Common problems with BMW M3

BMW M3 Problems

BMW M3 is one of the greatest M cars ever built. On top of that, it is stylish, powerful, and luxurious. Nonetheless, this car comes with several issues that can interfere with its smooth operation. But what are some of the common BMW M3 problems?

Some of the common problems that BMW M3 users should be ready to deal with are a faulty transmission, noisy engine, oil leakage, fuel pump failure, idle control valve failure, throttle body actuators failure, engine failure, and a faulty radiator.

What are the common problems with BMW M3?

Noisy engine

The BMW M3 comes with lots of engine problems. One of those issues is making an engine noise. Some users have reported that they heard a loud, metallic ping-pong-like sound coming from the engine. Apart from that, the engine performance reduces significantly.

This issue is common in the 2012 BMW M3. To fix the problem, the engine has to be replaced and it will cost more than $3,000.

Faulty transmission

Fixing a bad transmission can be very costly. On top of that, it is very cumbersome to fix it. Even though most BMW M3s have transmission problems, this issue is common in the 2005 BMW M3. After driving the car for several miles, the transmission may go into neutral. If this happens, you will see the car’s transmission gear indicator go into neutral.

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Engine failure

BMW M3s also experience engine problems. Some of the common engine issues are engine stalling and loss of electrical power. Most of the BMW M3’s engine problems start developing after 70,000 miles. Nonetheless, engine problems are common in the 2008 BMW M3 engine.

In 2019, BMW had to recall 16,641 vehicles because of this issue. So, before you buy a 2008 BMW M3, ensure that this issue was fixed.

Faulty radiator

This is a common problem across all BMW M3 models. This issue shows up after the car covers over 110,000 miles. Apart from the radiator becoming faulty, the car’s clutch and cooling systems also become problematic. The good news is that most of these parts can be fixed by replacing them.

Idle control valve failure

After putting on several miles, your car’s idle control valve may fail. Some of the signs of a failed ICV are the car running into rough idle or an irregular RPM at idle. Besides, the car may go into limp mode and the check engine light will illuminate on your dashboard. 

Ignition/spark plug failure

Like the ICV, ignition and spark plugs also get worn out as you put on several miles. What’s more, they have similar signs as a bad ignition or spark plug. For instance, they cause an irregular misfire in cold weather and are slow to crank. You can fix this issue by replacing the bad ignition coils or spark plugs.

Oil leakage

Oil leakage is common in all BMW models. So, the BMW M3 is not an exception. When your BMW M3 hits over 30,000 miles, you should inspect the valve cover before it starts leaking oil. One of the hardest-hit BMW M3 models is the E92 with the S65 V8 engine.

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Some of the signs of oil leakage are stains on the driveway, oil buildup, and low oil levels. Replace the bad valve cover.

Throttle body actuators failure

Another common problem that BMW M3s experience is throttle body actuators failure. If you notice your car entering limp mode or the check engine light with throttle body actuator codes coming on, this is a sign of a bad throttle body actuator. This is an easy fix and cheap.

Fuel pump failure

This problem is common in the 2006 BMW M3s. The fuel pump may fail and prevent fuel from reaching the engine or make the fuel volume below. If you have a faulty fuel pump, you will have to replace it.


Is the BMW M3 reliable?

No, the BMW M3 is not reliable. Besides, most reliability rating agencies give BMW M3 a below-average score. This means that you will spend more time in the garage than most of its competitors. On top of that, the cost of spare parts is high, thus increasing the total cost of maintenance.

After how many miles does the BMW M3 start having problems?

If the car is properly maintained, it will last over 150,000 miles without having any major problems. However, you should expect your BMW M3 to have minor issues when it hits over 80,000 miles. Some of the common problems that you will experience early are gasket leakage, gearbox problems, and electronics failure.

What is the least reliable BMW M3 model year?

The least reliable BMW M3 model year is the 2008 BMW M3. This car comes with lots of issues that interested buyers or users should be aware of. It is followed closely by the 2003 and 2002 BMW M3 model years.

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The 2008 BMW M3 may have the most issues, but the BMW E36 M3 is the generation with the most problems. It features the BMW M3 model years built between 1992 and 1999. It is followed by the 46 generation, which has cars built between 2000 and 2006.

Is it expensive to maintain a BMW M3?

Yes, maintaining a BMW M3 is costly. This is because it comes with expensive parts and it breaks down more times than average. For instance, the average maintenance cost of the BMW M3 is around $1,161, while the average maintenance cost of most luxury midsize sedans is around $652.

What is the most common problem with BMW M3?

Even though the BMW M3 comes with lots of problems, some are more common than others. The most common BMW M3 problem is oil leakage. This issue can be found in almost all BMW M3 model years. Besides, it is also the most common BMW issue.


If you’re planning to buy a BMW M3, it is crucial to know some of the problems that you will face during ownership. Now that you know the common problems with the BMW M3, it is vital to take good care of your car. With proper care and maintenance, you won’t face most of the above issues. Also, it’s crucial to exercise good driving habits.

Despite having multiple issues, the BMW M3 is a nice performance car with top-notch features. It is also easy to maintain and lasts longer.

What to know about BMW problems and issues.
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Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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