really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,600 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace engine (1 reports)
  3. replace timing chain module (1 reports)
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problem #3

Jun 082019

X3 28I N20

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

X3 went into limp mode with Drivetrain malfunction message on iDrive. Towed it over 300 miles back to hometown and dropped it off at a trusted mechanic. Said it's a timing chain failure so towed it to BMW in town. Working with them and BMW to get this fixed and for BMW to do the right thing and replace it on their dime.

Had family with me and stressed out my wife. No one was harmed and luckily the engine didn't ruin yet as others have unfortunately reported. BMW is not as willing to cover the repair once the car goes past 70k miles, we're at 90k miles.

- ugrm5, Austin, US

problem #2

May 072019

X3 28L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Start off by saying I Definitely like 2013 BMW X3 28. About two weeks ago I was driving down the highway on my way back home from work check engine light came on in the car, and it stalled out on me. I pulled over to the Side of the highway, try starting it back up nothing happened, I just kept saying powertrain malfunction. I called my insurance company and got towed to The dealership. They called me the next morning stating that they believe it was the timing belt he said. But before they knew if it was a timing belt or not, they will have to take off something on the front of the engine that will cost me $900 of work to remove it. I’m just not understanding, a car is supposed to run like a machine and just barely touching 90,000 miles the timing chain will go like that. It's an estimated cost of $5600 out the door to get my car fixed, it just doesn’t make any sense. This is a problem on the Resolve Immediately, this is my only vehicle.

- Jerrod M., Pittsburgh, US

problem #1

Sep 162018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,777 miles

I have a 2013 BMW X3 with 85k miles and was driving on a 4-lane highway at 55 mph when a warning light came on indicating a drivetrain malfunction and that I should “drive moderately”. Within seconds, a second warning light came on indicating low oil pressure and that I should “add a quart of oil”. I IMMEDIATELY pulled over to the side of the road where the car shifted into neutral without me touching the gear shift. I turned the car off to check the owner’s manual about the drivetrain warning light, and the car would not restart. The entire scenario lasted about 10-15 seconds, and prior to this, I had no problems with the car and was diligent about performing routine service according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The car was towed to the closest BMW dealership. I received a call the following day notifying me that catastrophic damage had occurred to the engine and that I needed a new engine! Apparently, the timing chain guide broke, the pieces fell into the oil pan and lodged against the screen that keeps debris out of the engine, and starved the engine of oil.

While I am concerned about the $12,000 repair bill, I am equally concerned about the danger that is posed by the sudden and complete disablement of the vehicle that could result in injury or death to the car owner or to another driver who encounters the disabled car on a busy highway.

THIS IS A RECURRING PROBLEM. I spoke with 3 service advisors at 3 different dealerships, and the service advisors said “It is a recurring problem”. I also reviewed NHTSA and carcomplaints.com websites and found numerous complaints about the same problem. I anticipate more incidences of timing chain guide failure more drivers reach 75K plus miles.

- Sandra B., Isle Of Palms, SC, US