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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

A few months ago, I acquired a 1997 328i Std. Coupe. This is my first Bimmer, and to be honest, it never crossed my mind to purchase this car, however I got very lucky with the deal and didn't think twice to make it mine... well yes, but my Uncle & Father made me change my mind.

I purchased the car from a very good friend of my Father. This guy is very "special" and meticulous in every aspect of his life, specially his cars. For this reason it was a guarantee that I was purchasing a car in excellent conditions. Best decision ever made :bigpimp:

I purchased it with 108K km (67K miles) and now it's currently with 112K km (69.5K miles). I have the intention to make every preventive/corrective maintenance needed, and have my car sharp as new. However your advice and experience is greatly appreciated as I don't have deep pockets and would like to avoid spending unnecessary or at least too early.

Is there a way to pull the maintenance history for the car? Local Dealer or Global Database?

I have the following BMW services (at least recorded in the Service Manual):

1.- 02/09/1999 -> (12K miles) Oil Service
2.- 08/17/2000 -> (22.5K miles) Inspection 1
3.- 06/11/2002 -> (35K miles) Oil Service
4.- 07/17/2006 -> (55.5K miles) Inspection 1 / Brake Liquid

Looking at the above (only) 4 services, then it doesn't make any sense what wrote about my father's friend LOL... but really, car is, looks and drives as new. Soon I will upload & share some pictures.

What do you recommend me to do next or think is missing for maintenance considering the current mileage and the listed services? I have made the following progress so far, I'm a DIY guy:


- Manual Transmission Oil
- Coolant
- 3 Hoses that plug to the Radiator
- Radiator Vent Screw
- Belt Tensioner
- Both V-Belts
- K&N Air Filter (Cleaned)
- Spark Plugs

On The Way (Just Ordered):

- New Brake Rotors, Pads & Sensors
- Camshaft Sensor & O-Ring
- Hood Struts
- Washer Pump

Detected & To-Do:

- Power-Steering Leak
- Fan Clutch - I will make the electrical conversion
- ICV Clean
- Whatever comes out of this post

Thanks for your time and any advice. :)

I feed trolls
4,976 Posts
I like you already. Determined to mintify your car before modify. Add all the cooling system components to that list. I mean, everything in the cooling system. Your car is at the age/mileage where it starts to fail and overheat the engine, which will kill it. ECS tuning has a complete overhaul kit with everything you need except a radiator and extra gallon of coolant. When I did my overhaul, I went with an all-aluminum radiator, so I didnt have to worry about the plastic side tanks cracking (which they tend to do).

You're also at the ripe age for the suspension needing new bushings all the way around. Do a little bit of searching and read the stickies, theres tons of bushings and if they fail, you could have serious problems.

Oh, and the way it works here is pics or it didnt happen :p


Welcome to the fest :)

BMWCCA HPDE Instructor
23,469 Posts
Yep, as Chad mentioned above, the cooling system overhaul should be your very first priority. This includes changing the radiator, expansion tank, bleeder/vent screw, expansion tank cap, thermostat, thermostat housing, water pump, belts, hoses, and fan. These items MUST be replaced every 75-100k miles BEFORE something breaks (and it will).

Otherwise, your plans seem good. Just about every E36 out there has weeping power steering hoses - not a big deal. Just make sure the fluid is always at the correct level. And yes, as mentioned above, many of the suspension bushings will soon start to go bad if they haven't done so already. Same goes for your ball joints and tie rods. Basic maintenance stuff, and VERY easy to do yourself if you're willing to take the time to learn. These cars are dead simple to work on.

There is a lot more info available in the "stickies" at the top of the main E36 forum page.

Fast Cars Suck!
7,726 Posts
also here in the states Car Fax can tell you some of the recorded maintaince history, normally whatever was done at dealerships :)

I Am The Machine
20,931 Posts
Welcome! They basically covered everything above so I don't have much to add, but you should find out if he did his own oil changes between services because that's scary long.

Sent from my LG Revolution 4G using BimmerApp

8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys for your input. I did had in mind to change the water pump, thermostat housing (aluminum) as I read they tend to break. Now I will focus in all the cooling parts that I haven't changed already... The upgrades will have to wait


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