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Cash For Clunkers Misinfo

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by suva76, Aug 17, 2009.

    • Member

    suva76

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    OK, this is a lengthy subject, but I will do my best to keep it reasonable!

    I am considering my 1992 325is w/slushbox for the "CARS" program. I hate to do it, but this one has some problems and if it quals for the $4500 rebate, frankly that's more than I could get for it on the open market, especially at this time.

    Problemo is that, when I check the cars.gov website, I see whacko info. To wit:

    - there is a line for the 325i - when you open it, you see that the automatic trans version gets a "new" combined fuel ave of 15 (BTW, doesn't even show a manual trans calc). OK, great! Qualifies for the full $4500 if I buy a car that gets a combined 25 (thinking MINI, here).

    - there is another line for 325i/325is - hmmm...why another 325i? Open it and you get both manual and auto trans showing up at 19 mpg!! One mpg greater than the CARS program allows for qualification!

    WHAT?! A 325i gets EITHER 15 or 19 mpg and a 325is gets 19 (BTW, the convertible shows 18)? If you examine more closely, there is a difference between the classification of the auto trans as used in that first entry (325i-only) and that listed under the combined entry (325i/325is). What is shown in the former case is a "CLKUP" trans (Computer Controlled Continuously Variable Lockup) and in the latter case, a "2LKUP" (or nLKUP, for User-Selectable Lockup with n (2 Through 9) Lockup Ranges - meaning that this trans has 2 "lockup ranges", I guess). Apparently, the difference that NHSTA has calculated between these two trannys amounts to a difference between 15 mpg and 19 mpg. AND the manual gets the same 19!

    This looks like an error to me - and a costly one, meaning the difference between participating in the CARS program for up to $4500 or NOT AT ALL.

    Does anyone out there understand these transmission descriptions well? Is this difference possible? WERE there two different auto trannys available in 1992? Even if so, could one outperform the other by 4 mpg - and equal the performance of a manual?! My auto trans has a button for "A" (auto) and "M" (manual) modes - that's it: and the only thing the "M" does is to hold the trans in 3rd gear. Surely THAT ain't gonna yield an additional 4 mpg!

    This is very frustrating! Anyone else run into this?!
    • Member

    az3579

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    This whole C4C thing is a major fail in my book. How about you fix that E36, which costs a lot less to do, than make car payments for another 3-5 years?
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    suva76

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    Cash For Clunks

    Hey, Aloha, there Patroon-ster! Long way to email!

    Yeah, I know, as I said, I hate to do it - the car IS good-looking (calypso red, tan interior) - except for the hit 'n run bash in the trunk, but I am afraid that the fixes it needs exceed its value. Nor would any fixes increase the city-driving (primarily what it does) mileage. See, the previous owner put thousands into it in repairs (I knew this, but got it for a decent price and took my chances - it's the first-gen E-36, after all!) - some of them multiple times - and I vowed to do my best to not have this happen to me. One has to know when to let even a still-beautifull mistress go, eh?!
    • Member

    az3579

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    Try parting it. There are still lots of useable parts on it, including the drivetrain. This way you'll help fellow Bimmerheads with parts (try Bimmerforums).


    I'm just 100% against the thought of them seizing the engines and making he car useless even as scrap. That isn't a smart idea. They're essentially "throwing" the cars out instead of recycling them.
    • Member

    TeamStowell We love driving!

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    Cash for Classics Program

    Although I agree with you Botond, and we could start a 100 post thread on the pros (are there any?) and cons (I feel like America is being...) the question posed by Suva is interesting. I checked out my models on line, and things seem more defined. You should call the contact number posted on the right hand side and see if someone associated with the program can clarify things for you. If so, I would def. get it in writing, because the next person is likely to have a different answer.

    Good luck, and if you are able to utilize the program enjoy your new ride!
    • Member

    suva76

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    Cash fer Clunkers

    Hey, Scott!

    What, ANOTHER Patrooner?! And from Malta?! I used to live 5 miles from Malta, Illinois.

    Anyway, the saga continues! I HAD emailed the cars.gov POC and had received an inconclusive reply about the different auto trannys, but it still did not address the reasoning behind one auto trans getting 15 mpg and another (alleged - I am not sure, nor have I confirmed yet, if there even WERE two auto trannys available for the 325 in 1992) tranny getting 19 mpg. Strange. So, I replied (yesterday), with further questions on all of it, and got a reply this morning that tech issues will need to be forwarded to the EPA! Oh, crap! The program will be outta bucks again before anything happens in my favor! Maybe I should forward my emails to a certain Hawaii-born executive on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC.

    John in Honolulu
    • Member

    eam3

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    While I agree that a 1992 325is should not go to Cash for Clunkers, the reality is that if he can get $4500 for it, just do it. My dad sold his 1994 325i (Calypso Red/Grey leather, slushbox) which had no mechanical issues whatsoever and looked pretty decent inside and out for $4800 a few months ago. Realistically, there are too many of them and they get troublesome as they age so if you can swing $4500 for a 1992 (with a hit and run bash) and mechanical troubles, don't even hesitate.

    The other option is list it in Roundel (like my dad did) and hope for the best offer over $4500. Or, if you have the time, part it out but that does get time consuming and at the end you'll be left with a lot of stuff nobody wants and then it's off to the junkyard anyway.
    • Member

    suva76

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    Cash/Klunkerz

    Hey, Ed,

    Pretty-much "spot on" analysis. Car looks almost exactly as your dad's, except for the wheels (I actually have the same as your Dad had there, on my OTHER 1992, the 318i), which are only slightly different (and a bit harder to clean, with 18 spokes vice the 15 on the others! And except for the trunk-lid bash! While the engine has been very cooperative, the car just seems to have issue-after-issue and can be a money-pit (it WAS, for previous owner), especially if, like me, one likes to keep a car running well and looking good, too.

    If "the authorities" would even re-adjust this car's mileage down by one stinking mpg, I would get the $4500 on a Mini! The cars.gov/fueleconomy point-of-contact has forwarded my email to EPA. Sheesh!

    On placing an ad in Roundel, that would be pointless, I think: the car would not stand the cost of shipping to "the mainland"! On parting-out, yeah, I HATE to think that it would be crushed and NO parts saved, so that bothers me, but I also live in a condo, so there ain't no place for a parts car to sit around. I AM intending on taking out the foglights, tools, couple other minor things or parts that any friends might want - presuming this CARS thing goes through, it only has to be drivable, so if I bring it in minus the rear seat and front passenger seat, will that matter? Not so sure it will be easy to put the fogs on my 318, since it isn't pre-wired.
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    suva76

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    The end of the road, it would appear....
    After numerous attempts at contact with the cars.gov website and the EPA (cars.gov was not too bad on responding, but my prob was outta their hands, with the EPA), I actually reached a real human at EPA (only unanswered emails and answering machines previous) just today - the weekend before the Clunkers promo ends. That was temporary, as that person had to try to find someone who could intelligently talk with me - and on a Friday afternoon!! Good luck, chump in Hawaii!!

    Unbelievably, a while later, a guy called me and he was basically the right person! He looked at the website info on the '92 325 mileage and seemed to agree that some of it was hosed-up (unfortunately, the link that showed a 15mpg average) but that the 19 mpg shown for the 325is was not gonna change! All I wanted was 18, maaaan!!!!!

    At least I tried! I fought THE MAN!! Of course, as in Las Vegas...THE MAN usuallly wins.

    Back to the drawring board!
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    The 325i you were seeing with the really crappy gas mileage was the automatic E30 325i convertible.
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    suva76

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    Cash fer Clunkers

    Aloha, Moose! Good to "see" you again!

    Yes, that WOULD make sense, and that WAS the E-30 body that year.
    I wonder where they get their info from! They had numerous errors in there.

    They had separate listings for the 325i convertible, a 325i, then a combined 325i/325is. The convertible listing said regular gas (!) and 18 mpg for either auto or manual trans!
    They had 15 mpg (premium gas) for the 325i listing, with only an auto trans available, and the trans was coded CLKUP.
    They had 19 mpg (premium) for the 325i/325is listing for both transmissions, too, with the auto trans coded 2CLUP.
    I checked the 325ix listed under 1991 and they had both trannys at 18.

    I just checked the website now and they deleted that 1992 separate 325i/15 mpg listing! The others remain unchanged at 19 mpg for auto or manual trannys, and they deleted the tranny code! None of that helped me, anyway. Screwed by 1 mpg!
    • Member

    az3579

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    The program ends in a couple of days anyway, so at this point it no longer matters.
    (Thank the BMW heavens it's over...)
    • Member

    suva76

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    Cash/Clunkers

    Yeah, it ends here last (1400 hrs Hawaiian Standard Time) today! Still have time!!! LOL!

    It still bothers me that they rate the manual and auto trannsmissions the same mileage per gallon, when most everyone knows that, until recent years, that was virtually impossible. I think that they probably used a very simple algorithm (if THAT!) to just knock one mpg off the city end and one off the highway end of the old rating, and average the two, rounding up for a .5. I don't mind losing-out on something if my exclusion was the result of good science and fair play, but this DID kind-of suck.

    Oh, well. Our 325is lives to see more days!

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