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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Want to buy a BMW

I'm new to the forum and I'm interested in buying a 1999 BMW 328 iS for $5,000. Does anybody know of any common problems I need to look for in the car? Any advice or incite would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 04:44 AM
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it depends on how you think it
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 11:05 AM
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Welcome to Bimmerwerkz.

First, if you get the Serial Number of the car (last 7 digits of VIN) I can pull the factory build sheet to see what options it came with.

Things to look at:

Cooling System - The water pump, thermostat cover, and expansion tank were all plastic and prone to failure in higher milage models. The water pump needs to be replaced with a metal impeller. The thermostat cover should be replaced with an aluminum one. Check to see if this has been done.

Electronics - Make sure on the dash and the OBC, and Head Unit that all the pixels light up and are functioning. Fixing them is not expensive, but most owners find it very annoying. Check to make sure all features and switches work as well.

Suspension - The bushings in the car are all rubber and are prone to wearing out and needing replacement. Ask for service records to ensure that the control arm busings, sway bar bushings, and rear trailing arm bushings have been replaced if the car has over 150,000 miles.

Power Steering - The power steering hoses are prone to leaking. This is common on every E36 really. Check the fluid though and if its black then it means it hasnt been replaced in a LONG time. The E36 uses ATF fluid in the power steering system and it should be red.

As with ANY car, get it properly inspected by a licensed mechanic prior to purchasing it.

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