i'm 17 and rather for the most part, inexperienced in my knowledge of cars, but not my love for BMW's
this forum has taught me so much. I remember before i even posted for the first time, i sifted through most of the FAQ's and previous posts about any topic i could think of. I realize that chances are, any feeble question i could present, was most likely already talked about by someone ... whether it be other enthusiasts, or a newbie like myself. I've learned more from reading others posts and sifting through info, than from posting a few of my simple problems. There is a wealth of knowledge out there, and most of the time, you'll gain more of it from reading and searching for it, than waiting for a few fellow BMW owners to fully enlighten you.
Its most likely out there somewhere, and i find i can get to it quicker by scouring the net rather than waiting by my computer for an answer to my post. And if its NOT out there ... then maybe people HAVEN'T discussed it before. And if there has been no discussion, chances are, maybe the other memebers don't really know off-hand ... because they've never really thought about it in detail. How many views were there on your Coolant Hose topic? Many times, if i read somethin that i don't know about, i leave it alone and don't mumble some obvious fact just to see my # of posts go up one.
Many times, i find that i post, and read others who post, to be reassured. They ask a question that they have an idea about, but they would rather have it be cut and dry what they should do. No one wants to mess up their car with something stupid. You obviously know somethin about cars ... and obviously know what to do about coolant hoses too your comment about how you can't belive we're all running around with old, cracked ORIGINAL hoses proves that you have your own distinct idea what what you should do w/ your hoses. But it is nice to have people say, "yeah, do that, i did and its better now ... " There's not always gonna be a direct yes or no ... or the kinda response that you want. Your not always gonna be reassured, but that's life. If you know that much about cars, trust yourself a little to do somethin w/out the approval of others. Do what you want in order to keep your car (and its hoses) up to your standard.
Sites like these are not perfect, and someone doesn't always know your answer. I'm 17 and i sure didn't know about your alternator explanation. So chances are, you are more car saavy than a a bunch of us (me at least) Trust yourself enough to maintain your car w/out the go-ahead from a bunch of other e36 owners you met on the 'net. This forum really is great, and don't get flustered cause someone didn't reply to your question, and don't label the forum as "uninformative" because you didn't find the info YOU wanted. There is a HUGE amount of into here ... and other places where you can learn about your car.
And congrats on your bimmer. '92 325is --- my car too ... and doesn't she sound pretty?