Best value sports car
By WMI-BMW on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 275,000
overall rating 8 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Very impressive engineering and performance."
Cons: "Older car, some tinkering required"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is the second BMW we have owned. It has over 275,000 miles and we have rebuilt it for continued service. The motor was untouched. It still had excellent compression in all cylinders and there was little leak-down. The transmission was also great - we drained and refilled with SWEPCO 201 and it shifts and holds great. What we did replace was the shocks, struts, springs, clutch, shift linkage bushings, transmission mount bushings, sway bar bushings, steering rack and tie rods, water pump, fan clutch, brake hardware, and wheel bearings. It now runs and handles like new. Very impressive engineering. Great on-line community support for repairs and upgrades - lots of instruction and U-Tube videos. Repair parts are suprisingly inexpensive with the exception of a few dealer-only trim pieces. Definately a car you can keep for 500k miles without cracking open the motor - just keep synthetic oil in it and change every 5k or so. If you find a low mileage car, you can expect to have reliable transportation. Our car had a great body, interior, but was driven by a salesman and he had wore out the clutch, wheel bearings and suspension - so the parts mentioned. The fan clutch and water pump was strictly preventitive. The E36 is best for people who like to perform basic tinkering and maintenance on their own - as the cars age you will have to replace some worn and dried out items (belts, hoses, vacuum lines, etc.). It does not take a lot of tools or skill, but a few hours of BMW mechanic time does add up.
Great car. Lots of fun to drive. 28 mpg overall and cheap to insure."
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