2009 BMW 1 Series 128i n52 i6


I took it over a 3 Series, was not disappointing.


Things that have gone wrong or were required replacement as peripheral components:

Brake pads and rotors, serpentine belt and tensioner pulley, spark plugs and coil packs, heated angle connector for PCV on intake (shorted out and caught on fire), valve-cover gasket/bolts and valve-cover itself (leaking cover seals, all and everywhere), tires, oil filter housing gasket, third light for trunk lid (cracked apart), head bolts (broke because of temperature/metal differential between Al head and Mg block), VANOS solenoids (cleaned them and they worked again), Valvetronic eccentric shaft sensor replaced (just because I never want to do this job again!), driver's seat ripped apart at seam (I don't weigh much but it was -35 that day and thin leather doesn't do well frozen), passenger side view mirror glass came unglued and fell off (re-glued).

General Comments:

Love it, that's why I keep fixing it... sure it's got some quirks, but it wasn't made for our extremely cold climate, but in the summer months I couldn't ask for a better/ funner machine. If you do your own work, it's cheap and relatively easy, and therefore, a pleasure to work on. Simple mods like intakes and exhaust actually make a difference on this engine. Unlike others in their class, you can always squeeze a little more torque out of these things from simple mods. As an aside, this car is smaller and lighter than the 3 Series that shares the same engine.

On the bad points, I'm forced to relegate my complaints to those concerned with winter woes, almost expressly so, as I have had no notable summer troubles!

For starters, the materials used in the interior of the car are mostly durable, seat is too thin of a material. As I mentioned before, it ripped when I sat down in it at minus 35; I weigh 160lbs.

Glue for sideviews is shoddy at best when it comes to temperature change.

The car has no block heater... seriously?

The car has no spare tire or tire-well... this means runflat winter tires, which suck, or go with normal pneumatic tires and hope for the best.

No command start! It's a German legal hipster thing I suspect... but there are aftermarket options available. And for those who don't know, when it's minus 40, even full synthetic turns into honey like goop in the pan, engine tolerances are all screwed up, especially with mag/al combinations.

The car has a virtual dipstick to check oil! Not winter related, but still a worthy mention. Fine and good to be able to check the oil from the dash without getting out of the car, but more often than not, it takes over five minutes of idling in park on level ground to get a reading... who's got time for that?? I could check it with a dip stick in one second! Also it's counter productive to Germany's stringent "no idling" laws, why design it this way?

Winter driving in this thing is beyond horrible, no matter what tires you have. If it's more than 6 inches of snow on the ground you're breaking out the chains.

Anyways, nothing else has gone wrong with it, and when it works (which is 99% of the time) it works fabulously!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2017

2008 BMW 1 Series 128i convertible 6 cylinder


Cute with a ton of headaches and unexpected out of pocket expenses


Since year one, many electronic issues have gone wrong. More than in all the cars combined that I have owned since 1989.

Mechanically the car seems fine, but the electronics and warning lamps and sensors have caused non stop headaches for years now, and it's only getting worse.

Specifically this year (2014), the passenger window collapsed because a clamp failed, which caused an over 1k fix to replace the clamp and reprogram the window system/car. While this happened, I got my car back from a BMW dealer and service center, which fixed the original problem for a ton of $, but returned my car to me with new issues that did not exist when I gave my car to them. They won't take responsibility for what happened on their watch on their property, and my electronic BMW woes go on and on, worse and worse and worse. It's a never ending cycle of headaches and expense, which makes me never want to get a BMW again. It's a shame because I have owned BMW's since 1996. Because I feel ignored and not taken care of, I am abandoning BMW, which I never thought I would.

General Comments:

The car looks good. It's a tight inside with a small trunk. Small gas tank. Overall it is a fun car, mainly in the warm weather. It does not handle bumps well, especially on turns and ramps. I just would not recommend it unless you are petite with petite passengers, and don't have much need for a trunk. For me, a 6 foot male adult, this car was a bad idea.

Bang for the buck? Probably a yes for a German topless car. If comparing to all cars, this car should not make the list for the 40k range.

The run flat system failed me, with no warning that the tire had been flat for over 50 miles, and it nearly caused a terrible accident.

If you buy this car, definitely get the tire insurance and extend your warranty. You will need every bit of it. Without it (like me), you may wind up spending way more than you ever thought, keeping up with the nonsense electronic issues.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th November, 2014

5th Nov 2014, 18:30

Clearly your dealer is not one to trust. As many BMW owners do, go find an independent mechanic. If fixing the window added far more problems, clearly they don't know what they're doing. If you still have the car, just find an independent - ask BMW owners (of cars which are not so late-model - they're the ones who find independents more often, when well out of warranty).

5th Nov 2014, 20:40

Don't worry, it's normal. It's part of that German engineering myth.