Like any other car, owning a BMW 3 Series can come with its own set of problems. Whether you are thinking of buying a new or used 3 Series it is important to know what are the common problems on a 3 Series, and what to expect.
One of the most common electrical problems with a BMW 3 Series is with the battery. This is because the positive battery cable connector and the corresponding terminal on the fuse box may degrade or corrode over time. This can result in a loss of electrical power to the vehicle, potentially leading to a stall or inoperable vehicle.
Other electrical problems include instances where the key won’t turn in the ignition and the dashboard illuminates the steering lock symbol. This is likely due to a defective steering column or computer problems.
The Turbocharged 3 Series has a lot of engine issues, specifically with the fuel pumps. This will cause the engine to stall, rough idle, rough run and long crank times. Also a problem is the variable valve timing system. This is because the sensors involved with the timing system can get dirty and clogged, causing the car to go into a “limp-mode.”
BMW 3 Series owners have reported many rattle and vibration noises coming from the engine of the car. Although the sources of these noises don’t share a common source, they are usually within the engine. Have the vehicle inspected to find the source.
BMWs in general are known to use expensive and uncomfortable run-flat tires, which can wear and tear quickly. Always inspect the tires on the 3 Series you are interested in and if need be set aside a portion of budget for new tires.
Before purchasing a 3 Series it is important to have the vehicle that you are interesting in buying fully inspected. Also be aware of any technical service bulletins and make sure that the vehicle you want to purchase has had all the technical service bulletins performed.