6 Interesting Facts About The BMW 318i
- Anybody who is a car enthusiast knows that the BMW 318i, as part of the German company's 3 Series, is the best-selling car model to date. In fact, this compact executive car has sold so much that it encompasses around 30% of BMW's annual total sales, which for a single model is a great feat in itself. Since its 2001 incarnation, it has almost never failed to reach more than 90,000 units sold in the United States alone, peaking in 2007 at 140,000.
- From the BMW 318i's debut in 1982, it is already making waves in the car industry in terms of overall performance. The vehicle uses a M10 engine, which usually creates a maximum power of 89 hp. However, the company modified this by adding an L-Jetronic fuel injection system, which made the pumping of fuel much more efficient and optimized. This results in an increase of maximum horsepower to 103.
- The BMW 318i has always been in the spotlight in terms of recognition from numerous groups and award giving bodies. In fact, for over 20 years since 1992, the 318i, along with the whole 3 series, has always been part of the Car and Driver magazine annual Ten Best list. This makes the car model one of the longest-staying entries ever. One of the most important awards is the one from Grassroots Magazine, which considers the car model one of the most important cars built in the last 25 years.
- An important year for the BMW 318i was 2002, where the car model was reintroduced with changes that brought itself to the modern age. One of its obvious upgrades was its overall look. A new set of tail lights and its front end remodeled made the car a great attraction, especially amongst those looking for a company car.
- The other important 2002 upgrade of the BMW 318i was its new four-cylinder engine, which added even more horsepower to the vehicle. It also featured a much lesser emission rate and a huge 14% fuel economy improvement.
- Lastly, in 2005, BMW added shifting paddles on the 318i's steering wheel, which made changing gears much easier and smoother, since all it took now is a simple press of a button.
BMW 318i Common Problems
The BMW 318i is one of the most sought-after models from the German car company. Companies usually use it as their company car, and as such it needs to be in peak condition at all times. However, not all cars are perfect, the BMW 318i being one of them. As such, problems sometimes do arise during the manufacturing process. If you are a person who is highly considering buying this vehicle, then you should be wary of some of the common problems it encountered during its lifespan:
Cruise control and throttle cables
A common problem for the BMW 318i, in particular the models from the 90s, concerns its vehicle speed. There is a possibility that due to dirt, debris, and even natural car vibration, the bushing on the cruise control and throttle cable could suddenly crack. If this occurs, then the broken bushing might suddenly get caught, and the throttle valve could stay open. This results in your vehicle having a much slower deceleration rate and could throw you completely off your guard in estimating distances.
Over 410,000 units were recalled in 1997 and had a spring steel clip attached to the cable to prevent the bushing from being removed.
Another common problem the BMW 318i tends to have is related to its coolant system. Sometimes, one of its components might break, be it the fan belt, thermostat, or water pump. When this happens, the car might start to overheat without you noticing or worse, scalding-hot coolant could leak out from the heater core, possibly harming you or anyone inside the vehicle.
To solve this, over 340,000 units were recalled in the year 1998 to install a new radiator cap to improve overflow and pressure when temperatures get too high.
Lastly, driver safety has been a concern for a BMW 318i for a time, specifically the air bags. The contact ring locking tab could suddenly break, which leads to the air bag not deploying if a car crash ever happens.
In 1996, 75,000 units were recalled and had the locking tab replaced in order to prevent this kind of problem from happening.
It seems that I'm not the only one with overheating issues when it comes to BMW's 318i. I have the '96 and it is still running well except for the fact that it overheats every couple of weeks. What should I do?
First, make sure that your radiator reservoir can contain ample amount of coolant and is not leaking. Oftentimes, car owners complain about overheating, saying that they've already made sure that the coolant has been refilled and yet their cars still break down. The problem is, they've probably forgotten to check for leaks, which may come from worn out hoses or the radiator itself. So aside from keeping tabs on the coolant refills, make sure that you also check for leaks from time to time. Check up on your fans as well because if they've stopped functioning then it won't matter whether your cooling system is in great shape, your car is still going to overheat if the fans have stopped working.
I've been using my car a lot lately and the fuel consumption has already started to bother me. Any tips on how I can save some gas money?
How you drive and where you go affects your fuel economy big time. So if you want to lower down your fuel costs, then the first thing that you have to do is to be a responsible driver. You'd be surprised at how much fuel you're wasting whenever you drive recklessly. If you're in a crowded street, then avoid trying to speed off as you would just end up stepping on the brakes a couple of minutes later. Rapid acceleration and sudden braking can affect your fuel economy by up to 33% so think twice before you try racing off.
My 318i got hit by an SUV last week, and though my car didn't suffer much damage at all, it got a dent on the right side near the passenger door. I'm really busy these days with work and don't have the time to get the dent fixed. Do I really need to get it done right away?
Dents could be tricky as they expose your car's metallic body to harmful environmental factors that could trigger corrosion, especially if you're living in an area near salt water. Since the dent has caused the paint to be removed then that particular part of your car has already lost its protection against rust and has become susceptible to being corroded. It's always best to fix a problem right away before it worsens and complicates things. But if you can't really find the time to get your car fixed, then you'd better apply a temporary solution in the form of a nail polish. Just pick the color closest to your car's, then apply the nail polish over the dent to make up for the chipped-off paint. This way, the exposed metallic part would have some sort of protection against corrosive substances. But remember, this is only a temporary fix, get the dent taken care of properly once you get the time.
BMW 318i: A Great Leap From 1984
The BMW 318i was first released as a second-generation coupe of the BMW 3 Series. Following the successful run of the first-generation model launched in 1975, BMW produced the 318i and still continues to roll it out even after three decades. Part of the German automaker’s best-selling series of all time, the BMW 318i has largely evolved to the highly efficient, stylish, and powerful coupe it is today.
1984: The 318i’s humble beginning
Bearing the same two-door form as the first-generation E21, the 318i, which belongs to the second-generation E30, sported a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 101 horsepower. With such specifications, the 318i had a decent speed that could reach 60 mph in 11.6 seconds and complete a quarter mile in 18.3 seconds. While running on a decent engine, the German coupe was improved aesthetically. Although similar with the E21’s design at first glance, the 318i’s styling was more aerodynamic especially with its sloped hood, giving it a sportier look. Other style changes on the coupe were the reshaped and repositioned headlights, the new orientation of the front-direction indicators, and the wider, more durable matt-finished B-pillar. The 318i’s overall length was also shortened while its wheelbase increased by 0.3 inches.
2012: The 318i’s state-of-the art driving experience
The 318i’s current four-cylinder engine delivers impressive engine performance of 143 horsepower, giving the coupe the acceleration it needs. Running for 100 kilometers on the 318i’s efficient aluminum-made and lightweight engine only requires 6.3 liters of gasoline, thanks to its innovative technology that keeps the fuel consumption on a low level. Meanwhile, working side by side with the engine for safer driving is BMW’s Active Cruise Control, which automatically regulates speed relative to that of other vehicles. But should the 318i get involved in a low- or high-impact collision, the BMW’s Advanced Emergency Call system automatically connects the coupe to the BMW Call Center, where information about the accident are recorded.
These technologies make the BMW 318i driving experience safer and unmatched. But there are a whole lot of other features BMW continues to offer like the electromechanical power steering, brake energy regeneration, and auto start stop function that enhance drivability. The BMW 318i is also always connected on the go with its connectivity features that can even transform a coupe into a mobile office. Clearly, BMW equips its coupes with top-quality hi-tech features that stay up to date with the changes in modern technology.