What to Look out for in a BMW 3 Series 2016

I'm planning to buy a BMW 3 series. I'll not go older than 2016 and/or 80K kms.
I plan to get it inspected by the carsales car inspection ( its a $270 service) to have peace of mind.
What other things shall I lookout for?

Is a dealer car better than Private in case of issues ?


  • +4

    If you have to, I’d suggest one sold by a BMW dealer which comes with a warranty. Alternatively, the factory extended warranty can be transferred to a new private buyer from a private seller. I’d make sure the warranty is still valid by calling a dealer.
    We have a 2015 320d. No problems so far, touchwood, but would be nervous if I had to get a used BMW.

  • +7

    Probably just your credit history when you’re 40k in debt from repairs in 12 months time.

  • +1

    Which BMW 3 Series? A bog standard one isn't worth it here, especially without warranty.

  • What to Look out for

    Money pit.

  • +7

    Just don't end up like this guy…

    • +9

      Sportsbet is paying $1.01 on OP ending up like this guy

      • But OP is getting a 10 to 1 if he gets away with a good car for 10% of the price.

  • +4

    Mostly just the B, the M and the W.

  • another car Or search to how do i fix this XXX module on my 2016 bmw.

  • Watch out for comments asking why you would even consider an out of warranty Euro car.

    • Considering and even buying isn't usually the problem - It's about understanding and accepting the risk that anything that can go wrong in a Euro could be quite costly to repair.

      Those that don't understand will eventually come back and create a post…. 🤣

  • So yes, this will inevitably be a money pit
    The more recent version of the 3 series(6th gen from 2011 onwards) is actually quite reliable
    This was the period when BMW started to offer better warranties and in doing so actually put a bit of effort into designing a half decent car.

    My friend has had one from 2012 and none of his services in 3 years have been over $500.
    Pretty remarkable

    Just know that if something does go wrong parts will be expenno as F#$k

  • +2

    Here comes the "buy a camry" posts haha….

  • Just make sure that you put aside heaps of money, prepare to massive repair bills.

  • +3

    Some possible issues to look out for:

    -It has a BMW badge
    -It isn't new
    -It's out of warranty

    • +1

      So if the badge is gone, it's ok?

  • +9

    I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned to make absolutely sure the indicators work.

    • +3

      You can use generic indicator fluid, don't get caught out buy genuine BMW indicator fluid.
      The dealer sold product breaks down in Australian conditions and stops working almost immediately.

  • What other things shall I lookout for?

    Your bank account.

    Buying a second hand Euro will drain it in a few months.

    • +1

      Some specific models with known issues perhaps. But I bought mine for 1/3rd of the new price with <65,000km on the clock and out of warranty. I have owned it for a few years and it has cost me nothing outside of servicing. I have no doubt that it will serve me well for many years more.

      • But I bought mine for 1/3rd of the new price with <65,000km

        You paid 1/3 of the price because no-one wants Peugeots and they depreciate worse than crap!

        • Lol.. ok..

  • +2

    OP try asking a different forum, this is a Toyota forum, unless you buying it for investment purposes.

    • +3

      Mercedes AMGs being the highest yielding investments no doubt

  • +4

    All I see on German car posts is "money pit". Can anyone prove this is a legit claim or are you all just parrots mimicking what you heard from another parrot?

    • brother owns a 2000's e46.
      Beside many issues he having: leaking lcd display/boot doesn't lock.

      He wanted the airbag light warning sorted keeps flashing. Had brought it for a quote to replace the module ( as a secondhand doesn't work as it needs reprograming) was quoted over $1000. Mind you the car is worth < $4000-5000

      • +3

        How is that any different to a similarly aged/priced Toyota having those issues? It's going to cost almost as much to fix.

      • That's a 20 year old car. Worse still it's a 20 year old BMW, known for being unreliable, to the point where it is widely avoided due to the read subframe cracking.

  • It's BMW mate, just prepare another bucket of cash.

  • +1

    Most common issue is with the sarCON sensor, check that has been replaced firstly but I’d still avoid a 2nd hand Beamer

  • +1

    The turn signals… apparently indicators don't work on BMWs… :D

    • +4

      they've been replaced with wipers.

    • +1

      No they work, they're just very difficult to operate for lazy-assed beemer drivers

    • BMW make them too stiff, so they are difficult to operate apparently.

  • +3

    Get a Toyota! No seriously…

    • +3

      I think you mean Lexus….

      • nah Toyota Lexen

  • Save yourself a fortune, just buy the key ring.

  • If it doesnt come with some sort of warranty ideally 2 years but at least 12 months my advice would be dont buy one.

    BMW are beautiful cars but like all European cars can be a money pit of expenses when things go wrong which they often do.

  • +5

    Contrary to the popular opinion on OzBargain, my 3 series has been very reliable - have spent more on repairs on Holdens and Fords I used to own than the 3 series I bought when it was 4 years old, nearly 9 years old now and still runs great.

    Sure, if something goes wrong, it's going to cost you more than a Camry would to repair. Don't let the nay-sayers talk you out of it if it's something you want.

    • Do you have a F30, and if so which engine?

      • I have an F30 328i (N20 engine).

  • First check to see if it's a Toyota that had a ripped off BMW badge stuck on it.

    If it is, buy it.

  • +1

    Some really funny replies.
    Thanks all.

    I’ll look out for indicators. Getting BMW warranty is not possible as even BMW approved vehicles don’t come with it. Third party warranty is as good as nothing.
    I might actually consider Merc/audy approved that come with 2 years manufacturer warranty.
    I was hoping that getting a Carsales check will report all problems and even the potential ones. Seems getting manufacturer warranty is a better option.

    • "Seems getting manufacturer warranty is a better option."

      You've been here long enough to know that getting a Dealers warranty isn't worth the time you spent signing the agreement to pay for it…

    • You could also look at an Audi
      But, quite a few of those were rental cars for years.

  • +2

    Service history and good engine sound. No oil leaks. Most other stuff is normal wear and tear and can be easily fixed.

  • How long are you planning to keep the bmw after you bought it? You know the car won't last long.

  • +2

    I drive fairly careful and never stress cars I drive. I've had a few Peugeots over the years, not BMW. I love the European cars but be prepared to have no resale value and you will have trouble selling it for what its worth when you want to sell it.

    As for costs of everything I think people exaggerate a lot. As do the dealers. BMW being a common brand has tons of problem solving advice on the internet . Stay away from dealers, they quote BMW prices and IMHO have no idea. Example with my Peugeots; info screen replacement was quoted $1k, turns out it is a $100 part and hardly requires a screwdriver to fit. ABS/stab.contr. alert warning turns out to be a $5 sensor under brake pedal. Slow leak in tyre was told to replace pressure sensor for $500 per tyre. $20 service kit was bought on line with perishable seal replacement which tyre shop replaced for free…. All solutions were easily found on google! Now driving a 2015 ford and I had to call road service recently when the transmission shifter cable snapped off, and the part took a week to arrive via the Ford dealer. So don't hesitate to buy one, but be careful not getting a sporty one or one driven by a heavy footed person. Be prepared to have trouble selling it on later, but enjoy the European luxury and ride!!

    • you will have trouble selling it for what its worth when you want to sell it.

      If you have trouble selling it for what you think it’s worth, chances are what you think it is worth is higher than what it is actually worth.

  • -1

    Defo lookout for a BMW badge, if you see one it's a massive warning sign

  • Engine oil leaks.
    Depending on engine, you could experience valve stem oil leak issues. Water pump, timing cover, etc.
    Enjoy whilst it lasts

  • +1

    2016+ 3 series will have the B48 (4cyl turbo) or B58 (6cyl turbo), both of which are pretty reliable engines. Turbos eventually go bad at high mileage, but at 80k, will have plenty of life left in them.

    As with all BMWs, you will get oil leaks. Gaskets are cheap but shop labour is killer. If you like DIY, some of the gaskets are pretty easy to change, do it yourself and save a bunch of money.

  • Use to have a 2012 3 Series F30 328i, the turbo would leak oil into the exhaust chamber and smoke profusely during cold start when it has not been used for more than a day, check that out.

  • Get a Euro specialist to check it. Carsales person will check just the very basics. Could still be some big issues hiding

  • LOL at all the poor keyboard warriors bashing a car they cant afford.

    You mentioned 2016, this is the year the LCI models released - specifically, you get the newer gen iDrive, and the current gen of B3x/4x/5x engines.

    I'd highly recommend a 330i because:

    -It's reliable,
    -It's actually frugal in EcoPro,
    -Sounds very good for a 4 cylinder - it has character
    -Comes standard with Comfort access and powered tailgate, you can't get this on the 320i
    -Comes with the larger 8.8 idrive 6 setup. Carplay is easily activated

    With all euros, check that service is up to date. Do check cooling/pressure test system. Check for oil leaks and compression. The B-series engines are actually very reliable for euro-standards. OEM brakes don't last particular long (trade off for braking performance), but can be easily remedied by sourcing parts overseas.

  • Also, avoid BMW dealers like the plague unless it is still under warranty. They just throw parts at it and expect you pay for it.

Login or Join to leave a comment