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View Full Version : Your experiences with E36 M3's


Manimillion
09-24-2004, 02:25 PM
I'm currently looking at a '97 M3 at my dealership, but I've always heard there is alot of electrical problems with these cars, my friend also has a '98 and an other friend with a '95, I know their dash lights mess up sometimes and stupid stuff like that.

To anyone who's owned an E36 M3 or still ownes one, are these common problems? I don't want to dish out 30 grand on a car which I'll be having problems with.

What are the other common problems?

Thank you.

SickFinga
09-24-2004, 02:38 PM
common problems on 96+ m3

upper chain tensioner goes at about 100k km
SRS light comes on due to weak wore connection for the seatbelt
OBC sometimes doesnt show all letters

I experienced first two.
all are common problems on e36, third one is a common problem on e36, e38 and e39

Lee in Ottawa
09-24-2004, 05:09 PM
Ya man, that car is nice! the red one at Ottos right?

97M3/4
09-24-2004, 05:15 PM
The only problem that i had was my climate control unit stoped working, cost me about $300 to fix. Other than that its been great. I bought my ///M in march, i've put 25k KM on it (i do alot of driving). I've learned a lot about the cars since i've had mine, so feel free to PM me with any questions.

Also check out M3forum.net

great community for M3 enthusiasts

Manimillion
09-24-2004, 05:24 PM
Ya man, that car is nice! the red one at Ottos right?


Yeah the one at Otto's. I'm a little suspicious about the car tho, the rear right fender (inside it where you roll your fenders) is all wiggly. I just got off the phone with them about waranties, and I just made an appointment to go see the car again, and talk about an extended waranty.

I need to get some insurance quotes as well... I'm also trying to find an XK8 Coupe but then again, insurance is a big question *sad*

EDIT : What kind of insurance premiums you guys are paying and how old are you (if yuo don't mind saying how much you pay). I'm turning 21 on 10th of October so I'm pretty much guessing I have to bend over.

97M3/4
09-24-2004, 05:36 PM
Im 22 and paying $138/month, my driving record is nearly clean and i've had insurance since i got my G2,

Lee in Ottawa
09-24-2004, 05:37 PM
I went to look at it, apparently an old guy used to own it and he traded it in for an e46 m3. I never notice the back fender but then again I can't afford it so didn't pay much attention. Man how nice are the 2002 and 3.0csright infront of the M3. They were the owners daughters cars when they went to highschool.
Hey DevilOnWheelz your the same age as me, what do you do to be able to afford that M3 if you don't mind me asking.

Mitch555
09-24-2004, 05:52 PM
Im 22 and paying $138/month, my driving record is nearly clean and i've had insurance since i got my G2,

Who is your insurance company? :confused:

Mr.DOHC
09-24-2004, 05:58 PM
how much is the one you are looking at? i know a dealership with a 99 Yellow one for sale and they want to sell it. PM me if interested.

Justin e36
09-24-2004, 06:01 PM
wtf... I'm 23 driving a 92 318i and my insurance is around $500/month!

SickFinga
09-24-2004, 06:03 PM
Im 22 and paying $138/month, my driving record is nearly clean and i've had insurance since i got my G2,


gotta love living in London I guess
at 18 I was paying 350 with one ticket
19, 1 ticket - 300 a month
with 3 tickets at 20 - 820 a month
with 2 tickets at 21 - 400 a month

328is_Perf
09-25-2004, 02:15 AM
i pay about 80 USD per month on my 328is... in the great state of TEXAS!

96+ don't have that many problems, 3 common ones only ... theyre not that bad as opposed to the benefits of having a low mileage car ... get one ... you'll love it!

Antz_Marchin
09-25-2004, 02:36 AM
Hey man, I did about 10 months of research and searching before I finally bought my 96 E36 M3. Here's some advice that I learned over this time.
1) Hold out for the right car.........don't settle, they're all out there and will come up eventually.
2) get a low km car with ALL service records (himw had 62km's with all dealer service records......even each oil change since new)
3) There are common problems with all cars. The E36 is a damn solid car and I have to say that I trust it more than the E46 reliability-wise.

Go for it man, I have never regretted my purchase for a second, and the first time that you go from 2nd to 3rd at 6800 rpm, you'll know that if the need arises, a couple hunderd bucks here and there are more than worth it.

P.S. the biggest (only) problem that my car has had since new is driver window weatherstripping under the previous owner........solid cars, just take care of them.

Manimillion
09-25-2004, 04:23 AM
Hey DevilOnWheelz your the same age as me, what do you do to be able to afford that M3 if you don't mind me asking.

Work my ass off, don't spend money on anything useless, make money every *legal* way possible. In the end if you buy something and sell it for $1 more, it is still $1 more in your pocket, and did I say work?

dmose
09-25-2004, 03:48 PM
I just picked up a 98 M3 2 months ago..took a year of searching and I finally found the one I wanted. Take it to BMW to get a pre-purchase 'cpo' inspection. It will cost you a few hundred but WELL worth it. Others will suggest you get a full leakdown/compression test done to ensure all banks are running strong. I didn't bother...but others swear by it.

After inspection I found out that it needed a full brake job (which I could not tell by visual inspection). The dealer I bought the car from was going to sell me the car safety'ed with 10% brake pad left ... so they ended up fronting the cost of the job, saved me a few thousand.

Make sure there isn't any rattling in the VANOS unit when you blip the throttle, could be signs of it going which can be a very costly repair. Ensure that you check the RSM bushings.


There's a boatload of information on bimmerforums.com ..just do a search and you will find a thousand guys that were in your position asking the same questions.

Manimillion
09-25-2004, 03:56 PM
Make sure there isn't any rattling in the VANOS unit when you blip the throttle, could be signs of it going which can be a very costly repair. Ensure that you check the RSM bushings.

Ok, how do I know the rattle is from the VANOS or not, and what should i particularyly listen for?

And you said brake job saved u thousands? They charge that much to do brakes? I'm happy that I've got my own business that deals car parts/performance parts, my Baer Brakes on my current car didn't even cost me thousands. *mumble*

dmose
09-25-2004, 04:05 PM
the rattle comes right from the vanos unit, if you don't know where it is...look it up on bimmerforums.com

..it sounds like 'marbles in a can' rattling.

BMW quoted $4000 for the brake job..obviously a retarded price, however the dealer I got my car from said they could do it for $2000, half of which was labour..

either way, get it checked out by BMW so you have some ammo for negotation. There is only soo much you can find in a 30 min test drive

SickFinga
09-25-2004, 04:54 PM
the rattle comes right from the vanos unit, if you don't know where it is...look it up on bimmerforums.com

..it sounds like 'marbles in a can' rattling.

BMW quoted $4000 for the brake job..obviously a retarded price, however the dealer I got my car from said they could do it for $2000, half of which was labour..

either way, get it checked out by BMW so you have some ammo for negotation. There is only soo much you can find in a 30 min test drive

I think you misunderstood something, brake job at BMW cost around a grand with labour, nowhere near 4000.

front rotors - 170 bucks each
rear - 160
brake pad, not sure, but lets say 80 bucks per axel, so 160
and labor, lets even say they need an hour per side (which is alot) 4 hours (100 bucks an hour)
so 400 bucks labout, 490 parts and add tax to it, gonna be around a grand.

Even if you got with euro spec rotors(340 each on the front) it wont be 4grand.

dmose
09-25-2004, 05:18 PM
yeah it was 4 grand with a bunch of other stuff..

you're right the job was about 2 grand, brake lines, bleeding...etc

labour was like 6 hours..this was at town and country

the point is, use the dealer quote as ammo to negotiate a job.

Gamite
09-25-2004, 06:50 PM
well I think we all know not to go to the dealer.

M3speed
09-25-2004, 07:09 PM
i bought my '98 M3 back in March of this year. All i needed done was the brakes, the delaership covered that. After 1 month of driving the car, i started having a small electrical problem with my gauges, they would stop working from time to time. Got that checked out and it was a faulty wire, wasn't too expensive to fix. Other than that my car runs like a dream, bought it with 70,000km on it. It's in very good shape, as for insurance, i am 25 and pay $200/month. If you need anymore info PM me. E36 M3's are great cars, good luck.

Mitch555
09-26-2004, 03:28 AM
After 1 month of driving the car, i started having a small electrical problem with my gauges, they would stop working from time to time. Got that checked out and it was a faulty wire, wasn't too expensive to fix.

Do you know which wire it was by any chance? Mine are doing that now! It's starting to piss me off.

///Milk
09-26-2004, 03:46 AM
i got a frend (16 y/o) w/ a 98 M3 (yes 16 y/o w/ an M3...long story short...he paid half of it) he got it about 2 weeks ago...i still havent heard him saying anything about any issues with it...but ill ask him next time i see him

M3speed
09-26-2004, 04:54 PM
Do you know which wire it was by any chance? Mine are doing that now! It's starting to piss me off.


to be honest man, i can't remember which wire it was, my mechanic checked it out. Are your gauges giving you problems mostly when it rains? that's when mine would start screwing up.

Mitch555
09-26-2004, 05:01 PM
to be honest man, i can't remember which wire it was, my mechanic checked it out. Are your gauges giving you problems mostly when it rains? that's when mine would start screwing up.

No, my guages are just randomly shutting off then coming back on after 3 seconds.... it can happen almost 20 times a night. I don't understand. We even took it to BMW a while ago and they couldn't even figure out the problem!! :mad: :mad:

M3speed
09-26-2004, 05:05 PM
i was having the same problem, mine were shutting off and turning on after 3-5 seconds as well but only about 1-3 times every couple weeks i'd say..... i'll find out which wire it was for you

Mitch555
09-26-2004, 05:06 PM
i was having the same problem, mine were shutting off and turning on after 3-5 seconds as well but only about 1-3 times every couple weeks i'd say..... i'll find out which wire it was for you

Wicked!! Thanks a bunch!! *th-up*

97M3/4
10-02-2004, 04:00 PM
gotta love living in London I guess
at 18 I was paying 350 with one ticket
19, 1 ticket - 300 a month
with 3 tickets at 20 - 820 a month
with 2 tickets at 21 - 400 a month

Wow, it takes me a while to reply

i insure my car at my cottage. Cause its in the middle of nowhere, insurance is WAY cheaper

///m powered
10-02-2004, 04:21 PM
with 3 tickets at 20 - 820 a month


*sad*

Bigbore
10-02-2004, 06:22 PM
my uncle had one for many years, i drove it several times, and as far as i can remember that BMW is the only one he never had trouble with, now he owns a 330ci and only problems.

two thumbs up