concerns about my 97' 318i - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 02:43 PM
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Hey guys,
I'm a newbie at this forum, and i just purchased a 97' 318i, 5 speed, white w/ tan leather, and it has 117000 miles. So i just hope i can learn more from my Bimmer and also from you guys.

I got three questions, (since i bought the car without a owner's manual):

1) what type of oil should i use (in syntetic and base petrolium form)

2) does my car has a timing belt or chain and how often should i replace it.

3) the A/C doen't blow air from the front and defroster, but air only comes from the bottom. I can hear the fan working ok as well as increasing or decreasing the flow of air. (and yes i try pressing all the buttons). Has someone experienced this and if so is there a simple way to fix it without taking it to the dealer?

Thanks and hope to learn more.

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#2 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by fushuman@May 11 2004, 03:23 PM
Hey guys,
I'm a newbie at this forum, and i just purchased a 97' 318i, 5 speed, white w/ tan leather, and it has 117000 miles. So i just hope i can learn more from my Bimmer and also from you guys.

I got three questions, (since i bought the car without a owner's manual):

1) what type of oil should i use (in syntetic and base petrolium form)

2) does my car has a timing belt or chain and how often should i replace it.

3) the A/C doen't blow air from the front and defroster, but air only comes from the bottom. I can hear the fan working ok as well as increasing or decreasing the flow of air. (and yes i try pressing all the buttons). Has someone experienced this and if so is there a simple way to fix it without taking it to the dealer?

Thanks and hope to learn more.
to the forum, bro...

as for your oil,,,, bmw tells us that using high performance synthetic oil can extend the oil use to up to 15k miles. (of course, for the love of their car, a lot in this forum dont wait for the oil change light to come on before they do. some of us do it 2x more often than bmw thinks necessary)
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 02:58 PM
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by experience,,, invariably, using mineral oil normally lasts 7-9k miles before the change oil light would come on..
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 03:33 PM
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The most reccomended oil is Mobil 1 sythetic. I use Casttol Syntec blend. Up to you to pay the difference.

Chain.

With the digital climate control, I would have to say take it to the dealer.

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 04:16 PM
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1) Synthetic oil, e.g. 5W-40. This is needed for hydraulic valves, but also depends on in what climate you are living!

2)See above (El Pres)

3)Also

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#6 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 05:09 PM
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You can find a service manual on paper or CD here<-----

Or an owner's manual here<----

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#7 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 05:23 PM
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If you're doing normal driving and plan to change your oil every 3 -4k miles then go with a non synthetic oil. If you want to be lazy and not change the oil as often say every 9 or 10k miles then go with a synthetic. Or if you're going to be driving hard at track days and such I'd recomend using a synthetic and changing every 3 or 4k.

Castrol GTX is a good non synthetic oil. Mobil 1 and Castrol Syntec are two VERY good fully synthetic oils.

The choice is yours in the end, you may want to consider how deep your pockets are as a factor too. I say this because my Mobil 1 15w 50 costs me like 4 or 5 bucks a quart

Kevin

P.S. Man I feel like a nob but, the '92 325i has a timing chain that "never" needs to be replaced, correct?

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#8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 06:43 PM
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I use Castrol GTX for oil in any car I drive. My mechanic swears by it and thats enough for me. As far as the timing chain, I don't think you ever have to replace it nor would you ever want to. But your other belts you want to stay ontop of. I just replaced mine at 148k miles. I think the new ones are the second set of belts that the car has had. I'll have to check the maintiance records I got with the car....

correction: second set of new belts.
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 08:18 PM
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There are no timing belts on a BMW. BMW=quality, not honda.

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#10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 10:43 PM
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like all metal, the chain will eventually suffer metal fatigue and fail. The likelihood of that happening before something else goes is very low, however.

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#11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 11:57 AM
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Thanks guys for your help.
But if i use non-synthetic oil, what type of viscosity should i use? 5w-30? 5w-50?
I'll be using Castrol GTX on my 318.

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#12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 02:07 PM
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I've seen a lot about 5w-30 or 5w-40 oil being used in BMWs. I looked in my manual and it suggested 10w-30 so thats what I've been using in my 318i. Won't cause a problem will it? It gets warm here in Jersey in the summer and cold as hell in the winter. I also drive somewhat hard...any insight? Thanks guys...

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#13 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 03:36 PM
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Viscosity is a measure of thickness. In the winter, use 30-40. In the summer 40-50. When it's cold it will get thicker and the thinner oil will compensate. In the winter it will get thinner and the thicker oil will compensate.

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#14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 04:27 PM
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Do you guys use syntetic or non-syntetic? Should i worry about that, since my 318 is over 100,000 miles?

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#15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 07:22 PM
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I use synthetic. It is made to last, so if you take your sweet ass time between changes, it is your best bet. Better yet, if you have the cash flow, use synthetic and change it as you would standard. That is how I've planned my car care.

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