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.
There is no sure way to tell if its worn. If you just got your hands on the car I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY suggest that you get it replaced so you have peace of mind that it is new. They normally last for a long while (70,000-85,000 miles) on a well cared engine.
How do I spell relief?!?!?! NO MORE DAMN SNOW!!!!!!
and it seems clear you have no experience with this. You cannot examine the
timing belt for wear without taking so many other parts off to get to the timing belt that .....this sounds like something you shouldn't try by yourself..
this is it...the timing belt is like $10 OK? The labor to get to it is like $300...so, from a logical stanpoint the answer, 'You Don't Check a Timing Belt, You Just Replace It'. Good Luck my friend
on my 1988 325iC...once you're in there there are other issues you'll find I'm sure....I would consider a timing belt change to be akin to minor surgery on a human. You might be surprised to hear/see what has to be done to get to the timing belt ....it is not a casual affair....
I've always thought the e30 timing belt should be replaced every 40-50k miles.
In any case, while your up there replacing the timing belt you should also replace the tensioner pulley ($30) and water pump ($50). It might cost you a few bucks more now but it will save you having to pull everything out again when the water pump dies...as silver sled mentioned, it's quite a bit of work to get to the timing belt.
I also replaced the drive belts while I was there too.
I've never replaced a starter on an e30. But like silversled said, it should be around $300 in labor. So at a normal shop rate of $80/hour that's almost 4 hours for a pro to do it...it took me a whole day to do mine and I have never done it before.
You can do it, but just give yourself plenty of time and make sure you have all the tools you need.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.