2003 BMW 325i Reviews and Owner Comments

2003 BMW 325i owners review and rate their 2003 BMW 325i.

2003 BMW 325i (25 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
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Expensive to own and maintain. BMW can NOT build an interior that holds together to save its corporate life. Can't drive the car past the repair place without leaving it there for a couple of days and writing a check for $1,000+. Have owned three and this is the story on used BMWs. If you think you're smart about money don't get a used BMW. It will bleed you dry. The trick with BMWs is to buy NEW, then get rid of the car after two or three years before the problems start and the car gets expensive to own.
This car is an absolute nightmare of repairs. You constantly fear something is going to go wrong. Not worth the logo. Thousands of dollars in repairs from putting on under 15k.
I have a 2003 325I ,with 90,000 miles. My aunt bought it new and had all the scheduled work done by dealer.She gave me the car with 39,000 miles. I have spent about 5,000.00 dollars in repair ,since i am not mechanical inclined,no repair is ever less than 500.Currently only one power window works,dealer wants 2500. to repair. The engine overheats if driven more than 10 miles. The car is beautiful inside and out,but just a nice looking pile of crap.If someone ever offers me a free BMW I will run the other way.
I bought my 2003 325i in April 2008 with 40K. Today with 165K, I have had to replace: 3 water pumps, 2 radiators, 2 cooling expansion tanks, one window regulator, 2 front bushings, 1 cooling fan, 1 gas pump, 1 alternator, 2 brake pads, and 1 battery . The cost of maintenance including oil changes, and repairs is close to $0.08/mile. Otherwise the car is a joy to drive, and it's very economical 25 MPG average on regular gas (Do not use premium). My last repair was caused because the cooling fan exploded and damaged the radiator, expansion tank, water pump, etc, and cut the hood ($600.00 for patching and painting). When I got the car I discovered it was a Demo (never, never get one), and a CPO, which wasn't very useful. I took the car to the dealer 6 straight times to fix a coolant leak, they couldn't. After my CPO warranty expired I had to replace my first water pump ($850).
I absolutely LOVE this car! Sure, it has every problem common to this year model, but I was expecting it. Repairs [can] be expensive - even outrageous - if you are not comfortable with DIY. An example: power steering pump went out (known issue) and the dealer wanted $1070 to fix. I bought an improved pump that addressed the problem for $350 and installed it in about 2 hours. This fix was even easier than a GM. Yes, known problems with relatively inexpensive and quick fixes IF you are remotely competent with tools. I love everything about the car - performance, style and even making repairs. It truly is the "Ultimate driving machine."
I have a light vibration that starts around 25 MPH the dramatically increases as I accelerate. The car pulls out into a smoot run around 33 MPH then no more problems. Feel nothing as I decrease the speen so I know that its in the drive line but I took a look underneath the car and my God the driveshaft is located under the exhaust under a fire wall so before I tear into it I'd like to have a little conformation that the U-joint connecting the transmission from the driveshaft is the culprit. HELPPP
Purchased when three years old with 35K, now at 91K.
Windshield pump
Fan belt pulleys
hydraulic pulley tensioner
Three rubber type engine hoses
Heater valve
Heater temp. senser
Reprogrammed door lock relay Sys.
Water pump
Cooling expansion tank
expansion tank thermostat
Oil filter housing gasket
Two window regulators
Problems with inside/outside trim
Sorry, no more room.
Bought a new 2003 325i. The car was fun to drive but the quality of fit and finish was terrible. The car came with the "premium package" which included leather seats and some "wood" trim on the doors. The trim fell off frequently and had to be repaired. The floor mates lasted about a year. This car was recently re-called to fix a grounding problem in the electrical system that caused the tail lights to burn out frequently. They finally found the problem after 8 years. Also, this and other years of the 325i are involved in a class action suit that claims the body separates from the frame under normal use.
Finally, the dealers are the worst. The car comes with a 48K mile warranty and service included, but then the dealer tells you it doesn't need any. Oil changes at 15K miles and no tire rotation.. that's a joke.
I sold this car in Jan 2012 with 52K miles on it and got $9,000. It had a few bumps and bruises; but not many. Carmax turned it around for almost $15K in a week or so. God help the poor bastard who owns it now.
I bought a 2010 Acura TL with 17K miles and 3.5 year bumper to bumper warranty. We'll see how it goes.
Bought my 2003 325i the end of 2008, loved it for the first year. Every now and then it would make a wierd noise when I rolled the window up or down, no big deal. Then one day the window wouldn't roll down any more. Had both front windows repaired. About one year later rolled the back window down one day and it wont go back up. Close to the same time dashboard keeps flickering on and off that my exterior lights aren't working. Some days there is a delay when it starts. Then my windshield wiper fluid wont spray, and today out of nowhere my car wont start. The pic for the battery is lit, when I bought the car I replaced the battery so it shouldn't be bad????? Really tired of all the problems I'm having with this car. I will NOT ever purchase another BMW, way too many problems that are way to expensive to fix. At least my Hubby is a mechanical genius so instead of having the dealership charge me $500 dollars to fix the window since my warranted has now expired, he can do it for the price of a couple parts(I think he said about $50)
Owned since new. After 4 yrs and no longder under warranty only short in rear lights,known problem, I wont pay outrageous amount to fix it, hubby packed it in, now works but the dash claims it is burned out. Now @ 94K miles, the power steering pump- blew up, yes it blew. BMW no longer has that pump avail so guess what had to update it to the new part, and therefore lots of expensive other parts to retrofit...almost $900 in parta labor under $100-thank god not done at bMW, they would have charged over $1500+......still only repair ever needed.
power steering pump on my 2003 b m w 325i has failed three times in the last three years. Whats the problem with these pumps.
This car is an absolute pleasure to drive. The handling and feel of this car is truly impressive. I saw a post where it said there was limited cargo space. That's a total lie. For a car this size the trunk is quite large. Cup holder placement is a bit odd but that's about my only gripe. I find it comical that people buy a high performance foreign car that is known to be expensive to repair, if you did any amount of home work then you would know this. Then they complain when it's expensive to repair, it's like hitting your head with a hammer then getting mad and surprised that your head hurts, you silly people you LOL. Many things I see being reported smack of a shady repair service. Hardly the cars fault. At least half of what you spend at a dealer is for labor costs. Many of these things can easily be fixed by YOU for much less if you ever care to get out a repair manual and a set of tools. O2 sensors, window issues are all child's play. You know if your engine light is on you can go to almost any Auto zone or other such service and as long as your engine light is on they will read the problem for you for free? Why? Because they want to sell you the part to fix it.
Granted this does not apply to all of your issues but it does cover a fair amount of you. Be smart, do your home work and pick up a friggen book and a wrench every now and then or get a KIA. I'll be the guy in the BMW zipping past you and laughing. :) Catch you on the flip side!
just got this car its great i love it and its great for hotboxing
I am in need of the pack passenger rear brake sensor.
Also i need to get a hold of a ambiant air control temperature located underneath front passenger side bumper. required to pass emissions
My favorite car out of all ones I owned so far
Love the way it handles...has a nice get up and go for a low end luxury, but the never ending problems and the price to fix them is forcing me to trade. Gas mileage is 30mpg with a heavy foot. Daily commute about 100 miles round trip. Drive is really fun, repair bills are horrible!!!
I bought this car new in early 2003. So far the car has been freakishly reliable. I think there was a bushing replacement early on and a taillight went out once. Oh yeah, the player is on the fritz.
I have babied and respected this car; I suspect a lot of folks beat on these cars and they are surprised when they have problems. Its a lovely car and fun to drive.
We bought this 2003 325i new in hopes of acquiring an even better level of car than our dependable Accord EX...Wrong. This "babied" car has died with no reason on my wife--repair cost 600.00. Makes a weird sewing machine noise when excellerating--repair cost 1100.00. Makes a horn-type sound in the front suspension when we pull into our driveway--couldn't fix it. Water leaks into passenger side door when going through a car wash. Now the AC/heater blower has stopped working this summer, so I'm about to head to a mechanic for that, too.
I love the way this car drives however the cost of maintaining it is too much for me. I have so many problems with the SRS lights coming on. I have spent almost $1500.00 in the last two months and they are on again. The sunroof is another problem. Every problem is very expensive to take car of.
I purchased my 2003 325i in 2005. It drives very well and I have experienced minimal maintenance problems. I will definitely purchase another BMW!
I am very dissappointed. I'll never buy BMW again. My past cars and vans were Toyota and had no problem with them. With my BMW, the moment the 4 year warranty elapsed, all problems occur. Both front and rear brakes were replaced, clutch and flywheel replaced, window motors replaced. It cost me almost $10,000! Now, the airbag sign is always on and I'm scared to bring it to the dealer for repairs! I might get ripped offf again. It's not worth it to own a BMW-you are just paying for the brand. Quality wise, it's a complete failure!
This was a great driving car but then
the steering started that shimmy and it
has been an uphill battle. Next stop, front
control arms to try to correct it. It has
been a major issue. Replaced bushings,
steering rack etc and still not fixed.
I talked with a bmw dealer and they know this
has been a problem. BMW should have issued
a recall on those control arms. Will be the
last bmw I will ever buy because of that.
03 325i with 87k. lots of problems that i am finding are very common with these bmws
I have loved this car from the moment I turned the key to test drive it, then put 30,000 miles on it in the first year because it is so much fun to drive - drove from Louisiana to Ithaca, NY and back, taking back roads and two-lane mountain roads when available. When I finished the trip, I realized that I had not even turned on the radio or stereo the whole time, just was in the driving zone of this tight car and the road.

The only problem I have had with this is a front end collision which had undiscovered damage to the coolant system, ruining the engine. It is now getting a new, rebuilt engine and I will be on my way again. I can't wait to get my baby back. I loved the 3-series so much that in the meantime, I purchased a 1996 3-series convertible for my second car (just to have something to drive). That one has 177,000 miles on it and drives beautifully.
As with the 2002 models there are many expensive and disappointing problems. I love drive this car but find the clutch jerky and although I had it replace before it was time, it is still clunky. The problems with the window lift controllers is very annoying, obvious defective designs should be resolved by the manufacturer under a recall. The dealer told me that the sunroof falls of its track and there is a retrofit kit for $1500, i have never used the sunroof and find that outragous (BTW he also said that before the kit was available the repair cost was $2500).
The last trip to the dealer for the 50K service netted me an estimate of over $5000 for repairs to defective parts.
I get 31 mpg on the road and 25 around town which i like but the gas savings don't come even close to the cost of repairs.