What to look out for with a 2008 BMW 5 Series?

Curious about general problems including engine and transmission

Carol , there really is no answer to this question if it is a question . You don’t say why you are posting . Do you have one of these , are you thinking of buying one or what. If thinking of buying then you pay a shop to inspect any vehicle used you might want. Also remember that all luxury European vehicles are expensive to repair and maintain .


In general, fuel and cooling system problems. That said, each car is different, with a different maintenance history.

Search around on this and other BMW Forums and you’ll hopefully find where someone’s had the sort of problem you’re worried about and found a solution. This is the sort of car i’d check with the local German specialist about an inspection and particular red flags to look for.

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At carcomplaints the 2008 has the most problems, starting off with water pumps. I’ve read that replacing all cooling system components is normal for older BMWs.


… and those parts will be much more expensive than they would be with a Japanese, Korean, or US-made vehicle.

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I would search for a Lexus instead because they are cheaper to maintain and much more reliable. This german car is out of warranty and that could cost you $$$$ in case a major component fails.

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I’d suggest checking carcomplaints.com to give you an idea of common, reported issues.

And as an FYI… most folks trade in German-made cars shortly after they get out of warranty, due to the costs or repair/maintenance being so high. It wouldn’t surprise me if some folks even traded these cars off when they find out the cost of repairing something…meaning, you could be buying someone else’s expensive repair problem.

Good luck.

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All used cars need to be inspected by a mechanic prior to purchase, but with a car like this the OP should have it inspected prior to purchase by an independent shop that specializes in German cars, as they are more likely to spot known problem areas with that model.