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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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Old 03-17-2013, 12:55 PM
giovonage giovonage is offline
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Location: Socal
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Mein Auto: 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Lim
Hesitant about buying an e30...

Hey everyone so I'm a fairly new/young driver and I'm looking for a new car. I REEAALLY love the e30s but im concerned about reliability and cost of ownership. Right now I have a 05 subaru legacy gt that has been nothing but trouble for me. First off, insurance is ridiculous. Second, EVERYTHING is breaking down. Last week i had to replace the clutch, this week I have a dead battery and a possibly shot alternator, and the list goes on.
So im looking for a change in cars, but I don't want another car that needs a ton of repairs and expensive insurance...

Right now I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on a 1991 318i in fairly good condition.


I realize that there are some repairs and maintenance that have to be done, but will it be worth it for a young, fairly inexperienced driver with a smallish budget (basically what i make off selling my legacy) to buy and maintain an older bmw?_a_
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:22 AM
7pilot 7pilot is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 323
Mein Auto: 90 Ford Tempo
If you are mechanically inclined and motivated to DIY, then by all means.

I would not recommend a 20+ yo car to anyone who is not mechanically inclined as there is a high price to pay in time and money to keep one running as a DD and an only car.

As soon as all the E36 chassis get past their second decade, they'll be even more demanding to keep running as the factory and aftermarket support fades away.

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Old 03-19-2013, 11:18 PM
Stuka Stuka is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 3,675
Mein Auto: German
If you are not inclined to fix the car yourself, and have the time to do so, unless you can deal with a 4K bill from time to time from things breaking because of age, E30 is not the car to get.

I replaced just about everything on the E30, engine, shifter (twice snapped), half shaft boot, guibo (twice), muffler, CAT even, AFM, DME (caused car to buck with AC on, couldn't handle the extra load from AC), radiator, plugs, powersteering hoses (twice), all hoses, timing belts (many times, trust me, you don't want to replace them when they go), even alternator (which fried the DME).

I was fortunate to be able to throw money at it and have a very reliable DD, but every time things go, and given the crazy pricing on E30 OEM parts, it got expensive.

It is a fun little car, but again, unless you are able to handle 500, 1000, or more in repair bill each time, or can work on the car yourself and have another to drive around, it's really not going to be fun owning one.

I had mine for 10 years, and finally called it quits, and have a 13 STI sedan alcantara no sunroof in WR blue inbound.
06 M3 6 speed CB/black ZCP
13 STI sedan WRB/alcantara
14 Evo GSR White/black
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