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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 08-28-2012, 10:37 PM   #1
johnny717
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Should I switch to e46 M3?

First time posting but I have a feeling i'll be on this site a little more often. If you guys had a mint '05 (76k miles) ZHP would you guys sell it and get a 100k mile '01-'04 M3? My friends have been telling me to just keep the ZHP and boost but I have always wanted an e46 M3 but I'm a little concerned about getting one with 100k miles. Other than routine maintenance and the rod bearing "service call", is there anything else I should be worried about? I know buying a used car there are risks but i'd rather not be at the shop once a month especially considering my car now is perfectly fine. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks.

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Old 08-28-2012, 10:45 PM   #2
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If I was you I would just keep it. Because you already know how you car is running and what you've done to it

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Old 08-28-2012, 10:45 PM   #3
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An M3 is no doubt a better car then a non-m, I previously had a 330ci and went to the M3 and love every second of it. If it were me in your shoes I would certainly go to the M3 so long as everything was in order. You can find M3's with 100k+ on them that are in near perfect condition. Trust me when I tell you that you will not regret the switch. Once you drive an M3 and really see what it can do you will realize no boosted non-m will even compare.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:48 PM   #4
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Drive an M3, you will know immediately what you must do...
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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When I first started my car search I was looking for a zhp. Then I thought I would test drive an m3 for the hell of it. And I am now a proud owner of an m3.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:11 PM   #6
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Read.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=189390

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=190111
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:09 AM   #7
EverydayGetaway
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You have a coupe... so, yes.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:20 AM   #8
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if you can afford it i would switch.... but make sure you have it looked over, Also get a month unlimited of Autocheck or carfax... carfax you can do unlimited but its only unlimtted by entering a plate, which if your looking private party thats good.. otherwise you only get 5 Vin checks on carfax... autocheck is unlimited vins
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:20 AM   #9
Fern2899
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I just got out of a mint zhp, with 60k and hopped into an m3 with 90k and what a effin difference!!! I will always remember the good times I had with my zhp since I did put 95% of the miles on it in 5 years, but I'm completely happy with my decision.. There are things that you will need to get used to though... If you like a quiet car than stay in the zhp... The m3 is just loud, obnoxious, and just an out right animal... I say go for it..
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:00 AM   #10
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Keep in mind that parts are twice as much for an m3. That's just the cold hard truth.
Look up part numbers that will need replacing at some point such as a radiator. Twice as much.

If that's not a factor for you go for it. If you can't afford a random $2000 thing breaking, don't.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
Keep in mind that parts are twice as much for an m3. That's just the cold hard truth.
Look up part numbers that will need replacing at some point such as a radiator. Twice as much.

If that's not a factor for you go for it. If you can't afford a random $2000 thing breaking, don't.
Mhmm, not everything is more expensive. But many things are.

Water pump is $500.
VANOS is $1300 for a rebuilt unit
Wear items are bigger and more expensive
Requires regular valve adjustments
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:12 AM   #12
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M3 for sure if you can afford the costs!
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:06 AM   #13
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Is the water pump seriously $500? Crap
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:10 AM   #14
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E46 m3 is not for anyone who doesn't make $60,000 a year.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:18 AM   #15
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Is the water pump seriously $500? Crap
For the BMW branded one, yeah. There are other options in the $300 range though.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:19 AM   #16
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if you can afford it yea.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #17
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Lol I know if I test drive the M3 I will definitley want it even more than I do now. I guess my real concern is how often does the infamous $2000 repairs pop up? As far as brakes, oil and tires I can understand the M3 is twice as much with that maintenance and thats fine. How often are these "inspections/valve adjustments"? The whole sub-frame issue worries me but I will definitly be getting the PPI done when I get serious on a particular M3 so I should have an idea about where that stands. All in all i need the M3 to last at least 20-25k miles for the next 5 years til i can get another car for daily use since its the wifes turn to finance her Tribecca next summer.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #18
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E46 m3 is not for anyone who doesn't make $60,000 a year.
Shut the fvck up.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:36 AM   #19
fiveightandten
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Lol I know if I test drive the M3 I will definitley want it even more than I do now. I guess my real concern is how often does the infamous $2000 repairs pop up? As far as brakes, oil and tires I can understand the M3 is twice as much with that maintenance and thats fine. How often are these "inspections/valve adjustments"? The whole sub-frame issue worries me but I will definitly be getting the PPI done when I get serious on a particular M3 so I should have an idea about where that stands. All in all i need the M3 to last at least 20-25k miles for the next 5 years til i can get another car for daily use since its the wifes turn to finance her Tribecca next summer.
BMW recommends valve adjustments on the S54 every 30,000 miles. Noone can tell you definitively how often the car will break. That's on a case to case basis and completely dependent on how the car has been driven and maintained. If you're familiar with the rod bearing recall, VANOS issues, subframe issue, valve adjustments, and SMG problems, you can use that info to make an informed decision when buying one.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:39 PM   #20
johnny717
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BMW recommends valve adjustments on the S54 every 30,000 miles. Noone can tell you definitively how often the car will break. That's on a case to case basis and completely dependent on how the car has been driven and maintained. If you're familiar with the rod bearing recall, VANOS issues, subframe issue, valve adjustments, and SMG problems, you can use that info to make an informed decision when buying one.
I've seen a lot of M3's for sale that have done the inspection 2 at 90k miles so I'm guessing every 45k miles in between valve adjustments is ok. Totally agree about every car is different but some cars have very similar problems so I guess i'm just wondering if anyone has had any horror stories with high mileaged e46 M3's other than the few known issues. Overall from what I have read in the forums it seems like the e46 M3 is very reliable no matter what year but just costly at times for routine maintenance and thats expected for any car that is about a decade old, especially one thats a street legal track car. The wife thinks i'm crazy for wanting to get rid of my perfectly fine car for someone else's problem especially if that car is older and has more miles. As far as that SMG trans problem I want no parts of SMG...manual trans all day.
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