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      05-25-2015, 02:58 PM   #1
lionbacker54
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2011 e90 reliability issues?

hey guys,

BRZ owner here, looking to switch to a 3 series for family practicality issues. initially i was going to go with the f30, but i have to admit that i was really disappointed by the f30's that i've test driven (2014 335, 2014 328d, 2015 320). not very sharp handling at all. i had given up the thought of switching until i read that many BMW owners feel that the e90 is much sharper than the f30, and similarly did not like the f30. so now i am thinking about looking for a 2011 3 series, but am wondering about reliability and cost of maintenance. i used to own a used porsche and that thing was just a money sink.

what are your guys' thoughts? are there major reliability issues to be concerned about with the e90?
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      05-25-2015, 03:04 PM   #2
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I would like to know lj this too.
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      05-25-2015, 03:30 PM   #3
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I like the f30. It is better than the e90 in terms of handling. It just doesn't "feel" like a Bmw cuz it's softer.

As for e90 reliability it's all hit and miss and depends on how well it was maintained. The 335i is on a different ball game. If u are handy it might not cost much. Parts are cheap unlike Porsche. The 328 doesn't have a turbo so obviously that's one less thing u gotta worry about. Both cars have waterpumps that fail. Gaskets that leak.
Spark/coils that go bad etc. the engine is very good tho

As for the 335i 2011 it's an n55 so I hear it's more reliable. You have to do your own research. This topic has been talked about ALOT.
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      05-25-2015, 03:38 PM   #4
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buy a cpo with maintenance and warranty plan, that way take the worry out of it.
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      05-25-2015, 03:39 PM   #5
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buy a cpo with maintenance and warranty plan, that way take the worry out of it.
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      05-25-2015, 03:41 PM   #6
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I have a N55 and have heard it's also more reliable than the N54, but there are also less N55s on the road so it's a smaller sample size which may give the illusion of how much more reliable it is. Also, late N54s are much more reliable than the earlier once's since they ironed out a lot of the problems. I agree with what 924er said, if it's maintained and taken care of, it shouldn't be too bad. But yes, it's going to cost more and require more maintenance than your BRZ, unless it's crazy tuned.
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      05-25-2015, 03:56 PM   #7
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I had the first e90, a 2006 330xi, and it was the best car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lionbacker54 View Post
hey guys,

BRZ owner here, looking to switch to a 3 series for family practicality issues. initially i was going to go with the f30, but i have to admit that i was really disappointed by the f30's that i've test driven (2014 335, 2014 328d, 2015 320). not very sharp handling at all. i had given up the thought of switching until i read that many BMW owners feel that the e90 is much sharper than the f30, and similarly did not like the f30. so now i am thinking about looking for a 2011 3 series, but am wondering about reliability and cost of maintenance. i used to own a used porsche and that thing was just a money sink.

what are your guys' thoughts? are there major reliability issues to be concerned about with the e90?
..I've ever owned. It was very reliable, never failing to start and never stranding me anywhere. I had some issues with it, as you would with any car, and sold it last month with 167,000 on the odometer.

I replaced it with a 2011 335i that had no warranty (bought a Route 66 after-market warranty) and am extremely happy so far. It has everything my 330xi had, but also has the sport package, rear window and rear side window sun screens, plus a heated steering wheel. Add in the incredible performance of the twin scroll turbo, and I'm one happy camper.
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      05-25-2015, 04:12 PM   #8
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N52s are dead reliable if well maintained and not a lemon. N55s are not too bad still; they are pretty dependable for their capability. If you're looking for a fun family sedan that loves to rev and isn't really built anymore by BMW, I highly recommend a 2011 328i. It won't give you much trouble after warranties run out and has plenty of potential for not too much money if you feel that you want more out of it. Moreover, the experience of a classic, smooth, enthusiastic NA I6 is not something you'll find in the current lineup. They are balanced, practical, and solid with a tight chassis and efficient engine.

If it doesn't satisfy you when you really rev it out, then I'd look at a 335i. Keep in mind that $800 (manifold+tune) will add 30-40 hp and lots of low end torque without hurting efficiency or reliability because the 328i has been significantly detuned. Either way you won't really go wrong. I find them both pretty fun but prefer rowing through the gears on a windy road and making the engine sing to redline, so I would go with a 328i myself and turn it into a 330. Again, if being pushed back into your seat is what you're after, 335i is the ticket.

Only the 328i can compete with a Toyobaru in terms of reliability, but a lot of N54/N55 issues can be sorted out with newer parts.
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      05-25-2015, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 924er View Post
I like the f30. It is better than the e90 in terms of handling. It just doesn't "feel" like a Bmw cuz it's softer.

As for e90 reliability it's all hit and miss and depends on how well it was maintained. The 335i is on a different ball game. If u are handy it might not cost much. Parts are cheap unlike Porsche. The 328 doesn't have a turbo so obviously that's one less thing u gotta worry about. Both cars have waterpumps that fail. Gaskets that leak.
Spark/coils that go bad etc. the engine is very good tho

As for the 335i 2011 it's an n55 so I hear it's more reliable. You have to do your own research. This topic has been talked about ALOT.
I agree with all the above with one more point, I think the n54 is worth a look because the internals are forged. This means it's more able to handle big power. There's also much more available if you want to modify. The n54 got a bad rap for reliability issues due to the early design waste gates and hpfp. These were redesigned and covered under an extended warranty. If you look at an n54, see if these parts were replaced. If I had to pick an e9x, I'd get a 335is. Its a later model with more power from the factory but still has the n54 motor and revised parts.
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      05-25-2015, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fundguy1
Quote:
Originally Posted by 924er View Post
I like the f30. It is better than the e90 in terms of handling. It just doesn't "feel" like a Bmw cuz it's softer.

As for e90 reliability it's all hit and miss and depends on how well it was maintained. The 335i is on a different ball game. If u are handy it might not cost much. Parts are cheap unlike Porsche. The 328 doesn't have a turbo so obviously that's one less thing u gotta worry about. Both cars have waterpumps that fail. Gaskets that leak.
Spark/coils that go bad etc. the engine is very good tho

As for the 335i 2011 it's an n55 so I hear it's more reliable. You have to do your own research. This topic has been talked about ALOT.
I agree with all the above with one more point, I think the n54 is worth a look because the internals are forged. This means it's more able to handle big power. There's also much more available if you want to modify. The n54 got a bad rap for reliability issues due to the early design waste gates and hpfp. These were redesigned and covered under an extended warranty. If you look at an n54, see if these parts were replaced. If I had to pick an e9x, I'd get a 335is. Its a later model with more power from the factory but still has the n54 motor and revised parts.
I really hope it's forged. This is very controversial. Some say it's not some say it is. Some say it's only the crankshaft.

For me I love the n54 it's very tuner friendly and cheap to mod. but if I wanted a 335i to keep stock as a DD. you can't go wrong with the n55.
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      05-25-2015, 08:27 PM   #11
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Very simple
2011 328i is a very reliable car. The N52 engine is basically bullet proof besides a few kinks here and there.
A 335 would be fine as long as it's the N55 and it has a warranty. Yes the N54 has forged internals and all but that doesn't mean shit when your fuel pumps die randomly and your wastegates go. If you're looking at a 2011 then you're pretty safe with either car (328/335) have fun!
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      05-25-2015, 08:46 PM   #12
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OP, I agree with your comments on the F30...as compared with prior generations, the F30 steering feel is lackluster and the interior feels a whole class lower. For purists, I believe the E90 LCI is the BMW to have right now. Hopefully they will sort out the steering issues. Otherwise this will be my last BMW. I hear the F30 LCI will have redesigned steering. Hopefully they will get it right this time. Meanwhile get yourself a nice '11 E9x and enjoy!
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      05-25-2015, 09:04 PM   #13
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I recently purchased an '11 328i and it is absolutely a blast to drive. I have 55k on it, so as far as reliability, i'm going to pre-emptively do the waterpump/thermostat at 60k. I bought a gmb pump from amazon, and when it arrived, it was a re-boxed piersburg. lol. saved 75 bucks on that deal. the handling is as good as my evo, but not as fast, which is what I wanted. in the future, I will go to regular tires, and get a full size spare, and do oil changes every 5-7500 miles. I need a second key, so that is 400 bucks, i'll be needing a battery in the future, so that's another 2-300 bucks. if you prepare yourself for some of the costs of the car, I would say it is worth it. I do all my own work, so that saves a lot of money also. if I can get 200,000 miles out of itwithout major repair, I will be happy. if not, I have my rock solid evo that has been, hands down the most reliable car I have ever owned. good luck!
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      05-25-2015, 11:49 PM   #14
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My 2007 E90 328i has 120k miles and has only needed a new starter, battery and valve cover gasket. The 335i has better performance, but more issues. There's a trade-off. If you don't plan on modding the motor, buy a low mileage 328 with a manual transmission and sports package and enjoy.
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      05-26-2015, 08:17 AM   #15
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I have a 2011 335 N55. I bought the 2011 to avoid the problems associated with the N54. I know a lot of members love their N54 but no manufacturer discontinues an engine after 4 years unless they are resolving serious issues.

That being said, the 2011 335 is still an e90 and will have any of the e90 non-engine related issues. These are mostly suspension, body, or electric. Mine has been good so far at ~50K. Issues I've had:

- Muffler vacuum flap, muffler replaced
- Passenger seat sensor, replaced

E90 issues I expect to have in the future:
- front lower control arms

The N52 based 328 is also quite good, just not as much power as the 335.

My 2011 is CPO and I wasn't willing to buy one that didn't have a warranty. But that is my point of view. Based on your question about reliability, I think you would also want one that is CPO.
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      05-26-2015, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddien123
Very simple
2011 328i is a very reliable car. The N52 engine is basically bullet proof besides a few kinks here and there.
A 335 would be fine as long as it's the N55 and it has a warranty. Yes the N54 has forged internals and all but that doesn't mean shit when your fuel pumps die randomly and your wastegates go. If you're looking at a 2011 then you're pretty safe with either car (328/335) have fun!
Just wanted to add that the fuel pump issue has been already fixed on the n54. BMW actually uses the same HPFP as the n55. They even share the same injectors but I think the n55 is bigger.
As far as the waste gates. Bmw revised them on later models making them stronger.
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      05-26-2015, 10:04 AM   #17
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OP, you can also go with a 3rd party warranty if you cant find a CPO that you like. They are also a little more lenient in my experience with what they will/wont cover.

These arent really much different reliability wise vs other german cars. Audi, Mercedes, BMW... they all have their issues.

But going from the BRZ to the 335 is going to be night and day. You'll never look back
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      05-26-2015, 10:27 AM   #18
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9 month of ownership of my 2011 328Xi and it has been great, only had a misfire caused by a faulty coil that we replaced under warranty. Runs great, averages 23mpg, silky I6 engine, doesn’t use a drop of oil. Comfortable on long trips.

I had an F30 loaner when my car went in for the coils, and I expected that after driving it I would want to trade in my old car for the new one. Whilst the interior was a little nicer, and the updated including streaming music as std was nice. I was surprised how good it felt getting back into my E90, the engine is so much smoother and the car had more of a weighty/quality feel.
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      05-26-2015, 11:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddien123 View Post
Very simple
2011 328i is a very reliable car. The N52 engine is basically bullet proof besides a few kinks here and there.
A 335 would be fine as long as it's the N55 and it has a warranty. Yes the N54 has forged internals and all but that doesn't mean shit when your fuel pumps die randomly and your wastegates go. If you're looking at a 2011 then you're pretty safe with either car (328/335) have fun!
Doesn't happen any more after the fuel pump or waste gates are replaced with the redesigned parts under warranty. Why is everyone so afraid of this? Totally irrational.
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      05-26-2015, 11:13 AM   #20
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Why replace the water pump already?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 328sport View Post
I recently purchased an '11 328i and it is absolutely a blast to drive. I have 55k on it, so as far as reliability, i'm going to pre-emptively do the waterpump/thermostat at 60k. I bought a gmb pump from amazon, and when it arrived, it was a re-boxed piersburg. lol. saved 75 bucks on that deal. the handling is as good as my evo, but not as fast, which is what I wanted. in the future, I will go to regular tires, and get a full size spare, and do oil changes every 5-7500 miles. I need a second key, so that is 400 bucks, i'll be needing a battery in the future, so that's another 2-300 bucks. if you prepare yourself for some of the costs of the car, I would say it is worth it. I do all my own work, so that saves a lot of money also. if I can get 200,000 miles out of itwithout major repair, I will be happy. if not, I have my rock solid evo that has been, hands down the most reliable car I have ever owned. good luck!
The one on my '06 330xi last until I had 119,000 miles on it. Even then, it was just making a lot of noise so I wasn't left stranded by the roadside. It just seems to me you're wasting your money replacing something that could (and should) last much longer.
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      05-26-2015, 01:20 PM   #21
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      05-26-2015, 01:38 PM   #22
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if you can afford an F30 then an e90 with CPO is a no brainer. buy the cpo e90 and youre good to go.
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