1991 BMW 3 Series 318i Convertible 1.8L M42 from North America
Sweet car, expensive parts
One rear spring was broken when I bought it.
Front suspension completely worn out, bushings, ball joints, strut mounts.
Sway bar bracket broke.
Timing chain tensioner wore out.
Steering column bearings worn, squeak and rattle.
Seals for convertible top worn, noisy at speed.
Intermittent lights in dash.
Power steering leaks, oil leaks.
Water pump wore out.
Fuel level sending unit broken (indicator fail).
Fuel pump seal broken, leaks fuel on slopes and smells on a full tank.
Awesome car, but expensive to maintain because of the parts cost. I can't complain about the problems I've had, because it's an old car with a lot of miles, however the price of parts is something to bear in mind when considering this purchase.
I do all my own repairs, and have found this car is very easy to work on, and also that it is very well engineered and built. It is my first BMW, and I must admit I am impressed with their engineering. There are no cheap plastic tabs holding things together, and everything comes apart and goes back together easily, unlike other cars I've owned that are all plastic tabs and rivets.
Also a note on convertibles. This was my first convertible, and I will advise buyers to pay more attention than I did to the condition of the top. It looked good at a glance to me, but I later realised that the seals and cloth were pretty worn out, which can be expensive and a hassle to replace.
It's a stylin' car that gets attention, and is a blast to drive. It makes up for a lack of power with incredible balance and handling, coupled with a really nice ride for such a small light car. Also, there are a great many mods for the M42, so power can be achieved if desired. It gets excellent gas mileage, and aside from the hurt on my wallet every time I need to replace something, the car is a real joy.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 8th July, 2011