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Reliability

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2012 - 2018 BMW 3-Series
Member6466

How reliable is this car after 50,000 miles?

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Response from mkaresh

1:53 pm March 31, 2016

I can't speak specifically to the newer generation, but I can share our experience with a previous generation; a 2004 325i (E46 model). It was purchased new by my brother-in-law, purchased by my in-laws at 25,000 miles and we acquired it at 74,000 miles. There had been nothing other than routine maintenance required and they did it consistently.

After we got it, it immediately needed new belt pulleys, then developed a valve cover gasket leak and an oil housing gasket leak - paid to have them done. The Throttle Position Sensor failed - replaced it myself. A coolant leak developed - ultimately replaced the radiator, hoses, thermostat & housing, expansion tank and water pump myself (all at the same time). Then it started blowing billows of white smoke, indicating the Crank Case Ventilation system was clogging - replaced CCV valve and hoses myself when I did the cooling system. Both the passenger and driver window regulators failed - replaced them myself. All of this happened before 100,000 miles. Most of the forums I reviewed indicated that these are "normal maintenance items". Doing the work myself was challenging (gotta love YouTube), but saved at least $3,000 based on quotes I received. My retort would be that it's not "normal maintenance" on my Honda Civic, Tahoe, Suburban, etc.; all of which have well over 150,000 miles on them.

Don't get me wrong; it is a pleasure to drive. But I also noticed the value go down quickly after 75,000 miles and there were tons of them listed for sale with less than 100,000 miles.

For anyone who is deadset on a BMW, stick with the 3 series with lower-level packages (less to break) if you plan to drive it a long time (get the extended warranty too). Otherwise, lease it and get rid of it before 75,000 miles. (PS. My friend had an '05 Audi A4 and it was much worse. The newer ones are starting to get better reliability reviews.). Needless to say, the BMW replacement will be a Lexus/Toyota or Acura/Honda.

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Response from mkaresh

2:28 pm March 31, 2016

We're at 42,000 miles on our '13 335I. So far it has only needed a single sensor replaced. That was fairly early on (Bought it new).

Only time one will tell if it remains this reliable. The wife puts about 40 miles a day on it commuting.

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Response from mkaresh

4:28 pm March 31, 2016

I don't know why I was asked to respond to this inquiry since my BMW is a 2002 (year not model). But since you asked, this car has about 130,000 miles, never driven in the snow. No major repairs have been necessary exept for an alternator that I replaced. Other cheap parts were valve cover gasket, oxygen sensors, cam position sensor, and rear lower control arm bushings.

Only the alternator caused the car to be inoperable. I would definately buy another of the same vintage E46 if I knew it's service history.

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Response from mkaresh

4:53 pm March 31, 2016

I only have 32,000 on my 2012 328i convertible. i have the 6 cylinder 328i. It has been excellent. The 4 door sedan changed in 2012 and has a turbo 4 cylinder to the best of my knowledge, so I can't give an opinion about that.

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Response from mkaresh

5:10 pm April 1, 2016

I've had 4 3-series BMWs (2007, 2009, 2013, 2015). Only once was I semi-stranded when the HPFP caused the car to go into "limp home" mode. I've not gone over 50k miles on any of them but have not had problems with them other than the HPFP. If buying/keeping a BMW over 50k miles, I'd get a CPO or the extended warranty. Not for any other reason other than the cost of working on this car is expensive and the warranty will help mitigate those costs.

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Response from Member6387

7:27 pm August 30, 2016

This is our second F30 (current generation 3 series) the first was a 335 and now a 340. Both bought new, do not yet have 50K miles on them and have had zero issues what so ever. They seem to run better after a few thousand miles once everything is settled.

We have had a high milage 328 and 325 prior with aboslutely no issues as well aside for the usual brake changes, oil changes and fluids. Those two seemed bullet proof and driven every day both in traffic and highway. They were far from babied.

Having said that, this probably goes for any mechanical peice of equipment, it depends on how it was used and how you use it. Take care of it and it will take care of you. There are a lot of horror stories with people I know purchasing a used 3 series saying they are lemons. Usually they have been pretty badly abused. If you get used, make sure you get it inspected well and verify that it was well taken care of (oil changes, good fuel, etc.). If you get it new, make sure you stick to the break in period instructions as best you can. Good luck!

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