BMW G20 Common Problems: The BMW G20 3 series was introduced in 2019 as a replacement for the wildly successful F30 series. The G20 BMW 3 series is everything a BMW sports sedan should be. Its weight is perfectly distributed, 50% in the back and 50% in the front. It has rear wheel drive and classic BMW looks. It also has a wider track in the front and back when comparing it to its predecessor the F30 3-Series. As with all modern cars, the G20 3-Series also offers better fuel efficiency, a smaller carbon footprint, better infotainment and features. And we should not forget about the advanced safety systems.
So everything is fine and well on paper, but our goal today is not to appreciate the amazing G20 BMW 3 series, our goal is to talk about the problems that are showing up as these vehicles pick up years and miles. We have already written an extensive overview of the problems that are plaguing the F30 3-Series, you can read that review here.
The BMW G20 3-Series is still fairly new so there are not a lot of common problems out there as of now. However, we did extensive research through 10s of forums and sorted out the small issues and problems that owners are reporting. As always, we keep these types of articles regularly updated so when certain issues do come up, we update the list.
BMW G20 Common Problems and major faults
There are currently no major problems reported with BMW G20’s drive train or engines. BMW certainly learned their lesson with some of the catastrophic engines they released in the past (remember the N47 diesel timing chain era?).
Good job BMW so far!
BMW G20 Common Problems and minor faults
- We have found multiple owners on forums (here is an example) complaining about an exhaust rattle when the car starts up cold. Owners describe the sounds as a high-pitched vibration noise that is emanating from the center of the exhaust system. No solution has been reported, one user actually took their car into service with no luck. One owner suggests that the problem lies within the heat shield of the exhaust and that the noise goes away once the vehicle warms up, dealerships tend to think this is normal.
- Some owners are reporting oil leaks from the rear differential. This is not to be ignored so be on the lookout for any oil leaks that occur at the back wheels. BMW replaces the differential gasket under warranty, not a common problem but it is something to be aware of.
Body and interior problems
- A number of owners are reporting a rattling sound coming from the sun roof. Apparently the sound is caused by a rubber seal that squeaks as it comes into contact with the car’s body in the closed position. Applying some lubrication to the seals resolves the issue.
- Lots of owners are reporting interior plastic creaking issues. This also depends on how sensitive you are. Some creaking is to be expected but some owners simply refuse to have anything creak in a premium sedan.
- One of the more common problems we detected are the endless and always different iDrive connectivity and general problems with the iDrive system. Many owners are experiencing problems with Apple Carplay connectivity and the Android Auto feature. Other owners are often receiving their cars without the necessary code and electronic registration which is why they can not use all of the Connected Drive services.
These are not big issues but they are small things you must take into consideration the iDrive 7 system which is present in G series BMW is not as smooth and refined as you would expect from a premium sports sedan.
- A number of owners are also reporting that the bass seems to cut off on random occasions. Especially with vehicles that are equipped with the Harman Kardon sounds system. A lot of vehicles were affected by this so BMW eventually issued a service bullet-in and a replacement part (new amplifier) for the surround system. Apparently this only applies to vehicles made between the March 1st, 2020 to November 1st, 2020
- Certain other audio related issues however are also resolved by a software upgrade.
- Many owners have problems with the “Cross Traffic Alert” system, but the issue seems to be resolved at the dealership. The system just needs to be activated.
BMW G20 Recalls
May 9th, 2019 – Airbag Recall
Certain vehicles were manufactured with wrongly assembled and folded airbags. These airbags might not deploy as they should which is why BMW recalled certain G20 3-Series.
September 27th, 2019 – Rear view camera
A faulty rear view camera or a lack of image in the back-up camera display is a potential risk for a crash.
October 15th, 2019 – Engine Recall (330i)
Apparently, 217 vehicles equipped with the 3.0i petrol engines were susceptible to a loose counterbalance shaft which can cause serious engine damage and raise the potential for a crash. The engines were replaced under warranty.
December 20th, 2019 – Seat belt Recall
135 units of the G20 BMW were sold with faulty seat belt pretensioners which increased the risk of injury if they failed to lock.
June 15, 2020 – Steering assembly Recall
Due to high heat and vibrations, steering wheel tie rods might become damaged prematurely which increases the risk for a crash. A cat with damaged tie rods can become hard to steer.
As always, before buying a vehicle, in this case a G20 BMW 3 series, make sure that the car you are interested in has had all the potential recalls taken care of. Just call a dealership, tell them the VIN number of the vehicle and they will gladly check for you.
Frequently asked questions about the BMW G20
What is a BMW G20?
BMW “G20” is a factory codename for the 2019 BMW 3 Series.
Where is the BMW G20 2019 3-Series made?
The G20 3 series BMW is Made in Mexico for the North American and Australian market and in Germany for the European market.
Is BMW G20 3-Series reliable?
Despite what certain sites like Consumer Reports say, we would say that apart from the early 2019 models, the BMW G20 is proven to be very reliable. It has no major problems.
BMW G20 Common Problems – Conclusion and recommendation
The currently reported problems of the BMW G20 are generally a positive thing we can say. It is expected that a 3 year old model still has some early problems nicking away at its reputation. What we have seen when analyzing several forum threads is that most of the cars that have numerous problems are the early 2019 models. Later models, made in 2020 and 2021 have much less issues with electronics and connectivity. Electronics and connectivity is where the BMW G20 faces the most issues. While this can be annoying it is also much better than having serious engine problems which can cost much more to fix. The majority of electric and iDrive problems are getting resolved by BMW on a daily basis with new software upgrades constantly fixing bugs and issues. Cars are not what they used to be, nowadays software upgrades are a common thing and that is to be expected.
If you are looking at a BMW G20, we would by all means support you in your decision. It is an amazing car, a true driver’s toy and we expect you will absolutely love it.