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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 06-15-2004, 04:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi Forum,

I am thinking of buying a 1998 318 and wanted to know if this is a good idea. What can I expect in terms of things breaking down, and general maintenance costs to keep it going over the next 5 years?

Lots of info I read says stay the hell away from BMW once the warranty is over.

What will things like oil, brakes and general service run me? What do I need to put aside / month or year to keep it going?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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hello and welcome,

all cars go to hell when the car doesnt recieve proper maintainace. all i can say is these cars run amazing with the proper scheduled maintainace, you will probably have a few wear products break down around the 10 year mark but other than that, the engine should be strong and the bodies are bulletproof if taken care of.
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Old 06-15-2004, 09:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd say you've heard wrong. Like Furious says, take care of your car, it will take care of you. Especially a 98, that should last for awhile from the start. You'll get greta gas mileage, use 91 octane or better. It seems to be common practice to use Mobil 1 synthetic oil in Bimmers. Change that every 4-6k miles. It is made to last a little longer, so the little extra on the price is worth it and the protection is great.

Mechanically speaking, you shouldn't have to worry about much breaking in the way of extreme wear and tear within the nxt 5 years. Maybe check the brakes and tires cause those are some of the most worn parts of your car. How many miles does this 318 have now?

You hear the rumors and actually see Hondas running for years and years and years. Well, BMWs can do it every bit as long and more than likely longer, so long as you take care of your car. Welcome to the wonderful world of BMWs!
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Old 06-15-2004, 10:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree...BMw cars will not break down on you unless you neglect them. I have a 94 318i, no problems with the body..engine...suspension. My engine had 253xxx km on it (I did a engine swap now) but it was still going strong. I changed because I need more power!
If your looking for power, then go for a 325..if your looking for something that will be your everyday driver and take a little abuse, go with the 318. I have had my car for 3 yrs now and before I did the swap, the only thing that I went on me was the alternator. Overall, a great car!
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You will definately be satisfied with that 318, of course as everyone says if it's in good condition in the engine, suspension, exhaust ect... make sure you get the maintenance records for it to see what's been replaced, in the next couple of years or more the only things you'll probably need to replace are maybe a couple of belts (like the A/C belt), tires, brakes and whatnot. My '96 shifts much better than a 2001 Nissan Altima I drove the other day... my clutch is original, all the major parts are original on my car, and it still drives as new. In the next 3 or 4 years on my car I'll probably have the fuel pump and a few suspension related components replaced but that's it.

For me, brakes and pads are about $250 (for 2 rotors and 2 pads), oil changes are basic pretty much like every other car, except my mechanice changes the oil filter everytimg I change my oil. The 1.9L engine takes less oil than the other 6 cyls and is easier to keep up and maintained. Some things will probably be cheaper to replace compared to like a 325 or 328 motor. My car has 103,000 miles on it. All in all, great car for the price.
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, looks like its pretty standard then! And nice 96 man, looks sharp.
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