1996 BMW 3-Series BMW 3-Series 1996

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1996 BMW 3-Series repairs by problem area

Engine (49%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (9%)

Brakes and Traction Control (3%)

Suspension and Steering (14%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (14%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (3%)

Other (9%)

Chart based on 35 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 1996 BMW 3-Series.

1996 BMW 3-Series repair cost distribution

$2500+ (0%)

$1000 - $2499 (0%)

$500 - $999 (15%)

$100 - $499 (44%)

< $100 (41%)

Worried about potential repair costs? An extended warranty can provide peace of mind.

Chart based on 27 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

1996 BMW 3-Series

Engine not specified

BMW in Pennsylvania, United States
Jan 2013 - Aug 2013
Feb 2013

152500 mi

US $40
Cam Position Sensor failure. Replaced sensor. 
BMW in Texas, United States
Jun 2011 - Jun 2012
Jul 2011

154300 mi

US $700
Fuel pump called quits 
BMW in North Carolina, United States
Oct 2013 - Jun 2014
Jun 2014

165000 mi
Cooler leaks suspension worn out and check engine light stayed on 

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1996 BMW 3-Series 4-door

6-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Virginia, United States
Sep 2010 - Jul 2011
Oct 2010

223000 mi

US $338
Whining noise was heard from under the hood, determined cause to be noisy alternator bearing, replaced part myself. 
Nov 2010

224800 mi

US $476
Coolant leak was noticed on ground, determined cause to be the radiator. Replaced part myself along with hoses, expansion tank, and fan clutch. 
Apr 2011

235300 mi

US $16
Car developed severe steering wheel shake at highway speed, left front brake caliper was sticking, purchased seal kit and rebuilt 
BMW in Victoria, Australia
Dec 2009 - Jun 2011
Jan 2010

107260 mi

A $800
Rear main seal Clutch Slave cylinder Guibo / Driveshaft flex disc  
Aug 2010

109120 mi

A $470
Excessive blowby, leaking oil through throttle body. Clutch hose replaced 
BMW in Texas, United States
Sep 2011 - Oct 2011
Oct 2011

73000 mi

US $400
Crank vent valve vacuum repaired/ajusted to fix cold start issues, intermittent check engine light Cowl gasket was cracking; preventively replaced to avoid water damage to engine computer 
BMW in Indiana, United States
Dec 2009 - Mar 2015
Apr 2010

163000 mi

US $150
Water pump went out 
Jun 2010

166000 mi
Replaced coolant level sensor. 
Dec 2011

179000 mi

US $300
Needed new starter. 
BMW in Virginia, United States
Dec 2009 - Dec 2010
Sep 2010

171000 mi

US $75
shocks tightened up 
BMW in Texas, United States
Dec 2009 - Mar 2013
Mar 2010

160000 mi
Ignition key spins and will not catch at the on or start positions. Just needed to be re-aligned, 30 min and no parts needed. 
Mar 2013

178000 mi
Passenger front window would no longer move up or down. A common issue due to a gear wearing out. 

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1996 BMW 3-Series 4-door

6-cylinder automatic 2WD

BMW in California, United States
Dec 2010 - Jun 2012
Jan 2011

181000 mi

US $550
Had to replace the rear-left wheel bearing. Grinding noise and possibly affecting the car's handling and acceleration. Will need to replace the rear-right soon. Previously replaced the two front bearings. 

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1996 BMW 3-Series 4-door

4-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Washington, United States
Jun 2010 - Jun 2011
Oct 2010

279200 mi

US $175
Fuel pump failed. Replaced. 

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1996 BMW 3-Series 4-door

4-cylinder automatic 2WD

BMW in Arizona, United States
Dec 2009 - May 2010
Apr 2010

131000 mi

US $75
Multi switch for wipers on left side of column. 

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1996 BMW 3-Series 2-door

6-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Illinois, United States
Jun 2017 - Jul 2019
Jun 2018

52000 mi
CEL for fuel trim codes. Replace valve cover gasket, throttle body gasket, vacuum hoses, O2 sensors, CCV, clean ICV,’test fuel pressure, new spark plugs 
BMW in Oklahoma, United States
May 2010 - Nov 2011
Sep 2010

108000 mi

US $50
Oil leak fixed in variable valve timing system in the high pressure hose. 
Jan 2011

108300 mi

US $100
Upper and lower coolant hoses leaking, replaced 

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1996 BMW 3-Series 2-door

4-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Illinois, United States
Jan 2010 - Jun 2011
Mar 2010

162000 mi

US $170
Replaced starter (spark plugs, fuel & cabin filters.) Replaced valve cover gasket. 
BMW in Ontario, Canada
Sep 2010 - Jun 2018
May 2012

246860 mi
Hood release latch corroded and sticking. Parts disassembled and cleaned before reinstalling. Not bad considering the mileage! 
BMW in Idaho, United States
Dec 2009 - Dec 2010
Apr 2010

159000 mi

US $200
front windshield fascia degraded due to sun exposure. Successfully replaced. 
BMW in Ireland
Jun 2010 - Jun 2011
Aug 2010

87500 mi

Front left shock leaking so replaced both front shocks along with left tie rod. 
Oct 2010

89280 mi

Engine mount went causing the engine to shift blocking the fan which made the car overheat. No head gasket issues luckily. Cracked the sump when the mount went though. :( 

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1996 BMW 3-Series 2-door

4-cylinder automatic 2WD

BMW in Maryland, United States
Dec 2009 - Jun 2018
Jun 2011

134000 mi
Replaced failing lower control arm bushings. 
BMW in Minnesota, United States
Jun 2017 - May 2021
May 2018

177000 mi

US $800
Replaced fan switch, coolant reservoir and thermostat 

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1996 BMW 3-Series Repair Histories

See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently 1996 BMW 3-Series problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.