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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 03-29-2013, 11:02 AM
SoLongAstoria SoLongAstoria is offline
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Used M3 reliability?

Hey guys, so I found a used 2003 M3 going for 22k asking price. Mileage is only 55k so it seems to be a decent deal. My question is, I've heard all the horror stories of BMWs costing an arm and a leg to repair. Is there any truth to this? Do you think buying one with only 55k miles (assuming it was well maintained), I'll run into many problems? I have money, but that doesn't mean I want to go blowing through it and end up paying the same price I paid for the car in repairs over the next few years lol. I don't think it can get much worse than my Grand Prix GXP I own right now. Just had to put a new tranny in the thing (to add to the list of repairs I've made to it over the past few years).
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2013, 11:22 AM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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Is it an SMG or 6-speed manual?
Most of the horror stories I've heard about E46 M3s were coming from SMG owners not 6-speed'ers.
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2013, 11:29 AM
SoLongAstoria SoLongAstoria is offline
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SMG unfortunately damn, are they not reliable or something? Couldn't find any manuals around me at a good price (or mileage).
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:12 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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THere have been some SMG issues. But remember, you hear more about problems than from people who have no problems.

A LOT of SMG cars without any issues.
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  #5  
Old 04-04-2013, 04:00 PM
PapaB PapaB is offline
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Everything is more expensive with an M car. It has a racing engine for starters. I had an '03 SMG with over 140K and never had an issue. Until a punk in a Honda rear ended me. For me tires were my biggest expense. The camber just chews them up. Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2013, 07:06 PM
dlara01 dlara01 is offline
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2013, 07:13 PM
dlara01 dlara01 is offline
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I have a SMG that I track with no problems. Most drivers do not know how use or take care of them. I like it because I never miss a shift. Find a good mechanic & race driver that knows that trans.
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  #8  
Old 04-14-2013, 05:30 PM
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m3 smg or not will cost you a little bit of extra $$ when you need repairs. Dont buy a BMW if you cant afford the repairs if you were to need any.
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2013, 05:48 PM
PapaB PapaB is offline
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+1 and rest assured, there will be at least maintenance if not then repairs will follow.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2013, 05:56 PM
JUBMW JUBMW is offline
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Bro for any car like this it pays to be the BO$$.

Last edited by JUBMW; 04-14-2013 at 07:54 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-14-2013, 11:42 PM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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Like I said in another thread, I know the info we see online is biased, you hear more from people with problems than those without, etc....
But the guy I go to for BMW maintenance parts does wholesale as well as retail and he says he gets more customers coming in for replacement parts for the SMG E46s M3s than 6-speed, DCT more than 6-speed, E92 335is, etc.
Just passing along what I hear. I have no need to pass along fake info since I don't own any of the cars mentioned above and don't plan on getting one anytime soon.
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:18 AM
Haitoman Haitoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayKayo View Post
Like I said in another thread, I know the info we see online is biased, you hear more from people with problems than those without, etc....
But the guy I go to for BMW maintenance parts does wholesale as well as retail and he says he gets more customers coming in for replacement parts for the SMG E46s M3s than 6-speed, DCT more than 6-speed, E92 335is, etc.
Just passing along what I hear. I have no need to pass along fake info since I don't own any of the cars mentioned above and don't plan on getting one anytime soon.
Basically, we don't want to hear this same old trash anymore. Hundreds of us have no issues with SMG and if we do then we get it fixed and are fine for another 50k miles. SMG is more FUN than a fully MT...no question. As someone says, if you can't afford to run one of these cars, SMG or not, then don't buy one...simple.
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2013, 08:50 PM
PapaB PapaB is offline
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Used M3 reliability?

Well said friend.


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  #14  
Old 04-19-2013, 06:22 AM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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I've heard said that the E46 is the last of the "reliable" BMWs. Perhaps it is just that the E46 doesn't have as many technical advancements as the E9X and F3X.

I've found my 2002 M3 to be a "typical German car experience". That being German cars tend to be quirkier than the appliance-cars that come out of Asia. But they are also a lot more fun to drive. I budget $2000 per year, per car (I have 2 aging German cars at the moment!) and that seems to be a good amount. If you don't want to allocate money for maintenance on a BMW, a German car, or any car for that matter... then DON'T get it. Unless you're buying a "throw-away" $500 clunker you'll drive until it quits.

Regarding the SMG, it's one of the first generation automated manual transmissions out there. And you can tell it's not as refined as the more modern dual-clutch transmissions. But it works fine. You just have to understand that it is going to be noisy and a bit hurky-jerky at times. It's the same manual transmission as the MT cars, but has a more complicated hydraulic actuation system in place of a clutch pedal and gear shift knob. The only additional expense is that actuation system which, like anything, may need periodical maintenance.
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2013, 10:05 AM
Haitoman Haitoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OBS3SSION View Post
I've heard said that the E46 is the last of the "reliable" BMWs. Perhaps it is just that the E46 doesn't have as many technical advancements as the E9X and F3X.

I've found my 2002 M3 to be a "typical German car experience". That being German cars tend to be quirkier than the appliance-cars that come out of Asia. But they are also a lot more fun to drive. I budget $2000 per year, per car (I have 2 aging German cars at the moment!) and that seems to be a good amount. If you don't want to allocate money for maintenance on a BMW, a German car, or any car for that matter... then DON'T get it. Unless you're buying a "throw-away" $500 clunker you'll drive until it quits.

Regarding the SMG, it's one of the first generation automated manual transmissions out there. And you can tell it's not as refined as the more modern dual-clutch transmissions. But it works fine. You just have to understand that it is going to be noisy and a bit hurky-jerky at times. It's the same manual transmission as the MT cars, but has a more complicated hydraulic actuation system in place of a clutch pedal and gear shift knob. The only additional expense is that actuation system which, like anything, may need periodical maintenance.
...exactly. And it is that quirky jerkiness that makes it fun to drive. There is nothing quite like paddle shifting through the gears - with both hands on the wheel !!
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2013, 06:52 AM
AshFrost AshFrost is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 M3 2003
Used M3 reliability?

I've had a 2003 M3 with SMG for 3 years, bought it with 135k kms and it no has 238k kms and no problems with SmG. No major problems so far, just a fuel pump and throttle valve replacement. I actually like the SmG, as you sort of get the best of both worlds. There is nothing like it when you are running in fill auto with the quick change setting on high and putting you foot down will doing 110kms, it just takes off.


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  #17  
Old 04-23-2013, 10:07 AM
Haitoman Haitoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshFrost View Post
I've had a 2003 M3 with SMG for 3 years, bought it with 135k kms and it no has 238k kms and no problems with SmG. No major problems so far, just a fuel pump and throttle valve replacement. I actually like the SmG, as you sort of get the best of both worlds. There is nothing like it when you are running in fill auto with the quick change setting on high and putting you foot down will doing 110kms, it just takes off.


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Nice...welcome to the 'no problem owning an SMG, and even if it does fail once in it's lifetime it is fun to drive' club.
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  #18  
Old 04-30-2013, 03:24 PM
White335I White335I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
THere have been some SMG issues. But remember, you hear more about problems than from people who have no problems.

A LOT of SMG cars without any issues.
+1. It is the same gearbox as a 6speed, except the SMG has hydraulic pump and sensors/relays. Just get the PPI if you haven't done it and ask the tech to look at the SMG and VANOS carefully.
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  #19  
Old 04-30-2013, 04:00 PM
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petener999 petener999 is offline
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Originally Posted by White335I View Post
+1. It is the same gearbox as a 6speed, except the SMG has hydraulic pump and sensors/relays. Just get the PPI if you haven't done it and ask the tech to look at the SMG and VANOS carefully.
YUP!
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2013, 09:31 AM
croat croat is offline
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My 02 6-Speed M3 has been really reliable since I got it last April. One thing is...I would never own used BMW, especially M3 if I wasn't working on them myself.
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  #21  
Old 06-04-2013, 02:05 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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re: relialibilty

Having owned an e46 m3 for the last 3 years i can tell you my opinion.. first of all 55K miles really low. i had purchase mine with 79K, i ran through basic maintenance issues, coils, oil changes, tires, mostly DYI maintenance. if you can find someone that is not a dealer that can work on these cars, maintenance such as valve adjustments are then reasonable.
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  #22  
Old 07-04-2013, 06:38 PM
titus60 titus60 is offline
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I did some research before I got my 2004 M3, and the reliability rating was very good. I've had mine just 2 months, and I'm really enjoying the SMG. It has 59K on it.
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