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low_bmw 05-26-2009 03:25 PM

looking at a ///M3
here is the situation:
2003 M3 cab....
what to look for? i know these have some motor issues after 03 or after 2003.5 but not too familair with the E46 M3's
This doesnt have the LED tails so is it an 03 and not an 03.5?

rendered 05-26-2009 10:34 PM

2003.5 has LED tails onwards.

2003.5+ are considered to be more reliable with less issues.

If anything 2001 to late 2002 would have motor issues.
But overall excellent cars. Look for loose bearings on the waterpump, and typical signs of major problems, oil leaks, coolant leaks, valve cover or head gasket problems, abused transmissions or torn subframe, problematic covertible tops, worn rtabs or fcabs.

Otherwise stick with the m3's with led tails IMO.

What colours are you looking for?

rodo 05-26-2009 11:20 PM

don't just go by the LED tails though, they can be easily upgraded on older cars.

xlash 05-27-2009 01:03 AM

Here you go:

2001 to 2002

* SMGII available
* In-Dash CD Player replaces In-Dash Tape Player (non-Nav cars)
* Bi-Xenon option replaces single Xenon
* Titan Shadow Trim replaces Gloss Black Trim
* Navigation Screen changes from 4:3 to 16:9
* Topaz Blue Metallic added as standard color
* Automatic Headlight option
* 19" Wheels option added (mid year)
* Strut Bar added as standard equipment (mid year)

2002 to 2003

* Basic Scheduled Maintenance Plan extended from 3/36 to 4/50
* DSC/ABS unit moved from rear left of engine compartment under the brake fluid reservoir (leaving large empty space).
* Aluminum Trim added as an option
* DVD Navigation replaces CD-ROM Navigation
* In-Dash CD Player available for Navigation equipped cars
* Revised HVAC controls
* Topaz Blue Metallic & Steel Gray Metallic dropped from standard colors
* Mystic Blue Metallic & Silver Gray Metallic added as standard colors
* LED Tail Lights (mid year)
* Trunk Handle extended (mid year)

2003 to 2004

* BMW Assist (BMW version of OnStar)
* Square rear view mirror with BMW Assist and Fin at the back of the roof

2004 to 2005

* Laguna Seca Blue and Oxford Green Metallic discontinued
* Alcantara available as a standard option
* Eucalyptus Malt Wood Trim available as a standard option
* Competition (try not to laugh) package (ZCP) added including 19" CSL "style wheels", Alcantara steering wheel and hand brake, aluminum interior trim, slightly larger (front) cross drilled rotors, M track mode for DSC, modified suspension and steering ratio, cruise control deleted. Available starting with 12/04 production.
* Interlagos Blue Metallic added for ZCP equipped cars only

King Luis 05-27-2009 08:52 AM

some 01's and 02's (i think) had rod bearing recalls. 03.5's and on were pretty much free of problems.
but they as all e46's were susceptible to torn rear subframes. you won't be able to tell if the fcabs or rtabs are shot by just looking at them. they are pretty much covered. if you feel the rear end really loose and unstable, the rtabs are shot. check the floor in the trunk for any cracks. those would be the first signs of a torn subframe. loud ticking means the valves need to be adjusted and could mean that the PO didn't take care of the car much.
good luck on your search.

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