BMW E90: Maintenance Costs (Calculation)

BMW E90 is the fifth-generation model of the BMW 3 Series. It is a four-door luxury sedan car with five passengers seating capacity. BMW E90 was launched in March 2005 and the production continued till 2012. It was succeeded by the sixth-generation Series 3 model called BMW F30.

It is a popular choice among people looking for a used luxury sedan. But before buying it, most people are curious about BMW E90 maintenance costs. In this article, I will explain the maintenance costs of owning an E90 along with its insurance cost.

How Expensive is Yearly BMW E90 Maintenance?

The yearly maintenance cost of the BMW E90 depends upon its age, mileage, and condition. The latest E90 available in the market will be at least 10 years old and its yearly maintenance cost will be $2050 to $2400.

During the initial years of E90, the maintenance costs remain less than $1000, but as the vehicle becomes old its maintenance costs increase and can go up to $3000 and more. Also, the major repair probability becomes more than 30 percent and this major repair can cost an additional $1000 to $2000.

BMW is among the most expensive car brands to maintain and when compared with other luxury sedan cars the maintenance cost of E90 is on the higher side. It even exceeds the maintenance costs of the Mercedes C Class.

Also read: Is BMW E90 Reliable? (Things You Need to Know)

Changing Tires

A single tire for E90 will cost around $220 and the combined cost for all four tires will be $800 to $1000. For high-performance tires, this cost can go up to $2200. While the labor cost for each tire will be $25 to $45 including balancing and installation.

Tires on BMW E90 lasts for 25,000 to 35,000 miles. An average person drives around 14,000 miles per year, so you’ll need tire change after every two to three years, depending upon your driving style and the area in which you’re driving the E90.

To save some money, you can also install used tires if the condition is good and the grooves are deep enough. They will cost less than half of the original price.

Oil and Oil Filters

Oil filters are usually replaced with oil after every three to four months. For BMW E90, the cost for a single oil change is $160 including the labor costs. The yearly cost of oil and oil filter change will be $480 and if you are a frequent user of the car then this cost will go up to $640.

If you want to use synthetic oil, its cost will be around $250 and it will last at least 6 months. Because BMW E90 does not have the latest engine, therefore, synthetic oil won’t be much useful and I will recommend you to use simple oil. You can also perform this replacement at home within half an hour.


Brake and transmission are the main fluids that need to be changed in the BMW E90. It will cost $350 to change them, and they are replaced after every four to five years.

Brake fluid replacement will cost around $200 and the transmission fluid will cost you $150. This includes the labor costs as well, and this cost can vary up to $70 depending upon the area and year of the model. BMW E90 has a manual transmission, therefore labor cost for transmission fluid change is relatively low.

Also read: Is BMW E38 Reliable? (What to Expect?)

Belts and Hoses

Timing belt replacement for BMW E90 will cost $600. The major portion of this is represented by the labor cost, since the cost of the part itself is only $250. Whereas, the replacement cost for the driving belt of E90 is $180 to $250.

The timing belt of BMW E90 needs replacement after 70,000 to 100,000 miles or after six to seven years. The driving belt needs replacement after 50,000 to 80,000 miles or after four to six years.

The radiator and heater hose need replacement after every five years. Radiator hose replacement for BMW E90 will cost $240 and the labor cost will be $120. For heater hose replacement, the cost of the parts will be around $280 and the labor cost will be $150 to $170.

After buying a used E90 this cost can come up at any time depending upon the condition of the car.

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Three main parts of the brake usually need replacement. The replacement cost of each part is mentioned below:

  • Brake Pads: They usually need replacement after every four years and this duration will become shorter if you drive in a hilly area. Brake pads are changed in pairs and a single pair replacement for BMW E90 will cost $250. Most E90 models are rear-wheel drive therefore the rear brake pads are replaced more frequently.
  • Brake Calipers: The replacement cost for brake calipers of BMW E90 is $500 and they need replacement after five to seven years. When the brake is pressed brake calipers apply pressure on brake rotors using the brake pads that are placed between them.
  • Brake Rotors: They usually need replacement after seven years. Part cost of brake rotors for BMW E90 is around $420 and the labor cost is $120 to $150. If the brake pads of the car are of cheap quality then the rotors will deteriorate more quickly.

Also read: What’s a High Mileage for a BMW? The Truth…

Unexpected Problems

BMW E90 is a quite reliable car if properly maintained, it seldom faces unexpected problems. Two possible unexpected problems can be an oil leakage or the transmission line fault.

As the vehicle becomes older, the probability of major repair and unexpected problems becomes higher. BMW E90 transmission is designed to remain functional for the whole life of the car or up to 300,000 miles.

But if the car is not properly maintained and the driving style is rough, then the transmission can fail at any time. Full transmission replacement is a very costly repair and can cost anywhere between $2000 and $3000.

Another unexpected problem that you can face is engine oil leakage. It will cost around $1200 to fix the oil leakage problem of the BMW E90. You can avoid these unexpected problems by doing regular service and maintenance of the car.


As already discussed BMW E90 was last produced in 2012 therefore the insurance cost of it will be relatively lower. The comprehensive insurance cost of ten years old E90 will range from $900 to $1850.

But for a vehicle that is more than 10 years old, comprehensive car insurance will likely be a poor option. After this period, the annual cost of insurance represents 30 to 40 percent of the car value.

In the worst-case scenario, like an at-fault crash, premiums can even exceed the market value of the vehicle. Therefore, for ten or more years old vehicles, it is better to switch to liability-only coverage car insurance.

Also read: Is BMW G30 Reliable? (+Common Issues)

Other Maintenance

Apart from the above-mentioned replacements, there are also some other maintenance costs of the car. This may include a battery, spark plug, or light replacement.

  • Spark Plug: For BMW E90 the replacement cost of a spark plug will be around $200. Spark plugs usually need replacement after every 60,000 miles or 4 years. To save the labor costs you can also perform this replacement at home.
  • Battery: Average battery life of the BMW E90 is three to five years. A new battery can cost $150 to $180 and the labor cost will be around $50. You can also buy an aftermarket battery but I will advise you against that as low-quality batteries can cause damage to your car.
  • Lights: BMW E90 uses Xenon headlight bulbs for both high and low beam lamps. They usually last up to 10,000 hours. The replacement cost of a single bulb will be $100 and the complete light assembly replacement will cost $900.

Also read: BMW E30: Maintenance Costs (Calculation)

How to Buy a Reliable BMW E90?

You should consider multiple factors to buy a reliable second-hand BMW E90 and some important factors are discussed below:

  • Mileage: Always see the total mileage on the car’s meter before buying and if possible try to verify it with the service book of the car. Also, make sure to cross-check mileage on the meter with the physical appearance of the car. Try to buy a used BMW E90 that is under 60,000 or less mileage.
  • Engine: It is the heart of the car and goes under constant wear and tear. Make sure that there is no oil leakage around the engine. Also, check the engine oil and make sure that it is not inconsistent or discolored.

Look at the physical condition of the timing belt and other parts of the engine to make sure that they are in good condition and original. Cold start the engine and look for any irrelevant vibration and noise.

  • Tires: They can be an expensive item to replace, therefore make sure that tires on the car are in good condition and the tread is more than 2mm deep. Also, look for bents and dents on the rim and the body of the car as in case of damage they will need repair.
  • Test Drive: Finally take the test drive to see the actual performance of the car. Avoid buying a BMW E90 that has any knocking or clipping sound because it indicates that there is some problem going under the hood.

While test driving the E90, accelerate it to a decent speed to check its gears, brakes, and suspension. Also make sure that the steering, clutch, and transmission is working fine and smooth.