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Help! 2002 Newbie with unforeseen problems..

Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

Hello everyone -

I have been wanting a 2002 going on 10 years now and I just bought one... Moved out of the city to where I would need a car and found to be what I thought the perfect 2002. Previous owner was selling because a new job relocated him to NYC and his 2002 had to go. I was shown all of the records of the work he had done on the car; new transmission, brakes, clutch, etc were all recently worked on. So I take the car to get inspected today and find out that the floor pans are 'borderline', plus I need a new muffler, and there is a leak in the radiator. Did I make a huge mistake? I feel like I did and to boot, neither my mechanic or I can seem to locate a replacement radiator ANYWHERE! Any helpful words or tips on how to approach my problem would be so appreciated.


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If that's all your mechanic can find wrong with your nearly 40 year old car, you did good. Borderline floor boards means you can use them as-is for quite a while yet.

Parts vendors with ratings can be found listed right here on the faq:


Radiator: I had mine recored with a triple row core at a local radiator shop. Most any radiator shop should be able to fix it. This alternative is right off the vendors listings; a new original radiator for over $600 or a 320i upgrade "kit" for around $270 can be ordered here:


A faq'er named Blunt (Blunt Tech Industries) can sell you one, also. He is highly regarded on this board.

Muffler - Bavauto or Blunt also.

Good luck, and don't give up. Once she's sorted, your '02 will prove to be quite reliable.

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This guy is selling a radiator: http://www.bmw2002faq.com/component/option,com_forum/Itemid,50/page,viewtopic/t,348549/

Did you make a mistake? Well, the floor boards might be a huge problem, the radiator isn't a big deal, who expects that to last 30+ years anyway? The hole in the muffler? Who cares? That can happen on a 5 year old car.

They don't make the 2002 radiator anymore so you need a good used one or to have yours fixed at a radiator shop or you can 'upgrade' to a more modern one.

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Guest Anonymous

Thanks everyone!! This is really helpful. I fell in love with these cars years ago and just had a momentary freak out...

Thanks for the info and support!

I'll check out all the links.

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...or buy one for a 81-83 320 and the rad hoses for same, make a couple

of simple brackets, and get a lighter, slightly more efficient radiator for

under $200...

There are lots of options. Don't freak. And don't be afraid to work on

it yourself- fewer and fewer mechanics can...



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1. Almost everything you need for your '02 is available--new or used. After all, BMW built an completely new '73 a couple of years ago from parts that are available new from BMW. Thus, don't worry about parts; they're out there.

2. This board is probably the best source for parts and information on the car--with lots of extremely helpful people. I learn something new every day and I've been driving 'em for 41 years.

3. They make great daily drivers--so long as you keep 'em away from road salt. Corrosion protection isn't their strong suit. Ask me how I know both!

4. They're meant to be driven, not to be garage queens. Few things are more fun than driving twisty back roads in a 2002. They reward the good driver--teach you a lot about going fast with minimal horsepower--and can penalize the klutz if you're not careful!

5. Do yours the way you want it--stock, modified or something in between, but enjoy it.

cheers, and welcome to the madness/fraternity/sorority


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