Common problems with the BMW E60

BMW E60 Problems

The BMW E60 was produced between 2003 and 2010. During this period, it was one of the finest BMW 5-Series sedans as it was uniquely designed and it came with lots of new technologies.

Besides, the BMW E60 is spacious, comfortable, luxurious, and reliable. Since this car came with several new technologies, it had several issues to deal with. These made it to be less reliable and expensive to maintain.

Common BMW E60 5-Series problems include control arm failure, brake booster failure, leaky absorbers, ripped seats, transmission issues, fuel-related problems, and malfunctioning slip ring, to name but a few.

What are the common problems with the BMW E60?

Fuel related problems

A common problem with BMW E60s is fuel issues. This problem is rampant on the BMW 535i. The problem is caused by a faulty thermostat and fuel pumps. When these parts wear out or become damaged, they cause loss of power, reduced gas mileage, whining noise, coolant leaks, and heater problems.

Repair or replace the defective fuel pump or thermostat to fix the issue. On top of that, don’t allow the fuel pump or thermostat to wear out completely before replacing them.

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Control arm failure

When your BMW E60 hits around 40,000 miles, you may start to experience control arm failure or the bushings may also fail. If this part becomes faulty, you may experience loose handling which leads to serious suspension system problems. Ensure to replace a bad control arm and bushings.

Transmission problems

Transmission problems are also common on most BMW E60s, but they are worse on the BMW E60 5-Series 530d. The ZF automatic transmission in this model develops issues when the transmission parts start to wear out. Since most of the parts are made of plastic, they wear out much faster.

When the transmission is bad, you will start to hear weird sounds when switching from park to drive. Note that the cost of repairing a bad transmission in the E60 is costly.

Leaky absorbers

Another common problem that BMW E60 owners should be ready to handle is leaky absorbers. Since these parts are exposed to dirt and dust, they tend to wear out faster. The front absorbers wear out faster than the rear absorbers. So, you should inspect them every 40,000 to 50,000 miles and replace them if need be.

Brake booster failure

This issue has been reported by a few drivers. The brake booster failure led to the brakes being very hard to depress. This issue has been linked to a faulty hose that leaks oil into the brake booster. As a result, some BMW E60 models were recalled. Always check this issue before buying a used BMW E60 model.

Faulty thermostat housing

A faulty thermostat housing is another problem that BMW E60 owners should be ready to face. This usually happens because of a wiring defect in the thermostat that prevents electrical signals from being sent to the car’s cooling or heating system. Replace the thermostat.

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Malfunction of the active steering system

The main reason why most BMW E60s have this issue is that the power steering belts wear out faster. So, if they are not replaced on time, they will cause the active steering system to become faulty. Other causes can be pump malfunctions, blocked hoses, faulty power steering rack, malfunctioning wheel slip-ring, and a defective active steering module.

Leaky valve cover or oil filter housing

The valve cover in the BMW E60 wears out faster. When this happens, it can crack or break and affect other parts, such as the oil filter housing. Signs of a bad valve cover include oil leaks, low engine oil, and a dirty valve cover. Replace the worn-out parts as soon as possible to avoid escalation of issues.

Ripped or torn seats

Ripped or torn seats are very common in BMWs. This is mainly because of the quality of materials used to make the seats. Nonetheless, this is a small issue as the ripped seats can be stitched or replaced.


Is BMW E60 reliable?

No, the BW E60 is not a reliable car. This is because it comes with several issues, such as transmission problems, electrical issues, and much more. Additionally, many reliability agencies rate it below-average reliability, as this car registers more problems than the industry average.

So, if reliability is what you’re looking for in a car, stay away from the BMW E60 or any other BMW 5-Series. The BMW 5-Series is among the least reliable BMW lineups.

What is the most reliable BMW E60 model?

The most reliable BMW E60 is the BMW 528i. This exceptional sedan was fitted with a 3.0-liter N52 naturally-aspirated straight-6 engine. Not only is the N52 engine one of BMW’s most reliable engines, but it is also powerful with few issues.

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Regardless, if you’re buying a used BMW E60 5-Series 528i model, ensure it is well-maintained to avoid having costly repairs in the future.

Is the BMW E60 expensive to maintain?

Yes, the BMW E60 is expensive to maintain as it comes with lots of new technologies of its error. As a result, this car can be costly to repair and maintain. Nonetheless, since BMW OEM parts and labor are expensive, they make the overall cost of maintenance to be considerably high.

After how many miles does the BMW E60 start having problems?

With proper maintenance, the BMW E60 shouldn’t have any before hitting 100,000 miles. However, if it is not maintained properly, this car may start experiencing issues as early as 50,000 miles. Moreover, if it is maintained well, it can last for more than 250,000 miles.


After looking at the common problems that BMW E60 5-Series faces, you can now focus on maintaining your car for longevity. The E60 is a nice car with high-tech features and exceptional performance. But without proper care and maintenance, this car can become a headache to own.

Follow BMW’s scheduled maintenance service program to ensure that your E60 stays in shape and operates at an optimal level. This will reduce the overall cost of repair and maintenance in the future.

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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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