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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2013, 04:17 PM
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CJ645Bern CJ645Bern is offline
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i want to buy an e46 m3. what should i know

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.
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2013, 05:04 PM
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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.
2) Even with a 6-speed, you can expect to spend at least $1,000 per year on maintenance alone, assuming you are in it to preserve it basically, and believe in preventive maintenance.
3) Depends on where you live but around SoCal, a silver one in 6-speed at around 100,000 miles could go for around $17,000-$20,000. People usually know it's the 6-sped manuals that buyers want and so the prices will be higher than if they were SMG.
4) Most have 6-digit mileage but if it's 6-speed and properly maintained, I'd go for it.
5) Since it is an M, parts and labor will cost more no matter where you go, dealership or not.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:48 PM
itscoo2pyopants itscoo2pyopants is online now
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His 6 series costs more to maintain. E46 you can DIY most of the repairs. There are a lot of how to instructions on the Internet. I've had my car for 3 years and have 114k miles (20k a year) on it, nothing but basic maintenance to keep it running. Never had to take it into the shop

6 series on the other hand.. Problems after problems with relatively low miles (67k). Replaced catalytic converter, wheel bearings, secondary air valves, driveline bushings. Also def harder to DIY
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:22 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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hope you've been doing the valve adjustments, those are difficult to DIY for most.

This should be required reading for anyone thinking of buying am M3: www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10057
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2013, 08:36 PM
socalfate socalfate is offline
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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.
good question I'm in the same boat!
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  #6  
Old 04-10-2013, 04:25 PM
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bigscore bigscore is offline
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Originally Posted by socalfate View Post
good question i'm in the same boat!
+1
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2013, 01:36 AM
Haitoman Haitoman is offline
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"People usually know it's the 6-sped manuals that buyers want and so the prices will be higher than if they were SMG."

Ok, so you may be unlucky and have an SMG pump failure maybe once in 5 years but apart from that SMG is far superior to a stick. Geez...you might get hit by a bus too. Everyone has their preferences with these cars so drive an SMG using the F1 style flaps and listen to the rev matching, blips etc. then make your own mind up.
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2013, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants View Post
His 6 series costs more to maintain. E46 you can DIY most of the repairs. There are a lot of how to instructions on the Internet. I've had my car for 3 years and have 114k miles (20k a year) on it, nothing but basic maintenance to keep it running. Never had to take it into the shop

6 series on the other hand.. Problems after problems with relatively low miles (67k). Replaced catalytic converter, wheel bearings, secondary air valves, driveline bushings. Also def harder to DIY
Huh. Weird....
A local restaurant owner's son has an M6 and an old buddy has a 650i. Both keep admiring their cars and never had anything to say as far as maintenance goes.
Of course though if you're talking about people who track and/or DD their 6 then of course more problems will occur.
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2013, 06:27 PM
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I wouldnt say an SMG is unreliable. Its the luck of the draw. The regular 6 mt could have some issues too. Owning any BMW you should expect to pay a bit more for maintenance and repairs.
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2013, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Din View Post
I wouldnt say an SMG is unreliable. Its the luck of the draw. The regular 6 mt could have some issues too. Owning any BMW you should expect to pay a bit more for maintenance and repairs.
I really, honestly thought that until my parts guy who does wholesale as well as retail told me he gets more SMG E46 M3s than 6-speed, DCT than 6-speed, E92 335is, etc.....
I don't really care much for this info since I don't own any of the said cars and don't plan on getting one anytime soon, just passing along what I hear.
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  #11  
Old 05-27-2013, 08:44 PM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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You can do the valves yourself and save a bunch. Power steering flush is easy to do. Bushings are pretty easy to. If you do not feel comfortable doing that stuff get a second job because you are going to love the car and it will be worth it. I have had mine for about a month. Had Corvettes, Porches and cobra replicas. The e46 chassis m3 is a bad ass car. What the hell took me so long? I just finished up my second valve job and did it without removing the fan. Worked great and saved me the trouble of getting it off the car. Great video on youtube as to how to shim the valves. There is a huge difference between maintaining and repairing. Knowing the difference and doing one will most likely prevent the other.
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2013, 03:37 PM
ahrdyrxkd ahrdyrxkd is offline
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1.If you found the vehicle with over 60k miles, You must check the trunk tearing. This issue is a common issue for E46 M3.

2. I highly recommend to get 6pd manual. Of course, SMG will makes fun driving but too many issues you have to expect 2-3k to fix it.

Last edited by ahrdyrxkd; 05-28-2013 at 03:41 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2013, 08:58 AM
Palani Palani is offline
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I have my 2006 M3 Competition Package manual 6 speed with only 47k miles for sale. I bought it from a dealership which was traded in for another vehicle. It only sat at the dealers for about 2 months until I came along and purchased it. Paperwork will say I'm the third owner but in reality I would be the second owner. ALL maintenance records available and previously done only at the dealership. The Inspection II is due according to the dash indicator. Although, I have spoken to a couple of private specialists and BMW specialists and both told me that the valve adjustment not need to be done until 60k mile mark. The car runs flawlessly and very smooth. I was concerned about whether I should adjust the valves but BMW recommended "NO"; valves sounded perfect. I'm in the process in doing the rest of what needs to be maintained at this time minus the valve adjustment.

Color is silver gray metallic, black leather interior with the CSL wheels. My M3 has only been driven approximately 6k miles per year throughout its life from previous owner to me. Always covered and garaged. No modifications all stock! A few small rock chips on the front bumper although hard to avoid with any High Performance car. I am a newbie with this site so I will post pictures as soon as I can. If anyone interested send me a message. Thanks.
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2013, 10:30 AM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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Sounds like a great car but I would rain on your parade on that valve issue. The car I bought had 99,000 on it. Valves were never done. I found 13 out of spec. Not saying that is the case with your car but if I was a potential buyer I would deduct the cost of an adjustment from any offer. At some point they need to be inspected. You can do it yourself but it is labor intensive. I had a set of gaskets laying around from a different project but the shims set me back @ $90 to do the job. You talking thousands of an inch here. If I remember correctly a piece of paper is about 5 thousands thick so it is small tolerances. If your BMW garage is working on cars by "sound", how do you know they just don't turn the radio up rather than fix something. High performance, adjustment, specs, sounds okay. Which one doesn't fit?
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2013, 08:26 AM
Palani Palani is offline
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Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it. Since I consider myself as a perfectionist, it will also give me "peace of mind" to go ahead and push forward to have the valves adjusted. Any well known distinguished shops in the SoCal area? I know a few that would do the job although still looking for that private "One Stop Shop" for my M3.
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2013, 09:38 AM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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Doing the valve is not that hard. It is just very time consuming and if you are a perfectionist you can drive yourself nuts with it. I have done two motors, both mine. One was out of the car so the valves were real easy. The second job was on the M that I just bought, first one ever and I love it. I am not much of a wrench but am slowly getting there: wheel bearings, shocks, motor mounts, rtab, front bushings, water pump, belts, brakes, clutch and engine swap are now on my resume. Not all have been pretty and I have made plenty of mistakes but I love working on my own car and know I am just as careful as any other mechanic just not as skilled nor with all the tools. With the cash I have saved I bought a lift for the garage and while that is not perfect it has worked out great. On the engine I bought for my swap I had the bearings done. I was told that the engine had 113k on it. I did not do this job as I just wasn't comfortable with that job so i took it to Randy Forbes. He took a ton of photos and here they are courtesy of his web site:
lots of shots 93 and 94 are the money shots.
http://www.spcarsplus.com/gallery3/i...4-bearing-swap


I I have no idea how the engine was maintained or what oil was used but do know that it was done before. I went with the coated bearings that Randy does himself. I have scheduled to take my M there this fall so I know what I have and reload the bearings via Randy. Don't know where to send you out there but would think someone here could hook you up.

Last edited by JayMac; 06-03-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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  #17  
Old 06-08-2013, 01:57 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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re: Are you still in the market for an m3?

in case you are still in the market for an m3, heres link


http://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/3846057294.html

call 6462151240 or email argentummetals47@gmail.com
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2013, 02:03 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Good thread, OP. Stickied.
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  #19  
Old 07-30-2013, 12:22 PM
moby01 moby01 is offline
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Re:

I don't know what to say, watch this video and nothing else would matter..



you will buy one
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  #20  
Old 09-25-2013, 09:56 PM
BeamerKidNy BeamerKidNy is offline
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Not sure if you know anything about salvage vehicle but you should check this out 2011 BMW M3

Its has a salvage title and needs to be repaired. I personally buy all my vehicles salvage but if your not familiar or comfortable buying a salvage car then I recommend you don't. Just want to let you know that there are other options. _sl_
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  #21  
Old 10-10-2013, 08:57 PM
Topodize99 Topodize99 is offline
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Let me know I have 1 for sale
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  #22  
Old 11-05-2013, 09:05 PM
gabbester gabbester is offline
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E46?

Hey I'm looking at getting an E46. I am very interested in this one. Can some of you give me your thoughts on this? Thanks

http://www.dickscottnissan.com/used/...9668140e4.htm#
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  #23  
Old 01-08-2014, 07:41 PM
Orlando M3 Orlando M3 is offline
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That is an SMG not Manual as dealership is advertising. plus way too high. I just bought my 03 M3 with 45,000 miles clean carfax for $16,500
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2014, 06:13 PM
garster garster is offline
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You should defiantly go with the SMG trans…I own a 05 M3 convertible w/ SMG and let me tell ya its like driving a F1 race car. My first M was a Mroadster(2000). When I purchased the car in 2001 I thought the 5 speed manual was fast but two years ago I was in a accident and the car was totaled(lucky to be alive). On the flip side I got an m3 and never been happier. Maintance for me is about 3-$400 a year. I had the car two years and never had a prob yet. Good luck!
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2014, 06:23 PM
garster garster is offline
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The car ......

Last edited by garster; 02-03-2014 at 06:31 PM.
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