5th Jun 2007, 19:47
Update: 140,000 miles. Still loving this car! We did replace the engine mounts after one of them failed. Oddly enough, there was no warning of it failing and the car still ran and drove perfectly with no vibration. The only thing that happened to make me aware of the mount failing was the fan hitting the shroud under the hood when first starting the car, causing a loud roar. The mounts were not terribly difficult to replace, although it would have been easier on a lift instead of on floor jacks. One of my friends pinpointed the whistle that occurs when the sunroof is open. The left rear door does not make full contact with the seal at the rear-most part of the door where it curves. I never would have looked there, but there it is! The car has continued to be trouble-free and I recently went on a 1,000-mile trip where it performed beautifully and achieved a record 34 MPG! I am now planning to install a K&N performance intake and a Remus exhaust system as the car is just a little short on power sometimes. This is a very able machine, but it is restricted by the stock intake and exhaust. I recommend this car to everyone and I have had offers on mine as it still looks brand-new and people are fascinated by it.
3rd Jan 2009, 10:32
Update: 160,000 miles. In the last year I had all four shocks with new Bilstein Tourings. These are wonderful and really make the car perform like new. I also recently put new top-shelf Yokohama Avid V4S tires on for the second time since ownership and I continue to love this car every time I drive it. It is still so smooth and composed! I have also replaced the ugly orange indicator lamps with smoke-tinted ones and installed new glass headlamps with projector low beams to replace pitted plastic headlamps. HUGE improvement in illumination and style!
I am going to need tie rods here shortly, my mechanic has quoted a very reasonable $240 parts and labor to replace these, not too shabby! The headliner is beginning to come undone around the sun visors, so that will need to be redone, but big deal; it will only be 15 years old in May (!). I have looked at many brand-new cars and while they are appealing, I do not find myself craving one as I still enjoy this one and it still looks better than a lot of newer cars! It also has more features.
6th Jul 2009, 21:45
Update: 180,000 miles. Wow, I just looked at my last comment and was startled at how many miles I have stacked on the car since January. At around 165,000 miles I did have the tie rods replaced, along with the control arms, which included new ball joints and bushings, so the drive is like new! It was a bit over $1,000 to have all of this done at once, but it's still been far cheaper than buying another car would have been and it was much easier to have it all out-of-the-way.
My commute is now 50 miles each way and the car does it without any struggle, still gets 30+ MPG on premium. All of the features still work perfectly, it is still a joy every day! It still looks new as well, original black paint is still shiny and I replaced all of the lights; LED tail lamps, smoke-lens signal lights all-around, and glass headlamps/fog lamps give it a very fresh look.
16th Jan 2011, 11:14
Update: 219,000 miles. I sold this wonderful BMW to a friend. I have to say this car was fantastic in the six years I had it; everything was still working (including the original A/C, cruise, etc.) and it still looked every bit as appealing as my new (ish) Audi A4. It was also great leverage at the Audi dealer, because it STILL impressed everyone there with its appearance. And since they realized I did not NEED a new car, it made the buying experience a lot easier.
When the 3-series regain their more distinctive design I will have another, but for now the newer 3-series just did not fit the bill (for the money, anyway) and my 2008 A4 is actually closer in design and original cachet to my 318i. I attempted to find a 2005 330i, but these are becoming difficult to find and people still want too much for the nice ones. I'll be honest, I'm slightly concerned about the reliability of the Audi, but then again, everyone was skeptical of my BMW, and it proved them all wrong.
In closing, if I ever have the spare monies, I would like to find another E36 BMW, and I definitely recommend them to anyone of any means. I was kind of broke most of the time I had this car, and it NEVER handed me any nasty surprises.