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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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  #1  
Old 07-01-2007, 04:07 AM
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Unhappy 97 320 handbrake broke?

Hi all.
I'll try to describe my issue. I usually leave the car in gear and on handbrake when I park it. To my memory, the feel of handbrake lever is like this: it's not easy at all to lift it without pressing the button on the end of it, and there is a kind of progressive tension/resistance that goes with it the higher you raise the lever. When it's in down position, it does NOT have a very easy-flappy travel of about quarter of an inch. It's in down position and kind stays there. I say to my memory as I never REALLY paid attention to this, just kinda used it.

This afternoon when releasing the handbrake, I felt some sort of ding noise, like the thread braking, but I am not 100% confident in what broke or didnt, but some noise did come. The handrake felt kinda floppy afterwords though, i could raise it very easily up without pushing the button. It would not fall down, it would stay raised, and by all feel, the brakes would engage. BUT I'm wondering if something indeed broke that could lead to, say, the thing engaging on me at speed (not fun).

So the questions are: what can possibly be broken (the brake engages still), is this common issue with the e36, and what are my best actions to avoid any more problems with it without going to repairs place too soon. Trying to save up some cash this month for vacation so I'm not sure I wanna just visit a dealer who will say that some tensioner broke and otherwise its fine but will cost 100euros to repair if you like which he of course advises to do, obviously.

Crap..
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2007, 04:39 AM
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You SHOULD be ABLE to lift the lever without pressing the release button.
When you're lifting it without pressing the release button, is the rachet engaging (ie click, click) and still getting slightly tighter as you get higher? Optimum for most handbrakes is between 3 and 7 clicks for fully on, for optimum leverage.

If you feel like it, you could yank the brake (at relatively low speed) on some gravel and verify that both rear wheels are locking.

If it feels sort of normal, I consider it very unlikely that your brake will ever come on without you pulling the lever.
(Unless it's a passenger - I used to quietly lift it just slightly to freak drivers out with a flashing red warning light)

If you want to get it checked out by a pro though, I always prefer to go someone who specialises in brakes than a dealer whoc "specialises" in the manufacturer.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2007, 04:50 AM
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jason, thanks. I will see how it's clicking today. I just thought the thing should be very tight and hard to lift, but felt it was quite floppy or something. When i lifted the hanbrake I think there were not much clicking actually... i'll have to check this later today... The ligth on dash is OFF btw when its disengaged, and on when its engaged.

So is it normal to leave the car on handbrake and in gear, or not? What do most people do? I mean i don't want it to roll really, but i started to think after today that leaving it in gear is just fine and using the handbrake should be done only in emergency, i.e. changing the tyre or whatever. more thoughts?
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:56 AM
Conehead Conehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 320what? View Post
jason, thanks. I will see how it's clicking today. I just thought the thing should be very tight and hard to lift, but felt it was quite floppy or something. When i lifted the hanbrake I think there were not much clicking actually... i'll have to check this later today... The ligth on dash is OFF btw when its disengaged, and on when its engaged.

So is it normal to leave the car on handbrake and in gear, or not? What do most people do? I mean i don't want it to roll really, but i started to think after today that leaving it in gear is just fine and using the handbrake should be done only in emergency, i.e. changing the tyre or whatever. more thoughts?


Mate..you should have the handbrake applied and the car in gear whenever you leave the car unattended..Its a safety thing.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:01 AM
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+100...just remember to depress the clutch when you start the car or you will go for an unwanted, jerky trip
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:03 AM
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so thats what ive been doing all the time, only thought was if there is some common fault with the thing in E36 that applying it less would help it last longer. I.e. when car is in safe parking, hear house or at work parking lot behind gates, and where surface is flat. I always turn steering towards the curb as well and lock it. SO no worries Cone, i'm doing lots of thing in the name of safety.
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:06 AM
Conehead Conehead is offline
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Did you know, that in N.S.W. Aust, it is an offence to leave the car unattended with the handbrake disengaged...From memory, its aboot a$175 fine.

Its in the same catagory of fines and offences as failing to lock your car at a service station, leaving children unattended in a car and leaving your keys in the car wilst unattended....
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The best predictor for future behaviour, is past behaviour. ALSO, IT SHOULD BE NOTED:......AMATURES BUILT THE ARK..AND PROFESSIONALS BUILT THE TITANIC..................QUOTE FOR THE DAY.. Good drivers know how to get out of trouble, and better drivers know how to avoid it.....The Cone 2006 & 2007

Last edited by Conehead; 07-01-2007 at 05:09 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:08 AM
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Think it is in the UK too buddy..

Your car will definitely fail the yearly inspection (MOT) if it doesn't work
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:27 AM
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no, it's totally common here, noone will slap you with a 100 euro fine for this, that's for sure.

Speeding aside, the lack of use of seabelts is the thing that's watched out for most. And of course failure to turn on your lights on your old car (new ones are on automatically) as we must drive with lights ON at all times. I guess it has smth to do with short days in winter and fog and so on - to tell the truth I can't imagine what that's not a common law, as all cars are so much better visible with lights ON. but this is off topic a bit.

So I gather that there isnt smoe sort of major flaw with e36 handbrake and i shuold just make sure mine is ok in how it's been described..
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
offences as failing to lock your car at a service station
Surely you jest! It might be unwise to leave your car unlocked, but it shouldn't be an offence.

Is NSW that much of a Nanny State now?

+ "lots" on a handbrake law though.
Though I've seen in France how they ALL leave the brake off. They get more cars parking in that same space that way; all they need do it nudge each other.
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  #11  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:31 AM
Conehead Conehead is offline
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I kid you not mate...I am 100% serious. There not handed out that offen, but they are handed out.
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The best predictor for future behaviour, is past behaviour. ALSO, IT SHOULD BE NOTED:......AMATURES BUILT THE ARK..AND PROFESSIONALS BUILT THE TITANIC..................QUOTE FOR THE DAY.. Good drivers know how to get out of trouble, and better drivers know how to avoid it.....The Cone 2006 & 2007
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:35 AM
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Wow. Half the time I leave mine unlocked in the driveway overnight. It's very quiet here.

12 years ago I had a T18. Near the end of it's life, I used to leave it unlocked, window down, keys in. If anyone stole it they would have no-one to blame but themselves.
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:45 AM
Conehead Conehead is offline
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These laws were intoduced about 8 years ago to try and curb car thefts from service stations and parents leaving there kids unattended in the cars in hot periods.

A Toyota T-18......I havnt heard that name for a long time.....were there ever any 'legit' thefts of these cars....having said that, did you know that here, the T-18 had one of the highest 'stolen, not recovered' figures of all cars....I wonder what happened to them....LOL
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The best predictor for future behaviour, is past behaviour. ALSO, IT SHOULD BE NOTED:......AMATURES BUILT THE ARK..AND PROFESSIONALS BUILT THE TITANIC..................QUOTE FOR THE DAY.. Good drivers know how to get out of trouble, and better drivers know how to avoid it.....The Cone 2006 & 2007
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:51 AM
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why is it an offence though Cone?

EDIT, posted while i was typing...

i agree with the kids in car thing at least, did a report on it at uni (studying mechanical engineering) and the temperatures of the car can be deadly to an infant within 30 minutes!
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  #15  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:59 AM
Conehead Conehead is offline
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Its an offence because the Govt (trying to curb out certain crimes) made legislation to make it illegal.

Then the Govt gave the police (and council rangers) the powers to enforce it.
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The best predictor for future behaviour, is past behaviour. ALSO, IT SHOULD BE NOTED:......AMATURES BUILT THE ARK..AND PROFESSIONALS BUILT THE TITANIC..................QUOTE FOR THE DAY.. Good drivers know how to get out of trouble, and better drivers know how to avoid it.....The Cone 2006 & 2007
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  #16  
Old 07-01-2007, 06:28 AM
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jason_recliner jason_recliner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conehead View Post
A Toyota T-18......I havnt heard that name for a long time.....were there ever any 'legit' thefts of these cars....having said that, did you know that here, the T-18 had one of the highest 'stolen, not recovered' figures of all cars....I wonder what happened to them....LOL
Yes. I did know that. Then I went on to own a 626 turbo. #4 on the hit list at the time.

I also saw a report on steal-ability based on:
- get inside
- getting it started
- driving it away
- selling parts

Audi Quattro topped at ~140
Porsche, BMW, close behind. various models 100-130
Aussie cars, Magna did best at circa 70, followed by Falcon.

Good on you, Toyota Hilux: Zero. (get in and start it with an icypole stick, and they're almost all white utes)
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:29 AM
Conehead Conehead is offline
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Originally Posted by jason_recliner View Post
Yes. I did know that. Then I went on to own a 626 turbo. #4 on the hit list at the time.

I also saw a report on steal-ability based on:
- get inside
- getting it started
- driving it away
- selling parts

Audi Quattro topped at ~140
Porsche, BMW, close behind. various models 100-130
Aussie cars, Magna did best at circa 70, followed by Falcon.

Good on you, Toyota Hilux: Zero. (get in and start it with an icypole stick, and they're almost all white utes)

I owned a mazda 626 turbo as well, right after I owned a Mitsubishi Sigma turbo
(Peter Werret Special)....Both cars were ok in a straight line, but if you wanted to stop or turn.....that was another story...but the mazda was a 'slight' improvment...but the Sigma was renowned for 'Top up the petrol and Fill up the oil.....LOL
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The best predictor for future behaviour, is past behaviour. ALSO, IT SHOULD BE NOTED:......AMATURES BUILT THE ARK..AND PROFESSIONALS BUILT THE TITANIC..................QUOTE FOR THE DAY.. Good drivers know how to get out of trouble, and better drivers know how to avoid it.....The Cone 2006 & 2007
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2007, 08:25 AM
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my mums mitsubishi magna is exactly like that. Drinks more than our 330i and its only a 4 cylinder and goes thru oil like an irishman with a keg.
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