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The BMW X3 originated the compact luxury SUV segment and is one of the few that actually feels sporty. Handling is agile, making the X3 enjoyable to drive. Helped by a new eight-speed automatic transmission, the powertrain is eager and willing. Fuel economy is also respectable, given the X3's size and power.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2011 BMW X3 has been recalled 4 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
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Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
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NA
Engine Minor
NA
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NA
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Engine Cooling
NA
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NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
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NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
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Drive System
NA
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NA
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Fuel System
NA
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Electric System
NA
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NA
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Climate System
NA
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NA
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Suspension
NA
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NA
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Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
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NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 BMW X3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

“Normal, Sport, Sport Plus gauges do not work properly”

Ron S., MD (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“one of the tail lights in the rear deck burned out in 2015, the other in 2016. BMW replaced them, but I was surprised that it happened”

Anonymous, TN (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Have had to replace both LED taillight panels. Quit working”

Anonymous, PA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Both right and left LED tail lamp assembly had to be replaced and costed close to $800”

Anonymous, PA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“The drivers diderear LED tail lights had to be replaced at s cost of $690. Crazy money given the car wasn't even 6 years old and was treated gingerly. That coupled with an engine oil leak and rear differential leak cost almost $3k and all this with less than 60k miles and I was religious on doing routine maintenance. I'm I'm the process of trading in the car fir a GLC 300 4 matic”

Anonymous, IL (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“LED tail lights failed twice. I used to replace myself with a $5.00bulb from an auto supply shop. Now, with zero added functionality, it costs close to $500 including labour, to have the dealer replace the LED module. Some progress!!”

Geoffrey E., ON (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Rear LED lights are a common failure due to a poorly manufactured control board”

Anonymous, MA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Entire LED tail light assembly needed replacement. No faults were indicated”

Anonymous, WA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“The reverse lights need to be fixed. This was shortly after I bought it”

Anonymous, NY (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“left rear tail light assembly had to be replaced”

Charles M., VA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Body control module

“failure of secondary buss box which led a a variety of electrical woes”

R G., MN (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Headlight visor broken by road debris. Cost to replace was astronomical”

Robert R., CA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Key less entry system doesn't work as advertised by BMW. Locks don't open which requires using key to access interior of car”

Ron S., MD (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Alarm has come on several times for electronic features coming out of adjustment”

Anonymous, FL (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“Coolant expansion was replaced”

Donald M., GA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Water leak coming thru the sunroof”

Anonymous, CT (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Both front door leak into the cabin in heavy rain. Bad enough to soak the mats”

Jack S., NC (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“brake light seal in rear window leaked, replaced the seal and all was o.k”

Peter N., NC (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Rubber lining of front passenger door had to be replaced because water was leaking onto front passenger floor”

Anonymous, NY (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

“Windshield leaked at upper corner in car washes”

Anonymous, MS (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

“Clicking sound in rear hatch area. Dealer unable to solve”

Stanley L., CA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Had to bring car into dealership six times to try and fix rattle with the sunroof. They finally fixed it”

Anonymous, NY (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“The driver-side door when it goes down makes a terrible screeching noise”

Anonymous, NY (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Rattle from frame around screen in dashboard”

Craig Z., NE (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

“Overflow coolant reservoir cracked and high pressure coolant escaped until coolant ran too low. Occurred multiple times in a few weeks before dealership fixed under warranty after I yelled at them that filling it every week wasn't acceptable”

Anonymous, CA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Noticed coolant leak on garage floor. Independent garage verified hairline crack in overflow tank. Replaced at cost of $320”

Mark S., ON (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Water pnmp failed”

Anonymous, OH (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“engine overheated and the car stopped in the middle of the road when the engine simply cut out”

Anonymous, FL (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Several times a year the car gives a warning for low coolant fluid”

Anonymous, NC (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Thermostat

“Engine thermostat had to be replaced”

Anonymous, WA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Failure , very exoensive to repair, 70000 km only”

Michel C., QC (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Engine overheat warning message and stop to cool down engine messages came because of failed water pump $1135”

Anonymous, PA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“failed prematuraly”

Anonymous, OH (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

“Bushings exhibited routine wear and were replaced”

Edward R., AZ (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Noisy squeeking worn out”

Carmine R., QC (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Shocks or struts

“bent strut made it impossible to align the car correctly resulting in uneven wear and requiring 4 new tires, as well as replacijg the struts and shocks”

Richard C., PA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“There was noise on rough roads, It was simply normal wear and tear”

Anonymous, ON (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“Gearstick gear changer suffered electrical failure. Car would not go into gear and was useless until replaced under warranty. Was in the shop for several days”

Anonymous, CA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Accelerator pedal assembly electrical failure caused near-total loss of power rendering vehicle undrivable. Cost of repair (parts and labor) $500, at owner's expense (vehicle owned 3.5 years but over 80,000 km). BMW provided towing under warranty”

Mark S., ON (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Differential

“Differential”

Anonymous, IL (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Driveshaft or axle

“had to replace the rear main seal”

Anonymous, FL (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“The eccentric shaft sensor failed. 2300 to fix at the dealer. Fixed myself for 750 in parts and tools”

Guy G., WI (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Same as previously stated”

Anonymous, SC (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Oil leaks

“Valve covers all needed replaced. The car is a maintenance nightmare. It only has 57000 miles!”

Jesse C., VA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“X3 was wrapped with plastic which checkered the paint on hood”

Anonymous, MS (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“The paint in the wheels was peeling and after a lot of effort BMW replaced them”

Robin M., MA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“glove box trim is separating from hard plastic shell -- glue is failing. Hope the rest of the trim does not come loose”

Michael W., AZ (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

“I had gone to step down on the gas to merge, and the car almost stalled on me. Then, as I was driving it, it felt like the transmission was slipping. I was told by a friend that was a mechanic what it was, and to not drive it over 45MPH, so I could get it to the City. The next day, I had it in to the BMW shop, and they said that was the problem, but had some other things to make sure that they didn't break down in the next few months. Then all was fixed”

Anonymous, NY (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Terrible hesitation when moving from a stopped position, a very jerky and unpleasant ride”

Anonymous, NC (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

“replaced all 6 ignition coils. Apparently Bosch forgot how to make them ...again. Done under extended warranty”

Anonymous, TX (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Battery had to be replaced. Since being replaced, some electronic convenience items don't work properly. Display does not correctly show when service is required”

Anonymous, SC (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

“The top of half screen containing the tachometer and speedometer would go blank. Usually by moving the headlight switch it will resolve and return to normal.. Not a big issue”

Anonymous, AZ (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Radio

“Intermittently stopped working”

Anonymous, CA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

“Car makes a rough grinding sound at slow speeds and dealer is unable to diagnose the cause”

Anonymous, CA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Transmission computer

“Eight-speed transmission suddenly stopped working. Turned off car then turn it on and it worked again. Dealer did a reprogram”

Michael W., AZ (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Differential”

Anonymous, OH (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Torque converter

“Crankcase broken, was replaced”

Anonymous, FL (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“Needed brakes”

Anonymous, OH (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Rotors are automatically replaced when pads are worn. Rear pads have been replaced twice”

Robert R., CA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

“Clogged injectors”

Anonymous, NY (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

“The Halogen headlamps developed condensation inside the headlamps and had to be replaced”

Robin M., MA (2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Compare 2011 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:EXHAUST SYSTEM:EMISSION CONTROL:CRANKCASE (PCV)
Oct 30 2017
An electrical short can cause the parts within the PCV valve to melt, increasing the risk of a fire, even when the vehicle is not in use.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2008-2011 128i and 2007-2011 328i, 328xi, 328i xDrive, 525i, 525xi, 528i, 528xi, 530i, 530xi, X3 3.0si, X3 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive30i, Z4 3.0i, Z4 3.0si and Z4 sDrive30i vehicles. The heater for the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve may short circuit.
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the PCV valve heater, free of charge. Interim letters were mailed on November 27, 2017. Owners will receive a second notification by the end of October 2018. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V683000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 740561
CHILD SEAT:VEHICLE LATCH ANCHOR
May 23 2016
Damaged lower anchor bars may increase the child's risk of injury in the event of a crash.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2011-2017, X3 sDrive28i, X3 xDrive28i and X3 xDrive35i, vehicles manufactured July 2, 2010 to April 14, 2016, 2015-2017 X3 xDrive28d vehicles manufactured March 10, 2014 to March 31, 2016, and 2015-2017 x4 xDrive28i, X4 xDrive35i and X4 xDriveM40i vehicles manufactured March3, 2014 to April 15, 2016. The affected vehicles have lower anchor bars for securing child restraint seats that may become damaged when using the European-ISOFIX-type, rigid-style connector, child restraint system.
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will weld a reinforcing bracket to the lower anchor bars and the vehicle body, free of charge. The recall began on July 13, 2016. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V333000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 188668
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE
Apr 10 2014
If the bolts loosen or break the engine may have reduced power or stall. An engine stall increases the risk of a crash.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2010-2011 128i Coupe, 128i Convertible, 328i Sedan, 328i xDrive Sedan, 328i Coupe, 328i Convertible, 328i Sports Wagon and Z4 sDrive 30i, 2011-2012 135i Coupe, 135i Convertible, 335i Sedan, X5 xDrive 35i, and X6 xDrive 35i, 2011 335i xDrive Sedan, 335i Coupe, 335i Convertible, 528i Sedan, 535i Sedan, 535i xDrive Sedan, X3 xDrive 28i, and X3 xDrive 35i, 2010 X3 xDrive 30i, and X5 xDrive 30i, 2012 640i Coupe, and 640i Convertible and 2010-2012 535i Gran Turismo vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the bolts that secure the housing for the variable camshaft timing adjustment (VANOS) unit can loosen over time and may possibly break.
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the four VANOS housing bolts for both VANOS units (intake and exhaust), free of charge. In addition, owners of approximately 170,172 model year 2010-2012 BMW vehicles equipped with inline 6 cylinder engines not covered by this recall, will receive an extended warranty to address this condition. The recall began on September 24, 2014. Owners may contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V176000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 156137
STEERING:ELECTRIC POWER ASSIST SYSTEM
Jun 29 2011
SUDDEN LOSS OF POWER STEERING ASSISTANCE COULD INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 X3 PASSENGER VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM APRIL 27, 2011, THROUGH JUNE 8, 2011. A CONTROL MODULE IN THE ELECTRIC POWER STEERING (EPS) UNIT MAY MALFUNCTION, RESULTING IN A SUDDEN LOSS OF POWER STEERING ASSISTANCE.
What should you do:
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND DEALERS WILL REPAIR THE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING AUGUST 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AND SERVICES AT 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V341000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 51
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