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I'm thinking about buying a ti. Ask all your questions about the possible purchase of a ti. Keep in mind, we are biased.

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Old 06-06-2010, 07:53 AM   #1
arinborn
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Default May have found my(1st) BMW- a 318ti, need advice if misfire issue is a deal breaker.

Took 116k 96 great condition & driving 318ti to aaa certified shop

It needs a couple of maintenance things... the biggie is that the mechanics found a misfire. And at start the instrument panel flashes. It seems to occur at start/idle but vanishes when driving. Spark plugs/wires are good. Their thinking is that it's a starter system problem.

Confident both seller and shop are honest

I put it plainly to the mechanics, aside from the misfiring issue if the car was a keeper. They said it was in great condition. But they emphasized that the misfire/ starter issue was a big deal and that needed to be resolved before purchasing.

how serious is this issue? Am I in for electrical or whatever problems down the road with this as an indicator? Is there something else I should be on the look out for?

Thanks in advance. Appreciate the do it yourself tutorials, knowledge base and this first time buyer section. jeremy Slainte

Last edited by arinborn; 06-06-2010 at 08:02 PM. Reason: shortn length hoping someone will help the newcomer
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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torn or cracked intake boot. Try spraying brake cleaner on the ribbed rubber elbow aft of the airbox while the car is idleing. If you notice the RPM's fluctuating, you'll know you have a leaky boot. Spray brake cleaner on and around all of the vacuum hoses and connections, who knows, something else might be letting unmetered air in causing the misfire, but first I'd check the intake boot.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:21 AM   #3
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Thx - I'll make sure the mechanics know to do this. Hope to hear back tomorrow
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:54 AM   #4
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Looks like these people have blown me off. Took a copy of the AAA inspection that I paid $90 for and have not returned phone calls or email The funny thing is that all I really cared about was the misfire issue. I have friends and am pretty sure we could do the belts and the brakes. Not sure about the recommended auto tranny flush..... rats.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:55 AM   #5
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Hey man, don't be discouraged. If it wasn't meant to be it wasn't meant to be. You're better off not giving them your business, especially if they're going to blow you off. Keep looking man, the right one will turn up eventually. I will say that when you're looking for a specific car as unique as the 318ti, it really helps if you broaden your search. You may have to travel, but if it means getting ahold of a car that's been taken care of and has all of the options that you prefer, it might be worth your while to take a couple days off work and buy a plane ticket. So many people limit themselves when it comes to buying a specific car that's been out of production for over a decade. They expect one to pop up right in their own backyard.

Here's a little breakdown for you. 1 in 50 e36's you'll see will be a Ti. For every 10 Ti's you see, less than half of them will be a sport model(factory MTechnic kit) and less than half of them will be a 5 speed. Chances of one being a 5 speed sport model, very slim. Chances of one being a 5 speed sport model in your color choice, even slimmer. Chances of it being well maintained and unmolested, incredibly slim. Chances of it being for sale, incredibly slim. Chances of it being reasonably priced within your range, forget it, just have plenty of cash in hand because someone's probably on their way to the sellers house with cash in hand. Chances of finding one that meets all of this criteria being sold locally, do you believe in unicorns?
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:59 PM   #6
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Cooliess76 - you rock brother! Thanks for the breakdown - awesome. I take it the multiple owner scenario, even on an unmodified car is something to avoid.

Confirmed a lot of things I've been doing. Taking my time and being patient. I live in San Diego but I've checked within a 500 mile radius. That includes the bay area, southern Nevada and Arizona. I'll stretch further. And you're right - they are scarce. I've been looking since February and ready to buy since April. And I have the green that fits my budget plus a little stretch money.

I don't mean to be a wimpodite, but I'm looking for an automatic, unmodified ti, it does not have to be a sport. I'm open on color, except red. lowish miles.... so I've gone from slim to paper thin. Still, like you say, the right one will come in time.

Thanks again. ~ jeremy
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