What kind of problems does a BMW 530E usually have? In this blog, we’ve outlined the most important things you should watch for when you’re in the market for a BMW 530E. In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every single problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll tell you how to identify it, fix it and how much it costs to fix. Read on!
Common problems of a BMW 530e are yellow discoloration of the headlights, fracturing belt pulleys of the B48 engine, and misfiring of the engine due to faulty software. Furthermore, the hybrid battery can discharge or have debris in it, which can cause a fire hazard. Finally, the backup camera may give out.
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every single problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll let you know how to identify it, fix it and how much it costs to fix. Read on!
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Also read: How Many Miles Can A BMW 5 Series Last? (+ Reliability Scores)
1. Airbag Inflator Problem
There has been a recall for the head airbag inflator with the recall number 20V243000. This recall was issued on June 24, 2020. The normal working of the inflator gets impaired due to the high humidity in the cabin.
This recall replaces the head airbag (left or right) free of cost. The vehicles affected are mainly the 2017 and 2018 model years. If looking for 530E in the used market, ensure it has attended this recall. If the issue is not resolved, there is a high risk of injury in case of an accident.
2. Center Console Design
Although it’s not a big problem, it’s more of an inconvenience. With the new design of the cup holder placement with the wireless charging module, you would have to take out your drinks to reach your phone. It’s minor but worth mentioning.
3. Trunk Space
It is probably one of the most significant drawbacks of having a 530E instead of a 530i—you don’t have much cargo space because of the battery pack placement in the trunk (10 ft3 or 14 ft3 depending on trim level). So if you travel with a lot of luggage in the back, you would probably have to come up with ideas on how to fit all your stuff in this small space.
However, with the rear folding seats that come standard, you can have more room, but only when you aren’t having anyone sitting in the back.
4. LED Daytime Running Lights Yellowish Discoloration
After a period of use, the DRLs often get relatively dim, or you might see discoloration on them. It happens due to a faulty module connection with the light tube. You can have this problem fixed by replacing the LED module. If the problem is not solved after replacing the module, you might have internal light tube damage.
In the latter case, you would also have to replace the light. You can find a mint condition module in the used market for about $100. The lights are priced at about $400. If you are experiencing a slight discoloration, replacing the module as soon as possible is best. If not replaced in time, it might lead to further damage, costing much more to fix.
We sighed relief when BMW replaced that super unreliable N20 & N26 with a revised and better B48, which has been observed to be a reliable engine. Not only does it address the valve cover gasket leaks, but it can also handle more boost without heating up. And we can finally say goodbye to those timing chain catastrophes?
Well, not really. There have been several reports of failed belt pulleys that fracture, causing the drive belt to come off the alternator along with the coolant pump.
Most BMWs face this particular issue; the 530E, however, faces another problem related to its radiator grille, which is why the grill’s upper/lower active flaps have been given an extended limited warranty of 15 years/150k miles. The vehicle’s in-service date will be assessed to know if your 530E is eligible for this extended warranty.
5. Check Engine Light
A widespread check engine light haunts the 530E owners—the misfire codes. You will see the check engine light with light throttle or deceleration. This check engine light behavior is a telltale sign of one or more misfiring cylinders.
With the scanner tool, you will see codes; 140110, 1402130, 140310, and 140410 for cylinders 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. A software update will likely solve this problem as the DME software likes to give you mini panic attacks for no reason. Make sure to get the latest software update from a certified dealership.
The update normally costs around $250 if it’s not under warranty. Most 530Es are relatively new, so you would probably have that service under warranty.
6. Battery Discharge
The 48V battery can discharge completely, leaving no choice but to replace it. If your 530E is under warranty, you will have it replaced at zero cost.
This problem is relatively common in most BMW EVs and is not a 530E-specific issue. As most of the 530Es are relatively not that old, they are still under the eight-year battery warranty, given that the mileage hasn’t crossed the 80k mile mark.
If you are looking at a prospective buyer in the used market, ensure that it hasn’t crossed the 80k mile mark. However, if the battery has been replaced just before the 80k mile mark, and now it’s more than 80k, you can consider that option as the battery should be good to go for at least five more years.
Ensure the battery has been replaced through a certified dealership, not any other auto repair shop. An aftermarket battery pack won’t be as good as the genuine ones. However, the genuine ones can also have issues, which is why it’s best to go for the ones still under warranty.
The battery replacement can cost you $1000+
7. Charging Cable Issue
There has been a recall, 18V652000, addressing the charging cable capacitors issue. The issue is specific to the TurboCord Portable Chargers. The capacitors may fail and cause a potential fire hazard. Owners may also experience an electric shock because of this issue.
The issue has been reported against the 2019 models, meaning you must ensure that the particular model has attended the recall. The recall was announced on February 22, 2019, so check the vehicle’s appointment history if you are considering buying a 2019 model year BMW 530E.
The charging adaptor, along with the accessories, can cost you around $300.
8. Pesky Check Battery Light
The BMW 530E is overflowing with these check battery lights. It wouldn’t be such a pain to deal with— only if we could find a justifiable cause, but all in vain. You would get a check battery notification, and when you would take it to the dealership, they would reset the system, and the light would go away.
Does a reset solve the problem? No, it doesn’t. The problem is so severe that dealerships would advise against buying the 530E. These are the lemons that you would want to avoid. If you want to buy a used 530E, test drive it for more than 15 minutes to see if the check battery comes to light.
If the check battery light is on, run away. You don’t want to end up in the dealership every other day. However, models 2021 onwards have had a recall announced on April 16, 2021, which does give a sigh of relief. Any problem with the electronics would be dealt with free of cost.
It’s the models before 2021 that would be a problem to deal with. So make sure you check everything thoroughly so you don’t end up with a lemon. And while you are at, make sure it’s not a salvage title. The battery replacement can cost you $1000+
9. Hybrid Battery Has Debris
It has been reported that the battery can catch fire due to debris buildup in the battery module, which can lead to a potential fire hazard. Ensure that your 530E has attended the recall with NHTSA campaign number 20V601000. The recall was announced on November 24, 2020.
The owners were notified of this safety issue on October 23, 2020, and advised not to charge their 530E until a complete inspection was carried out. It was recommended not to use the manual or sports modes for driving. Shift paddles were also advised against.
Make sure that the one you are looking at has attended this recall, as it is one of those things where you should never go wrong.
10. Unstable Suspension at High Speeds
This problem might occur if you go for larger aftermarket wheels and haven’t had a proper alignment according to the wheels and tires. It is advised to have your tires balanced and overall properly aligned after getting new wheels and tires, or even when you only get new tires.
A bad alignment can cause the vehicle to feel loose on the road at high speeds as if you are maneuvering a boat. A proper alignment and balancing can cost you $150–$200. It may vary from State to State.
11. Backup Camera Only Works When it Feels Like it
It has been seen that the BMW 530E has a lot of electronics-related issues and the backup camera getting on your nerves is one of them. Several model years have been reported for this camera issue.
Luckily, there has been a recall—or should I say several recalls. For this rear view camera, a recall was announced on February 19, 2021, and a further recall was made on April 16, 2021, not to mention the recall on September 27, 2019. You can find these recalls with the ID 21V096000 and 19V684000.
If you haven’t had this recall attended, make sure you do. If you are looking at a 530E in the used market, make sure it has participated in the recall.
When you are test driving, check the rear view camera to see if it’s working correctly. Put the gear in reverse and see if the rear view comes up; if not, there is a chance that it didn’t attend the recall.
Depending on the exact cause of this problem, you might have to spend around $150 if you don’t have warranty coverage.
12. The Ghost/Phantom Throttle
This problem is a spooky one. There have been several reports of the BMW 530E moving on its own without any input. The vehicle would lunge forward after coming to a complete stop. Occasionally, it would do that when parked with the e-brake on. The dealerships refuse to take action as the same event can’t be recreated by the technicians.
There could be an underlying electronics failure that might give a throttle input. Some cases have been reported where the throttle would get stuck, and the vehicle wouldn’t come to a stop.
This problem has been seen to occur in the 2019 model year of the 530E. Make sure you ask the owner if they have any spooky throttle response. However, the best option would be to avoid these model years as these lemons could be anywhere, and you might end up with one—and we already know that the dealerships will not listen.
The best way to go about this problem is to have a system reset and/or system update with the latest software. If the problem persists, you might have to declare it a lemon.
13. Cruise Control Failure
It is not the most common problem, but it does exist, which is why it’s worth mentioning. When you are in the used market looking for a BMW 530E, test the cruise control and see if it’s functional.
There has been a lawsuit because of these electronic failures, although only the 2021 onwards models had been given the liberty of free repairs. The previous model years didn’t get a recall for the electronics failure, which is absurd. Now it’s a fact that these BMWs have been made in China for a long time.
However, these problems haven’t been reported in the previous years. It’s probably due to the introduction of the hybrid battery pack. The changings to the whole electronics system are probably the culprit here—or should I say the quality inspection and R&D were not on par with the BMW standards.
Overall, these issues have been addressed in the latest models, and we haven’t seen these complaints in the latest ones—yet (fingers crossed).
14. Getting Locked out of Your BMW 530E When the Keyfob is Inside
So this is a problem that shouldn’t happen usually. If you left your keyfob inside and came out for any reason, the doors shouldn’t get locked automatically. However, if the keyfob is with you when you step out, some vehicles lock the doors automatically in case you forget to lock the doors.
However, If your keyfob is left inside your 530E and you come out for a minute or two, it will lock automatically, leaving you out as if it doesn’t want to see you again.
If the problem is not with the internal ECU, it might just be the low battery of your keyfob. These batteries can run out of juice, and if that happens when they are inside, the 530E might think that there is no keyfob inside as it’s not transmitting any signal because of low battery; thus, the doors will be locked.
To replace the battery, you open the keyfob and check its number. You will likely find the number CR2032 on it, which is the battery type you need to replace it with. Make sure you get the same number that your keyfob originally came with. These batteries only cost about $3, and you can easily replace them.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!