Common Problems with BMW 118d

BMW 118d is an elegant and compact hatchback that many BMW lovers on a budget would love to have. It is economical, spacious, reliable, and fun to drive. However, it also comes with several problems that one should know so that they can budget for them in advance.

The BMW 118d has several issues that one should know about before investing their money in. Some of these problems are timing chain failure, door handle issues, engine stalling, ineffective brakes, power steering malfunction, and much more.

What are the common problems with the BMW 118d?

Timing chain failure

A common problem that BMW 118d owners undergo is timing chain failure. The timing chains and tensioners on the BMW 118d are not good enough. So, if they fail, the car may not start or fail to drive. If your car has a timing chain problem, your engine may misfire or you may hear a rattling sound.

The best way to handle a timing chain and tensioner failure is to replace the part. So, ensure the timing chain on the BMW 118d is in good condition before buying a used BMW 118d.

Engine stalling

Another common issue that BMW 118d owners experience is engine stalling. The engine stalling in the 118d is a result of an electrical problem. It usually happens when the car is in motion and the exterior lights turn off. BMW technicians have found that a cable supplying power to the power distribution box has been found to fail inside the engine bay.

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Therefore, before you pay for the BMW 118d, inspect it and ensure that the cable supplying power is in a good condition.

Door handles issues

Most BMW 1-Series have a problem with door handle issues. So, this is not just a problem for the BMW 118d, but as well as 116i, 116d, 118d, and many other 1-Series models. If your car has a door handle issue, you will notice that a unit sticks out of the door as you try to close it.

Take the car to a technician or BMW service center to have it fixed. You will be required to change the catch and handle as they could be broken.

Airbag problems

BMW 118d made in the second quarter of 2008 have airbag issues. These issues occurred because of the faults in the BMW hatchback’s seat belt tensioner and wiring harness. The only way to get rid of this issue is by replacing the failed part.

Power steering malfunction

Many BMW 118d users have complained about power steering malfunction. The steering wheel losses power because of an electronic control failure. In some cases, the issue is very serious that it requires the whole power steering system to be replaced. Besides, BMW recalled many cars because of this particular problem.

Turbocharger issues

As your car ages, the chances of the turbocharger developing issues are also high. This is because the turbocharger is affected by things like foreign objects, oil starvation, and oil contamination. So, before you repair or change the turbocharger, try to solve the underlying issue that may cause the turbocharger to fail before replacing it.

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Ineffective brakes

If you buy a 2006 BMW 118d, you should anticipate having brake problems. This is because BMW 1-Series like the 118d came with this problem. The issue is linked with a seal on the brake system. Since the brakes are compromised, they won’t work as they are needed or are very effective.

Cold start idling problem

Another issue that most BMW 118d owners come across is the cold start idling issue. This usually occurs when you start your car in cold weather. The engine may also idle. However, unlike most issues on this list, the problem can be rectified by reprogramming the ECU or electronic control unit.

Fuel pump failure

Fuel pump failure happens on almost all BMWs. It is common on old models or those that have put on a lot of miles. As you cover several miles, fuel contaminants, electrical faults, and old age are the ones that cause the fuel pump to wear out. In most cases, you will have to replace the fuel pump.

Transmission problems

Several BMW 118d has been recalled because of transmission problems. Most owners complained about the loss of drive as they attempted to select gears and shift into them. After the cars were recalled, BMW technicians identified a small bolt that came loose in the clutch pressure.

If you’re buying a used BMW 118d, ensure that the issue was corrected by BMW and it is no longer loose. 


How many miles are high mileages for the BMW 118d?

If you’re looking for a quality used BMW 118d, ensure that it has less than 100,000 miles. If it has more than 150,000 miles, this is considered as high mileage as it will start to have serious issues that demand a lot of money to buy and repair.

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How long does the BMW 118d last?

Despite not being as powerful as the BMW 3-Series or 5-Series, the BMW 118d can last over 200,000 miles. Nonetheless, it requires proper care and maintenance to hit the above miles. What’s more, good driving habits also help to prolong the car’s lifespan.

Does the BMW 1-Series have a lot of problems?

No, the BMW 1-Series doesn’t come with lots of issues. However, when you compare it with other cars in its class, you will find that it has more issues. Some of the common problems of the BMW 118d are seat belt tensioner’s fault, axle issue, transmission problem, the problem with power-assisted brakes, and much more.

What is the difference between 118i and 118d?

These are the same cars but one car uses diesel to run while the other uses petrol. The BMW 118d uses diesel, while the BMW 118i uses petrol. What’s more, the BMW 118i has 3 engine options, while the BMW 118d comes with only two engine options.


Now that you know some of the problems that BMW 118d faces, you can decide whether to acquire a quality used 118d or not. This compact hatchback is one of a kind as its spacious, comfortable, reliable, practical, and fun to drive. Besides, most of the problems that it comes with can be handled by a certified BMW technician.

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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.

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