E30 Buying Guide – E30 325i Buying Guide
The E30 was the last of the old school, bulletproof build quality BMWs, the days when the use to over engineer German cars. The E30 is probably the nicest looking BMW ever made although everyone has their own opinion! This buying guide focuses on the E30 325i because it is the most powerful E30, excluding the M3 and it is also readily available. All E30 BMWs are at least 20years old now and the usual buying tips apply. Check the car brakes in a straight line, check for engine smoke at start up and when accelerating, look for rust everywhere, look for accident damage, check the quality of the tyres on the car i.e. are they a premium brand or are they budget tyres with a different brand on each corner, do all the electrics work, has the cambelt been changed according to the manual, do a compression test on the engine, check for dampness/wetness throughout the floor and so on.
E30 Buying Guide
E30 325i Engine
If the engine is a bit rough it could be the air meter flap.
Check the car doesn’t overheat. Idle it up to temperature and check f the cooling fan comes on.
Good lubricant always helps performance and engine life. The E30 325i uses 15W-50
E30 325i Transmission
Check all the bushes mounting the gear box and drivetrain to the body. If they are still the originals chances are they will need changing.
The shifter can wear out leading to imprecise shifts, if its sloppy its probably worth changing it.
Like the engine good lubricants are an excellent way to go. 75w-90 for thediff. Gearbox oil depends on the colour of the label.
E30 Buying Guide
E30 325i Suspension
Antiroll bar mounts can crack
Rear shock mounts don’t last long
E30 325i Body
Rust is possible everywhere at this age, so check and poke everywhere.
The fuel lines on top of the tank can corrode leading to the smell of fuel in the cabin
E30 325i Brakes
E30 325i Interior
The speedometer could be broken, this is an easy fix though as the gear on the end of the cable can be replaced.
Gauges can be in accurate, bang the top of the dash, if the gauges move they need to be tightened. If there are random faults with the gauges then it is probably down to the batteries failing in the service memory board.
If the radio is asking for a code you don’t have, give a dealer a call with the serial number, they should be able to give you the code.
The heater core and valve can break and leak which is expensive to fix.
Windows can stop working but this is usually down to faulty switches which are cheap to buy.
This page was last modified
Get our WEEKLY email with the highlight video & news articles from the last 7 days.
Check out our previous Newsletters