The life of your car is dependent upon the way you maintain it.
written on 03-01-2014
I've never read so many poor reviews on a vehicle that was the World Car of the Year for 2006 (its first year of production). I used to be a BMW service employee at Bill Jacobs BMW of Naperville. I saw countless '06 325i's and 330i's. Shockingly, the customers who performed recommended services at the right times rarely had complaints regarding the 3's reliability, and since returned to buy newer models. BMW's aren't made to be run into the ground by drivers who have zero regard for taking care of their car. I've loyally taken care of my car. It's 8 years old with 82,000 miles and all I've replaced unexpectedly is a taillight bulb. Take care of your cars, you'll be amazed at the difference.
Had it 3 1/2 years. 72k when i bought it, 107k now. One owner trade in at the same dealer it was bought new from. I had an issue with the steering column security lock(common) if your handy you can get in there and do some lubing n probably solve the problem. It happened within the first 30 days of ownership, so the dealer replaced it free of charge. gave me a 2013 328i loaner. I was a little disappointed in the new 328i at first, with the new body style, but it eventually grew on me. but my sports seats vs the standard seats, was a huge difference. Mine is also a 6sp manual, that with the sport seats really make a difference. The N52 engine also has a lifter issue(ticking in the top of the engine) doesn't really hurt anything n the only reason I had them replaced was b/c my extended warranty paid for it, otherwise I probably would have left it alone. the lifters will tick on the rare occasion , but a quick trip with the revs up a bit to pump up the lifters n its quiet as can be. Some people are just not really car people and sometimes are the blame for all the repair bills. I pretty much keep up the maintenance, mostly just keeping the fluids nice an clean. Mine still has the original spark plugs. I will change them soon n probably replace all the coil packs while I'm there. People complaining about coil packs, you can buy a whole set for like 175$ n they are easy to install. Water pumps can be a little pricey, but if you buy the parts online(same as dealer) you can save hundreds of dollars. I still have the original water pump n I've seen them go to well over 150k for some people. It's only a one time repair so it's not that big of a deal. If you take care of the car n don't beat it up, it will give you many years of great service n be a pleasure to drive. Many of these on the road now with well over 200k. Just don't go to the dealer every time you hear a little squeak b/c they will find something wrong guaranteed! If you suspect something, google it or ask some honest mechanics, most of the time it will be something minor or nothing at all. Also has some great bun warmers!! n yes the window switch is a little too far forward for some, but not a real issue for me. It's nice just touching the door handle and it unlocks n no need to insert the key, as long as its in the car somewhere, it will start. (convenience access option). N most of the cooling system parts other than the water pump are actually very reasonably priced. Check around b4 you buy anything from the dealer. I got my battery from walmart (made by the same people n looked identical except for the color. $119 at walmart n $300+ at the dealer. but always check b/c the dealer will surprise u sometimes. Great drivers car( not a drag car), but has a nice smooth engine that seems to pull forever and it's at home doing 100mph on the freeway on cruising a nice curvy back road. I luv it as much now as when i bought it. I can drive my dads honda accord(very good car), and when I get back in the 06 bmw 330i, I really appreciate the bmw. drive it responsibly and keep your fluids up and it will give you many years of service. Don't forget that automatic trans, find you someone that is competent and let them do a fluid n filter change, then maybe a drain n refill sometime soon after that and it will serve u well. Great Car!
Fun To Drive But Very Poor Reliability - Automotive Engineer
written on 01-19-2011
I am an Automotive / Commercial Vehicle Engineer. I am also the original owner of a 2006 BMW 325i with 75K miles, and while I like the cars handling and styling, the quality and reliability of this vehicle has been extremely poor. I have owned many different brands of vehicles, and this vehicle by far has had the most problems under warranty. Luckily I purchased an extended warranty (which I had never done before) but it is due to expire in 5K miles. See below for a list of issues with this vehicle over a 4 year period. While the vehicle is fun to drive and has good styling, I would caution anyone considering this vehicle due to the risk of significant out of pocket repair costs.
The way this car pulls, brakes and handles is nothing short of perfection. After having this car in the shop (for water damage that was my fault) I got a 2010 Passat rental. I am glad I did as it just made me appreciate the performance of this BMW all the more. One major flaw though is that all the wiring is beneath the floor carpeting and the panels actually lead the water to the electrical wiring and modules (super poor design). So when I left my windows open and it rained, it fried my electrical wiring and burnt a hole in my carpet ($6000 bill). ***So make sure you get quality rubber mats to keep rain and snow from penetrating the carpet from your shoes or windows open when it rains.
This is the entry point BMW, the 2006 325i. You can get them cheap. But this was the 1st year of the E90. This model was ambitious, alot of new technologies were introduced. The exterior redefined what cars look like. This car has a huge battery for the mind numbing amount of electronics. So the thing to keep in mind was it was the 1st year. Also know that BMW mechanic rates start at $90/hr. But the great thing is that all the diagnostic and repair software the dealers originally used is freely available to everyone on the web. I've diag problems, the VANOS and coil issues we've seen on here are extremely easy to fix. I have a fully loaded 2006 325i with no faults, 78K!