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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 03-06-2013, 10:18 AM
LaminatedFork LaminatedFork is offline
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Location: California
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: Wan to find that out.
Average cost of ownership per year, compared to similar vehicles?

Hey all,

I'm looking to get a new vehicle and was wondering what the average cost of ownership is for a 90's 318 or 328, compared to a similar year Acura RSX or Lexus IS300

I read the sticky on the M3, but it didn't have much to say on this matter.

Yes, I realize that BMWs are generally expensive, but I've heard the 3 series are generally fairly reasonable with a bit of elbow grease and some spit shining.

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:35 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,898
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Acura didn't make the RSX until 2001, and Lexus didn't make the IS300 until 1999, so you aren't really going to find a "90s" version of those cars. All this means is that if you want either of those two models, you're going to be shopping for newer, potentially more expensive models. BMW started selling the E36 in the US in 1992, and stopped selling them in 1999.

As far as BMWs go, it all depends on how much maintenance was done by the previous owner(s). If everything is taken care of (rare), maintenance is fairly low on these cars per annum. That said, with old BMWs, there is usually a bunch of stuff needing attention, so the first year or two of ownership is typically quite expensive.

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild

Last edited by ZeGerman; 03-06-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:53 AM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is offline
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Location: Saugerties NY
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 323is
If I told you to spend $500 on a new cooling system and then install it yourself even though you do not think anything is wrong with it. I tell you that it is preventive and should be done every 100k because when it fails you will do major damage. What is you response to this?
Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers
//1992 Mazda Miata - cat delete, power windows, oil filter relocation

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:05 AM
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E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is offline
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Mein Auto: Dreier, Fünfer & Siebener
The E36s are fairly reasonable to maintain if you enjoy DIY. It's when you take a 15 year old BMW to the shop for every little bitty thing that it becomes expensive.

Edit, good point from Ze, expect to spend some money soon after purchase catching up on deferred maintenance.

Any errors in this post are purely Swype's fault, not mine.
// Chad //
// 2006 BMW 330i Sport 6MT // 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid //
// 1997 Range Rover 4.0 // 1994 Range Rover Classic //
// 1997 Land Rover Discovery // 1998 Land Rover Discovery //
// 2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 // 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250 //
// 1999 Chevy Tahoe //
Ok...this is getting ridiculous. Someone come buy a few of these things.

Originally Posted by SlimKlim View Post
You're a derbanana

Last edited by E36 Phantom; 03-06-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:02 PM
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petriej petriej is offline
Cruising 280 Top Down
Location: San Jose, CA
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 6,090
Mein Auto: '99 M3 Cab & '05 X5 4.8is
I'm not the norm, but I spent less than $100 on maintaining my M3 last year. That was for an oil change.

I also upgraded the manifolds/headers, but that's not maintenance!

If you're the kind of person who doesn't care (or even notice) what kind of car you are driving then go get a honda. If you enjoy twisty roads and engaging with the road, the E36 is a great contender for the money.

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Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
2005 X5 4.8is Le Mans/Black/6spd Steptragic SOLD 3/2016
1999 M3 Cabrio TiAg Metallic/Dove Grey/Black 5 Speed Manual FS
1997 328iC Schwarz II/K/K 5MT SOLD 5/2012
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