Worst Problems With the BMW 328i

The BMW 3 Series are an affordable entry-level (but not the bottom of the barrel) car to introduce drivers to the BMW brand or to keep current BMW owners happy. The 328i is a popular model produced over several generations, and many owners seem to really love them. You may expect the cost of maintaining a BMW to be higher than your average Nissan, but BMW models can be plagued with problems. They all seem to maintain consistent problems, leading to repetitive complaints about owners and mechanics alike.

Oil Leaks

If you’ve ever owned a BMW, or currently own one, the thought of an oil leak makes you sigh. You’ve probably come to expect them at this point and your outlook is probably something alike or akin to “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” BMW cars notoriously leak oil from someplace or another, but most typically the valve cover gasket. Regardless of model or year, BMWs always seem to find a way to leak oil out of the motor, and it isn’t so uncommon that this may happen several different times for several different reasons over the life of the car.

10 February 2020, Brandenburg, Potsdam: A rainbow-coloured oil stain behind the rear of a vehicle parked at the side of the road. Photo: Soeren Stache/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images)

F30 Timing Chain Guides

The 2011 to 2015 generation, or the “F30” generation, had one notorious and catastrophic failure. Faulty timing chain guides would break and essentially destroy the motor. While that doesn’t seem like an awfully big deal as long as you had the problem resolved under warranty, the timing chain guides typically failed very early on in the motor’s mileage, and the problem wasn’t evidently a problem to most people until it was too late. The timing chain guides failed in a large majority of the early years of the F30 and left many BMW’s with a completely blown motor.

Overheating and Cooling System Failure

BMW and Audi seem to share this nuisance in common – among many – but for the 328i that would be that the cars notoriously overheat. The overheating is typically caused by one of two problems. First, bad or faulty water pumps that will almost always need to be replaced at some point in the car’s life. Second is that cars love to leak coolant. No matter what generation of the BMW 328i, the problem persists, causing owners to go through gallons and gallons of coolant to avoid overheating, and replace one or two water pumps along the way.

CHICAGO – FEBRUARY 08: 2013 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon, at the 105th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on FEBRUARY 08, 2012. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

While we expect things to break and go awry, when you’re spending 10s of thousands of dollars on a luxury car, even one as common as a BMW 3 Series, you don’t necessarily want to be constantly plagued with problems. Over several generations, BMW has yet to resolve the problems that the cars have continued to have year after year, but that doesn’t seem to have deterred buyers and BMW lovers from continuing to buy and drive the cars.