'99 BMW 328ic Cabriolet: reliability?


Old 03-27-02, 12:13 PM
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'99 BMW 328ic Cabriolet: reliability?

I am considering acquiring a 1999 BMW 328ic Cabriolet. Perhaps this is NOT your typical DIY'er kind of car, and one would probably pay "through the nose" for getting work done on it, BUT:

Q1: Are there any commonly known reliability issues that I am not aware of? In other words, does this 2.8L inline-6 show up often at the mechanics?

Q2: When you look under the hood, it seems you cannot really access anything for maintenance purposes. But should this stop me as a DIY'er from wanting to purchase such a car? Looking under the hood, everything appears hidden, and it's somewhat intimidating. (Forgive me for wanting a nice car and not wanting to pay ridiculous maintenance costs in order to keep it on the road. )
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Old 03-27-02, 12:18 PM
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If you buy a BMW, squawking about 1) parts, 2) service and 3) a combination of the three is going to be common. You gotta pay to play.

Overall, it probably won't give you many problems, but when it does, you're going to get soaked. I don't like these cars, if we're talking German cars and only German cars, a Benz is far superior in ride, handling, maintenance, support and overall quality in my belief.

You'll see neither in my driveway or garage because cars like this are a collosal waste of greenbacks. An old American convertible would give me joy over a new one any day , excepting maybe a new Corvette convertible.
Old 03-27-02, 04:23 PM
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Approximately every:

15k oil service
30k inspection I (oil service with major check and microfilter change)
60k inspection II (oil service with major check, microfilter, air filter)and includes a diagnostic check and tire rotation

fuel filter and spk plugs every 100k

If automatic trans it has lifetime trans fluid

rear end fluid change every second inspection II

If the model of the car is an E46(latest body style) it does not have any problems that I know of(very tight car)

If it is an E36(last body style)if you live in the sunbelt the convertible top straps tend to get loose and let the top hang up when opening(can be repaired properly for about $600) but repair can be avoided by grabbing the bow above the headliner and pulling lightly towards the front of the car

but overall a very tight and fun car

If you have problems about parts and service then you must be taking your car to the wrong place, and it seems like many people on this forum complain about that and they don't drive BMWs

Good luck, BMW tech
Old 03-27-02, 10:36 PM
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German Cars & Bikes

Man I am going to give it to ya straight. If you want a DIY car go German. I have worked on everything from beatle bugs to High Powered Porsche Racing cars.

One thing stood out way, over most cars I have ever worked on. I felt this as I worked on the german cars, we know it might need repaired, so we make it so you can get at the problem, and fix it right. Now that's a class act.

Sure the parts cost more. Why? Quality control, better materials, tighter tolerances. As a mechanic I pick up on things like, ease of acess for repair, building the systems, before building the car.

American cars are now only in the last 10 years begining to incorprate some of the designs that Japan & Germany have been building into their cars for decades.

When you have to make your living working on cars, it sure feels good knowing that if you do your job. The company has spares that will make your job a class A piece of workmanship.

I hope that I helped you better understand why German cars are a good choice for the Do it yourselfer, because once bitten your will never want anything else, but quality and the ride is intoxicating, with power and control.
Old 03-28-02, 05:49 AM
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Lol. Tsk, tsk Marturo .

You should know that old American cars are the way to go . Lol.

My experience with these cars (and I have serviced them all) is that:

It gets you from A to B the same way a car does for half of the money. It doesn't do anything better than a comparable American car. And things don't break less. They just cost more. Buying a 50,000 car means the parts prices come with the territory. I'll take old and American thank you....

Fact is American car companies source worldwide as do European. My sister's 2000 VW Jetta is made in Mexico (and so are most of the parts), not Germany. Buy a Bosch part today and see where it comes from: Slovania, Spain, Germany, Italy, Japan, worldwide. The OE's source from anywhere now...

As for the quality gap closing, it depends on what your definition of quality is . My 84 Olds 88 rivals any car made that year sold here for reliability. Simple things keep it going for a long time. A comparable European car soaks you for a lot more in parts.

The average auto store will not stock most BMW parts. An automotive parts shop specializing in German cars or foreign might, but chances are their inventory is stocked with other marques where there are more parts requests. Just something to keep in mind.

Is it a reliable car on the whole? Yes. Is it a DIY car? Not without the proper tools, service manual and know how.

My .02
Old 03-28-02, 04:46 PM
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Like I posted already on this article, Most of the threads started on this page are not with people who drive BMWs and furthermore if the people driving them had the "proper tools and know how" they wouldn't be posting to this forum! I don't know of anyone who can rebuild and engine with a flathead screwdriver BMW or any other make.
Old 03-29-02, 06:06 AM
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Thumbs down

Incorrect....sorry to disagree.

People post on this forum to LEARN. Even if they have the knowledge and the know how . No one knows everything.

I have a complete library of all OE service manuals, links and contacts at my disposal. I STILL learn by reading and helping out in posts. I learn from Knuckles, Cheese, Marturo, Fordtech, TowGuy and others out there, just by reading, posting and learning.

Remember, if you are only working on one type of vehicle, your experience and reliability thoughts are centered around that marque. A guy that works on everything sees it all!

I've tackled appliance repair before, but I still come here to learn....even if I've done the repair before.

Better to ask and be sure than to assume and grenade

My .02.
Old 03-29-02, 03:00 PM
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Just for info

I have worked on many different vehicles out there and still do....

Volvo, Nissan, BMW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and even some Pontiacs.. Mitisubishi.....etc...

I do not claim to know everything, but I do not sell parts for a living either, I work on the cars.

Sorry, If you enabled your private messaging I would have done this in private....
Old 03-30-02, 07:16 AM
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Nope, no offense at all. I answer all posts here, just like the signature file says, so all benefit. Lol.

One clarification---I don't sell anything for a living, including auto parts. Check my profile......

That being said, there are multiple sides to reliability. If you come here and ask me, I'm going to tell you serviceability is an important facet. When things break (and they all do) when they are a pain to fix or soak you for a lot of green, it makes you wonder about it. That's how I feel about many high end cars---the repairs don't stop when they get older, the parts don't come down in price (because not many aftermarkets pick them up in their line) and the labor doesn't get any cheaper.

Is his choice reliable? Sure. Is there better out there? You bet. All depends on your perception.

As for posting and learning and whatnot: Look at Marturo, TowGuy and the other veteran folks out there. They've been working on machines longer than I have been alive, and that's worth something . But, they all know when to raise a hand and say, "I think someone has a tip to make my job easier". Ah, that's the smart man .

I have tackled appliance repair with much success before, but still come to ask Jeff to ask for his .02, since he is the expert. That's the beauty of this forum, even the advanced DIY person can find help from EXPERTS .

Consider yourself one of them and let's go from there.

My .02.
Old 03-30-02, 08:42 AM
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Thank you and sorry we got off on the wrong foot!
Old 03-30-02, 04:21 PM
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Thumbs up

(Checks his feet)

No wrong feet here . Lol.

No problem. We can all differ, have a little fun and help one another. That's what this is all about.

So, feel free to join in and help. It's appreciated when we get help from all the experts we can here.

Again, consider yourself one of them and no sweat on my part....never was.

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