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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 11-17-2012, 03:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Advice needed on 95 BMW 325i

I just spent 600 on my 95 325i coolant system and now the car has more issues.

Oil leak getting worse. Oil filter housing - quote was $625 for part and labor. I pulled off the air filter stuff so I can see and the oil filter housing is leaking around a plug on the rear of the housing. Can orings or whatever be bought for this? If so, where? Or do I have to buy the whole thing as the mechanic said replace it at $325 for the part. Also, besides the gasket next to the block is there anything else I should replace when I remove the oil filter housing?
I check and fill the oil regularly but it has been leaking a long time, think it damaged anything else around there?

I either need a alternator or a pulley as it just started making a noise. Have not removed the belt yet to check them out.
Can the alternator be rebuilt at a good alternator rebuild shop or not?

I need struts, quote was $650 from good mechanic.

I can get some free help to tackle some of this stuff. Advice please?
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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$600 is about normal with labour for a cooling system overhaul. If it had never been done before, then it needed it. The coolant system was made of mostly plastic which over time becomes brittle from the heat and cracks resulting in overheating.

The oil filter housing leaks because of the small gasket between the housing and the block. Replacing that usually fixes it. The gasket is less then $10 last time i looked. If you google "e36 oil filter housing" you will see the pictures of it, and the black gasket im refering too. However, if the housing itself is cracked, then yes you would have to replace it. Their is no real way to tell for sure until its removed and inspected.

Check the belt for odd wear. Look at it with the engine running. You want to make sure their is no wierd movement or vibrations in the pulley. You can remove the alternator and have it tested at most auto parts stores for free. What type of noise is it makeing? An alternator can be rebuilt. They sell rebuilt ones all the time as it is cheaper. The alernator in my truck is "rebuilt" and came with a one year warranty.

The original supplier of OEM struts was Sachs. If you want to stick with an OEM ride and quality then look for Sachs struts. They can be had for fairly cheap if you shop around. I normally see em for about $125 each.

Check out Bimmerspecialist.com for pricing on OEM parts.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like you have your hands full. On your oil filter housing leak, type in "Glorious oil leaks" in the search box and you will find a great write up on the O rings that are leaking, less than a dollar to replace. On the alternator noise you may want to look at the idler pulley next to the alternator as it often goes bad and it minicks an alternator bearing going bad. Good luck
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