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Old 03-07-2006, 06:16 PM   #4
BMW again.
Furious's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Toronto
Posts: 6,088
there are lots of things to check out, i dont know how much you can do as a visual check, but if he allows you to take it to a mechanic's you might be able to get a full just of whats going on..

as for things to check.. i would of course review this comon fault list. lots of the common issues on e36s will be a good place to check..
here are some that i copied/pasted

-Sub frame failure(usually only the 92 and 93 models)
-ignition coils cracking M50 (usually only 92)
-lifter noise M50
-rear shock mounts
-irregular idle
-water pumps from plastic impellers to metal
-window motors
-tranny mounts
-Differential Clutch Pack Retaining Ring Bolts Backing Out
-ABS light goes on
-thermostat housing cracks and thermostat (M50)
-radiator, look for cracks in plastic neck
-Profile gasket on the earlier 318's (M42)
- Outer ball joints go bad
- Rear shock mounts go bad
- Seat heater elements break
- Glove boxes misaligned
- chipping trim around the tweeters in the front door panels
- Plastic headlight covers get foggy over time
- blistering door panels
- leaking or sticky VANOS unit
-rear toe in bushings
-broken fog light
-control arm and bushings
-taillight failure
-steering fluid bottle leaks from bottom at return

here is an article on common issues
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