BMW Engine Trouble Signs and Warnings

Published 7 months ago — by Lisa Federico

Know the warning signs of engine trouble.

Know the warning signs of engine trouble.
Photo Credit: Gabriel Jorby

Illuminated dash signs, unusual noises, smells, jerking and more-know the signs of possible engine trouble, so you can get into a reputable independent BMW repair shop fast, to keep yourself safe on the road and avoid costly engine repairs in the future.

Check Engine Warning Light: If the check engine light is illuminated on your dash then you should get to your local BMW repair shop pronto. This light indicates an issue with the ignition, fuel injection or emission. Your BMW mechanic can hook up your vehicle to a diagnostic scan tool, which will tell exactly what is prompting the light to illuminate.

Jerking & Shaking: If you feel your car jerking when driving or shaking upon start-up, then it's possible that there is an engine malfunction. Sometimes a simple change in spark plugs or a hose is the culprit, however it is best to have a specialized BMW technician diagnose and repair the problem.

Unusual Noises: While a bit of noise from under the hood is normal, grinding, thumping, hissing, knocking and high-pitched squealing noises are not. These sounds indicate that your vehicle needs attention. From a possible seized engine to piston damage, to transmission issues and exhaust system problems, an expert BMW repair specialist can identify what is causing the noise.

Foul Odors: Smells of gas and diesel on the outside of your car are fine, but any odors of burnt rubber or metals, syrup, carpet or rotten eggs from the inside can mean trouble. These scents may signal an overheated engine, transmission problems, catalytic converter issues and/or a coolant leak, plus others. It's a good idea to get your BMW to a specialized BMW service center and have it checked out.

Excessive Smoke: Any excessive smoke coming from the engine or tailpipe is bad news! From a simple clogged air filter to a more complex blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head, this should be inspected as soon as possible by a trustworthy BMW service shop.

Oil Puddle: If you notice an engine oil puddle underneath your car often, this can be a sign of a leak. A small engine oil leak can turn into a large leak, quickly, which then can lead to engine damage. Take your BMW to an experienced import auto service center for a repair, so you can be back on the road safely!


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