Typical bodywork weaknesses in the BMW E30 series.

Especially with the E30, the topic of rust deserves special attention.

The typical weak points of the 3-series E30 are outlined in red on the cross-section drawing below. Please note that this applies to both sides of the vehicle!

These should always be checked carefully before making a purchase, since a repair always involves a great deal of effort and the associated costs can quickly double the purchase price.

As is the case with almost all 80s cars, the E30 can also suffer from the brown plague over the years.

Rust is primarily found on the front panel, on the antenna, on the side skirts, the rear wheel arches, the corners of the end panel and on the jacking point, in the NFL also often on the inside of the cargo area and around the rear tow hook.

In touring, the tailgate generally poses a high risk of rusting; in the case of versions with additional spoilers (ix, M package), particular attention should be paid to hidden rust under the attachments.


Well-maintained specimens that have always been protected from moisture defy these threats in the long term and, thanks to solid technology, can delight and reliably accompany their owners for many years to come. It is also always advisable to inspect these bodywork areas as part of maintenance intervals, especially if the vehicle is in very good condition, and to reseal them every 5 to 8 years with appropriate cavity seals. The doors, bonnet and tailgate should also be treated accordingly, so you can be sure that you will have fun with your E30 for a long time and that the value will be retained.