1989 325i Need a tuneup? Or something more?

Asked by Aug 02, 2010 at 01:42 PM about the 1989 BMW 3 Series 325i Sedan RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1985 318i daily driver that I love. Has 270000 miles on it, she's a little quirky and doesn't like mornings very much, but a great little car.
         Two days ago I bought a 1989 325i convertible that is in fairly good shape. 157000 miles, the seller told me that all routine maintenance has been done by BMW cert. folks, new front end, new tires, tops in good shape, AC works, etc.
         When I went to pick it up, the route I followed happened to be the route I travel every day to work, and I know every place I need to downshift my little 318 by heart.  Well...I had to do the exact same thing in all places with the 325.  I had expected to feel a sense of endless power compared to my 1/4 million plus mile old 318.  
          Is there a known maintenance thing with the 325 that will rob more of it's power than any other car that just needs a tuneup?  Bad plugs, air filter, etc.  It idles, accellerates, and drives very smoothly (no missing, etc). It just feels (drives) like a slightly heavier version of my old car.
          Any advice?  Or should I just stop whining, tune the car, and see what that does?  
          Thanks for your time.

3 Answers


Give it a tune-up of course, but you can also purchase a performance chip for these E30s on the cheap. (Ebay comes to mind) They are easy to install. Another thing you can do, to help it perform better, is install a K&N cone filter kit and a less restrictive exhaust. If you decide on the p-chip make sure you check the last three digits on the ECU # before ordering. They made ECU changes through the years. The only one that may be hard to find is a chip for a 88 325 (aka 325e "Super ETA"). 1988 was the last year of the 325e or eta models and they made a few changes to the 325e vs previous models. The same year they started making the 325i models. (I know because I owned both a 88 325e coupe and 88 325i convertible at the same time.... I have also owned a 86 325e and a 89 325iX)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Just wanted to add.... if it's an automatic make sure you change the tranny fluid and filter about every two years to keep it healthy.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I having a problem similar. Check engine like came on and on start up seems like its almost gone cut off. Some power loss when first press on gas . At idle sounds like up and down.

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