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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 05-29-2008, 11:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Convince/Discourage me in getting an e36

So I know there's probably been countless topics just like this one, but i'm not sure if everyone has the same questions as me, so I figured i'd post anyways.

This summer, hopefully in the begining, i'll be getting a new-used car. I've always been a big fan of BWM's, and the e36 (from around 1998) seems to be in my price range. BTW, i'll most likely be driving automatic, if this makes a difference at all. I'm going to a community college next year, which means i'll be driving a lot, and I think an upgrade from my '85 civic would be nice. Haha

I have a few questions and concerns though, that I hope someone on here could answer.

First off, everyone I talk to says maintenance on these is really expensive. I believe it, but I mean, if the car was well taken care of, and not beat up, should this still be a major determining factor?

Second, what's the difference between the 323, 325, 328, etc? I've heard that I should get atleast the 325, but I was never sure why.

Third, what amount of miles should I stay away from? I know the 8-12k miles for each year rule, but is this still applied to buying a used BMW?

As you can tell, i'm not knowledgeable about cars at all, but i'm really interested in purchasing one in the near future. So, any information convincing me, or even discouraging me in getting one is much appreciated. Thanks
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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just buy my car and call it a day

Maintenance isnt cheap but if you keep the car in shape you can keep it for a very long time.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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323 2.5l made from 1998-1999 obd2 version of the 325

325 2.5l brought to the us in i believe 1992

328 2.8l 0bd2 first year was 1996 i believe

maintenance is going to be expensive, if it's over 100k miles or right at it you will soon be need to do some suspension and engine cooling overhaul, the cooling system is the weakest point on these cars, if it has been maintained properly you should have no problem no matter what the mileage but as always go for the least miles you can afford, they're great cars, very reliable but there's not getting around the fact that maintenance can be expensive, but if you keep up with it there's no reason the car shouldn't last for a LONG time

good luck

btw if you want more detailed explanations of the various models let me know, i just kind of summed it up
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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imho if you are NOT going to do most of the maintenance, be aware of parts and LABOR on these awesome machines... I can't still find an answer to my hesitation problem....... good luck.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When you say expensive, how much are we talking? Like for the suspension and engine cooling. I'd plan on taking very well care of it, if my pockets will allow it

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Originally Posted by SHAHAB323IS View Post
323 2.5l made from 1998-1999 obd2 version of the 325

325 2.5l brought to the us in i believe 1992

328 2.8l 0bd2 first year was 1996 i believe

maintenance is going to be expensive, if it's over 100k miles or right at it you will soon be need to do some suspension and engine cooling overhaul, the cooling system is the weakest point on these cars, if it has been maintained properly you should have no problem no matter what the mileage but as always go for the least miles you can afford, they're great cars, very reliable but there's not getting around the fact that maintenance can be expensive, but if you keep up with it there's no reason the car shouldn't last for a LONG time

good luck

btw if you want more detailed explanations of the various models let me know, i just kind of summed it up
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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go to sites like www.pelicanparts.com or BMW Parts and BMW Accessories | Bavarian Autosport and look at prices of various wear items like shocks, belts, clutches, etc. I have done a bunch of work myself on my car and its still expensive. My best advice would be to find a few in your price range and find someone who knows bmws, and let them help you look for issues. check records to see if shocks, brakes, and cooling system components have been replaced. If its leaking or burning oil anywhere dont touch it! look for one with the sport package- seats are better. Good Luck!
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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p.s. E36s suck.
Those were the first BMWs that took advantage of cheaper materials on the inside of the car. It shows. Headliners, door panels, stuff like that wears out and pisses you off. IMHO, I don't think that they're THAT expensive to keep up, if you do the work yourself. If you take it to a shop, take your own lube, k? (oh, and a heavy wallet)
Otherwise, they handle pretty good, have a pretty decent aftermarket selection, and respond to mods well.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Awesome car. Best car I have ever owned. I am only selling mine because I need to:
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