Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used BMW 4 Series coupe?
M Sport versions of the BMW 4 Series, with their larger wheels, are prime candidates for kerbing so make sure you check the wheels carefully – if there are large scrape marks or even chunks missing or cracks in the wheel, it could also mean the suspension’s taken a hammering, so you’ll want to pay extra attention to see whether the car pulls in one direction or the other, or whether there are any untoward suspension noises.
The car will tell you when it needs to be serviced, so judging whether the service history shows that the car has been serviced on time can be tricky; in general, though, you should look for a stamp in the book roughly every year or every 10-12,000 miles – or if the car has done high mileage, every two years or 20,000 miles.
At the time of writing, there have been a total of five recalls on the 4 Series, the most serious of which involved sticky seat belts and failing fuel pumps, the latter of which could cause the engine not to start. It’s worth checking the DVSA’s recall website and phoning your local BMW dealer to confirm that all the recalls affecting the car you’re buying have been carried out; if not, you’ll want to book it in there soon after you’ve bought it.
What are the most common problems with a used BMW 4 Series coupe?
On the whole, there have been relatively few common issues reported by BMW 4 Series owners, although it’s worth keeping in mind that there have been a few reported drivetrain (the gearbox, flywheel clutch and driveshaft) issues on the similar BMW 3 Series.
Diesel 4 Series models will be fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF), which helps reduce emissions. This can prove troublesome if the engine is switched off while the DPF is engaging in its self-cleaning process, and also needs occasional long runs to instigate the process, otherwise it'll clog up with time. It’s therefore advisable if you’re buying a low-mileage diesel BMW 4 Series to check that it’s been taken on occasional motorway runs to allow the DPF to self-clean – and to keep this in mind if you plan to do low mileages yourself, in which case a petrol version may suit you better. A warning light message on the dashboard during your test drive should alert you to any DPF issues.
Is a used BMW 4 Series coupe reliable?
The 4 Series doesn’t exactly have an exemplary reliability record, but neither is it the pits. In our most recent reliability survey it finished mid-table in the sports car category, while its smaller sibling the 2 Series Coupe finished up at the top.
BMW as a brand finished in 16th place out of 32 manufacturers in our most recent survey.
If you want to find out more, you can browse the results of the What Car? Reliability Survey here [https://www.whatcar.com/news/reliability-survey/]