hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,086 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 M3 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 BMW M3:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 BMW M3 Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 102016


  • 53,000 miles


Engine failure resulting in loss of power at speed while driving. Engine failed because of rod bearing issue which is well known in these engines.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 102016


  • 105,654 miles
Rod bearing failure! today while entering the freeway I heard a loud boom followed by the engine turning off. I towed the car home and after inspection I found the cylinder 8 piston has blown through the block. The car has just broke 100K miles, has always been serviced on time and showed no prior indication of any issues. I had this car in the shop for a check up from BMW's "master tech" with no notes of any noises or issues.

- Alamogordo, NM, USA

problem #8

Aug 142016


  • 139,000 miles
The 2008 me has the S65 engine which has been heavily reported to have rod bearing failures due to poor design of the factory rod bearings. My car engine has seized due to this and I am looking at from BMW $30,000 plus in repairs!! the new BMW M3S had an updated rod bearing material which prevented it from failure.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #7

Nov 142015


  • 55,000 miles


The engine piston bearing wore out at less than 60K miles causing damages to the engine. Luckily car enginge did not lock up while driving or could have caused terrible accident in freeway

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 122015


  • 85,000 miles
Driving on the highway in 4th gear, the motor seized. The piston rod snapped and blew aluminum parts through the oil pan.

- Aptos, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 032015


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW M3. While driving approximately 50 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the rod bearing and the engine needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was then taken to an independent mechanic where the rod bearings were replaced. The contact mentioned that while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken back to the independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 96,000.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 112015

M3 8-cyl

  • 96,500 miles


After informing BMW na many times of the widespread rod bearing problem on the S65 motor that can cause engine failure and seizing of the engine at speed they refuse to assist me in this matter. This wide spread bearing issue has affected 100's if not 1000's of these engines. After my engine failed BMW refused to good will me a engine for small unrelated misc. Things for example exhaust and suspension. I've had the bearings replaced by a reputable indyshop that has done many rod bearing jobs on my identical car type. I have failed original bearings in hand. After picking up my car from this shop my engine seized on the middle of the road. Although this shop performed the work properly ultimately this engine would have seized either way. I am now out a few thousand dollars from the bearing job and I will need a new engine. My complaint is to BMW North America in arbitrarily denying my claim when they are aware and I have proof that the engines that they produced from the factory have insufficient clearance to lubricate and witch causes failure to cars between 25,000 miles or 110,000 miles. There is a registry online of many many M3's with this engine with the same engine failure. If my engine were to have seized on the freeway this may have caused a serious crash as well as a possibility of serious bodily harm including death. To further clarify engine failure was imminent even before this indy shop performed this work. I am now without a car and I work. I am now forced to buy a new engine for over $15,000 witch is approx. The value of the car or sell the vehicle for a substantial loss. BMW should have done the right thing here but instead denied my request and pushed me out the door. BMW na is not taking responsibility for this when they should. If you look into the previous model M3 with S54 engine there was a major rod bearing recall. Same issue here. Thank you

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #3

May 052015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW M3. While driving at 60 mph, the contact heard a sudden knocking sound and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle restarted, but the noise recurred. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed with rod bearing failure and the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The VIN and failure mileage were unavailable.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #2

Apr 242015


  • 56,103 miles
Engine began suddenly making a very loud knocking sound without any warning, and I drove it straight to sandy sansing BMW service center, where they stated that the vehicle has suffered a catastrophic crank bearing failure. The engine has to be replaced now... car has been meticulously maintained and always serviced at BMW dealers since it was new... a car with 56K miles on it should not have such an extreme failure in this nature...

- Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 232013

M3 8-cyl

  • 74,598 miles
The engine in my BMW died at 74,598 miles, no warning lights and no weird noises. It died when I was driving the speed limit (65) on the highway doing nothing out of the ordinary, wheels locked up in traffic so I had to push in clutch. It was a very life threatening situation because a big rig almost crashed into my car. I coasted to the side of the highway to check it out: The engine was not overheating and there was no fluids on the ground. As I tried starting the car up again I could hear the fuel pump turning on and the starter motor clicking, but the engine wouldn't turn over. I got the car towed to the dealership and a few days later it was made known to me by the dealership that my engine was seized and that I would have to pay $19,000 for a new engine and $6,000 for the labor to install it. I made the dealership aware that I kept up with the maintenance, and that nothing was indicating to me that my engine was about to fail. I instructed the dealership to contact BMW North America (BMW headquarters for North America) for a "good will" replacement, but my request was denied. This problem is directly related to the rod bearing inside the engine, which gave out because there is no adequate lubrication to them, I heard of these rod bearings giving out on the S65 engine all over web forums, multiple people have had this happen to them. During my warranty period I did let them know that my car would go in limp mode (low power mode on engine, max speed about 40mph) and I was hearing ticking noises (dealership said this was normal) that were not present when the car was really new (the first 5000 miles I put on the car). The dealership and BMW North America don't care about these problems which were present during my entire ownership of the car (in warranty period) and they denied the free replacement because my car is now out of warranty.

- Mission, KS, USA

Not what you are looking for?