How reliable are 80's BMW 3series coupes?

25

Asked by Mar 21, 2011 at 12:16 AM about the BMW 3 Series

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

Thinking of buying one, but i wanna have an idea of the cost of maintaining one! from the engine to the transmission (manual)..

7 Answers

145

hey, parts are not bad if you buy on line. bavauto is a good place. labor thats where you want to do what you can and save the hard stuff for the guys the the special tools . dollar value is where you need to be careful. don't spend more on it than you can drive out

15

i work at a car lot and the 80's bmw3 series coupes are nice but a little pricey to maintain but will treat you good in the long run

25

So what part exactly on it is the most problematic?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
1,525

If its plastic and to do with coolant, change it. service it regularly and it should be fine. Manual over auto. also just get front bushes and ball joints checked to ensure ok tyre wear.

25

Automatic was never an option.. A new BMW can go ok with an auto, but a classic like the 80's BMW deserve a proper manual... and thanks for the advice.

25

i own a 5 6 and a 7 series, if you like working on cars they are a blast, ive even run a few into the ground and they still want to turn over, ive been sold on early bmws for quite a few years, the one thing i will agree with is if you take it to a shop they will over charge because of "special" tools. just keep in mind most everything is 11 13 and 15 sized metric tools and the transmission requires torx 13 and 11 as well. i can fix just about everything with a manual because of how easy it is. i really love them (if you couldn't tell) and would say they are super reliable. the things that are most funny on these cars for me is the wiring, as it gets old you can have funny shorts in the oddest places but for me it was no big deal. i hope you find a kick ass car, as long as your good to them they will for sure be good to you. btw hoses might want replacing as well as wires but i certainly wouldn't say you need to replace everything plastic in it..

2,935

Don't get an auto unless history of maintenance, though don't rule it out. Had a couple worked fine. Though a manual 5 speed give you more of a fun factor. 60k mile interval timing belt changes. Might as well change the water pump while your in there. Save taking all that apart again. Find one with a LSD (limited slip diff) "es" or "is" models. Though a conversion is possible to regular models. I've had 4 of them and know them in and out. So any questions feel free.

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