Having just converted from two wheels (one of which was an old BMW R1200C cruiser), I find myself the proud owner of a very nice 1997 323i saloon, with leather inside and a smooth six-pot up front - beeootiful...!
But there is a slight problem... This E36 (as you Bimmerchaps call it), has an automatic gearbox - which is very nice to drive in Hong Kong's congested streets, but which has recently started "hesitating" at junctions. That is to say, you decelerate as you come to a junction or other pausing place, then, when you gently apply the gas, the engine revs up but the car doesn't respond as it should - then, all of a sudden, there's a jerk and off you go. Not good...!
This machine has done a mere 90-odd thousand kms since new, or around 60,000 miles, so it's really only just run-in. I'm thinking that the Transmission fluid may be low, but there is no transmission dipstick or filler in the engine bay, and not much room to crawl underneath to access the filler plug that (I'm reliably informed), should be on the side of the gearbox sump.
Am I right in thinking that I'll have to have it up on a ramp to check & top-up the ATF properly, and is this a normal fault with these models? I'm told that Dexron 3 is the fluid to use - are there better alternatives? Finally, is there an internal transmission oil filter which may be partially or completely blocked and if so, is it relatively simple to replace - with the car in a local garage, on a lift and with the work being monitored closely by this auld engineer...?
Next on the list after that will be new plugs - a set of six shiny new NGK four-electrode implants are ready for fitting, then we'll stick a nice & loud Stebel Nautilus where the old horns sit - and it'll be nice not having to wire up an additional relay for the job...!
An engine oil & filter change will be done later on, then I may contemplate overhauling the cooling system - if next summer's driving has the temperature indication too far past the vertical... Other than that, she's good to go, goes very well and I can see why so many people become converted to Beemers...
Autolycus (or "a picker-up of unconsidered trifles", from one of aulde Will Shakespeare's musings...)