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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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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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I don't generally like to use forums for this kind of thing, but not many people I know are well versed when it comes to BMW's...

Well I'm a new comer to Beemers.. bought a BMW 328i E36 1998 a week or so ago.. paid 10k (parkers guide specified higher 10.7k, so I thought a good deal) after very close inspection etc... bodywork and interior is in mint condition, very clean and tidy.. mileage was low, less than 40k miles.. (not sure what that is in km).

I've had the car for a few days now and a few things have cropped up with it.. it's currently still under dealer warranty, but I feel they are trying to give me the brush off and blind me as I'm not really clued up on these cars..

Well mostly it's fine.. no warning dash lights etc.. engine is fine, no problems during idle, runs fine.. ride is good, shocks seem in good condition.. well looked after, regularly serviced.. recently had full service.. etc.. but there are a few things that bother me..

1 - The passenger side headlamp (that's on the left in the UK :P) got condensation build up inside it (not noticed on inspection as the car was indoors for the majority). Dealer says this will clear up.. I personally think that's a load of ****. Can the seals be replaced on the headlamps? or is it a new unit? I'd like some advice here please..

2 - Steering adjuster seems a little too loose for me (dealer currently repairing, noticed on inspection)

3 - Ignition key problems, I've on occasion put my key into the ignition and the key rotate freely round the barrel for one rotation, then it seems to catch and start the car.... not yet failed to catch.. (not noticed on inspection as key started car properly).. I have been told this is a common problem and it won't cause me hassle by the dealer. I am doubtful about this.. can anyone tell me if this is a common problem, or am I in need of a new ignition barrel.. if so I will insist dealer replaces ignition barrel..

4 - Perhaps the most interesting of all... a very faint.. but noticeable slight knock or (missed on inspection as dealer talks too much! and it's very quiet) leak drip like sound.. it's hard to describe you'll have to excuse me there... I've had the bonnet (you call it hood.. lol american words... sorry.. being british I find that one funny).. up and listened very carefully towards the back of the engine.. I can't be sure... but it seemed to not be coming from there.. It doesn't follow the revs of the car... it seems to be prodominant when electical power only is applied at the ignition... seems to be at constant speed all the time... dealer is as confused as I am and has promised to get to the bottom of it....

The car gets put in next week for the work.. (as I'm away and don't need it) your thoughts on any of this.. what you'd expect the dealer to cover etc.. has anyone had problems of a similar nature?

Thanks a lot for taking the time to read this... any reply or suggestions will be gratefully received...


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 08:01 PM
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I dont know the answers to all of your q's, but I'll do my best on #1.

It's not common, but it is possible for condensation to build up in the headlamp. Generally, it will clear up on its own after a few days or weeks, depending on the outside temp and how often you use them. If it doesn't, then I would look into replacing parts.

<span style='color:gray'><span style='font-family:Courier'>1995 e36 3 Series RIP
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 08:38 PM
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Crikey, dang dealers. Lets see....

1. Headlamp condensation: yes, it will probably go away. And it will also come back. Make them replace it.
2. Ignition lock cylinder: Make them replace it, it's beginning to wear out. It will only get worse and eventually leave you stuck.
3. The Knock: Turn your blower motor completely off (a/c heater system). Does the noise go away? Sometimes leaves will find their way near the blower motor and create weird noises. Also sometimes when the motors begin to fail they will make funny noises also.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-27-2004, 05:04 PM
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3. Get them to replace it, because it *will* break. And when it does, it will be at the least convenient time and place, I can guarantee you - and it is expensive to replace. Get them to replace it asap, trust me, I know :$

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