How Reliable is BMW? What You Should Know About

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 04/16/21 •  6 min read

If you are wondering if BMW is trustworthy enough to be bought or not, you are in the right place. We have created a buy or review guide that talks about “how reliable is BMW“, which will remove your confusion without helping you make a final decision. It is important to share some information about BMW’s history.

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The brand is famous for its luxury cars representing Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, meaning Bavarian Engine Works Company. Its origins are found back in the German province of Bavaria. It’s all about the style, class, and luxury the company ensures to bring you to customers.

Now let’s find out how reliable is BMW by discussing different aspects of its reliability.

Overall BMW’s Reliability

How Reliable is BMW
2006 BMW E90 330i | BMW

No official will decide whether BMW is trustworthy or not. However, we get statistics together on different repair websites that collect repair data from vehicles of different brands.

Similarly, some websites have shown the loyalty of BMW based on the repairs they have made to their vehicles. Repairpal collected some statistics, showing an average of 2.5 out of 5.0 on average for 345 models. According to the website, the cost of repairing BMW annually is $ 968, which is the cost of ownership.

Based on these statistics, we can have an idea that you will be spending almost an ownership cost over an entire year. Repairpal also said there’s a 15% probability of a repair being severe every time a BMW visits.

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If we compare the average cost of other models, we see they cost around $652, which is relatively lower than BMW’s, according to the same website.

This cost includes both unscheduled maintenance and scheduled repairs. Now we can have an idea about BMW’s reliability after considering all the figures provided by these websites.

Some Common BMW Problems

We are not going to say that there are vehicles out there that never face any problems in their lifetime. Nearly all the vehicles face repair issues, but the point is if they face after getting old or right in the start.

Another factor to consider is that are these issues manufacturing defects or just shows up unconditionally. Let’s discuss some most common problems that are common among all the models and need special improvements.

1. Cooling System Breakdown

Many of BMW’s components are made of plastic, especially in cooling and heating systems. That’s why these parts get cooled and heated, often being in the heating and cooling system.

Regular cooling and heating become the reason for collapsing these components and lead to entire system failure.

2. Restraint System Breakdown

The complaints are reported for a breakdown of the restraint system in several cases. For example, the error light for seatbelts and airbags fails many times.

It means, when someone is not sitting on the seat, the signal will show there is one on the seat. Similarly, when someone is sitting, the sensor will show the place is not occupied by anyone

3. Locking System Failure

The auto-lock and unlock system works when your key fob sensor is synchronized with the car’s sensors. It means when both are in sync, the key fob will not work.

In this case, every time you operate your work from the key fob to lock or unlock, it will not work. You cannot just synchronize both of them again because the key fob can’t be fixed. In this situation, you have to buy a new fob which will cost more money.

4. Battery Safety Terminal (BST)

As you know, Battery Safety Terminal (BST) was first introduced by BMW in the early 200s. The intention was good to prevent the car from combusting during an accident.

Unfortunately, it led to some issues with starting the car after a minor crash due to any possible reason. The positive cables get disconnected during the crash, causing not starting or problems in starting the car, which needs special attention.

Some Most Reliable BMW Models

We have gathered a list of few MBW models that are considered the most reliable based on the performance and repair needed. Keep in mind, these vehicles are reliable only when the proper care and maintenance are provided.

Otherwise, there’s no model of any brand which you can consider reliable when not properly taken care of. Take a look at these models or series if you are still wondering how reliable is BMW. The list is organized orderly rather than based on reliability.

1. BMW 1 Series

The one series offers four seats and a rear-wheel-drive, although two people should be ready for minimal rear seating. The series includes only vehicles between 2008 and 2011 BMW models under this series.

These cars are considered as one of the most reliable BMW models based on the performance and repairs needed in an entire year registered by various repairing websites.

2. BMW X1

It consists of a great foreign luxury car having a strong turbocharged engine besides a spacious cabin suitable for a big family while traveling. It is considered a quality subcompact SUV that allows quick acceleration and incredible handling.

3. BMW 4 Series

If you are looking for a BMW that combines both sports design and a classy look, you are going to find them in this series.

The cars under this series offer great handling, but everything extraordinary in these cars comes at costly maintenance. Overall, if you are willing to spend some money, it is worth buying and driving.

4. BMW 5 Series

This series is well-known for the most reliable BMW models with luxury midsize car features. It has outstanding features besides having a quality motor machine. Its spacious cabin, good handling, and power trains make money worth spending.

How Reliable Is BMW?

BMW manufactures various models every year, and each model comes with many great features and a few defects. Our article was about how reliable is BMW while explaining some common defects and the most reliable BMW models.

At the end of the article, you must be aware of common defects you need to deal with if you go for BMW. In other cases, if you want a car with the least defects, go for any vehicle under the most reliable list we have gathered.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.