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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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Old 01-20-2011, 05:19 AM
Mynoles1 Mynoles1 is offline
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Location: Dallas
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Mein Auto: 2014 435i
Time for an M3??

I will be coming out of my 2008 E90 this summer and really do not want another E90. Great car, but just too many on the road. So, looking at a used 650i (2006-2007) or M3 (2005-2006).

I have been reading this board and looking at a lot of cars on line, and have a couple of questions.

1) Did the car ever come original with WOOD trim?? Aluminum is not for my tastes at all. If not, are OEM parts still available for a wood swap??

2) I keep reading about the dreaded VANOS problem. Was there ever an official recall for this?? When looking at cars, if I do not see that the VANOS was addressed, is that a red flag?

I am 50 years old and really not into modding, but absolutely love the look and feeling of the car. I only drive 5-6K/year, but might as well do it in style! As stated, also in love with the 650 - so will be researching both.

Any thoughts on these questions, or any other general comments that I ought to be on the lookout for would greatly be appreciated.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:31 PM
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LMC LMC is offline
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Mein Auto: M3 & X3
1) It did, although it is a rare option. The optional factory wood trim was Eucalyptus wood in a matte finish. I have that trim in my M3, although I bought the car with plastic trim. However, any wood trim for the equivalent body style 325/330 E46 will fit the M3 as well. At one point or another I fit a set of myrtle wood trim (very dark brown) and BMW Individual anthracite birch wood trim (very dark gray) to my car. For me, the problem was that almost all the wood trims are finished in a high gloss. So you've got distracting reflections and it just did not seem very sporty to me. Of course, many people think wood trim doesn't belong in an M3, anyway. I do not know how many of the various wood trims are still available through the BMW parts system.

2) I've not heard of a widespread VANOS problem -- I do recollect seeing an irate M3 owner here complaining about VANOS -- and have not had any problem.

I am retired and don't commute in the car, so don't put a lot of miles on mine (19K in five years plus) but adore this car. I keep seeing other pretty faces (new M3, Porsche, etc.) and think of replacing it, only to tell myself "Wait a minute! You already own the perfect car! Why would you want to replace it?"

The one thing I would caution, although I'm sure you are aware of it: given the car's reputation, some of them have fallen into the hands of what could be described as the "fast and furious" crowd. A good pre-purchase inspection at a dealership or quality indpendent would be wise...
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