Common BMW xDrive Issues and Problems

BMW xDrive system is BMW’s term of referring to its all-wheel-drive system. The xDrive technology is a sophisticated, permanent all-wheel-drive system that ensures your BMW has exceptional traction at all times. However, like any car’s drive system, this system also has some challenges.

So, what are the problems with the BMW xDrive system?

The BMW xDrive system comes with multiple challenges, but the most common ones include oil leaks, electrical issues, overheating A/C, fuel system failure, corrosion of alloy wheels, tail lamp assembly problems, and much more.

So, before investing in a BMW with an xDrive system, it is vital to know some of the challenges and setbacks that you’re likely to face on the way. The good news is that most of the issues can be handled by an experienced BMW mechanic or by taking your car to a BMW service center.

What are the common problems that BMW xDrive faces?

Timing chain issues

One of the common issues with the BMW xDrive system is the timing chain problem. This is common on older BMW xDrive car models. Users usually complain about the timing chains skipping on the sprockets, thus interfering with the proper functioning of the crankshafts and camshafts.

  Common problems with BMW X4

Oil leaks

This is a common problem in almost all BMW models. Nonetheless, the issue is also rampant in BMWs with an xDrive system. Some of the main parts that cause oil leakage in the BMW xDrive system are a failing fuel pump and leaky valve cover gasket.

Fuel system failure

Fuel system failure usually takes place in BMW xDrive models because of a failed fuel pump. This normally causes the car to suddenly lose acceleration or the power steering and brakes can stop out of nowhere.

Engine cooling system

Another common issue that faces the BMW xDrive system is the engine cooling system. When this happens, it makes your car overheat. Some of the culprits of this issue include a faulty water pump or coolant leak. Note that a BMW-certified technician can easily handle this issue.

Electrical problems

Faulty electronics are not only common in BMW xDrive cars, but also in other BMW models. In this case, the culprit is normally the fuse box.  Nonetheless, BMW has reported far more serious electronic issues in the past that lead to the recall of over 300,000 cars in the UK in 2018.

Tail lamp assembly

Another BMW xDrive problem that you will come across is a faulty tail lamp/light. This problem is normally caused by a bad bulb connection at the tail lamp circuit board. The bad connection is usually a result of corrosion taking place.

Overheating A/C and heating system

Overheating A/C and heating systems is caused by overheating wiring and electrical connectors inside the heating and cooling chamber. Typically, this takes place because of the way the wiring harness of the blower regulator of the bad units was set up. So, as the components wear out and corrode, they can damage the wiring and cause a circuit when they combine with the corroded parts.

  Common problems with BMW E46

Steering wheel vibrations under braking

This issue is common with the BMW 3 series with the iDrive system. You may start to notice steering wheel vibrations or shaking as you try to brake. This is because of a fault with one of the thrush arm bushings. To avoid having such a problem, you will have to change the rubber units after 75,000 miles.

Corrosion of alloy wheels

BMW branded alloy looks spectacular and makes the car look classy. However, many BMW users have complained about these wheels not lasting long. The alloy wheels start to corrode after a short period.


Is the BMW xDrive reliable?

Yes, the BMW xDrive system is reliable. But like most BMWs, it is not very reliable as some systems, such as the Mercedes 4Matic or Torsen Quattro system. Nonetheless, it ranks slightly above average, which is a good thing.

Can you turn off BMW xDrive?

No, you can’t. This is because this system comes with the car. Besides, the xDrive or all-wheel-drive technology delivers outstanding traction to all wheels, ensuring that you stay on track regardless of the state of the road. This keeps you safe and in control of the car.

Why do BMWs have a lot of problems?

The main reason why BMWs have a lot of problems is that they come with highly advanced and latest technologies. On top of that, BMW demand regular maintenance, which some users ignore and end up having a lot of challenges in the long run.

To minimize BMW problems, proper care and maintenance of the car are crucial. Additionally, observing recommended maintenance schedule is also vital.

At what mileage do BMWs start having problems?

Most BMWs start having problems as early as 80,000 miles. Nevertheless, some may develop issues starting from 120,000 miles. So, on average, BMW’s start experiencing issues between 80,000 and 120,000 miles. After 120,000 miles, BMW owners should be ready to deal with serious and costly repair issues.

  BMW 645ci – All you need to know

Is the BMW xDrive good in snow?

Yes, the BMW xDrive technology is perfect in snow conditions. This is because the xDrive system or all-wheel-drive system works by sending power to all four wheels of the car. So, it’s not just the set of front or rear wheels that get power, but all the wheels.

With this technology, power is distributed to all wheels, ensuring that all wheels have great traction. And since conditions make the road slippery, your car is easier to control than having the rear-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive system. For the best results in snow, add winter or snow tires to your car.


The BMW xDrive is one of the most powerful and reliable car drive systems on the market. Nonetheless, it has some common problems that interested buyers should be aware of before investing in the car. Some of the common BMW xDrive issues are oil leaks, electrical issues, tail light problems, engine cooling systems, and much more.

It is also important to note that most of these issues are usually found in the older BMW xDrive system, as the most recent models are more reliable with fewer problems.

What to know about BMW problems and issues.
Car weaknesses, problems, issues, errors, disadvantages and realiability.

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

Recent Posts