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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 10-15-2009, 12:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question How many miles are okay for m3?

I am looking for a e36 m3 1996 to 1999. and i see some that are 7000 to 12000.

the ones for around 7 to 9 are in good shape but have around 120,000miles to 140,000miles. is that okay?

7 to 9 is right in my price range.

I would only buy a M3 that has good maint. and nice intr and body. cause it shows they halfway took care of it.

so i just want to know if it is safe to buy a M3 that has higher miles with a good maint history with ALL records?

or.... walk away from my dreams of owning a M3 in high school. hahaha!!!
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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With good maint that mileage is not too high. You need to remember though that good maint on a toyota with that mileage is not the same what a M3 should have. Besides regular oil/fluid changes etc, you should see some engine work by that point. Even if the car has been babied it should see some things already done on the engine around 100k miles. Also look for Inspection I and II's done by competent knowledgeable BMW mechanics. If you can speak with the mechanic that is even better. You will find that people that own M3s and have taken care of them will love to talk to you about these things and will be happy for you to talk to THE mechanic that has been doing these things.

I recieved full maint history with receipts with my M3 and I added the ones my mechanic did to that. I spoke with the mechanic who had been working on the car for 5 years who had a great reputation, he was able to tell me what his planned maint was for the car and confirmed that the owner had babied the car.

An abused M3 with any mileage on it can get to be an issue. A well maintained M3 is just like any other car. It may take a bit more to maintain it, but it will last and last.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much. This really helps. Is there a mileage that I should watch out for? Mostly engine. Like what should be repaired?
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No Major engine work should have been done and any issues with the Vanos might be a deal breaker. Also, keep in mind at that mileage the suspension and clutch might be about ready for replacement, particularly if you are in high school. I was tough on clutches and shocks in particular in high school so its not a slight to say that. I'd hate to tie myself to specifics on the engines. The head gasket should have been replaced by then and possibly had the head machined while it was off. The head gasket if not already replaced will run you a pretty penny to do. It is doable on your own, but you do run the risk of destroying your cam if not properly reinstalled.
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