pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
72,350 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. fix timing chain bracket (1 reports)
2013 BMW X3 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #8

Nov 232020


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,018 miles


click to see larger images

engine stalls/shuts down while driving engine stalls/shuts down while driving engine stalls/shuts down while driving engine stalls/shuts down while driving

I purchased this vehicle used from a local dealer in Allentown, PA. All the expectations of an excellent vehicle (as they stated) from a dealer in good standing. While driving away from the dealership, we took the long way home and discovered it had an issues with the start/stop feature. It would shut down at a stop and when it reactivated to drive, it would shut down again as you drove away causing a dangerous situation at intersections. We were told to just hit the off button to turn off the feature each time we start the car. That was impossible each time as we would forget going from place to place.

We've been in close calls more than 3 times, one of which a large box truck almost rammed us and another where I was on the highway and it shut off randomly (started becoming more frequent and random) where I was stuck on the far side of any pull offs between trucks. We have yet to have it fixed due to communication and neglect issues from the dealer as we felt we shouldn't be paying for a repair that they sent us on the road with... Not to mention they never verified payment to the repair shop for the diagnostic, as they promised, which the shop wouldn't touch the car without forms filled.

We were told to tell the mechanic that the dealer would take care of it. They explained that's not how it worked and the dealer needs to sign paperwork prior or proved payment. 2 months of waiting for approvals, I gave up and contacted the service center and said take it back, no reply. A few days later, contacted the sales person, no reply. The next day I call and leave a message for the general manager, no call back. A few days later I contacted the owner on FB, now things start rolling and everyone hates me. LOL. I'm still dealing with this issue and the company.

Has anyone had this issue with the random shut off? There is ticking which has gotten louder, random rumbling sounds and other concerning noises at start up and when its put in drive.

- Alexander J., Allentown, PA, US

problem #7

Mar 232019

X3 Xdrive 28i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,655 miles

After 2 years of coming in with Drive train malfunction issues and 5 visits later I was now over warranty and the dealer which I purchased my certified pre-owned X3 informed me that my car needed a new High Pressure fuel pump. They told me it would cost $1900 to fix and I told them I am not paying it because this is not my first visit with the same issue. They told me I could escalate to BMW corporate and so I did just that. Corporate opened up a case for me and told me to give them about a week to escalate this issue.

Two days later I received a call from the service manager at the dealer and he asked me to explain what was happening to my car to him. I went over the many times I visited the center and that the first time I had drive train issues the car stopped several times on the road with me and now 5 visits later its doing the same thing. He informed me that he did not think it was a fuel pump issue but if I would give my approval to have one of his technicians drive my car home for the night to see if it will give him the stalling issue. I said sure.

A few days later my service guy calls me and says good news its not the fuel pump that needs replacement its the following: New Charger assembly, Timing Chain and oil pump drive along with Fuel Inject ORS. He said that BMW Corporate has agreed to cover 50% of the cost to fix my car. He said the total invoice is about $7900 and I am responsible for $3950. He then said if I don't fix the car BMW corporate has agreed to give me a $3000 credit towards a new BMW purchase. I was angry, distraught and truly unhappy that there were so m any things wrong with a car i've only owned for about 3 years.

So I took my car and paid the $151.55 to have it diagnosed and started doing my research on this car. It turns out there are many reports and complaints regarding the X3 engine faulting and fuel injector issues. I am ready to file a lawsuit because its just so ironic that the minute I pass the warranty period I am being hit with these high service issues.

- Malida T., Brockton, US

problem #6

Jun 262018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I was driving my NEW 2013 X3 vehicle on the highway at around 8 PM when the "drive-train malfunction" warning suddenly came on. In a minute the car went into neutral gear and started slowing down. I somehow managed to pull over to the shoulder near the closest exit and turned the car off.

When I tried to restart the car, it started but would not go into drive or neutral. I dread to think how dangerous it could have been if the car stopped on the highway before I pulled over! I was stuck waiting for help for more than an hour. The AAA tow-truck driver, who got there, couldn't get the car into neutral to load on his truck. After 30 minutes, he finally figured out a way and towed it to the nearest BMW dealership (Bridgewater, NJ).

A day later I get a call from the dealership stating that the engine needs to be replaced. This is what the report said - "Replace complete engine. (Engine has no compression, timing out and oil pump failure) - cost $10,670.19". No explanation of how the "Drivetrain Malfunction" resulted in an engine failure. No break down of the cost either. I was also told the battery needs to be replaced. The same dealership replaced the battery 8 months ago. When asked how long the battery is supposed to last, they say 3-4 years but again no explanation as to why it needs to be replaced again in 8 months!

Last month I had taken the car in for maintenance to the same dealership and they did not report any issue. I don't know if the dealership is tampering with my car or if this is a manufacturing defect. Either way, it just does not make any sense to pay 10k+ to replace the engine on a 5-year-old brand new car! Since I don't trust the dealership, I plan to tow my car to a different auto repair shop to get a second opinion.

We paid big bucks for this car for the "so-called" reliability of the BMW brand name...which is a shame.

- Shirley T., Basking Ridge, US

problem #5

Mar 232018

X3 Sport 2.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles


My wife found and bought her "dream car" about two years ago this 2013 BMW X3 xdrive 2.8 turbo which has now turned out to be a nightmare!!

My wife was working late and heading home around midnight last week when suddenly her X3 stopped running in a very bad spot I might add and she was lucky that she was able to get the X3 to roll off the road before calling me. Once I heard what had happened I went to where she was broken down and tried myself to start her X3. Needless to say it didn't start for me either. We had to scramble to get a tow truck because of the snow storm moving into the area and really didn't want to chance leaving the X3 on the side of the road. The tow truck showed up around 1:00 am and we took it to our local shop that does all of our vehicle maintenance. I went to the shop the next day to drop off the keys and described to our mechanic what happened he told me he would dig into it the next day.

He called early the next day to inform us of the horrible news that the timing chain was broke as well as much more because of the timing chain braking. We where and are sick over this!! First my wife loved this vehicle and second we aren't financially in a position to spend the $8,000 to $10,000 that he said it would cost to replace the engine. The X3 is only worth around $16,000 as it is and now we will have to spend half of its value on repairs!!! BMW this is completely unacceptable!! We hope that BMW corp. will do the right thing for the owners of other BMW's that have had similar problems. If we don't have some resolution from BMW we will never purchase another BMW ever again and I promise I will tell everyone I know and some!!

Now on the other hand if BMW steps up and does the "right" thing I would and will praise them for standing by their product and their customers!!! End of rant!

- unbelievable, Okeana, US

problem #4

Jan 182018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Purchased a used BMW X3 at 50,000, only to find out we would possibly have to change the engine a couple years later due to a faulty Timing Chain Guide.

- adickerson, Hanover, US

problem #3

Mar 172017

X3 28I

  • CVT transmission
  • 53,000 miles

For past 1.5 year (40,000-54,000) about every 1 to 3 months, car would say transmission malfunction, engine could not engage, and then if I was stopped, I would restart the car, or if I was moving I would re-engage the gear from neutral to drive and car would restart, all warning lights would turn off and car would drive as usual. The last time I was traveling on the freeway, the car stalled saying transmission malfunction, fuel indicator not working, power train failure and then engine on/off. Thankfully I was able to pull over and wait for a tow, but the car would not restart, meanwhile fan of ac, interior lights, radio kept working, and by the time tow arrived, 60 mins later, the car could be started on its own and then driven up on the tow bed and then driven off the at the service center, but this time check engine light stayed on.

I am somewhat surprised as I had the vehicle serviced 3 times during the intermittent engine stall period of 1.5 years, 2 times for a check engine light (thermistor and fuel valve) and 1 routine maintenance, and not once, did they mention low voltage, or that the battery needed to be replaced.

Is the battery low voltage really the cause of the car's engine shutting off, can it do this when the car is actively moving at 50mph and dashboard lights, radio, ac keep working, and car never false started when turning on ignition.

- Cho S., Los Angeles, CA, US

problem #2

May 192015

X3 Sport 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

On my way to work, the dash lights all came on, it lost power. The one prior, 2011, had the same problem. If I turned it off then back on, it cleared out. (Reason why I traded that one in!) It did not clear. It started again but would only drive to 40 mph. Then dropped to 30mph, then it died. Was towed. I lost an entire's day work. Waited for roadside. I had to find a way to work in the afternoon. They gave me an unregistered car immediately off the trailer. Next day, they called to change it out for a registered one. I drove that one for 2 weeks and the battery discharged. They gave me another 3 series ( I purchased and X3...how is that comparable?) I was out for a total of 7 weeks of MY vehicle. They covered ONE car payment. UUUMMM...Not happy. So 8 weeks I have the X3 I'm BACK AGAIN. Right brake light MALFUNCTION. I drive it there (again, losing work time!) They fix out the casing of the light, it was not the bulb. ....Driving it again 1.5 weeks later...AND THE TPM, LIGHT GOES OFF, THE DRIVERS RESTRAINT LIGHT GOES OFF, THE DISPLAYS SHUT OFF AND THE HEATED SEATS HEAT UP SO BAD THAT THEY SCORCH MY BUTT!!!! NOT COOL!!!! LIGHTS ON THE DASH ARE BLINKING!!!! THE CAR CAN NOT MAKE UP IT'S MIND AS TO WHETHER THE HEAT IS ON OR OFF......OFF SEEMED TO KEEP IT OKAY.... I NEVER ADJUSTED THE HEAT (EVEN AT 47 DEGREES F IN BUFFALO! ) THIS IS MY SECOND BMW X3 IN 1.5 YEARS...SAME PROBLEMS. I'M DONE!!!

- Kelly C., Chaffee, NY, US

problem #1

Jul 172014

X3 2.8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

My 18 month old X3 powered off while I was driving. Luckily I was on a quiet residential street. However, I accelerated and the vehicle stalled, jerked and powered off. I was stopped in the middle of the intersection and I could not get the car into neutral. I am terrified to drive the vehicle again. Has anyone else had this problem? Does anyone know what my recourse is?

- Jamie S., San Diego, CA, US

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