Common problems with BMW 520d

The BMW 520d combines luxury with classic style and exceptional performance. However, it also comes with some common problems that interested buyers should know about before investing in it. So, what are the common problems of the BMW 520d?

Some of the common problems that BMW 520d faces are engine overheating, timing chain issues, water leak problems, faulty fuel pump, cooling system failure, rear window wiper failure, cooling system failure, and air conditioning problems.

So, before you invest in the BMW 520d, you should be ready to deal with most of these problems. What’s more, you may not experience all of these issues as most of them occur on select BMW 520d model years.

What are the common problems with the BMW 520d?

Timing chain problem

One of the common problems that BMW 520d owners should be ready to face is the timing chain problem. The guides can wear out and the chain can stretch. If this happens, you may hear a rattling sound and the engine may misfire. You will have to replace the timing chain, which is quite expensive.

Engine overheating

The four-cylinder engine fitted on the BMW 520d faces a lot of issues. A common problem of the engine is overheating. This usually occurs because of a bad thermostat. Always start by checking the thermostat when your engine overheats. You will have to replace it.

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Steering wheel noises

Another common problem that BMW 520d users are likely to face is steering wheel noises. This normally takes place when you turn the steering wheel from full lock one said to the other at low speeds. This is normally caused by a lack of lubrication. So, ensure to lubricate the steering rack to avert such noises.

Rear window wiper failure

The BMW 520d comes with a sedan and touring body style. Even though both of these cars are outstanding, the touring option has an issue with the rear window wiper. The spindle on the rear window becomes faulty, making the rear wipers not work. If that’s the case, then you will have to replace the spindle. 

Water leak issues

If you notice that water is leaking in your trunk, this is a sign that the spare wheel well has an issue. If left unattended, water may enter into the electronic control module and damage it. Furthermore, the boot seals may be broken and have to be replaced as well. Identify the issue and save your car from further damage.

Cooling system failure

As stated earlier, a bad thermostat can affect how the car’s engine work. Aside from that, a bad water pump can also affect the engine’s performance. If your engine begins to overheat, check the thermostat and water pump. If any of the parts are damaged or faulty, replace it with a new one.

Air conditioning issues

Another irritating issue that BMW 520d users face is air conditioning problems. This is normally caused by an alternating fan speed without active control from the driver. As a result, the fan tends to change on its own and only blows out cold air on lower settings. Take your car to a BMW service center for a checkup.

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Faulty or blown turbo

When your BMW 520d hits over 40,000 miles, you should watch out for your turbo as it may become faulty or even blow. Some of the signs of a bad turbo include excessive exhaust smoke, poor acceleration, and check engine light coming on. The main cause of a faulty turbo is oil contamination.

Faulty fuel pump

Like most BMW models, the BMW 520d also comes with fuel pump problems. If the fuel pump is not working correctly, engine performance may be affected and the engine may even stall. The main cause of a faulty fuel pump in the BMW 520d is broken wire connections that cause connectors to melt.


Is BMW 520d reliable?

No, the BMW 520d is not a reliable car. This is because most reliability agencies like J.D. Power rank it below average, which is quite worrying. This car is unreliable because it breaks down more often than average. What’s more, the cost of maintenance is somewhat high than that of its rivals.

What is high mileage for BMW 520d?

BMW 520d is not a reliable car. But if you maintain it properly, this car can last for several years and put on several miles. On average, most BMW 520ds last up to 150k miles. But if the car is maintained well, then it can clock over 250k miles, which is exceptional.

Is BMW 520d expensive to maintain?

BMW 520d may be a well-performing car, but maintaining this car is quite expensive. This is because you will spend more than average the cost of maintaining a normal car. What’s more, BMW spare parts and services are costly, which adds up to the total cost of repair and maintenance.

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Does the BMW 520d have a lot of problems?

Yes, the BMW 520d has a lot of problems. Most of BMW 520d’s issues are connected to engine problems and electrical issues. Besides. BMW 520d ranks below average when it comes to reliability. Therefore, you should expect to spend more time in the garage than an average car.

How often should service the BMW 520d?

If you desire your BMW 520d to have a prolonged lifespan, you will have to follow maintenance scheduled service. Some of the important services that you will have to carry out are oil, oil filter, inspecting the engine, examining the braking system, examining the exhaust system, changing air filters, and replacing spark plugs.

Oil and oil filters should be changed every 10,000 miles. On the other hand, the engine, braking system, and exhaust system should e examined every 60,000 miles. And finally, air filters and spark plugs should be replaced every 60,000 miles.


After highlighting some of the common problems of the BMW 520d, you can now relax knowing what to expect from this car. Most of these problems can be fixed by a certified BMW technician or from a BMW service center.

Despite having multiple problems, the BMW 520d is still an excellent luxury car with top-notch features. It is also a nice family car and performs exceptionally well. With proper care and maintenance, the BMW 520d should do over 250,000 miles.

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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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