3 Most Common BMW 3 Series Problems Reported by Hundreds of Real Owners

The BMW 3 Series has become one of the most iconic luxury cars in the world. The M3 was once considered the Ultimate Driving Machine, which BMW used in promotion of this car for several years. All cars have some issues, even those at the top of the list. Let’s look at the most common BMW 3 Series problems and how to fix them.

Most common BMW 3 Series problems

RepairPal collects data from real owners to provide us with the most common issues with every vehicle. The most popular BMW 3 Series is the base 328i version. The three top problems with this BMW car are:

  • Oil leaks from lower engine area – reported by 228 owners
  • Blower final stage fan resistor may fail – reported by 119 owners
  • Outside mirror may fold out too far – reported by 83 owners

Considering the long time in the market for the BMW 3 Series, these small numbers allow this luxury sedan to be one of the most reliable in its class.

What can owners do about an oil leak in the BMW 3 Series?

Owners experiencing a burning smell or noticing oil drips on the ground likely have an engine oil leak from the lower engine area. This problem often occurs after 60,000 miles of driving. When this happens, drivers must replace the valve cover gasket. The cost of this replacement is $581-$713 on average.

Various symptoms contribute to one of the most common BMW 3 Series problems

The blower final stage fan resistor could fail in this BMW car and appears through a few different symptoms. Drivers experience variations in heater fan speeds, the fan not turning off when the car is turned off, or a fan that won’t turn on at all are likely facing this problem.

This issue typically occurs at 96,000 miles or more and requires a blower motor resistor replacement. The cost for this repair is between $256-$377.

 What should owners do if the power folding mirrors fold out too far?

If the power folding mirrors fold beyond the standard position, a special procedure must be followed. This procedure reprograms the system to correct the mirror’s home position. This issue typically occurs after 98,000 miles.

Is the BMW 3 Series a reliable luxury car?

The new white BMW 3 Series Touring and gray BMW 3 Series Sedan models
BMW 3 Series models | BMW Group

The BMW 3 Series receives a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0 from RepairPal. This places the 328i 19th out of 31 luxury midsize car class models. This ranking is based on three factors which are:

  • Cost – The BMW 3 Series’ average annual repair and maintenance costs are $773 compared to $739 for luxury midsize cars
  • Frequency – 3 Series owners bring their vehicles to the repair shop for unscheduled repairs 0.95 times per year compared to 0.6 for the class.
  • Severity – The probability of severe repairs for the BMW 3 Series is 12% compared to 12% for luxury midsize cars

Is the BMW 3 Series a good luxury car?

BMW 3 Series
New BMW 3 Series | BMW

U.S. News & World Report ranks the BMW 3 Series eighth out of 22 models reviewed. This BMW car offers impressive performance at various trims with impressive handling and acceleration. The base 328i continues to offer good fuel mileage, while the M3 is the most exciting track-reading model in the lineup.

Next, check out how affordable a BMW can be, or learn more about the BMW 3 Series in this video below:


BMW Would Love a Redo on the 2011-2013 3 Series