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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 10-22-2004, 12:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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So I'm gonna take a 1993 325is coupe out for a test drive this saturday. It has 92k miles on it and the owner wants $5500 for it. Sounds like a good deal - full service records, second owner purchased it in 96, kept in a garage when not driven.

The only thing that I'm concerned about is the instrument cluster. I guess there is an intermittent problem where all gauges all go out for a few seconds and then come back on. It doesn't effect the driveability of the car (other than the unsettling experience of seeing all the gauges flicker on and off). I talked to my local indie BMW shop and they said it could be as simple as a short to requiring a new gauge cluster - so anywhere from $150-$700 to fix.

First, is there anything that I should watch out for on this year/model? It's an automatic, and I've heard that they're pretty bulletproof along with the engine.

I'm thinking of offering maybe $4800-$5000 for it, is that a good price?

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2004, 07:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i got mine about 2 months ago- paid $4000 for a manual w/ 124K.. Your offer price seems right on for lower miles plus the auto (think you shuld get a manual tho)

replace the water pump if it has never been changed to a metal impeller. Heard about alot of people having to replace their auto tranny between like 130K-150K, but it could last longer who knows..

So far on mine the windshield leaks during downpours (check the weather stripping carefully), fuel pump is getting louder and needs replacment, the door lock actuator is acting up, and i need shocks..

Do a search on common problems and it'll tell you everything
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Old 10-22-2004, 08:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There was a short in the instrument cluster on my 95 325I and the odometer and clock did not work.. It cost $350 for a used cluster to get installed by a local european car repair shop.. But they still had to take it to BMW service center to get the odometer programmed per the chip that records mileage on the transmission. But luckily, their not charging me for that

Good luck with your instrument cluster, I hope its something simple..

As for price, yeah, what he's asking for is good and especially for those kind of miles...

I paid $4500 for my 325I 95 model w/ 129 k on it

(NOTE: I replaced water pump, tranny fluid, small oil leak fixed, exhaust system, instrument cluster, and back brakes - $1200-1300 in repair/maintenance work).. Car is in excellent shape.. inside/out

thanks
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally posted by 93 325i@Oct 22 2004, 04:50 AM
i got mine about 2 months ago- paid $4000 for a manual w/ 124K.. Your offer price seems right on for lower miles plus the auto (think you shuld get a manual tho)

replace the water pump if it has never been changed to a metal impeller. Heard about alot of people having to replace their auto tranny between like 130K-150K, but it could last longer who knows..

So far on mine the windshield leaks during downpours (check the weather stripping carefully), fuel pump is getting louder and needs replacment, the door lock actuator is acting up, and i need shocks..

Do a search on common problems and it'll tell you everything
[snapback]216067[/snapback]
Cool, thanks for the info - I've already haggled em down to $5300 over the phone. I think if it's in good shape otherwise, I'll get it for that price if I can't bargain the price down further.

I plan on doing the water pump upgrade - is the thermostat housing upgrade (from plastic to metal) also recommended?

I'd prefer to get a manual too - but unfortunately this will be my commuter car and I need an automatic for Seattle's stop and go traffic.

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2004, 02:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yea the termostat housing upgrade to aluminum as well- actually there is a overhaul kit- here u go brotha good luck!

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Old 10-22-2004, 02:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SemiPerfect@Oct 22 2004, 05:21 AM
There was a short in the instrument cluster on my 95 325I and the odometer and clock did not work.. It cost $350 for a used cluster to get installed by a local european car repair shop.. But they still had to take it to BMW service center to get the odometer programmed per the chip that records mileage on the transmission. But luckily, their not charging me for that

Good luck with your instrument cluster, I hope its something simple..

As for price, yeah, what he's asking for is good and especially for those kind of miles...

I paid $4500 for my 325I 95 model w/ 129 k on it

(NOTE: I replaced water pump, tranny fluid, small oil leak fixed, exhaust system, instrument cluster, and back brakes - $1200-1300 in repair/maintenance work).. Car is in excellent shape.. inside/out

thanks
[snapback]216077[/snapback]
Yeah, I was kind of figuring it was the gauge cluster itself that's crapped out. I've seen them for pretty cheap on Ebay and such used, so I'll probably take my chances with that - it looks like a pretty easy DIY job to replace it. Do you know of anything else that would cause that problem?

Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2004, 03:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 93 325i@Oct 22 2004, 11:13 AM
Yea the termostat housing upgrade to aluminum as well- actually there is a overhaul kit- here u go brotha good luck!

Coolant Overhaul Kit
[snapback]216249[/snapback]
I checked out the thermostat housing and it has already been upgraded to aluminum - checked the service records (which are awesome to have) and I guess the thermostat, radiator, water pump and thermostat housing were all replaced at about 44k miles. Even though the water pump was replaced in 97 (and they're supposed to have been installing the metal ones in there at that point) I'm gonna go in and put the new composite impeller type in just to be safe.
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