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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

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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  #1  
Old 06-17-2013, 09:04 AM
Back2Bim Back2Bim is offline
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Location: San Diego, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: --
E30s w/~100k miles and up for daily drivers?

I've always loved the E30s. A few life changes mean that I can no longer commute by bicycle (which I have for many years) and will now be driving 30 miles each way to work on San Diego freeways. I've been looking at a few Craigslist ads (and may call on a few) for some E30s and am wondering how they hold up with 100,000 miles + (some as much as 160k).

If the owners have done proper maintenance and have records, can they be reliable daily drivers?

Are the manual transmissions better/more reliable than the automatics?

Here are a few of the ads I'm planning on calling on...would be grateful for any "yes, go for it" or "stay away" suggestions:
1987 325e 108k miles
1991 BMW 325ic with 165k miles
1991 325i with 141k and suspension upgrades
1991 318i, unknown mileage (haven't contacted seller)


Are there common failure points/issues I should ask a mechanic to look at when I take any potential car to be inspected?

Thanks!_a_
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2013, 06:15 PM
First time's Avatar
First time First time is offline
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Location: in my house
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 536
Mein Auto: 1984 318i
E30s w/~100k miles and up for daily drivers?

My bmw has 310k miles on it and i Drive it everyday round trip varies between 80 to 140 miles. It has given me no manor issues. I would vouch for the manual cars because they will offer slightly better mpg and they are cheaper to maintain and /or replace if they ever should break. The 6 cylinder cars should have the timing belt changed (mine is a timing chain) and should be inspected for water leaks. I recommend replacing the water pump, thermostat and any suspicious looking coolin hoses if they show signs of wear. Granted this stuff might have all been done already or the car might be in good knick already which is a plus. As far as common problems. The 6 cylinder cars develop intermittant starting issues which most of the time leads back to a faulty Crank sensor. Sometimes the temp and/or the gas gauges can be faulty but in my experience my temp gauge jumps all oflver the place. It is most likely the temp sender thats bad but I will be replacing mine with an after market gauge and probe shortly anyway.

Overall these cars are pretty solid. They do have their drawbacks but what car new or used doesnt? I will venture to say that their cooling systems are not a strong point but with proper preventative maintenance cooling issues will subside. Hope this helps.


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  #3  
Old 06-17-2013, 06:18 PM
srvE30 srvE30 is offline
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Location: Saint Louis
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 1990 BMW 325i
My 90 325i has 161k. Purrs like a kitten. 100k+ mile cars really depend on who owned it previously. If the owner took care of it with regular fixes and tune ups. I'm sure other members will give you more mechanical heads ups aswell.
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  #4  
Old 06-17-2013, 06:29 PM
dirtx dirtx is offline
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Location: Nevada
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 1986 325E, BMW 1100RS
im just getting my 86 on the road again. 205K miles. just did timing belt, water pump, belts hoses, spark plugs, battery, fuel lines and filter.. up next will be rotor, cap and wires.. possibly an o2 sensor. depending how it tests . it sat for 8 years and fired right up with some starting fluid and a little fresh gas. it runs real smooth. I also just ordered batterys for the SI board, will solder em in next week.

I say buy the one you like and don't worry about the milage and enjoy!
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2013, 03:04 PM
omarphi215 omarphi215 is offline
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Location: Philly
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 544
Mein Auto: 1991 525i Auto
E30s w/~100k miles and up for daily drivers?

I agree don't worry about the mileage. I'm on my fourth e30 and this one has the least miles (121,000) I put on 8000 since February and my car is far from tip too shape. The last e30 I had was when I lived in San Diego. Bought it for $1000 with 250,000 plus miles on it and it ran like a new used car lol. Seriously, if it doesn't have any major issues and no oil leaks of any kind, buy it, learn it, drive it, and you will love it. I get compliments on my car all the time 88 red vert and one of the comments I almost always get is "you can't kill that cat"


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  #6  
Old 06-19-2013, 07:00 PM
Rayryan Rayryan is offline
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Location: Essex, ct
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 1990 bmw 325i 4dr. 404k
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back2Bim View Post
I've always loved the E30s. A few life changes mean that I can no longer commute by bicycle (which I have for many years) and will now be driving 30 miles each way to work on San Diego freeways. I've been looking at a few Craigslist ads (and may call on a few) for some E30s and am wondering how they hold up with 100,000 miles + (some as much as 160k).

If the owners have done proper maintenance and have records, can they be reliable daily drivers?

Are the manual transmissions better/more reliable than the automatics?

Here are a few of the ads I'm planning on calling on...would be grateful for any "yes, go for it" or "stay away" suggestions:
1987 325e 108k miles
1991 BMW 325ic with 165k miles
1991 325i with 141k and suspension upgrades
1991 318i, unknown mileage (haven't contacted seller)


Are there common failure points/issues I should ask a mechanic to look at when I take any potential car to be inspected?

Thanks!_a_
I drive a 1990 325i e30 each day here in Ct. I get 25mpg on no lead gas, but have to pay $3.79/gal. Mine is Alpine White and shows only slight rust at the door bottoms. Biggest problem now is the transmission is dying slowly. Hard for me to imagine a more satisfying automobile- fast, excellent handling, nice classic look to it and safe to say, very reliable. She has 404,000 miles and still running strong. Best of luck-buy one. Ray Ryan, Essex, Ct.
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