hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,260 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2008 BMW 535 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 BMW 535 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Apr 042014

535 6-cyl

  • 21,200 miles


Engine losses power while driving on highway, engine malfunction light comes on with warnings of engine reduced power.took it to BMW fremont, they found the vanos solenoid valves exhaust faulty, replaced both solenoids and performed an oil service with fuel injection/induction service. This time BMW na paid 85% of the bill as a one time goodwill!

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 102013


  • 18,760 miles
Driving at 30mph, engines power suddenly reduced, engine malfunction light comes on. Took the car to BMW fremont, they found the intake camshaft position sensors faulty.they replaced camshaft sensors, pulse generator, O-ring and torque screw.as advised by the service agent had to do an oil, oilfilter change and fuel injection service to prevent default on the warranty of parts put in. As the car was out of the warranty period(even though it has a very low mileage of 18760) so had to pay $1235 out of pocket. At 19350miles the similar issue came up, took it back to BMW fremont, they found faults stored in dme,2A7C variable camshaft timing control intake cold start 1 time not currently present, cleared faults and customer to monitor.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #12

May 072014

535 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Drove car for appx 1 mile. Stopped for 10mins at a store. When I started it back up, a fan was louder than usual. I then recieved a high heat warning telling me to drive moderately or risk over heating. After a few more miles, I recieved a warning to stop the vehicle immediately due to excessive heat and not to open the hood for risk of burns. The vehicle slowed to a crawl. Luckily I was a few blocks from home. Next morning I took it to a non-BMW service center who said that the water pump malfunctioned ($950). There was a recall for certain 2008 models for the water pump. I confirmed with BMW that this model was not included. Based on similar complaints online, I believe it should be.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 012014

535 6-cyl

  • 77,021 miles


I took my car to the dealership for regular maintenance (oil change etc). They found right side engine mount bolt broken which can cause additional damage to the car. This was reported as a safety concern. I am the sole driver and have never had any issues or unusual road conditions. I searched on internet and I found a lot of complaints with 2008 bmws (5 series as well as 3 series). Definitely should be a safety recall !!!

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #10

Jan 062014

535 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
While driving the 2008 BMW 535xi, there was a loud sound from the engine. A message appeared "car overheated" and the car stopped in the middle of the road. The water pump failed with absolutely no warning. The acceleration would not work at all and the car was essentially inoperable. It was a very difficult situation with vehicles approaching me from behind especially with no shoulder space available to pull the car over. I managed to turn ont he hazard lights and barely managed to escape this situation without an incident. The vehicle was towed to a dealer and I was informed that the auxiliary water pump had failed and will have to replace it, the cost of which would be at least $1,200. When I looked up on the internet regarding this issue, I have seen many individuals complaining about the water pump in less than as little as 30,000 miles. I also stumbled onto a NHTSA recall campaign (no. 11V-521: "electric auxiliary water pump") on certain 2008 BMW 5-series. I was shocked to know that my vehicle was not included in this campaign number. What type of quality checks are these pumps subjected to" I have heard of many such instances with this year, make and model. Most other vehicles have water pumps lasting over 100,000 miles and well beyond. Why hasn't BMW issued a recall"

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #9

Dec 152013

535 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Water pump failure with less than 50K miles, repair cost $1200, ridiculous! see NHTSA id number: 10472497, this gentleman had the same complaint and just like him, my car was out of warranty by 1.5 months.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #8

Oct 172013


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 BMW 535I. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, smoke emitted from the outside rear of the vehicle and the engine coolant warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician informed the contact that the rear passenger's side tail light wires had failed and were completely burned. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id numbers: 13V407000 (exterior lighting) and 12E029000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was notified and informed the contact that the VIN was not included in either of the recalls. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #7

May 232013

535 6-cyl

  • 42,300 miles
While driving on the highway, the car indicated an engine malfunction and within seconds the message changed to engine overheating and that engine is operating at reduced output. It also advised to stop the car immediately and call the nearest BMW dealer. I had the car towed to a BMW dealer and they identified issue as a failed waterpump. The water pump was replaced for about $1,400. 3 months later, a similar issue occurred where engine was having issues and the message said that the engine is operating at reduced speed but that it is safe to continue. Took the car back to dealer and they could not find any issues; but just to be safe (whatever that means) they reprogrammed the battery and the bill was $126. Again, with no specific issue identified or resolved.

- Lone Tree, CO, USA

problem #6

Jun 082013

535 6-cyl Diesel

  • 102,000 miles
I just had to have my water pump and thermostat replaced on my 2008 535I. I was told that it happens so often, they keep the part on the shelf! are there really no recalls on this problem?? also, my right tail light shorted out. I asked the shop why...he said this also happens all the time. The wires fry! not cool.I really think someone needs to investigate this. When I was told they replace them all of the time, I was shocked. That cost me $1102.62 to fix. The guy who towed me said he makes several trips a week for people with the same problem.

- Mount Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #5

Feb 252013


  • 50,056 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 535xi. The contact stated that while driving at unknown speeds, the engine high temperature warning message appeared and the vehicle lost acceleration power. The vehicle was towed to a dealer and the contact was informed that the auxiliary water pump had failed. The contact was also informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V521000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure and current mileages were 50,056.

- Bradford, MA, USA

problem #4

Mar 012012


  • 37,000 miles


Driving my dad to er for medical emergency and driving within speed limit. Car begins to slow down on own. Could not go more than 5mph when car shut down and stated engine overheated. We were stalled on busy highway. Once able to get someone to Transport my father to er, had to get car towed. Water pump had to be replaced for no fault of mine. My sister also has BMW 2008 3 series and same thing happened to her yesterday---stranded on side of road--water pump had to be changed. Tow truck driver stated he is towing BMW's all the time with malfunctioning water pumps. This really needs to be looked into before something bad happens to stranded drivers.

- Youngsville, LA, USA

problem #3

Aug 182012

535 6-cyl

  • 46,802 miles
I own a 2008 BMW 535xi. Only months after the bumper-to-bumper factory warranty expired, the water pump failed. A car is rendered inoperable without this critical component. Because of this failure, I was left stranded on the side of a major highway, with my wife and kids in the car, unable to drive the car to the nearest exist. The water pump failed immediately and completely with little-to-no warning. I was extremely surprised and disappointed that the original BMW water pump could not even last for 50,000 miles. How could this be" what type of BMW quality checks was this critical component subjected to? I have also heard that this failure is not uncommon for my model vehicle. It's a known issue. Wow! most other vehicles have water pumps lasting over 100,000 miles and well beyond. Given the critically of this potential premature component failure, why hasn't BMW issued a recall" after being left stranded on the side of the highway and out more than $1,200 for the repair (plus towing), I am left with a much lower opinion of BMW quality and safety.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #2

Apr 262011

535 6-cyl

  • 52,187 miles
While driving, the entire electrical panel [speedometer, radio, display screen, etc.] begin to click on/off each time reappearing with appeared to be everything but english. Soon to follow, I received a warning light indicating "engine overheated", "engine power was being reduced", and "to stop the vehicle" when possible. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of traffic and could not immediately pull off to the shoulder. The vehicle didn't travel very far before complete engine power was lost due to the possibility of "fire risk" as indicated on the panel.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #1

May 122012


  • 59,000 miles
We bought a certified pre-owned 2008 535xi in November 2010. It had 36,000 miles. At 59,000 miles while driving approximately 75 mph on a majory highway in long island after sitting in traffic for an hour and a half on a 70 degree day, the car just shut down. It would barely steer and would not accelerate. We were lucky that the brakes worked and were able to glide over to the shoulder. Computer said engine overheated and it was the red indicator which is the worst. We got towed to a dealership and are told its the water pump. We did have the car serviced at a different dealership 4 days before this happened and told them about a clicking noise from the engine but they didn't hear it so nothing was done. The incident was very scary and makes me not want to drive the car anymore.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

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