wanting to buy 318is wanting to know any problems with them first - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 02:56 AM
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wanting to buy 318is wanting to know any problems with them first

Hello there im a recent new member and im looking into buying a 1996 318is. im kinda searching the market for one of these cars and i found one in my price range but im wanting to know more about this car. i was really looking into getting a 6 cylinder but right now its not in my price range as im needing a car with better mpg than my jimmy. whats the main problems with these cars that seem to always happen and the cost of these problems usually. And for your information it is an automatic transmission with 160k miles.. ive been trying to talk to the guy about maintinence but its hard to get a hold of anyone when you work third shift ya know so if yall could give me a bit of help itd be greatly appreciated.
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 09:18 PM
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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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#3 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 05:17 AM
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thank you and thats all very helpful now heres the real question.. should i try and get it.. hes wanting $2800 for it and i could go test drive it sometime this week or should i try to get a 328i that has 192k for around the same price what would everyone say i know the mpg is around the same and which one would last the longer of the two the 4 cylinder or 6cylinder both are automatics. 4cylinder has 160k miles the 6 cylinder has 192k miles. which one would everyone suggest


on a side note isnt it also alot better to even do a fan delete?
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 05:19 PM
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I have a 94 318i with 225K miles and a 01 352I with 135K miles. Both are running well. Like others say they both get about the same gas mileage. Both have had similar problems with cooling, oil leaks, suspension bushings, etc. My 325 is hands down more fun to drive, but the 318 does better in the snow. How long the cars last probably depends more on how they were kept up and how you will maintain going forward. If you get like 15k miles life for each $1000 spent, I thinks it's good and either will probably make this.
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 08:27 PM
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Honestly. Get the 328i. Dont waste your time on the 4 cyl. You will love the 328i. A friend of mine has a 2004 320i, and its quite nice, but its till a 6 cyl.

A 328i is the closest thing you can get to an M3 thats not an M3.


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#6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Vader View Post
Honestly. Get the 328i. Dont waste your time on the 4 cyl. You will love the 328i. A friend of mine has a 2004 320i, and its quite nice, but its till a 6 cyl.

A 328i is the closest thing you can get to an M3 thats not an M3.
so what about a 93 318is 5 speed are those any good its got 225k on the body and 90k on the motor and trans
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 10:59 AM
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so what about a 93 318is 5 speed are those any good its got 225k on the body and 90k on the motor and trans
The 318 is still an E36 mind you. Only difference is the engine. Personally I find the 1.8L engine to be way to underpowered. Some people dont mind it and enjoy the added fuel economy. Performance upgrades for the 4cyl engines is pretty much nil. Dont buy one if you want to upgrade it in the future, or think you might want more power. If thats the case get a 325 with an M50.


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