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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 09-02-2004, 10:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello, I am considering buying an 87 325is but it has some problems. I know nothing about BMW's specifically as I am a VW guy, though i hear they are similar. In any case, It has very low mileage (170,000 kms) and it seems well maintained which leads me to believe it shouldnt have any major problems yet.

The car runs VERY smooth and quiet but has absolutely no power; comparable to an old VW rabbit if that helps. I have never driven a working one to compare though. Also, there is a slight vibration coming from what sounds like the rear of the car (differential?) at low RPM in all gears. This makes me think that the problem is associated with the clutch but the "check" light is on as well. Maybe there are several problems.

I notice there are many warning lights and whatnot in this car but the only one that is on is the check light which I assume is check engine. What does this check light mean? check what?

I have tried searching these and other forums already with no luck. I know the Bentley manual is my greatest asset but I am reluctant to buy one without owning a BMW yet as they are quite expensive.

Any help is appreciated
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Old 09-03-2004, 02:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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does the car have a "check panel"? its located above the rear vision mirror. if it does, the check light on the dash usually means to check your check panel.
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Old 09-03-2004, 06:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Slow? i think you are confusing a perfectly balanced motor and gearing with slow...The 325iS has an awesome power band fairly even all the way through thus the 160hp and 160lb ft torque...im a VeeDub man too but i say take that 325iS agains a Rabbit LOL there will be no race....unless that iS Needs some MAJOR Work...i say take it to a shop have em thow it on a Dyno and go from there...check compression etc...before buying...you will find almost anyone who is a BMW owner will be more than glad to let you take it to a shop...if not chances are you dont want to buy it cause they may be hidding something...but like i said they run soo smooth and soo steadily powerful they FEEL slow...race someone and you will see i am right unless like i said before that car needs some major work...
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Old 09-03-2004, 06:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Usually the Check light means it just need to be reset...disconnect the battery for like 15-20 second and reconnect...start the car and drive it around for a while and see what sensors are triggered...check the panel above the rear view mirror..from my experiance if the motor sounds smooth and quiet...its probably running good...these are die hard engines that run forever...but the check engine light is just timed...it just needs to be reset..just worry about the lights on the mirror...
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Old 09-03-2004, 02:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ah okay, it says my washer fluid is low LOL! never thought a car would tell me that before. Thanks for the info, im going to check compression this weekend. No ideas regarding the vibration at low rpm?
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Old 09-03-2004, 07:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Galthor@Sep 3 2004, 03:38 PM
No ideas regarding the vibration at low rpm?
used:
Do you mean idle in park?
Do you mean idle in gear?
Driving at low RPM?
Please define low RPM = what?
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Old 09-03-2004, 07:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Do you mean idle in park?
Do you mean idle in gear?
dude, if its a manual, it wont matter if its in idle in gear, lol.
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Old 09-04-2004, 12:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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ghead You would be shocked at some of the issues I diagnose every day.
Roughly 14 years ago; I had a stick shift come in, complaint was low engine RPM, final diagnosis = pilot bearing seized to shaft and bad input shaft bearings.
The owner never noticed the sound, deaf to that sound range..
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Old 09-04-2004, 02:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ah yes I suppose a little more info could be helpful. It vibrates only when in gear (it is manual) from around 1500 RPM to 2500 RPM. It happens in all gears as well. The vibration is very slight and can barely be felt.

Also, it is genuinely slow as I had a hard time merging into traffic even with the pedal floored. It still feels as if it is running as it should though I thought it would be much faster. It does have the 2.5l I6 in case you are wondering.
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Old 09-04-2004, 04:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Your intake boot is torn in half. Mine was when I bought it. $15 to replace. You could own one of the best poss. E30's. Go for it.
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Old 09-04-2004, 10:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Haha! well I'll definetly have to check on that, vacuum leaks etc. That could definetly explain the slow part.
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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ya i would check all the vacuum lines...listen for hissing...you fix that and the power will skyrocket....but i say def look over it with a fine toothed comb...
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Will do, thanks everyone for your much appreciated help.
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