really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
157,819 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 BMW 330 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 BMW 330 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Oct 252018


  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 BMW 330xi. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. After restarting the vehicle the check engine light remained illuminated before eventually turning off. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the engine head bolts had fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Roseburg, OR, USA

problem #26

Mar 052018


  • 63,000 miles
Very loud noise (fan noise) coming from the engine compartment when the car was started from a cold start. Car is drive-able but seemed to lose some power. The noise may or may not come back during the next start. A few simple searches on google and from various BMW forums indicated that it's a very common problem for the 2006 BMW 330I E90 sedans and problem seem to be the faulty water pump and faulty thermostat. As there are no warning light nor any tell signs, the car could go from full performance on the freeway to limp mode (forceful slow-down mode) in the matter of a few seconds due to overheating of the water pump, and it could be very dangerous. The hidden error codes may be discovered with a vehicle specific scanning tool but there is no warning light or error light whatsoever to warn the owner unless the car is brought in to the shop and being scanned with the proper scanning tool. But if there is no warning/error light, no one would have thought to bring the car in for scanning.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #25

Aug 172017

330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 330xi. The contact noticed smoke under the hood, which entered the vehicle through the air vents. The contact also heard an abnormal noise coming from the motor months before the manufacturer sent notification of NHTSA campaign number: 17V676000 (electrical system). In addition, the service engine warning indicator remained illuminated for an extended period of time. The dealer (newbold BMW, 1283 central park dr, O'fallon, il 62269, (618) 628-7300) replaced the wiring and diagnosed that the bearings needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #24

Feb 092018


  • 195,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 BMW 330xi. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 17V676000 (electrical system). The vehicle was taken to BMW of bloomfield (425 bloomfield ave, bloomfield, NJ 07003) and repaired. When the contact retrieved the vehicle, he noticed a burning odor and smoke throughout the vehicle. The contact parked the vehicle, lifted the hood, and noticed smoke coming from under the engine coolant and expansion. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and was advised to take the vehicle back to the dealer. The contact then called BMW of bloomfield at (973) 233-5147 where the dealer him to bring the vehicle back for diagnostic testing at his expense. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 195,000.

- Orange, NJ, USA

problem #23

Jun 102016


  • 120,000 miles
This issue is with the piston rings of the BMW M54 engine. It burns oil at a crazy rate and only now are people finally figuring out that this is the issue. BMW lists several other fixes for the oil burning issue, but none of them solve the problem causing the owner to seek repairs that don't solve the issue. BMW states that it is "normal" for the M54 engine to burn up to 1 quart of oil for every 1000 miles. This engine is in many different BMW models and many owners are effected. My car now burns about 1 quart for every 500 miles I drive.

- North Hills, CA, USA

problem #22

Oct 022017


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 330I. Two minutes after the vehicle was started, the contact noticed an abnormal odor and smoke under the hood. Also, the inside of the vehicle became extremely warm. The vehicle was not taken to be diagnosed by a dealer. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the water pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 17V676000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #21

Jan 212018


  • 125,000 miles


Oil keep leaking out of training. It was fixed twice so far. Back brake line keeps breaking when you drive in snow.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #20

Jan 212018


  • 130,000 miles
The vehicle was parked in a parking lot on 1-21-18, when it caught fire

- Waverly Hall, GA, USA

problem #19

Nov 092016


  • 125,000 miles
Engine bolts - aluminum bolt heads were found by mechanic in engine compartment. Although mechanic has stated this does not pose safety risk, seems numerous customers with a BMW 3 series 2006 have experienced the aluminum bolt sheering off issue.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #18

Jun 022017


  • miles
BMW 3 series models 330I and 325I year 2006/2007 have a problem with valve cover and head bolts breaking off (bolts are made of aluminum), in my personal case, I was inspect my car when I was parked and I found a head bolt close to the oil filter housing broke off and also found the head of the bolt on the engine bay, close to the hole where the oil is being leaking. The leak is bad and I have to fill it up every week. Some other people have had valve cover bolts broken off and oil leaking on the exhaust wich could cause fire and accidents. Seems like this was a factory defect over torquing the bolts or low quality aluminum bolts. BMW should fix this problem with all this models and years. I have read online of several people dealing with this problem an even paying BMW dealers lots of money when the problem begun at the manufacturing plant. Serious engine damaged can occur too if other bolts inside the valve cover break and mess others components up inside the engine. Other newer models don't have this problem after the bolts being upgrade to a better quality aluminum or change the torque value on them. Thanks so much for researching and your time.

- Ogden, UT, USA

problem #17

Aug 062017


  • 101,000 miles


While doing a valve cover replacement for broken aluminium bolts, which caused a leak, discovered that the three aluminium head bolts are also broken. The fourth of these was found to be broken and replaced. This known problem on this motor, the N52 six cylinder 3.0 liter motor, caused by inadequate bolts installed at the factory. BMW updated the bolts and torque specs for the motor, but has never formally (at least publicly) recognized the issue. Looking on message boards this is a common problem occurring with these cars that is caused by a manufacturing defect rather than simply time and age. There are many reports of these bolts being found broken at 35 - 50K miles.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #16

May 042009


  • 51,000 miles
Passenger air bags and seat belt wont work and BMW wont fix. Electrical:radio, climate control, headlights and windshield washer pump. Window regulators. And the worst:learning from X_employees of BMW say that BMW purposefully miss-torques oil pan, valve cover and oil filter housing so the fail right after 50,000 mile warranty. Every E90 has these problems. And window regulators all except driver side. In motion.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #15

Jan 072013

330 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Front two valve cover bolts sheered off causing oil to leak directly on the exhaust.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #14

Jan 262015

330 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
Broken cylinder head bolt near oil filter hosing found this to be a very very common problem with (N52) engines.

- Manteca, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 292013

330 6-cyl

  • 1,800,000 miles
One of my valve cover bolts broke causing the oil to leak everywhere.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #12

Dec 202014


  • miles
I hit a bump in the road, complements of moonachie, New Jersey route 120, New Jersey has the worst roads in the country and one of the highest taxes too. I had an auto parts place that sold me 2-struts-2 shocks, which the roads ripped apart on my car tell me, he'd be out of business if it wasn't for New Jersey. After I hit the crater in the road I felt a loud rattle bumping sound when I slowed downed and accelerated, the engine never really idled right afterwards. I had a friend look at the car and he told me all four bolts connected to the motor mounts, all of the bolts separated and broke off in the engine, they snapped off completely and broke the motor mounts as well. I hear from reading on this site the bolts were a manufactures reject, faulty bolts. That being said, I wish I could litigate against BMW for using the bolts and the state of New Jersey for not properly caring for the roads and leaving hazardous conditions on the roads which I might add be fatal for some unfortunate person. Visit hoboken, New Jersey and check out their main street, Washington, the roads in newark, New Jersey are much better than there.could New Jersey's politicians be stealing this money set aside for road repair" nah, of course not, in New Jersey"

- North Bergen, NJ, USA

problem #11

Oct 082014


  • 160,000 miles
Engine valve cover head bolts snapped. Qty. 3.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #10

Sep 262014


  • 126,313 miles
A bolt broke on the valve cover. It's not from cold weather or lack of maintenance, it's clearly a manufacturer default. When advised by valley BMW in modesto I learned this happens in most of these models that year. It's from over torquing the bolt or a faulty bolt or something else but it's clearly not the fault of the consumer. Mine broke on the passenger side and it causes the oil to leak on the exhaust. This is a safety issue and must be addressed immediately. This also happens on the oil pan! msauceda1.blogspot.com/2013/07/BMW-330I-2006-broken-bolts-valve-cover.html it costs over $1000 to fix and after researching further, I found this is happening a lot and many consumers as well as repair services are frustrated and understandably angry. Please address this and make BMW recall these vehicles for repair before someone gets killed! https://www.youtube.com/watch?V=5co92U-WA94.

- Hughson, CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 022014


  • 87,243 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 330I. The contact stated that fuel was leaking from the oil filter housing. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the ball cover gasket needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 87,243.

- Weston, FL, USA

problem #8

Nov 012013

330 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 330I. The contact stated the passenger air bag sensor illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact mentioned that the failure persisted even when the seat was not occupied. The dealer stated the front passenger seat occupant sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000. Updated 10/29/14 updated 4/23/15

- Salem, OR, USA

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