Things to Know Before You Buy a BMW 3 Series

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What to Know Before Buying a BMW 3 Series
[Photo: Unsplash]

Quick Guide to the BMW 3 Series

One of the most popular lines in the illustrious BMW range, the BMW 3 Series has been made for over 40 years. With the first generation E21 launched back in the 1975, the line has gone from strength to strength. Over the years, a lot of choices available, so you’re sure to find a BMW 3 Series which suits you. This line is all about fuel efficiency without compromising on power. Impressive? We think so. In fact, there’s plenty you probably don’t know about these classy German made cars.

Take a look at lesser known facts about the 3 Series. See tips on how to get the best from your vehicle.


Like other lines in the BMW range boasting automatic transmissions, it’s unlikely the transmission fluid has ever been changed – important if you aren’t buying new. This is because of how the transmission unit is sealed. We recommend ensuring your transmission fluid is checked every 50,000 to 62,000 miles (80km-100km).

The new 8 speed steptronic transmission is designed to offer incredibly smooth and soft gear changes. As an added bonus, it also reduces fuel consumption. So, ensure the transmission fluid has been changed if buying a second hand vehicle.


The BMW 3 Series surprisingly economical vehicle, given its power. However, don’t let your BMW 3 Series get extremely low on fuel. It can cause serious damage to the fuel pump, resulting in the need for an urgent replacement. Keep a close eye on your fuel gauge.

Importantly, buy and use high-quality gasoline. Have you ever filled your tank with petrol only to drive away and feel your car is underperforming? There’s a reason for that.

Not all gas stations treat their gas equally, meaning lower quality fuel could be entering your BMW’s precious engine. You want as little contamination in your fuel as possible for increased performance. More importantly, higher quality fuel will reduce maintenance and repair costs down the line. Always use at least the octane rating BMW recommends, according to your owner’s manual.

Go hybrid

Keen on looking after the environment but still want an elegant, high-performance vehicle? Consider the 330e model. It’s a petrol and electric hybrid, meaning CO2 emissions are lower, but the power is still there. It’s reported that you’ll get 20 miles of electric-only power from this vehicle. Impressive if being environmentally-friendly is a key concern. Check to see if your local government offers discounts, bonuses or incentives for driving a hybrid vehicle.

What to Know Before Buying a BMW 3 Series
[Photo: Pixabay]


BMW has always aimed to deliver top performing vehicles. The 3 Series is no different. Boasting an enhanced Twin Power turbo, you can expect enhanced speed and performance. In fact, you’ll get the power normally only associated with larger engines.


Never one to disappoint, the BMW 3 Series offers a range of driving modes. Choose sports mode, and you’ll feel like you’re driving a Jaguar XE. Experience controlled, professional-level steering. This is one of the customizable features in the newer models. You can create a bespoke driving experience, just for you.


For its market and price range, the BMW 3 Series comes ahead of the pack for technology included as standard. BMW’s iDrive infotainment center is extremely user-friendly and includes high-tech navigation systems and an address book.

In addition, the 3 Series features parking cameras and maneuver assistance, active cruise control and speed limit highlighting.


To get the most from this vehicle, ensure it’s serviced regularly. Not only can missed services affect warranty agreements, they make it hard to keep your vehicle in solid working order.

There’s no doubt that mid to higher-end ranges such as BMW can be costly to repair. Identify problems as early as possible to reduce excessive repair bills.

We recommend a winter maintenance check. Depending on where you’re located, get tire pressure and tread checked too. It’s also a good time to top-up on any fluids you’re running low on.

In those searing-hot summer months, your car can suffer heat damage. Check all filters and make sure there are no leaks from cracked lines. Change your car oil at least a few times a year, flushing the steering system every 50,000 miles, and your cooling system every three years.

Maintaining your car to keep it in good working order, sound simple enough. But how many of us actually do it? Like all mid to higher-end vehicles, BMW’s need a little extra care to keep them in the best shape for years to come.

If you want longevity from your BMW with as few expensive repair bills as possible, be diligent with your car care inside and out.

Not sure how often you should be servicing your BMW 3 Series? Service schedules do vary by year, mileage, and a variety of other factors. An experienced mechanic will be able to advise you. Keeping a log of your fuel consumption and mileage is helpful here.

What to Know Before Buying a BMW 3 Series
[Photo: Unsplash]

Home maintenance

Do your bit at home by keeping your BMW 3 Series out of too much direct sunlight, keep the interior clean and well-maintained, and drive sensibly and safely. Your 3 Series will look better and last longer for it.


Although you’ll get an incredible amount with a basic BMW package, there are all sorts of upgrades available to make your BMW 3 Series perform even better.

  • Smartphone integration
  • Moonroof
  • Blind spot detection
  • Heated seats
  • Keyless entry

The possibilities with the 3 Series are endless with the newest models upping the game every time.