BMW E92 is a two-door luxury coupe car with a sitting capacity of four passengers. It is the fifth-generation model of the BMW 3 Series. BMW E92 was launched in July 2006 and the production continued till 2013. E92 was the last generation of Series 3 to include both coupe and convertible body styles.
BMW E92 is still a popular choice among people looking for a used luxury car. But before buying it most people are curious about its maintenance costs and often ask “Is BMW E92 Reliable”. In this article, you will get to know the average cost of owning a BMW E92 and some of the most common problems with it.
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Is BMW E92 Reliable?
BMW E92 is a pretty reliable car, but the actual reliability depends upon its age, mileage, and condition. The latest E92 available in the market will be at least 9 years old, meaning this reliability question is very subjective.
When compared with the reliability of other BMW models, the E92 with inline 6-cylinder engine is second to none. The E9x was the last generation of Series 3 to be available with the naturally aspirated engine, and all the following generations use turbocharged engines which are more expensive to maintain.
Also read: 3 Best BMWs for an Amazing Drifting
What are the Most Common Problems with the BMW E92?
Below are some of the most common problems with the BMW E92 and the average cost to fix them.
- Water Pump: Water pump failure is among the most common problem with the E92. This failure can happen any time after 70,000 miles or even earlier. Complete replacement cost for a water pump will be $950 to $1100.
The labor cost will be $330 to $410 and the parts are priced at $600. To extend the life of the water pump, always use recommended coolant and adhere to the coolant service schedule.
- Spark Plug: It needs to be replaced after every 3 years, and you can prolong its life by coating the thread with the anti-seize compound. Also, take the plugs out during car service and clean them with a media blaster and air compressor.
The replacement cost for a spark plug on a BMW E92 will be around $240. To save some money you can also perform the replacement by yourself.
Also read: Is BMW M3 E92 Reliable? (Must Read)
- Oil Leakage: It is another common problem with E92 engines. Engine oil can leak from multiple places and one can expect the leakage any time after 100k miles or even earlier.
To prevent leakage use stop leak additives in the oil and always make sure that there aren’t any loose bolts on the engine. On average the repair cost for an engine oil leak is $800 to $1400.
- Electronics and Sensor Failure: BMW E92 has a number of sensors in it and they can malfunction over time. These problems are more common with the newer models and 4×4 wheel drive. The sensor replacement cost for E92 can be anywhere from $400 to $1500 depending upon the type and location of the sensor.
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Due to the design complexity of BMW, these failures can be difficult to repair and only a specialized person can deal with them.
- Valve Cover Gasket: With time the valve cover gasket of BMW E92 becomes brittle and develops cracks on it. The probability of this problem becomes very high after 80k miles.
Labor costs to replace the valve cover gasket are much more than the parts costs. Labor costs are estimated to be around $650 and the parts will cost $110.
Which BMW E92 Years are the Best and Worst?
BMW E92 was produced from 2006 to 2013. Initial model years faced some problems with electronics but still, they were pretty reliable. Models introduced after 2009 are considered the best among the lot.
E92 comes with various engine options and from the reliability perspective, petrol engines are better than diesel engines. Later models are also expected to be least driven, and therefore they will be less expensive to maintain.
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Which BMW E92 Engines are the Most and Least Reliable?
BMW E92 powered by N52 engines are the most reliable ones to own because N52 is a naturally aspirated engine. Whereas models powered by N54 and N55 engines are less reliable and more expensive to maintain.
E92 models including 325i, 328i, and 330i are powered by N52 engines which are light and cheap to maintain. Whereas N54 and N55 are both turbocharged high-performance engines and are expensive to maintain.
These turbocharged engines were also plagued with many issues but if you are someone looking for power and thrill then N55 will be the best choice.
Is BMW E92 Safe?
BMW is known for its safety and well-structured vehicles. E92 is a safe car to drive and during crash test results of NHTSA, it received 4 to 5 stars ratings across all categories.
BMW makes one of the most dependable cars in the entire industry. BMW E92 also received a “Good” overall rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for both side and frontal crash tests.
How Much Does BMW E92 Cost to Maintain?
The exact yearly cost to maintain BMW E92 depends upon its condition, use, and, mileage on the meter. For 14,000 miles per year, the true cost to own the E92 will be around $9200. The estimate excludes major repair costs and includes insurance, maintenance, minor repairs, depreciation, and fuel costs.
The most expensive will be the maintenance costs, and one can expect to pay $2450 to $2900 for yearly maintenance costs. Minor repairs will cost around $800 per year and if any major repair comes up this cost can go up to $2500.
Taxes and fees will take around $250 and the insurance cost for E92 will be at least $1050. Depreciation cost will be $1500 to $1700 and $2300 will be spent to pay for the fuel cost.
What is a Good Mileage for the BMW E92?
Because of its popularity and demand, it is very hard to find BMW E92 with low mileage on it. Any E92 available in the market would be at least nine years old and anything below 100k miles will be considered as good mileage.
It would be ideal if you can find a used BMW E92 under 60k miles because it will be less expensive to maintain. If properly maintained the E92 can easily last up to 200k miles. Models with naturally aspirated engines can even last more than 250k miles if one adheres to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
What Parts Should You Replace and After How Many Miles?
Below are some of the parts which you should replace after a certain number of miles:
- Battery: Average battery life of the BMW E92 is 40k to 60k miles. A new battery can cost $300 to $450 and the labor cost will be around $50.
- Oil Filter: It should be replaced along with every oil change or after 5k miles. A new filter will cost around $20 and you can also replace it by yourself.
- Tires: Tires on BMW E92 usually last for 25k to 30k miles. For owners living in steep or mountainous areas tires might need replacement after every 20k miles. A single tire of E92 will cost $200 to $300 and the labor cost for tuning and installation will be around $50.
- Lights: Lights on BMW E92 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 around $950.
- Timing Belt: It should be replaced after every 70k miles. Timing belt replacement for BMW E92 will cost around $650 and labor costs will be more than parts costs.
Also read: BMW E46 Maintenance Costs (Calculation)
Are BMW E92 Parts Widely Available?
BMW E92 is a popular model of 3 Series and its parts are widely available in the market. Many common parts of E92 are interchangeable with E90. You can also purchase OEM parts on famous e-commerce stores and websites.
How to Buy a Reliable BMW E92?
Look for the below-mentioned things while buying a used BMW E92. But before any of that verify the necessary documentation of the E92 that you are going to purchase.
- Engine: The engine is considered as the heart of the car and it goes under constant wear and tear. Look for any oil leakage around the engine before and after starting the car. Also, inspect the engine oil and make sure that it is not inconsistent or discolored.
Check the originality and physical condition of the main engine parts especially the crankshaft, camshaft, cylinder heads, and seals. Then cold start the engine and look for any irrelevant vibration and noise coming out of it.
- Tires: Tires and rims can cost a fortune to replace therefore make sure that they are of standard quality and the treads on each tire are at least 2mm deep. Also, look for bents and dents on the rim and the body of the car.
- Mileage: BMW E92 is most reliable when it is under 60k miles and anything above 100k is surely a problem to maintain. It has been reported that people often reverse the car’s mileage meter, therefore verify it with the service book history of the car. Also, make sure that the physical condition of the car matches its mileage.
- Test Drive: Finally, take a test drive to see the actual performance of the E92. Avoid buying an E92 that has any knocking or clipping sound because it indicates that there is some problem going under the hood.
During the test drive of the E92, accelerate it to a decent speed and check its gears, brakes, and suspension. Also make sure that the steering system, clutch, and transmission is working fine and smooth.
The BMW E92 Pros and Cons
Pros include the stylish and sporty look of the BMW E92. It offers good value for money in terms of performance and comfort. They are also not expensive to purchase and have very reliable and powerful engines.
On the other hand, BMW E92 can be very expensive to maintain and repair. Fuel consumption is also very high and the ground clearance is less than five inches. Another drawback is the sitting capacity as it only accommodates two people at the back.