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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 08-01-2006, 09:23 AM
car_dude car_dude is offline
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Location: Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: Maxima
Question used vehicle inspection - dealer or mechanic?

I making good use of this forum now
Any ways I am looking for used BMW and one essential step I believe before buying is good inspection. I don't mind spending on it if it is worth while.

Now where should I take the vehicle.. to Dealership or independent mechanic.. I might be going out of state get the vehicle

Dealership (some of them better called as stealership) are they any better in inspecting with special tools etc...?
I am more of hands on ..kind of guy. I would like to see my self underneath the car. Not the kind who likes to look at the nice print out and sign under the dotted line (at most dealers) !!!

What should I ask the mechanic to inspect ? does inspection include

- Compression test
- checking spark plugs condition
- signs of previous accident
- regular checks of fluid etc...

any thing else important...(may be alignment)?

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Old 08-01-2006, 07:51 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
BMWCCA 149159
Location: Panhandle of Florida
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,847
Mein Auto: 335 vert/14JGC/ 17Outback
Inspection depends on what year and model you are looking at. Assuming an e36 most good independent BMW technicians would be the best way to go.

In order of importance I would have the wrench check these:
Records if they exist
Water pump, t-stat, t-stat housing
shocks and struts
engine over all condition
all switches and controls for function
tire wear (helps to show if the car is tracking true)
extensive test drive

You will not be able to tell if the water pump has been replaced unless you find records thus the reason an extensive test dirve is in order. Check the radiator level and oil level before the drive and after then see if there is anything odd with the oil and antifreeze.

I would never buy a car unless I test drove it because you can't tell by looking at the car things like alignment or wheel bearings going bad, etc.

Hope this helps.................
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