O5/06 E46 M3?

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    Chris Fountain

    I know this isn’t an AX question, but I can’t post to the general discussion section so here goes.

    Asking for a friend. (Really!) He’s thinking about getting a 05/06 E46 M3. It looks like he can find them in decent condition for around $15k. What’s the opinion regarding maintenance? Nightmare or not bad relative to other BMWs? Anything key to watch out for with this model?

    Bill Richter

    The only real problem area to watch out for is the rear subframe mounts/rear axle carrier panel. Definitely something to have TC Design look at before purchase. There is also a part on the valve train that can break (the exhaust cam hub has a couple of tabs on it to drive the VANOS oil pump and the tabs have been known to break), A competent E46 mechanic always takes a look at them when he’s adjusting the valves.

    If you drive them hard, it’s a good idea to run an oil sample every now and then, because if you’re constantly running them close to redline, rod bearings become a maintenance item. It’s kind of pricey, about $2000 at your friendly neighborhood shop. As a data point, I bought my car with 75k on it and had the rod bearings done at 147k. Tin had been high for several owil changes, but there were still no signs of copper in the oil. The bearings were not too badly worn when they came out, but it was definitely getting to be time to have them done. We can talk more at autocross if you want.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Bill Richter.
    Nigel Mott

    Hi Chris
    Manual or SMG? There seems to be a lot of posts around SMG and most of them are of the unhappy kind.

    Chris Fountain

    Bill. Thanks for the input. He’s definitely not an Autocross/ HPDE guy (yet!) so not sure how much of a concern this will be but will definitely pass your info on.

    Nigel – not sure if he has a preference on the transmission. Right now he’s just looking for things to avoid or be aware of if there are any. Definitely will note the SMG concern to him.

    Thanks bill and Nigel

    Anyone else have sometime to chime in on?? It’s a chance to help recruit yet another person to the ways of the BMW world.

    Eric Ries

    Hey Chris, I’m selling my M3. https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/d/2004-bmw-m3-carbon-black/6555778892.html

    I just put it up so I know the price is a bit high, willing to work with him on it 🙂

    Jack Yu

    My repairs over the last two years (keep in mind my car has about 150,000 miles)
    -Sub-frame reinforcement (kit installed by TC Design) $1-1.5k I forget
    -Front Sway bar bracket (broken, re-welded by TC Design) $300
    -Brake Lines replaced
    -SMG Pump replaced ($4k part, $1k labor)
    -Rod Bearings replaced ($2k)
    -Clutch replaced $1k ??
    -VANOS line rupture (major oil leak)

    Other cheaper/minor repairs over the previous 5 years:
    -Door lock actuators (pain in the ass)
    -VANOS selenoid
    -Ignition coils
    -Every single bulb, multiple times
    -New batteries
    -Brakes/Rotors (expensive compared to non-M) Over $600 in parts for the FRONT only.
    -CPU fan (dreaded crickets noise)
    -Rear view mirror (liquid drains out)
    -C-pillar interior trim (re-attached with glue spray)

    Needless to say, I’m driving this thing into the ground.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by Jack Yu.
    Chris Fountain

    Jack – Thanks for the info. Was the SMG or rear Sub-frame work to fix a failure or were they done as prevention?

    Eric – Thanks. I saw the post about yours in FB but my friend bought something right before you posted. I definitely would have encouraged him to contact you otherwise.

    Jack Yu

    Both repairs. SMG locked up, wouldn’t shift into any gear.
    Sub-frame had minor cracks so it was welded and reinforced with plates.

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