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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 09-08-2011, 03:03 AM   #1
BUJonathan
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Default How reliable are high mileage 318ti's?

I currently have a 2004 VW R32. Great car... but I'm now driving 30,000 miles a year to and from work (45 miles each way to work). I'm thinking about selling it and buying something cheap to pile the miles on.

There's a 1996 318ti Sport automatic near me with 151,000 miles. How reliable are these? Of course I understand that can vary greatly at this age. But in general, how reliable are these cars? Are the transmissions solid?
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:42 AM   #2
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Mine has the same mileage and it still runs strong!
Depends how good it been taken care of.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:24 AM   #3
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Depends on previous owner . I have a 96 with 200k auto
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:17 PM   #4
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Bought mine with 108K, has 163K on it now...As long as it's maintained properly it'll do just fine. Mine has original transmission, but is on motor number 3.(I put the third one in when I bought it) Very poorly maintained by previous owners.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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Our BMWs aren't much different than a VTEC honda or 1.8T Audi/VW... Maintenance is the key to everything!!!

I have had almost 400k on a non-vtec honda, 192k on a vtec, 186k on my 99 audi a4 1.8t and currently 165k on my 96 328i.

Say this mantra with me:
Plugs and belts and hoses and oil, water-pumps a must radiators a plus.
rotations are frequent and alignments biannual, enjoy he damn car but don't drive like an animal.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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And check the vac lines too...
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:36 PM   #7
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Also thinking about a 160k or so 318 (a clubsport in this case though). Glad to see that they seem to be pretty reliable. I need to do some more searching here to find common maint. items

Do I really need a 4th car though? :P
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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340,000 miles on my '98 318ti. Average 33mpg on highway. Never abused.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:52 PM   #9
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I've only put a thousand or so on mine, so I'm not much help at this point. I just bought a week ago and did a decent bit of scouring to find out the high mileage capabilities of the ti. This car can do it, but like the others have said it's going to be maintenance all the way. Mine had 113k, but with a stack of records that I went through sheet by sheet before I was satisfied. A couple others I was looking at had no records. My only advice would be to drill the owner on how its been maintained. Get a good price based on that and then just keep it maintained while you own, which you probably know already. I'm a week in and don't have a biased view...yet; and I am happy with the purchase.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:57 PM   #10
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I'm of the persuasion that the manual is in every way a more satisfying drive unless you're intending to do more city driving than anything else. Not against auto boxes, have one on our other BMW but for a car with a relatively low-powered engine like the M42/44 then spirited driving is way more fun with stick shift!
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:15 AM   #11
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If you take an auto for a test drive, make sure you pay attention to the 2-3 shift. Find a place where you can go 50 or so and get it up to speed, floor it and see if it takes a long time to fully engage 3rd. If it's bad, it'll hold the rpm for awhile while it slowly accelerates, then it will finally engage. Though, mine was doing it at 108K, and it's got 170K on it now and it hasn't gotten worse. It's a 50 dollar shift solenoid, but the clutches could be toast from the slippage.


Oh, and Vsonix....The auto is still fun. No matter what you and James May say about it.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:21 AM   #12
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manual>auto
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slow_ti View Post
manual>auto
All depends on what you want out of the car. I wanted a cheap commuter.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familytruckster View Post
If you take an auto for a test drive, make sure you pay attention to the 2-3 shift. Find a place where you can go 50 or so and get it up to speed, floor it and see if it takes a long time to fully engage 3rd. If it's bad, it'll hold the rpm for awhile while it slowly accelerates, then it will finally engage. Though, mine was doing it at 108K, and it's got 170K on it now and it hasn't gotten worse. It's a 50 dollar shift solenoid, but the clutches could be toast from the slippage.


Oh, and Vsonix....The auto is still fun. No matter what you and James May say about it.
lol does James May even have an opinion on that? He always struck me as the kind of person who is happy to waft along in full auto mode.
Our outgoing 320i and new 330d both have the steptronic auto box, it is still fun, for sure, but nothing beats the satisfaction (imo) of getting to the stage where all your shifts are perfect when having a blast round some back roads. Day to day driving auto is fine, though, if not slightly preferable sometimes
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:39 PM   #15
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I tend to think "What would Clarkson do?"

Being that he already has a BMW enjoyment issue(sans the 1M)... i would hate to get "the look" from him by having an autotragic.
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