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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 06-07-2004, 05:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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When I set out on this BMW ownership journey I never would have expected the huge expenses in maintenance.

My car is currently in the shop and since only few mechanics in New orleans will touch a BMW I am paying 200 bucks for a belt to be changed and a car inspection. Is this absurd or is this actually average for this type of work on these cars?

I probably could have done the work myself but I'm rather lazy..

Also he told me I needed my brake pads changed in the front, any recommendations and a link to a HOW TO on changing them?

Thanks guys.

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Old 06-07-2004, 06:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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belt changing is fairly easy. just need the right tools. to push the tensioners around.
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i believe the right size for the tension pully is a 17mm but im really not sure, its hard to remember now, however the tension pully isnt the hard thing, its the way your route the belt.

the DIY for brakes on an e36 is in the FAQ forum.
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Old 06-07-2004, 10:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's an 8mm hex head bit. Atleast that's what I used.

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Old 06-08-2004, 08:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i think kevin is right.

the chiltons told us a 10 and it was too big. but we took the damn thing off and took it to the hardware store and got the right size. 8
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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To actually answer the original question, yeah, these are some pretty normal prices, especially if you go to the dealer. Check out the FAQs as well for the topic on Inspection I and Inspection II. They average out to be about $1K for each. It lists everything done to the car. If you actually sit and think about what they are doing, its all relatively doable yourself or individually for cheap. BMWs aren't supposed to have all that much maintanence, but when they do need it, its costly.

Your car seems to be at the right age to start needing some basic maintanence such as breaks and belts, but as long as you take care of these, you shouldn't have any more problems in a VERY long time.
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