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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 09-04-2004, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I am looking at a 1995 318is manual (deff want a manual) with 129,000 miles on it. The price is $4,200 from a dealer/private... This is my first BMW. I want the 4cyl for the better gas millage..but the 6cly for the power.. I test drove the car and absolutely love it. The only things that are wrong with it is the back right panel over the tire has a small dent..thats getting rust because the paint is chiped off, and the engine makes a tapping noise(think is a vaulve cap). The leather is seriously the best I have seen!! It is perfect...sooooo clean. Other then some light scrathches on the hood and a BMW center cap missing on one of the rims...its fine...but of course the millage. Thats my only concern..for the money I can fix or deal with the dent for now...I really wanted to get something with uner 75,000 miles..but have a tight budget too. I am selling my car with 147,000 miles on it and really wanted to get away from the high millage cars..but want to get into a BMW sooo bad. What do you guys think? My dad is a professional 5-star mechanic for chrysler...how hard are these to work on...if you have the books and all? How expensive are the parts? How are the maintence fees...what kind of things are comming up with this kind of millage? I'm just real scared of the millage and maint. fees...so if anyone has honest anwswers..not necessarily what I want to hear...but honest... Thanks alot!!
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Old 09-04-2004, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hmmm, i would go ask your 5 star mechanic dad first.
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Old 09-04-2004, 03:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was just saying that he has a lot of experience with cars...but how different are BMW's? are they a lot harder if at all to work on and how are the costs of parts? What are somethings that you can't avoid going to a dealer about?
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Old 09-04-2004, 07:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If your dad know his way around a car, this won't be a whole lot different. Get one of the books or CD sets and he'll have all he needs. If you get the CD set it will give him all of the information for your BMW as it does when he gets a car up on the rack at work. The only thing you would need the dealership for would be to pull up obscure computer codes. But besides that if he know which end is which on a ratchet you are set. He might not ever want to touch a chrysler again though.
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Old 09-06-2004, 09:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I heard that manual cars are a little more $$$ to maintain than automatic. I just got a 1995 318i automatic w/ 130,000 miles. The car had one owner (an old woman) and was kept in perfect physical interior/ exterior condition. When I took it to BMW for full servicing I got billed for about 3000$ worth of stuff (air mass meter480$, seat belt/air bag switch 300$, Break pads $500, estimate +maintanence fees $580, etc...).

I took my car to my friend too replce the armrrest and it took him almost all day and he kept saying BMWs are the most over engineered cars he's work with. That is why they are more money to maintain.
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Old 09-06-2004, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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they are over engineered, but not that costly when doing your own labor.
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Old 09-06-2004, 04:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Has anyone ever done the valve caps? How much is it in parts for a 4 cylinder?
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