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Reliability of 95-97 BMW M3

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by mjgermane, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. mjgermane

    mjgermane Formula Junior

    Jan 21, 2003
    507
    I am in the market for a new (to me) car. My MINI Cooper S is just not cutting it for me. I had a 1994 BMW 325is that I loved. I had to change the t-stat and a few minor things. Overall, it was very reliable. I also had a 95 M3, but sold it for various reasons. I only had the M3 for a few months, so I could not really judge the reliability of it. I will need a car that will go for a few years and then I can sell.

    Does anyone know of any common problems with 95-97 M3 that I should be worried about? I want an M3 that has never been modded, for obvious reasons. Most of the 95 M3 that I have seen have near or over 100k. Does anyone think there should be a problem with that on this car?
     
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  3. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    BMW = "Bring My Wallet"...........our service manager says overall that M-cars are very durable, more or less, but that M parts are priced accordingly and often you may have to wait.

    FWIW......
     
  4. maranelloman

    maranelloman Guest

    I have a 97. Common issues are fuel filler neck cracking; rear shock mounts are weak (if you intend to track the car); same for rear sway bar link mounts; also, oil pump retainer nut can come loose in certain rare circumstances, causing near-instant lack of oil pressure.

    For 1995 models, add to this list: plastic radiator neck weakness; bad water pump (plastic impeller); bad rear subframe mounts that can cause rear subframe to break off (again, if you drive the car hard or track it). Most owners will likely have addressed all of these problems.
     
  5. mjgermane

    mjgermane Formula Junior

    Jan 21, 2003
    507

    Thanks for the reply. What type of mileage do you have on your M3? Have you had any problems with your car besides the ones your mentioned are common? What are some of the rare circumstances where the oil pump retainer nut will come loose?


    MJG
     
  6. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    376
    Greenwich , CT
    Full Name:
    Kenny
    All BMW's have this problem and is not limited to M-series cars..
     
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  8. maranelloman

    maranelloman Guest

    I bought my 97 new. I had to special-order it without a sunroof, due to my height (6-4). Started tracking it in 2002. Now have 68,xxx miles, as it is also my daily driver. I have since made suspension & brake mods for track use. I have had the fuel neck problem, and replaced the RSM's & RTAB's & rear sway bar links when I did the suspension work. Oil pump nut is more likely to come loose if you spin the car w/o pushing in the clutch & it stalls after the wheels (and drivetrain) spin the wrong way. The only other probs I have had (knocking on wood now) are a finicky timing chain tensioner that caused a one-time check engine light & messed up valve timing (minor--easily fixed), most likely due to hard track use, and I went thru my original O2 sensors at ~62,000 miles, which is early.
     
  9. Entelechy

    Entelechy Formula Junior

    May 19, 2001
    712
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Chris Cummings
    I've got a pdf file someone compiled from when I was researching before I bought mine. PM me with your e-mail and I'll send it to you :)

    Major issues are what Dave said...still, I've been racking up the miles on mine due to a long commute and the more I drive it, the more I love it. I researched these quite a bit and you can feel secure that they are bulletproof if you do the regular maintenance and some preventative maintenance on the issues Dave pointed out.

    Cheers,
    ~Chris
     
  10. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    376
    Greenwich , CT
    Full Name:
    Kenny
    If you plan on tracking your M3, the 96 and newer is a better choice since the 95's don't have a rev limiter... The newer ones also have a higher displacement engine compared to the 95's.. 3.2 vs. 3.0
     
  11. mjgermane

    mjgermane Formula Junior

    Jan 21, 2003
    507
    If I tracked it I would actually prefer a 95, they have the same hp a little less torque and are a lot easier to mod due to the obd1. Are you sure the 95 did not have a rev limiter? I had a 94 325is and I know it had one.



    MJG
     
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  13. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    376
    Greenwich , CT
    Full Name:
    Kenny
    My friend had a 95 M3 he tracked and that model didn't have one... you can ask the E36 M3 board on www.bimmer.org for more information
     

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