Don’t buy a used BMW 3 series without reading this comprehensive maintenance guide -

Don’t buy a used BMW 3 series without reading this comprehensive maintenance guide

used BMW 3 series maintenance
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Owning a luxury car has become more of a necessity than a show-off in recent times. The durability, reliability, and awesome comfort features make these cars the first choice among the masses. The only factor that makes customers hesitate in the Indian luxury car market is the price.

An alternative to buying a brand new luxury car is looking for a used or pre-owned luxury car near you. Most of the time, your nearby local dealers or workshops have information about the used luxury cars in your city. Since many owners today are willing to sell their luxury rides, it is easy to find a well-maintained used car in pristine condition.

If you’re looking to buy a used BMW 3 series car, there are a few things that you must keep in mind before going for the kill. This blog covers all the major factors that must be carefully considered before buying a used BMW 3 series car. Also, we will be covering major maintenance points and elaborate on how to maintain these cars in the long run. 

Is it worth buying a used 5-10 years old BMW 3 series model in 2021? 

The common misconception among customers while buying a used luxury car is that if the car is cheap, there must be something wrong. The reason behind lesser, more affordable price is depreciation. The value of a brand new luxury car depreciates by almost 30% in the first two years and can go up to 50% for four years. Another important factor is that customers don’t have to pay the excise duties or taxes on the imported cars.

BMW cars, in particular the 3 series, have currently been manufactured in India. Hence the prices are automatically more affordable. However, a 2010 to 2012 model may seem to come at a very attractive price; it is recommended to find a used luxury car not more than 5 years old. If you intend to buy a used BMW 3 series in 2021, you must look for models launched in the year 2016 and onwards.  

The two most important reasons why it is recommended to buy a used BMW 3 series produced in 2016 and onwards are as follows:

  • Upgraded Design: BMW has revolutionized its design architecture in the year 2015 and onwards. The new design platform means that the car is lighter, more fuel-efficient, and comes with updated software. Also, since it revised the EU Automobile Safety standards in 2018, it is best to look for even younger cars if safety is your foremost priority.
  • Improved electronics: BMW cars produced after 2016 have improved and advanced electronic systems (the iDrive technology, which saw a major facelift in 2016), which helps the driver to save on fuel and diagnose and fix problems without hassle. It has improved the iDrive 4.0 for displaying real-time information for the first time since its introduction in 2001.

used BMW 3 series

Does the maintenance cost for the used BMW 3 series varies on different models?

When it comes to maintaining a used BMW 3 series, owners must lookout for the best model that would cost them less in the long run. There are currently 3 major variants of the BMW 3 series in the market, starting from the BMW 320d and going up to the 3 Series GT, which is the topmost variant.

Every 3 series variant has more or less the same engine configuration and comfort features. There are not many visible differences in the variants at first look, but as we got higher, the power generation and fuel economy changed slightly. All the variants come with the iDrive controller that helps in the overall management of the car efficiently.

The BMW 3 Series GT is obviously costlier to maintain because of the high-torque engine (turbocharged 1998cc) that dishes out a 350Nm torque @ 4500rpm. Similarly, the 320d and 320i variants are less likely to burden your pocket as far as maintenance is concerned.

These complex machines are built for sheer driving pleasure and a real comfort for a long time. At the end of the day, the right maintenance routine can help you save a lot on the overall maintenance cost.

Actual maintenance costs for below 3 series models

Maintaining and owning a used BMW 3 series can be costly if care is not taken while doing the background checks of the car. Finding the best-used luxury car requires thorough research and checks. We recommend getting a skilled mechanic on board to perform the checks on the car you intend to buy. The mechanic/technician must be familiar with the car model and variant.

This section gives a sneak peek at the actual maintenance cost of the different variants based on data collected over several years of ownership.

Used BMW 320d

A used BMW 320d would cost an average of INR 35,000 annually for a 3 year period after the first purchase. While the replacement parts can go up to INR 1,00,000 (headlight assembly), normal replacements like fuel filter, air filter, and engine oil replacement easily range between INR 15,000 to INR 20,000.

Used BMW 320i

A used BMW 320i series costs around INR 35,000 to maintain no accidental jobs or repairs. Repair costs are high when it comes to BMW because finding spares for older models is expensive and time-consuming.

Used BMW 330i

The 330i series costs around INR 50,000 to maintain annually on an average for a 3 year ownership period. The extended warranty on some of the models might help in saving costs, but the repairs are expensive like all other 3 series models.

Used BMW 330d

Like the 330i, the 330d requires you to spend almost INR 45,000 to INR 50,000 annually on service and maintenance. The used BMW cars may require frequent runs to the service center due to the lower durability of the new parts. Also, compatibility issues may arise with some spares as newer models deploy new designs.

Used BMW 3 Series GT

A used BMW 3 Series GT can cost up to INR 75,000 to maintain, owing to the frequent wear and tear that might occur if the ride is not handled perfectly. The turbochargers require regular checks and inspections. Moreover, the transmission on a GT is built to perform under high pressure and temperature conditions, which can cost you dearly if not appropriately maintained.

BMW 320d maintenance

How much mileage used BMW 3 series gives (from 2008 to 2018 models)

BMW 3 Series is one of the most popular sedans in the Indian luxury car market for its fuel efficiency. The maintenance costs can be high for some of the models, but the company ensures that the sedans are quite comfortable and fuel-efficient. With the ever-evolving emission norms, the engines are being upgraded at regular intervals to match the standards. It means that the engines are more fine-tuned to perfection.

Starting from the year 2008, the BMW 3 series had an ARAI claimed mileage of 9 kmpl while the 2018 versions had a claimed mileage of 22.7 kmpl for the diesel variant. The huge difference is evidence of the evolution of the engine.

BMW’s iDrive technology, which was introduced in 2001, is a comprehensive AI support unit that ensures maximum efficiency and performance. The control unit analyses the driving style of the driver and driving conditions and adjusts the output accordingly. This ensures maximum fuel efficiency even in tough conditions.

Used older BMW 3 series petrol engines have been reported to give better output than mileage is concerned. The models produced in 2018 and onwards have more or less the same fuel efficiency across variants. Apart from the GT, the 320 and 330 series have been reported to give a mileage of 12 to 15 kmpl for the used BMW 3 series.   

Major technical and instrumental components need to be taken care of during service and their costs

BMW 3 Series luxury sedans have many components that combine and perform in tandem to run the cars. The moving parts must be in synchronization with one another, while the electronics must function without any error to regulate and control the mechanicals.

Several components need to be taken care of while running the checks and inspections. The maintenance schedule must cover the following components for the longevity of your ride:

I Engine oil

The best engine oil recommended for a BMW X3 is 5W30 fully synthetic oil. One must change the engine oil after every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever is earlier. The cost of replacement of engine oil and oil filter is INR 15,000 and INR 7,000 (average costs), respectively.

ii AC Compressor

You should check the AC compressor of a used BMW 3 series for leakages and improper performance. The conveyor belts, circulation pipes, and motor must be inspected for faults, wear and tear. The cost of repairing and maintaining an AC compressor on a BMW 3 series can go up to INR 75,000.

iii Car tire life

The standard tire size for the BMW 3 series is 225/45 R17. One should always take care to replace the tires with the recommended size only. The cost of tire replacement can cost up to INR 7,500 for a single tire. While replacing the tires, re-alignment and axle re-configuration should be done to improve handling.

iv Brake pad check

Brake pads replacement for a BMW 3 series costs around INR 5700 per pair for front and rear wheels. You must replace the brake pads in pairs only for the best performance. Also, one should perform any service and repairs under the supervision of an experienced technician.

v Gear oil check

You must maintain a proper level of the gear oil at all times to keep the automatic transmission in pristine conditions. The transmission on board the BMW 3 Series model is 8-speed step-Tronic. The cost for the replacement of gear oil is around INR 8,000. The gear oil must be checked regularly and should be replaced after every 10,000km driven.

vi Air filter, oil filter check

Air filter filters the air going into the engine unit. You must replace the air filter after the car is driven for 10,000km. The cost of replacing an air filter on the BMW 3 series can go up to INR 2,000.

You must replace the oil filter along with the engine oil change. The replacement for an oil filter costs INR 1,500.

Software updates for old BMW 3 series

BMW rolls out software updates for the older models from time to time. Recently, the company introduced the BMW OS 7 in the year 2018. The new vehicles come with updated software, while the older models can undergo software up-gradation through the authorized service centers. The iDrive update in 2018 enables the drivers to diagnose problems and faults in real-time, which is a huge benefit in maintaining a used BMW 3 series.


BMW offers a lot of perks and exciting new features for its customers from time to time. The BMW Experience program enables customers to buy pre-owned BMW cars from the company’s authorized dealers. The customers can own and drive a BMW before committing to buying a brand new luxury sedan.

This move has greatly improved customer satisfaction among BMW owners. Used luxury BMW 3 series sedans are not only affordable but also perfect for driving pleasure. However, care must always be taken while buying any used luxury car.

Stay tuned to our website for more exciting news and updates on the Indian automobile sector.

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