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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2013, 10:43 AM
rockstarinlife rockstarinlife is offline
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Location: Newport Beach, Cali
 
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Mein Auto: Mercedes For Now
E46 M3 What Years To Avoid?

Hey Bimmerfest RockStars,

I am thinking about being the first in my family to own a BMW. My family has always been Mercedes drivers and I am thinking about making the switch in the next 1-3 months.

I was considering getting a used MB C55 or C63 with around 50,000-75,000 miles on it.

But now considering a used M3 01-06 with 50,000-75,000 miles on it.

I have been searching the threads on M3's and trying to decide which M3 year I should get.

Are there any M3's 01-06 years I should avoid?

This will be a 3rd car for me and only be driven 4-5 times a month around town. I will probably only put 1,000-2,000 miles a year on it at the most.

I have read about the SMG problems with some M3's and not scared to pay $1,000-$2,000 a year for maintenance and repairs.

I just dont want an M3 that will be in the shop more than I can drive it...lol

I already know I should get a PPI inspection and a carfax report. I will take it to our local repair shop to check it out and have future repairs and maintenance down. So I wont be dealing with the stealers

Anymore tips and advice is appreciated.

Happy to be here and hope to participate more.

Doc Dan


I have owned the following cars: Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Turbo, GMC Cyclone, 86 MB SEL420, 01 MB C320, 98 MB CLK320, 02 MB SL500 Designo, 92 MB SL300

Last edited by rockstarinlife; 07-09-2013 at 08:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2013, 01:13 PM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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Location: Feeding Hills, MA
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Mein Auto: '02 M3 'Vert
I've logged less than 1 hour of driving MBs in my lifetime, so I'm not qualified to compare. I'd say get the car that you like the looks and driving dynamics of better. Sounds like they are in the same ballpark financially, so that doesn't matter. Also sounds like you've got a handle on the pre-purchase research.

Seems a shame to get an M3 (or the MB) and only drive it around town for so few miles per year. My M3 is a weekend car, and I put about 5K per year on it, but I try to take it for nice drives out of town on roads where it is FUN to drive a car of such character.

Either way, good luck and have fun.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2013, 08:40 PM
rockstarinlife rockstarinlife is offline
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Are there any M3's 01-06 years I should avoid?
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:21 AM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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Location: Feeding Hills, MA
 
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I'm not aware of any years that are good/worse than others. However, typical car buying practice says buy the latest year in a model that you can afford. As the manufacturer will have the most fixes and updates on the last year of a model run. Most importantly, make sure any and all recalls have been done, especially the engine bearing recall.
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2013, 11:32 AM
drjekyllmrlee drjekyllmrlee is offline
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Location: chicago
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Mein Auto: m3
I cannot comment on years to avoid but the 2002 m3 with smg runs well. got 40K miles on it. SMG is a little rough down shifting in stop and go traffic but does great when she can stretch her legs. I agree with above other posts to get the newest year you can afford. Avoid the first 1-2 years of a new generation of a model. Compared to my former MB 430CLK, the M3 was much more lithe and agile. The MB felt heavy in the turns and pushed(understeered) a bit but was cushier on my tushy especially noticable on chicago all terrain like streets. Best of luck.
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2013, 09:12 PM
mddicted mddicted is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 M3 Slicktop CompPkg
I suggest you avoid all years until you do some serious research. Read every sticky on every e46 board. Download the factory owners manual and read it cover to cover. I studied and searched for over a year before I pulled the trigger on my car. I followed all of the recommendations and got a fantastic one owner, very well maintained, car. It is still a used car and I have replaced coils, power steering hoses, rotors, suspension etc. You need deep pockets to maintain a car of this caliber to the high standards it deserves.
Mike
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