The BMW 5 Series is a high-performance vehicle that is loved by many. While these vehicles have a reputation for being powerful and reliable, there are a few common engine and transmission issues that may come up. Knowing what to look for can help you recognize signs of potential problems, so you can take care of them before they become a much bigger issue. Here’s a look at some of the complaints we commonly see at The Haus.
Many owners of the BMW F10 5-Series have reported problems with their vehicle’s 8-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmission systems. Some of the most common complaints included jerking while downshifting, sudden drops in speed, a loud “clunking” noise while shifting gears, and a rough riding experience. Sometimes, the transmission would also behave as if it had slipped a few gears.
In addition, while problems with the transmission typically trigger the “transmission failure” light, some owners experienced the symptoms listed above without any other indication of a problem. In some cases, this is caused by the BMW being low on transmission fluid. Other times, it’s related to a software malfunction, which can often be resolved by a reset.
BMWs are notorious for having oil leaks. One reason is that many models have valve cover gaskets that are made with cork or plastic. This makes them delicate and prone to damage. Over time, the gasket can become dry and brittle, and once cracks develop, oil can leak through them. It’s also common for BMW oil filter gaskets to fail, causing leaks.
While a small oil leak isn’t catastrophic, left untreated, the loss of lubrication will eventually damage your engine. Oil leaking onto pulleys and belts or into heated parts of the engine can also cause premature part failure.
The BMW F10 5 Series sometimes experiences engine overheating. This may be caused by a clogged cooling system, malfunctioning thermostat, faulty water pump, or coolant leak. Using the wrong coolant can also cause engine overheating due to improper viscosity.
Water Pump Failure
BMWs in general are known for water pump failures. In fact, BMW recalled some model years of the 550i and 550i xDrive sedans, 550i Gran Turismo and 550i Gran Turismo xDrive sedans, and BMW X5 xDrive 50i and X5 M sport utility vehicles, due to water pump issues. A failed water pump often leads to engine damage including cracked engine blocks and damage to the head gasket, pistons, and cylinders.
Issues with BMW thermostats also cause engine problems. This is commonly found in the N52 engine, which was predominantly used in the E60 525i and 528i models. Thermostat failure is often mistaken for a failed water pump.
Problems occur when the thermostat sticks in either the “open” or “closed” position. If it fails closed, coolant won’t cycle into the engine, which can cause your engine to overheat and create significant damage. Failing in the open position is less likely to cause serious damage, but is still a problem that needs to be addressed.
Rod Bearing Issues
Worn rod bearings are a common complaint among owners of the BMW M5 with an S85 engine. These bearings are responsible for connecting the rods to your vehicle’s crankshaft. They can start to wear down, and if left for too long without being repaired, this can lead to total engine failure. The wear and tear may also score the crankshaft, cause rod knock, and eventually lead to bent rods.
The good news is that if you catch the problem early enough, the rods can be changed out without having to pull the engine. However, it’s still a very labor-intensive job.
Timing Chain Failure
BMW timing chains tend to have issues, particularly with the N47 engine, which was used in the 5 Series BMW E60 and E61 from 2007 to 2015. In these models, the timing chain suffers from excessive wear, which leads to premature breakdown. In some cases, it can collapse while the engine is running, creating serious engine damage.
If you notice a rattling noise from the rear of the engine, this could be an indication of an impending timing chain failure. Due to the location, replacing the timing chain requires either detaching the transmission or taking out the engine, both of which are big repair jobs.
Trust The Haus with Your BMW 5-Series Engine & Transmission Problems
Many of the BMW 5-Series engine and transmission problems can be fixed before they create major issues. If you think you’re dealing with any of the problems mentioned above or you have other concerns about your vehicle, bring it to The Haus for an inspection. We’ll quickly and accurately diagnose and repair the problem, so you can get back on the road right away. Contact us today to schedule a VIP appointment.