E36 M3 Appreciation – 12 Years and Counting
Neither of those things lessen my appreciation of the M3, however. In the past I’ve published “birthday” posts in April, and I thought about doing so again. But I really said it all back in 2008, my first such post. Still only 52.5K miles, and still more fun to drive than 98% of the cars on the road today.
And by BMW standards, it’s been very reliable for me. (Fingers crossed as I say this). Just last week my garage tested my battery as strong and healthy — the 12 year old original battery! Incredible especially since the car is not a daily driver and regularly sits idle for days. It was made by a company called Varta, which also made batteries for U-boats in WWII.
I’ll never be able to get another one — the company got out of the battery business in 2002, and OEM BMW batteries are now of lesser quality. I’ll figure I’ll ride this one until it tests bad. Believe it or not there are guys on the forums with even older original batteries in their M3s.
The only unexpected repair issue last year was a power steering leak, very common with BMWs. I hope to tackle replacing the rear shock mounts (RSMs) this July, a known weak point of the E36 model. Last year I also changed the transmission and the differential oils. With two M cars two body styles old, I know that maintenance will keep me busy.
Over the weekend I finally cleaned up the engine bay, and gave her a good wash. I figure with each passing year, there are fewer and fewer in as good condition. It’s been a fun ride, with no end in sight.