BMW M5 Problems: 7 Common Issues (Explained)

Being one of BMW’s most high-performance models, the M5 is an iconic vehicle.

Even with its iconic stature, outstanding performance, and reliability, there are some common issues with the BMW M5.

The following are the 7 common problems with the BMW M5.

BMW m5

#1 BMW M5’s Turbocharged Engine Troubles

The six-cylinder N52 engine of the BMW M5 2004-2015 was replaced with a smaller engine because it could produce more power on demand. The engine also produces an adequate amount of power when driven with a light foot.

But, many BMW M5 drivers reported that there were slight problems with the engine. For instance, the wastegate actuator linkage pin was corroded.

It intermittently led to a sudden loss of power in the engine, forcing the car to enter a fail-safe/limp mode. 

When the linkage pin is corroded, there is no signal whether the waste gate is open or not.

To prevent the engine from suffering any form of damage, the vehicle keeps the wastegate open. It allows all the exhaust gasses to go through the wastegate, preventing them from entering the turbo.

When the wastegate fails, excessive raw fuel is expelled from the engine without being put to any use. This leads to a decrease in the vehicle’s overall fuel economy.

Here’s how you can fix the issue.

  • If the linkage pin is broken or corrodes away with a small part of it remaining seized inside the hole, then remove the turbocharger.
  • Remove the remaining portion of the pin.
  • Install a new wastegate actuator linkage pin.

Another issue with the wastegate was it made a rattling noise every time the engine was revved. It could be because the waste gate had loosened up a bit.

Although it doesn’t affect the driving experience like a linkage pin problem, you can get it tightened or replace it with one that doesn’t make a rattling noise.

If all else fails, take the car to a service station for inspection.

Check also the bigger sibling – the BMW M6. We have a list of known issues with the BMW M6 models.

#2 Problem With The BMW M5’s Spark Plug

The spark plug delivers electric current from the ignition system of the vehicle to its combustion chamber. The 2014 M5’s spark plug does no less but can sometimes be distressing.

If the spark plug of the BMW M5 starts giving hiccups, it means it could be failing. Here are additional signs of a spark plug failing.

  • A cylinder misfire can indicate a spark plug failure.
  • Rough idling might be another sign that there’s an issue with the vehicle’s spark plug.
  • Poor fuel efficiency and running.
  • The “check engine” light keeps flickering.
  • An ignition misfire
  • The vehicle frequently stalls at low speeds.
  • The air/fuel mixture is rich and does not combust fully.
  • The exhaust gas color turns black when the spark plug doesn’t ignite the air/fuel mixture fully.
  • The overall fuel efficiency drops.

If there’s an issue with the BMW M5 spark plug, you can replace it with a new one. The replacement method is a bit technical but it can save you from unnecessary service costs.

#3 Leakage Of The BMW M5’s Fuel Injector

The fuel injector on the M5 has the capability to last around about 2,00,000 kilometers. Still, sometimes due to poor fuel quality, the injector can foster some issues.

For most cars, the leakage causes a huge mess of carbon buildup around the engine head, but as for the BMW M5, the injector leaks inside.

This internal leakage can contaminate the spark plugs. This problem usually arises in the petrol variants.

Below are some early signs of a failing injector:

  • Darker smoke coming out of the exhaust indicates an injector failure and a rich air/fuel mixture.
  • The vehicle seems like it’s about to start but does not. Almost like a hiccup start. It could also be that the vehicle did not start at all.
  • Excessive vibration at low-speed driving.
  • The vehicle starts to stall at slower speeds.
  • A pinging noise coming from the engine specifies an injector failure.
  • Poor fuel efficiency could be a sign that the fuel injector is failing.
  • The vehicle can experience rough idling for numerous reasons, one of which is a failing fuel injector.

If the car shows any of the above-mentioned signs, take it to a service station for advice or necessary replacement.

#4 BMW M5’ Numb Steering Wheel

Although BMW is known for its enthusiastic driving, the manufacturers wanted to make the vehicle support more comfortable driving. Hence, a less sensitive steering wheel was added to the early models of the M5.

The main idea behind this addition was to reduce the feel of the road on the steering wheel. The earliest models of the BMW M5 had electric steering controlled by software.

A few people reported that the vehicle would steer right by itself, which made it dangerous to drive on highways, especially with more traffic.

Because of this, there was a lot of damage to the high-profile tires and aluminum rims because the tires would run flat.

Due to this, a lot of vehicles were recalled in 2014 and the steering was fixed. Now the BMW M5’s steering weighs adequately and has improved a lot.

Moreover, if the electric steering system of the vehicle still malfunctions, here’s what might be causing it:

  • The control unit interprets sensor data and transfers commands to the motor. If there’s a problem with the control unit, the EPS system can malfunction.
  • When the vehicle is driven on rough terrain, the EPS system works twice as hard and is prone to wear and tear of its components. Due to this, the system can experience a lot of problems including the steering going out of control.
  • Rough terrain puts the EPS system at risk of being damaged by debris.
  • The sensors are responsible for gathering data regarding the speed of the vehicle, steering angle, and multiple other factors. Poor sensor performance can cause the system to fail.
  • When the electric motor wears out or fails, the entire EPS system does as well.

If the vehicle is having trouble with its steering system, take it to the service station for inspection.

#5 Battery Draining Issue In the BMW M5

The M5 has a lot of electronic devices installed that keep the vehicle in optimal condition. The vehicle draws all of the currents from its battery to power the electronics.

When the vehicle is turned off, the computer ensures that all electronics of the BMW M5 are shut down to prevent any loss of power or battery drainage.

But a few reported cases by BMW M5 drivers confirm a battery drainage problem. Even though the vehicle is parked and turned off, the battery may lose charge. Due to this, the engine doesn’t fire up the next time the vehicle starts.

A battery loses charge for a lot of reasons, including:

  • When the outside temperature is low, the charge cannot survive within the battery. Hence, the battery starts to drain itself.
  • There may still be an electronic drawing current from the battery when the vehicle is turned off. Check that each feature of the computer system is manually shut down before the engine stops.
  • The electronic parking brake remains drawing current from the battery when the car is sitting, which causes the engine to crank up efficiently.
  • Problematic default electric connection which prevents the battery from charging itself.
  • Radio or trunk lights remain ON, especially in cases of a faulty alternator that can make the battery drain itself.
  • In some cases, a worn-out battery may be the culprit behind the unexplainable drainage every other week.

The most effective solution to a problem like this is to buy a battery charger at home and charge the battery every now and then if the vehicle isn’t driven for longer periods of time, or you can get a complete battery inspection service and a new battery installed.

A charger can be extremely helpful when you live in colder climates.

Check also the common problems with the M5’s sibling: BMW M4 – typical problems and issues.

#6 BMW M5’s Remote Key Unlock Malfunctions

Many modern vehicles offer a remote to lock or unlock the vehicle from outside. The BMW M5 is one of them.

Although the feature can be extremely helpful when you’re carrying a bunch of stuff and can’t unlock the vehicle manually, it can be alarming when the remote unlock button is pressed but ceases to unlock the vehicle.

Some M5 drivers complain that the blinking indicator lights flicker when the button is pressed – signaling that the vehicle is receiving the signal but it remains locked.

The problem could be because of a blown fuse on the central locking system. The fuse box is right behind the glove box on the BMW M5, so it can be easily opened by removing the cover on the left.

The malfunction could be because the vehicle was within a radio inference zone. Usually, when a vehicle is parked near a safe facility, the remote can suddenly stop working.

Sometimes, there could be an underlying problem with the car door’s receiver sensor which prevents the fob from connecting with it.

#7 The Vacuum Pump Of BMW M5 Malfunctions

The vacuum pumps in the M5 are used for providing vacuum to multiple parts of the engine bay. The components which require a vacuum the most are the booster and brake systems.

If the vacuum pump fails, it fosters multiple problems in the vehicle. For instance, if the booster doesn’t stay under a constant vacuum, it cannot provide an adequate braking force, which can result in a lot of driving accidents.

The vacuum pump in the BMW M5 also regulates the boost pressures that the turbocharged engines put out. The vacuum pump adds more horsepower and life to the engine of the BMW M5, but it can sometimes become problematic.

Here’s why:

  • Extra stress on the pump can result in the pump becoming dry, which leads to a premature vacuum pump failure.
  • A dry vacuum pump is extremely vulnerable to contamination. Especially the liquid kind. Exposure to any kind of liquid can cause the pump to fail.
  • Any solvent that enters through the discharge port or drive coupling can mix with the carbon dust in the vacuum pump of the vehicle and create a sticky residue.
  • Oil contamination is another cause of a vacuum pump failure or malfunction. When the foam grater is soaked with oil, it gets inside the pump and compromises performance.
  • Sometimes graphite chunks are sucked out of the pump and lodge into the hoses and vacuum regulator, which can stop the pump’s function. Even if there’s a pump replacement, ensure that the area is cleaned off carbon or the new pump may ingest these particles.

A vacuum pump usually fails due to the lack of lubrication. This issue must be fixed before driving again or it may cause multiple damage to the vehicle and could end in an accident.

General Pros And Cons Of The BMW M5

Pros:

  • The BMW M5 has a supercar performance caliber.
  • The vehicle is luxurious inside out.
  • If you lift off the accelerator, it causes the BMW M5’s exhaust to create sounds similar to a race car.
  • Playful handling with the option of flaring drifts on the road.
  • Customizable ambient interior lighting.
  • Advanced technologies such as self-parking assistance.
  • Heated front seats with massage functionality.
  • Power adjustable steering column.

Cons:

  • Fuel injectors leak
  • The battery of the BMW M5 drains
  • Malfunctioning vacuum pump
  • Spark plug fails.

What Do The Reviews Say?

“More power than I’ll ever need (but like having it anyway), handles and drives wonderfully, is a fantastic long-distance cruiser, and with the addition of a set of all-season tires, I can drive it year-round and take it skiing. On Open Road, I get around 25 mpg – which is about the same as the 328xi – and I don’t drive it slowly.”

Source: (www.edmunds.com)

“The car provides a very high level of performance, decent fuel economy, and a whole Lotta fun. I’ve driven at 500 miles and averaged just under 20 miles per gallon. Not bad for over 600 hp.”

Source: (www.edmunds.com)

What Is The Resale Price Of the BMW M5?

Year Mileage Price
2018 18.51 Mpg $104,595
2019 17 Mpg $102,700
2020 17.77 Mpg $102,700
2021 21 Mpg $103,500

Sources

Used 2019 BMW M5 Customer Reviews (edmunds.com)

M5 Common Problems And Running Costs (M5board.com)

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