i
- BMW 1 SERIES 120i
- BMW 2 SERIES 220i
- BMW 5 SERIES 520i
- BMW 5 SERIES M
- BMW 6 SERIES M
1. BMW X5 330D 3.0 Engine
The BMW X5 330D came with a 3.0L engine when it was released. It came with the engine codes N57D30A, N57D30B, N57D30C, and M57D30 (306D3) and M57D30 (306D5) as well. The most commonly found problem over the years in this model and engines was the turbo failure as well as fuel injectors failure, which resulted in the vehicle stopping and not running again.
2. BMW 320d 2.0 Diesel Engine
The BMW 320d came with a 2.0 Diesel whose engine variants had the engine codes of N47D20A and N47D20C. The crankshaft sprockets are quite sharp and due to that, the timing chain gets damaged and results in breaking down at the end. This means the car wouldn’t run at all and would come to a halt. Whenever there’s a timing chain failure, be mentally prepared to spend big on both repairs and/or replacements.
Another problem that occurs in these kinds of engines is with the wastegate when the spring doesn’t work, resulting in the partial or full opening of the wastegate. This can end up costing you a failed or blown up turbo, which can be a costly overall repair for you.
3. BMW 520d 2.0 Diesel Engine
The BMW 520d came with a 2.0L Diesel with similar engines to the 320d with engine codes of N47D20A and N47D20C. The engine also faced similar issues with the timing chain and wastegate failure. Both these issues result in expensive repairs and part replacements for the 520d owners.
4. BMW 1 SERIES 116i
The BMW 116i Series one came with the engine code N43B16A, which had several major issues that ended up becoming a headache for 116i users and caused damage to BMW’s fine production image. The main issues in the N43B16A engine are stretching of the timing chain, fuel injectors problem, Vanos unit, and coil pack failure problems. Any of these problems occurring results in halting the engine and the car will automatically stop in that instance. These issues were seen in 116i till 2013 when these problems started occurring less. These issues are also prevalent in pre-2014 316i.
5. BMW 1 SERIES 118i
The BMW 118i series 1 came with engine codes N46B20A, N46B20B and N46B202C. This car with the following engines faced many kinds of issues starting from the timing chain to Vanos unit failure. The timing chain issue especially caused a lot of issues as, without the timing chain, the engine can’t run anymore, and this results in the stoppage of the car completely. Similar issues were also seen in the 120i variant, which also had the same engines.
6. BMW 3 SERIES 316i
The BMW 3 Series 316i used engines N46B20A, N46B20B and N46B202C, which caused many problems for customers who owned this variant with the above-given engine models. This series also suffered from a stretching of the timing chain, which resulted in increased pressure and breaking down of the chain, and when the chain fails, the whole engine halts.
Vanos unit failures were also detected in the above engines in this specific variant. The 316ti, 318i, 318ti, 318Ci and the 320i BMW models also faced a similar issue as they contained the same engine variants from 1998 to 2013.
7. BMW 1 SERIES 120i
The BMW Series 1 120i came with the engines N20B20A, N20B20B, N20B20C and N20B20D. There were several issues reported especially with the N20B20A engine variant of the 120i like problems with the timing chain, Vanos unit, and fuel injectors. The timing chain would stretch and stretch and would suddenly give in while driving, which resulted in the unexpected and sudden stoppage of the car and caused a lot of problems for the owners.
Similar issues have been reported in the 125i variant of Series 1 as well which houses the same N20B20A engine as the 120i. These issues have been prevalent in the series 1 120i and 125i models from 2010 and onwards.
8. BMW 2 SERIES 220i
The BMW 2 Series 220i came with several different engines with engine codes N20B20A, N20B20B, N20B20C and N20B20D. Among all these engines, N20B20A caused the most issues for users as it had persistent timing chain and fuel injector issues. These issues are quite severe and result in the car stopping permanently and not starting again. These issues were quite prevalent in the 220i models from 2012 onwards. These problems were also seen in the 228i 2 series variant, so BMW needs to do something about it quick.
9. BMW 5 SERIES 520i
The BMW 5 Series 520i came with a 2.0L engine with codes N20B20A, N20B20B, N20B20C and N20B20D. Out of all the engine variants, N20B20A had the most issues ever since this variant’s release. Constant issues with this engine variant not only affected the 520i but also affected vehicles from other BMW series. Issues like timing chain breakage and fuel injector failure along with Vanos unit failure are quite common with the 520i with the N20B20A engine. The BMW 528i also received the same engine, so it had similar issues as well.
10. BMW 5 SERIES M
The BMW 5 Series M5 from 2001 to 2010 was released with the engine S85B50A, which had a lot of problems that its users had to face. Many issues like connecting rod bearings failure and Vanos system failure were reported. This usually happens due to a lack of engine oil in other cars but this engine variant, even with oil has been notorious for connecting rod bearing problems.
11. BMW 6 SERIES M
The BMW 6 Series M also came with a similar engine model S85B50A like the 5 Series M5 and had similar problems. These problems were heightened by the fact that customers had to face expensive repairs due to something which ended up being a manufacturing defect. Connecting rod bearings and Vanos unit failure were the two main issues diagnosed in the 6 Series M model too.
Every car and every engine is obviously different and may or may not run into the same problems depending on your driving style, location, and maintenance schedule. This list is also obviously based on our own experience on BMW engines. If you own or work on BMWs on a regular basis, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Let us know the different problems you’ve run into with your Beamer or which BMW engine you think is the least reliable of them all in the comment section belo!w