318i 1984 quite a few problems

11-03-2005, 05:43 PM
1st off, we don't know how many owners it has had. 3 as far as I think.

Speedometer falls or sticks. Sometimes it works if I bang around the panel, but it's been going on for 4 years now and I figure it's time to figure out what's wrong. The MPG rises and falls with it.

High Idle, but not ALL the time. Seldomly, it's under 1,000 but more often than not, it's over. This has been a cause of concern because now we can't get the smog check done because they won't do it if it's if it's not below and in it's normal range.

The most pressing concern (I think, as opposed to my husband) is that we can't check the computer codes. We've tried the recommended way of putting key in ignition, turning the car on, but not over. Pressing gas pedal 5 times fast in a period of 20seconds. But nothing flashes. We are not sure if any of the wires have been replaced at all. We doubt it. I'm willing to go that far, as long as we can do it ourselves with minimal risk of damage to the system. In fact, I perfer doing all the work ourselves.

AC stopped working 3 years ago. It worked fine when we bought it 4 years ago, but as soon as we moved to where it was hotter, and started to actually use it, it started having problems. Finally we tricked it into working by opening the air directional to floor only, or in accordance to panels. But not long later, it quit all together. We've replaced the switch, but it wasn't the problem. DH is afraid to touch the fuses without testing them first. I kinda just wanna toss all the fuses and replaces them all in one sitting just so it won't be a problem for anything later, but it could be a waste of money. It could be that the AC fluid stuff needs to be replaced. I can't think of the name right now, but the only way to fix that is to convert the whole system to freon. We aren't sure how much that'll run us, but it's probably less than replaceing it with the old stuff.

All in all, the best way for us to do any of the needed repairs is by going easiest/cheapest first. We don't have a lot of testing tools, so if there is any old-fashioned way of testing anythying, the directions to do so would be really helpful.

01-06-2006, 02:21 AM
Bought an '84 318i automatic from the original owner, a little old lady in Brentwood (down the street from O.J.'s house) with 75,000 original miles eight years ago.

This was for my daughter's first car and she still drives it today with 200,000 miles. Paid $2400 for it and have spent less than $2000 over eight years keeping it running well and looking like new.

I have done lots of work around the car with the Robert Bentley E30 manual, and have never heard of gas pedal access to computer codes. If you join BMWCCA, the local chapter usually has access to the specialized equipment you need to read codes.

A good air conditioning shop will charge about $800 to repair your a/c (probably needs a new compressor and drier at least) and convert it from Freon to R134a. Our air wan't working when we bought the car and we've never fixed it as we live at the beach.

I think I can help you with your high/erratic idle. There is an idle control valve at the highest point of the engine. It has two rubber hoses and one electric connection going into it. These valves get gummed up, and when they stick, so does your idle.

Disconnect the electric plug and loosen the hose clamps so you can remove the valve. Holding it near your ear, shake it up and down - you should hear a rattle like a can of spray paint. If it's quiet, you have a stuck valve.

Get an aerosol can of Gumout or other good carburetor cleaner. Cover all but one orifice with your thumb and fingers, then spray lots of cleaner into the open hole. Cover this last hole with your other hand and SHAKE it violently. In a few seconds, it should free up and start to rattle. Keep adding cleaner and shaking it 'til it's as loose as you can get it.

Shake or blow the excess solvent out and reinstall. When you start the car, idle should go up to about 1500 rpm, then fall back to about 1000 rpm in Park, if you have an automatic.

I did this trick once a year for four years. Finally broke down and bought a new valve - $125. Try cleaning yours first.

Don't get discouraged. These are simple, well-built, almost indestructible cars that will give 250,000, 350,000 or more miles with the kind of care you seeem to be prepared to lavish on yours.

I change oil (Castrol Hi-Mileage 20W-50 and Purolator filter) every 90 days. Have the transmission serviced with Red Line D4 ATF every two years (25,000 miles). Smelled gas one day, replaced cracked fuel line and fuel filters. Recommend PBR Deluxe disc brake pads. Change your Bosch coil, distributor cap, rotor, wires and plugs if you haven't already. Etc., etc.

01-06-2006, 04:48 PM
Whats the point? Stop complaning, most cars have problems like that. How about getting some good shop manual? Also noone cares about how many owners it had. And stop putting money in the darn AC-noone really needs it-learn to crank windows down. And what s that crap about the smog test?

01-15-2006, 09:14 AM
Wow, that last post is a doozy!

go to r3vlimited.com

Make sure you search before you ask any questions, the guys can be pretty testy to newcommers that don't search before they ask.

It has a WEALTH of information on the e30. It is the largest e30 forum on the net.

I am sure you will find what you need there!

I own an '89 325i, it cost me over 1,000 to have the air fixed this summer. GOOD LUCK!!


01-15-2006, 06:26 PM
Ummm, thats intriging ^^^

01-15-2006, 07:16 PM
What is so intriguing?

01-17-2006, 03:40 PM
mostly you

01-18-2006, 12:21 AM
mostly you


And why? Might I ask?

01-18-2006, 04:29 PM
I just like the way you post + you are a female too.

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