Sports cars and larger 4×4 cars have become incredibly popular in the last two decades and at the top of this list is the BMW X3. A strong and stable vehicle that highlights German power and efficiency, if you want to stand out on the road then this is a car that will definitely catch your eye. But this incredible car does not escape some faults, so we will teach you the common faults of the BMW X3 .
You can get a working X3 from a used BMW specialist or used car dealer, but you’re unlikely to find it cheap.
Common faults of the BMW X3
This vehicle demands high prices, so it is always important to check the most common faults of the BMW X3. Take a look at our list to make sure you recognize failures if they happen to you.
1- Transmission failures
If your car seems to be shifting incorrectly and selecting the wrong gear for the vehicle’s current engine revs, then this could well be due to a reported problem with the transmission computer. This usually requires you to take the car to a BMW specialist to have the system completely reconfigured or reprogrammed.
2- Problems in the direction
Does the X3 you’re thinking of buying have variable sport steering? If so, you need to be very attentive on your test drive to make sure the steering is working properly, as there is a known problem with the system, which could cause it to fail completely. To fix this problem you will have to go through the expensive repair of installing a replacement steering belt.
3- Faults with the turbo
Perhaps one of the most common failures of the BMW X3 is with the turbo. According to the owner’s manual, the vehicle should be allowed to cool down before completely shutting off the engine after a drive.
Failure to follow this simple process causes carbonization of the oil in the ducts , forcing the replacement of both the turbo unit and the oil supply system. Check the owner’s history to see if there have been turbo issues in the past.
4- Suspension problems
Test the suspension of your BMW X3 with a simple push on the vehicle body and see how quickly it rocks into position. The suspension system is known to suffer a lot when off-roading and this will affect overall ride quality. If you have difficulties with the suspension, it will be necessary to replace the shock absorbers and the bushings, which must be changed in pairs.
5- Airbag (Safety airbag) defective
This is pretty easy to spot. There is a known issue with the passenger airbag light, which can activate even when there is no front seat passenger due to a faulty switch. This will leave the light on at all times as long as the car’s electrical system is on.
6- Problems with the sunroof
When the X3’s sunroof is closed there should be no problems. But if you open this window to get air into your BMW, you may be assailed by all sorts of screeching and banging noises. Be sure to open the sunroof on a test ride to check for this fault, but also note that this problem can be fixed by replacing these plastic parts.
7- The vehicle pulls to one side
Have you noticed that the vehicle is pulling to one side? This will be noticeable especially when braking. The cause is usually a traction problem. You need to adjust the tracking to resolve the issue.
8- Engine oil leaks
Like any other BMW, the X3’s engines are prone to oil leaks . Oil leaks are usually caused by deteriorating valve cover gaskets, or by cracks in the valve cover itself. Over time, the rubber valve cover gasket deteriorates from normal wear and tear and can allow oil to leak out of the engine.
Also, the valve cover itself is made of plastic on most BMW engines. Therefore, the cover is exposed to a lot of heat and stress, and over time this can lead to cracks that allow oil to seep into the engine compartment.
Older cars and those with high mileage are the most prone to engine oil leaks. These problems usually arise once the cars pass the mark of about 80,000 kilometers. Fortunately, most of the time it is caused by the gasket which is not expensive.
9- Engine overheating and coolant leaks
If your X3 frequently overheats, or you notice coolant leaks on your garage floor, you have a fault somewhere in the cooling system. On the X3, the radiator and coolant expansion tank are the most common culprits. This problem can also be caused by a bad thermostat or housing .
A faulty radiator will cost you in the triple digits, while an expansion tank repair will cost around a thousand dollars.
If your car overheats, stop and have it towed away. Driving an overheated engine can warp internal parts and lead to the need for a whole new engine.
If you want a high-quality sports car with four-wheel drive, the X3 more than delivers. Even as a used car this vehicle has the power to turn heads and the BMW badge is a true statement of engineering quality.
Naturally, as with all big cars, there’s a trade-off between safety and running costs, but as long as you’re aware of economy it shouldn’t be an issue.