Key Takeaways

  • The BMW 2 Series is a fairly reliable vehicle
  • Most of the problems associated with the car are taken care of by BMW
  • Your 2 series might burn more oil than you expect, but just bring an extra bottle or two
  • If mechanics work on the rear axle, be sure they use new bolts instead of reusing
  • The 2 series is a fun vehicle to drive in general.

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BMW is known for building the “Ultimate Driving Machine.” The 2 series is amongst popular BMWs - but are the problems and complaints worth buying?

Yes, the BMW 2 series is worth buying. When it comes to luxury and performance vehicles, you could do a lot worse than the 2 series, which just has minor issues with the crankshaft sensor and rear axle bolts. Power steering has also been a problem for some 2 series drivers.

We’ll go into detail about what to watch it for in regard to BMW 2 series problems. We’ll also discuss overall reliability and whether or not you should consider using a used BMW 2 series.

Table of Contents

BMW 2 Series Coupe details

The BMW 2 Series is one of the smallest vehicles in the BMW world. BMW is well known for building vehicles that offer serious performance from the engine, the interior, and the ability to handle tight corners with a pleasant ride. Rear wheel drive is also standard on the BMW 2 Series, making it a slightly lighter vehicle that is fun to accelerate with quickly. Depending on which year of the vehicle you buy, the 2 Series has driving modes, including sport, which allow you to tune the adaptive suspension and engine based on the kind of feel you want when driving. The fuel economy isn’t the best - but our expectations for a performance vehicle aren’t all that high.

While the 2 series is a nice vehicle, it does have some problems. BMW is also known for having some problems in regard to maintenance, including not being overly high quality initially. BMW dealerships are also well known for taking care of their customers and in many cases, the manufacturer acknowledges the issues they create, considering the cost and level of luxury involved in making their vehicles.

BMW 2 Series Problems


Vehicles like the BMW 2 series are well known for burning oil. Why? Well, BMWs generally run hot, and between running hot and the gradual movement of piston rings and seals, your BMW can easily lose a little bit of oil at a time. Between leaks and simply maintaining a higher than normal temperature, you might be grateful that BMW provides an adequate warning light for oil issues on their vehicle.

If it helps any - BMW knows this. They actually offer a travel bag in which to put your oil, because they know that in the long run, you’ll need to add oil to your engine - and because the travel bag itself looks cool.

Check your oil often, regardless of which BMW you buy, and your engine will be happier, and you’ll hopefully require less of the long run maintenance that comes with low oil issues.

Rear axle bolts

This sounds like an odd one, but some customers have reported an issue with the rear axle. Problems occur specifically after having the rear axle bolts removed to do work on the rear end. It seems as though mechanics are either not retightening the rear axle bolts properly, or the axle bolts are not meant to be reused. The simple solution to the problem is to put new rear axle bolts in whenever the rear axle is modified or removed.

Power Steering problems

Some models of the BMW 2 Series coupe have had problems with power steering. The power steering pump can fail, causing the steering wheel to be very hard to turn. Thankfully, BMW acknowledges this though the problem is not very common, and will replace the pump and the resulting damage if it does happen. Contact your BMW dealer for this one to fix it under warranty.

Airbag problems

A small number of BMW 2 Series built in 2016 have airbags that may not deploy properly in the event of a collision. BMW is aware of the problem, and drivers have reported getting dealer replaced airbags with no problem.

Crankshaft Sensor

The crankshaft sensor, which is part of the system that transfers power from the engine to the transmission and wheels, can go bad. The result is that the engine has severely reduced power. You’ll want to take the vehicle to a BMW dealer or mechanic to get the crankshaft sensor looked at and replaced, usually under warranty.

Crankshaft sensor issues were not among the common problems though.


We’ll be fair with BMW here and say that the brakes on a performance vehicle may wear out faster than normal because their drivers tend to use the brakes more often, especially when learning how to drive the car in a more aggressive manner. Regardless of our opinion on the subject, BMW brakes are both expensive and need to be replaced a bit more often than you might think compared to other vehicles that aren’t as performance oriented.

Should I buy a pre owned BMW 2 Series Coupe?

In short, sure. As a higher end auto manufacturer, BMW is known for taking good care of its customers and their cars. The BMW 2 Series Coupe is no exception. Yes, the vehicle may burn oil in the future and have some small problems, but maintaining them properly is the key to not spending more time or money in the shop than you need to.

Aside from complaints, you should strongly consider the 2 Series Coupe if you want a sports car that has little to no room in the rear seats - because the rear seats in the BMW 2 Series Couple are rather limited. On the other hand, given the shorter wheelbase of the vehicle, the driver will have a lot more time taking tight turns while remaining in control of the vehicle.

The hardest part of buying a BMW 2 Series Coupe might be finding one. BMW doesn’t make that many of the models, and owners tend to hang on to them for quite a while. Many owners of the coupe also don’t drive an excessive number of miles because they also can be secondary vehicles to a larger SUV - so you might find an ‘old’ one with far fewer miles than you would see in a daily driver.

How to buy a BMW 2 Series Coupe

We are going to lead this off by saying something about every preowned vehicle: Get an independent inspection of the vehicle before buying. Even in a market where a dealer or private party might not negotiate because of supply constraints, an inspection is necessary because dealers or private parties have varying inspection requirements depending on their state. If you learn the vehicle needs thousands of dollars of work in the near future, it might be worth bringing that up or just avoiding the vehicle.

While a BMW 2 Series coupe is certainly a fun car to own, it is questionably worth spending more time and money on the vehicle. You could just wait on another one if the vehicle has too much work to be done.

You’ll also want to check the vehicle history report. The most obvious concerns are whether or not the vehicle has been in an accident, though with modern auto body hop techniques this is less of a concern besides for resale value. Instead, vehicle history reports can tell you if an owner brought the vehicle in for maintenance on a regular basis. Oil changes are a huge deal, especially for a BMW 2 Series Coupe.

There are other models and competitive vehicles out there. We would say that compared to others in the luxury coupe segment, the BMW 2 Series Coupe certainly holds its own for reliability and not needing many repairs. Repairs are also avoidable with regular maintenance as prescribed in the owner's manual.

BMW 2 Series Problems & Complaints: Are The Issues Worth Buying?

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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