Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used BMW 1 Series hatchback?
Check the exterior for dents, scratches and scuff marks to the bumpers and bodywork because that can be expensive to fix. Make sure the alloy wheels aren’t heavily kerbed, too.
Push every button in the interior to make sure all the electrics work correctly. Also, inspect the seat fabric for any wear to the driver’s side seat bolster because these cars have been known to rack up huge mileages. If the seat is well worn but the mileage is low, be suspicious.
Limp home mode activating while driving
Screws in the variable camshaft timing (VANOS system) may loosen over time on some models and potentially break off. If that happens, the VANOS system will malfunction and cause problems with the valve timing of the engine. This will throw up a warning light and put the car in limp home mode, reducing engine power.
The propshaft universal joint may fail
The 1 Series is rear-wheel drive; there is a propshaft to take the power from the engine at the front and send it to the back wheels. A union at the front may fail and require a replacement to be fitted.
Power steering failure
There have been two recalls relating to the power steering. The first affects only a small number of examples and is caused by power steering ECU failure, while the second is due to a component failure and may require the steering box to be replaced.
Fuel pump failure
The fuel pump in the tank may stop working because it has components that haven’t been nickel-plated correctly. A warning lamp and message will be displayed in the instrument cluster, but the brakes and steering should still work. If your car is affected, it’ll need a new pump.
Loss of drive
A bolt in the clutch pressure plate may work loose over time and result in the inability to select any gears and, therefore, lose drive. A small number of cars were affected by this recall, and your BMW dealer will be able to advise you further.
Crankshaft sensor fault
There’s a possibility that due to faulty software in the crankshaft sensor, you may experience rough running, reduced engine power or an engine stall while in motion. If your car is affected, the dealer will need to replace the whole sensor.