Common BMW e36 Problems You Need to Know

Common BMW e36 Problems You Need to KnowThe BMW e36 lineup is a well respected vehicle and has a large following of fans that continue to use these cars as daily drivers. These BMWs are the third generation of the BMW 3 Series and were produced from 1991 through 1999. BMW's offering included coupes, sedans and convertibles with model numbers 316, 318, 323, 325, 328 and the M3. As these cars have aged, as with any vehicle that has been on the road long enough, a few common problems have become well known. If you're considering purchasing one of these fine used German cars, or if you currently own one, it is important to be aware of these issues so you can have preventative maintenance completed to avoid breakdowns.

Faulty Water Pump

The water pumps on these cars utilize a plastic impeller that propels coolant throughout the engine. This particular part has been known to crack and fail. If the water pump malfunctions the BMW's engine will be at risk of overheating, since the cooling system will not be able to function properly.

Rough Idle

There are two common issues that cause a rough idle in BMW e36s. The first is a relatively simple problem that is caused by a dirty idle control valve. The part can usually be cleaned and won't need to be replaced to solve the idle problem. The second issue is more common in pre 1994 vehicles. Heavy rain can cause flooding in the DME compartment due to poor sealing, resulting in the engine woes.

Burning Oil

The smell of burning oil burning is quite distinctive. If you catch a whiff while cruising in your BMW you'll want to head to the repair shop ASAP. The usual cause is a failed cam cover gasket which can leak oil down the cylinder head. Double Overhead Cam engines can spring oil leaks that allow oil to drip into the spark plug wells, causing it to be ignited. Burning oil is often accompanied by blue exhaust smoke.

BMW Radiator Leaks

The radiators in most E36 models utilize plastic parts that are known to wear out and crack within 130,000 miles. The usual spots of trouble are the top radiator pipe and plastic thermostat housing. A cracked radiator will result in a coolant leak that will eventually lead to engine problems caused by overheating.

Be sure to have these potential problems taken care of before they become an actual issue. If you're searching for expert BMW repair in Tampa for any year or model, including the newest ones on the road, visit Rennen Imports. Our team of expert BMW repair technicians can fix any issue your vehicle may have. To learn more about our services or to schedule superior European auto repair in Tampa give us a call at (813) 879-2886 today!

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