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Old     (lfrider92)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-08-2010, 12:45 PM Reply   
So im not thinking about doing this til prolly march, but i really want to sell my car and get a 325IS. i really like the body style back from about 94-98 so thats what i want to end up getting, i can find them in my area for about $2500-$4000 depending on condition, and thats about what ill be willing to pay. it being a stick is an must have. wont buy it if its an automatic. Most of them around these years have between 130,000 miles up to around 190,000. but my question. how long will these motors last if they where taken care of? how about the clutch? when does it need replacing? ive got a 96 ford ranger right now, with 140,000 on it, and the motor is still running strong and no issues with the clutch (still the original). my dad is telling me i should start saving up for a new car since he doubts mine will make it to 170,000 miles. i know that 170,000 is fairly high miles. but a friend of mine picked up a 93 325i with 180,000 on it, and her clutch had just been done for the first time a few thousand ago, and it had never had a problem with the motor. she let me drive her car, and thats what made me fall in love with them.

im hoping someone can give me some insight into what to expect if i pick one up, how long it will last, if ill have problems and what with? just basic info about that stuff would be great. im just looking for a general idea. i know alot has to do with how it was treated. Everyone in my family drives fords, and i know the motors in these are very different. so im hoping someone here will know!

thanks in advance
Old     (splashbenidorm)      Join Date: Apr 2007       09-08-2010, 1:01 PM Reply   
I wouldn't buy it unless you really like this car, and are good at mecanics.
My first car was an E30 325. My second was a E36 320i and now I drive a E46 320d. These cars can give you quite a lot of trouble over the 250.000 Km, and you'll never know for sure if it has been taken good care off. My 320i had an overheating issue, and never ever run perfect again. In all of them I have had steering wheel vibrations and many other minor problems.
Anyways they are sharp looking cars. The E36 M3 cabrio is nice too.
Old     (lfrider92)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-08-2010, 3:02 PM Reply   
to be honest, i know nothing about mechanics. i dont even change my own oil on my truck. i really love them. i want one extremely bad. im thinking i might have to end up saving up a little more and trying to find a newer one with lower miles if what you said be the case even though i prefer the mid 90's body style. i found a 98 today while looking on craigslist with 110,000 on it for 4500$.

thanks for the input, not quite what i was hoping to hear. but its better to find these things out now then in 6 months on the side of the road with a problem. so thank you!

anyone else have anything to add?
Old     (tre)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-08-2010, 3:08 PM Reply   
You will get a lot better info on a BMW forum. I highly suggest you look there. The E36 is a classic and there really are only a few issues with them that are not hard to solve. It is a great handling chassis. Lots of them at the track and lots of after market parts for them. If you don't wrench, you may want to try to ask around for a good BMW tuner who knows a lot about the E36. You can have a good tuner take a look before you buy.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-08-2010, 3:32 PM Reply   
Awesome cars, but if you don't have some coin to burn, or some mechanical knowledge, then I'd probably steer clear. That's getting into some pretty high mileage. They can go that far, but they'll need work to get there. I had a E30 that I kept until 230k. It probably had 100 days at the track or more. When I sold it there wasn't anything wrong with it. Didn't burn a drop of oil or make any funny noises. As far as I know that car is still on the road being driven like it was stolen.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       09-08-2010, 4:50 PM Reply   
I think you are required to have a moustache if you own a 3 series and if it's from the mid 90's you are only allowed to drive it if you are wearing a ball cap.
Other than those inconveniences the cars well built but parts cost a great deal and yo'll find most repairs cost at least $1500. If you like the cars and plan on a couple repairs while you own it you will enjoy it.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       09-08-2010, 7:59 PM Reply   
i had a 96 convertible, the 325ci pretty slow but handled better than any car i have driven to date.there are some known issues with the car, the factory put plastic impeler blades on the water pump and they self destruct. nothing major, the car was super easy to work on. because it was so well built. the motors are solid, auto trannys are weak but the standard is good. i cant remember all the problems because i sold the car 2-3 years ago, 328s are faster. the m3 front end is a must in my book
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       09-08-2010, 8:24 PM Reply
Old     (lfrider92)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-08-2010, 9:28 PM Reply   
thank you guys all very much. ill join the forum and try to get some more input as well. im not to worried about how fast i can go in it. so the 328 being faster isnt a big deal to me. im not the type that likes to do 100+ in a car. 90 on the freeway and im done done. and my truck will do that (although it feels like its about to blow up if you do. haha) i like driving fast around tight turns, and in a truck, you get ALOT of sway to the point where im sketched to hit 90 degree turns over about 45. one of my main reasons i want a 325 is. you can hit turns going quite fast and it not be a problem. i like the stiff suspension on the IS and how its a little lower. its awesome on turns

AND no way can i rock a stash. haha. but the hat thing? no problem. ive got one on pretty much all the time. im either reppin company or liquid force at all times :-D

you said repairs are around 1500$. what kind of repairs are you talking? my dad and i have a really good relationship and he knows alot about cars, he built a 20" lift in his truck back when he was my age and did tons of stuff to the motor and tranny. hes done many clutches. stuff like that. . im sure if i had something come up he would be willing to help/teach me to fix if it was something that could be done at home.
Old     (Lohe)      Join Date: Jun 2010       09-13-2010, 7:46 PM Reply   
As a BMW tech save your pennies for repair bills any one you look at of that age will need a few grand worth of work from the start. Parts prices are twice as much as a ford. If the motor was taken care of it will run for a long time I had a 97 328I with 230K miles on it.

but I have owned over 6 of that body style ( still have 2 m3's a 97 and 98 that's supercharged) You can find a lot more info on them over at


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