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Hello you guys, can you help a 34 yo that has been yearning a quality automobile for sometime ;).

Although my budget is going to limit me to a used M3, with a max price of about $33K.

I will only buy a certified used one, my question is what should i look for/ avoid with certain years of the E46? Its been a while but didnt the E46 get the HP jump in 2003? Forgive me im rusty and im starting to price shop now, basically all over the nation. Im gonna look for the best deal for the best used M3. Has to have 35K miles or less.

One more question, how do you guys like the Nav system? I know it might be tough to get one with nav in my price range, just wondering how do you guys like it and if it works well..

ANyhow, all the stories of how awesome the M3 feels to drive is making me so excited..i owned a few 5.0 GTs when they were popular, a 96 Cobra, and a 02 WS6 ..after that bought a house, got married, had a baby girl..time to treat myself ;)

:thumbup:
 

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M Mad
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Only changes from 01 - 06 were minor. 02 saw SMG available. 03.5 got LED tail/brake lights and different trunk handle. 05 got changed suspension (shocks/springs). No HP changes. 02 added Topaz Blue, 03 changed to Mystic Blue, 05 added Interlagos Blue and ZCP package. In there was BMW Assist and some repackaging of things like auto headlights and rain sensing wipers.

Realize an 01 or 02 (in a few months) will be past CPO or any extended warranty or service contract. Max is 6 years.

Nav is pretty bad compared to Garmin portable. Save your money and buy a Nuvi.

And the changed shocks/springs are not a huge deal. If the car still have the original shocks, they need to be changed anyway. the stock shocks lose 50% of their dampening in about 10K miles.
 

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I'm in the same boat, I have a 745Li weekend driver and an Audi A6 daily that I want to swap for an M3 preferably 05'. Anything I should look out for?? My Audi sux as far as reliability, how is the M3?
 

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You have a 745 and you think the Audi has quality issues? :rofl:

(I had a first year 745 and it was a nightmare....BMW did a lemon buy back, so I'm biased).

I bought my M3 with low miles and KISS features for the track (no nav, no sunroof, no power seats). The E46 is much less complex than a 7 series or a loaded quattro audi. I'd say go for a low mileage example, model year 2003 or newer with less than 30k miles, get it inspected and then change all the fluids (tranny, dif, oil, coolant, brakes) and enjoy. The 2001/2002 models had the engine recall issues. They seem to be holding up fine, but I prefer the 2003.5 or newer where these issues have been fully worked out and you get the LED brake lights, etc.

This site tracks some of the changes: http://m3.madrussian.net/
 

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M Mad
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1) There was never a recall, only service actions.

2) Any engine that has had the appropriate service action performed is fine.
 

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Only changes from 01 - 06 were minor. 02 saw SMG available. 03.5 got LED tail/brake lights and different trunk handle. 05 got changed suspension (shocks/springs). No HP changes. 02 added Topaz Blue, 03 changed to Mystic Blue, 05 added Interlagos Blue and ZCP package. In there was BMW Assist and some repackaging of things like auto headlights and rain sensing wipers.

Realize an 01 or 02 (in a few months) will be past CPO or any extended warranty or service contract. Max is 6 years.

Nav is pretty bad compared to Garmin portable. Save your money and buy a Nuvi.

And the changed shocks/springs are not a huge deal. If the car still have the original shocks, they need to be changed anyway. the stock shocks lose 50% of their dampening in about 10K miles.
Dude, the NAV is perfectly adequate and esthetically better than a stick-on.
 

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Options

I have two M3s. One is an 02 vert and one is an 05 Comp Pkg. The vert doesn't have NAV and the Comp does. The NAV is a nice feature, but not as user friendly as most (if not all) aftermarket due to touch screen features of newer models; however, there are some options with the BMW NAV that may set it apart for you.

You can add video to a stock BMW NAV. It's relatively simple and somewhat unique in that the stock unit can play movies, or music videos if you so choose. The unit is called DICE and it's available through European Auto Source. It uses a video IPOD as the source and I've been using it for quite a while. It's kind of nice to be able to watch "Gone in 60 Seconds" from a stock unit. Although the stock speakers could be a bit better. There is a feature that allows you to toggle quickly to NAV or stereo in the event of a traffic stop.

You can also add a stealth radar unit display, with a Valentine 1 unit, through the stock NAV. This feature is desireable in some states where radar is illegal. The radar unit is called Stealth One, and it is now being released again. Apparently the manufacturer stopped making them for a while, and I'm really not sure when he/she intends to stop again so you may want to get an order in soon if you get a car with NAV. One thing to remember is that you have to control the stealth unit through a multi-function steering wheel. I bought a unit for my comp pkg M3 and I can't use the stealth unit because it doesn't use the MF steering wheel. I have a spare stealth one unit if you want one...

You can also upgrade the maps and splash screens fairly easy. There are plenty of places on the internet where you can find either the latest software or directions on how to get it. I upgraded my software to have, I think it's called, "bird's eye" perspective and it uses a female british voice. In addition, I added a custom splash screen.

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/user.php?&action=viewUser&UrId=40850

Let us know what you decide.
 

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M Mad
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Dude, the NAV is perfectly adequate and esthetically better than a stick-on.
Define perfectly adequate? Have you ever used an up to date Garmin?

I just love (NOT) how the stock system cahnges from trak up to North up depending on scale. And that is just for starters.

I agree about the asthetics, but the stick on isn't that bad. And I can take it with my while traveling and use it in rental cars. Try THAT with your built in. :)
 

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BMW Navs are bad.
However wires in the car/mounts in dash look much worse. Plus they are known to encourage vandalism.
 

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I saw somewhere on this site early E46 M3s have crankshaft bearing problems and fail at high RPM revs.I dont know if they were recalled or extended warranted.It may influence my decision when I go to get mine.I do love the looks of earlier E46s the differences between earlier and later models are subtle but I do like the earlier ones profile view.
 

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Define perfectly adequate? Have you ever used an up to date Garmin?

I just love (NOT) how the stock system cahnges from trak up to North up depending on scale. And that is just for starters.

I agree about the asthetics, but the stick on isn't that bad. And I can take it with my while traveling and use it in rental cars. Try THAT with your built in. :)
I have a Garmin 650 Nuvi and an '05 M3 with Nav. I like the BMW Nav, the integration is well done and it works well enough for me. The Nuvi is definitely easier to use as it's touch screen, but I am very happy with the Nav in the M3. I probably only use it 1-2 times per week and for that it's fine. I have a Intravee/Alpine iPod adapter which is a great add-on (though pricey) if you have Nav.

If I was doing deliveries in the M3 (there's a concept!) and had to enter new destinations multiple times a day, the input system in the BMW Nav system would get old.
 

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M Mad
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I saw somewhere on this site early E46 M3s have crankshaft bearing problems and fail at high RPM revs.I dont know if they were recalled or extended warranted.It may influence my decision when I go to get mine.I do love the looks of earlier E46s the differences between earlier and later models are subtle but I do like the earlier ones profile view.
They failed at all revs, not just high revs.

There were two Service Actions, no recalls. Any BMW dealer, with the VIN, can check if the Service Actions were done. Having the appropriate service actions done extends the warranty on the engine to 6 years, 100K. And I have heard of no problems with cars that have had the work done.

AFAIK, BMW will still do the work if it hasn't been done. I know the kits are still available.

The first service action only covered a small range of cars and changed the rod bearings and the oil pump. The second one covered a wider range and only changed the rod bearings. And reprogrammed the computer for the SMG.
 
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