Do BMWs Have Rust Problems

Owning a new BMW is a sure-fire way to get noticed, but owning one plagued with rust will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons. Rust can be detrimental to any vehicle, but how does it occur, and do BMWs have rust problems?

BMWs do not have any major rust issues and share the same rust characteristics as all other cars. Rust can be prevented by cleaning the car regularly and filling any scratches or paint chips as soon as possible. However, BMWs near the coast or in harsh winters are subject to a heightened risk of developing rust.

Read on to discover what corrosion warranties BMW offers and how they protect their amazing cars from corrosion.

Do BMWs Suffer From Rust Issues?

BMWs are known to develop certain issues overtime, but luckily rust is not one of them. BMWs are no more at risk than any other car on the road regarding rust. When one inspects the metal body of a BMW, it is easily noticeable that the car is made from a quality material that is not thin. This is an excellent quality to have in a car, but it does not make it rustproof.

BMW does its own comprehensive corrosion treatment on the metal before the vehicle is shipped off to the dealership. Still, care should be taken if your car resides in extremely cold conditions or near the salty coast.

How BMW Protects Their Cars From Corrosion

BMW immerses metal body panels in a manganese, nickel, and phosphate zinc bath to provide their cars with the best corrosion protection. This cleans the metal from all contaminants that may be present on the metal and leaves a protective layer. The metal parts are then given an innovative E-Coat.

This is done by electrically charging the body while the E-Coat is sprayed onto the metal. The E-Coat is attracted to the metal’s positive charge, allowing every inch to be covered at an atomic level. When the E-Coat is fully cured, advanced welding robots inject sealant into all the crevices and cavities on the frame.

The under-body and floor pan of the vehicle receives a treatment of polyvinyl chloride. This is simply sprayed onto the underbody to protect it from moisture and surface water ingress. When the under-body treatment is dry, the car is painted before receiving the final corrosion protection stage.

After the BMW is painted, it receives a melted paraffin-based cavity waxing. The car is gently rocked from side to side during the waxing process, ensuring that the wax penetrates all the seams and crevices. The melted paraffin wax dries into a solid rustproof coating on the vehicle.

The BMW 12 Year Rust Perforation Warranty

BMW offers a 12-year unlimited mileage Rust Perforation warranty on all models from 2004 onwards. This warrants the original vehicle against any defects in the materials or workmanship which may result in rust perforation. The coverage starts on the date of the vehicle’s first sale or when the car first enters service as a demonstration vehicle.

To file a claim under this warranty, the BMW must be brought to any dealership in the USA upon discovery of any rust. If the rust is deemed to have been preventable by the owner, the warranty may lapse. An example of this would be if a surface scratch on the car was left unrepaired by the owner and rust has formed, the warranty may be voided.

How To Prevent Rust On A BMW

Prevention is always better than the cure when it comes to rust on your car (and pretty much anything else). BMWs have excellent rust protection when they leave the factory. However, everyday driving will still take its toll and push the protective coating to its limits. Rust can become a problem if the vehicle is used near saltwater or in icy weather where the car will drive on salted roads.

Salt is the major assailant when it comes to oxidization. Here are a few ways to help prevent rust from occurring.

1. Keep The Vehicle Clean

cleaning a BMW

A clean BMW is a beautiful car, so wash it regularly to keep the road grime, bird poop, and tarmac off the paint. Most car wash detergents offer some sort of protection for the paint, and a regular wash will assist the prevention of rust. This is also an excellent occasion to look for any scratches or chips present on the paint.

2. Treat Chips And Scratches On The BMW’s Paint

The Paint on the BMW is the first line of defense from rusting. Rusting can start anywhere on the paint if the paint is worn-down or the bare metal is exposed. It is vital to fill or paint any chips or scratches on the bodywork. The earlier it is repaired, the less the likelihood of rust developing. Rust can spread rapidly, so inspect the paint often to catch it early.

3. Protecting The BMW’s Interior

Most BMWs will come with factory floor mats made from great-looking soft and plush carpets. These may look fashionable, but they offer very little protection from the salt and moisture brought into the car from occupants’ shoes. The melting snow and salt seep through the factory carpets and lie on the floor panels.

To prevent this, invest in all-weather floor mats to keep the moisture from soaking into the carpet, especially during the winter. Regular cleaning will assist by removing any debris that could cause rust.

Areas To Inspect For Rust On A BMW

There are a few common areas where rust can develop on a BMW, and particular attention should be given to these areas when examining the car:

  • Trunk and hood seals
  • Wheel wells
  • Under the side skits and mudguards
  • Fuel door
  • Floor panels

Common Myths About Rust

There are a lot of myths about rust; below are three that are the most common:

Waxing A Vehicle Before The First Snowfall Is Good For The Paint

This is very true and a great idea. Waxing will protect the vehicle from the cold salty elements and revive the color. I personally use Meguiar’s and it is generally regarded as a very high-quality wax. It’s even a good idea to wax a brand new BMW straight off of the lot!

Keeping A Car In The Garage Will Prevent Rust.

This is unfortunately not true. Keeping a vehicle covered or in a closed garage is a good idea, but it will not prevent rust from developing. Moisture can lay in the crevices or gaps on the car, and if there is exposed metal, it will start rusting. Keep the vehicle clean and fill chips and scratches.

Rust Proofing Is Not Worth The Cost.

This is not true by any means. Rustproofing a vehicle will prolong its life and ensure a higher residual value. A good rustproofing treatment will last between 6 and 8 years and will cost on average of $200 to $400. Rustproofing is a solid option to take if you own a vehicle with some age on it and you reside in an area that is susceptible to severe winters.


BMWs do not suffer from any rust issues. BMW gives all their cars a comprehensive corrosion treatment before leaving the factory. This is further covered under a 12-year unlimited mileage Rust Perforation warranty.

Rust can occur on any exposed metal parts of a vehicle. Any scratches or chips should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent rust from developing and spreading. BMW’s corrosion protection and a little TLC from the owner will help keep a BMW beautiful for many years.    


Stephen Metellus

I am a BMW enthusiast and owner of! I have been repairing, flipping, and parting out BMWs for nearly ten years. I love these vehicles and I hope you will find my articles and YouTube channel helpful for whatever BMW project you have in store!

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