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Old 20th October 2008, 03:32   #1
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Default To buy or not to buy a 1996 BMW 328i Two Door Sedan

I recently came across a 1996 Black BMW 328i Two Door Sedan.
Its got about 60 k on it
Its and 328i AT

Engine:2.8L 190 hp I6(Inline 6)
Transmission: Automatic
BHP:190 @ 5300 RPM
Torque: 206 @ 3950 RPM
The car looks clean havent taken a test drive yet.
I found that this particular beemed averaged about 7.5 Km/lit in the city and 10 Km/lit in the highways.
I have included pictures.

The owner is asking for 9 Lakhs.

What would be the right price to pay for this ?
Is the mileage figure correct?

Am a little bit of an enthusiast who likes normal transmission but i believe this car has a sports mode that works just as good as normal one when you want to squeeze RPM's for each shift. Will be taking a test drive this week would like your inputs on what to check for in a beemer as practically am not knowledgeble with beemers.If there are any BMW 328i owners around please share your experiance as well.

I have a friend at the chennai BMW showroom and these were his exact words.

"This model has been discontinued and even though BMW will manufacture parts for the next 20 years it may take close to 10 weeks for parts to be imported.He also added that he would not recommend this for people who are on a budget"

he said 7 - 8 Lakhs would be the price in the chennai market for this beemer.
Attached Thumbnails
To buy or not to buy a 1996 BMW 328i Two Door Sedan-front.jpg  

To buy or not to buy a 1996 BMW 328i Two Door Sedan-hood.jpg  

To buy or not to buy a 1996 BMW 328i Two Door Sedan-interior.jpg  

To buy or not to buy a 1996 BMW 328i Two Door Sedan-rear.jpg  

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Old 20th October 2008, 10:55   #2
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The car looks very well maintained and is quite a looker for a 1996 model. Dont know much about the spare parts price and servicing costs, but they will be pretty steep. 60k milege for a BMW is ok i think, as long as the car has been well maintained.
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Old 20th October 2008, 11:23   #3
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Points to look out for

Service light indicator can easily be re-set with a 30 tool, so a paid invoice is the only guarantee of a recent service.
M52-engined 320i from December 1994, 323i from May 1995 and and 328i from April 1995 may suffer premature bore wear like in that 540 as dicussed earlier. Symptoms are poor starting, high oil consumption and lumpy running.

check for rust in places like the rear arches.

Long cranking time on M40 and M50 engines means fuel tank lifter pump is faulty.

Lift carpets to check for result of rainwater leaks through screen seals (condensation inside windows a sure sign of this).

Front suspension lower ball joints and inner bushes wear, but are comparatively cheap to replace. Rear suspension bushes of coupes can wear, affecting alignment, and rear springs can eventually soften. Knock from rear indicates trailing arm bushes or top damper bushes are worn out.

Check took kit in boot lid is all there.

Make sure a/c or climate control is working as the control panel can play up and is very expensive to replace.

If engine misfires a coil has failed. Also check cooling system as these are fragile on BMW's.

Many BMWs have "sealed for life" automatic transmissions so the dealer will never change the auto fluid. Many of these boxes are failing around 150000 km mark and will cost big money

Cheap parts - go to GSF Car Parts, cheap car parts direct to you or Euro Car Parts UK - European Car Parts .They will ship parts over

Frankly - as a daily driver, not worth 9l, you will need to be resigned to the fact that it wil spend time of the road and you might be the last owner as parts get expensive. As a car for weekend fun, why not ?
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Old 24th October 2008, 14:51   #4
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Well the car from Outside looks quite good. But interiors look dated and show age. I really dont appreciate Lancer's Spoiler on a BMW.
Anyway no doubt the car is Okay, (Thats what all the cars aged 15 will. Cant expect them to be good) But instead of putting your money on this beemer I would suggest you going for a second hand Honda Civics and likes.
This Beemer is making no sense to me Frankly.
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Old 24th October 2008, 15:07   #5
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Not worth it at all IMO.
A friend of mine sold his two years ago for 6lakhs. - Similar condition. However, his averages are atleast 2.5kmpl less than that claimed here (i know because i was contemplating buying his) and in the sports mode, you can literally see the needle go down if you zip the expressway.
But absolutely fun to drive. No comparison with the civic whatsoever, even for such an old car!
So, as ajmat says: "As a car for weekend fun, why not ?". That is, if you have that spare budget.
And i agree that the lancer spoiler is a "spoiler" literally!
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Old 24th October 2008, 15:18   #6
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You have to ask yourself here if you are plainly just resigning to the BMW tag on this car, or does it have more than its glorified brand name.
Like somebodystopme said, for a daily driver a used Civic, or even a corolla would make better sense. It will be more reliable, better FE, cheaper parts, atleast half as fun as the beemer, and will have takers even five years down the line.

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Old 24th October 2008, 17:36   #7
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If you're on a budget, I just can't recommend this. I know sometimes it's heart over practicality, but rule the former out in this case. Not worth the trouble homeslice.
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Old 25th October 2008, 06:01   #8
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The car itself looks well maintained and will be a joy to drive on open roads. Make sure you have a source for parts and a good mechanic.

Of course, a 12 year old BMW is not something you buy instead of a brand new Honda City just because the price is same.

To buy something like this you have to be madly in love with the car or have deep pockets.

Last edited by Mpower : 25th October 2008 at 06:05.
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Old 25th October 2008, 11:06   #9
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dont go for used BMW's but go for used MERCEDES or VW Jetta .you will get buyers even 5 years down the line
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Old 25th October 2008, 12:32   #10
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What a looker!

I love BMW's and if I were you I would go for it.

I own a 3 series <316i> as you can see in my garage. It's well maintained. I get it serviced from BMW Showroom.

Please chk if everything's working fine and also get it checked from the showroom. If yes, then go for it.

I love the way it drives and enjoying every part of it. Parts are expensive but again the life of the parts is also more than other cars. What I mean is if the parts are 4x times the other car parts then the life is also 4x times more then other car parts. That's what I have found on my BMW.

The only failure was the Fuel Pump which I got it replaced for 15K a year back. Rest smooth ride, luxurious interiors, it eats away at potholes.

I have been to coorg where rarely people take their sedans. Neither I had a problem with humps nor with potholes.

Finally, If I had a bigger garage, I'd buy this car being a hardcore BMW fan

Looking for a X3/X5 , anyone has a clue of old X3/X5 in Bangalore?
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Old 25th October 2008, 12:34   #11
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Nope. Uh-uh. Absolutely not.

I have some experience in maintaining older German imports (my Dad's Merc), and it's just not worth it. It'll turn into a sinkhole for your hard-earned cash.

Also, what pisses me off is the guy's gone and slapped an M3 badge on it. Are you kidding me?? That, to me, means questionable motives on the part of the seller.

And 9 lacs??? Hell no. Stay away from this one.
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Old 25th October 2008, 14:46   #12
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Looks very well maintained and I am a fan of old-school Beemers as far as the exteriors go. Still, 9 big ones for a 12-year-old Euro car is far too much.

Hate the 'M Power' stick-on, but I'm sure it can be removed - sticking this on is what every budget Beemer buyer does first. The real guys buy old M3s or M5s and REMOVE the badges.
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Old 25th October 2008, 15:01   #13
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similar car with manual tranny went for 5L in Kerala, it has to come down another 2Lakh is what I feel.
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Old 26th October 2008, 06:58   #14
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I doubt you'll get it any cheaper. This car looks well maintained. The problem is these things break the bank with service costs!

The price is decent, and the car has only done 60K KMs, so you're good for at least 200K more from the engine. The problem with these late E36s are the electronics. If everything is fine, then great, else take out that credit card.

Yes parts are a pain to source, sometimes, however, E36 parts should be readily available in the Middle East which is cheaper than other places.

I say go for the car, a Civic, even new won't give you the same pleasure.

And if you want a fast and reliable 20-30 bhp gain, then convert it to OBD 1, Parts are around USD 1000-1800.

The max I've seen an E36 tranny run is around 150K miles or so, so few worries there, in India it's good for around 150K KMs...
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Old 26th October 2008, 06:59   #15
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Inder, looks like he has put headlights similar to yours. In addition he has also installed the M3 front bumper/rear spoiler and rear clear lights. If you like the car then better negotiate with him. Most of the E36s imported into India are sedans with 4cyl engines ie 316 or 318. Six cylinder (that too the bigger six) engines or couple body style are rare.

The list that Ajmat gave you are the usual issues with E36s and in addition you're gonna have regular service cost. 60K is still fairly low mileage and performance should still be strong. My E36 is crossed 75K miles with zero major issues except maintenance. (touchwood)

Last edited by Mpower : 26th October 2008 at 07:01.
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