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From Wed Feb 9 11:38:20 2000
for <>; Wed, 9 Feb 2000 11:38:18 -0800 (PST)
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for <>; Wed, 9 Feb 2000 11:38:11 -0800 (PST)
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 11:39:20 -0800
From: Brendon Macaraeg <>
Subject: '<e36> survey entry'


Thought I'd take a few minutes to give you a survey on my vehicle history for the E36 page (great site by the way!).

I own a '96 328ia that I bought with 29K on the odo. The purchase was made under the Pre-Certified Warranty Plan.

I purchased the vehicle April '98, so I'll have had it two years this coming April. I just turned the 62K mark on the odo.

Luckily, most of the problems have been comsmetic in nature and were fixed under the original or extended warranty:

  1. headliner sagging in back. Dealer replaced with whole new headliner
  2. Readout on Check Engine display flakey. Dealer replaced with new one.
  3. lights behind blue arrows on HVAC fan controls started to flicker - replaced under extended warranty ($50 deductible charged)
  4. radio readout dimming and brightening at random. Not covered under extended warranty - replaced myself with new stock radio/cd controller from another BMW mailing list digester that I bought for $60 (the dealer wants $800 for that thing! NOT!).
  5. Left front foglight lens cracked - known problem with these. I replaced it myself with part at ~$60 from Bavarian Auto. Made the investment in Stone Guard protectors from Bavarian Auto to prevent this in the future - great investent - recommend these highly!
  6. The only mechanical problem I've had was having the front wheel barings replaced - done by dealer under warranty. It pays to have a good mechanic, otherwise I would have never known to take it in.
  7. Clear coat is chipping off at the top of the front passenger door near the window seal. Unfortunately, I didn't notice this until the original warranty expired. This isn't covered under the extended warranty. I just took the car in for a detail job yesterday and the detailer told me that that door panel was most likely repainted - next time I buy a car I'll look VERY closely at the trim.
  8. I have this "clicking" noise that comes from the bottom of the car under the front passenger seat and somewhere in the rear as well. I've called my dealer about looking for a tech service bulletin on this, but they don't return my calls (gee, I wonder why?).

Overall, I'm very happy with this car. For the first year I had it, I was commuting 80 miles roundtrip from San Francisco to Redwood City (on the peninsula). I've driven this car hard, and I figure the worst that could happen mechanically would happen by now. One of my old co-workers had an '80s 528 on which he put 250K. I'm confident that I can get this car to last me to at least 150K, if not more. Despite the little problems, I love driving this car. My next car will most likely be another BMW - I've driven several different cars on rentals and relatives, and no other car drives like a BMW.

BMWCCA #165632

Brendon Macaraeg

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