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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 11-06-2010, 10:28 PM
Sic Sic is offline
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Location: Bay Area, California
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: E46 M3 (Soon hopefully)
New buyer needs all the info he can get

As the title suggests, I'm in the very preliminary stages of buying an E46 M3. My budget is unfortunately limited to ~$20k, which also limits my choices to M3's between (on average) '01 and '04, and between (on average) 75k - 110k miles.

I've already established that MT > SMG, so now I just have to hold out for one of those, which seem to be unreasonably hard to come by.

That aside, what other things should I keep an extra sharp eye out for? I've read briefly about the recall but that's about all I've seen. Any information would be much appreciated!

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  #2  
Old 11-08-2010, 02:39 PM
buzzracer buzzracer is offline
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Location: Hampton, VA
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Mein Auto: 02 M3
Mileage is - somewhat - secondary as long as all factory maintenance has been verified and done. That is most important along with regular oil/fluid changes. As far as weaker items, the water pump can fail and there are no aftermarket alternatives unlike the E36's. You're stuck with the OEM which is $$. The VANOS can also go bad but rather infrequent. The diff is another area to look at (especially if the car's seen track duty). That would also include shaft seals (prone to leaks), bearing and mounts. Higher mileage cars of course will need most likely need new clutch, shocks, brakes (if it hasn't already been done). Drive belt, tensioner and any rubber parts (brake caliper boots for example) will also be affected by age. Electronics are generally very reliable, more so then E36's.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:03 PM
Sic Sic is offline
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Location: Bay Area, California
 
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Mein Auto: E46 M3 (Soon hopefully)
Okay so right now I'm looking at an '03 BMW M3 Convertible 6spd-MT with ~110k on it. The car is sold through a dealer but is sold AS IS and they're asking $15,000. Since there is no warranty on it, I'll probably want to take it to get it checked out by a third party mechanic, but is there anything that I should know right off the bat going in to the dealership so that I can go in swingin' for a better deal?
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2010, 03:11 PM
buzzracer buzzracer is offline
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Location: Hampton, VA
 
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Mein Auto: 02 M3
Definitely want to see the Carfax (although fake ones are often produced so don't trust just that) and get the VIN#, then call any BMW dealer and ask them to look up that VIN (it's free). They'll tell you if the bearing recall was done and when. Also the rear subframe check which they'll do as well for free. Basically, the more info and history you have on the car before you buy, the better you can deal. If the dealer hems and awes on the car and is generally evasive, walk away. If he promises maintenance has been done and so forth, verify with your mechanic first.
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2010, 02:13 AM
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ketchup ketchup is offline
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Location: San Diego, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,051
Mein Auto: E46 M3
Subframe- check for cracks
Vanos- check for error codes, abnormal idle, marble rattling in can noise
Differential- check for leaks/seeping seals
Suspension- check for worn out bushings and bearings

History- check for oil change services, take a look inside the oil filler area (does it look clean?), Insp. 1+2, Rod bearing recall, Ignition Coil recall, Software update (emissions). Carfax helps but at times accidents will not show up.

Body- check for re-painted surfaces

Interior- how fresh and clean does it look?

PPI depends on who does it and how thoroughly they check the car out because either way you'll most likely be bringing it back to them for services anyways.

I offer a "second opinion" for $80 and $20 for a REAL accident history check (shows accidents that don't show up on carfax). Too bad you're not local.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2010, 07:06 PM
zhan zhan is offline
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Location: Mainline, PA
 
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Posts: 305
Mein Auto: Dinan S M3, Evolve M5, X3
imo the verts are beat to hell less than the coupes.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2010, 09:10 PM
compusatman compusatman is offline
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Location: Tennessee
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 M3 Vert
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Last edited by compusatman; 11-29-2010 at 11:41 AM.
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