PDA

View Full Version : E36 M3 Common Maintenance Issues (Reference)


rwg
06-03-2003, 12:18 PM
I thought it might be helpful if we had a thread handy that mentioned the common problem areas of the e36 /M. Things to look for when searching for a new car and things to keep in mind as the miles go by (in fact, much of this list is normal maintenance). Here's a list off the top of my head:

1) Rear shock mounts

2) Rear Trailing Arm Bushings (RTABS)

3) Water pump (they seem to last about 40k miles even with the ss impellers, but 95 - mid 97 /Ms had a stock plastic impeller that failed routinely)

4) Transmission mounts (to avoid mis-shifts)

5) Shocks (oem seem to last about 40k miles)

6) Radiator (hose fittings crack - about 60k miles?)

7) Thermostat housing

8) Vanos failures seem to be fairly common

9) The undercariage panel seems to routinely fall off (and can be replaced with an aftermarket metal piece that stays)

Anyone think of anything else?

zcasavant
06-03-2003, 12:23 PM
- Sticky 5th gear.

- Uneven idling on cold starts

- Bent wheels on the earlier models

TD
06-03-2003, 12:25 PM
-Front control arm bushings

-Camshaft timing sensor

-Faulty ignition cylinder

-Brake light circuit failure

ARCHER
06-03-2003, 03:21 PM
Excellent! I was going to ask for a list like this - thanks.

TD, what exactly is the "fault" with the ingnition cylinder? The second time I drove my car the key seemed to just spin around in the cylinder without engaging. Perhaps I didn't push it in far enough...

TD
06-03-2003, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by ARCHER
Excellent! I was going to ask for a list like this - thanks.

TD, what exactly is the "fault" with the ingnition cylinder? The second time I drove my car the key seemed to just spin around in the cylinder without engaging. Perhaps I didn't push it in far enough...

Exactly. It spins. Mine was fixed under warranty. Apparently this is VERY common.

ARCHER
06-04-2003, 06:01 AM
Originally posted by TD
Exactly. It spins. Mine was fixed under warranty. Apparently this is VERY common.

Hmmm, it hasn't happened since. As soon as I settle on a warranty I will have it looked at.

JST
06-04-2003, 06:14 AM
-Plastic radiator neck fails, leaving nothing for the coolant hose to clamp on to. Only solution is a new radiator. Many replace this before 80K as a preventative measure, since a failure = stranded on the side of the road.

-There seem to be two independent transmission problems. One makes it difficult to shift into gear. The other occurs on cold days, when the detent for 5th gear goes away and the shift lever rests underneath fifth when in neutral.

zcasavant
06-04-2003, 06:59 AM
Originally posted by JST
-Plastic radiator neck fails, leaving nothing for the coolant hose to clamp on to. Only solution is a new radiator. Many replace this before 80K as a preventative measure, since a failure = stranded on the side of the road.

-There seem to be two independent transmission problems. One makes it difficult to shift into gear. The other occurs on cold days, when the detent for 5th gear goes away and the shift lever rests underneath fifth when in neutral.

Mine is difficult to shift into gear. Is there a TSB or something regarding the shifting difficulty?

Thanks.

JST
06-04-2003, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by zcasavant
Mine is difficult to shift into gear. Is there a TSB or something regarding the shifting difficulty?

Thanks.

Not that I know of. I'm just going from the experiences of you and TD.

nate
06-04-2003, 08:02 AM
The oil pump nut can back out, causing a total loss of oil pressure and possible engine failure...

rwg
06-04-2003, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by zcasavant
Mine is difficult to shift into gear. Is there a TSB or something regarding the shifting difficulty?

Thanks.

There is a TSB for the shifting difficulty. If your car has difficulty getting into gear after it warms up, they will replace some pins and seals in the transmission. Apparently, the pins would catch on something and prevent you from going into gear. However, this is sort of like a catch - if you just have notchy gates, getting the TSB repair might not help.

Also, when I had it done, the TSB was not in the dealer's computer. Brecht seems to go the extra mile - they called BMW's helpline, found out about it, and had it faxed to them.

zcasavant
06-04-2003, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by rwg
There is a TSB for the shifting difficulty. If your car has difficulty getting into gear after it warms up, they will replace some pins and seals in the transmission. Apparently, the pins would catch on something and prevent you from going into gear. However, this is sort of like a catch - if you just have notchy gates, getting the TSB repair might not help.

Also, when I had it done, the TSB was not in the dealer's computer. Brecht seems to go the extra mile - they called BMW's helpline, found out about it, and had it faxed to them.

My transmission was replaced about 3 weeks ago. I suppose this problem shouldn't exist in mine. I do still have problems shifting, but I have no idea what is causing it. :dunno: :banghead:

Cal
06-04-2003, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by zcasavant
My transmission was replaced about 3 weeks ago. I suppose this problem shouldn't exist in mine. I do still have problems shifting, but I have no idea what is causing it. :dunno: :banghead:

Do you have a clutch stop by any chance? Or maybe even a SS? I'd suggest changing the the trans fluid and/or readjusting the clutchstop. If your car is stock, then I don't know what else to say. Well, you're still under warranty, so you can always take it back to the dealer.

zcasavant
06-04-2003, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by Cal
Do you have a clutch stop by any chance? Or maybe even a SS? I'd suggest changing the the trans fluid and/or readjusting the clutchstop. If your car is stock, then I don't know what else to say. Well, you're still under warranty, so you can always take it back to the dealer.

I have the stock clutch stop, and the stock shifter. I HAVE brought it to the dealer, and they replaced the tranny. Still having problems from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to third. Tonight, it absolutely would NOT go into 1st gear at one point. I had to pull it back into neutral, and then push it into first again. :thumbdwn:

rwg
06-04-2003, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by zcasavant
I have the stock clutch stop, and the stock shifter. I HAVE brought it to the dealer, and they replaced the tranny. Still having problems from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to third. Tonight, it absolutely would NOT go into 1st gear at one point. I had to pull it back into neutral, and then push it into first again. :thumbdwn:

I know you have been having this problem a lot and something is wrong, but - it's not uncommon for first to be locked out occasionally. Lifting off the clutch and pressing it down again usually fixes the problem. I think this is a characteristic common to all manuals.

Which leads me to the thought - maybe you should lower your clutch stop a bit? I kind of doubt it will fix it though. I have next to no travel before the pressure point and it works fine. How much travel do you have?

zcasavant
06-04-2003, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by rwg
I know you have been having this problem a lot and something is wrong, but - it's not uncommon for first to be locked out occasionally. Lifting off the clutch and pressing it down again usually fixes the problem. I think this is a characteristic common to all manuals.

Which leads me to the thought - maybe you should lower your clutch stop a bit? I kind of doubt it will fix it though. I have next to no travel before the pressure point and it works fine. How much travel do you have?

I can't imagine wanting more travel. The problem occurs when I hit higher RPMs. Puttering around below 3k is fine. Spirited driving above 4k is annoying - have to let the revs drop a lot before I can throw it into 2nd or 3rd. Perhaps this is normal. I need to drive another M3.

ARCHER
06-05-2003, 06:13 AM
Originally posted by zcasavant
I can't imagine wanting more travel. The problem occurs when I hit higher RPMs. Puttering around below 3k is fine. Spirited driving above 4k is annoying - have to let the revs drop a lot before I can throw it into 2nd or 3rd. Perhaps this is normal. I need to drive another M3.

That doesn't sound normal to me. My gates feel notchy in the lower RPMs (of course I'm comparing to the 330) but seem to loosen up during spirited driving. Shifts above 4k RPMs have been smooth and consistent for me.

With a brand new tranny, I suspect your problem should be an easy fix.

Have you posted to bimmerforums with the problem? There are a lot of E36 M3 owners over there as well. Never hurts to ask.

zcasavant
06-05-2003, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by ARCHER
That doesn't sound normal to me. My gates feel notchy in the lower RPMs (of course I'm comparing to the 330) but seem to loosen up during spirited driving. Shifts above 4k RPMs have been smooth and consistent for me.

With a brand new tranny, I suspect your problem should be an easy fix.

Have you posted to bimmerforums with the problem? There are a lot of E36 M3 owners over there as well. Never hurts to ask.

TD had a similar problem, and they replaced the clutch and tranny, and his is fine now. I thought mine was the clutch all along. The dealership insists that the clutch has 50% - 70% of its life left. So I really don't know. Every time I bring the car to the dealership, they can't reproduce the problem.:dunno: Other people who drive the car DO notice shifting difficulty though...including 1 person on this board. :)

scottn2retro
06-05-2003, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by nate328Ci
The oil pump nut can back out, causing a total loss of oil pressure and possible engine failure...

Chris at XP Engineering said anyone tracking theirs should have this safety wired.

BrazeauRacing
06-06-2003, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by nate328Ci
The oil pump nut can back out, causing a total loss of oil pressure and possible engine failure...
Thanks to Ron Stygar's low oil pressure audio alert procedure, i feel a little more at ease about being able to shut it down quickly enough that it won't do too much damage if this should ever happen to me.:thumbup:
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/interior/e36_audio_oil_alert.html

BrazeauRacing
06-06-2003, 07:22 AM
Originally posted by scottn2retro
Chris at XP Engineering said anyone tracking theirs should have this safety wired.
I've heard that there's not really enough room to safety wire this nut properly without actually weakening the shaft. Most racers (and street pilots) are just tack welding the nut to the shaft for peace of mind. The other common option is to red locktite it.

scottn2retro
06-06-2003, 08:19 AM
I think the premise of this thread is a good idea.

How about if there was a thread that was open and maintained by a moderator that was sort of an "e36 M3 Resources" thread.

It could have links to the Ron Stygar Unofficial BMW site and the eurospeed page, etc. The thread would just be one post by the moderator, locked and stickied at the top.

People could PM the moderator for suggested links to be put on the thread.

Maybe it would set a B'fest precedent :)

TD
06-06-2003, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by scottn2retro
I think the premise of this thread is a good idea.

How about if there was a thread that was open and maintained by a moderator that was sort of an "e36 M3 Resources" thread.

It could have links to the Ron Stygar Unofficial BMW site and the eurospeed page, etc. The thread would just be one post by the moderator, locked and stickied at the top.

People could PM the moderator for suggested links to be put on the thread.

Maybe it would set a B'fest precedent :)

Hmmm...

I may work on something like that. How about we make THIS thread sticky for the time being?

Josh (PA)
06-06-2003, 09:45 AM
The thermostat in my '99 M3 failed about two months after I bought the car. I assume the thermostat in the 3.2 is the same as the one in the 2.8l which failed routinely and was recalled.

JST
06-06-2003, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Josh (PA)
The thermostat in my '99 M3 failed about two months after I bought the car. I assume the thermostat in the 3.2 is the same as the one in the 2.8l which failed routinely and was recalled.

Right. Forgot about that; that happened to mine, too.

ARCHER
06-06-2003, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by scottn2retro
I think the premise of this thread is a good idea.

How about if there was a thread that was open and maintained by a moderator that was sort of an "e36 M3 Resources" thread.

It could have links to the Ron Stygar Unofficial BMW site and the eurospeed page, etc. The thread would just be one post by the moderator, locked and stickied at the top.

People could PM the moderator for suggested links to be put on the thread.

Maybe it would set a B'fest precedent :)

I like it.

TD
06-06-2003, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by ARCHER
I like it.

For now, I made it sticky.

ARCHER
06-06-2003, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by TD
For now, I made it sticky.

Perfect - thanks.

scottn2retro
06-06-2003, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by TD
Hmmm...

I may work on something like that.

Hey TD, depending on what you come up with, I may have to do the same thing on the Z forum (unless I beat you to it :D )

jderry
06-10-2003, 11:41 AM
My quick contribution -- I have more than what's listed so far ... :)

But, as a follow-up to the water pump issue ... I would highly suggest people use the COMPOSITE water pump. E36 M3's have gone through 3 revisions of the water pump.

a) plastic pump with the 95 M3's
b) iron cast metal impellar pump; and
c) the new composite pump which seems to feel like plastic than metal.

I don't have the p/n's off the top of my head ... I posted them on bf.c. But, I DO KNOW that the "graf" made water pumps can potentially have problems ... I had one with a loose bearing right out of the box. There should be no play. Because when this one disintegrates, you are SOL.

A couple of more that I would add quickly...

1) oil pump nut
2) rear diff bolt
3) guibo .... etc...etc...etc....

scottn2retro
08-04-2003, 12:00 PM
My quick contribution -- I have more than what's listed so far ... :)

But, as a follow-up to the water pump issue ... I would highly suggest people use the COMPOSITE water pump. E36 M3's have gone through 3 revisions of the water pump.

a) plastic pump with the 95 M3's
b) iron cast metal impellar pump; and
c) the new composite pump which seems to feel like plastic than metal.

I don't have the p/n's off the top of my head ... I posted them on bf.c. But, I DO KNOW that the "graf" made water pumps can potentially have problems ... I had one with a loose bearing right out of the box. There should be no play. Because when this one disintegrates, you are SOL.

A couple of more that I would add quickly...

1) oil pump nut
2) rear diff bolt
3) guibo .... etc...etc...etc....

Got any more?

At the track this weekend, the bolt at the bottom end of the left rear shock came out. :(

On the sticky shifting, I used to experience the same thing on my '95, especially when it was cold, but was much better when I depressed the clutch pedal all the way.

jderry
08-05-2003, 03:27 PM
If you are tracking your car -- I would definitely take a look at the rear control arms. Wait, why are you even asking me Scott? You know more probably than I do. Mine completely broke on me while I was on the highway. Come to find out, this is not an uncommon failure if you auto-x or track the car.

The best I could suggest which you might not do is taking some UV dye and adding it to your coolant AND to your oil before going on the track which should show you ANY pinhole leaks not really detectable by visual inspection. This can definitely be invaluable to prevent catastrophic failure.

You need to be on the east coast so I can purchase that S54 from you ...good luck with your sale! :thumbup:

scottn2retro
08-05-2003, 04:09 PM
If you are tracking your car -- I would definitely take a look at the rear control arms. Wait, why are you even asking me Scott? You know more probably than I do. Mine completely broke on me while I was on the highway. Come to find out, this is not an uncommon failure if you auto-x or track the car.

The best I could suggest which you might not do is taking some UV dye and adding it to your coolant AND to your oil before going on the track which should show you ANY pinhole leaks not really detectable by visual inspection. This can definitely be invaluable to prevent catastrophic failure.

You need to be on the east coast so I can purchase that S54 from you ...good luck with your sale! :thumbup:

The car, when we get our hands on it, will come with some spare Group N rear (upper and lower) control arms - I'll have to check on the legality of using them, but BMW Club racing and I think NASA as well are usually pretty generous in allowing upgrades in the interest of durability, reliablity and safety.

What do you use to look for the UV dye - a black light or something?

If you'd really like that S54 M Roady, don't let some distance discourage you - we could negotiate including shipping in the price :D

HACk took some nice shots at Laguna Seca
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=17329

F1Crazy
08-28-2003, 07:47 PM
I don't know if it was posted before but I think this could be useful:
US E36 M3 FAQ (http://www.warhof.com/warp/emmma/e36m3faq.pdf)

johnf
09-29-2003, 12:40 PM
Thanks to Ron Stygar's low oil pressure audio alert procedure, i feel a little more at ease about being able to shut it down quickly enough that it won't do too much damage if this should ever happen to me.:thumbup:
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/interior/e36_audio_oil_alert.html

An automotive controller I designed, the "ZZKE", includes an improved low pressure warning system which Ron and I now have in our cars. It is so discrete you wouldn't know it until something goes wrong.

The subsystem beeps and flashes on loss of oil pressure, and also warns you if the oil switch doesn't close when the engine is stopped.

scottn2retro
09-29-2003, 02:26 PM
An automotive controller I designed, the "ZZKE", includes an improved low pressure warning system which Ron and I now have in our cars. It is so discrete you wouldn't know it until something goes wrong.

The subsystem beeps and flashes on loss of oil pressure, and also warns you if the oil switch doesn't close when the engine is stopped.

I like the idea. Is that something that can be used in parallel with an analog gauge?

johnf
09-30-2003, 05:06 AM
An automotive controller I designed, the "ZZKE", includes an improved low pressure warning system which Ron and I now have in our cars. It is so discrete you wouldn't know it until something goes wrong.

The subsystem beeps and flashes on loss of oil pressure, and also warns you if the oil switch doesn't close when the engine is stopped.


I like the idea. Is that something that can be used in parallel with an analog gauge?

Yes and no, depending on how I understand your question. Like Ron Stygar's original, it basically monitors the oil pressure switch, only more intelligently. At the same time, the subsytem's warning light can improve how you read a gauge. Ron has mounted the light next to his oil pressure gauge, partly to be sure he immediately checks the displayed value.

My car is quiet enough that the constant pinging of the chime is a strong enough clue.

scottn2retro
09-30-2003, 09:18 AM
Yes and no, depending on how I understand your question. Like Ron Stygar's original, it basically monitors the oil pressure switch, only more intelligently. At the same time, the subsytem's warning light can improve how you read a gauge. Ron has mounted the light next to his oil pressure gauge, partly to be sure he immediately checks the displayed value.

My car is quiet enough that the constant pinging of the chime is a strong enough clue.

Could you PM/e-mail me with more info (or do you have a site)?

Mampara
06-07-2004, 05:38 AM
Hi,

Thanks for this forum, it certainly helps on stuff to be aware of. Some problems that i experienced are as follows:

1. Climate Control display - apparently these are problematic on all E36's (mine was intermittently going on/off at 100 000km - not sure how many miles this is...)

2. SideShaft/Wheel bearing - i seem to be getting a constant humming sound from LR wheel - BMW has changed out the side-shaft twice, the wheel bearing but the problem still persists - took it in again today- hopefully it gets sorted out as my warranty is up!

3. A question for you guys, has anyone got the problem with the car just switching off for no reason? It seems like when the oil temp reaches 100 deg C, the car switches off on slowing down. Its starts first time when restarted but its bloody embarrassing!

Cheers, i will check back soon.

Mampara from South Africa... :eeps:

scottn2retro
06-09-2004, 05:18 PM
The bottom bolt hole for the rear shocks can strip out, especially if you take it out and put it back in often enough when doing brakes. I had one that it seemed like it threaded in, but just wouldn't torque tight.

Requires a perma-coil or Time-Sert to fix.

scottn2retro
07-10-2004, 02:47 PM
The front strut towers on the early years (before they introduced a reinforcement ring) can begin tearing if not using a strut brace - it's a similar problem to the rear shock mount towers.

In group 31, upper front suspension, there is a part #15 for later years (I think 97 and up) that will work on all of them. It's about a $5 part each.

gaspain
07-30-2004, 09:57 AM
on the e36:
the car' ECU is right bellow a rainwater drain area. If this drain gets plugged with debris, twigs, leaves or other crap; it can overflow the drain water onto the computer. This is BAD. My puter had a nice layer of corrosion on the PCB board because of this. My car would not run after a simple carwash, often leaving me stranded.

To fix this, you can remove the rubber constrictor at the bottom of the drain area near the ECU (looks like a black rubber thumb). This removal allows the rainwater to flow unrestricted to the bottom of the car, instead of overflowing onto the ECU computer.

Josh (PA)
08-10-2004, 12:13 PM
One other thing that's a problem on all e36s... The taillight housing.

More specifically, the brake light bulb contact (sheet metal part in the tail light assembly) makes weak contact on the brake light bulb receptacle. This causes high resistance between the bulb and the housing, which leads to high heat, which leads to the metal contact burning through. This causes a brake light to fail and requires replacement of the entire tail light assembly to properly fix.

I just took mine apart and man handled the metal contact so a new/clean/un-burned portion of it contacts the brake light housing. I also cleaned and electrically lubricated the crap out of it, so we'll see how long it works.

Josh (PA)
08-10-2004, 12:18 PM
Hi,

Thanks for this forum, it certainly helps on stuff to be aware of. Some problems that i experienced are as follows:

1. Climate Control display - apparently these are problematic on all E36's (mine was intermittently going on/off at 100 000km - not sure how many miles this is...)
:eeps:
You can fix this by replacing a capacitor on the Climate Control PCB, follow the steps here:
http://www.macadamizer.com/bmwfix.html

BMW Prick
10-06-2004, 11:47 AM
I've been thinking about getting an M for some time but with all these "Common Problems" I may get something else.

Oh and What's up I'm new here! :thumbup:

x3man
01-10-2005, 09:34 PM
-Plastic radiator neck fails, leaving nothing for the coolant hose to clamp on to. Only solution is a new radiator. Many replace this before 80K as a preventative measure, since a failure = stranded on the side of the road.


Approx. how much for the radiator and labor?

TEV///
03-31-2005, 01:55 PM
This thread is very good but has gotten a bit out of control.

We need to differentiate between common failures (things that are likely to happen if not checked/replaced) and failed once (misfortune breakages that have occurred to only one person or so), and there are many many posts, some asking questions, some suggesting things (like this one), others explaining what has broken for them, and others confirming another post, and all these post are responses all over the threads (multiple subthreads within the main thread)

So with all that said, as a suggestion, is there a way to create a poll that lists the majority of things that break and where you are allowed check off what has broken for you? Then have some primary page tally up the overall totals for each area in question. This will show what really breaks frequently vs what broke once for one or two people...

Just a thought

T

winter66
06-22-2005, 02:27 PM
Brake Light Circut Failure

Oxygen Sensors Failures

Sticky shifting, I have a 1968 RS Camaro that shifts very smooth compared to the M3

Alex_nz
09-29-2005, 05:42 PM
This thread is very good but has gotten a bit out of control.

We need to differentiate between common failures (things that are likely to happen if not checked/replaced) and failed once (misfortune breakages that have occurred to only one person or so), and there are many many posts, some asking questions, some suggesting things (like this one), others explaining what has broken for them, and others confirming another post, and all these post are responses all over the threads (multiple subthreads within the main thread)

So with all that said, as a suggestion, is there a way to create a poll that lists the majority of things that break and where you are allowed check off what has broken for you? Then have some primary page tally up the overall totals for each area in question. This will show what really breaks frequently vs what broke once for one or two people...

Just a thought

T

Agreed, its had to differentiate between what may cause serious damage and money, to something that is very minor and will not cost you much.

This many responses makes it look like the E36 M3 has too many problems to cope with!

A proper list needs to be made, preferably by someone who knows a lot about these faults and could put them in the right place.

thilton59
11-18-2005, 04:01 AM
Then there's the lock issues. Doors don't open, they stay locked, the keyless won't lock them... This central locking idea will never catch on. Oh and then there's that problem of going through rear tires...

Pinecone
11-19-2005, 04:47 AM
Oh and then there's that problem of going through rear tires...

Stop doing so many burnouts. :rofl:

TDW'sBMW
11-20-2005, 08:28 PM
trunk lid wiring shorts that cause several grimlins to crop up in the system (trunk lock issues, door lock issues, etc.), same for where the door harness goes through the driver hinge areas. These are not issues for the cars due to poor construction of the car itself, rather, much ike the issues with the radiator, the car is at least 10 years old for the 95's now, and much like Mrs. Bush says when George W goes to bed, we can say "I feel age creeping upon me..."


:rolleyes:

johnf
11-21-2005, 11:22 AM
Sure, if you suppose you have to use the same wire in the same way. If you don't, then the wiring problems could be an engineering or cost minimization failure (for the owner), not a matter of old age. And more importantly, it means you could solve the problems so that they don't resurface every ten years (or whatever).

thilton59
12-14-2005, 02:43 AM
Stop doing so many burnouts. :rofl:

No burnouts, just some drifting here and there. Plus the wheel spin from first to second. :D
And does anyone burn oil at an obscene rate? I'm running full synthetic and I'm going through 2 quarts between oil changes! I drive hard, but still...
I'm doing oil changes every 4-5k.

SoloII///M
12-14-2005, 04:28 AM
No burnouts, just some drifting here and there. Plus the wheel spin from first to second. :D
And does anyone burn oil at an obscene rate? I'm running full synthetic and I'm going through 2 quarts between oil changes! I drive hard, but still...
I'm doing oil changes every 4-5k.

That's absurd oil consumption. I did 5,000 mile oil changes of Mobil 1 and the car burned less than a half a quart over the course of 5,000 miles. Including when I was autocrossing the car at least twice a month and generally beating the crap out of it.

Pinecone
12-14-2005, 05:36 AM
Of course BMW says no more than 1 quart every 1000 miles is fine. :)

thilton59
12-14-2005, 08:36 PM
I'm also using mobil 1, and am chaging it in regular intervals, and I've got no leaks! I dont exactly autocross, but you might as well call it that.

glove
12-31-2005, 06:57 AM
The ignition cylinder fault has happened once or twice, Should I expect this to fail completely soon? Could this be fixed under a TSB, my car has 97 K on the odometer. How expensive is this repair?

Thomas2006
01-25-2006, 04:13 PM
I am using BMW Synthetic. is MOBIL 1 better? Everyone seems to be using Mobil 1 so I was just wondering.

thilton59
02-05-2006, 07:24 PM
mobil 1 is cheaper and more abundant. as for better... it's hard to oem.

xalapos
04-27-2006, 06:51 AM
How about evap problems? It is very common and very hard to troubleshoot....(usually it is not the gas cap)

dakar
05-26-2006, 09:43 AM
I just bought a 1996 M3. I bought it knowing that the alternator tensioner needed to be replaced (it makes a horrible whistling sound at idle that gets worse if i turn the lights on) and the power steering hoses are weepy. I got the car home and this morning there was two five inch diameter puddles of brownish liquid on the ground. There was nothing on the ground of the guy's garage I bought it from. I love the car, but am I going to have to spend thousands on maintenance right away? If anyone might know what my problem could be I would appreciate it. Thanks

Regulatorocks
06-05-2006, 08:02 PM
someone should post up a time chart for basic preventive maitenance and approx prices

for example

90k- Stage II service, etc etc, costs aroudn $1000 (this is just a geuss)

120k- blah blah blha


it would help people realize what maitenance must be done if they are buying cars with somewhat higher mileage

nuri
06-27-2006, 10:20 PM
can you folks tell me of a good parts resource for my 98 m3 soft top

thegadget
07-02-2006, 12:24 AM
It is hard to beat Pelican Parts for affordable BMW parts. And they have excellent Technical articles that walk you step by step.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/index.htm

Jason is great. Very helpful and somehow shipped a tierod from CA at 5:00pm to TX in less than a day! (11:30AM to my door!) I have no Idea how they can do that! Even with shipping the entire tire rod assembly was $61, while BMW was charging over $120+tax for the same part!

hencini
07-07-2006, 07:24 AM
It is hard to beat Pelican Parts for affordable BMW parts. And they have excellent Technical articles that walk you step by step.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/index.htm

Jason is great. Very helpful and somehow shipped a tierod from CA at 5:00pm to TX in less than a day! (11:30AM to my door!) I have no Idea how they can do that! Even with shipping the entire tire rod assembly was $61, while BMW was charging over $120+tax for the same part!

I stayed up late last night reading through the Pelican Parts site. I'm interested in entering the BMW community via the E36 M3, and that site went a long way to convincing me that they're very managable from a DIY maintenence standpoint. Great site. Very well written and thorough. :beerchug:

my3rdbimmer
08-01-2006, 08:17 AM
is there any others out there that have gauge problems..? my buddy is having a problem with the gauge needles going crazy from time to time (going right to the top then they go back)..... he has had it to the dealership at least 10 times they cant pinpoint it.. i am think ing grounding?? any ideas?

Wayne@Pelican
08-04-2006, 11:10 AM
I stayed up late last night reading through the Pelican Parts site. I'm interested in entering the BMW community via the E36 M3, and that site went a long way to convincing me that they're very managable from a DIY maintenence standpoint. Great site. Very well written and thorough. :beerchug:

Thanks guys - I wrote most of the articles on the site. If you like what you've seen there, then you'll love my new book which has much more of the same (101 Performance Projects for your BMW 3 Series). The official book website is here: http://www.101projects.com and here is a recent link about it on BimmerFest.com:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=158059&highlight=101+performance+projects

-Wayne

vvuvincent
09-30-2006, 02:28 AM
I was looking forward to purchasing the E36 M3 till I read this thread and Wow! m3 has a lot of maintenance to worry about it gave me second thoughts of purchasing it. Im not worried about buying a m3 im more worried about second hand sellers not maintaining there vehicles properly and maintaining/replacing parts on time. Most of the m3s are around 100k miles for about $15k more or less nowadays which is all i can afford and if the m3 isnt maintained properly by the previous owner I or the new buyer will be having headaches dealing with mechanic issues and maybe even spending thousands more.
Anyhow I read many good things about the e36 m3 which caught my attention, especially knowing that the car can turn like its on rails but, is it really worth the money? maybe I should go with a 3series coupe E46 with less problems. what do you guys think? is m3 only worth it to m3 enthusiast who enjoys their car even after constant problems such as radiator /thermostat/waterpump etc. sigh* after reading all of these problems it gave me a head ache =/ anyhow if I do purchase a e36 m3 ^^ wayne@pelican I will definately purchase your book

Oh and thanks, this thread helped me a lot !! best thread with regular maintenace listed yet!

JasonOne
11-12-2006, 11:09 PM
I'm not sure that these common failures are E36 M3 only problems. Not sure if they're E36 only problems either.

Jason
PS this is my first post here. I'm looking for an E36 M3 as my first BMW. Going to sell my old E-class Coupe.

gaspain
11-29-2006, 01:39 PM
Im at 135,000 miles now on my '94 325is. Runs great, and once you get all the maintenance done its fine. All of my problems happened at 100k-120k and the car was 10years old at the time.

Things I did and you should do and/or get.

-new water pump with a metal impeller. OEM's were plastic.
-new metal thermostat housing. OEM was plastic.
-new thermostat at 120k. old one failed shut, resulting in a near overheat
-remove the fan. Install an electronic fan.
-remove rubber plug drain thing above computer. It gets clogged and results in overflow of water onto the computer
-beware of wires in the truck lid harness, many have shorted out due to disintegrated wiring. May cause fire.
-replace radiator with all aluminum one. My old one failed, the plastic water neck broke off.
-power window motor went out. replaced.
-brakes are underpowered. Replaced fronts with '04 330i rotors and calipers and carriers. Direct bolt on. Also, replace the rubber brake lines with stainless.
-front control arm bushings needed replaced. Used nice offset RTRS delrin replacements.
-trunk gasket squeaks when driving. Rub liquid hand soap into the gasket every few months.
-Oxy sensor replaced at 110k. That isnt easy to get to btw.
-drivers side door handle internals broke. Made of plastic that got brittle. Replaced.
-door panel leather was peeling off. '92-95 had bad adhesive. Replaced with new ones.
-sunroof developed serious leak. removed sunroof, replaced with carbon fiber plug. Very happy with this mod. Lost over 120lbs from the top of the car. Makes it handle a hell of a lot better.
-Shocks were shot at 120k. replaced with konis.
-Rear shock towers were shot. Replaced with Turner units.
-front towers are shot. Havent replaced them yet though.

gaspain
02-14-2007, 10:45 PM
bump

paulmurphyhomes
02-15-2007, 10:00 PM
9) The undercariage panel seems to routinely fall off (and can be replaced with an aftermarket metal piece that stays)

Anyone think of anything else?

Where would I find these metal pieces?

paulmurphyhomes
02-15-2007, 10:01 PM
Metal undercarriage pieces, where would I find these?

paulmurphyhomes
02-15-2007, 10:32 PM
Brake Light Circut Failure

Oxygen Sensors Failures

Sticky shifting, I have a 1968 RS Camaro that shifts very smooth compared to the M3

Fixed my brake light circuit failure by replacing switch...:)

coolguyat1b
02-16-2007, 10:14 PM
I get a brake light circuit failure that shows up on the comp randomly and then goes away. I've checked the brake light and it works. I've also checked the fuse but it is not that either. Should I just leave it be until the message stays on or until the brake lights stop working?

paulmurphyhomes
02-16-2007, 10:20 PM
9) The undercariage panel seems to routinely fall off (and can be replaced with an aftermarket metal piece that stays)

Anyone think of anything else?
Where can we get these 'metal pieces'?

paulmurphyhomes
02-17-2007, 07:41 AM
I cured the brake light circuit failure by replacing the brake switch.

Jim44
02-20-2007, 01:02 PM
Where can we get these 'metal pieces'?
JT Designs:
http://www.jt-designs.com/

Jim

bimmerology
03-02-2007, 12:08 AM
coolant light goes on computer screen even after replaced several times

M3inMD
03-02-2007, 06:50 AM
I get a brake light circuit failure that shows up on the comp randomly and then goes away. I've checked the brake light and it works. I've also checked the fuse but it is not that either. Should I just leave it be until the message stays on or until the brake lights stop working?

This happened to me a few months back, seems like it's pretty common on our cars. Replace the brake light switch located directly above the brake pedal arm (use lots of lighting and prepare to work in a tight space, on your back).

Here's a pretty good link covering the procedure involved:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/E36-Brake_Switch/E36-Brake_Switch.htm

Cheers,

shamus309
09-01-2007, 09:42 AM
Hi,

One of the plastic front headlight washer jets has fallen off. The replacement one won't stay on properly. To cap it all, the headlight washers have sprung a leak behind the front bumper and between the washer bottle reservoir.

How do I get behind the front washer jets to access the spline which the nozzles fit onto?

Do I have to remove the front bumper to access the hoses and connectors? if I do, how do I go about removing the front bumper of my E36 M3.

Any help greatly appreciated.

KAMMY
09-14-2007, 07:54 AM
Not that I know of. I'm just going from the experiences of you and TD.

HYA MATE MY CAR SEEMS TO BE HAVIN THE SAME PROBLUM AS URS ITS DIFICULT TO GT INTO GEAR ONCE ITS WARM... DID U MANAGE TO SORT URS OUT??

KAMMY
09-14-2007, 07:57 AM
There is a TSB for the shifting difficulty. If your car has difficulty getting into gear after it warms up, they will replace some pins and seals in the transmission. Apparently, the pins would catch on something and prevent you from going into gear. However, this is sort of like a catch - if you just have notchy gates, getting the TSB repair might not help.

Also, when I had it done, the TSB was not in the dealer's computer. Brecht seems to go the extra mile - they called BMW's helpline, found out about it, and had it faxed to them.


WATS THE ISSUE WITH GEARS NT SHIFTING AS MINE IS ALSO DOIN IT WEN ITS WARN???

Kyle Jacox
11-01-2007, 05:48 PM
dont forget about your micro filters. 20 bucks and 1 hour of work if you do it yourself for the first time. lets more air in through air coditioning and heating vents.

Kyle Jacox
11-01-2007, 05:52 PM
about the brake light circut. you can wait till it goes out or replace it now. its located underneath your brake pedal way high and its this plastic switch that is a pain to get out . i got it and had a bmw guy put it in.

Kyle Jacox
11-01-2007, 05:54 PM
I get a brake light circuit failure that shows up on the comp randomly and then goes away. I've checked the brake light and it works. I've also checked the fuse but it is not that either. Should I just leave it be until the message stays on or until the brake lights stop working?

[QUOTE=Kyle Jacox;2766238]about the brake light circut. you can wait till it goes out or replace it now. its located underneath your brake pedal way high and its this plastic switch that is a pain to get out . I got the piece and had a bmw guy put it in professionally.

QuantumMojo
12-01-2007, 01:33 PM
Hi, I have a problem with my SMG transmission, when in sequential mode the hazard lights come on. Internally only, I think. Still shifts fine, I do back it off when it happens. Doesn't happen in auto modes that I've noticed. Is this a fault signal? Or dodgy wiring?

First time bmw owner..... Thanx

niteridder
02-07-2008, 12:13 AM
The head linner fails on all 3 series, the door panels come apart. gas door security catch is plastic, rear lites have problems. But come on man all this is light weight stuff. The car is solid the motor can't be beat, it's a sound investement, money wise...wk...And a really fun car to drive, that's fast and powerful, you can get it in 3'rd gear under 20mph...

njwilliamson
02-09-2008, 01:27 AM
wow, 5 year thread

BimmerBucy
04-25-2008, 04:00 PM
Hey Biimer guys. I just bought a '97 Dinan M3. Got a good deal, cleaned the airfilter parts out of the MAFS and now it runs fine.
Can anybody tell me how loud the Dinan supercharger is supposed to be? I can't tell if the whistle is from air moving or parts squeeking. This is the first Dinan I've had or ever been around.

TerraPhantm
06-23-2008, 10:47 PM
Hi, I'm looking at buying a 98 M3, but this thread is making me lean towards an e46 330. Do all of the problems in this thread apply to models of later model years? Also is there anything you guys would look out for in particular on one with 70k miles? Thanks!

ffej
06-24-2008, 08:07 AM
Hi, I'm looking at buying a 98 M3, but this thread is making me lean towards an e46 330. Do all of the problems in this thread apply to models of later model years? Also is there anything you guys would look out for in particular on one with 70k miles? Thanks!

I guess that depends (E36M3 vs E46330) on what you're looking for from the car. Having driven both, extensively, I will say that the M3 is a much more engaging car to drive and the 330 is a much nicer car to drive. Both are fast/powerful enough to get you into trouble if you're not careful, but the M3 (stock for stock) turns and stops better than the 330 - if the shocks are still good and the bushings are intact.

At 70k miles, things begin to fail on all E36s - Check this list to see what to look for (http://tinyurl.com/5o9ncj) - I haven't looked through this thread in a while, so I'm not sure what's been covered and what hasn't.

I will say one thing, though, if the car has overheated, stay away. There is a likelihood that the headgasket is blown, which is a $2k job for a good independent mechanic, which isn't an absurd charge for a car as fun as the M3. What *can* happen with that, though, is a warped or cracked head, which means a full rebuild, which can cost upwards of $2k ALSO, including the cost of a used head.

That said, if the car checks out (M3) well from a pre-purchase inspection from a good independent mechanic, and you take care of hazards that (s)he may find, the car can serve you well for a long time. I know two people with almost 200,000 miles on their E36 M3s and know of several more with over 200k.

With the E46 you get a more modern build, an equally reliable engine and similar issues with the car as a whole as you'll find in the link above. If the cost to just get into the car (sale price) is close enough, the E46 might be a better option, simply because of the newness of the car.

Good luck

TerraPhantm
06-25-2008, 08:22 PM
I drove one today and... wow, I can't believe what it's like to drive these things. Unfortunately, there was enough iffy about the car (like paint being slightly different colors on different body panels) to make me walk away. The potential E36 issues still might be worth it for a car that drives like this, I'm really leaning towards this instead of an E46 330 now. Of course I'm experiencing the problems w/ test driving a BMW; I can't stop thinking about the car!

Kyle Jacox
12-05-2008, 07:15 PM
After filling my washer fluid up..it lost almost all pressure. Help!

Macadamia
03-31-2009, 09:55 PM
sounds like some kind of clog, maybe sediment or something similar... this is especially possible if you ever let the reservoir go completely dry. There are mineral deposits on the inside of the reservoir that can flake off if it stays dry for too long. These can clog the outlet line going to the washer pump.

CT310
06-04-2009, 08:59 AM
I guess that depends (E36M3 vs E46330) on what you're looking for from the car. Having driven both, extensively, I will say that the M3 is a much more engaging car to drive and the 330 is a much nicer car to drive. Both are fast/powerful enough to get you into trouble if you're not careful, but the M3 (stock for stock) turns and stops better than the 330 - if the shocks are still good and the bushings are intact.

At 70k miles, things begin to fail on all E36s - Check this list to see what to look for (http://tinyurl.com/5o9ncj) - I haven't looked through this thread in a while, so I'm not sure what's been covered and what hasn't.

I will say one thing, though, if the car has overheated, stay away. There is a likelihood that the headgasket is blown, which is a $2k job for a good independent mechanic, which isn't an absurd charge for a car as fun as the M3. What *can* happen with that, though, is a warped or cracked head, which means a full rebuild, which can cost upwards of $2k ALSO, including the cost of a used head.

That said, if the car checks out (M3) well from a pre-purchase inspection from a good independent mechanic, and you take care of hazards that (s)he may find, the car can serve you well for a long time. I know two people with almost 200,000 miles on their E36 M3s and know of several more with over 200k.

With the E46 you get a more modern build, an equally reliable engine and similar issues with the car as a whole as you'll find in the link above. If the cost to just get into the car (sale price) is close enough, the E46 might be a better option, simply because of the newness of the car.

Good luck

This is perfect for those of use looking to buy our first E36M3. Thank you!

Like other posts here, I was getting turned off of the purchase, given that I plan to track it and can't tell a water pump from an ice cream scooper. But, screw it! Gotta learn sometime.

If anyone has a good BMW mechanic in the Los Angeles area, please post. 1st post BTW; you guys know so much good sh**!

Killjoy
07-26-2009, 01:33 AM
About the nut that people recommend tack welding...how hard is this to get to? Is this a good DIY, or is someone like me with an average/below average knowledge of internals getting in over their head?

Idrive330i
07-27-2010, 08:26 PM
Hi. I'm looking to re-enter the bimmer world with an 1999 E36/M3! I am concerned about the issues sited here, but feel like the car over all will be FUN to drive, and worth the few common issues. It seems that some of these are common to other bimmer models as well. Thanks for the thread. A list of maintenance items to perform at 110 and 120k miles, etc. would be GREAT! The car I'm looking at has 112k.... I'm READY to drive!:)

Orang Tua
07-28-2010, 07:10 AM
Idrive330i and Terraphantm, i recommend go for the M3, I have just purchased a 97 Eurospec M3, it is awesome, I love it, the "M" badge and all that comes with it makes it an awesome experience every time I drive it! My advice is to get any car thoroughly checked by a qualified mechanic before buying, he should be able to identify through suspension and brake wear etc if it's been thrashed. If it does not have a documented service history (particularly for high mileage cars) walk away, these are high performance engines that need regular oil and coolant changes with top shelf products. Make sure the coolant is clean, if the coolant is clean but the bottle is dirty you will be asking for trouble.
It's only early days but the only issue with my car is the engine oil temp gauge is not working. The clutch was replaced and the Vanos was rebuilt at 150,000kms. It's a gem!
Be patient and wait for the right car (I searched for 8 months with plenty of lemons out there), the "M" experience is worth it.

Good luck!

Idrive330i
07-28-2010, 07:22 AM
Orang Tua,
Thanks for the input. I am going to take a look at the M3 in a few hours. I can't wait. I will try to be patient, but the car looks great. I also have a great friend that is an import mech, who knows about these cars. That is reassuring. I will look at the coolant, and things under the hood. The suspension will be replaced if needed....
Thanks again!
idrive "M3"

M3E-36
10-28-2010, 10:37 PM
I have the stock clutch stop, and the stock shifter. I HAVE brought it to the dealer, and they replaced the tranny. Still having problems from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to third. Tonight, it absolutely would NOT go into 1st gear at one point. I had to pull it back into neutral, and then push it into first again. :thumbdwn:

today my M3 E36 didnt want to go in to 1st but since i work at a shop i rolled it in and order 1, replaced it cus it was leaking and that took care of the problem, if there is a leak not only does fluid get out but air goes in to the system and that does not build up enough pressure to release the clutch, try that im 99.999999999% sure that it will fix ur problem

rtrchopchop
03-20-2011, 10:00 AM
I have an '98 M3 convertible and it works and has worked correctly since yesterday. Now, only the canvas folding top works when I press the button. When it is ready to fold into it's compartment, the lid won't open. If anyone can help me on this issue I would be extremely grateful. I have checked the window alignment and the motor and that isn't the issue, but other than that, I can't diagnose anything else because the servos and other linkages are located in the compartment that won't open. Is there a manual release for this compartment?

Thanks,

RTR

rtrchopchop
03-20-2011, 10:08 AM
Anyone know why my '98 m3 convertible top compartment lid won't open. The canvas roof folds to it's proper position, but then it has no where to go b/c the compartment lid is stuck shut. Is there a manual release for this lid or is it a servo possibly gone bad? If anyone could help I would be very grateful.

Thanks,

RTR

Alpina B3 3.0
08-18-2011, 11:08 AM
Rear brake light circuit failure, what is too change? It did that on my way to work, will check if it appears on the way back. My car likes to play with me and pop come failures and then next time I start it theres none...haha

akdropem
08-31-2011, 10:57 PM
I've heard that there's not really enough room to safety wire this nut properly without actually weakening the shaft. Most racers (and street pilots) are just tack welding the nut to the shaft for peace of mind. The other common option is to red locktite it.


I have a thin washer i put on first then bend it over on 2 sides so it cant back out!! Never had any isses from it.

akdropem
08-31-2011, 11:02 PM
Rear brake light circuit failure, what is too change? It did that on my way to work, will check if it appears on the way back. My car likes to play with me and pop come failures and then next time I start it theres none...haha

when this happened to me i changed all light bulbs.... nothing. It ended up being the brake light switch at the pedal. count the number of wires on your cause they will want to know if it 3 or 4 i think.

Alpina B3 3.0
09-01-2011, 05:20 PM
Thanks man will check, it seems to just come and go...probably close to die!

koomasutra
01-02-2012, 09:57 AM
I have a 99 e36 M3 Convertible. With 154,000 miles.
Here is a list what I have replaced so far.
1. All belts at 120K

Car runs great. When, I do turn the steering wheel it makes a squeezing sound. Any idea what it is?

Thank you ahead for your for help, comments and recommendations.


Kooma Sutra

djayamek
01-17-2012, 06:51 AM
I have a 99 e36 M3 Convertible. With 154,000 miles.
Here is a list what I have replaced so far.
1. All belts at 120K

Car runs great. When, I do turn the steering wheel it makes a squeezing sound. Any idea what it is?


You might be low on power steering fluid.

marksM3
02-10-2012, 11:28 AM
You might be low on power steering fluid.

I had to replace the tie rods on mine an it was squeaking to "low on power steering fluid"

mValadez09
03-29-2012, 03:16 PM
Is their some kind of website that lists warranty problems that are covered?

hnaz
01-02-2013, 02:07 PM
About the nut that people recommend tack welding...how hard is this to get to? Is this a good DIY, or is someone like me with an average/below average knowledge of internals getting in over their head?

You have to drop the front subframe to get to the oil pan.

And seriously, it is fine. I don't know why people keep going ape over this nut. My car runs, drives, and does just fine. Geez. This isn't something that happens 100% on 100% of the cars. It would be far easier to just remove the nut, clean the shaft, apply some red locktite, thread the nut back on, forget it.

Seriously, relax about this topic. There are a number of E36 M and regular cars that track and autoX without doing anything to the nut and are just fine. :thumbup:

CETFLY
05-12-2013, 02:18 PM
Hey everyone!
I'm brand new to these forums.
I'm from Perth, Western Australia. I'm currently living in Calgary and looking to buy a 1997 M3 E36.
After reading ALL the pages here (thanks again for everyone with their constructive input, its been very helpful) I went through the mind-set of just thinking "These cars clearly aren't worth it then with all these hassles. I want to enjoy the car, not spend all my free time fixing it to still not drive it."

I went and checked out a young guys silver M3. He bought it off a guy whom imported it from the US.
The problems -major one I was focussed on- was when I asked him why the water pump was changed. I asked him if it over heated. He said "Yes, it got into the red, but the warning light didn't come on. I shut it off and had it towed. When they swapped the pump, the typical cheap plastic OEM pump blades were destroyed and that was the cause."

I'm 32yo, and have been building complete cars, custom turbo setups and rebuilding engines for the last 17years as my hobby. I'm over doing rebuilds now. Too costly and take too long. I dont have much free time these days.
I told him that if she's been overheated, it will most likely have warped the head and will present problems later down the track.
I own 3 turbo'd Nissans back home. Two of them are 180sx's. Of which one is a full show car, and the other a nicely warmed-up 370HP daily driver. I know ALL about blown head gaskets with other cars but especially turbo's in our hot climate.

When I started his car, there was no water vapour at all, no missing from the engine (cylinder/s misfiring until they clear any water in the chamber). It wasnt over heating after I gave it a good, spirited drive, up hill to really load it up (checking the clutch too etc while I was at it).
Its done 172000kms and the guy was very very honest about past damage, a couple of small accidents from the previous owner.
Now, mechanically, he himself had had a lot of work done to it.
New water pump, alternator, p/s pump and tie rods, pulleys, belts, new after market exhaust, rims blah blah blah.
It leaks nothing at all. It drives very well, with lots of torque.
There is some mechanical engine noise which I couldnt actually pick as Im not familiar with these engines but it seemed to have gone away after it warmed up a bit.
Gear selection is good, no missing or crunching of gears other than maybe 2nd gear synchros when down-changing from 3rd to 2nd (no biggy, I didnt rev match on that change) and no popping out of 5th gear.
Brakes are phenomenal, handling is crisp. Steering a little heavy but could be as a result of the wider wheels and the tires are nearly like slicks so that will make steering feel heavier.

My main issue is the fact that it was overheated.

I'm sure most temp gauges in cars show the red way before it will cause any actual damage. Would this be the case with the M3 and is there even a red overheat warning light at all with these dash clusters? I didn't check that when I put the key to "ignition".
He said it overheated that one time, a year ago and he drove it for the summer after changing the pump and has never had any problems with the car other than those listed. Including changing the ignition barrel over (on a side-note, WHY DON'T M3's HAVE HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE STEERING COLUMNS!??!? Apparently the non M3's do!?) and the sunroof getting stuck open due to it sliding out of its rail. That will need to be fixed.

Is this car worth it? Or is it too risky? I'd really like to know asap as I need to get a price on insurance for it and work out the total cost of buying, insuring and fixing some of the problems with it (euro light glass lenses broken, indicator broken, fog lights missing, sunroof broken, needs window tint badly for summer, the climate control flaps can be heard moving but the windscreen and feet don't seem to get any airflow at all with the fan on. The face setting works.
Most of these are basic to fix, but cost money in parts.

Thoughts?

I appreciate any feedback from people who are more experienced with these particular engines/cars than me and dont worry, you can talk the in-depth technical mechanical language to me. I'll understand. I'm also a qualified Electrician

Thanks!
:-)
Wes

johnf
05-12-2013, 02:28 PM
.

CETFLY
05-12-2013, 07:55 PM
BMW NA stopped ordering tilt steering on all their E36s after a round of minor decontenting. It wasn't a deal breaker and helped keep the cars from rising too high up the ladders.

Out of curiosity, do you plan to eventually send the car to Oz?

No. We drive on the other side of the road and the other side of the car. I'd have to pay a lot to import, pay taxes and duties, have to get the steering wheel conversion ($$$) then get it all inpected and have the intrusion bars put in, new tires (to Aus standards and conditions) then get it licensed etc etc. Just cheaper to buy one there.

That just makes so little sense. Of all things to drop on a car, height adjustable steering shouldnt be one. Especially on such a high-end sports car.
Back home, Nissan made a Pulsar GL and a Pulsar ET Turbo in 1984 . The GL was NA and the lowest spec'd model. The ET Turbo was the highest spec'd and the first 4cylinder in Aus with EFI and turbo.
Height adjustable steering was an optional extra in the GL. I had one of those and also a couple of the turbo'd versions of the same car. The ET had everything like A/C, adjustable steering EFI, turbo, 4 wheel disc brakes -as standard.

I just cant get my head around this M3 not having something so basic.
It should be easy enough to swap this out I'd imagine....

johnf
05-13-2013, 12:28 AM
.

CETFLY
05-13-2013, 01:43 PM
I was just curious. In Japan, it used to be considered quite chic to own a LHD car, and for all I know, it still is. From what I remember of the southeast, Oz has pretty generous sight distances that should make LHD not intolerable, sight distance that are probably much more generous than in parts of Japan! Most countries also allow you to import, duty-free as part of your household goods, a car you have owned while living abroad for a while. The homoligation of the older US-market cars is generally also not too bad. At least that has been true with the four countries I am a little familiar with: Denmark, Finland, Germany and the U.S.


Cool. Thanks for the reply, John. No, its just not worth it in Aus. They make it extremely difficult to import cars and have all new laws on grey imports which make it expensive.
Gone are teh days when you would import after owning a car for a year. My mate back in 2001 bought an RX7 series 6 and brought it back home with him to sell. It cost him a fortune to import.
You do know we live in cities in Australia right?? That line of sight stuff.....I have NO idea where you're getting that from. To me, you have better line of sight here in NA. All the roads are long, straight and boring compared to where I live anyway. An M3 is far more suited to Aus than NA with how well they are designed to handle.
Most cars back home (in Perth) are built for handling and then speed. In that order ;-).

I think I'm going to walk away from buying an M3 now after reading more and more and seeing that I just dont have the time nor the storage space to have to deal with all the issues when they arise. I dont think its the car for me at this point in my life.

Thanks to everyone who's contributed to these forums and helped in creating them. It was really helpful to me and many others.

:-)

Wes

jimmycz3
05-28-2013, 05:47 PM
hi guys this is my first time on this site!
I have a 1997 z3 2.8 the car is aligned front end checked new struts and bushings good balljoints and tierods tight front end but on uneven roads it will pull!
what can it be

chillwill13555
08-03-2013, 02:16 PM
cant find a manual for my e36 help needed :thumbup:

Roadmax
08-22-2013, 10:07 PM
hi guys this is my first time on this site!
I have a 1997 z3 2.8 the car is aligned front end checked new struts and bushings good balljoints and tierods tight front end but on uneven roads it will pull!
what can it be

It is just an indication of an uneven road.

Roadmax
08-22-2013, 10:07 PM
hi guys this is my first time on this site!
I have a 1997 z3 2.8 the car is aligned front end checked new struts and bushings good balljoints and tierods tight front end but on uneven roads it will pull!
what can it be

It is just an indication of an uneven road.

chillwill13555
08-23-2013, 03:17 AM
Tru it's the road

Sent from my SPH-M840 using BimmerApp mobile app

Josegmoran
08-15-2014, 09:22 AM
Some roads have a crown from what i under stand Also some tires will develop radial pull after some time of use.


Long time lover first time owner

Josegmoran
08-15-2014, 09:25 AM
Bmw dealers have tire balancing machine that measure road force and advises tech on were to install tire to help with tire pull


Long time lover first time owner