BMW i8 Problems: 9 Common Issues (Explained)

When BMW launched the BMW i8, automotive enthusiasts had many expectations—and it met them.

From its eye-catching design and excellent fuel economy to iconic doors, carbon fiber material, and a supercar engine, it is a high-performance sports car worth the price.

Yet, regardless of all this beauty, a few flaws have sufficed.

Here are insights into nine common issues you’ll face with this BMW i8.

Fuel Leakage

Various users have reported leaking fuel tanks. This problem was pretty common among models produced in 2014.

This issue is attributed to a faulty bolt that attaches the fuel tank to the car’s chassis. Experts suggest that this is because of improper welding, causing fuel leakage. Extensive fuel leakage could cause vehicular fires.

A comprehensive inspection is essential in identifying fuel tank issues. An expert could help check and capture potential problems.

Various signs show that you have a leaking fuel tank, including excessive fuel smells in the car, moisture spots beneath the vehicle, and unusual fuel gauge drops. Once confirmed, avoiding fires and other fuel tank-related issues will be easy.

In addition, various issues could make your BMW i8 leak its fuel. For instance, a faulty cap can cause slight fuel spillage. Clogged fuel filters, leaking fuel lines, and holes in the fuel injector or fuel tank could also cause these fuel leakages.

Check when it was last replaced (if at all)

At the same time, fuel filter issues will suffice from time to time. Timely replacement will help improve day-to-day performance. The standard replacement time is when you hit the 50,000-mile mark.

You could also do it every three to five years, depending on how you drive your vehicle.

A leaky oil filter gasket could be another problem you’ll face with your BMW i8. While this is a common issue on most vehicles, you must be prepared for it if you have the i8.

This gasket connects the oil filter to various moving engine parts, cushioning them against wear and tear. A professional must address a leaking oil filter gasket to avoid mechanical complications.

You might also need to pay attention to the fuel pump. Problems with the high-fuel pump can trigger poor acceleration, engine failure, and stutters.

Ensure that you replace your fuel pump as soon as it becomes dysfunctional. It is the only way to boost engine performance and reliability.

Large Doors

The BMW i8 has iconic, appealing doors. Its butterfly doors are sleek, elegant, and stylish, capturing people’s attention.

However, this design makes them significantly large, making it difficult to maneuver through public parking lots and areas with minimal space.

Besides, these large doors will deter you from getting out of the car comfortably when necessary.

At the same time, the butterfly design could be impractical in some instances. Some people might need to use a one-leg-in approach when entering the car.

Nothing could be as inconvenient as this! It requires multiple practice sessions to master the art and slide deep into the cockpit. Yet, suppose you are in a region with minimal space. Then, getting into the car will be a hassle.

Usually, you’ll choose between a dihedral and a scissor door when buying an i8. Maximum space is necessary when using a scissor door, as it opens widely.

However, the dihedral BMW i8 doors might not take as much horizontal space as conventional doors. This makes it an easy choice if you have limited space.

Electrical Complications

The BMW i8 is associated with multiple electrical issues.

These electrical issues stem from the vehicle’s high-voltage 7.2 lithium-ion battery.

Yet, regardless of its high power, this battery has a liquid cooling system that can be recharged through any conventional household power socket.

shut-down of your high-voltage electrical power compromises propulsion, increasing susceptibility to a crash.

You’ll need to fix this problem as soon as possible, as it can cost you your life.

Other electrical issues could also arise. For instance, a dead battery on this sporty vehicle could compromise multiple functionalities and components. Since it is a hybrid car, it relies on this high-voltage battery to run.

Without it, you would likely use more fuel in your vehicle.

The alternator could expose your vehicle to yet another electrical issue.

This problem will likely start after using the car for an extended period. A faulty alternator implies that your battery will lose its life rapidly. It contributes to flickering lights and constant dashboard backlights.

Electronic issues to look for

Suppose your BMW i8 blows its fuses. Then, you’ll expect different problems, including malfunctioning AC system and power windows. Poor wiring and cabling could also pose another electrical issue.

In such instances, the engine will produce excessive heat.

The ignition switch could also fail after a while. Its failure compromises the electrical current supposed to reach the engine’s spark plugs, meaning the engine might not light up.

In such cases, a comprehensive inspection will be necessary to address the root of the problem.

A faulty ignition coil could also occur.

This problem causes:

  • sluggish acceleration,
  • power lags,
  • and checked engine lights.

The heater core could also cause various electrical issues in your BMW i8.

The internal heating system determines how reliable the engine cooling system will be. A slight malfunction in the heater core affects the electrical supply of various elements, including heat. This way, your vehicle will likely overheat.

You’ll notice changes on your dashboard when electrical issues start in your BMW i8. These warning lights will require you to check your vehicle’s wiring system.

An excellent mechanic could help establish and address the issues.

Safety Issues

Every time you invest in a car, you want to know how much safety it offers. An excellent vehicle should guarantee you unrivaled safety features. Fortunately, the BMW i8 has a five-star safety rating from:

  • the NHTSA,
  • IIHS,
  • and Euro NCAP.

This vehicle offers excellent crash test ratings, meaning you’ll be safe in an accident.

Yet, while the BMW i8 provides exceptional safety, various reports indicate problems with its airbags. Airbags are some of the most critical aspects of vehicle safety. Their failure could compromise your comfort and safety in the long run.

Usually, airbag issues will arise after accidents, causing the seatbelts to lock too. They will likely fail to function accordingly unless you reset the codes. You achieve this by initiating the airbag module reset.

Airbag-related issues

Various signs show the need to initiate an airbag module reset. In most cases, you’ll witness that the airbag light is on or the airbags have been deployed. Your diagnostic tool could also show that the crash data is stored.

Even so, you’ll need to consider the module reset once you get involved in an accident with your BMW i8.

You’ll need an airbag module reset for various reasons, including clearing crash data, clearing hard codes, and clearing vehicle crash history. It also helps diagnose various safety and airbag issues that could suffice once you are involved in an accident.

You’ll rely on this full diagnostic check to eliminate symptoms that match the problem.

Engine Overheating

The BMW i8 has a robust hybrid engine that offers exceptional performance. Yet, you expect it to overheat after some time. Addressing this issue on time will help you maintain the integrity and health of your engine in the long run.

Comprehensive and frequent inspections are inevitable in this pursuit.

There are three reasons your BMW i8 will overheat:

  1. faulty thermostat,
  2. coolant leak,
  3. and failed radiator.

A thermostat is designed to allow coolant to flow within the system effortlessly, protecting the engine against overworking.

Unfortunately, once this thermostat stops working, the engine is denied sufficient lubrication, causing the engine to strain.

A strained engine will constantly overheat.

On the other hand, coolant leaks cause engine malfunction and straining. Without enough coolant, various moving engine parts, including the water pump, cylinder, head gasket, and piston, will not work seamlessly.

The dysfunction of these components exposes your engine to less efficiency, causing it to overheat.

Check for failed radiator

You’ll also need to watch out for a failed radiator, which increases heat in the cabin and the engine alike.

This problem will likely arise if the radiator clogs or gets damaged. It highlights various symptoms, including:

  • coolant leaks,
  • fluid discoloration,
  • blocked fins,
  • and high-temperature gauge ratings.

Driving a BMW i8 with an overheating engine exposes you to various risks, including:

  • damaging or warping cylinder heads,
  • weakening hoses,
  • and releasing excessive antifreeze.

Yet, addressing the engine overheating problem is straightforward.

An excellent mechanic will help identify the issue and solve it within a short time.

Faulty Sensors

Various sensors make your BMW i8 a worthwhile investment.

Functional sensors will help keep multiple engine parts in excellent condition, including identifying when there is a problem.

Unfortunately, the BMW i8 will likely expose you to various sensor issues you must address on time.

You can check the health of your sensors in various ways. Yet, the most common way is to check your dashboard for warning lights. Dwindling engine performance will also be inevitable if the sensors are not performing optimally.

It will also be hard to understand the problem since the sensors will not capture it.

Here is a breakdown of sensor issues you’ll face with your BMW i8.

Coolant Temperature Sensor

Your car will likely develop issues with the coolant temperature sensor after some time.

This sensor is designed to measure the temperature of the coolant, feeding the information to the Engine Control Unit.

This information helps the vehicle adjust the ignition and fuel injection timing. However, if the sensor is faulty, it becomes challenging to achieve this goal.

Coolant temperature sensor issues are not a major concern. Yet, you must look for the tell-tale signs that yours is going badly. Understanding the symptoms will help avoid costly repairs in the long run.

Ensure that you reach out for professional help once you notice the following signs:

  • Your checked engine light turns on
  • Your engine will start overheating
  • You might witness black smoke from the exhaust pipe
  • Poor engine performance and fuel economy
  • Broken water pumps might be inevitable

Faulty Oxygen Sensor

While this is not so common, a faulty oxygen sensor could suffice in your BMW i8.

This problem is often caused by:

  • contaminants, including oil phosphorous,
  • leaking engine coolant,
  • and components from engine combustion.

In addition, this problem is an indication of other underlying issues with your vehicle.

A faulty oxygen sensor exposes you to engine efficiency and gas mileage issues. The engine becomes significantly strained when the machine’s oxygen to gasoline ratio is not balanced.

If this situation arises, ensure you reach out to a mechanic to address it.

You’ll also have a sputtering engine if the oxygen sensor fails.

This problem stems from the inconsistent combustion rate in the machine, forcing the engine to run irregularly.

In addition, your vehicle could stall or accelerate irregularly.

In addition, a strange smell akin to rotten eggs will permeate your cabin. It results from the incomplete combustion of the fuel in your engine. This smell might be accompanied by dark black smoke.

Once you notice these signs, seek professional help to avert further crises.

Faulty Electric Windows

An excellent electric or power window enhances operational convenience in a car. Yet, you will likely face various issues with your electric window after a while.

While this is not a significant problem, you must be prepared for it.

Your electric windows can fail because of faulty coolant systems. This issue compromises your safety and comfort in the car.

You must understand the causes of this problem to resolve it adequately.

A window malfunction often emanates from:

  • a faulty window regulator,
  • cable pulley,
  • switch,
  • or motor.

A combination of these issues could worsen the situation, meaning you will need to address each independently and on time.

In most cases, these problems arise during snowy or icy seasons.

An excellent mechanic will establish the root cause and address it effectively. You’ll need to look at the leading root causes, which include:

  • blown fuses,
  • burned-out motors,
  • and poor switches.

This professional will repair or replace them, depending on the extent of the damage.

Frequent inspection and servicing will also help avoid this issue. You’ll need a professional to help capture minor issues before they balloon.

This move will cushion you against various issues in the long run.

Automatic Headlights

Automatic headlights are an innovation that boosts safer driving, avoids blinding, and adapts better to driving conditions.

They automatically turn on once dusk sets in.

Every BMW i8 comes with these headlights to guarantee an immersive driving experience. However, a few complications have emerged.

Sometimes, the BMW’s automatic headlights stay on even when not necessary. This element implies that power consumption will be significantly high. It could also contribute to other electrical issues in the vehicle.

Noticing these issues could be tricky if you live in a sunny region. As such, you’ll need to be extremely careful.

Further, a faulty battery can cause automatic headlights to misbehave. For this reason, you’ll need to check your battery’s reliability before taking further steps.

An experienced professional will help assess the battery to confirm its suitability, addressing concerns that might trigger the automatic headlights to remain on even when unnecessary.

Battery Issues

The BMW i8 relies on a potent lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid powertrain. While this battery is significantly powerful, it might fail from time to time. This issue will force you to jumpstart your vehicle, primarily by relying on a different car.

Check this article about troubleshooting a car battery.

Various signs show that you have battery issues with your car.

For instance, the central locking system could fail, meaning you’ll not lock or unlock the vehicle. You’ll need to use a manual key to lock or unlock your car in such instances.

Jumpstarting your vehicle will be enough to address this issue.

Since you do not want to find yourself in this predicament, minimize the number of components using the battery. It will help avoid draining the battery.


Suppose you value aesthetics in cars. In that case, you will have to pay attention to the car door handles. These handles will likely fade within a short time, particularly if you overuse them.

At the same time, be wary of the corrosion of your alloy wheels.

You might need to replace them soon. However, this is not a problem that affects everyone except for aesthetic enthusiasts.

What Reviews Say

The BMW i8 offers exceptional performance and efficiency. Yet, you must dig deep into your pockets to get it.

The BMW is a sporty, comfortable, and aesthetically-pleasing vehicle. Its performance is unmatched. However, it is not as quick as it appears.

The Resale Value of the BMW i8

The BMW i8 was last produced in 2020, meaning the newest version would be the 2020 model. You’ll compare your options and choose whichever suits you best.

Here is a breakdown of the resale value of the BMW i8 you expect.

Age (In Years) Mileage Price
1 12000 $145375
2 24000 $142460
3 36000 $129180
4 48000 $113500
5 60000 $108430

The BMW i8 is a reliable car.

Yet, you will expect a few complications from time to time. Regular servicing and maintenance will be enough to avoid most of its issues, including those above.

Check also: Problems for every BMW model

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.