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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #26  
Old 06-02-2014, 04:47 AM
05mdriver 05mdriver is offline
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Mein Auto: e46 m3
What's to know ?

Avoid smg. Watch for vanos and subframe issues.
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  #27  
Old 11-09-2014, 02:47 PM
Lax1085 Lax1085 is offline
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how reliable is the engine? issues outside of cooling?
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  #28  
Old 11-23-2014, 02:22 PM
stevekmiec stevekmiec is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 M3
Electric fire on M3

I was really bummed by BMW's response to me that we will never be able to prevent fires occurring in cars. They offered my deductible ($500) and a reduction on a new BMW. Very disappointed.
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  #29  
Old 12-06-2014, 04:11 AM
payo10 payo10 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 M3
Help... looking to buy my first M3

Considering my first M3...

Private party seller. 2002 Convertible with 82k miles. Looks great. Sapphire black with cinnamon interior. It's an SMG, which I'm 50/50 on as the reviews are pretty mixed. It's stock with exception of air intake and navi system (which is not hooked up). Haven't had a reply to my questions about service history, carfax etc just yet.

Car has a problem with the Throttle Position Sensor.
It's been listed for quite a few months now (on and off) and I can't tell if it's a reluctant seller who doesn't want to part with a car he really likes.. or if something is up with the car that is delaying the sale, other than the TPS that is. I've been tracking this listing for a while, and the TPS wasn't mentioned at all until recently.. yet the milage hasn't increased on the listing. Maybe he forgot to change it, or maybe he's trying to pass off a bad SMG with a sensor issue...?

I'm thinking it's a SMG issue. Either way, I can't really test drive or have a certified BMW mechanic run a diagnostic or inspection on the car until the sensor issue is resolved. From what I can find throughout the forum, it looks like the 2002 M3 SMG has two TPS, one is on the front and is a simple fix, the second is buried deep under the manifold.. which I don't plan on doing myself. It's possible that it could also be a gas pedal which has gone out (seems to happen on the SMG model quite often), or it could be a wiring harness! Ughhh.

My heart says go for it and get the best price possible. The head is telling me that something is not right. I don't mind spending on the sensor repair.. but how can I rule everything else out? Is it possible to run a diagnostics to get feedback on transmission and engine, and emissions... what can a certified BMW shop determine from doing a pre-purchase inspection and test? I know a regular OBDII scanner won't give me what I need. I need a proper diagnostic test, which I'm willing to pay to have done. What has been your experience with troubleshooting and identifying potential issues? When you guys bought used M3's, what did you really know and what steps did you take to do your research? What is the best option for me, how should I proceed with this one? I'm certain they will need the sensor issue fixed before they can determine what else is showing... right? I'm somewhat hopeful that they can determine all current issues with the car through an inspection and diagnostic test... would any SMG issues show up during a diagnostic test, or would they need to do a test drive? Clearly they can't test drive it with a bad sensor that sends the car into limp mode.

Best case... I get him down to $9k, and spend $300 or so on the sensor part and labor (does that even sound about right?) for the #2 sensor or gas pedal repair/replacement. Still walking away with a good deal and a nice sharp ride.

Worst case... I get him down to $9k, fix the sensor issue and find out it's the SMG. What would I be looking at... besides the worst Christmas of my life!

I need some feedback guys, from the M3 vets and the newbies who may have faced the same situation when considering a first M3.

Apologies if the questions are redundant, I realize the vets have seen and heard it all before. I posted with the hope of getting feedback from both vets and newbies! First post, rest will be shorter. I promise. Be kind!
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  #30  
Old 12-13-2014, 12:45 PM
johnnydee johnnydee is offline
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If it was me I'd pay for a tow to a good independent and get a pre purchase done!
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  #31  
Old 12-13-2014, 12:52 PM
payo10 payo10 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 M3
Apparently he's had the TPS repaired.

Still no Vin. Seems to be put off with my questions. Maybe I'm just asking the right ones! I hope to meet and view the car this weekend or early next week. I have the cash. $10k for a 2002 convertible with just 82k. Seems like a decent price, even if I discover a few smaller issues. Main concern is codes that might have been cleared recently and the SMG transmission.

Should be driving fine if he's had it fixed so getting it in for a pre purchase should be easy enough.

Thanks!
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  #32  
Old 01-19-2015, 08:42 PM
dlara01 dlara01 is offline
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I've had a 2005 M3 SMG for almost 2 years without any problems or extra expense vers the manual. Even have taken it to the track with no problems. Just have to maintain it like the rest of the car.
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  #33  
Old 02-10-2015, 05:07 PM
Triumphtr3 Triumphtr3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 05 M3, 02 540 wagon
Looking for an M3 also

I have been shopping for an E46 M3 6 speed and was concerned about the sub frame issue. I have been told that the issue was mostly for the early models and by 2004 it was fixed. Are 04 -06 models just as prone to this issue?
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  #34  
Old 02-11-2015, 10:22 AM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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If you find a specific car in your price range I would have it checked out. Obviously if there is an issue any repair would be reflected in your offer. Good news about buying an older car. If there was an issue, is should show up. It has been my limited experience that almost anything can be fixed. Another factor is how you plan to use the car.
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  #35  
Old 02-11-2015, 11:10 AM
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Din Din is offline
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get a ppi from a shop that knows bmw and knows the e46m
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  #36  
Old 02-27-2015, 05:54 AM
Hayk Hayk is offline
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SMG is not that expensive as described

[QUOTE=JayKayo;7361988]1) SMG will cost you 2-3x more to maintain and fix. They are faster on the road than 6-speed versions of the E46 M3 but they are really terrible in reliability.

I would partially disagree with this. There are tons of M3s with SMGs with over 100K miles and if pump des not go bad then it can last quite long time. Yes, if pump goes bad it will cost you a lot to replace, but SMG is still a great transmission.
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  #37  
Old 02-27-2015, 08:34 AM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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The SMG gets a bad rap. The key to any car is maintenance. That is time and or money spent prior to it breaking down not re[pairing something that already has done so. To often people get confused on this issue.
Then you have to overcome any preconceived notion you have base on what ever you have read and deemed to be true. If you plan to beat the snot out of any car you better have a budget for replacing items that will take the abuse. There are lots of items you can do yourself. I thought shimming the valves would be hard but it was actually one of the easiest things I have done on a car. It is time consuming but not hard at all. Nice thing about an SMG car is you know that the motor wasn't over revved due to sloppy shifting. With any vehicle I buy, I plan on replacing all of the fluids. I do not care what I am told about when it was last done. If I did not see it done, in my mind it did not happen. Your car like clean fluids.
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  #38  
Old 06-07-2015, 07:09 AM
mk1264 mk1264 is offline
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Question E46 m3 2006

I want to buy a 2006 M3 convertible with manual. It has 106k miles and I know the owner who was meticulous in the upkeep. New valve caps, new clutch, almost everything has been done and all at the dealership. I want to make it my only car but I drive about 25,000 miles a year for work. I love the car ,its the color combo I want (blue with saddle + nav package) and its a head turner even at 10 years old. I mostly drive on the NJ turnpike so its mostly hw miles I would be doing. Does this car have another 150k in it, driven everyday?

My wife is scared that the upkeep will be too expensive and I don't have a valid argument. I had a 2008 X5 that was a lemon (bought used) and I lease a 13 328 ix. Leasing makes no sense now since I drive so much. I am a BMW lover ever since I saw a 318 back in the 80s. Anyway have one with mega miles that could offer some advice?
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  #39  
Old 07-12-2015, 05:03 AM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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I was looking for a ZHP, but after watching that video - and also always wanting an M3 - I checkout out how attainable it would be to get one. I found one on Craigslist that had 50k miles, built in 2002 and I think I could possibly get it for $15,000. Test drive coming soon. Any thoughts? It doesn't have the 6spd or navi and is a common color. But it seems like a good price considering the miles and an older woman drove it.
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  #40  
Old 07-31-2015, 06:12 PM
xxplatnum xxplatnum is offline
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Mein Auto: M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ645Bern View Post
hey all. i currently have a 2005 645ci that i plan on trading in. i am interested in the e46 m3. doesnt matter what year. so what should i know? what are the usual maintence costs and what problems should i expect with these cars and at what mileage. any info would be useful. i appreciate it.
If you get an smg, the vanos is the biggest problem to worry about. However, once you replace the vanos you can go for miles before you need to replace it again. The best thing about the e46 m3 is that the engine is very strong and last you a long time.

You need to sell that 6 series asap. 6 and 7 series leak oil like there's no tomorrow. The computer normally goes down as well. if you can get an idiot to buy it, get rid of it.... Honest opinion.......
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  #41  
Old 08-01-2015, 11:25 AM
xxplatnum xxplatnum is offline
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Mein Auto: M3
Talking E46

If you are not willing to maintain an M don't buy it. M series are very sensitive and demand a lot of your attentions. So, if you can't do that. M is not for you...

Holla
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  #42  
Old 01-29-2016, 01:16 PM
russki88 russki88 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 e46 m3 convertible
I have a 2003 smg m3 bought it with 70k miles right now I have it at 130K in ONE year
Current maintenance costs: smg gear placement sensor $1200
throttle sensor: $100
Smg temp bias resistor - $5 bucks
+ tires and oil
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  #43  
Old 01-29-2016, 02:08 PM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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^^ You should get a Prius to put that many miles on.... Lol
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  #44  
Old 01-29-2016, 02:27 PM
russki88 russki88 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 e46 m3 convertible
haha true, but I work a mile away from work =P other than that its all cruise
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  #45  
Old 02-11-2016, 07:39 PM
Kamiler Kamiler is offline
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Hey guys, good thing I found this thread.

Im actually thinking about paying the rest on my 2006 525xi E60 and selling that asap and maybe hopping into a M3. Iv been debating between the E92 M3 or the E46 M3. My dillema which car would be the better daily. Im on the E92 M3 side for interior and comfort and that V8 motor and the sound of it. But with the E46 you got a big aftermarket, plus I guess I can get used to the interior, and that would be cheaper to maintain (im assuming) vs the E92 M3.

Me being 23 and fresh out of college, the E46 would be the better choice financially and a balance between financial priorities and a fun car. But the E92 seems like the whole package deal that I would want. I guess its gonna come to test driving both and seeing which one I like more. Worst case, I trade my E60 for a E60 535i.
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  #46  
Old 02-11-2016, 07:48 PM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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What kind of warranty can you get on an e92 M3? A well maintained e46 m/t M3 should cost $20K. You will have less repairs and they are easier to do yourself. Stay away from smg transmission. I was looking at an e46 M3 and decided it wasn't financially responsible to buy. I am 26 and going back for my masters. If you can't afford the maintenance ~$2500/yr I wouldn't go that route. I went with ZHP and don't regret it. Would it be nice to have an M3, hell yeah. I would love it. But would I rather have a solid ZHP and the funds to pay for anything that comes up, than stretch myself to buy the M3 and have less money for repairs. If you can get an e92 as certified pre owned and can afford it, it would be fun. Personally I like the styling of the e46 more. Let us know!
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  #47  
Old 02-11-2016, 08:09 PM
russki88 russki88 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 e46 m3 convertible
What Jbergman said.. if you can afford the maintenance. Easiest way to think of it just because you can buy a car doesn't mean you can afford it. The cars are awesome but I bought my first SMG m3 when i was 27. A few things broke but I fixed them and have a great way to fix the SMG heat issue with a smiple $5 dollar fix.
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  #48  
Old 02-11-2016, 09:43 PM
Kamiler Kamiler is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW 525ix
Im my area, there are more SMG Coupes vs manuals. I still got until August until I can actually go out and buy a car, so i got time. Who knows what might happen until then.

I think i would be able to handle maintenance on the E46. Not sure on the E92, iv never really had a warranty on any of my cars. Iv never had any major problems with any of my cars. I owned a '90 525, '99 528, and a '91 318is e30 for 2 months and my E60.

Its just a weird scenario, because initially I was going to get a 2010 535i. I like my E60 just that its missing some extra power. The N52 engine that i have is not worth dumping any money into for power (i can thank one late night thinking session for that haha). That was my initial idea. But then i saw you can get a e46 M3 for same price or even cheaper. So I started to look at those. Then I said well why not just go all out on a E92 M3?

Granted I did realize something important after I posted my original post haha, so the E92 M3 kinda grew a little distant at that moment. So I was left wit the 2 choices.

So 535 - cheap to mod, N54 engine has its list of common issues. Which scare me a little bit just because its an actual list. But its 50/50 with those cars, lots of people say they had problems got them fixed and the car is still awesome and some people never had problems, and some people had all the problems possible.

I do have a friend who traded his 530 for 535 and dosent have a warranty, and he says hes put a lot of money into it and its worth it. He bought the car and just right away did preventative maintenance little by little.

E46 m3 - one of my favorite M3s, affordable M car, has its list of common issues tho, i have not heard or read anything major about the engine. For the trans I know the SMG has a pump problem. I also know about the sub frame issue.

My main goal car is a M4 and id love to get a car now i can have fun with until then. I mean before the E46 m3 popped into my head, I was planning to build my N52 motor. I was on the verge of dumping 8k into the motor itself in the next few years little by little.

My brother is getting a 335i E92 soon (at least thats what he says now) and he told me hes gonna let me drive his car to see if I like how the engine feels etc.

I know you gotta pay to play. Well aware. I tend to be really indecisive in the initial stages of looking for a car.
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  #49  
Old 02-16-2016, 03:05 PM
Bimmerdood2 Bimmerdood2 is offline
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cross your fingers that the SMG pump doesn't go like mine did or find an aftermarket warranty that Does cover it. Mine bailed on me with me holding the bag... If it looks great on the outside, you never know what's going to go on the inside no matter how well it was maintained! Going to cost a mint and thinking it will go again in another 70-100K? Not cool. It's a blast to drive though after the E36 98 328i I just ditched with 10K worth of repairs needed... wishing I had kept the Toyota Camry I sold for a down payment on my M3 sitting in the garage... if you've got a good wad of cash... go for it! expect to pay $2-6K in maintenance and possible repairs in the next 6-12 mos.
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  #50  
Old 02-16-2016, 03:23 PM
chatcher chatcher is offline
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Mein Auto: e46 m3
Get a standard transmission and learn how to do your own valve adjustments.
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RUNNING OUT OF GARAGE SPACE!!
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