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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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Old 09-26-2008, 02:33 PM
Dan93063 Dan93063 is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 3.0
Question Buying a High Mileage 02 M3

Looking into picking up an 02 M3 locally with 92,XXX miles on it, and would like some opinions. My thinking is that with a basic tune up (02 sensors, filters, fluids) the thing should last forever as long as all the recalls and maintenance were performed and continue to be.

Anyone drive a high mileage e46 M3? What should I look for when buying it?
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:56 PM
trism3 trism3 is offline
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Location: the OC
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: e46 m3 6spd
Mine's currently almost 95K. Bought it in May 07 w/ 87K on it and it's manual. Here what I did since bought it.
- 4 new tires
- Lower control arm & rear trailing bushings
- Shifter bushing
- Belts
- Inspection 2
- Bank 1 cat. converter (didn't cover by warranty 'cause more 80K miles)
- Ignition switch (covered by warranty)
- And a couple more small items (forget what they were)

I spent about $5 grands on it and all of the services done at indy shop except covered by warranty items. Despite those, I love it. It's now rock solid.
But, it would be smart if I bought a newer M3 with lower miles. Hope it help and good luck!
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:21 AM
leejak leejak is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 227
Mein Auto: 2012 640 ED, 2011 M3,

I have a 2002 M3-SMG with 115000 miles.....had it since new, absolutely no problems so far except for a blowout once with no spare...will be replacing belts, hoses but other than that, no issues....love car......was completely dealer serviced using the BMW maintaince plan and extension to 100,000 miles...now looking for independent shop for continued maintaince(will probably need valve adjust, O2 sensors replaced).....Still love the car...I have driven the new E90 M3 with DCT....love new M3 but will stay on sidelines for now....Had connecting rod recall done at about 30,000 miles....Hoping to go to 150,000 or 160,000....

Any other high mile E46 M3's out there?.....We should start our own blog...
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:08 PM
bozak23 bozak23 is offline
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Location: Alfred, NY
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 61
Mein Auto: 2003 M3
I am running an 03 with 115K miles. Car is great, but as they approach 100K a lot of the 'normal' stuff needs to be replaced, and as we all know, this is not cheap on the M, that being said, I love this car and will do whatever it takes. Unfortunately for me, I have not been able to find an Indy shop to work on it, so I am stuck with the dealership for everything that I can't do myself (which is not too much, as I feel like I will mess this car up).

I bought the car with 97K on it, and have since put tires on it, RTABS, Inspection I, winter tires ( I had to drive it one winter...i know, i know...), and a few other small things.

Things that still need to be done when ever I get the money, Inspection II is coming up here, rear suspension needs help, badly, hoses, and belts. Brakes will be after that since my front rotors are warped...I want to do it all, now, but just can't afford it.

In addition to maintenance type stuff, I am hoping to put a carbon roof on it this winter, I have found a shop that will do it for a reasonable price...
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:43 PM
hiperfind hiperfind is offline
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 1993 325is
Obviously the E36 is a different breed & older, however I lust for the E46 M3, read heavily until I'm ready, and had to write in on this concern over longevity: I have 204,000 miles, and my heavily tracked 1993 325is (M52 engine) is still ticking. While not 'fast', I must say it is without any driveline or engine rebuilds, just regular (Amsoil) fluid swaps. It still sings past 6K every day in commute without a hiccup. It's grown ugly in a few ways(paint, interior adhesion), but I'm going to drive her until she blows, which doesn't seem to be soon. Anyhoe, if the E36 is ANY indication of how they built into the 21st century, then drive it hard and alot!

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Old 11-12-2008, 08:55 PM
bimilicious bimilicious is offline
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Location: Akron
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1
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Mein Auto: 2002 4Runner
in search of high mileage M3

I just paid off my truck and so have an open budget spot for another vehicle. I have permission from the wife to buy a toy and I'm going to hold her to it. I figure max I should spend is about 23K on a 5 year loan.

I have always had an eye for a bimmer and absolutely love the stealthy look of the E46 M3. Everything I read says it is a top of the line pure driving machine, with some practical functionality like back seats and big trunk.

My worry is in this price range I can only afford something getting up in mileage. Probably 2003ish and well over 40K, from a private owner. I've had success with this approach in the past, getting well over 100K on Honda, Toyota and Volvo.

It is worth noting that while it will always be garaged, and not a daily driver necessarily, I won't be able to keep my hands off it. I fully intend to race this car at some hobby amateur level, Solo I and II type stuff. Basically I want to do as I've done with all my vehicles, take good care of her and run her til she drops. (my old Volvo 740 has 240K on it, still looking decent and running smooth)

So my questions are several.

How are these cars at that mileage and beyond? I've heard some horror stories, (in non-M 5 and 7 series mostly) about the ultra lightweight components like radiators going bad and costing a fortune to replace outside of warranty. I'm guessing the labor on an M is even higher.

Does the 50K full service warranty go with the car, even when purchased from a private owner? How much does the 100K extended typically run? Are there major repairs that will have to be done between 50K and 100K that make the extended warranty worth buying?

Any insights and comments from other people driving 50K plus Ms are greatly appreciated. Basically I'm in love with that car inclined to take the plunge and I'm looking for someone to give me a clear picture of the reality.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:57 PM
859-NIV 859-NIV is offline
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 13
Mein Auto: E92
Get a PPI and make sure inspection 2 is done
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:55 AM
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stack stack is offline
Location: Queens NY
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 134
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Mein Auto: RIP AUDI a4
92k is like middle age for a bmw.....just get the sensors replaced
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