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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 08-27-2007, 01:03 AM
PhiLongNguRoi89 PhiLongNguRoi89 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 Silver BMW 328i 4 Dr
Wink The Life Of A 1995 BMW 325i

Hi. I recently bought a maroon 1995 BMW 325i. It looks to be in pristine condition. The interior is in unbelievable condition. The beige leather seats looked as if they came from a brand new car! The sound system and moonroof, everything works. Anyway, I am going off to college soon - actually more like 3 weeks and I just wanted to know if you guys could help me with some things.

First off, I am a complete newbie when it comes to blogs and of course, bimmerfest, but a friend of mine, who owned a 2001 BMW 3 series said it was a bomb site. Anyway, so I bought the car and am really satisfied for the most part. I purchased it for $4500 and have put about another $300 into it, which has included having the oil changed, new fog lights, etc. By the way, I've been told that it was a steal for $4500, but I don't know honestly.

The car seems to be in good condition inside and out. But again, I am new and no one in my family has ever owned a German vehicle so we do not know what to expect. I've read articles, which emphasized that BMWs, if cared for properly, can excell well over 200,000 miles and possibly past 300,000 miles. Well....

MY QUESTION is this: With 147,000 miles already, do you guys think this car will last me 4 years of college? I predict that I will drive probably around anywhere from 6,000-8,000 miles a year, so at worst I will put on 32,000 miles. Do you guys think this is doable? LOL Also, how much life does a typical BMW 325i (E36) have in it if cared for properly. The previous owner of the car, owned a combined 6 or 7 BMWs, so he knew his stuff. He has kept it well. I would like to have your opinion on this! Thanks!

By the way, so far, driving the car is an absolute blast. It still picks up pretty well for a 12 year old car. It handles really well and with only me in the car, it can accelerate pretty surprisingly. But with my bro, we kinda slow it down LOL. I really love the car and hope I can make it to maybe 200,000 miles? Haha! Thanks again!

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  #2  
Old 08-27-2007, 01:08 AM
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tommydogsdad tommydogsdad is offline
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Originally Posted by PhiLongNguRoi89 View Post
Hi. I recently bought a maroon 1995 BMW 325i. It looks to be in pristine condition. The interior is in unbelievable condition. The beige leather seats looked as if they came from a brand new car! The sound system and moonroof, everything works. Anyway, I am going off to college soon - actually more like 3 weeks and I just wanted to know if you guys could help me with some things.

First off, I am a complete newbie when it comes to blogs and of course, bimmerfest, but a friend of mine, who owned a 2001 BMW 3 series said it was a bomb site. Anyway, so I bought the car and am really satisfied for the most part. I purchased it for $4500 and have put about another $300 into it, which has included having the oil changed, new fog lights, etc. By the way, I've been told that it was a steal for $4500, but I don't know honestly.

The car seems to be in good condition inside and out. But again, I am new and no one in my family has ever owned a German vehicle so we do not know what to expect. I've read articles, which emphasized that BMWs, if cared for properly, can excell well over 200,000 miles and possibly past 300,000 miles. Well....

MY QUESTION is this: With 147,000 miles already, do you guys think this car will last me 4 years of college? I predict that I will drive probably around anywhere from 6,000-8,000 miles a year, so at worst I will put on 32,000 miles. Do you guys think this is doable? LOL Also, how much life does a typical BMW 325i (E36) have in it if cared for properly. The previous owner of the car, owned a combined 6 or 7 BMWs, so he knew his stuff. He has kept it well. I would like to have your opinion on this! Thanks!

By the way, so far, driving the car is an absolute blast. It still picks up pretty well for a 12 year old car. It handles really well and with only me in the car, it can accelerate pretty surprisingly. But with my bro, we kinda slow it down LOL. I really love the car and hope I can make it to maybe 200,000 miles? Haha! Thanks again!

Oh how I miss my E36! I had a 1995 325i Convertible. Yes, taking care of your car is the best bet. Your car will last 4 years of college. Get regular oil changes, and have a mechanic check it once a year. Repair anything that is recommended. Particularly belts and hoses. My baby had 165k on her when sold (My mom was the original owner). Completely pampered her entire life, that Bimmer! I sold it to a friend, who now has 177k on the odometer, and it's running very strong. She just got back from LA in it, and said it drove "perfect" and simply could not believe it's 12 years old.
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2007, 02:31 AM
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2007, 04:34 AM
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Yeah mate, it should last you no worries as long as the previous owners looked after it

Best thing to do is change the oil now for some really high quality oil as that will prolong the engine life
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:51 AM
Conehead Conehead is offline
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Yeah mate, it should last you no worries as long as the previous owners looked after it

Best thing to do is change the oil now for some really high quality oil as that will prolong the engine life



UUMM....Buddy...you refering to Royal Purple oil....I have heard some good things about it.........

Cone
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:20 AM
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I didn't say that....
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2007, 07:56 AM
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If you do good maintenance that car will last you 12 years of college. If you have any qustions about what good maintenance entails p.m. me. I work for BMW.
P.S. Welcome to the dark side!! You're gonna love it.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2007, 07:58 AM
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Oh, by the way, I have 225,000 miles on my 94 325is (same engine as your car) and it gets driven enthusiastically 7 days a week without the hint of a problem.
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2007, 11:12 AM
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Hey, 3 weeks till school, eh? I take it you're going to a UC? UC Merced? I'm going to UCSD in about 3 weeks.

Anyway, I have 183xxx on mine, and it runs like an absolute charm. I drove it down from SF to La Jolla for orientation and it felt like a new car, not a single noise or overheating or anything. Yours will last you through college easily if you take care of it. I paid 4 grand for mine, and think it was a steal for the condition it was in (of course, I went dropped another K in mods, plus routine maintenance costs...these cars aren't cheap lol).

One thing, auto or stick? The auto tranny is made by GM. It may or may not give you 200k, its sort of a gamble. I'd definitely go get the tranny fluid flushed and filled, and have them check it for metal shavings or any other tell tale signs of wear on the tranny.

So, yeah, post up pics!
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2007, 01:12 PM
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welcome to fest bud, and sounds like you got yourself a nice car. not to repeat the usuals, but put good oil into it if you want it to last, replace the cooling system parts like clutch fan and waterpump and watch for worn bushings, rear shock mounts. That's kinda the most important bits I guess, plus the usual maintenance.

Post pics too, of course! Sounds like you have a fully stock looking car with 16in wheels, and with auto box. Did I guess right?
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2007, 03:01 PM
PhiLongNguRoi89 PhiLongNguRoi89 is offline
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Thanks for your opinions and helpful hints! I definitely have changed the oil, coolant, and all that good stuff. I will look at the transmission fluid and steering wheel fluid because it seems to be harder to turn then my Mom's 06' Toyota. lolol.

I will post pics soon. Just need to find the camera!

Pirate Copy, what did u mean by "high quality oil" lol. I used the most expensive ones I could find that matched the car. And it seems to be doing ok.

Thanks PhilipWOT. Very hopeful to eclipse 225k lol. Do you know what a routine maintenance check usually costs? Thanks a lot bud.

And Phantom, I'm moving to the Bay Area in like 2 weeks and will attend Santa Clara University. lolol. Merced is way too hot for me. I can't deal with it. And yes, the car is automatic.
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:38 PM
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My '93 318i has 210000 miles on it and is still going strong. Drives like a dream
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2007, 03:47 PM
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As long as you dont buy cheap, generic oil you will be fine buddy
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:04 PM
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Oh ok, SCU is a good school. I know a few people who are going there. Cool. BTW I have a great mechanic in the area if you have any problems. Honestly, its not a bad idea to have it checked out now and see what kinda preventative maintenance you might wanna do. He's 100% honest, and a very clean, organized shop. For only $100 its a great deal just to know what all (if anything) is wrong with your car. And I'd definitely recommend a trans flush while you're there.

The general opinion is that Royal Purple is the best oil out there. I had used Mobil1 full synth before, and Pirate recommended Royal Purple. It really makes the car run like a dream, even compared to the Mobil1. Quieter and no ticking, and runs smoother. It claims to give HP gains, but I doubt it, and if it did, its negligible. BTW, I'd recommend 20W50. Change it around November. Go with 10W40 till May. In May use 20W50 for the rest of the summer.
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2007, 04:06 PM
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Cant argue with that!!
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:34 PM
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Oh ok, SCU is a good school. I know a few people who are going there. Cool. BTW I have a great mechanic in the area if you have any problems. Honestly, its not a bad idea to have it checked out now and see what kinda preventative maintenance you might wanna do. He's 100% honest, and a very clean, organized shop. For only $100 its a great deal just to know what all (if anything) is wrong with your car. And I'd definitely recommend a trans flush while you're there.

The general opinion is that Royal Purple is the best oil out there. I had used Mobil1 full synth before, and Pirate recommended Royal Purple. It really makes the car run like a dream, even compared to the Mobil1. Quieter and no ticking, and runs smoother. It claims to give HP gains, but I doubt it, and if it did, its negligible. BTW, I'd recommend 20W50. Change it around November. Go with 10W40 till May. In May use 20W50 for the rest of the summer.

One thing I have noticed since I started using Royal Purple, is significant better fuel economy.

Im using about 1-1.3 litres less per 100 km then prior.

I take it that royal purple has made the difference as our BM is driven mostly by my wife....and Lord know, she wouldnt change her driving habits.......

Cone
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:51 PM
PhiLongNguRoi89 PhiLongNguRoi89 is offline
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Interesting, I will look into the Royal Purple. But I have not heard of it. lolol. Better mpg and engine life? I think its a smart investment! I will probably use this during the next oil change, but which solution should I use because the oil I used recently was (I think 20W-50). Should I just get this for the future or should I call up the Royal Purple people. lolol.

Im actually reading an article from the Royal Purple website. It basically says they own every other brand and that using Royal Purple will ultimately be better for your engine and its performance, and lead to fewer oil changes because the oil is cleaner and lasts longer? Sounds good...

Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by PhiLongNguRoi89; 08-27-2007 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:44 PM
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Ah, thanks, forgot about that. Yes, it is absolutely giving me better economy, and my habits haven't changed either. Same in dad's E38. We're seeing 2-3 more MPG in that, and 4-5 more in my E36. And you should change every 5 months/6500 miles, IMO. Basically, if you're running synthetic, just go by the little service lights. On your car, on the left side in the instrument cluster, when you turn it on you see some green dots, and a yellow and red area that shouldn't light up now. There are a total of 5 greens, they disappear as mileage goes up, counting down to the next oil change. When the Yellow one lights up and Oil Service and/or inspection comes on, then change the oil. They basically last around 6500, so its close enough.

Then again, I'm anal. You could probably let it safely last all the way to 12k or so, but why risk the extra wear on your engine? It's not that much to change oil.

Also, look at my earlier post for what viscosity oil to use, those are the perfect viscosities for Santa Clara.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:00 PM
PhiLongNguRoi89 PhiLongNguRoi89 is offline
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Wow. Thanks again for very useful information. 6500 miles? lolol. Ya the price doesn't mean anything, I just want whats best for the engine and it seems like Royal Purple will do the job.
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:13 PM
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Anyone use Red Line synthetic? I use 10W-40 but my ticking still is there. I'm wondering, could I need a valve adjustment? Or is it the timing chain tensioner? It doesn't sound like the pebbles in a tin can thing, but just a steady ticking.

Also, I live in the Bay Area too. Bay Area ftw. I'm not gonna have my car first year in college though....
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:28 PM
BLACKEDOUT95 BLACKEDOUT95 is offline
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Royal Purple is a must and put the best gasoline you can find in your car! I have a 1995 325I as well. Treat them good, and they'll treat your right!
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  #22  
Old 08-28-2007, 01:39 AM
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LOLOL, talon, 40 weight at operating temp is way too low for Pleasanton (or Livermore? can't remember what you said). You guys get into the triple digit temps pretty easily in the summer (haha I love being on this side of the hill.....). You should be using 20W50 for sure buddy.

BlackedOut, +1 with good gas. Don't use crap (like Arco....resist the cheap temptations). Use ONLY Chevron or 76. Both are great gases. I personally use Chevron 91, its great and I get decent mileage. To be honest, if pennies matter, you'll do fine on Midgrade (89) but don't go lower than that unless you want your performance to suffer. Still, 10 cents difference from 89 to 91 time 14 gallons....Buck 40 once a week? Whoop dee doo.
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  #23  
Old 08-28-2007, 01:56 AM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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I think all the points have been covered. I have 115K on my 1996 328 and the GM Auto tranny shifts as smooth as silk. Never had a problem.
I used to live near SCU back in the day....nice school!!
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:16 AM
PhiLongNguRoi89 PhiLongNguRoi89 is offline
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LOL ya the campus is beautiful. Ya I think Ill use Royal Purple next time. Right now I got some Castrol synthetic in it. It should be due in a couple months or so, prob Christmas. I am also thinking about new headlights. Im gonna purchase them on eBay. Its one of those "angel eyes"....all I know is it looks hecka sick! Also thinking about M3 bumper, but I dont know yet. College costs $$$ LOL
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:32 AM
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careful with ebay angel eyes, even if they look sick. do a search here, see waht ppls recommend. Umnitza apparently does good ones, but I'm sticking to stock for now, alas mine aren't made from plastic.
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