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BMW 318ti



  • mfarmer2mfarmer2 Posts: 67
    Any feedback on reliability? My husband is now leaning towards a new Integra because of the reliability issue, not to mention the costs for a new Integra is almost comparable to a used 318. I'd appreciate any input you have on reliability. Thanks Again.

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    My 1995 has 59000 miles on it. It has required two non-scheduled trips to the dealer. One was to reset the SRS light at @900 miles, and the second was to replace the alarm module and a fuel sender at 49000 miles. I replaced the front pads at 56000. FWIW, my ti sees a couple of track weekends every year. My wife's 1998 ti had a bad steering rack at delivery but other than that, zero problems until we sold it last week at 46000 miles. The only reason we sold it was due to the fact we needed a larger car. There's nothing wrong with the Honda, but don't base your decision on a perceived difference in reliability-it doesn't exist.
  • andrey64andrey64 Posts: 5
    Dealer told me rear shock mounts need replacing. I am planning to replace them myself. From your experience with 318 ti's, could you tell me if this job requires some special tools? My car is '95 ti with 79,500 miles. Would really appreciate your advice/ I know you usually give good ones.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Go to: and search for "rear shock mount". You'll find more than enough information. I have also heard that the hot ticket is now the E46 rear mount, but I haven't confirmed that yet. I would at least use the E30 convertible mount. The Group N mount is nice but pricey :(
    Whatever you do, be sure and replace the gasket between the mount and the body- otherwise water may get in. Let me know if you have any other questions.
  • andrey64andrey64 Posts: 5
    Thanks your advice and link. a lot info on that. what is the reason everybody using E30 conv. mount. is it better than original part for ti - or is it the same? or what?
  • rosa1016rosa1016 Posts: 1
    I have been waiting for the IT to come back to the US, has anyone heard if this is going to happen or not and, if so, when... have a 97 5sp IT and now need an auto. Looked at a 98 Auto with 16K, ex war, active pkg, fog lights for $19. in northern calif a decent IT is hard to come by. Can anyone give me any idea what they are going for and what is a fair price to pay... Thanks in advance for you reply
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Re: rear shock mounts- the E30 convertible mounts are stiffer and more durable than the stock ti mounts. There are some aftermarket mounts out there as well, but they aren't necessary unless you plan to frequently track the car.

    Re: New/used ti- The official word is that the E46 ti wii not be imported. Of course, that's what they said about the E36 Compact as well. My guess is that BMW NA will watch how the new M-B hatch sells and react accordingly. As for used tis, my wife traded her 46,000 mile 98 tiA on a 5er and the dealer wound up selling it as a BMW CPO for @$19,000. It was an Active with sunroof, heated seats, and CD changer. Go to and do a CPO search. That should give you an idea of what tis are going for.
  • andrey64andrey64 Posts: 5
    Repleced mounts last Sunday. took about 40 min. bought original ti's from dealer - $30.00 a piece. feels like new in the rear. guess need the same upfront now. thanks for your advice.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Glad to help!
  • andrey64andrey64 Posts: 5
    My 95 ti has almost 80,000 miles. Bought used in '99 with 60 K. Non-scheduled stops -none. Inspection 2 at 70,000 - $950.00.
    Repleced front seat buckle - under warranty. New transmission on 77,000 miles - under warranty. Old one was fine - just thought would be nice to have a new one before warranty expires. Told dealer 1-st gear pops out(thanks to Town Hall posts, i think div2 mentioned once about some cars in 95 had defect in manual transmissions, and BMW aknowledged that).
    Other then that - no other problems.
    New Integra, I agree completely, would be a very good alternative. Plus, if you want to buy 2001 wait till 2002 (redesigned) come out in July/August, you will be looking at great savings. The new one is promised to be hot though. In terms of warranty: Integra comes with 4/50000 powertrain warranty, you'll be covered till 2005 / 50,000 miles. If you buy 99 ti as a CPO (certified pre-owned) it will have the same coverage till 2005 / but with 100,000 miles.
    Integra is very nimble and handling is very good, built quality is impressive, just the wrong set of wheels pulls her. You don't have that precise steering feel in Integra as you have in BMW. It's also beleived by most that it's more reliable, but I think it just more abuse tolarable, as all Japanese cars. Take good care of BMW - it will run for 20 years, it's really built to last.
    Drive both cars and decide what you like most. You can't go wrong either way.
  • wassabiwassabi Posts: 3
    I bought a '98 IT active package with 20K about 2 months ago. Today I had the oil changed at the local BOW dealership. I had several items covered under warranty such as passenger's side mirror adjust was malfunctioning, bad odor emanating from ventilation system with and just fan running, drivers door stereo speakers not working. The first two items were covered under warranty, but the third, malfunctioning speakers, was not... due to wires being left unplugged by the last service etch to work in the door. I was very pleased with the dealership and the warranty service policy. They even washed and vacuumed my car! This is my first BOW and if all remains at this level of satisfaction or better I believe I may be a convert for life! In my many years of owning Honda's(3), Toyota's(2), Volvo's(1), Scab's(1), Mercedes(2), Porsche(1) I've never had such a wonderful experience driving and owning such a wonderful auto, or visiting a service department.

    I'm going to need new tires in about 5k miles. A former BOW service manager suggested Michelin's MXV4 205/60 R15 H. Anyone know these tires. I don't need to drive 120 any more! I know that there is some trade off of longevity for sticky high speed/performance tires. Still, I'd like some road hugging ability.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I would stay away from the Michelin MXV4. They are loud at highway speeds, have terrible traction in the rain and snow, and have a problem with sudden loss of grip with little to no warning (I found that out the hard way when I spun 90 degrees with no warning while attepting a turn at 35mph). They are relatively comfortable riding tires and lasted about 35-45K without being rotated often, but the noise was just plain annoying and the rain traction a bit scary. They also hydroplaned easily. This experience was with a 92 Accord with 15" wheels. If they sucked on a front drive car, just imagine how bad they would be on a rear drive car. I would suggest maybe the Michelin Pilot XGT H4 or V4 (not the non-Pilot XGT H4 or V4, because they have horrible wet traction), Pirelli P6000, Bridgestone RE950, or Dunlop D60 A2. Check out They have excellent reviews of tires and how customers rated them. They also have significantly cheaper prices than you will find at any tire chain store and deliver right to your door. I have ordered through them many times and have been very happy with their customer service.
  • wassabiwassabi Posts: 3
    Thanks Ingtonge18 for your insight and info. I visited Tirerack's website and am considering the Yokohama AVS db. I currently have 205/60 15's on the BMW 5 spoke alloys. What will be the result of going with 215/60 15's. Thanks in advance for any info.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    If you want to go with 215 section tires, I would get 215/55 not 215/60, because the 215/60 will have a slightly taller sidewall than your current tires and will cause the speedometer to read a little slower than you are actually going. If that doesn't bother you any, than don't worry about it. The larger 215 tires will enhance braking stability and roadholding over the standard 205 and make the wheelwells look fuller and sportier.
  • slm62slm62 Posts: 1
    Hi - I'm new to this board but would appreciate anyone's input. I'm considering purchasing a 95 318ti w/71,000 miles. Interior and exterior is in immaculate condition, the owner has all service records and it seems to be in great condition. I was going to take it to a mechanic to give an "check-up". The guy is asking 10,500 which seems reasonable according to Kelly but a little high according to Edmunds. Suggestions for fair price? It does have the Sport Package, cloth interior, sunroof, cruise etc. Thanks for your help!
  • mary1117mary1117 Posts: 1
    This morning I took my car (318ti) into the dealer for scheduled maintenance (the yellow and red lights were on). After going through a long list of inspections that they were going to perform, the cost they gave me was $1280.00! This seems a bit excessive, and it is not the price that I am going to pay (I am only having them perform a few of the items on the list for about $250). Does anyone have any insight as to why it would be so expensive for inspection and maintenance? My car is a 1995 318ti with 60,000 miles. Please respond...
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    If the dealer is proposing to do an Inspection II, along with major brake work and other repairs, the cost could be quite high - what are they including in the estimate?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Paying a dealer to perform an Inspection II will set you back $500-$700. A good independent BMW shop may charge one-half that amount- especially with a BMW CCA discount. Like silver bullet, I'd want to see what else is on the list.
  • pa559pa559 Posts: 4
    Found a super clean 1996 318ti with "M" package and only 36,000 miles on it. The only problem that I can see is that the wheels and tires may not be the right ones for this model with the "M" package. Title search shows that this was a one owner car prior to being traded in. Tire size on the car now is 185/65R15 on plain steel rims with a plastic BMW wheel cover or hubcap. Tires are new Michelin's. Dealer has about five other BMW's on his lot and a service area not open to the public. My big question is have the wheels been switched on this particular vehicle? My second question is can this car run on regular or does it require premium? This is my first BMW so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    If the car you are looking at really did come with the "M" kit, then it has lost its original wheels somewhere along the way. The original wheels were 16" alloys with five rounded face spokes. Are you sure someone didn't take a base car and just stick on a couple "M" kit parts, like the body pieces?
  • pa559pa559 Posts: 4
    Called my local dealer and service dept. manager about the car in question. He ran the vin and it did come with the sport package. Seats are correct as is the front end and body side moulding. I also ran the vin and the title number as per carfax. Got the prior owners name and address. I'll give him a call and see if he traded the car in with the sport wheels that it came with. Does anyone know what tire size is correct from the factory with this package? Also, do foglights come with the package? If anyone can give me a list of all the items that come with the sport package I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    If it is a sport package, as opposed to the much rarer "Club Sport" edition, I can recall the following items:
    * M Technic body kit (front valance, sideskirts, and rear diffuser)
    * Leather/cloth sport seats
    * Sport suspension
    * 225/50-16 performance tires on 16x7 (maybe 7.5?) five-spoke alloys -- Style J wheels?

    That's all I can recall. The Club Sport cars also had the sexy rear view mirrors from the M3. No changes to the engine, transmission or brakes that I remember. Foglights were part of the sport front valance. I believe SR, LSD or ASC+T, and maybe the onboard computer were optional.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The Club Sport was only offered in 1995. 1996 and later Sports were essentially Club Sports without the M3 mirrors. Are the Michelins Artic Alpins? The PO may have traded the car with the snows.
  • pa559pa559 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info. I ran a DOR check on the car and found that it was a corporate fleet car for a local BMW dealer. It probably was a car given to one of the principal's kids then went straight to the dealer I'm trying to deal with right now. The BMW dearer can't swap wheels on a car without a ton of paperwork and disclosure statement that would create a paper trail that would still be with the car at this point. I'm going back to the dealer tomorrow afternoon and see what kind of a deal we can make. I think he switched the wheels for a prior customer or another car on his lot. Everything else checks out for a proper sports package. I'll let know what happens next. Thanks for the sports package info.
  • pa559pa559 Posts: 4
    MB has just announced a new hatchback that looks like a steamlined 318ti. Has anyone heard anymore about a new 318ti or an updated model? Seems that MB moved into the slot that BMW had with the best looking hatchback on the market. I must admit the new MB looks really good.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    The new BMW hatch is not destined for the U.S. - good thing, too, because it is an embarassingly ugly design. We will likely see the new Valvetronic engine technology, however.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    I think BMW got gunshy about selling the hatch here, because it sold poorly (the old-style suspension and 1.8 engine didn't help, IMHO).

    I still think they'll bring it here IF the new
    M-B 230 hatch does really well. We'll see.

    The problem with any lowest-rung model in a luxury marque is options and their prices. Sure, these cars start at $25k, which is what draws customers. By the time you option it the way even the most basic luxury car should be equipped (sunroof, leather, CD), you're at $30k, a price point at which other cars start to look a lot more tempting.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    So how's your BMW 318ti doing? Perhaps you can give us a report.... ;-)

    To everyone- Be sure to check out the Additional Resources on the left side of the page. I just added a couple links, including Edmunds' Road test of the 1996 318ti. Happy Motoring!

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • marts1marts1 Posts: 2
    My 1998 ti was going great until recently.A transmission seal leaked "catastrophically" while
    the car was parked overnight.Didn't notice it the next morning because it was still dark.Result? The
    transmission was ruined during my 83 mile commute.
    Any similar experiences? By the way,it's an auto
    trans and the car had 62k miles on it.$3,500 later (rebuilt trans installed),everything appears to be OK.
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