Worst designed BMW ever. From plastic
radiator to plastic fins on the water
pump blade to a computer that does not
adequately drain when the car is taken
to a car wash such that is floods and
Bought this second or third hand from a guy who blew the head gasket. I was pissed, but 2600 for a gasket vs 1200 for a new engine package, I swapped engines. Parts are cheap for this car folks, if you are handy you can conquer this one. FYI the broken gasket engine was because he overheated it by not changing the water pump at regular guidelines.
You need to do matinence on the car, just regular stuff, she will run forever. Ive only replaced water pump and alternator at regular intervals once... so this car has been beaten bad. Ive also done suspension parts, small stabilizers and struts, routine. I kill this thing all over the USA and she is a trooper... Im impressed.
I love the way the car looks, performs,
and drives, however failing electrical
system, and computer system is very
disappointing. Windows have failed 4
times. Sandia BMW wants $1100 to fix
computer/sensor. Labor charge ($90)
per hour plus outrageous part costs
make this car difficult to own. I
don't intend to buy another.
Really fun car to drive...I bought it
for my son and I love driving it
also..I have a new audi a4 and the BMW
still rides as well. Have had all the
typical 92 bmw problems. water pump,
rear shocks, thermostat, hoses...but,
overall a great car...I do wish the
labor was cheaper...car mechanics see
BMW and charge you acordingly...they
see ya coming...
The E36 M50 engines are reliable if you
spend the money to get them that
way... Before buying or shortly after,
make sure to replace the plastic
waterpump housing and the waterpump
itself. The plastic used on both is
prone to breaking and will overheat the
car. Also, replacing the radiator and
thermostat is a good thing to do if it
has never been done before. The rear
shock mounts will fail also. Replace
these with E46 mounts. The ignition
coils will need to be replaced also if
they are original. Be sure to buy a
car that has been serviced regularly.
Transmissions should not be an issue,
but the auto does have more failure
than the manual.