Using our site means you agree to the use of cookies and other technologies. Our cookie policy.

Common problems with the BMW X3

Charlotte Phillips, 4 months ago

3 min read

  • Advice
  • carproblems
  • BMW

WhoCanFixMyCar discusses some of the common problems that drivers have reported with the BMW X3, and how much you can expect to pay to get them fixed.

Manufactured since 2003, the BMW X3 is a luxury compact crossover SUV produced by the German automaker. Following the same design as the earlier 3 Series in a larger model, the X3 is currently in its third generation.

However, some drivers have reported some issues with the model. Some common problems with the BMW X3 include:


BMW X3 steering problems

BMW X3 gearbox problems

BMW X3 engine problems

BMW X3 brake problems

How reliable is the BMW X3?

BMW X3 steering problems

Some drivers have reported problems with the steering system on their BMW X3, whereby steering has become increasingly heavy. While this problem is most often linked to a malfunctioning power steering system, it could also be caused by low tyre pressure.

To rule this out, ensure that your tyres are fully topped up to the correct level. If the problem still persists, you’ve likely got a problem with your power steering on your hands.

The average quote for a power steering repair on the BMW X3 is £84.80 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

BMW X3 gearbox problems

Drivers have also reported an issue with the automatic gearbox on their BMW X3 selecting the wrong gear for them. This is a highly common problem on X3 automatics, and is reportedly caused by an electrical fault.

However, the only sure way to know what’s causing this problem is to take your car to a trained mechanic who can diagnose the fault for you. Depending on the cause of the problem, you may require the automatic gearbox to be reconfigured, or you may need an automatic gearbox repair. 

The average quote for an automatic gearbox repair on the BMW X3 is £1,098 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

BMW X3 engine problems

Some owners of the BMW X3 have also reported problems with the engine on their model. While some drivers have noticed a loss in overall performance in the car, others have noticed a grinding noise coming from their car, which seems to be coming from the engine.

These symptoms can be caused by problems with your timing chain guides. Your timing chain guides help to keep the chain taut and moving around as it should be, and when this breaks, it can cause your engine to fail or be unable to start.

The average quote for a timing chain repair on the BMW X3 is £1,122 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

BMW X3 brake problems

There have also been reports of faults with the braking system on the BMW X3. Drivers of the X3 have reported issues with a loss of power when applying the brakes, meaning they are having to apply increasing amounts of pressure to be able to get the car to stop. 

The most likely cause of this problem is due to a leak in the brake lines in the vehicle. When this happens, the brake fluid will begin to drain out until there is no longer enough left to transfer the pressure from your pedal to your tyres.

The average quote for a brake fluid change on the BMW X3 is £52.94 when booked with WhoCanFixMyCar.

Is the BMW X3 reliable?

In terms of reliability, the BMW X3 scores generally quite highly amongst the competition. While the manufacturer finished in a mediocre 16th position out of 32 automakers in the What Car? Reliability Survey, the petrol X3 model finished in first place, and the diesel in third place out of a total 18 large SUVs. In terms of safety, the X3 was also able to secure the top grade of five out of five stars in Euro NCAP’s 2017 crash test, scoring a total 93% in adult occupant safety. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the X3 comes with a generous three year unlimited mileage warranty, offering the same cover to that of Land Rover, which is good to know that you’ve got that extra bit of protection should you need it.

Having problems with your BMW X3? At WhoCanFixMyCar, we can help you find a trusted mechanic near you for the best price.