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XBimmers | BMW X3 Forum BMW X3 Forums | E83 (2003-2010) First Generation BMW X3 General Forum X3 reliability questions

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      07-12-2019, 08:43 PM   #1
BIMMERMACHINE
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X3 reliability questions

My E46 after 5 Years is about to go under and I am thinking of buying an X3. 2008ish. I don't know much about the reliability of these X3's. is there a problem year or a common problem with the X3's that I need to be aware of when I go look at one. I don't mind small issues just Hard Fail issues that I would like to know about.
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      07-17-2019, 09:33 PM   #2
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No body wants to answer my question?
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      07-18-2019, 10:13 AM   #3
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This forum is not as active as bimmerfest E83, so I'd suggest to post there for the future. Reliability-wise, they're exactly like other BMWs...so not reliable, but not the worst. All the plastic breaks, the sunroofs are often shot and need full re-build, all the plastic goes away....pretty much like any BMW....If you want repair bills under $1K (if you depend on a mechanic), I would strongly not recommend a BMW in general. However, if you are extremely mechanically inclined, these are solid nice vehicles. Common issues: water pump+t-stat, oil pan gasket leak, valve cover crack, sunroof fails, water leaks due to vapor barrier, all brittle plastic, potential transfer case box toast or just the actuator gear, small electronics like the HVAC smell sensor may be broken (don't remember what it's called exactly, but it's also used in the E46 vehicles), broken head bolts (certain 07 vehicles), vacuum leaks. That's about it....after catching up on all maintenance+repairs (takes awhile), they give less problems. This question has been asked a lot, so see any threads addressing X3 reliability.

Edit: I'd also strongly recommend a scan with ISTA/D before purchase...it will reveal if the VANOS system has issues (BMW did use metal hookrings instead of the plastic ones they transitioned to...I think in 2008.5)
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      07-20-2019, 11:17 AM   #4
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I see so just like my E46. I am somewhat mechanically inclined, just getting older and not as flexible. Thanks for the information.
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