30 Problems with the e36 M3

Once I took possession of the car and drove it for a few days, I started to notice problems and annoyances that I overlooked on the initial inspection and test drives.  I made some mistakes by not adhering to my golden rule  for buying a used car. Always get a PPI,pre purchase inspection, by a mechanic. In my eagerness to get the project going I focused on the body and interior and took it only to my body person for inspection on a lift. I knew that I would be swapping the engine and a lot of the suspension components so overlooked some things. In the end I purchased a good car but probably over paid since the seller would have gotten dinged by most buyers looking for a perfect working order e36 M3. Check out the Youtube video 


  1. Rust on rear trunk lid bumper area, small spots around windshield, passenger side front shock tower.
  2. Cracked paint on the rear right fender from rolling fender.
  3. The front hood does not line up correctly (needs to be adjusted).
  4. Window moldings on rears need to be replaced and are faded on doors.
  5. Passenger door gaps are perfect, but door sticks.
  6. OEM wheels have curb rash on 4 out of 4 wheels.
  7. Missing hood insulation.
  8. Windows stop and start intermittent; window switch takes three or more tries to roll up windows on both sides.
  9. The door handles are stiff.
  10. The rear wing 3rd brake light needs to be replaced.
  11. The car makes a clunk noise when putting it into reverse and starting to move.
  12. Fog lamps are disconnected—not sure if they work but wiring is there.
  13. The climate control blower motor is intermittent; this could be the FSU unit.
  14. ASC button and cruise control missing.
  15. No rear speakers.
  16. Instrument cluster MPG doesn’t work.
  17. Replace aftermarket Stereo with Apple CarPlay unit.
  18. No armrest and middle console need to be painted or replaced, and it rattles squeaks.
  19. Replace steering wheel with flat bottom Alcantara.
  20. Replace shift boot and shift knob Alcantara.
  21. Recover headliner.
  22. The Interior has that old car, melted crayon smell.
  23. Found a flat, 2-wire cut below the cupholder.
  24. The power steering fluid is leaking.
  25. The car does not have an AC compressor and will need to be replaced.
  26. Glass ZKW Euro Headlights with better projectors.
  27. Interior lights, main light, and sun visor do not work, plus trunk light.
  28. Replace sunroof motor or sunroof does not work.
  29. There are rattles, squeaks, and engine electrical whine.
  30. Windshield and moulding need replacement


Leave a Comment