I have been looking into buying a "new" used car in the last few months and have found one that fits me just right. It's a 1996 BMW 328i with 135,000 miles. I was wondering if there are any service issues that need to be watched out for, any repairs that may need to be done, or simply any words of advice to give me on this car before I purchase it. All help is very much appreciated
edit: sorry, a little more info on the car, its the 6 cylinder with the 4 speed automatic tranny.
I have a 98 manual. If you haven't bought it yet, definitely get it checked out by an experienced BMW tech/mechanic. They are generally very reliable powerplants, but the suspensions may need sprucing up--and it all adds up. I had to put 2200 bucks into a new steering rack, ball joints, control arms, front brakes, and I can't remember what else.
__________________ 98 328i, black/black, manual, canadian sport pkg, ECIS intake, koni sport adj's, dinan springs, oe/oem clears.
Considering: tms shark,M 17" wheels, larger sway bars.
135,000 out of a 96, that seems a little high to me. But what do I know. Also you may be happier with a manual, I think the majority of the guys on this forum run manual and you can do so much more. With an automatic, if you are in a corner really fast and the transmission decides to upshift or downshift on you, you are going to eat shit!
These cars tend to make people into race car drivers, but that is my personal opinion. There are usually some pretty good deals out there with a lower mileage car in a manual.
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Take a look at the E36 common problems\failures thread, Have a mechanic check what he can.
After 70,000 miles you should replace the LCA, RTA, and pritty much other suspinsion bushings (use M3 bushings at least), your shock mounts (use E46 M3 convertable mounts - strongest), probably belts as a preventive measure (Don't wanna be doing 120 on the highway and throw a belt now do you? :P), and even your guibo flex disc in your driveline. If you've got the extra cash, maybe some new shocks (or go ahead and upgrade)
Lots of small things but the big things don't tend to break as often as other cars would. This list is really just a how to restore your car practically back to new :P Replacing old bushings will probably help the most.
My little automatic 323is made me a race car driver, and I can't tell you how bad I want an M3 with some badass swaybars and NICE suspinsion
Thanks for all the replies! I apreciate the feedback! I got it checked out this morning by a BMW Certified mechanic and he gave me a laundry list of things that needed to be done including a full tranny rebuild and quite a bit of suspension work. I think I'll be passing on this one...
A manual is preferred anyway, as my father's Jaguar X Type 3.0 has already made me into a race car driver (AWD and a manual tranny!!!)
Thanks again for all the replies, I'll keep you all updated in my quest for germany's finest.
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