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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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Old 04-17-2006, 11:32 AM
t b t b is offline
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Location: Memphis, TN
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: Chevy Silverado
Buying my first M3 (E46 Questions)

Alright, so Im finally in a position where I can afford to get the car I fell in love with years ago. Here's the deal.

I want at E46, and right now Im financially able to easily afford a 2001 maybe 2002. I am in negotiations with a company or two where I'll be moving to a better job in the coming months. At that point, Ill almost certainly be able to afford an 04 or even 05.

However, even when I can afford the 04-05, I may still only want to spend the money on the slightly older car.

Is there any major reason, aside from normal used car considerations, to wait till an 04 or 05 is definately in my grasp, or would you guys see no problem in grabbing the 01 or 02 now? I don't mind the age of the car, as I have routinely considered an E36 and would love that as well.

Any advice, plus any first time buying tips, would be appreciated, thanks

-- Future M3 owner (I hope)
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:09 PM
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LMC LMC is offline
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Location: Oregon
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,007
Mein Auto: M3 & X3
Other than the obvious, no reason to go for a newer one.

If you've studied on the subject, you know the early ones had some engine problems, but BMW fixed them and extended the warranty -- as far as I've heard, they really did fix them, too.

So if you're just establishing yourself professionally, spend a little less and get an older car and enjoy it! Which also gives you more potential to personalize the car (if you want) or fix the little things that will crop up now and again -- a Toyota it ain't, thank goodness!

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'17 M3
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:14 PM
ozm3smg ozm3smg is offline
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Location: At The Track or Melbourne Victoria Australia
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 03 E46 M3 TiAg SMG II
I'd actually go for a 2003.5 onwards, by that time BMW had fixed those early issues and that version also has the upgrades as below.
From www.madrussian.net

Do all E46 M3 engines blow up?
No, they don't. There was apparently a bad production run centering on cars built during the period of 10/01 - 12/01 (all of these cars were sold as Model Year 2002 vehicles). BMW apparently changed some parts vendors and tolerances during this period and the result has been a failure rate in these particular cars of over 10%. Failure rates outside of this range (both before and after) is no higher than any other comparable car. BMW has ordered a service action to correct the problems in these cars by replacing rod bearing shells and oil pumps

2001 to 2002
SMGII available
In-Dash CD Player replaces In-Dash Tape Player (non-Nav cars)
Bi-Xenon option replaces single Xenon
Titan Shadow Trim replaces Gloss Black Trim
Navigation Screen changes from 4:3 to 16:9
Topaz Blue Metallic added as standard color
Automatic Headlight option
19" Wheels option added (mid year)
Strut Bar added as standard equipment (mid year)

2002 to 2003
Basic Scheduled Maintenance Plan extended from 3/36 to 4/50
DSC/ABS unit moved from rear left of engine compartment under the brake fluid reservoir (leaving large empty space).
Aluminum Trim added as an option
DVD Navigation replaces CD-ROM Navigation
In-Dash CD Player available for Navigation equipped cars
Revised HVAC controls
Topaz Blue Metallic & Steel Gray Metallic dropped from standard colors
Mystic Blue Metallic & Silver Gray Metallic added as standard colors
LED Tail Lights (mid year)
Trunk Handle extended (mid year)

2003 to 2004
BMW Assist (BMW version of OnStar)
Square rear view mirror with BMW Assist and Fin at the back of the roof
Work Hard, Play Hard, Enjoy - Lifes Too Short !!!
03 M3 Coupe TiAg SMGII / 18" Dual Spoke / Michelin PS / Incar Canon MD160 miniDV
Save your Racing for the Track
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