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From Sun Aug 22 18:46:22 1999
for <>; Sun, 22 Aug 1999 18:46:20 -0700
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 18:45:51 -0700
From: "Rosa Goldberg" <>
To: <>
Subject: '<e36> survey entry' 1996 328i 4-door
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 18:43:35 -0700
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.0810.800

The car: 1996 328i four-dour, auto tranny, and the usual upgrades (seat heaters, sunroof, Harman-Kardon, dealer-installed CD-changer). Tires and wheels are stock (not the "Sport" kit, just stock).

I drive 60 miles round-trip to work each day, so I wanted a reliable, comfortable freeway cruiser that would relieve the stress of the "stop and go" traffic jams I encounter. So a manual transmission was out.

Overall, the reliability at 50,000 miles is nothing short of outstanding. Besides normal oil and maintenance services, the car needed a gasket replaced at the left rear door (warranty repair), and a "crankshaft sensor" had to be replaced to stop a problem with the car stalling at speed. In addition, I've needed to replace the front brake pads.

Regular oil changes with Mobil 1 5w30. I tried the 50 weight once, and the gas mileage was reduced by about 3 mpg. I called Mobil customer service, and they told me that the 50 weights are only for racecars, and even in the summer heat of Texas the Mobil guys run the 5w30 in their cars.

The only complaints I can think of are:

  1. The doors have to be slammed shut in order to close. Other e36 owners have confirmed this behavior.
  2. There seems to be a rattle or squeaking somewhere in the right rear of the car. It will never go away.
  3. The Check Light will tell you if a brake light is out, but only if it is a right or left brake light. If it is the center lite, you've got to figure it out for yourself. But, gee, what a wimpy complaint.

I'm very happy that I bought the car and I will probably buy another. I can't think of another car which offers as good a combination of sporty driving and luxury, as well as 25 MPG fuel economy, great dependability (it has never once failed to start), and, let's be honest, a status symbol level that I can deal with (which is, I think, "Well-off person still driving sporty practical luxury car that's not too flashy. A typical yuppie?").


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