BMW 325i build quality problems

I put together a short video review of the build quality problems in the 2006 BMW 235i sport sedan. These are things like:

  • Rotting or loose rubber seams on the outside
  • Easily scratched/worn door handles
  • Faulty cup holders
  • Flimsy, easily melted cigarette lighters
  • Soft plastic finishes that disintegrate and scuff right away
  • Broken window shades
  • Plasticky, snap-together feel of ceiling consoles
  • Fading radio display
  • Various cockpit noises

Watch the video on YouTube |

As one of the commenters in a BMW forum puts it, it comes down to “BMW’s choice of low quality materials in high wear areas“. That is a wonderfully succinct explanation of the problem.

These things keep breaking down, they get replaced, then they break down again. If BMW would bother to add up all the service costs they incur for repeat repairs to the cockpit, they would realize it would be cheaper to make them better in the first place. This is my plea to them: start building better cars — a bad cockpit ruins the driver experience and takes away from the wonderful handling and performance of a BMW.


12 thoughts on “BMW 325i build quality problems

  1. Mike says:

    I have the same issue with the rear console. and the front driver and passenger side handles. Rubber/Plastic pealing off. Rear window motor broken, driver side lock relay broken, steering column locked and replaced, valve cover gasket replaced, oil filter housing gasket leaking,
    some of them were covered under warranty, some occurred right after warranty. Called BMW with no help / response from them.

    The RFT tires would get worn in 20k miles. Got some part of it back through warranty. And the list goes on.
    I have another Honda which has twice as many miles and years of service. No problems other than regular maintenance.


  2. Alphie Anghelo says:

    That is so strange when I saw your video. We have the same exact problems that I have with my car. My 2006 325i developed a leak just after the warranty expired and I am looking for solutions. It looks like the leak is coming from the power steering fluid reservoir. Don’t really want to take it back to the dealer because it will cost me an arm and a leg. I love the cars handling and the engine. Hated the run flat tires and the I-drive system and the cheap plastic components that they used. Not sure if I will buy another BMW?


  3. Dasius says:

    I have a 2005 320i and it have the same problems, i could not even sell it because of those interior broken plastics… i am now stuck with the car that i can not sell. I love BMWs but their quality sucks… they need to improve…


  4. Bao Nguyen says:

    My 06 325 is worst than what is shown in the video clip. The AC compressor pully gets broken so only one 10mm nut (out of 3) can’t keep it in place. This makes the whole car sounds like all the valves are slapping the piston. I replace it and find out that it is made of some sort of plastic, not metal for that constant moving piece of part. This week one of the nut get broken and this punches a hole to the valve cover. All of the oil pops out. The broken nut gets into the timing chain chamber and breaks a couples gear of one camshaft. This makes the engine rough and engine check codes for fail timing. I am looking forward to 1200 usd to fix this problem. My 1984 Toyota Supra 296K miles has no problem like this, the interior is still in very good shape. This is my first and will be last experience with BMW. Not yet, look like all the nuts are one time use only.


  5. NZ says:

    My BMW 318Ti is like this; Even the window just falls straight in if i went on a bump or winde the window up the regulator is forever braking; My mates Honda has been very loyal to him; Ive did my best to maintain the car and service it and I just cant be f****d with BMW anymore;


  6. Perré Kurton says:

    Maybe BMW outsources tooooooooo much of their productions to India or China, I assume? As I know BMW has at least one production facility in China, have you checked where your car was made, or where those components were made?


  7. steven says:

    i saw ur vid on youtube and my e90 (code name for 3 series ur kind) 335i has no problems like thiss and my x5 same no issues. other than those terrible run flat tires


  8. Darren says:

    I drive a BMW 323i, which is pretty much the same thing as a 325i. I have to say that I don’t have any of those problems. I have to say that the cupholders are a little misplaced and do tend to spill if you hit the pedal to the metal, but other than that I have no complaints.


    • You must be one of the lucky ones, Darren. I’m glad you have no problems, enjoy your BMW, they’re awesome to drive!


  9. SaxMan says:

    Wow, Raoul, that really sucks. You’d think a BMW would not have these kind of issues. I have a 2005 Honda Pilot and have had zero build issues. The materials used in the interior are high quality and have held up well over the years, as has the exterior. I’m not trying to convert you to Honda. My point is, if Honda can use quality materials at their pricepoint, why can’t BMW do so at theirs?


    • Good question, Tim. I think you’re lucky. Good friends of ours bought a Honda Odyssey in 2008, and have had nothing but problems with the car, pretty much all of them related to build quality. Things stopped working in the cockpit, parts fell off, blinkers stopped working, doors wouldn’t open, etc. I’m not sure what it is with cars these days, they’re so sloppily made.


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