E36's are junk.
Refer to thread here:
I love BMW's though, don't get me wrong, they are a blast to drive, but price wise and reliability they are SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only buy a Bimmer if its under warranty, and than dump it IMMEDIATELY, when its out of warranty.
As a warning to all those who are thinking of buying one.. Don't buy one unless you can afford the cost of maintenance.
I said it once, I will say it again, maintainence on that car is a bitch..
Ihate it how I never enjoy driving it because I'm afraid of check engine lights, airbag warning lights, keyless entry failure, ABS circuit failure, dead LED bulbs, seatbelt malfunctions, starter motor failure, water pump failure, fan blade dislocation , radiator leakage and failure, fan blade stripping, waterpump assembly failure, loose transmission mounts, alternator failure, battery replacement, ecu errors, control arm bushings loosening, random alarm system malfunctions and errors, tail light failure, fading/blinking HID's, wind noise, damaged clutch cables, fan blade hitting the shroud surrounding it, fan belt tensioner malfunction and sensor failure... etc etc.
all that has happened since August when I bought it. I've spent a ridiculous amount of money fixing it, $4600 dollars since August, and I've had a BMW shop in Calgary fix it. I know the guy and he only charges $60 dollar an hour labor on this stuff for me. If I took it to the stealership, I'm sure i'd be over 7 grand by now.
Simply put, E36 BMW's are POS.
I don't care if you're going to flame me, I went back to Japanese cars, where the cars display doesn't light up like a Christmas tree everytime you start the car. Oh, and they are 1 million times more reliable. I think my new 2000 Lexus GS400 is a five hundred better times car... its been 4 days with it, and GUESS WHAT... NO WARNING OR CHECK ENGINE LIGHTS OR FAILURES... NOTHING>!!!!!
To conclude, I will say one thing. This Bimmerforums board is the most respectful, non-arrogant, and most helpful forum I have ever seen. Most BMW drivers are douches who think their car owns the road, but I haven't seen or heard this attitude here for the most part. Thanks all you guys who helped me out with my many many problems with my E36. I hope you guys all have a good one.. driving your beautiful driving and handling car.. when its not in the shop.
PS: I do have a 2004 X5 and its been relatively problem free, more maintainence obviously than a Japanese, but about only three times the amount. Thing is, I only drive it in winter.... 8000 km a year max... good bye BMW!