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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 09-12-2012, 12:10 PM
cjn1210 cjn1210 is offline
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Considering buying a 2002 E46 M3..

Hi all, I am new to the forum. I am considering buying a '02 E46 M3 with 75,000 miles. It is about $20k and I am concerned about the maintence cost and reliability on the car. Can any of you offer any insight? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2012, 01:19 PM
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My 2002 has been fine. No extraordinary expenses.

But insurance and tires can be a significant expense.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2012, 01:48 PM
kazsak kazsak is offline
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No inputs yet, just bought one today and arranging shipment to my house. I can't wait to drive it and smoke people, lol.
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:16 PM
AlroyJetson AlroyJetson is offline
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If you're getting an SMG, the only expenses that are considerably high is the SMG system itself. The car is reliable and some problems come out to be smaller than you think. Get it. You won't be disappointed.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:19 PM
cjn1210 cjn1210 is offline
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I have heard that. I dont think it is an SMG, but how do I know. It is not from a BMW dealer so they did not know and I didnt know how to tell by "looking".
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:20 PM
cjn1210 cjn1210 is offline
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it's listed as 6 speed manual trans
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2012, 03:41 PM
AlroyJetson AlroyJetson is offline
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Alright, in the event that something does need maintenance, it will be easier to repair and a lot cheaper.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2012, 09:32 AM
quicsylver15 quicsylver15 is offline
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Make sure to find out if the rod bearing and subframe recalls have been done or atleast inspected.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2012, 10:23 AM
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Gor@AcutePerformance Gor@AcutePerformance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjn1210 View Post
I have heard that. I dont think it is an SMG, but how do I know. It is not from a BMW dealer so they did not know and I didnt know how to tell by "looking".
SMG looks like this


And a manual looks like this


Good luck with your purchase!
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2012, 02:41 PM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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Even easier way to tell: Manual has 3 pedals including clutch. SMG II has only 2 pedals like an automatic, since the computer and hydraulics operates the clutch for you.

I would recommend setting aside $2000 per year for maintenance related costs. The trick with an M3, or any BMW for that matter is to stay on top of maintenance so you don't have as many repairs. A repair is likely to cost you a lot more than if you kept the car properly maintained.

You'll want to get a copy of the maintenance schedule for your model-year. It will spell out what needs to be done at every oil change, Inspection I and Inspection II. Plus there are a few things you do based on time, not mileage such as brake fluid flushes.

If you really want to maintain the car in the best possible way, to ensure a long life with fewer problems, get a copy of the lifetime maintenance schedule from Mike Miller in the BMW CCA. His schedule and advice takes the standard schedule and does a few things more often, and adds a couple things missing from the schedule which should maximize the performance and lifespan of your car.

I bought my 2002 M3 just over 4 years ago when it had ~45,000 miles on it. It was an abused and neglected car, which I probably shouldn't have bought in the first place. Luckily, an aftermarket warranty saved my ass when I had to do several thousand dollars worth of work in the first 2 months of ownership. However, since then, I've gotten all the maintenance in-line and up to date, and I haven't had any other problems with the car. I use it as a weekend fun car, and put less than 5,000 miles per year on it. But I intend to keep it pretty much forever, or until the day I finally get my dream car: an Aston Martin.

BTW, for my low-mileage car, I do an oil change every year regardless of the miles. I also do the brake fluid every other year, though I am considering shortening that to every 12-18 months. Everything else I do according to Mike Miller's enhanced maintenance schedule, which I started following this year as I ticked over 60,000 miles on the car.
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Last edited by OBS3SSION; 09-13-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2012, 02:50 PM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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Oh, one last thing: I've found a local independent shop that specializes in European cars (BMW, Merc, Ferrari, Audi, etc.) and he did my Inspection II for about 1/2 the price the BMW dealership wanted to charge me! His prices are pretty much like that for any service as compared to BMW... and he's using the same parts because he's buying them from my BMW dealership's parts department!

A BMW or any German car can be more expensive to maintain. Look for a good indy shop, one with good recommendations, and use them if the quality of work is the same and the price is less.
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  #12  
Old 09-15-2012, 02:03 AM
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IMO, $2000 per year will go way further than typically needed. My 2002 needs little more than oil, brake fluid, and coolant changes.

The Inspections (especially Inspection 2) are a bit costly. But that is only every 60K miles.
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  #13  
Old 09-15-2012, 07:34 AM
kazsak kazsak is offline
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I am currently having the shop do vano, exhaust hub, cam bolts, belts, spark plugs, valve adjustment and the total bill is around $4700. I still need to do new rotors and pads. My first German car, I spent more on repairs first week than all my Japanese car combined.
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2012, 07:42 AM
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EnserioJose EnserioJose is offline
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I'd stay away from the smg. I was at my indy yesterday for their Friday evening "drive-ins". An imola e46 m3 was in the lot because the smg was getting serviced. The tech manager said those trans are in often with problems.
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  #15  
Old 09-15-2012, 08:06 AM
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I know a half dozen people with them without problems.

Yes, when they do have major problems it is not cheap, but IMO the problems are not that common.
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Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
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