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Old 11-21-2010, 01:59 AM   #1
bimmer325
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M3 question

Hey guys,
Im in the market of looking for an E46 M3. I would like to know how reliable is the SMG transmission vs Manual trans? and what year should I stay away from?
what should I look for common problem on the M3?
Any Electrical problem on these beast?

thank you in advance.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:20 AM   #2
Eurostyle
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Manual is 10 times more reliable then the SMG...I dont know one SMG owner that didnt have problems with it...and most of the time its not an easy fix.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:19 AM   #3
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get manual
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eurostyle View Post
Manual is 10 times more reliable then the SMG...I dont know one SMG owner that didnt have problems with it...and most of the time its not an easy fix.
Actually the transmission itself is identical, and just as reliable. It's the horrible SMG hydraulics system that is prone to failure

But yes ... get a manual!

Other than that, the M3 is just as reliable mechanically and elecrically as any other e46, which is pretty damn good.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
bimmer325
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That why I love this site. Manual it is....
Nice to have the paddle shift, but reliable is more important to me.
thanks guys.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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here is also sum stuff to look over in helping u make ur choice! this link is just an over view of sum of the questions u had.
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=189390
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:13 PM   #7
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if your going to drive it daily. get manual. if it's just a weekend car, smg. the hydraulic pump on the smg will give you an issue at some point.
try to get 2004+ models (led tail lights) as the early 01 and 02 m3's had the rod bearings recalled on them.
no electrical issues that i know of.
subframe is hit and miss.
no real problems but try to get as much maintenance covered before you buy it especially the valve adjustment if you could.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:46 PM   #8
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Get your vanos/subframe checked pre-purchase!!!!.....also be aware that parts for M3 will cost you a premium versus regular 3-series parts....

Be prepared to set aside a couple grand per year for ongoing maintainence...
I've had my M3 approx 2 months now and have spent thousands bringing it back up to par and its far from perfect!

I would not reccomend buying the cheapest M3 you can find....pay now or pay later...service history is a must with these cars!
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
bimmer325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Luis View Post
if your going to drive it daily. get manual. if it's just a weekend car, smg. the hydraulic pump on the smg will give you an issue at some point.
try to get 2004+ models (led tail lights) as the early 01 and 02 m3's had the rod bearings recalled on them.
no electrical issues that i know of.
subframe is hit and miss.
no real problems but try to get as much maintenance covered before you buy it especially the valve adjustment if you could.


Hi king luis.
what do you mean subframe hit and miss? do you mean accident?
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:46 PM   #10
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he means some ppl have the problem with the subframe cracking and sum ppl who dont. i guess it all depends how hard u drive/track the car, or if u just str8 up beat on it everyday! but then again if u did that, surly u can expect something to go wrong!
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:31 PM   #11
bimmer325
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wow.. I didn't even know there were class action lawsuit against BMW in the state.
Does anyone have any luck getting the dealership repair as a recall in canada?
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:43 AM   #12
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recalls on the subframe here in canada (from what i read) are pretty hard to get.

also, what i meant was some cars have it occur, and some don't. it doesn't really matter suspension or tracking. i've tracked my car, it's lowered on pss10's and i drive it all year long. no cracked subframe (it's actually the the floor the subframe connects to that cracks).
but i've read that other guys that don't track their car and have no suspension mods got the cracks.

thats what i meant by hit or miss.
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