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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 03-06-2013, 10:18 AM
LaminatedFork LaminatedFork is offline
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Location: California
 
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Mein Auto: Wan to find that out.
Average cost of ownership per year, compared to similar vehicles?

Hey all,

I'm looking to get a new vehicle and was wondering what the average cost of ownership is for a 90's 318 or 328, compared to a similar year Acura RSX or Lexus IS300

I read the sticky on the M3, but it didn't have much to say on this matter.

Yes, I realize that BMWs are generally expensive, but I've heard the 3 series are generally fairly reasonable with a bit of elbow grease and some spit shining.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2013, 10:35 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Acura didn't make the RSX until 2001, and Lexus didn't make the IS300 until 1999, so you aren't really going to find a "90s" version of those cars. All this means is that if you want either of those two models, you're going to be shopping for newer, potentially more expensive models. BMW started selling the E36 in the US in 1992, and stopped selling them in 1999.

As far as BMWs go, it all depends on how much maintenance was done by the previous owner(s). If everything is taken care of (rare), maintenance is fairly low on these cars per annum. That said, with old BMWs, there is usually a bunch of stuff needing attention, so the first year or two of ownership is typically quite expensive.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 03-06-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2013, 10:53 AM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 323is
If I told you to spend $500 on a new cooling system and then install it yourself even though you do not think anything is wrong with it. I tell you that it is preventive and should be done every 100k because when it fails you will do major damage. What is you response to this?
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:05 AM
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E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is online now
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The E36s are fairly reasonable to maintain if you enjoy DIY. It's when you take a 15 year old BMW to the shop for every little bitty thing that it becomes expensive.

Edit, good point from Ze, expect to spend some money soon after purchase catching up on deferred maintenance.

Any errors in this post are purely Swype's fault, not mine.
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Last edited by E36 Phantom; 03-06-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2013, 01:02 PM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 M3 Cab & '05 X5 4.8is
I'm not the norm, but I spent less than $100 on maintaining my M3 last year. That was for an oil change.

I also upgraded the manifolds/headers, but that's not maintenance!

If you're the kind of person who doesn't care (or even notice) what kind of car you are driving then go get a honda. If you enjoy twisty roads and engaging with the road, the E36 is a great contender for the money.
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this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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