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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 06-12-2004, 01:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Foremost, thanks to all that regularly post to this site. You've already answered many of my questions as saved me lots of time and money. I just got a real job and finally have the $$$ to throw some into my ride. I also have a 25 minute commute on winding country roads (sweet). I have several questions and I hope some of you fellas have the time to respond.

I have a 94 325is.

1) What is to be gained by flushing the coolant and brake fluid? I'm a real skeptic when it comes to mechanics and believe they try and change this stuff far too often. I plan on taking care of this, but I would like to know the consequences if I don't.

2) I've been told that my A/C and Alt belts are in need of replacement. Is this likely, and what happens if it blows (aside from losing functionality of that device)? Does my engine go with it? The only time I've seen a belt pop was on a 77 Buick. The result was loss of A/C - that's it.

3) Mech says I have a bad ball joint. What happens if I ignore this too? Note that I feel no difference in my ride.

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4) Is there a difference between ASC and ASC + T? I'd like a strut bar, but bavauto claims that ASC + T + strut bar = no good. Is there a huge difference in cornering when you get a strut bar? And can someone confirm that $20 ebay strut bar = crap?

5) Are bavauto performance chips good? I've heard that Conforti are the best, but bavauto chips are much cheaper. Either way I'll get at least a 10hp boost. Is 10 hp something that you will feel? I fill it with premium anyway, so I see no downside in getting a chip.

6) And, does my car ever need a fuel filter replacement? I've heard that some e36's have the filter inside the gas tank, and that it never needs changing.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 06-12-2004, 03:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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hey, I can only help you out on some of your qurys so I hope I get this right!
First of all we need to know how many k's your 325 have done? and when it was last flushed "Brakes" I mean? usually they like to change the brake fluid when the car has run about 50-60 kms don't know how many miles that is but anyway after that first change you really shouldn't have to change it again unless you are feeling spongy brakes or your car has done about 400.000 kms? as for the radiator I have never changed it not even once if it has good anti rust agent and the water level is good then there is no point but then again if your car has done a huge amont of kms and its possibly looking a bit dirty then its a good idea to change it!, as for the ball joint its hard to say weather they are worn or not try taking it to another mechanic and get him to check your ball joints, these you should usually change when you re-new your shocks but not always necessary!
a good tip with checking is when you go over a bump the suspension will usually squeek (worn ball joints).

thats pretty much all I can help you with, all of these changes are pretty cheap to do and might be more benifcial, to just change them? if you have any worries jus take it to another mechanic and see what he says!!!

happy motoring
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Old 06-12-2004, 03:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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brake fluid should be changed annually or bi-annualy to keep the brakes in top condition. Likewise for coolant. Like enegine oil, these fluids break down. When they do, the performance is not the same, and the result is a spongy brake pedal or an egine that has a hard time regulating its temp.

If the alternator belt goes, good luck charging the battery, and starting the car.

Strut bars need to be strong. Cheap ones will flex, defeating its purpose.

Your ride will be stiffer and handling won;t be precise. I beleive the ASC+T module would share space with the SB and therefore won't allow one to be installed. Otherwise I see no reason not to.

Bavauto chips are alright. If thats all you can afford, then you won't be disappointed. You'd be happier with a JC though.

Yes, the fuel filter will need changing. this is usually covered in an inspection II.
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Old 06-12-2004, 10:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for your guys' help.

I changed my fuel filter on my 88' 325i (with 200k mi) and it made a huge difference. Although, it was at the time that I installed Bosch 4+ plugs, so maybe it was those.

My car has 66k milles (100+ km) and I've had it for about 4 years, so I know these procedures have not been performed since. Although, it's been either in storage or driven less than 20 mi/wk until recently. Due to the age of the car (10years), I'd just like to get more into this myself or at least only do selective maintenance.

What is a good site to get a JC chip from? I was saying Bavauto because they've had great customer service over the years, but they only carry bavauto chips.
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Future ownership: 3-series of some sort

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Old 06-12-2004, 12:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the best way is to get it directly from tms.
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