10 BMW 135i Problems, Common Issues and Solutions Exposed

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

If you’re interested in learning about common BMW 135i problems, you’ve come to the right place.

The BMW 135i is known for its performance and balance, but as with any vehicle, certain issues can arise.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most frequently reported problems with the BMW 135i, helping you stay informed and potentially minimize costly engine repairs.

Keep reading to discover what challenges you might face as a BMW 135i owner and how best to address them.

Common Engine Problems

N54 Engine Issues

One of the most prevalent issues with the BMW 135i is the N54 engine problems. If you own a 135i, it’s essential to be aware of these potential issues and address them promptly.

Early detection can help you avoid dealing with more severe consequences, such as a check engine light or an unexpected visit to the mechanic.

Common N54 engine problems include oil leaks, water pump failure, and wastegate rattle. These issues can hinder your vehicle’s performance and cause additional wear on your N54-powered BMW.

To prevent damage, have a trusted mechanic inspect your BMW 135i regularly and replace any worn or damaged components.

High-Pressure Fuel Pump Failure

The high-pressure fuel pump (HPFP) is another common problem with the BMW 135i. HPFP failure can lead to a lack of power and, in severe cases, put your vehicle in limp mode.

Symptoms of HPFP failure include rough idling, stalling, and poor acceleration. To avoid HPFP problems, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with regular maintenance and have your mechanic check the fuel pump during routine inspections.

If you suspect your HPFP is failing, consult with a mechanic as soon as possible to diagnose and address the issue properly.

Turbocharger Problems

The BMW 135i’s N54 engine features twin turbochargers which, while increasing performance, can also lead to some issues.

Potential turbocharger problems include wastegate rattle and charge pipe issues. If you hear unusual noises coming from the turbos or experience a sudden loss of power, these might indicate turbocharger problems.

Regularly checking your spark plugs and replacing them when necessary can help prevent turbocharger-related issues.

Additionally, maintaining your charge pipe will ensure optimal performance and minimize the risk of charge pipe failure.

In summary, as a BMW 135i owner, it’s essential to stay vigilant about potential engine problems and address them promptly to keep your vehicle in top shape.

Cooling System Issues

Water Pump Failure

One common issue with your BMW 135i is the failure of the water pump. This component plays an essential role in circulating coolant throughout the engine and maintaining optimal temperature.

A faulty water pump can lead to overheating and ultimately cause severe damage to your vehicle’s engine.

To ensure the reliability of your 135i, it’s crucial to have regular maintenance checks on the water pump and replace it when necessary.

Thermostat Issues

Another cooling system issue that may arise in your BMW 135i is a malfunctioning thermostat. The thermostat helps regulate the engine temperature by controlling the flow of coolant.

When the thermostat becomes stuck or fails to open, your engine can rapidly overheat. To keep your 135i running smoothly, it’s vital to address thermostat issues promptly by having them inspected and replaced if needed.

Radiator Problems

Lastly, radiator issues can also lead to cooling system problems in your BMW 135i. The radiator helps dissipate heat from the coolant before it returns to the engine, ensuring a proper operating temperature.

A clogged or leaking radiator can compromise the performance of your 135i and may result in overheating.

Regular maintenance and inspections can help you identify potential radiator issues early on, allowing you to make necessary repairs and keep your BMW 135i cruising comfortably on the autobahn.

Drivetrain and Transmission Complications

Automatic Transmission Issues

BMW 135i vehicles may encounter automatic transmission issues. As a driver, you might notice weird gearbox shifting or the engine “choking” while driving.

Keep in mind, these problems might be covered by your warranty, so check with your dealer if you experience any complications.

Wiring Harness Problems

Another common issue with 135i BMWs (as well as 128i and 328i) is the wiring harness. This may lead to drivetrain malfunction in your vehicle. Here are completed BMW 128i problems and recall issues listed.

To address this, be sure to inspect your wiring harness’s length for any damages. If needed, replacement parts can be found to ensure smooth driving experience for you and your BMW!

Electrical Systems Glitches

Battery Cable Recalls

BMW has identified a safety issue in certain 135i models due to a loose or faulty battery cable.

This may cause the vehicle to experience stalling issues or even not start at all. To fix this problem, you may need to visit your local repair shop or BMW dealership to get the cable replaced, as specified in the recall.

Stalling Issues

In addition to battery cable issues, your 135i might also experience stalling due to other electrical complications.

Always be aware of any warning lights and strange vehicle behavior such as unresponsive controls. When in doubt, seek the help of a professional mechanic or BMW specialist. Stay informed about common problems with your vehicle to ensure a smoother driving experience.

Ownership Costs and Repairs

Oil Change and Maintenance Costs

Maintaining your BMW 135i can get expensive, as the average annual repair cost is $1,031. Regular oil changes are crucial, with prices ranging from $95 to $375.

Additionally, be prepared for expensive repairs such as high pressure fuel pumps that can cost $1,200.

Aftermarket Upgrades

If you’re considering aftermarket upgrades like a tune or exhaust, be aware that these may increase maintenance costs.

Upgrades can also void warranties, so it’s crucial to research their compatibility with your 135i before making any decisions.

Repair Shop Considerations

Choosing a trustworthy repair shop is essential to minimizing ownership costs. It’s crucial to find a reputable shop with experience servicing BMW vehicles.

Remember that preventive maintenance and regular check-ups can save you from costly repairs down the line.

Keep these factors in mind while factoring in the overall costs of owning and maintaining your BMW 135i.

The BMW 135i Best Years

When it comes to the BMW 1 Series, in particular, the 135i model, there are certain years that stand out from the rest in terms of reliability and performance.

As you explore the available options, keep in mind that the best years for this model are as follows:


This year was an excellent one for the 135i. With its improved reliability and overall performance, it’s a great choice to consider when looking for a BMW 1 Series.

The N55 engine, which replaced the N54 in 2011, has proven to be more reliable, making the 2013 135i a solid choice.


This year marked the introduction of the N55 engine, a single twin-scroll turbocharger engine that replaced the N54.

By opting for a 2011 135i, you enjoy increased reliability and reduced maintenance compared to earlier models with the N54 engine.


The 2012 model year continued the trend of improved reliability, and remained a top choice for 135i enthusiasts. While there’s still the presence of some common N54 engine problems, major issues are less prevalent.

When selecting your BMW 135i, considering these particular years can help ensure you’re getting a dependable and enjoyable vehicle.

Though, that no car is entirely problem-free, so it’s always smart to conduct thorough research and inspections before making your final decision.

Important Model Comparisons

BMW 135i vs BMW 335i

When comparing the BMW 135i and 335i, you’ll find that both vehicles offer impressive performance and luxury features.

The 135i, being part of the 1-Series Coupe, is a smaller and more agile vehicle, while the 335i, belonging to the 3-Series Coupe, provides more interior space and comfort. Both cars share common problems like leaky fuel injectors and water pump failures.

BMW 1-Series Coupe vs 3-Series Coupe

When deciding between the 1-Series Coupe and 3-Series Coupe, consider your personal preferences and needs.

For performance-focused drivers, the 135i with its compact size is a great choice. Meanwhile, the 335i Coupe and 328i, both from the 3-Series, offer a more spacious and luxurious experience.

All these models come with BMW’s renowned driving dynamics and engineering, making them solid choices for any enthusiast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common N55 issues?

The N55 engine is generally reliable, but some common issues include leaky fuel injectors, carbon build-up, and water pump failure. Regular maintenance can help you avoid these issues or detect them early.

N54 reliability?

Although the N54 is a solid engine, it’s not without its problems. Some of the most common issues include chargepipe failure, valve cover oil leak, and Vanos solenoids. Make sure to keep up with scheduled maintenance and inspections.

Why do turbos fail?

Turbos can fail due to various reasons like lack of oil, foreign object damage, and excessive heat. Proper care, regular oil changes, and using the right kind of oil can help prolong the life of your turbocharger.

135i vs 335i speed?

Both the 135i and 335i share the same engines, so their performance is very similar. However, the 135i is a lighter and smaller car, which may lead to slightly better acceleration and handling.

Engine problems after 100k?

As with any engine, problems can occur after 100,000 miles. Some common issues for the BMW 135i include fuel injectors leaking and water pump failure. Staying on top of your car’s maintenance schedule and promptly addressing any issues can help extend its life beyond 100k miles.


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