hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,121 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.

2011 BMW X3 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 252016


  • 67,700 miles


BMW's use electric water pumps compared to mostly belt driven pumps used by other manufactures. In the BMW community it is widely know that the pumps will fail after 60,000 miles, and some even sooner. BMW knows about this issue and has in fact changed the design and the vendor supplier for this part. The company should voluntarily recall all vehicles that have the faulty pump design and reimburse those who have had to change it out of warranty on their own expense. BMW has not taken any responsibility but its a safety issue as one can loose all engine power that puts the car in a limp mode, imagine if that happens on a freeway where other cars might hit you for going at 25 mph in a 65-70 mph zone in California. That is what happened to me on a freeway and it was scary and I was lucky enough to get to the side of the road as traffic was very light that day being christmas. Blog after blog on BMW describes this issue and is a known defect in their water pumps amongst all BMW enthusiasts.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 242016


  • 65,000 miles
I took my car in for an oil change and was called back by the auto place and was told that, while they were test driving the vehicle it had a major engine faliure, resulting in them having to tow the car and was told that the timing chain had broken and there was massive damage internally to the engine, valves had been bent due to failure. I have spoken to BMW but have not gotten any relief. It is important to mention that this car only has 65,000 miles on it. This faliure is insane and BMW is not willing to honor anything.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #3

Jun 242016


  • 49,000 miles
Vehicle is parked on driveway the engine started. Drivetrain malfunction shows with check engine light on. Engine starts but can not put it drive or reverse

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #2

Aug 282015


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 bmx X3. While parked, the check engine warning light illuminated. In addition, a message in the instrument panel indicated that the maximum drive train output was not available. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed, but the cause of the failure was not determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 52,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 232013

X3 6-cyl

  • 26,907 miles
A quick acceleration from zero, at about 25 mph there was a loud noise from the engine. It sounded like a spring being unwound. No lights came on, however I called service center at dealership where I purchased it. I was told if no warning lights on, then everything must be ok. A few minutes later the engine light came on and a warning was displayed on the screen: "drive moderately. Maximum drivetrain output not available. Have your system checked at your service center." I called back to service center and was told it was safe to drive home as it was in limp mode. Called BMW assist and they came and got vehicle. Once at service center they stated the clamp holding the air intake for the turbo had come off. They put clamp back on.

- Savannah, GA, USA

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