1998 BMW 3-Series BMW 3-Series 1998

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1998 BMW 3-Series repairs by problem area

Engine (45%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (8%)

Brakes and Traction Control (4%)

Suspension and Steering (19%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (14%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (5%)

Other (4%)

Chart based on 91 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 1998 BMW 3-Series.

1998 BMW 3-Series repair cost distribution

$2500+ (3%)

$1000 - $2499 (15%)

$500 - $999 (18%)

$100 - $499 (28%)

< $100 (38%)

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

Chart based on 80 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

1998 BMW 3-Series

Engine not specified

BMW in Oregon, United States
Mar 2011 - Dec 2015
Aug 2015

166600 mi

US $210
Driver seat was worn & split I replaced the upholstered sections myself with used but new looking parts that I bought on E-Bay. 
BMW in New York, United States
Feb 2010 - Jun 2011
Apr 2010

164000 mi

US $3000
Head gasket blew (I believe that my mechanics put in regular oil instead of synthetic at last oil changed and lied to me about it). Engine needed to be replaced. 
BMW in South Carolina, United States
Aug 2011 - Nov 2012
Jan 2012

110000 mi

US $10
Low Coolant Sensor Failed 
Mar 2012

111000 mi

US $6
O2 sensors have gone bad and have not been replaced yet. This caused a spark plug to become fouled with carbon. Misfires occured and cured by a spark plug replacement on #4. I still have not done the O2 sensors. 
Oct 2012

114000 mi

US $400
Changed out the control arms. I went to get it aligned and the tie rods were siezed up. Changed the tie rods and aligned.  Also did both precat O2 sensors. 
BMW in Kentucky, United States
Jan 2011 - Apr 2013
Feb 2011

141000 mi

US $20
BMW E36 M3 brake light switch replacement watched a You tube video & fixed myself after problem was supposedly repaired at shop. It was $20 part & took 10 mins to fix. However, I had paid $90 previously. The AAA towing person told me. 
Apr 2011

146000 mi

US $50
The seats would not adjust. Ordered parts and installing today. Hope it works. Common problem with these cars  
Apr 2013

165000 mi

US $200
The car is overheating not every trip but every other trip & will go to the red then come right back down to the normal range. Not all the time. Already replaced the radiator. 
BMW in Oklahoma, United States
Sep 2010 - Jan 2013
Oct 2010

180000 mi

US $13
Window regulator off track repaired and lubricated it myself. Passenger door outside door handle not working. Lubricated it and latch and now works properly. Cost about $5 for lubricants. Coin holder was broken. I repaired it with an extra spring and some glue. Replaced the Shift boot with a used leather boot found on ebay for $8.00 
Jan 2011

210500 mi

US $56
Replaced thermostat. 
BMW in Mississippi, United States
Oct 2009 - Mar 2010
Nov 2009

121000 mi

US $1500
Replaced rear axle. Replaced calipers. 
BMW in New Hampshire, United States
Nov 2010 - Feb 2012
Jan 2011

300000 mi

US $500
Cracked wires to right front & rear blinkers, dashlights out.  Blower motor resistor replaced. 
Mar 2011

303000 mi

US $30
gas pedal hinge broke. 
BMW in Tennessee, United States
Sep 2010 - Jun 2011
Oct 2010

128000 mi

US $1100
clutch and clutch master and slave cylinder 
BMW in California, United States
Oct 2011 - Jan 2013
Jun 2012

167000 mi

US $1500
Had to replace secondary air pump (dead), check valve and 02 sensors. 
BMW in Florida, United States
Dec 2011 - Jan 2012
Jan 2012

253000 mi

US $20
Oil leak 
BMW in Belgium
Dec 2012 - Mar 2013
Jan 2013

160580 mi

€105
Central locking actuator for the passenger stopped working in the closed state. Had to remove the door card, take out side airbag, peel back vapor barrier, replace with new actuator and reassemble. 
BMW in Washington, United States
Jul 2015 - Aug 2015
Aug 2015

212000 mi

US $35
Heater fan quit working, replaced hedgehog, still not working. 
BMW in Texas, United States
Dec 2011 - Jun 2013
Jan 2012

US $900
Aux electric engine cooling fan controller failed in "On" position requiring replacement entire fan unit. $450 for part and replacement requires removing front bumper. 
Feb 2013

66300 mi

US $1200
Aux electric cooling fan controller failed - in the "on" position, draining battery while parked. Replacing controller requires removing grill and radiator. 
BMW in Pennsylvania, United States
Apr 2012 - Jun 2013
Jun 2013

133000 mi

US $100
Replaced valve cover gasket. Spark plugs were also changed. 
BMW in North Carolina, United States
Jan 2012 - Apr 2012
Apr 2012

111000 mi

US $350
One of the belt pulleys was making noise. I replaced tensioner and idler pulleys and went ahead and replaced water pump, belts, radiator hoses, thermostat, and coolant. 
BMW in California, United States
May 2012 - Jul 2014
Jun 2012

135000 mi

US $99
Slapping noise from rear of engine was diagnosed as a loose spark plug. Tightening spark plug fixed that problem. Clutch also needs to be repaired - estimated at $1400 
Jun 2014

138000 mi

US $25
intake boot cracked 
Jul 2014

138000 mi
headliner coming off 

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1998 BMW 3-Series 4-door

6-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Virginia, United States
Jun 2017 - Jun 2018
May 2018

209000 mi

US $200
Replaced caliper 
BMW in California, United States
Jan 2010 - Jun 2011
Feb 2010

147000 mi

US $2400
Head Gasket had to be replaced after coolant leak detected. 
BMW in California, United States
Mar 2010 - Jun 2018
Mar 2011

96000 mi

US $80
Leaking power steering hose.  
Jun 2011

98000 mi

US $50
replaced cooling system hoses 
Mar 2012

102000 mi

US $340
Rear wheel bearing. Requires a press and a special BMW tool for removal 
May 2012

102300 mi

US $54
Replaced cracked bump-stops on front suspension 
May 2018

118000 mi

US $40
replace broken exhaust hangars 
BMW in Alberta, Canada
Oct 2009 - Sep 2012
Mar 2010

105400 mi

C $1000
Windshield wiper-linkage replacement. 
BMW in Virginia, United States
Mar 2009 - Mar 2010
Sep 2009

133000 mi

US $1500
Replaced front right brake caliper 
BMW in California, United States
Jan 2009 - Jun 2013
May 2009

134000 mi

US $700
Replaced all ball-joints (including control arms) in front suspension to cure rattle. 
Jul 2009

137000 mi

US $1000
Strut mounts had worn bearings, causing a rattling. Struts replaced as well for preventative maintenance. 
Sep 2012

172000 mi

US $140
Leaking coolant, suspected head gasket. Block test for carbons in coolant was negative --> likely not head gasket. Gasket repair material added to coolant to plug leak --> improved but not completely fixed. 
Mar 2013

175000 mi

US $100
Car started overheating, replaced water pump and belts, flushed coolant - problem fixed. 
May 2013

176000 mi

US $250
Upper radiator hose broke loose while driving causing massive coolant loss. Upper rad bib found cracked -> new rad. 1st rad leaked, returned for 2nd rad. Also replaced hoses and thermostat. 
BMW in Massachusetts, United States
Feb 2009 - Oct 2009
May 2009

98000 mi

US $1000
One front left spring. Clutch replaced, mechanical failure. 

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1998 BMW 3-Series 4-door

6-cylinder automatic 2WD

BMW in Georgia, United States
Feb 2009 - Mar 2010
Mar 2009

91000 mi

US $500
Replaced the radiator - again. This is now the third radiator in the vehicle. The first time, radiator neck cracked clear through at base of neck next to radiator - had to be towed. This time a hole developed on top of the radiator. Defective plastic. 
BMW in New Jersey, United States
Jan 2011 - Mar 2011
Feb 2011

112000 mi

US $300
Oil seepage, replaced valve cover gasket 
BMW in Michigan, United States
Jan 2009 - Jun 2011
Jan 2011

154000 mi

US $2400
Car was doing great, but then the tranny blew up... 

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1998 BMW 3-Series 4-door

4-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Wisconsin, United States
Jan 2009 - May 2013
Sep 2009

148000 mi

US $110
Cam position sensor needed to be replaced.  
Mar 2010

151000 mi

US $40
Ball Joint worn valve cover gasket leaking 

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1998 BMW 3-Series 2-door

6-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Michigan, United States
Jan 2009 - Dec 2017
Jun 2009

148000 mi

US $700
Too much play in tie rods, replaced steering rack. Also, oil leaking from front right strut, so replaced both front struts. 
Mar 2010

150000 mi

US $200
When we replaced the fan clutch, the water pump pulley shattered, being one of the lame plastic ones. I replaced it and the water pump, and the thermostat, and coolant and the belts. Tensioners may need to be done too, but haven't ordered them yet. 
Jun 2010

150000 mi

US $550
master cylinder leaking, pedal soft at stoplights. also front calipers and pads ancient, rusted, unsafe. 
Sep 2010

152000 mi

US $200
control arms, bearings, strut mount 
Apr 2012

163200 mi
Still gathering funds to buy radiator, fan, etc. Car overheated so I pulled over immediately and flatbedded it home to work on when I can afford the parts. Update: completed repair. Bought charge gauge and Enviro-Safe freon. Recharged AC using only one 6 oz. can. 
Oct 2012

170000 mi
Done diagnostic tests, on many systems, over last several months. It began with bad idle, progressed to stalling. Now it won't run, nor even start. At this point I'm fairly sure it needs new fuel pump. Need to save up $180 to buy one. 
Nov 2012

170300 mi
Finally had money to buy new fuel pump. Bought it, put it in. Car is fine now. 
Jan 2013

172000 mi
Stalling, running badly. Vacuum leak. Needed new hose in two spots. 
BMW in Pennsylvania, United States
Nov 2009 - Jun 2018
Mar 2011

81000 mi

US $800
muffler hangers needed to be replaced and a wheel straightnened. but thumping noise from trunk over bumps didn't go away, though dealer was sure the problem was the hanger. I didn't complain because the hangers were pretty worn. 
Jul 2017

99000 mi

US $500
Struts 
BMW in Wisconsin, United States
Jan 2017 - Jun 2018
Jul 2017

146000 mi

US $64
Replaced center support bearing. 
Sep 2017

147000 mi
Valve cover was leaking oil, replaced it. 
Nov 2017

147000 mi

US $64
Replaced a bad rear wheel bearing and brake backing plate. 
Mar 2018

149000 mi

US $22
Torn boot on ignition coil, replaced coil. 
Jun 2018

149000 mi

US $16
Replaced thermostat 
BMW in Wisconsin, United States
Jan 2009 - Mar 2010
BMW in Florida, United States
Jun 2011 - Jun 2018
Feb 2013

63600 mi
Low water light before starting engine and after going off. 
BMW in Colorado, United States
Apr 2010 - Nov 2011
May 2010

118000 mi

US $600
Steering rack rebuilt due to excessive wear/leaking. Blower motor resistor failed- replaced. 
Apr 2011

121000 mi

US $150
Window regulator and passenger door locks do not work. Replacing as a DIY task. 
BMW in District of Columbia, United States
Sep 2010 - May 2012
Jul 2011

88000 mi

US $650
Engine missing @ low rpm. Coil bad on one cyl. replaced 1 coil 6 plugs, 6 boots 
May 2012

95000 mi

US $378
Replaced cruise control throttle cable 
BMW in North Carolina, United States
Sep 2009 - May 2010
Oct 2009

195000 mi

US $777
wheel joints replaced both sides front. window motor replaced drivers side. 
Dec 2009

197000 mi
rebuilt transmission, new clutch because it was "slipping." 
May 2010

199000 mi
Power top quit working in 2008 because one motor blew. No engine problems at all, just lots and lots of interior/cosmetic and electrical problems. 
BMW in New York, United States
Jun 2009 - Nov 2010
Dec 2009

117000 mi

US $350
Noisy left rear wheel bearing, attempted repair myself but found it to require tools I didn't have. Had been living with it for about a month. 
Apr 2010

123800 mi

US $40
The idle control valve had begun to stick and cause the idle to bounce, requiring removal, cleaning with a Gumout-like solvent and reinstallation. Four bucks for the carb cleaner was the total outlay. 
BMW in Wisconsin, United States
Nov 2009 - Jun 2012
May 2012

109900 mi

US $85
Drivers side Window Regulator broke. Replaced with used part. 
BMW in California, United States
Mar 2010 - Jun 2010
Jun 2010

136000 mi
Sunroof headliner had fallen off when sold. Power windows did not always work when sold. 
BMW in Florida, United States
Apr 2011 - Jun 2011
Jun 2011

120000 mi

US $800
Clutch job. Throwout bearing had expired and there was little life left in the clutch. Also replaced Flywheel and all wear and tear parts. 
BMW in Florida, United States
Nov 2010 - Jan 2011
Dec 2010

145000 mi

US $275
Replaced the front O2 sensor. CEL came one,had the codes read. No running issues or reduced mileage for the four days the car was driven with the CEL on until I could drop the car off. Price also included a Oil Change and tire rotation. 

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1998 BMW 3-Series 2-door

6-cylinder automatic 2WD

BMW in New York, United States
Aug 2009 - Jan 2014
Mar 2010

199000 mi

US $500
Front struts badly needed to be replaced after 199,000 miles 
Jul 2010

203000 mi

US $112
Replaced lower radiator hose, seemed to fix, very small coolant leak of unknown origin. 
BMW in California, United States
Feb 2009 - Oct 2012
Feb 2011

145000 mi

US $4200
Head gasket failed, I was noticing coolant loss without external leaks. I checked my oil cap and saw the coolant/oil mix. Most of the cost was labor, over 15 hours at $115 per hour. 
Jun 2012

165000 mi

US $933
Engine belt and pulleys broke. Water pump, belts, and all pulleys were replaced with 4 hours of labor costs. 
BMW in North Carolina, United States
Apr 2009 - Jul 2012
Jul 2012

116000 mi

US $1800
electric radiator fan failure and radiator failure 

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1998 BMW 3-Series 2-door

4-cylinder manual 2WD

BMW in Colorado, United States
Mar 2011 - Jun 2013
Oct 2011

89000 mi

US $300
heater control valve left rear outer wheel bearing 

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1998 BMW 3-Series Repair Histories

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