Welcome to Bimmerwerkz.
Ironiclly enough, i have a 98 Jimmy as well. My 98 328i gets much better mileage. I average 10L/100km hwy and 11-12L/100km city. I cant do the conversion to MPG, but i average 500 km to a tank.
The E36 was known for having a poor quality cooling system. The water pump, thermostat housing, and expansion tank are made of plastic and are known to fail over time as the plastic gets brittle. The fan is the same, and has been known to grenade itself. The fan clutch does wear out as well. Replacing the whole system as mentioned costs about $450-500 in parts, but will net you around an extra 100k. The Graf or Stewart water pumps are the best.
Their is common theme that BMW automatic transmissions are lifetime fluid filled and never need changing. This isnt true. The transmission in the E36 is actually a GM 4L30E transmission. GM never stated not to change the fluid. BMW did because they made more money replacing your whole transmission then just the fluid and filter. A new filter and gasket kit costs less then $40. The transmission fluid is a DEX III fluid, and Mobil 1 ATF is my personal choice. The bottom of the transmission pan will have a sticker on it telling you what fluid is recommened, but a green sticker means its DEX III compatible.
The only other real issues ive had on mine is the hood latches getting full of gunk over time and siezing up, and the drivers door actuator failing. I did have to rebuild my right front brake caliper, but that could happen on any car. The power steering hoses are known to leak eventually, but thats easy to change out, and i paid $30 for a new hose and $30 for a new resevoir. The PS resevoirs have a non servicable filter so you have to replace the whole resevoir any time you service the PS steering system.
Also, check the suspension bushings. Worn out bushing will make the car ride poorly. Brand new bushings will make a world of difference.
Any other questions feel free to ask.
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