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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 12-22-2015, 10:24 PM   #1
kaminski8101
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M3 problem

So I bought a 2002 m3 about 2 months ago with the help of my dad. Im 17, and did not quite have enough so he lent me some money and i now owe him in the ballpark of $5,000. He told me last week that he will not be helping me with any car repairs in 2016, so im kind of on my own here. About an hour ago I started to question my decision on buying this car. My brother was driving (I was teaching him stick) and he gave it some gas and a horrible grinding sound came from what sounded like right under the center counsel, I thought that my brother just didn't get it into gear all the way and let off the clutch. I told him to give it some gas when he was in first, and the same grinding sound occurred again, except worse. It progressively got worse as we headed back home to the point that we started pushing it. I dont know what the problem is, trans? Rear end? Clutch? Something else? It has always been clunky when getting on and off the gas, kind of like the whole drive terrain was loose. My question is if any one of you more experienced owners know what could possibly be the problem. Feel free to ask any questions about the car, im kind of between a rock and a hard place right now.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:48 AM   #2
euromamba23
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Why would you try to teach your brother stick on an M3 in the first place?
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:39 AM   #3
II KiiNGsLY II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromamba23 View Post
Why would you try to teach your brother stick on an M3 in the first place?
^^ True, not the proper learning vehicle! I learned on a Z3 2.8 L

Any way, idk much about this sound, but best case scenario is it might be a blown TO bearing. But, I don't think it would quite make that noise. Best way to tell is get into the car, turn it on, and keep it in NEUTRAL. SLOWLY depress the clutch pedal to the floor. If it starts grinding the further you press it, it's the TO bearing. I had to replace mine when I bought my car, literally started grinding on the drive home from the dealer.

Like I said idk much about the noise. You said it was coming from under the center console when you gave it gas. This leads me to think the issue is in the transmission or driveshaft. Does it make this noise if you are in any other gear except 1st? Have you tried starting from a stop while in 2nd? Does it make the noise when you're in neutral and press the gas?

Last bit of info, the M3 is not cheap to maintain. I would suggest looking around the forum for info and numbers if you haven't done so already. Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:49 PM   #4
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M3 is the only manual car we have. It does it in every gear. Looking around I think its the guibo/flex plate. If this is the problem, I will also need to replace the csb. Is the csb the same thing as the driveshaft carrier bearing?
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:08 PM   #5
II KiiNGsLY II
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The giubo is a plastic and rubber inertial dampener. I don't think it is the problem, unless it is completely shot and helping to cause the issue.

Does it grind while the car is in neutral and you hit the gas?

If it only happens when it is in gear and you are accelerating then it is transmission or drive shaft related. It could be the csb which is the driveshaft support bearing.

But I don't think it is solely the giubo.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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Given what you wrote - I think you will soon regret the day you bought this car. It is neither cheap to drive or to maintain. You have to maintain it regularly BEFORE things break. You can't cheap your way out with this car.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:57 PM   #7
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Car only grinds when in gear and under power. Ive read up on some other forums that the symptoms of a worn guibo include clunking noises that are worse as the car warms up, and a clunk and jerk when depressing the clutch (and letting off the gas when in gear). Ive had both of these symptoms since I bought it, but my dad seemed to think that this was normal. Are your M3's also very clunky? Someone later posted on the same thread saying that his guibo and CSB failed on his car which caused a bad vibration right under the cupholders especially under hard acceleration. I would describe my noise as more of bad grinding, but I think that its coming from the same spot (Right underneath the cupholders). My dad on the other hand thinks that its the rear end. Any guesses on what it could be would be appreciated, and also any questions you have regarding the symptoms are welcome.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:07 PM   #8
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Whenever I accelerate and get on the clutch quick like in traffic or a drive thru you can hear the transmission clunk a bit or when the clutch pops into gear to quick. This can sound bad if you are not used to it, but its just the change in power, obviously its not something that should happen every time. The only thing directly underneath the cup holders is the transmission.

I'm officially out of questions and insight. I think the last bit of information I can offer, unless another member provides some, is to put it on a lift and look/shake things around. Look at taking it to BMW or another Shop. Unfortunately BMW wont do it for free, usually. I had an engine diagnosis done and it was $130 an hour. It would probably be similar for you.

For future reference maintain the car and replace parts before things wear out or the projected life of a part is near. Every owner will say this. I fear your maintenance and repair costs will climb very soon. To help out, look at becoming a BMW CCA member for discounts on parts from the dealer and other companies. Also, look up the BMW PNPC tool and download it. It will save you hundreds in the long run! Here is the link: http://www.bmwpnpc.com

Best of luck with the issue. Be sure to post any updates and/or solutions for future reference!
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:06 PM   #9
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First mistake was buying a car you could not afford. Second mistake was buying a car you could not afford to maintain. I think your dad is teaching you something. Best of luck with the car and the lesson.
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Old 12-25-2015, 05:20 PM   #10
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That sucks. Owning a m3 without a steady source of income doesn't work out well. You always have to have a backup car or a bank account with funds to fix it when stuff happens like this. At least your brother did the right thing. The best way to learn stick is on someone else's car haha
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:53 PM   #11
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I think you guys can lay off him a bit. It's bad enough to buy any car and it break down as soon as you buy it. The fastest way to check to see if its the guibo is get under the car and look. Check with an inspection mirror to see if it's split and coming apart. Mine was in tatters when I took it apart. This CAN cause vibration but mine looked like hell and wasn't vibrating. They are about 99 bucks from places online but I suggest you get a genuine BMW part for balancing purposes. Find a buddy or someone that'll let you borrow a lift and change it yourself if you are mechanically inclined. There is a good DIY on this so just google it and it'll come up. Hope it comes out being that. However these guys are right. This car is expensive to maintain. I suggest you get a part time job to help support your great taste in cars.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:37 PM   #12
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Take it to a GOOD shop for a PPI. Even though you already purchased it. Get an idea of what it's going to take to bring that M3 back to life (probably a lot of money).
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:07 AM   #13
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Just gonna put my 2 cents in
Had a similar issue going but my car is an SMG (spare the comments). Ended up being that the guy who did my PPI was friends with the dude i bought the car off of and kinda shafted me. Transmission was shot and first time i floored it i started getting a terrible grinding noise. Thought it was the diff, but it would do it going straight also no matter the speed. Ended up needing a new tranny, clutch, and flywheel. Guibo was also ripped to shreds. Not sure which one of those fixed it, but i hope it's something small. Goodluck man
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:18 AM   #14
kaminski8101
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I got a PPI already and the shop said the car looked great. We also had the car in at a local shop my dad trusts in Chicago when the m3 was misfiring. Turned out a coil was fouled so we had all 6 replaced. When the car was in the shop they said it looked and drove great. I bought the car from Georgia and drove it a little over 700 miles back to Chicago. Its a very clean car, completely rust free. It has 79,000 miles on it. I did my research before buying it and so far two shops have looked at it and said it was one of the cleanest ones they have seen. My dad asked the mechanic who originally inspected the car in Georgia if he would let his own son buy the car, to which the mechanic said, "Absolutely". Ive been saving up for a car since I've been 12. My original plan was to buy a mustang, but considering the e46 was in my price range, and the fact that this car is arguably the most iconic M3 (right behind the e30 M3), so it should not depreciate much more. I love this car, but I do not have time to get a part time job. I am in all honors and AP courses at my school, and an athlete. The only chance I really get to work is over the summer. When I go away for college (currently a Jr in highschool) this car will not get driven much at all, and it will be stored every winter. Please dont tell me what it takes to properly maintain a bmw, I know, we have 4 now. I am not afraid to do work (that I am capable of) myself, I enjoy it. I didnt make a post on this forum to get told what it takes to maintain this car, I made the post so that people could put in their knowledge of this car and tell me what could possibly be wrong with it so I can check. The car is up on jack stands in my garage right now with the driveshaft ready to be dropped (heatsheilds and exhaust already out). I went to a local BMW dealer the other day and talked with a mechanic there about my symptoms, and without hesitation he told me its the guibo and center bearing. After inspecting the guibo myself, it does look to have some cracks and the CSB looks a little dry rotted. Already ordered replacement because even if this is not my problem, they defiantly still show age.
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:34 AM   #15
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Well said. IDK if you had an M in your family, but the cost of maintenance is higher by a larger magnitude than any E46, that is why it is commonly talked about with new owners. However, use those parts tools I posted earlier to save some. I hope the BMW Tech was right and your problem is solved! Good Luck.
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:37 AM   #16
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Making mistakes is an unfortunate way to learn great lessons.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:49 AM   #17
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Just to clarify does it grind the entire time will driving it? Or just every time you change gears and let out the clutch?
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:28 PM   #18
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Bad throw out bearing won't necessarily make a grinding noise. Bad TOB will vibrate when clutch is pushed in. You can check the guibo very easily. Just get under the car and look at it. If it is dry and flaking, it's bad. I would take it to a midas shop and get them to put it on a lift. My local midas shop will diagnose problems no charge assuming you will eventually pay them for repairs.

If you can't do that, jack the car up getting all 4 wheels off the ground. Put it in first gear and have someone under the car or a go pro or selfie stick. Hopefully that will give you some clues.

Good luck
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:41 PM   #19
kaminski8101
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It grinds when ever it is in gear, at first it only grinded when accelerating, but over the next couple of minutes it just got worse and grinded whenever in gear and pressing the gas. It grinded in 1st and 2nd, i did not try 3rd. I already inspected the car and the guibo and CSB do show wear. The shop I just had it at said the diff bushings were worn, but they were just replaced with AKG Poly 95A just 3k miles ago. What happens when a diff goes bad?
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:40 PM   #20
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So are we talking grinding like gravel between two metal surfaces or more of a heavy vibration that may sound like grinding at high frequencies? I video would be worth a lot. Sometimes people's descriptions of noises are different than others.
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