The 3rd generation BMW 6 series is just and simply a great looking car. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the coupe, the convertible or the gran coupe version.

Currently you can buy these cars for less than 25 000 € / $27 100, so even if you are making the same amount of money as one regular guy, with this car you can look like a more wealthier person who is making at least the same amount of money as 4 regular guys in total.


The interior looks that good and that expensive as the exterior, I mean just look at it!

Awesome isn’t it?

And not only that, it also has numerous luxury features as standard so you can’t really find a poorly equipped car + the standard user friendly iDrive system does have nice (still up-to date) graphics and it’s fast as well. Next, there are basically no issues with the build quality or materials quality either (except the slight movement and occasional sounds of the front seats).

On the other side, some owners complained that wearing the front seatbelt for longer time is not very comfortable – The front seatbelts are attached right to the seat-very close to the the head rest, so the seatbelt is very close to your neck. And to top of that you can’t adjust the seatbelt height which can cause bigger or smaller struggles. All in all, if you are testing the car just look for this if it won’t bother you.

This BMW was available with:

-the standard seats

-the optional sport seats

-or with the also optional comfort seats (on the picture below)

All of the seat variations are electrically adjustable and they are also mostly comfortable enough, although obviously-the optional comfort seats are the most comfortable. But in comparison, the BMW 7 series F01 from that time does have more comfortable seats than this 6 series.

“Obviously, you can’t expect adequate leg room or head room in the back of the regular coupé or convertible versions. However, the gran coupé does have some usable rear seat space although with a strictly limited head room.”

Possible problems

Despite the fact that this is still a young car there are some things you should pay attention to.

-First of all, there are numerous cases of slightly moving front seat frames while cornering (in this case you can basically feel a slight movement of the seat base while cornering). Some of the owners even got a new seat frame under warranty because of this slight movement. But apparently, you should be able to fix this by applying some teflon based grease into the white plastic brackets under the seat. If this won’t help then the plastic piece is worn out a lot. To top of that, some owners also complained about various occasional rattling or creaking sounds from the front seats mainly if the car was used on bad quality roads.

Problems with closing the electronic windows are also not uncommon, so check all of them before buying and since this car has frameless door windows, make sure that the window automatically lowers a bit when you open the door and closes back when you close the door.

Check the parking cameras as well if the car is equipped with them, since there are cases when either the camera itself or the camera harness was faulty.

-Obviously make sure that the car has the latest software updates and the battery has to be in a good condition to minimize the electronic glitches!

As usual check for water leaks in the interior and occasionally check or try to clean the area under the bonnet hinges which can accumulate dirt or leaves over time.

And if you are buying a car with right hand drive then it’s really important to check and modify a plastic cover on the firewall. Because cars with right hand drive have a yellow insert on the left side of the firewall. It would be all great and awesome if BMW would not cover this area with a badly designed plastic cover, since over time dirt and dried out leaves will accumulate in this area clogging it up, causing the water from the windshield filling up this area and it will slowly leak thru the yellow insert right into the interior. The plastic cover is located behind the engine-it is held by 4 screws and it’s not extremely hard to remove it. (but it’s also not easy and if you have a V8 engine then there won’t be room to remove it from the engine bay so in this case you can try to remove it from underneath the car) All in all-you should drill holes into this cover or slightly modify it to get a better water flow and get rid of this issue. By the way, not only the 6 series has this design flaw, but also the 5 series and the 7 series from that time. (you can see the pictures and the exact location of the yellow insert in the video at 2:50)


This BMW was available with either the regular coilover suspension or with the optional electronically adjustable suspension with electronically adjustable coilover shock absorbers. + Some cars are also equipped with the active anti-roll bars which minimize the body roll in corners.

As usual:

-check the suspension for strange knocking, creaking, rattling and humming sounds

-check visually the control arm bushings for wear

-and check the shocks for oil leaks

If you are buying a car which is equipped with the active anti-roll bars, then it’s good to check them for leaks, and check the visible hoses from them for leaks as well – since these sway bars work with hydraulic fluid. Generally speaking they should be still in a good condition since the car is still not very old, But if you are buying a higher mileage car or a car which was used on winter salty roads then it’s good to pay bigger attention to these parts, and keep extra money for the hoses and eventually for the more expensive sway bars too.

Keep in mind that the standard run flat tires combined with the 20″ wheels is a bad and uncomfortable combination on bad roads! So if you want a more comfortable ride and if you want to avoid unnecessary expenses (-bent wheels, ruined tires, quicker worn wheel bearings, control arm bushings) then you should replace the runflat tires with the standard tires ASAP + you should use smaller wheel size. But if you have awesome roads without potholes then you can put whatever wheels and tires on your car.

Petrol engines

The most reliable petrol engine is the turbocharged straight 6 cylinder. Of course it doesn’t have the sound of the V8 and it doesn’t have the power of the V8 but it is generally speaking a lot more reliable than the V8. On the other side, it can have issues mainly with the injectors or occasionally with the high pressure fuel pump, but still, could be worse.


Then there is the infamous twin-turbo 4.4 l V8 which has a big amount of power and much better sound then the 6 cylinder, there is no doubt about that. But you should definitely avoid this engine in cars made to 2012, since it can have numerous issues related to turbochargers, oil or coolant leaks, misfires, heavy oil consumption and complete engine failures are not uncommon either sometimes even after 50 000 km / 31 000 mi ! (lots of these engines were replaced under warranty)

On the other side BMW updated this engine in cars made from 2013, which means that it is more reliable from this year. But don’t expect bulletproof reliability even from the updated version, since it’s still almost the same overcomplicated engine which will have various (not cheap) issues, but mostly only in higher mileage cars. In other words, this modified V8 from 2013 can withstand 200 000 km / 124 000 mi with the proper maintenance, but I would not recommend buying this engine after this mileage point, because after this the chance of failures and expensive repair bills noticeably increases.

You should keep in mind that these are very complex engines indeed and sometimes they consume smaller or bigger amount of oil, so it’s really important to maintain the correct oil level all the time. All in all, check the oil level regularly, and also change it after 8 000 km – with this oil change interval you can minimize some of the issues. Obviously, the high pressure fuel pumps or the injectors can fail in this V8 as well – causing misfires.

“Use only the best possible oil and fuel in these engines!”


The engine in the M6 version is that reliable as the modified V8 from 2013, but since it’s a high performance car, some owners simply abused it-and in that case it can have bigger oil consumption or other issues.

By the way, sometimes you won’t get the regular low oil level warning even if the oil level is lower than it should be. Because of this you have to check the oil level through the iDrive regularly!

Diesel engines

The straight 6 cylinder diesel engine with two turbochargers is awesome. It is powerful enough while being very economical. So it is great, but only when it is working properly… Obviously if it was abused, used regularly only on short distances or it has more than 200 000 km then you can expect all the issues of the World. But even if you will use the car mainly on longer journeys, change the oil after MAX 10 000 km, and use high quality oil + fuel, even then when doing all this, the possibility of the more or less expensive problems is not gonna disappear.


First of all there is the EGR system. The EGR valve itself can fail/or get stuck causing uneven idle, engine stalling, increased fuel consumption, loss of power/limp mode, slight jerking during acceleration and EGR related fault codes. But this is not the big problem.

The bigger problem is the EGR cooler which can leak coolant internally. In this case the coolant will mix with the carbon deposits and this mixed stuff can catch fire !! The only good thing is, that there was and maybe even still is a recall related to this EGR cooler – so in many cases the dealer already replaced the EGR cooler assembly. And maybe they will replace it for free even today. The bad thing is, that the dealer is not gonna replace the EGR cooler for free forever and there is a possibility that even the new cooler starts to leak. This is why many owners decided to deactivate the EGR system – if this is a good or bad idea that’s a topic for another discussion.

All in all, make sure that the EGR cooler was replaced under this recall. If not, then:

  • ask the dealer about this ASAP
  • check the inside of the EGR cooler with an endoscopic camera for coolant leaks
  • monitor the coolant level (if it drops without external leaks then the cooler can already leak
  • clean the EGR, EGR cooler and intake manifold from carbon deposits every 100 000 km

Check also for strange vibrations from the engine at idle since there were cases of prematurely worn engine mounts.

Bosch CP4 HPFP

Then there is the infamous CP4 high pressure fuel pump which can fail. If it fails it will throw small metal particles in the whole fuel system including the fuel tank and injectors. In this case the injectors will immediately fail – so besides the HPFP you have to replace those as well + the whole fuel system has to be cleaned too. Fixing this costs around $12 000 at the dealer, but there should be an extended warranty for the fuel system in the US until 75 000 mi. And if this failure happens outside of this warranty then there is a high chance that BMW will pay half of the repair cost – $6 000, but again in the US only. An independent mechanic will be able to fix this for a lower price – under $4 000 – 5 000.

All in all, the HPFP can fail in some rare cases even before 62 000 mi / 100 000 km but also later, after 75 000 mi or 124 000 mi / 120 000 – 200 000 km. In the Western EU countries on the other hand the failure it not common, so with good quality fuel the HPFP can easily withstand even more than 186 000 mi / 300 000 km.

More information about this issue in the used BMW X5 F15 article.

What about cars with this diesel engine with more than 200 000 – 250 000 km?

If you are buying this BMW with a diesel engine which has more than 200 000 – 250 000 km, then it’s also better to be ready for:

  • worn turbochargers
  • faulty injectors
  • oil & coolant leaks
  • worn rod bearings or worn main crankshaft bearings (mostly at or after 300 000 km, but sometimes even earlier). The first early sign of worn bearings are gonna be metallic chips in the oil filter, later they will spun causing a knocking noise from the engine, and even later you will end up with a destroyed engine

So don’t buy a diesel engine with more than 200 000 – 250 000 km unless you have enough money to replace/repair the whole engine, eventually replace the rod+main bearings preventively !

Timing chain

All of the engines are equipped with timing chain. After 200 000 km / 124 000 mi you should be prepared to replace it (and its actually good to preventively replace it), but with the proper oil change interval it can withstand more mainly in the 6 cylinder engines.


This BMW is equipped with just the 8 speed automatic gearbox, and the M6 version had either the common 7 speed dual-clutch transmission or the not that common 6 speed manual.

There are no extraordinary issues with these transmissions, at least in not high mileage cars, so just check them properly before buying and change the oil in them!

xDrive 4WD

In cars equipped with the xDrive 4 wheel drive system you should check for all those strange howling or whining sounds and also for shuddering at acceleration which can indicate issues with the transfer case – since there are many cases of failed transfer cases mostly after approximately 100 000 km / 62 000 mi.

The abused M6 version can have issues with the worn rear differential but that’s nothing unusual.

It’s also good to check for strange vibrations from 100 km/h – 62 mph at constant speed or during acceleration. Some say it’s because of the unbalanced wheels, some say it’s the gearbox, or the brake discs and pads, and some unlucky owners just sold the car because of this annoying possible problem.

The last thing you should check is a strange occasional tapping / knocking noise or feel in the steering wheel when coming to a stop or moving slowly – this is not normal, and owners who experienced this got a new steering rack under warranty!

To summarize things up:

  • if you want the most reliable version and you want to keep the car for a longer time then choose the 640i 6 cylinder petrol model
  • avoid cars with performance upgrades
  • buy only a car with a proper maintenance history
  • definitely keep extra money for the additional repairs if you are buying a car outside of warranty!

As usual, if you have personal experience with this car or more information about it, then you can write it into comments!



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