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There are plenty of reasons to love the BMW 328i—its powerful engine, good fuel economy, and innovative features. It also has good resale value. According to CarEdge.com, cars belonging to the BMW 3 series depreciate 53% after five years.

Are BMW 328i Cars Reliable?

The BMW 328i has average reliability ratings. While it is considered one of the more reliable BMW models, it doesn’t fare well when compared to other midsize cars in its segment. RepairPal rated it a 2.5 out of 5, ranking it 30th out of 32 for all car brands. The average annual cost to repair this vehicle is also higher than most cars.

BMW 328i Common Problems

Although it has been years since the 328i has been in production, the model remains a popular choice among drivers. BMW doesn’t drastically change the designs of their vehicles over the years, so drivers who choose to purchase a BMW 328i can enjoy driving a car that doesn’t look too different from later models.

The BMW 328i is a nice vehicle to own, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of flaws. Here are some of the model’s most common problems across model years:

Timing Chain Issues

Problems involving the vehicle’s timing chain are on top of the list of 2014 BMW 328i common problems. Many owners have complained that their timing chains would skip on the sprockets, impeding the proper operation of the crankshafts and camshafts. The pistons and valves hit each other, causing the engine to stall.

Car Timing Chain Isolated
Problems involving the vehicle’s timing chain are on top of the list of 2014 BMW 328i common problems.

Many owners of the affected BMW vehicles were left with no other choice but to shell out thousands of dollars for engine repairs, so they filed a class-action lawsuit.

The automaker denied any liability but later settled the matter in court, compensating repairs completed in BMW dealerships and independent service centers. BMW also provided an extended warranty for vehicles up to 8 years or 100,000 miles. However, owners still had to cover some of the repair costs.

Fuel System Failure

Another common complaint about the 2014 BMW 328i is that it may develop issues in its fuel system.

One driver reports that his vehicle suddenly lost acceleration while driving at 55 mph. While he was able to safely pull over and restart the engine, the problem recurred several times. Upon inspection, a mechanic determined that a failed fuel pump was the culprit.

In other cases, the power steering and brakes would suddenly stop working while the VMW was moving at 45 mph. This usually happened due to a broken fuel pump. The pump imploded and bits of its metal contaminated the system, causing the vehicle to stall.

Electrical Problems

According to owners of the 2013 BMW 328i, electrical problems are typical for the model year. At least one unit caught fire in the parking garage due to a model’s faulty electrical system. The driver of the affected unit reported issues in its iDrive system, which persisted even after the software was updated.

Other drivers report encountering problems like a malfunctioning passenger seat, an illuminated check engine light illuminating, and a faulty iDrive system.

If you notice your BMW’s electrical system is malfunctioning, don’t hesitate to take it to an auto repair shop right away. Some of these issues can lead to a fire if not addressed immediately.        

Vehicle Speed Control Problems

Any list about 2011 BMW 328i common problems won’t be complete without discussing speed control issues.  Many owners have reported that their ABS and anti-swerve systems would suddenly stop working under hard braking. Some also noticed that their vehicle would hesitate to accelerate while driving at low speeds. More often than not, a faulty wheel speed sensor was the culprit.

BMW 328i front view red
Some owners of the 2011 BMW 328i have reported that their ABS and anti-swerve systems would suddenly stop working under hard braking.

In some cases, the BMW would feel surge forward even when the brakes are applied. Some drivers have complained that their vehicle suddenly accelerated violently while they were driving at low speeds.

Overheating A/C and heating system

The automaker recalled 2006-2011 BMW 328i models due to overheating wiring and electrical connectors in the heating and cooling system. The wiring harness of the blower regulator of the affected units can malfunction over time due to the way the wires were installed.

Because of this, there’s a high possibility that corrosion combined with a very high current can damage the wiring and cause a short circuit. The automaker reported that it first received a similar report 10 years ago involving a 2006 BMW 3 Series sedan. Its engineers were unable to identify what’s causing the problem at that time. They received similar reports in 2011.

Engineers found that the connection between the blower regulator wiring harness and the blower regulator on the affected units was worn out.

Oil Leaks

Many 2007 BMW 328I owners have noticed a burning smell from inside their cabin. Some of them changed the cabin air filter, but the smell remained. Most of them traced the leak to a faulty valve cover gasket. Others found that fractured head bolts on the engine were causing the problem.

Aside from the issues listed above, your BMW 328i may exhibit other signs of trouble as it racks up mileage. But don’t worry. As long as you’re aware of these potential problems and follow the correct maintenance schedule, you can surely maximize your BMW’s service life and avoid costly repairs down the road.

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