New to BMW's, Looking for an M3 [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: New to BMW's, Looking for an M3

03-17-2008, 09:55 AM
I just destroyed my car, and was fortunate enough to walk away from it. Since I need a new car, and at the same time have been looking at getting an m3, I figure its about time to start doing my homework.

I cannot afford [yet] to buy anything relatively new -- that is to say, I should pry budget under $16,000 for whatever I get, and I figure this should be more than enough for a nice m3.

Namely, what am I looking for in the E36's? Should I avoid them entirely? What is the ideal mileage-to-price-to-options to look for? What type of warranties, if any, could / should be expressed from an authorized BMW dealer?

This is a 95 E36 M3 being sold locally -- I've only been able to see the car in person, as we have had some recent icey weather here in Saint Louis which prevented the dealer from letting us take it out. It is definately in show-room condition, and seems to be built very well.

However, the girl in particular representing the car was not present, so I did not get to discuss further pricing, warranty options, or ask specifics on the car.

From what I gather, this is a high price / somewhat high mileage for the car, even with the condition and options.

Again, whatever help and advice can be offered, I am greatly receptive and appreciative.

And apologies in advance if I am in the wrong forum or didn't post appropriately -- I'm still a bit scattered and fast-paced in things I have to do since the accident.


and I found this ebay posting linking to more pictures and info -- 1QQcmdZViewItem

03-17-2008, 10:51 AM
I'd say it's worth more around 12k.

Looks like a great car though.

03-17-2008, 11:08 AM
Mods almost never add to the price.

In the ad it mentions optional Vaders...they were standard.

Good thing is the suspension has been addressed (check the buyer's guide sticky), but no mention of addressing the cooling system. If the cooling system needs anything, you are looking at $500 in parts alone.

I sold my 110k 95 M3 2 years ago for $10.5k. No way that car is worth $16k....more like $10k as is (the owner could get more if he returned it to stock and sold off the aftermarket parts). The economy is only going to drive car prices down and the trickle down will not miss the E36 M3....this car will probably be an $8k car in 6 months.

Forget about any reasonably priced warranty...the newest E36 m3s are 9 years old. You'd be lucky to find a company that would write you a policy, but if they do expect it to be a huge sum of money. I would set money aside for any problems that would pop up.

I would never buy that car without taking to a shop (not a dealer) and having a good pre-purchase inspection done on it by somebody that knows E36 M3s.

Good luck.

03-17-2008, 04:16 PM
Do yourself a favor and read the FAQ's for E36's. What applies to 6 cylinder engines covers both M3 as well as the other 3 series engines (2.5, 2.8, 3.0, 3.2L).

There is a list of things that should have been replaced and this has a strong bearing on the cost of the car.

Look for items like this:
Cooling system overhaul
water pump
Clutch if manual
Wheel bearings (rear are the expensive ones due to labor)
Struts and shocks
Brake pads, rotors

These things are key because BMW engines do not take kindly to poor maintenance and any engine that overheats due to a failure of the water pump (most likely after 70K miles and no replacement) stands a 60% chance of having the cylinder head warped.

Clutches are usually good for 125K miles but this is a driver dependent issue

Brake pads and rotors are good for maybe 50-60K under most driving conditions

Struts and shocks are usually dead between 55-70k miles

Wheel bearing are usually good for 120K miles and usually for BMW e36's the right rear bearing goes first then the fronts may be good for much longer. I have never replaced a left rear wheel bearing..

This is just an idea of things to look at besides the usual interior and exterior condition.

If these items have not been done given the mileage then you can use these points as negotiating room. Don't buy this car without an understanding that they need periodic maintenace.
Hope this helps some...