1998 BMW 3 Series Consumer Review: Fun car but watch out for main

1998 BMW 3 Series - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

63 Total Reviews

318i Sedan (1.9L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Fun car but watch out for maintenance
By B-Man68 on


1998 BMW 3 Series 318i 4dr Sedan


A lot of fun to drive but maintenance costs are very high. When my transmission went out I learned that BMW claims the earlier 328's have a "lifetime transmission" with a "lifetime fill" of fluid and do not recommend a tranny service. I followed the recommended maintenance to a T and never had the tranny serviced. Replacing it cost me over $4k. Had I had it serviced it would not have failed when it did. BMW now recommends a tranny service on newer models but still not on the older ones. Even the fluid mfg's recommend changing the fluid. Where BMW came up with the "lifetime" claim is beyond me. I ended up getting the money I spent on the new tranny back through small claims court.

Best Features

The get up and go especially from around 40 or 50 mph to higher speeds; a fun car to drive

Worst Features

Maintenance costs are ridiculously high; BMW has limited maintenance guidelines and following them may lead to premature failures of various components, especially the tranny - I have talked with several people with the same problem; BMW customer service is about as arrogant as they come.
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