1988 BMW 3 Series Reviews - Page 4 of 9

1988 BMW 3 Series 320i m2o from Philippines

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission m2o Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired108000 kilometres
Most recent distance116000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Patrol

Summary:

I love the car and I'll pass it to my son.

Faults:

Thermostat failed and also the fan clutch. Rebuilt the automatic transmission.

General Comments:

The e30 surely live up to its expectation, it is a pretty car, but it's a little bit cramp at the backseat. Overall the is durable than most other car of it's time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2007

1988 BMW 3 Series 325iSE (E30) M20B25 (2.5 litre six) from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission M20B25 (2.5 litre six) Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired122000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Cavalier

Summary:

Archetypal German quality car with sporty dynamics - more fun than a Mercedes!

Faults:

Front fog lamps didn't work (blown bulbs).

Trip computer back-light bulb has blown.

The boot lets in water in heavy rain.

General Comments:

A superb performance car that is also now available very cheaply though they're now recognised as a classic BMW so prices are rising.

Very comfortable, with excellent ergonomics, the straight six also makes a lovely noise.

Fun to drive, these cars are responsive, rear wheel drive and have plenty of power in standard form. Reasonably economical too.

Reliable, and with good parts availability, so they're pretty cheap to run if you get a good one.

There's also good on-line advice available from the E30 Zone, Planet E30, etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th November, 2006

1988 BMW 3 Series 325i 2.5L straight 6 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.5L straight 6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired310000 kilometres
Most recent distance350000 kilometres

Summary:

Overall, it's a good car, very reliable even if I do thrash the sh*% out of her (never let me down)

Faults:

Fuses like to keep blowing on different things.

Air con not working.

Fog lights stopped working.

Clutch is starting to go on me.

Has a couple of oil leaks.

No big deal for a car with over 300 thousand and no rebuild on the motor or gear box.

General Comments:

This car looks great after you add a few mods to it, to kind of bring it back to the future, like custom tail and side lights, and it starts to look really mean once it's lowered (use super low King springs) with this and a set of 18" rims with 215/35/18 tyres (20mm spacers are required). It handles like no other average car like a Ford, Commodore or Mitsubishi. They can't keep up with me through a road with a lot of bends.

I found the motor stock standard ain't that fast, but with a few light cheap mods, that all changes. I have added a new hi flow muffler with 3" inlet, 6.5" barrel and 4.5" tip. This gives the car lots more torque, and the note she puts out is very nice. People are always asking if I have a bigger 6 or even an 8 cylinder under there.

Next good performance booster is a K&N pod filter with a heat shield (heat shield very important to the performance), and when this thing sucks it sounds awesome, and changing gears makes the car sound like it's turboed with a blow off valve - great.

First and second gear ain't that fast in the car, but once you hit into 3rd at high revs, then watch out (this is the gear that lets you pull away from some fool in his Ford or Commodore)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2006

20th Jul 2008, 04:27

Lol so true... the old beamers cop a good flogging.

1988 BMW 3 Series 325iC 2.5 six from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.5 six Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired96000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

It's one of the best used car values around

Faults:

Routine maintenance is all that's been required (although at this age, it's a pretty full routine).

Steering rack leaks slightly.

Control arms are showing their age.

The convertible top leaks a bit (and righty onto my left leg).

General Comments:

Though I’ve owned an E36 convertible (and still have an E46 sedan), I have to confess a real fondness for the E30. This is my second and just like the first one, it’s very easy to live with.

An E30 is fun to drive, amazingly reliable and probably the last of the BMWs you can easily work on yourself. Parts are plentiful (if occasionally a little pricey) and everything seems to be put together with 13mm bolts. (If you do enough work on an E30 you’ll have every kind of 13mm wrench made, plus breaker bars, extensions and God knows what else.)

I bought this particular car two years ago. Though far from perfect, it seemed well cared for and the CARFAX report came up clean. So even though I was to be the fourth owner, I felt pretty good about buying it. And I’ve had no regrets. Silky smooth engine. Decent power. Handling so good you’ll forget it’s an older car. Plus it’s practically guaranteed you’ll get more thumbs-ups and nods of approval from complete strangers than you would in cars costing three times as much. (Word of Warning #1: Cops are drawn to BMWs. It’s programmed in.)

The basic issue with BMWs of this age is that stuff dries out. Be prepared to replace the vacuum hoses, coolant hoses, belts and valve cover and oil pan gaskets. In all but a few cases, it’s very easy to do it yourself. (Word of Warning #2: Replacing the oil pan gasket isn’t particularly complicated, but it’s an absolutely horrible experience. A mechanic will charge you upwards of $500 and about halfway through doing it yourself you’ll think it might just be worth it.) And no matter how recently the previous owner tells you the timing belt was changed, do it anyway (it’s cheap insurance). Go ahead and replace the water pump while you’re in there. You’ll probably need new shocks, too. And be sure to keep the brakes up to snuff.

This isn’t meant to scare you into thinking you’ll always be working on the car – quite the opposite. Once you take care of these things, you’re pretty much done. Change the oil and filter regularly. Use BMW antifreeze. Check the fluids weekly. And you’ll get years of reliable service.

And in those years to come? The steering rack is going to leak, but you can put that off for a long time. The control arms will wear out around 120,000 miles, but they’re easy to fix. Sources say that if it has an automatic, you’re going to have to replace it someday, but mine has 130,000 miles on it and seems fine.

But the best thing of all is an E30 in really great shape will set you back only a couple of grand. Cheap thrills.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2006

6th May 2006, 19:19

Kudos to you!

I',m on my 2nd e30 (a mint 88 325is...gotta love the metal bumpers;) ) and I'm getting ready to take it out for the summer for a week or so just to keep the gaskets lubed, and to change the fluids.

The best thing about the e30, is the thrills you get for not a lot of money!

18th Oct 2006, 10:01

That is very good for you. I have a 1988 325lx, just bought it with 310,000 miles on it. Runs very fine, but Drivers seat has worn out.

One problem though, I will like to know how often for oil change and service.

Please advice.

Peter,

Thanks.

6th Dec 2008, 13:37

Can I agree with all the comments listed here? Absolutely! (Even the leaking top) I have owned my first 325I Convertible since the spring of 2008 so I have gone through 2 seasons with this car. I love it. With 160K+ I spend money on maintenance and not major repairs. I commute 40 miles one way plus drive a lot while I am in my territory. Couple that with the fact that my second job is in Real Estate and you see immediately that I put some real miles on this car. It has never let me down or left me high and dry. My next car is another 3 series and my son will inherit this one! I have a feeling we will have these for a while.

5th Sep 2009, 19:12

Do all 325i motors have a motor fan and an electric one?

posorio1452@yahoo.com

7th Sep 2009, 09:51

I think they're all mechanical. They have an auxiliary fan somewhere apparently.

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 30 reviews