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Old 09-24-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
daytona
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BMW E46 M3 questions...

Im looking at a E46 M3,which year is supposely the most "reliable" for the E46?...is there any major issues I should be worried about when looking for one.If a put on a decent set of winter tires would the car be able to handle deep snow?.Can you get most parts aftermarket without buying OEM?...
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:42 AM   #2
mstearnsy
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The later years of a body run are always the most reliable. 2005 and 2006 will be best, plus you can find some 2006s that may still have warranty if they are Certified Series. Only buy a well cared for M3. A high mileage, cheap, beat up M3 will end up costing you more in the long run!

As general rules, avoid convertibles (more stuff to go wrong and convertibles are more of a cruiser than a pure sports car like the coupe version), and SMG. The 6 speed will be more reliable in the long run (no computers or pumps needed to shift gears there).

The "major issues" you should worry about are being able to afford even the scheduled maintenance. A dealer brake job on an M3 is about $1400ish and on an M3 Competition package is $2400 for all 4 brakes. A 330Ci brake job is only $800.
You can only run Castrol TWS 10W60 oil which is more expensive. Every 60-100,000 kms you need to do spark plugs and valve adjustment, and you should be changing the gearbox and differential oil. The "Inspection 2" service that I just had performed free of charge on my 2006 (the week before the free maintenance expired) would have cost me $1800 including all the items I just mentioned, if I paid out of pocket!

I've never driven my M3 in the snow but my old 330Ci was great with Michelin Pilot Alpins. The M3 SHOULD be better because of it's limited slip diff and crazy brakes. But the car is too low to handle really deep snow. The 330 was great in everything except really deep stuff.

There's a ton of parts available aftermarket (water pumps, etc). Don't buy an M3 though if you aren't ready to pay big bucks to maintain it. A 330Ci M Sport or M Performance is almost as much fun, a better car for the "real world", and way cheaper to run.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
DaveM3_09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstearnsy View Post
The later years of a body run are always the most reliable. 2005 and 2006 will be best, plus you can find some 2006s that may still have warranty if they are Certified Series. Only buy a well cared for M3. A high mileage, cheap, beat up M3 will end up costing you more in the long run!

As general rules, avoid convertibles (more stuff to go wrong and convertibles are more of a cruiser than a pure sports car like the coupe version), and SMG. The 6 speed will be more reliable in the long run (no computers or pumps needed to shift gears there).

The "major issues" you should worry about are being able to afford even the scheduled maintenance. A dealer brake job on an M3 is about $1400ish and on an M3 Competition package is $2400 for all 4 brakes. A 330Ci brake job is only $800.
You can only run Castrol TWS 10W60 oil which is more expensive. Every 60-100,000 kms you need to do spark plugs and valve adjustment, and you should be changing the gearbox and differential oil. The "Inspection 2" service that I just had performed free of charge on my 2006 (the week before the free maintenance expired) would have cost me $1800 including all the items I just mentioned, if I paid out of pocket!

I've never driven my M3 in the snow but my old 330Ci was great with Michelin Pilot Alpins. The M3 SHOULD be better because of it's limited slip diff and crazy brakes. But the car is too low to handle really deep snow. The 330 was great in everything except really deep stuff.

There's a ton of parts available aftermarket (water pumps, etc). Don't buy an M3 though if you aren't ready to pay big bucks to maintain it. A 330Ci M Sport or M Performance is almost as much fun, a better car for the "real world", and way cheaper to run.

He is absolutely right on everything but I do own an 05 vert and have had zero issues. I did refrain from getting the SMG and owning a 6spd is by far the best choice! It has been through 1 winter here in the Toronto area with 17" winters and its been great!
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
EMPIREM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveM3_09 View Post
refrain from getting the SMG and owning a 6spd is by far the best choice!
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:05 AM   #5
mstearnsy
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Empire, did you get a different M3? Comp pkg?
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:29 PM   #6
DaveM3_09
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guys we should take some photos of our m3's! anyone got a nice camera?
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:47 PM   #7
Gurvinder
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lets do a E46 M3 shoot before we park em away!
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:18 AM   #8
twboy1999
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i am down for a photoshoot


look for

vanos failure

rear subframe failure

if both fail, you are looking at over 10k in fixing them
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