Buying review BMW 3-series (F30) 2012-2019 Common Issues Engines Inspection

Welcome everybody to another buyers review, first off all happy 2022 to each and all of you. This is going to be a new year for Eagle Eye production in which i will start with a new brand, al lot of viewers responded to my question, what car brand to review next. Most of you responded with BMW and Audi came second. So I will kick of the with sixt generation BMW 3-series. There is already an E46 and E90 3-series buyers review on my channel if you are interested. The 3-series is the most sold and important model to come out of Munich.

Lets start with this 3-series, sixth generation with the internal code F30 that was produced between 2012 and 2019 for the sedan and until 2020 for the GT version. Reasons to buy a 3-series are luxury, good built quality, lots of technology and off course great handling. The 320d is a typical car for account-mangers that drive lots of miles and want a representable car. But you did not click this video for the obvious reasons I just mentioned, lets inspect this car and point out its weaker parts, things that are likely to break.

There are plenty of engines to choose from, many diesels for the people that drive lots of miles, many petrol engines from 3 cylinders to a straight six in the BMW M3. Also a few hybrid models are available so, all in all many choices. Mostly automatic gearboxes, 8 speeds but also a few manual shifting beemers in the line-up.

Before I start listing the issues with this car, I have to say that based on research this 3-series seem to be the most reliable, the F30 for the sedan and the F31 for the touring. There are some small issues that I will go into now.

Corrosion on the frame of the seat, this can cause some unwanted sounds in the car, this is a production fault especially for the earlier production models. Another weak point is the locking mechanism on the bonnet or hood. The iron and the cables are weak, so these might fail over time. A more serious issue can be found on the early production models of the 4 cylinders, the break assist can cause issues, this does not mean you cannot break anymore at all, it just means you need to kick the brake as hard as you can for anything to happen, this is especially a problem on the early models of the 318i.

When it comes to the drive-train there are not many issues, pretty solid construction. However diesels with low milages can have some trouble. These cars need to be driven, most preferably long distance, this way particle filters can be regenerated, the car needs to be in optimal temperature for the regeneration process to be most effective. So avoid low milage diesel cars are check the condition of the filters.

When it comes to the transmission, the 8 speed ZF unit, they barely need any service, at least that is what BMW claims, it does not hurt to flush the gearbox every 100.000 KM just to stay ahead of problems. In the basis it is a closed circuit, but the oil in the gearbox can get contaminated over time with little peaces of metal.

Furthermore there are some reports of issues with the waterpump and thermostat, the latter is the one that gives most problems. These are easy to be recognised, it will show in the form of the engine not getting up to temperature, plus the engine fan keeps running. Easy to spot and important to fix, these modern petrol engines need sufficient cooling, otherwise you can potentially total the car.

For the 335i, the oil gasket can leak and there are some reports of the manual transmission can break, there used to be a recall for these issues, so be aware and check if the recall has already taken place in the meanwhile.

I mentioned earlier that a BMW 3-series is full of technology, this also means it has many buttons and switches. Just make sure you check if they work or not. These cars are not known for many electrical problems but the more tech you have onboard, the more chance you have of something breaking eventually.

Last tip, this car was potentially equipped with an alarm system with a code. Make sure you get the code before you drive off the lot.

Hope this buyers review was useful, if so, subscribe to my channel to stay updated with the latest video’s and our monthly livestream about buying desirable cars on a budget. Thanks for watching.

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