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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 04-15-2017, 09:59 AM   #1
E46M3S54
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Who here daily drives an e46 m3? Reliability?

Just wanting to get sum feed back on how reliable and how good of a dd is the m3? Please share your experience
Thanks
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:02 AM   #2
crreeacee
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I love my m3 daily driver, I have an 04 convertible 6speed and I love it as a daily driver, and I live in NYCwith shitty roads and I still love it. I have not had any major problems due to daily driving, only regular maintenance like vanos, fuel pump, spark plugs and things along those lines, I plan to get a daily though, not because I don't enjoy it as a daily driver it's just that sometimes I feel I drive it TOO much


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Old 04-15-2017, 11:51 AM   #3
Alan
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It is reliable DD if:

1. You stay ahead of maintenance. Its not a Honda where you wait for something to break. This car needs to be inspected and proactively maintained.
2. You deal with the car's classic weaknesses (VANOS, subframe mounts, SMG pump).
3. Don't plan to cheap-out with discount oil, brakes, tires and gas. Those cost and the costs keep coming. Plan for it.
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:06 PM   #4
Hisdem
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I've dailied my M3 vert for the best part of the past three years. Has it cost me a lot (A LOT) of money? Yes. But a large portion of that was due to my mechanical ineptitude and overall lack of knowledge in the first year of ownership or so.

Nevertheless, despite all the issues I've had to address in the car (which, besides a broken sensor here and there, have been regular worn-out components), it has NEVER let me down. I've put a bit over 30,000 miles on it since I bought it, and it has not once failed to start, not once left me stranded or anything of the sort. Which, to me, means everything.

I'll second what others said. It is a reliable DD if you keep up with maintenance and regularly cover your bases. However, it is not a cheap daily. Parts wear out quicker than in a typical car, and they cost more to repair or replace. Regular wear and tear items like tires won't last you more than 15,000 miles (rears) and cost around double what they would on a regular car (if you go for good rubber). Plan for it.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:07 PM   #5
II KiiNGsLY II
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I have daily driven my M3 for two years, averaging 10K miles a year. It has been reliable, had to replace a fuel pump only for repair. The rest is maintenance, preventative maintenance, or mods. The forums are your friend.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback guys !!
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:08 AM   #7
nice95gle
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I daily my car which makes for a fun commute. Although it has been relatively trouble free. I've had my share of issues. Mainly the alternator and the fuel pump.
In and of itself it's not a big deal. But when your fuel pump decide to die as you're at the drive up ATM with a line of cars behind you. It becomes a big deal.
Maybe there were warning signs that I did not notice. But it sucks having to push your shining BMW out of the way so others can get their cash.
But other than those 2 things I mentioned. Is been a good car.
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:11 AM   #8
Hobohunter
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I don't daily mine anymore, I commute 110 miles a day through some gnarly traffic. My first one, an 02 SMG which I had for about three years only ever needed RTABs and ignition coils replaced aside from normal stuff like brake pads and oil changes. My current one, an 01 convertible has had a ton of stuff wear out and need to be replaced, as well as some questionable parts put in by previous owners. I've had to put well over 10k into this one to get it to where it's at now, and all it needs are some cosmetic things. These cars are quite reliable if you're willing to keep up with what it needs.
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:34 PM   #9
jealeman
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I drive mine about 33 miles round trip a day in Los Angeles traffic, putting about 10,000/year on my 06 ZCP. I do plan on adding another car, most likely a Toyota Tacoma XRunner as my DD once I pay off my kid's student loans. As others have said, it's a good DD if you stay on top of the maintenance and don't go cheap on parts. Remember, you get what you pay for...

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Old 04-24-2017, 04:04 PM   #10
BunnySlope
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+1 to every comment about maintenance. 2001 6-speed vert and has been my daily driver since purchase in 07. Except for one off surprises like clutch, it's been fairly flawless.
My one piece of advice in addition to the maintenance is get yourself a spare rim and mount a good tire to it. Yes, you'll lose trunk space, but that's not why you bought a vert.
Better yet, buy two spare fronts and two spare rears. Square off the car for summer and winter and you can rotate the tires. As others have said, you will eat through rears otherwise.


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Old 04-24-2017, 07:15 PM   #11
30seconds
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daily driver since 2006, I've put 110,000 miles on it since then, about 132,000 miles total. SMG + vert. Two alternators, RTABs, a couple of salmon relays, ignition coil, fuel pump, just did the subframe + rear shocks, new stereo (and that just went kaput), rear view mirror, brakes and tires. Plus all scheduled maintenance and additional oil changes at 7,500 miles between service intervals.

Last edited by 30seconds; 04-24-2017 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:10 PM   #12
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Daily driver for the last five years . Car has done 130000 km which 85,000 km has been me.Gets dealer servicing. Out side of standard servicing I've had mirror glass replaced, power steering pipe , rotors (expensive) and salmon relay.

Only mods to car is stereo argumentation and ski hatch retrofit and and SMG software update.

Last edited by nealfromnz; 04-24-2017 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:34 PM   #13
Incog45
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I have daily driven my M3 for four years. Went from 75k miles to 145k miles right now.

I daily it around 45 miles a day to and from work, countless single day road trips, a solo 2200 mile road trip, I drive the car for hours randomly for no reason other than to drive it. I have driven it in torrential downpour rain, snow, hale, 100+ Fahrenheit degree to zero Fahrenheit degree temps.

I have done the vanos rattle kit, thermostat, and new coil packs. No repairs have been needed for two years. I am going to do the rod bearings and valve adjustment this summer. I ran into my problems when I babied the car but I redline it daily, multiple times and car has never ran better for the past two years. I have coilovers, wheels, aftermarket headers, had an unresonated section 2 and a handful of different section 3's throughout the past four years.

I love daily driving it and driving it in general.

I should point out that I am SMG, car came with poly RTABS/FCABS and HPF subframe kit. I have been told that my SMG pump is not the OEM one, one person thought that it may be from an M5? I have no idea and have not investigated it at all because I dont really care to be honest because it works great, but could be worth mentioning.

Last edited by Incog45; 04-24-2017 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:26 PM   #14
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Daily drive mine since 2004, preventative maintenance is the key. I did have broken exhaust hub tab. Replaced rod bearing last winter, I am expecting another 100K miles out of her!
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:02 PM   #15
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I store mine when the roads are salted but drive it a few times/week to work, etc when the weather is nice. No issues. They're great cars that were meant to be driven.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:39 PM   #16
danwilz
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Daily my 2002 M3 vert everyday on NYC roads only one time in 5 years of ownership did I have to get towed, due to s broken spring on my flywheel pressure plate which kept me from being able to put it into gear.
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Old 05-04-2017, 05:58 AM   #17
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I thought I could DD my M3 vert (manual)... Stop and go traffic made it suck too much to constantly shift, so I never ended up selling the E39 that was to be replaced.
Best decision ever - the E39 is taking the beating that my awesome M3 would've otherwise.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:33 AM   #18
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I've been DDing an e46 m3 for 15 years now. Currently my DD cycle is ~100 miles/week day.

You MUST lock down the vanos and the subframe mounts when you buy the car. Failure to do so can result in a bill larger than the price of the car, and locking them down is cheap. After that, it's extremely reasonable if you stay ahead of the (well documented, predictable) failure modes.

My M3s cost ~half as much per mile as my M5. I actually think the M3 is an easier platform to pile miles onto than the non M e46s-- cooling system lasts longer, less oil leak areas, easier to work on (:cough: M54 intake manifold removal :cough, none of them suffer from all wheel drive issue or torque converter issues.
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:11 PM   #19
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What about the rod bearings? I plan to get a z4m unless the bearings have still not been sorted out.
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:17 PM   #20
danwilz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnySlope View Post
+1 to every comment about maintenance. 2001 6-speed vert and has been my daily driver since purchase in 07. Except for one off surprises like clutch, it's been fairly flawless.
My one piece of advice in addition to the maintenance is get yourself a spare rim and mount a good tire to it. Yes, you'll lose trunk space, but that's not why you bought a vert.
Better yet, buy two spare fronts and two spare rears. Square off the car for summer and winter and you can rotate the tires. As others have said, you will eat through rears otherwise.


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If your eating up tears you have a problem, unless your drifting! Check your RTAB's
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