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BMW M8 Details
The highest level of the BMW M8 is called the Competition Gran Coupe. The M8 at this trim level delivers over 600 horsepower from a 4.4-liter V8 engine and can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in just over 4 seconds. This car is fast. The MSRP, in case you are wondering, starts at around $135,000, making this not the average daily commuter vehicle, though we could certainly have fun using it for trips to the office and grocery store.
It’s also available on a convertible or hardtop model. Overall, this is not your average vehicle though it does have some small problems.
BMW M8 Problems
Given the price and ability of the BMW M8, we expect a lot. We also realize that all vehicles have their flaws and that the M8 is no exception. Thankfully though, most reports of problems with the BMW M8 are more limited to recalls than real life, everyday mechanical breakdowns.
Rearview Camera Problems
This is a rather unusual problem because it appears to involve driver adjustment. The rearview camera on the BMW M8 can be adjusted by the driver to make it difficult to see the screen when backing up. BMW issued a recall and is allowing drivers to bring their vehicles to a mechanic or dealership to get the recall fixed by installing new software that prevents drivers from overly adjusting their screens and causing the problem.
The larger issue is that the initial software solution violates federal standards: the ability to adjust the screen is not supposed to carry over to when the backup camera is on - that must remain bright whenever it is used.
Anti-Lock Brakes Recall
While there don’t appear to be any particular instances of this happening in a harmful way, BMW learned that the M8 could have an issue with a weld that connects the rotor and the shaft for the integrated braking system. If this weld were to fall apart, the Anti-Lock Brake system would likely fail and cause limited braking support. Especially for a vehicle with the speed abilities of the M8, this is important.
BMW sent out letters initiating the recall replacing the integrated brake systems on the affected M8s.
Seat belt issues
A recall was also issued for a seat belt issue. The safety systems within the BMW M8 may fail to properly detect whether or not a passenger is buckled in, resulting in miscommunications about how and when the airbags should deploy in the event of a crash.
The solution is to bring the M8 to a BMW dealer and have them replace the front seat buckle, which takes care of the misaligned hall sensor. This is a relatively easy issue to fix, and though the chances of anything happening are low, it's pretty important to get done.
The wiring harness that holds the transmission cables in place could experience an accidental short that results in no power being delivered to the transmission, which could cause the vehicle to stop suddenly. This is a BMW recall and affected vehicles can have the wiring harness replaced and rerouted at a BMW dealership.
Show us a performance or sporting oriented vehicle and it probably has the tendency to burn oil or spring oil leaks. Why? The vehicles run hot and fast. An engine that runs hot has a higher chance of burning oil just by making contact with especially hot parts. A sporty engine like the 4.4L V8 in the M8 also can have loosened rings and gaskets which result in oil slowly spilling out over time.
Our best recommendation here is to have the oil changed as intervals specified in the manual unless you aren’t driving it - and check the oil more often than you do a typical vehicle. While the BMW M8 does have low oil warning sensors and low oil pressure sensors, it is even better to get in the habit of checking in the event the sensors fail.
Driving any vehicle with an engine with no or low oil could readily end in engine failure, which you certainly don’t want.
High Pressure Pump
The high pressure pump could actually pop out because the part is not screwed in and completely corrected, which leads to what BMW calls inadequate screwing. This sounds like an odd problem to have, and honestly it is pretty unlikely that your high pressure fuel pump is going to pop out while you are driving, but at least BMW knows about the problem and offers to fix it.
Though the issue has not been reported much, there could be an issue with the braking system having a hydraulics issue which results in a slower reaction time and increased braking distance. This has been brought to BMW’s attention and is among their fixes - pretty important for a vehicle that can readily go the speed the M8 does.
One thing you might notice with the above list is that most of the complaints suggested are actually recalls. Given that the M8 isn’t exactly sold in high volume like the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic, most of these are the result of BMW recognizing that there was a problem within their engineering - or a potential for a small problem, and fixing it.
To us, it is better to have a lack of true user complaints about the vehicle. Aside from oil issues, which are common problems for a higher end sports car to have, the M8 actually has impressive longevity and durability, especially for a vehicle capable of being both quite fast and handling like a sports car.
We’ll say that the German automaker did a pretty good job of making this vehicle well.
How to buy a used BMW M8
Unless you yourself are a BMW M8 expert, always get an inspection first. We’ll also note that you might want to find a specific BMW M8 specialist, and definitely at least consider a BMW dealership. Your average local mechanic chain might not know what they are looking at, or have a history with BMW M8s. Ask what you get with a pre-purchase inspection.
Also note that the BMW M8 isn’t exactly a common car. You might find yourself hunting around for a place that can take proper care of the vehicle, and give an inspection report.
Some BMW M8 owners are enthusiasts and probably try to work in their own vehicles when possible. Ask for service records anyway, and even receipts if the BMW M8 owner did oil changes and other maintenance at home. Given the price of the vehicle and its capabilities, it helps to know that the vehicle has been well maintained - and to negotiate the price based on what you think you might have to spend on it in the near future.
About The Author
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.Read More About Charles Redding