1997 BMW 3-Series BMW 3-Series 1997

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1997 BMW 3-Series repairs by problem area

Engine (47%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (3%)

Brakes and Traction Control (8%)

Suspension and Steering (22%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (8%)

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

Other (8%)

Chart based on 36 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 1997 BMW 3-Series.

1997 BMW 3-Series repair cost distribution

$2500+ (3%)

$1000 - $2499 (18%)

$500 - $999 (15%)

$100 - $499 (53%)

< $100 (12%)

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

Chart based on 34 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

1997 BMW 3-Series

Engine not specified

BMW in Texas, United States
Feb 2010 - May 2011
Mar 2010

108000 mi

US $500
Took for the oil change and discovered that all the oil had leaked. changed seal but still leaks little bit at pulley. 
May 2011

129000 mi

US $1800
The coolant leaked, car overheated and blew the head gasket and jammed the piston. Repair was too expensive. Had to sell really cheap for parts to the mechanic 
BMW in Oregon, United States
Dec 2012 - Dec 2013
Aug 2013

109000 mi

US $1000
left front bilstein sport shock froze; replaced both. 
Nov 2013

109000 mi

US $1800
Supercharger failed 
BMW in Ontario, Canada
May 2012 - Jun 2012
Jun 2012

186620 mi

C $180
replace the drivers side seat belt retainer for the second time 
BMW in British Columbia, Canada
Nov 2011 - Jan 2018
Aug 2012

137640 mi

C $450
Fan in dash failed 
BMW in New York, United States
Feb 2013 - Mar 2013
Mar 2013

127000 mi

US $1590
Needed new clutch, second new clutch in history of car. 
BMW in Tennessee, United States
Apr 2010 - May 2010
May 2010

90000 mi

US $300
Replaced pads and rebuilt caliper 
BMW in Tennessee, United States
Sep 2009 - Apr 2012
Oct 2009

160000 mi

US $3000
Leaking head gasket. Took the opportunity to change out all related tensioners, hoses, etc 
May 2010

163000 mi

US $350
rear shocks replaced 
Dec 2010

168000 mi

US $350
Shocks and struts replaced 
Feb 2011

170000 mi

US $20
Driver side window misaligned. Needed to realign the track and reattach modulator. 
Jul 2011

172000 mi

US $430
Rear RH axle boot 
BMW in South Africa
Mar 2012 - Jun 2012
May 2012

163260 mi

R 200
Car had bad idle, fuel consumption was up. Replaced crankcase case pressure valve 

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1997 BMW 3-Series 4-door

6-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Missouri, United States
Dec 2012 - Feb 2014
Jan 2013

US $200
Leaky steering rack 
BMW in Pennsylvania, United States
Mar 2011 - Jun 2012
May 2011

158000 mi

US $150
Replacement of oxygen sensors and rebuilding of secondary air pump to pass emissions. 

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1997 BMW 3-Series 4-door

6-cylinder automatic 2WD

BMW in Wisconsin, United States
Oct 2009 - Jun 2011
Mar 2010

142000 mi

US $700
check engine light going for camshaft sensor and crankshaft sensors. Sensors replaced. Still light. Also car stalling. 

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1997 BMW 3-Series 2-door

6-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Michigan, United States
Jun 2017 - Jun 2018
Jan 2018

192000 mi

US $150
Blower motor controller 
BMW in Indiana, United States
Jun 2017 - Jun 2018
Jan 2018

151000 mi

US $100
Thermostat housing was leaking, so replaced thermostat, thermostat housing, and radiator hoses. Engine fan threw 2 blades off the base. Missed belts, hoses, and radiator, but left the small dent in hood. Replaced Fan and fan clutch. Did nothing about hood as was barely noticeable. 
BMW in Nevada, United States
Jun 2011 - Apr 2012
Aug 2011

205200 mi

US $680
front wheel bearings, OLF, Trans fluid, brakes/pads/rotors, brake fluid bleed, M50 manifold 
BMW in New Jersey, United States
Oct 2009 - Jul 2018
May 2010

155000 mi

US $300
A/C selector valve seized up and only heat was available. Replacement of valve resolved the problem and A/C is working again. 
Sep 2010

155000 mi

US $750
Check engine light came on. Fault code indicated reduced catalytic converter efficiency. Tried replacing 02 sensors first but fault code returned. Replaced cayalytic converter and fault did not return. 
Nov 2011

163000 mi

US $85
Wandering rear end on crowned roads and clicking noise when going around turns that progressed into a loud clunk when accelerating and turning. Right rear trailing arm bushing had failed. Left also failing. Replaced on both sides with Rogue Engg parts. 
Dec 2011

164000 mi

US $25
Brake switch on brake pedal assembly failed. Replaced switch with new one and problem was resolved. 
Jul 2012

167300 mi

US $250
Rear subframe that attaches differential and suspension to the car chassis has 4 large rubber bushings that failed due to age. Symptom was loose feeling in rear end and noticeable clicking sound going around low speed turns. 
Jul 2018

192000 mi

US $250
Check engine light came on. Poor idle when cold. Upstream O2 sensors were bad and had to be replaced. 
BMW in Iowa, United States
May 2010 - Jun 2011
Jun 2010

79000 mi
Side skirt came loose. Had to realign clips and reinstall.  
BMW in Kansas, United States
Sep 2009 - Feb 2010
Jan 2010

126000 mi

US $280
Front driver-side caliper locked up. 

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1997 BMW 3-Series 2-door

6-cylinder automatic 2WD

BMW in Washington, United States
Jan 2010 - Jun 2012
Apr 2011

130000 mi

US $419
A bad wheel bearing was replaced, as well as replacing a radiator fan which had a cracked blade. 
Jun 2011

134000 mi

US $458
Radiator neck cracked and broke off.. major coolant loss. New radiator installed. 
Jul 2011

135000 mi

US $1020
Cracked, original overflow coolant tank started leaking severely. Tank was replaced and all is fine. 
Oct 2011

138000 mi

US $400
Broken accelerator cable replaced 
Apr 2012

145300 mi

US $550
Multiple vacuum leaks tracked down and repaired; leaking valve cover gasket also repaired. Car would stall and not run until vacuum leaks fixed. 

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1997 BMW 3-Series 2-door

4-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in California, United States
Jun 2015 - Jul 2018
May 2016

154600 mi

US $300
Driver side window regulator had bent, window went off the track 
BMW in Louisiana, United States
Sep 2009 - Mar 2010
Oct 2009

142000 mi

US $1100
Overheating because of failure of auxilliary fan.  

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1997 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 1997 BMW 3-Series problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.

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