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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 Yesterday, 07:41 PM
92525i 92525i is offline
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Mein Auto: 1992 525i 5-speed
Possibly buying a 1998 328i sedan with tranny issue. Need some advice.

Hello, so I found this mint looking white with gray interior, sport package 98 328i, car is perfect running as far as engine and everything working as it should electronically. Car has 181,000 miles and is mostly all freeway 1-owner car. They claim trans has issues, drove the car and it seemed to be fine, has a semi firm shift every once and awhile, but when you put it in D it goes smooth and quick to engage, same with reverse, but as soon as you start backing up sometimes it will disengage and you hit the gas and it will engage again. The owner says sometimes in the morning D will do the same, with a slight noise, but most of the time the trans shifts as it should, no Check Engine Light or Trans malfunction light, could it be low on fluid or maybe just need a service? I have the opportunity of getting this car with no dents and perfect garaged paint and brand new tires for $1,300 I think its a good idea, even the front Harman/Kardon speakers aren't buzzy light most at this point. PLEASE HELP! Should I do it?
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  #2  
Old Yesterday, 07:49 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Worst case you do an auto to manual tranny swap. Best case it needs fluid and filter change.
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  #3  
Old Yesterday, 07:49 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
It could be as simple as a low fluid condition, but the auto transmissions in these cars tend to fail at a lower mileage than what this car has, so it could simply be dying. And even if it was just a low fluid condition, if it has been doing this for along time and the owner didn't address it, the lack of fluid has been causing internal damage.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; Yesterday at 07:50 PM.
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  #4  
Old Yesterday, 08:01 PM
92525i 92525i is offline
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Mein Auto: 1992 525i 5-speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
It could be as simple as a low fluid condition, but the auto transmissions in these cars tend to fail at a lower mileage than what this car has, so it could simply be dying. And even if it was just a low fluid condition, if it has been doing this for along time and the owner didn't address it, the lack of fluid has been causing internal damage.
What gets me is it is very intermittent. Its normal then it acts up out of know where. I went to put it in reverse and it was fine, then it disengaged completely then hit the gas a little and it went back in gear again. Its just strange its not throwing any codes and the trans malfunction indicator isn't coming on. Its very smooth engaging into Drive and all the way down 3-2-1 and reverse, but drive to Neutral it thuds a little. I was hoping it is just a low fluid thing but really cant tell I guess, without getting it on a lift... Its still a good deal for the car though regardless! Now is this the GM tranny everyone is talking about? 1998 328i
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  #5  
Old Yesterday, 08:05 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Yes, all the automatic transmissions in E36 BMWs (except for the M3) were GM boxes, and built in France.
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1998 BMW 328is
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View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
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  #6  
Old Yesterday, 08:08 PM
92525i 92525i is offline
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Mein Auto: 1992 525i 5-speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Yes, all the automatic transmissions in E36 BMWs (except for the M3) were GM boxes, and built in France.
Oh okay. I wish this car didn't have this issue, It's about the cleanest Sport package 328i I've seen in a long time. Not a dent in the body and perfect paint. And brand new good quality tires.
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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 09:06 PM
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Engel12626 Engel12626 is offline
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Worst case, you're putting in a new transmission. People are always doing manual swaps and selling their used auto pretty cheap. And the exact same transmission was used in some Cadillacs and Isuzus, making them even more plentiful.
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  #8  
Old Yesterday, 10:14 PM
92525i 92525i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engel12626 View Post
Worst case, you're putting in a new transmission. People are always doing manual swaps and selling their used auto pretty cheap. And the exact same transmission was used in some Cadillacs and Isuzus, making them even more plentiful.
Well, I'm not sure what to do. I'm really hoping its just a fluid related issue. Or something.
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  #9  
Old Today, 07:31 AM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is online now
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I bet you could pick up that tranny for $200. I couldn't give mine away when I did my swap and had to put it in the dumpster when I moved. I bet for $500 you could buy one and have it installed. If the car is as good as you say, I would buy it.
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