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Old 03-21-2004, 10:21 PM
300ZXNA 300ZXNA is offline
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Location: Idaho
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: 300ZX
Buying an M3, insight on these problems needed

I test drove a red 95 M3 today. Everything seemed good with the car in the test drive except for one notable exception. The dash gauges, primarily the speed and tach would cut out for a second. Both would dive down to zero momentarily. Is this an easy or a hard fix? The dealer is willing to adjust the price of the vehicle for the problem, but I need to know how bad this is. Is this a bad computer that needs to be replaced, or is it just a corroded ground that could be fixed with a scrubbing. Also, the engine has 90,000 miles on it. How long do these engines go? Anthing in particular to look out for? I have already read on the faq's to check the radiator neck and expect to replace the water pump. Also, how do I check the rear suspension mounts? Do I have to remove any panels or covers? Thanks in advance for the advice.
One more thing:
The price they are asking is $12,500. Is this a good deal provided that there are no major problems with it? It is sort of high mileage . . .
Old 03-22-2004, 06:54 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,479
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
A friend has a 95 with 136,000 on it, and it is running fine.

I would be VERY concerned with a dealer selling a car with this problem. If it was an easy fix, I would think they would have it fixed. But I am not that knowledgeable on E36s.

If the dealer is a non-BMW dealer, have a pre-purchase inspection done by a BMW dealer (a GOOD one) or a GOOD independant BMW shop.
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
Old 03-22-2004, 03:48 PM
rwg rwg is offline
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Location: Henderson, Nevada
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,718
Mein Auto: '14 A4
I would be skeptical until you hear differently. BMW has a lot of electronic gremlin problems. If I found one on a test drive and didn't know for certain that it was an easy problem to fix, I would worry. It's also I problem I don't recall hearing about before.
Old 03-25-2004, 09:31 AM
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RenaissanceMan RenaissanceMan is offline
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Location: nashville, tn
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: a few bmw's
yeah, the instrument cutout sounds pretty annoying. you should make the purchase of the car contingent on them fixing that. you don't want to have to deal with that.

you need to check the condition of the rear shock mounts (rsm's). the stock ones are notorious for cracking and failing over time if not maintained/replaced. if you're not hearing any clunking from the back when you drive over bumps, that's a good sign, but you still want to check their condition. you have to remove the carpet liner in the trunk that covers them to check them out. you are looking for cracks in the rubber or any other separation issues in the mount.

90k is nothing for that motor, provided it has been well maintained.

one more thing... i wouldn't purchase a car like that unless you've had it inspected by a shop or individual that knows the car really well. they will go through the car head to toe and identify any potential problems for you. most shops charge anywhere between $75-$100 for this service. it's well worth the money if you are serious about this car.

hope this helps.
'05 X5
'06 325i
'91 E30/M52 GTS2 racer
'76 2002

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