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BMW 318ti



  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Have you had a chance to check in Edmunds' Used Car Pricing Guide? Also, plug your vehicle (model/year) in Edmunds' Maintenance Guide to see what the manufacturer's recommended maintenance costs would be. Others here may have more to add.

    Btw, here's another discussion that you may find helpful: A good first car. Use you copy/paste so you don't have to re-write your message. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your purchase.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I've owned a 318ti Club Sport since 1995. It's been very reliable. In 80000+ miles I've replaced a fuel sending unit(under warranty) one set of front pads, and the serpentine belts(simply as a precaution). Note that I also track the car from time to time, and I usually wind it to the redline at least once every time I drive it. My wife drove a 1998 ti from 1998-2000 and she only sold it because she needed a larger car. The most desirable tis have the sport package as well as the five speed manual transmission. As for service costs, a good BMW independent shop will be your best bet. Upkeep costs are very reasonable; plan on paying @$150-$200 for the Inspection I(minor) service and @$350-$400 for the Inspection II(major) service. If I were buying the car, I'd expect to see a full service history-was the DOT 4 brake fluid changed every two years? Was the coolant replaced(using BMW coolant ONLY!) every three years? If the owner has been taking the car to Jiffy Boob and/or other national chains for service, then it is almost certain that he/she is a clueless moron and you should look elsewhere for a good ti. I'd also want to have the car inpected by a good BMW tech in order to verify the condition of the car. The ti is a great car; anyone who tells you otherwise is a fool.
  • hey guys im looking at a 95 318is that is a trade at the dealership i work for its a great deal and this forum has really helped answer some of the questions i had. But i live in an area where getting a foot of snow or more in one day isnt uncommon? does anyone know how the car handles in the snow? i had a t-bird with a v8 in it which was great in the snow so im used to rw drive. but any advice would help the 318 is alot lighter than a tbird. i could put weight in the back if i had to. but anything will help even if its not what i want to hear
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    If you are familiar with driving RWD cars in inclement weather you should be OK-IF... you fit winter tires on the 318i. A little weight in the back won't hurt either.
  • jgbjrjgbjr Posts: 2
    looks like i'm a little late in responding , but, does anyone out there know how to access the pre-wired cd changer cable in a '96 318ti?i checked on the right side of the trunk where the prewired tag is fixed, but didnt find any loose wires. my 95 525 wires were easy to see on the left side.
    i plan to install the alpine changer from my 95 525i, which is supposed to be compatible, but i may need a different kit.
    does anyone have a changer installed? does it take up a lpt of room?
  • potemkinpotemkin Posts: 196
    Didn't get the CD changer for my ti, but I know that although the tag is on the right (passenger) side in mine, the wires are actually on the left.

    Go figure.
  • bjulsonbjulson Posts: 2
    I have a '96 ti which I LOVE! The changer in mine was installed on the left side.
    Try looking behind the panel in the left side. I also have a prewired tag on the right side like you, but the system is on the left.
  • meg44meg44 Posts: 1
    I own a 97 318 TI. I purchased in used in 2001 with out an owner's manual. This morning my ASC+T dash board light came on seconds after I started my car and stayed lit during my entire commute to work (about 30 miles). This has never happened before. Is this something I need to have looked at immediately ?
  • blank312blank312 Posts: 1
    This will be my first BMW and i wanted to get some outside input on the car. I found a good deal(or i think it is) on a 96 hatchback. Its white with sports package, a 4 cylinder manual transmission with 198,000 miles. Although that is a lot it of miles the exterior is perfect. I know that Maintenance on BMWs are a lot because its german made and I'm not sure if my mechanic can fix it. The seller is only asking $4,500 but i am going to offer him 4,000. Would this be a good investment or would i end up pumping money into it from the start. I don't have the money to be spending a lot on upkeep. How long do BMWs last before something major goes because 198,000 is a lot of miles on a car. Would this car be worth the investment, or would i just end up getting soaked with money? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    On any car with that many miles it is crucial that you have a qualified BMW tech inspect it. A well cared for ti will not be that expensive to run. I have owned a 1995 ti since new and my maintenance/repair costs(including three sets of Z-rated rubber) have averaged less than $35/month.
  • peggstapeggsta Posts: 1
    Hi all,
    I'm kinda new around here and need some help please.
    I need to get the right parts before I strip things down to replace. Does anyone know the part numbers or bush name for the rear suspension bushes for 318Ti compact (year -1995).
    I'm only after 1 pair for the (i think it's called) - control arm.
    You can see where the bush fits that I need when you look behind and towards the front of the rear wheel from the side. It is metal sleeved (pressed in) and is slightly smaller than the size of a can of coke. It also sits verticaly in the control arm where it connects to the car chassis. Hope this is enough info.
    If I can get the right bushes then strip things down I know where i can get the old ones pressed out and replaced.
    Any help very much appreciated. :sick:
  • oscarm23oscarm23 Posts: 3
    I want to but a 318 ti 1997 manual with 92k, the car is in really good condition but I'm worried about the 92k, can somebody tell me is that too much mileage for this car.The price is $7000
  • oscarm23oscarm23 Posts: 3
    I want to buy a 318 ti 1997 manual with 92k, the car is in really good condition but I'm worried about the 92k, can somebody tell me is that too much mileage for this car.The price is $7000.
  • potemkinpotemkin Posts: 196
    Don't know the numbers, but I know where to get them...

    Get the last seven characters of your VIN and go here:

    Hope this helps.
  • bjulsonbjulson Posts: 2
    I own a '96 Ti with 95,000 miles on it and it runs pretty much like it did when I bought it with 40,000 miles. The M44 engine may be a bit underpowered at 138 hp, but it's one of BMW's workhorses, (same basic engine they use in the Mini) and if you get one with a 5 spd, it's actually a great little driver because the car is balanced so well (50/50 weight distribution). Just be sure the service has been done regularly, and get a carfax on it. Have the plugs pulled and inspected for any abnormal wear.
    The price sounds fair.
  • oscarm23oscarm23 Posts: 3
    Thanks, for your answer. I finally bought the car and I took it to a mechanic, he said that the car look like new. All the services has been done regularly.
  • Hello there ! i am looking to purchase a BMW ti -- either a 96, 97 or 98 and i was wondering if someone could tell me some ways to tell if its got the sports package and any other helpful hints....i would like to get this ready for the track some day, but all and all just want a fun sports car and my ex-guy had a 96 ti and i loved it...

    so any and all help would be great...or if anyone has any web sites i can go to to learn how to tell the body styles apart and all that that would be great...

    also, is 140,000 or 160,000 miles on them ok...? how long will they last if taken care of...?

    thank you very much ....
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    I can't help you with a lot... someone that knows more about the ti will be along to give you some good advice...

    But... If you are looking at 7-9 year old cars... I'd want a car with 120K miles or less... and, preferably under 100K...

    The cars can last a long time, but 140K-160K cars have been driven a lot.. I'd want some of those extra miles for myself...



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • thanks -- that is a great point about keeping those extra miles to myself... :-)

    have a good weekend...
  • found a '98 318ti w/ 45,000 miles for 11k...seems to have only minor cosmetic issues.
    is this a good price??????
  • I have a 1996 ti that pops violently out of first gear if not shifted into first before car comes to a complete stop. While I don't know how common of a problem this was/is, obviously not unique as BMW issued a service advisory several years ago, said fix was to replace transmission ($3,000 kind-sorta).

    My question is has anyone come up w/ a less expensive fix? Now that a 318ti sells for around $6k, doesn't make great sense to replace tranny but by same token hard to sell a car w/ major problem like this! Regardless, wonder if anyone had same prob and what, if any, options are.
  • I recently "inherited" a '98 318ti with only 28,500 miles on it. I love it. But since it's out of warranty, and the prepaid maintenance period has expired, I took it to Jiffy Lube for an oil change per my mother-in-law's instructions. Technically, she still owns the car. Hint of advice...I had to buy the oil and air filters from an auto part store and then take everything to Jiffy Lube for the actual oil change. Unfortunately, no one seems to know how to reset the service indicator lights on the dash. Can anyone help me with that? I'm trying to avoid taking it to the dealership for something as simple as that, and the owner's manual says nothing about how to reset the indicators (except, of course, to take it to a BMW retailer for all maintenance service).

    Any help would be great.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I've got a 325 and have experienced the same issue. From what I learned, it requires a special tool, which quick lube and independent garages generally don't have. Only BMW dealers and garages that specialize in BMWs have the required tool. If anyone knows otherwise I'd be interested in your input, because it's an inconvenience. I just waited until I needed some service work, and asked the garage that specializes in BMWs and Mercedes that I use to reset the indicator light. It took them just a few seconds, but who needs that?
  • Look in the problems and solutions forum. I'm pretty sure the reset procedure is listed there. it can be done using a combo of the reset button (by the gauges) and the ignition key.
  • nat51nat51 Posts: 3
    Hi, I recently purchased a 95 bmw 318ti compact, and 2 days ago when I picked it up it was fine, now when i start up (every time) it makes a clunk when the engine has fired and running. Does anyone know what this might be? any help would be appreciated thankyou.
  • potemkinpotemkin Posts: 196
    Could it be transmission related? If it's an automatic, does it do it while the car is in park or just after you shift into gear?
  • nat51nat51 Posts: 3
    Yeah it is automatic, And I think it might be transmission related but it only does it when the car is still in park and only as soon as the engine starts (without touching anything but the key) not shifting into drive or anything.
  • potemkinpotemkin Posts: 196
    Sounds like the problem might be in the torque converter, but I'm not a mechanic and I've never owned a car with one so my diagnosis isn't worth much. You might want to consult with a dealer's service department and see if they know. Usually problem noises are common to a particular model and they'll have experience dealing with such things.

    Hope everything works out for you.
  • nat51nat51 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice mate, does sound like you know what your talking about, I will take it to find out more, It does make sense to be the torque converter I don't know why I didnt think about that. Thanks again.
  • I have the same problem and have learned to live with it. Put in first,not up a grade. Then let the clutch out easy.Don't hold it in gear. I did this for 5 of the 10 years I've owned the car years. It would pop out of gear about 1 out of 20 times. However since I like the car,I now plan to look for a used trans.(Any one know of any? )If I can't find one from a ti,It might be a good excuse to swap in a 2.5 or M3 with a suitable trans. That would rectify any resale issue.
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