BMW 316i auto box slipping (E36)? - r_welfare
A friend of mine is looking to buy a 1995 BMW 316i auto. The car has 52k miles up (this is in Guernsey so it's all round-town driving) and 2 owners. It appears to have been well looked-after despite the garage not having the service book to hand (will run the chassis number past the local BMW dealer to see what history they have on it).

We've just returned from taking it for a spin, and my mate has put down a deposit. However, one thing is nagging in my mind...it's the autobox. I took it for a test run and, despite appearing to be one of the slowest-accelerating cars I have ever driven, it shifted up and down fine, went into R or D at a standstill without jerking or clunking, etc.

However, when pootling along at say 25mph, kickdown seems surprisingly jerky. It feels almost like a slipped clutch on a manual for about 1 second (as it revs to about 4500rpm), then appears to engage with a bit of a thud (no clonks or bangs from the box though). Is this normal? My experience of autos is minimal to be honest. I've heard that older BMW autoboxes can self-destruct if revved in Park or Neutral so I wonder if this one is going the same way.
BMW 316i auto box slipping (E36)? - Phil I
Its unfortunate your friend has placed a deposit on this car. No service record - suspect autobox - only one thing to do.Walk away.
BMW 316i auto box slipping (E36)? - Mark (RLBS)
I\'m no expert, but I had a 316 auto (older than the one you are talking of) and the autobox was pretty horrible on kick-down.

I knew the next owner and nothing went wrong, neither did it get worse, but it was horrible.
BMW 316i auto box slipping (E36)? - r_welfare
Thanks for the comments Mark, I've only driven new Vauxhall autos over short distances before and the kickdown has been instant. I was surprised there was such a delay in the 316i, but then it was slow full stop.

Phil, I fear my friend has fallen in love with the car and probably won't be parted from it now he's placed the deposit, so caveat emptor I feel! I wouldn't say the box was "suspect", it shifted up and down fine, it was just that kickdown felt odd. I will be scrutinising the warranty when he gets the car.
 

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