with this model of 3 series the things to watch out for are :
Frameless side windows rattle. A product called Carbaflo is recommended on forums to reduce this, but doesn't eliminate it.
Possible autobox software problem on 335i autos. Specifically, "When in manual the default position is always 2nd gear which suggests it is the same in drive. Then when accelerating from low revs the car stutters and jerks, again as if it is trying to find 1st gear." Further report of judder from automatic transmission on a 320i.
Check PAS fluid level regularly. Steering rack may leak fluid unnoticed out of end seal and into track rod end gaiter. Seems to be a Europe-wide shortage of parts to correct this.
19" bling wheels prone to cracking from shocks from poor road surfaces, speed humps and potholes.
Turbo failures of 320d engines starting to be reported
Problem with 2.0 litre petrol engines. Two crankshaft sensors corrode and need replacing and ECU requires a 'V29' software upgrade.
ESP warning light can indicate Fault Code "Boost Pressure Sensor G201". This is embedded inside Teves Mk 60 ABS systems and requires replacement of ABS control unit/pump.
Seems to be age-related, occurring mainly in 3 - 5 year old cars. Does not necessarily lead to an MoT failure. If car has been BMW maintained, BWW will usually meet 100% of replacement cost.
If not BMW will still help towards the cost of replacement. The fault may be rectified by a BMW ABS repair kit at a cost of £144.68 + Vat. The total cost of the repair including the replacement ABS pump,clearing the computer code and a brake fluid change + labour is about £346 +vat .The BMW repair code reference is 34516. Bosch ABS systems do not have the Teves problem.
There were some issues of lag between changes with the DCT (that replaced the 6 speed auto from July 2008), but these were rapidly resolved with a software upgrade. The DCT is programmable by the driver, and this can take a bit of getting used to.
Problem with new 335i single turbo engine introduced January 2010 . Some cars arrived at UK dealers and could not be delivered.
If the car has Bluetooth and the owner has their Mobile phone synched to the car then if the car is not locked / all electrics shut down the car will keep trying to search for the phone and drain the battery.
Repeated coil and injector problems on 4-cylinder petrol engines from 2007.
Coil and injector problems reported on 6-cylinder petrol engines from 2007 as well.
BMW replacing faulty injectors, though not all cars are fitted with the same type.
Significant numbers of high pressure fuel pump failures on 330i and 335i in the USA. BMW initially "blamed" "ethanol" or "poor quality" gasoline in the U.S. for these failures.
In fact, BMW HPFP failures are well documented in Germany (even with their "superior quality" gasoline), Australia, Asia, South Africa, etc. Some of these countries have never used ethanol in any of their gasoline..... HPFP Part Numbers 1. 13-51-7-537-320 2. 13-51-7-585-655 3. 13-51-7-592-881 4. 13-51-7-596-123 5. 13-51-7-594-943 6. 13-51-7-613-933 7. XX-XX-X-XXX-402 8. 13-51-7-616-170 9. 13-51-7-616-446.
Timing chain failures becoming increasingly common on N47 2.0 litre diesel engines subject to extended oil change regimes. Can occur from about 5 years old and from about 90k miles. From 50k miles onwards, best to change the oil every 10k miles maximum.
Cold weather fault can develop with 'Active Steering'. There is a dealer TSB on this and it should be attended to during routine service. Otherwise, the cost is a stiff £1,750 + VAT for a new steering column, though BMW is aware and had been known to do the decent thing on 4 year old cars, even those serviced independently.
Seems to be a continued problem with 2nd generation N55 135i/335i models. Engine warning light coming on, car breaking down. Engine running rough and going into limp mode.
An American report states: "while the engine itself has so far proven reliable, there have been the occasional problems with the ECU cutting power to the motor. There have also been reports of oil coolers inadequately cooling the engine if the 335i is driven very aggressively in a track environment. The installation of an aftermarket oil cooler solves this problem." The N54 sequential twin turbo engine was replaced by the N55 single turbo engine with the same power but emitting lower CO2 in late 2010.
28-11-2006 R/2006/207 BMW1 SERIES AND 3 SERIES possible loss of braking power assistance build dates 04-03-2006 to 14-03-2006
May 2007 TSB: SI B 61 28 06 General Electrical Systems May 2007 Technical Service. This Service Information bulletin supersedes S.I. B61 28 06 dated January 2006. [NEW] designates changes to this revision SUBJECT: ELV Warning in Instrument Cluster MODEL E90, E91, E92 (3 Series) E60, E61 (5 Series) E63, E64 (6 Series). SITUATION: The ELV (Electronic Steering Lock) check control warning illuminates in the instrument cluster and in some cases, engine start is inhibited. Diagnostics reveals fault code A0AA in the CAS (Car Access System) and prompts a control unit replacement. CAUSE: Low voltages in the vehicle electrical system when cranking/starting the engine. PROCEDURE [NEW]: This problem has been integrated into DIS diagnostics. Follow diagnostics and relevant test plan using DIS V49.0 or later.
22-10-2008: TSB recall notice to keepers of post September 2007 325i models: "As part of our ongoing quality analysis at BMW it has been established that the injector of the fuel injector system might fail causing poor engine and lack of power on your vehicle."
22-10-08: TSB recall notice to keepers of post September 2007 325i models: "As part of our ongoing quality analysis at BMW it has been established that the injector of the fuel injector system might fail causing poor engine and lack of power on your vehicle." 30-06-2009 R/2009/065
BMW1 Series & 3 Series front side airbag or seat belt tensioner may not operate correctly build dates 23-05-2008 to 21-07-2008
26-10-2010: Woodcliff Lake, NJ: BMW of North America has notified the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its intent to conduct a voluntary recall of some model year 2007-2010 BMWs equipped with twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engines, all of which feature BMW’s High Precision Injection direct fuel injection system. It has also asked for approval from the California Air Resources Board to conduct this action. Affected vehicles may experience a failure of the high-pressure fuel pump. Symptoms include long-crank engine starting times along with the illumination of the “Service Engine Soon” light. In certain cases, the driver may experience reduced engine performance in a Safe Mode accompanied by a tone and the illumination of the “Engine Malfunction” light. Based on the individual service history of the vehicle, the action will entail replacement of the high-pressure fuel pump and/or a software update. Approximately 130,000 vehicles are potentially affected with about 40,000 expected to require a new high pressure fuel pump. Affected BMW models include MY 2007–2010 335i models, MY 2008–2010 135i, 535i and X6 xDrive35i Sports Activity Coupes, MY 2009 – 2010 Z4 Roadster sDrive35i. In a separate action, BMW has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it will voluntarily recall approximately 20,800 MY 2008 X5 Sports Activity Vehicles equipped with normally-aspirated inline six-cylinder engines to replace the low-pressure fuel pump. In this case, should the fuel pump experience a failure, the engine will stop running and the driver will lose power assist for the steering and brakes although both the steering and the brakes remain operational.
15-4-2014: Worldwide recall of 489,000 cars with six-cylinder petrol engines of which less than 3,000 are in the UK. These are: N51 (1991-1995), N52 (from 2005) and the N55 6-cylinder petrol turbo (from 2009). The screws for the housing of the adjustment unit of the variable camshaft timing (Vanos) for the intake and exhaust camshafts could potentially become loose or break. An engine warning lamp ‘should ’ appear in such circumstances, but if drivers experience any loss of power they should contact their BMW dealer immediately.
30-4-2014: Just-Auto gives further details of BMW Vanos bolts recall in the USA: BMW of North America is recalling 156,000 cars from model years 2010 through 2012 due to Vanos bolts breaking causing petrol engines to stall. Models include 2010-2011 MY 128i Coupe, 128i Convertible, 328i Sedan, 328i xDrive Sedan, 328i Coupe, 328i Convertible, 328i Sports Wagon and Z4 sDrive 30i. And 2011-2012 MY 135i Coupe, 135i Convertible, 335i Sedan, X5 xDrive 35i, and X6 xDrive 35i, 2011 335i xDrive Sedan, 335i Coupe, 335i Convertible, 528i Sedan, 535i Sedan, 535i xDrive Sedan, X3 xDrive 28i, and X3 xDrive 35i, 2010 X3 xDrive 30i, and X5 xDrive 30i, 2012 640i Coupe, and 640i Convertible and 2010-2012 535i Gran Turismo vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the bolts that secure the housing for the variable camshaft timing adjustment (VANOS) unit can loosen over time and may possibly break. BMW notified owners, and dealers will replace the four VANOS housing bolts for both VANOS units (intake and exhaust), free of charge. The recall began in May 2014. In addition, owners of approximately 170,172 model year 2010-2012 BMWs with inline 6 cylinder petrol engines not covered by this recall receive an extended warranty to address this condition. Owners may contact BMW