really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
83,100 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (9 reports)
  2. dealer ate the cost of an entirely new engine! (1 reports)
2013 BMW X3 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #10

Apr 302022

X3 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,700 miles


This engine failure could cause deaths to many because without warning, no shaking or loud noise - my engine failed while driving down the freeway.

My extended warranty was suppose to cover damages, but their loopholes and wording caused me to need an engine. BMW should pay for all faulty engines for 2013 X3. The lawsuit shout pay everyone who owned one the cost of the vehicle and repairs due to engine because the outcome could have turned out in serious injuries, death to anyone driving on the freeway.

I for one would request $13,000 total reimbursement,

This is a serious matter for the BMW 2013 engine failure. No warning and I could have been in a fatal accident because when it lost power no warning ⚠️ it just died.

I’m reading I am not the only one, so a class act settlement with full refund or at least pay for the engine repairs should be...?

- Kimberly J., Columbus, US

problem #9

Mar 182021


  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,500 miles

After spending $5000 to have the timing chain guides replaced in February 2021 - the Drive train malfunction error came on again 30 days and less than 600 miles after the initial repair was done. I took the car back to BMW of Denver Downtown who had done the initial $5000.00 repair. They diagnosed it as an Intake Cam Solenoid. I authorized the repairs and while they were test driving it after the repair - the engine seized. The dealership said "this happens" with the cars of this year after the timing chain guides fail. I don't know why they wouldn't have informed me of that BEFORE I authorized a $5000 repair 30 days before.

I received no compassion from the dealership at all. They quoted me $11,000 to replace the engine. When questioned why, when they they had the car on their diagnostic machine twice - that they had no clue the engine would fail. They stated that they can never tell. When questioned why they didn't check the oil during the initial $5000 repair for any metal - they stated that they don't do that.

No motor, no car, no reimbursement of any kind on the $5000 repair, no trade in value of the car... Between the $5000 paid for the initial repair and the loss of the trade in value of the car - I am out a minimum of $15,000. That is a big hunk of money that I will never ever recoup and now I have to put myself in big time debt for a car payment.

Words cannot express the disappointed I feel towards a big name like BMW of North America. I would love to spread the word that this company and their dealerships never stand behind their product when there is a problem. NEVER.

- dlrmgdg, Thornton, US

problem #8

Dec 072018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

2013 BMW X3 just under 60,000 miles with regular oil changes and service at the BMW Service Center - the vehicle stopped while driving. Engine needed to be replaced, BMW offered some assistance but not enough for a car that was bought thinking it was going to be reliable for many years.

- jnnfrhys, Bellevue, US

problem #7

Jun 272020

X3 LL I28

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,847 miles


700 miles from home on a road trip. "Drive train malfunction" light came on, though car was driving perfectly fine. Suddenly, a second warning appeared - "stop now to avoid severe engine damage". I was able to coast into a parking lot and my car never again restarted. Dealership said timing chain was stretched, causing engine failure, wanting $13,000 for a new engine. Blue Book value for the car was only $11,000-14,000. Not worth the investment since I had spent over $3,000 in repairs within the last year (vacuum pump and overhead electronic panel). Had to sell for $3,000 to first bidder, since the car was stranded at the dealership, and I had to go back to work, in a rental, 700 miles away. I will NEVER own another BMW!!

- posbmw, Dallas, US

problem #6

Jul 032021

X3 28I 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Drove this car for 3 min to next door (store), then 10 minutes later I'm going back home. 1 minute into driving, the car went into idle mode with some story I cannot wait to read because I need to run from this car (holiday weekend) in the middle of the road before I get me or other road users into grave danger. I towed to BMW where I was told I got an engine seize @ 72,000miles. No warning at all!

- Olabode O., Indianapolis, US

problem #5

May 112018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

For probably 2 years, my car would say "drive train malfunction" and completely stop on the highway. I took into the dealer over and over again and they could not find anything wrong - if I stopped for a while and sat there, most of the time it would restart and I could keep driving until it happened again - sometimes months later, sometimes weeks. Then one morning in 2018, it happened on the highway and the engine completely blew up.

I had the option of paying a discounted rate for a new engine ($6000) or getting $3000 trade in value. ugh. So I ended up getting a new car because it wasn't financially worth paying for a new engine and I think they would have given me $10,000 trade in value. I am wondering if this type of problem (which seems to have happened to a lot of 2013 X3 owners, will be covered in the settlement for the "failed timing chain")?

- LIzzie Peters D., Charlottesville, VA, US

problem #4

May 272019

X3 2.8I

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,344 miles


Driving down I84 in CT on Memorial Day evening. Low oil pressure warning comes on. 30 seconds later drivetrain malfunction warning comes on and car starts to power down. Had to cross over two lanes of merging traffic just to make it to the shoulder which I barely did before the engine completely died. This could have been a complete disaster given the merge if I hadn't made it off the road.

Update from Jun 15, 2020: BMW corporate was willing to give 5K to get us into a new car. Dealer didn't want car back on road and would give 6.5K for scrap value. Asked them to just give me the cash and call it a day. BMW would only give cash for a BMW or fixing the broken one. So dealer ate entire cost of a new engine (-5K from corporate).

- David E., Ossining, US

problem #3

Oct 192018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,300 miles

I am still in shock. I was driving and my BMW 2013 started to shake and just stop. Fortunately I could pull off the road. The day before I had traveled on business and the car was fine. The report was that I need a new engine at 76,000 miles. Really???

This is my 3rd BMW and probably my last as of my most recent conversation with corporate BMW. They informed me today that there will be no assistance with this issue as it is out of warranty. I could have been killed if I was driving on a major road and my car just stopped!!

I have owned many cars including Lexus, etc. These cars have performed well into 150,000 miles plus with no major maintenance issues. So I'm having a problem digesting this. I have of course researched issues with this car and other BMW cars and I'm finding so many complaints!! This is upsetting. So what are we to do? I'm surprised there is not a class action lawsuit regarding this. I am a small business owner and if I treated my customers the way I've been treated I would be out of business!

- Robin D., West Chester, US

problem #2

Oct 132018

X3 2.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Heard a weird whining sound from engine when letting off the gas after accelerating. I call BMW and setup a service appointment (at this time there are no warning lights, etc.). 4 hours later I am pulling back into my house and the drive train malfunction light and oil pressure light come on about 15 seconds apart. I park my car (after driving about 100 yards). Have it towed to a mechanic. Oil pump fail, metal shaving in oil... need a new engine. Car had had regular annual maintenance through the BMW dealership, etc. $10,400 for a used engine installed. Very disappointed.

- Kurt L., Peachtree City, GA, US

problem #1

Mar 172017

X3 LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

We bought the 2013 BMW X3 from a dealership in Madison, WI. We live in Milwaukee and did all service, as required by the manufacturer, as a matter of fact we just had the 100,000 mile service and oil change. My husband was driving home on the highway going 65-70mph when the engine light and other lights on the dashboard came on. Instantly, the car shut down. Fortunately, at that speed, he was able to drift to the side of the highway without getting in an accident. Vehicle was towed to International Autos in Milwaukee/WestAllis, Wisconsin where we were treated as if we had done something wrong.

We received no support from the dealership throughout trying to resolve the issue. We were told metal shavings were in the oil and it would cost 4000 to just take the engine apart to find out the problem, but why would we want to do that because the engine was going to need to be replaced at a cost greater than 13,000 so we should just do that. But, if we wanted to just know the problem it was going to be that 4000. We had the vehicle towed to an independent ex-BMW mechanic service station where he informed us that he has already seen three additional cars with the same problem. He was unable to make any repairs and we were told it did need a new engine, reason unknown until he would take it apart.

I contacted the miserable people at BMW who initially sound concerned, but that is just a front. You get a call back and they basically almost laugh at you by the tone of voice and state that they cannot do anything to help and they have never heard of this happening. I have now seen at least 20-30 same complaints on this site and others for the same year car. We don't usually buy luxury cars or high end cars like this, but wanted a car that would last a long time since my husband puts on a lot of miles. We were "guaranteed" by our sales person that these cars can run for 300,000 miles. Well, he was a little off! We still had 13,000 left to pay on the car when this happened and as you can imagine, writing out that check every month is the hardest thing I have to do. We even offered to cover half the cost of the engine (parts), but they did nothing.

The worst part about all of this is that this malfunction for us and others that have reported the same problem was that it could have ended up in a horrible accident. I have and will continue to tell every person that ever mentions BMW that this is the worst car brand you could ever buy. A friend of mine works for an extended warranty car insurance company and he told me that no one should ever own a BMW for greater than 3 years or 100,000, whichever comes first because the rate of repair that they see is astronomical!!!

I will never have to worry about this again because you could not put me in another BMW. I shouldn't beat up the dealership too much, they were willing to sell me another BMW with incentive, but not anywhere near covering the 13,000 we still owed on the car, thanks, but no thanks.

We since heard that BMW has extended the warranty on certain parts related to the oil; however, no recalls have been issued. Kind of scary if they know they have a problem that could result in a horrible accident. Not everyone takes the time to do this and the car dealerships are not required to report even if it was life threatening, seems we as consumers get the short end of the stick.

- Suellen B., Greendale, US

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