Im a proud owner of a 1999 E36 318 TI Mtech.Bought the car about 5 month ago with 42000 miles from a mechanic's wife.Full service history.This is my first BMW and I have to
say it is something different.I used to work for a car rental and drove mostly brand new top of the range Fords but nothing like this 12 year old car,the driving experience and the whole feel and look of the car still amazes me.To be honest with you guys I've never been a BMW fan but until i drove this,and now I am!!!
Our relationship didnt start too well...after i bought the car took it out for a drive on the following morning and I heard some very loud knocking from the O/S front....and the car was all over the place....I said great.....had a look under the car and saw something popped out from the lower arm(Im not a mechanic so dont know too much about cars).Took a photo and sent it to my mechanic friend and turned out it was the ball joint!!!!!!The previous owner must have replaced it without the right tools.So I got both lower arms replaced and the car was fantastic again.Then changed all tyres for Barum Bravuris 2(Made by Continental)-pretty good price and very good quality-would recommend it to everyone.
Later on I found out the fuel door actuator didnt work so I ordered one from ebay for something like £10.This was my first challange #again,Im not a mechanic,but with the help of tthe internet sites(mostly bimmerforum-Thanks again!!!)and some willpower u can fix lots of things.So I removed the inside trim and the rear seat and replaced the fuel door actuator.Took about 30 minutes,and I was really impressed that I could fix something on my car.
Next thing was the rear screen washer,it was just full of dirt so I took it of cleaned it out and works just fine!!
Then ran into a bigger problem.The heating didnt really work,at high rpm it was warm ish but when stopped at traffic lights it was cold!!!So-lots of search online,most people with similar problems said air lock.Turned out the heater matrix was clocked up-got it cleaned and suddenly i had proper heating!!!BUT before I could enjoy it noticed the water temperature drops every time I start diving the car.....at this point i knew it was gonna be a new thermostat....so ordered one and replaced it myself(took 20 minutes if that!!!-problem fixed.About a month ago on the colder mornings i noticed the car was kind of hesitating at the fist start up.I ordered a new battery but didnt help.Checked all the spark plugs they were new ish(were replaced by previous owner in june).Still cleaned them,had a look at the ignition leads,and saw lead No.4 didnt click on the plug properly!!!!They all looked pretty worn and dont know how often u guys normally replace the leads,but i thought ok,i love the car,and will keep it for a really long time,so sooner or later I would need to replace them anyway.Ordered one replaced them and the car was ok again(looking back now its was a mild day)...next cold morning-same problem,struggling at start up,sounded like it was running on 3 cyclinders for about 15 seconds....just like it was before.Spoke to a few people about the problems and they all said it coild be lots of things,fuel pump.fuel filter,starting motor etc....i nearly gave up,but i thought I do some search for the right spark plugs for this model.Interestingly 90% of e36 owners had problems and dont recommend the Bosch F7LDCR plugs.(thats what i had).So yesterday i popped in to eurocarparts and bought a set of NGK BKR6EK and now the problem is solved.Still cant believe it can make such a big difference!!!
All together the car is fantastic, it needed some TLC but apart from these small Project is to be continued from April.Exterior needs some attention,but it can wait.
Some photos of my Compact: