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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 08-15-2004, 10:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Alright, now that the topic fits, let's try this again.

Earlier tonight, I went out and ended up driving by this somewhat abandoned parking lot. As I was going by, I noticed 3 cars: an older Honda Accord, a 93' 318i and a 99' Grand Prix. I figured that there was nothing to lose and no one to bother me, so I pulled my truck over to take a closer look.

This is all that I could gather from just looking at the paper in the window and the actual car:

- Year: 1993
- Model: 3.18i
- Transmission: Manual
- Mileage: 111,000
- Windows: Tinted
- Colors: Red exterior, cream interior (was kind of dark, so this may be inaccurate)
- Features: 5-Speed, Sunroof, keyless entry, security system, aftermarket head unit (single disk CD player), 17" BMW Sport rims, tires w/ ~80% tread left
- Defects: Skirt had the usual wear on it, a small chip on the hood and some other various chips around the car
- VIN: No clue what it is or where it is on the 318's

There was no price (go figure), but the owner left a phone number and mentioned that he/she spoke Spanish.

My worries on the 318: The fact that the car was sitting there in a parking lot near some discount stores kind of bothers me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, there's a local dealership (Harrisonburg, VA) that's offering a 3.18Ti. Here's the information on that:

- Year: 1996
- Model: 3.18Ti
- Transmission: Auto
- Colors: Green exterior, black interior (cloth)
- Mileage: 99,300
- Stereo: AM/FM/Cassette
- Other features: PS, PB, P-Windows, P-Locks, Tilt, R/W Defr, Int Wipers., BMW alloy wheels, moonroof
- Exterior: Nearly flawless
- Interior: Nearly flawless
- Price: $8,450 (Negotiable)
- Link to the car: 96' 3.18Ti
- VIN: Will get tomorrow depending on the responses I get
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, there's a 5.25i (I know, wrong forum) up in Fairfax, VA that I found the other day. Here's the run down on that:

- Year: 1992
- Model: 5.25i
- Mileage: 113,078
- Colors: Gold exterior, cream interior
- Transmission: Manual
- Features: Power Sunroof Air Conditioning Cruise Control Power Steering Power Brakes Power Door Locks Power Windows Cassette Player Radial Tires Alloy Wheels Gauge Cluster Clock Trip Odometer Tachometer Rear Defroster Driver Side Air Bag Carpeting Day/Night Lever Front Bucket Seats Reclining Seats Body Side Moldings Center Arm Rest Leather Upholstery Anti-lock Braking System AM/FM Stereo Radio Power Outside Mirrors Heated Seat(s) Leather Wrap Steering Wheel
- Price: $7,995
- Link to the car: 92` 5.25i
- VIN: WBAHD5315NBF96727

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

What I'd really like to know is what to offer for any of these cars and whether or not to even bother with them. $8450 is just ridiculous for the Ti and I'm afraid if I offer him $6500 or so, he's just going to laugh.

As for the 3.18, is it worth my while to check it out at least? Maybe make a reasonable offer of ~$4,000+ if it runs good?

Finally, about the 5.25i... what would you offer for something in such great shape?

Any help is appreciated. Also, again, if anyone knows of a 3/5 series between 92' and 96' somewhere around Virginia (MD, SC, NC, PA, NY, NJ, DE, etc.) for around $6000, let me know. Thanks again.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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318i: The 318 isn't a bad car at all. Give the guy a call and see if you can take it out for drive and see how you like it. Make him an offer for it, and go from there. I am sure someone on here can help you out with what the value on the car is now, I just don't know it off the top of my head. VIN # should be on the bottom right of the windshield. Check everything out, especially the engine.

318ti: Sounds like it is in good condtion, and looks good in the picture. I almost bought a 97 318i for that price, but it had less miles. Negociate with him and see what he thinks. If he laughs about your offer, who cares. He is the one who will have the problem selling the car.

92 525i: I dont know much about 5-series except that they are faster than my 328. Anyway, I had friend who just purchased one just like that, and its really nice. I dont really like that body style either, but its your car, not mine.

Get on Autotrader.com man and look around, thats how I found my 328. Bought it up in Northern VA. There are a lot of bimmers on there.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Im going to tell you to pass on the 318ti if you care for speed at all. the 1.8 auto is great for fuel economy. 0-60 is in the 9-10 second range.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When I bought my 92 325i I took it to a bmw specialist and had it checked out. It cost me $75. The guy was asking $5900. When I brought him the list of things they found wrong with the car (mostly minor stuff) I offered him $4100. We went back and forth a few times, but I finally got the car for $4250. Even with the work I've done I'm close to the resale value.

Point of the story- It was worth the $75 bucks. 1 I new what the car needed, and 2 I could show why my offer was about what he would probably get for the car.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Alright, I'll check out the 3.18i tomorrow (well, today for those of us on the east coast). Hopefully there won't be a language barrier since my Spanish isn't too good, but I'll let you all know how it goes.

The Ti was iffy to begin with and is definitely something I'm not willing to pursue.

As for the Autotrader comment, I did a quick search for a 325i and found one up in Front Royal (wherever that is). Going to call about that tomorrow (93' 325i, 113k miles, $6990).

Thanks for the advice everyone. Just to comment on what you said though Foehammer, a friend down in Florida mentioned that it costs roughly $30 or so to get them checked out by an authorized mechanic. Was this inaccurate or does it vary from dealer to dealer.

*Quick edit*

If the 318i rides and drives well, what exactly would YOU offer for it (keep in mind the 17" sport rims, tinted windows, wear on exterior and aftermarket head unit)?
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Called about the 318i today and scheduled a meeting at 4:30 EDT today to drive it. The lady I spoke with was pretty nice and said that they were asking $5000, but that's negotiable.

As far as checking the car out myself, is there anything I should check out aside from the following:

AC, Heat, Gauge Lights, Struts, Exhaust, Hoses, Plugs, Battery, Side markers, Headlights, High Beams, Radio/CD Player, Seat Electronics

Also, based on what they're asking and again, if the car performs well and checks out good, would an offer of $4500 be good?

One last thing I'm concerned about... I don't really know how to drive a stick! So that I don't look like an ass, can anyone give me the quick and easy on driving a stick (at least enough to get me into 1st gear and away from the parking lot)?

Thanks again for any help.

PS: If anyone here can run a CarFax for me, I'd really appreciate it.

The VIN is as follows: WBACA5319PFG05699
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Its all about smoothness. Take your time.

For a first timer, SLOWLY release the clutch and slowly give the car gas. As the clutch pedal comes out more, you will need more gas to compensate. Too little gas with too much clutch out will cause it to stall.

As for shifting: clutch in, move knob firmly into place, clutch out, gas. If you want to try some more advanced things you can use the gas to rev match while letting the clutch out.
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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One other thing: BMWs have very stiff clutch pedals. Compared to a Porsche, its like pushing a brick.
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks a bunch. I'd really hate to show up knowing all that I do and not be able to drive this thing. I'll report back and let you all know how it goes.
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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hes right about the clutch being like a brick on the e36s, but i drove my friends mom's 01 325ci and the clutch felt like nothing, it was so incredible, im in love with the e46 as well
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Old 08-16-2004, 02:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Figured the 3.18i was too good to be true.

ALERT! Severe damage events were reported by a DMV for this 1993 BMW 318I (WBACA5319PFG05699). This vehicle does NOT qualify for the CARFAX Buyback Guarantee.

Isn't it great to know that these people were going to try and sell me a lemon at full price? Guess I'll have the last laugh when they show up at 4:30 and I'm not there.
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Old 08-16-2004, 02:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Does it say what the severe damage was? I might be something that won't affect the quality of the car at all and has been fully repaired, plus would serve as a negotiator for lowering their price point.
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Old 08-16-2004, 09:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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http://www.carfax.com/cfm/FSBO.cfm?r...FX000007200866

Not too sure what I'm looking for, but I feel pretty uncomfortable about the odometer reading and the "major damage". Plus, my parents aren't going to go for a car with a salvage title. Guess I'll just keep looking and take my Silverado to school for now.
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Old 08-16-2004, 09:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I drove my Silverado for 3 months while I was looking for a deal on a BMW. Don't rush it and you'll find the right one for you.
Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2004, 11:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Salvage Title.

Chopped car.

Walk Away or pay 1K.
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