really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,465 miles

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problem #113

Aug 212021


  • miles
I was driving on the highway and took my exit and the car suddenly stopped with the message "Drivetrain malfunction. Drive moderately." After this, the car would not move even with the engine on. It was as if the it was stuck in one gear and wouldn't move to "Drive". I turned the car off and back again. At this time, the car started to sputter after it started. Then, I let it stopped the engine for about 20 minutes. When the problem happened, the check engine light came on. After 20 minutes, I started the car again and I was able to drive it and the check engine light went away. However, since I had to go back on the highway, I was concerned about driving as it might stop suddenly on the highway and create a major accident. As per google, this seems to be a common issue with BMW X3's. The company should recall and repair such an incidence from happening.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #112

Aug 052021


  • miles
More frequent drive train errors and loss of power. Cause defective timing chain guide. This seems to be very common on this year and model of BMW speaking with other BMW owners of the same car. Luckily we were not in heavy traffic and could drive to repair shop.

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #111

Jun 222021


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 BMW X3. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. During the failure, the message "transmission malfunction" was displayed on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to the residence and later examined by an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the timing chain had failed. The vehicle was not yet repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The local dealer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Capitol Heights, MD, USA

problem #110

Jun 222021


  • miles
The engine failed while driving on the highway on 06/22/2021. My safety was put at risk because the traffic was heavy during the middle of a rain storm on the interstate. Cars had to swerve to avoid me as I was only able to coast my vehicle to the side of the highway. I was almost struck by traffic. A number of warning lights suddenly went off without have gone off before in king and oil pressure message and engine failure message and a transmission failure message all at once. I am in the process of getting the vehicle towed to be inspected. This appears to be a known problem with 2013 BMW X3s according to the research I have done since the incident but BMW won-t issue a recall for the vehicles even though they are aware that this is a dangerous vehicle issue according to websites like bimmerpost, com and car gurus.com which have similar incidents to mine posted on their websites. BMW needs to issue a recall and make the appropriate repairs.

- Capitol Heights , MD, USA

problem #109

Jun 252021


  • miles
Started without any engine warning or oil warning. When drove on highway, "low oil pressure" message popped on dashboard, then engine started giving up. Then "drivetrain: cont driving possible" message showed up, engine completely died, couldn't start or shift gear. The car was towed to dealership for diagnosis and report came back with timing chain failure. But there's no conclusive result/fully-proved diagnosis unless tearing down the engine.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #108

Jun 182021


  • miles
My cars check engine light and drive train alert came on, so I took it to be inspected. It was not running well, seems to have much less power than usual on the way to the mechanic. I have been told that the power chain guides have broken and must be replaced. This could cause the power chain to come off mid-drive and completely shut the car down.The cost of parts and labor for repair will be around $3,300. This car isn-t old, is well cared for and maintained and does not have high mileage.

- Semmes, AL, USA

problem #107

May 242021


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 BMW X3. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 MPH, the vehicle stalled with the "Transmission malfunction, drive accurately, " warning message displayed on the instrument panel. The contact coasted the vehicle to the side of the road and had the vehicle towed to an independent mechanic. The contact was informed by the mechanic that the engine had seized and recommended that the vehicle be taken to an authorized dealer. The contact had the vehicle towed to an unnamed dealer where it was confirmed that the engine had seized and needed to be replaced. the dealer provided an estimate for the repair. The contact attempted to reach the manufacturer but was unable to reach a representative. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 77,000.

- East Amherst, NY, USA

problem #106

Feb 032021


  • miles
The system that failed was the TIMING CHAIN AND CHAIN TENSIONER. The vehicle stalled while I was driving on the interstate. Immediately, I had no power and had to maneuver the vehicle to the emergency lane, placing me and other drivers in extreme danger. The problem was inspected, confirmed and repaired by the vehicle dealer. Prior to stalling, there were no warning lights to indicate a problem. The lights did come on simultaneously with the engine failure.

- Rathdrum, ID, USA

problem #105

May 182021


  • miles
Vehicle indicated a drivetrain malfunction. It was determined by the dealer that the system that failed was TIMING VALVETRONIC MOTOR. The vehicle stalled as I was making a left hand turn off of a busy highway, putting myself and oncoming traffic at serious risk of collision. Oncoming vehicles were able to slow until I was able to maneuver the vehicle out of the lane of oncoming traffic. The dealer confirmed that they "found the vehicle stalling and not running correctly. Performed vehicle test. Found faults for valvetronic motor. Set multiple additional faults for mixture and air mass. Valvetronic is failing and should be replaced." The vehicle component was inspected by the dealer who sold me the car. There were no warning lights nor other indicators of component failure prior to the vehicle stalling on the highway. This is the second time this vehicle has stalled in dangerous situations. The first time was a drivetrain malfunction/engine failure due to TIMING CHAIN AND TIMING TENSIONER malfunction. Most likely the VALVETRONIC SYSTEM failure is directly related to the TIMING CHAIN TENSIONER malfunction. Both systems failed within a very short period of time, and within fewer than 4,000 miles of each other.

- Rathdrum, ID, USA

problem #104

Apr 192021


  • miles
My 2013, _bmw X3 check engine light went on and I noticed power loss when it didn't drive over 40mph. I had the vehicle diagnostics done at my local BMW shop and they told me I have a bad timing chain and sprockets and gave me a bill in the thousands. I called BMW corporate and spoke to lori who is aware of the issue and said, an extended warranty was issued but that it expired in 2018. They offered me no other financial assistance because my car has 100,499 miles. So that's it a car dies at 100,000 miles and they can't help"?" that's awful. There's so many complaints about this issue. My other 2007 BMW X3 huge problems too overheating, my motor mount bolt broke the engine dropped and broke the water pump. Garbage, garbage, garbage I will never buy BMW. Shame on BMW for not helping!!!! my Toyota went past 200,000 miles and it's still driving.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #103

Mar 102021


  • 55,000 miles
When at stop light the car stalls or when I'm at a stop sign stalls engine very dangerous and developed anxiety driving it, gust week oil can out back and odd engin sound making noise, it had to get towed but ira Toyota suckered me. They can't get in the engine to inspect it. I can't drive it on highways at all scared it will engine stop

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #102

Jul 062020


  • 120,000 miles
My engine was replaced in 2019 at a BMW certified dealership where I purchased. In July 2020 the car broke down and was towed in to BMW radiator was replaced and did not fix the problem. I was then told it was engine failure, that would not be covered. I have been without a vehicle for months.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #101

May 112018


  • 85,000 miles
Drive train malfunction happened multiple times and the engine just stopped while driving at 55mph - the engine stopped completely in May 2018 and died. I took it into the dealership many times but they could not find out what was causing the problem. I no longer own the car because of the engine failure.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #100

Nov 082020


  • 112,000 miles
Bought 2013 BMW X3 with about 90,000 miles on it. In 2/2020 had engine oil pressure low light come on and took to BMW dealership. They could not identify a problem other than a minor leak and suggested replacing gasket; if oil light continued to come on to bring it back and next option would draining oil/inspecting oil pump with camera; also made comment regarding needing to possibly replace timing chain but due to cost was the last option. The BMW staff did not make me aware of what I later became aware of... BMW X3 having issues with the chain guide, later leading to timing issues/engine failure. The light came on again so I took the car to an independent shop that specializes in foreign cars. They could not see anything major after numerous test drives; engine cleaner was added; oil changed. Light would come on occasionally (once every month); would pull over, wait for car to cool down and restart... no light returned. Took car for another oil change and mechanic reported not even seeing the error codes when diagnostic completed? drove for another several months until late October, early November when codes started back on occasion. In November, had left the car idling to for quick stop and when attempting to pull out of driveway, the car stalled. It sounded like it wanted to start but would not. Was 1/2 in driveway and 1/2 out into road blocking traffic. Was able to get pushed out of road; still would not start. Towed- mechanic reported timing chain had slack, causing timing issue and engine to stop. Mechanic also did research on problem and located class action suit. After researching realized there were warning signs and if BMW dealer would have been up front about what was already known (timing chain guide issues); the parts could have been replaced 8.5 months ago without car suddenly stopping. Luckily local and not on highway while driving 65 miles an hour.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #99

Jun 012020


  • 87,530 miles
The vehicle has been to shop 2 times.1st drivetrain light came on and car would slow down in the middle of the highway.then it would totally stop. 2nd time it did the same thing except oil pressure light came on saying pressure too low and it stopped right there in the middle of the street. Now the oil pressure light comes on every time I drive it. I'm afraid it will stop in the middle of the highway again.

- Capitan, NM, USA

problem #98

Oct 142020


  • 110,839 miles
I bought this pre-owned vehicle (a) because it was a BMW that was known to be of superior workmanship and mechanical expertise, as heralded by BMW media, and (B) because it was in excellent condition with superior service records ' carfax noted 'no issues reported' during its entire life on New Mexico roadways: 105,508 miles. My vehicle drove perfectly, with no issues, until approximately 4:00 pm on October 14, 2020, when, at 110,839 miles, with no warning of an issue of any kind, the engine experienced a catastrophic failure, causing me to quickly search for a place to pull over in a congested area. I had been taking my grandson to a lesson and was lucky we weren't injured or worse. Ironically, although it was obvious the vehicle was experiencing massive failure, the message on the communications module said, 'continue to drive carefully.' I had the car delivered an to a long-time, award-winning, highly respected BMW mechanic. His analysis indicated that there was no repair available for my car, as the plastic guide assembly for the primary timing chain was made of a defective polycarbonate material that became brittle and broke apart, creating debris that lodged in the crankshaft drive sprockets. This debris caused the primary chain to skip, letting the camshafts and crankshaft fall out of sync, which destroyed the engine. Bottom line: I would have to completely replace the N20 engine to the tune of $11,163.81 (at BMW $15K or more). There is a less expensive option: An engine with at least 70K miles. Problem is, it has a 70K mile timing chain. So, it would have to be replaced and only has a one year option, as opposed to two years. BMW America will do nothing to help, even though they've known about the issue since 2012, which is fraudulent, based on what I've seen from claimants with the same issue online!

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #97

Nov 072020


  • miles
2013 X3 28I-drivetrain malfunction I had an issue yesterday. 2013 X3 28I; 67K miles. No warning. On expressway car feels like its losing power so I slow down to pull to side. Drivetrain malfunction warning comes on as car is dying. Had it towed to closest shop, not bwm. They say timing chain tensioner failed and likely did extensive damage to engine. Shop is quoting $2500 to replace the tensioner to see if engine is shot" once they confirm engine is dead $10K for replacement ?" car is out of warranty. Any help much appreciated. Thanks

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #96

Oct 232020


  • 80,000 miles
Timing chain failure as I was driving on the freeway. Complete engine shut down. Engine has to be replaced.

- Mendota Heights, MN, USA

problem #95

Oct 272020


  • 73,928 miles
Ion Oct 27, 2020 while driving my vehicle accompanied by my wife, on a local street in the vicinity of lake zurich, il, a 'drivetrain malfunction' message flashed on the dashboard and the vehicle went into park mode. I could not get the engine to restart and had it towed to the nearby BMW service center. The next day, the service associate sent me an estimate, informing that there was a catastrophic engine failure. Both the engine and the turbocharger need to be replaced with the cost for such amounting to some $18000 + taxes! the vehicle only has 73000 miles and I was told by the service associate that I happened to be just unlucky that this happened and it was not due to anything I had done (or omitted to do by way of routine maintenance). Looking at all such similar complaints for the 2013 model year for BMW X3, there is obviously a design issue with the engine and associated components. I am also particularly thankful it happened on a side street before I got on to the highway. This is a huge safety issue and BMW must be held to account for not issuing a recall or changing their service procedures to mitigate the effects of the problem.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #94

Oct 222020


  • 111,000 miles
Twice now while driving the car it just completely stopped. No warning at all. Just came to a complete stop as I was driving. There were no warning lights, just happened. The first time was on a busy road, the second was on a much less busy street close to my home. I had it fixed to the tune of over $3000 the first time a year and a half ago. Now my mechanic is telling me that it is the timing chain and oil pump drive and that will be a very expensive fix. I am beside myself. If this had happened on a busy highway, lord knows what would have happened but it could've been something very catastrophic and horrific. I am a single mother and a widow and with the pandemic, I was out of work for many months. I do not know what I am going to do but I cannot afford to fix this car for several thousands of dollars.

- Johnson City, NY, USA

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