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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 08-30-2012, 04:56 PM   #41
Riverbmr3
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E46 m3 is not for anyone who doesn't make $60,000 a year.
i earned double than this but im driving a slow 325i..
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:02 PM   #42
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No, BMW recommends that inspections are done when the service counter says it should be, which varies based on how the car is driven. My first inspection 2 came up at 44,000 miles and it (along with the inspection 1) were covered by BMW under free maintenance, as the car said it was time.
Thats crazy how that works. Looks like i will need to do that once in that 5 year span. Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:24 PM   #43
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so true



A properly maintained ///M by an enthusiast is not downgrading by any means I wouldn't put it like that...

It all depends on how well the ///M has been maintained....if it's been abused then by all means stay away but if it has been well maintained then there's nothing to worry about but you need to keep in mind that you are going into an ///M w/o factory or extended warranty so it is important to get a PPI done on the car and know what maintenance items you need to address ahead of you...

OP, take a look at M3Forum.net as well as the M3 section here in this forum to get more info before making the final decision. I would say that, if you can, keep the ZHP and get the ///M as your second car. Having both is awesome and there are times when you can just take the ///M out for a spin when you want the power and then take the ZHP as your daily driver...

The 135 is a nice car, fast and fun car to drive but still....not an ///M. Yes stock the 135 eats the ///M but that's because it's lighter and has FI. Slapping FI on the S54 and it will be a different story...
I would love to keep the ZHP and buy the M3 but I kinda need to sell the ZHP to afford the M3. Its all good though, in 5 years i'll get the 135i or 135is for cheap and then have the best of naturally aspirated and turbo inline 6. As far as affording the M3, the car will in no doubt be paid off with the sale of the ZHP and a little extra savings. I mean I hope I can find a decent non beat up e46 M3 with $17-18K by next summer. As far as maintaining the M3, I definitly dont have thousands in the bank awaiting M3 repairs but i will be ok if the random $2000 repair happens as long as its not every month.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:34 AM   #44
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"eats for breakfast" really? BMWs own published specs have the E46 M3 quicker than the 135i. Motor Trend and Car & Driver magazines 0-60 and 1/4 mile have the M3 quicker than the 135i. The Nurburgring Lap times have the E46 M3 lap quicker than the 135i. So I don't see how your 135i "eats M3s" when it's always behind it. At best it's close but not above and beyond it by any means.

It's no downgrade I agree, that's just silly. Unless one specifically picks to buy a beat-up example.
But sure there is something to be said about a newer model.

I'm not sure why you're agreeing with the 135i being faster. Never seen it published/posted that the stock 135i is quicker anywhere.
jb4 not denying the m3 isnt an amazing car obviously. just prob wouldnt seek one at 100k that's all. well maintained or not.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:39 AM   #45
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Take a well maintained bmw, trade it in for an unknown bmw with likely hidden issues, ignore your wife's advice, and come on the Internet to ask the guys what they think.

"But, honey, the e46fanatic guys think this would be a great move."

I'm smelling issues...sorry.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:21 AM   #46
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Take a well maintained bmw, trade it in for an unknown bmw with likely hidden issues, ignore your wife's advice, and come on the Internet to ask the guys what they think.

"But, honey, the e46fanatic guys think this would be a great move."

I'm smelling issues...sorry.
Lol, I wouldn't be going into the M3 totally blind. The PPI is definitly getting done and I'm also going to look for one who has the service records during that current owners time with it. She knows i've always wanted the e46 M3, considering I wont be financing a 10 year old car and I won't be piling up the miles it shouldn't be too rough. I think she might be really sad its not automatic. I may have to get the 135is in automatic so she can have a little fun.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:52 PM   #47
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I work on my own cars and can usually spot issues but i can tell you that there will almost always be hidden issues in a used car if you are ready for that and can afford it go ahead the m3 is a freaking awesome car
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:56 PM   #48
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Based on my experience, PPIs aren't 'all that much.' A lot of the stuff they can't inspect, per se, and honestly, a shop has an incentive and a bias to want you to buy the car...at least in many cases they do. You need a shop 'you' can trust...not one local to seller that maybe he recommends. A shop you know will want you to buy a car that they can fix! LOL

Also, sorry, but the enemy you know is safer than the one you don't know.

PPIs won't tell you how much oil is being burned, when you'll need a new cooling system, etc...there will be many unknowns from a PPI...even though almost every car is rebuildable, it's hard to say just how much work needs to be done to get it correct.

Also, hate to say, but test driving a new car, like M, you'll be blown away by the power and be hard pressed to be objective enough to notice other aspects of the car...coz you'll want it to be the one so bad. Just be careful and be objective...
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:58 PM   #49
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Personally I would keep the ZHP, because I find it more aesthetically pleasing. The M3 is nice, but only if you're coming from a 323ci, not a 330ci ZHP.


I personally would RATHER have the ZHP, but then I'm a person that likes power but am bigger with how much I like the car's looks. ZHP has plenty of power plus looks better, imo. And newer.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #50
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:30 PM   #51
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Personally I would keep the ZHP, because I find it more aesthetically pleasing. The M3 is nice, but only if you're coming from a 323ci, not a 330ci ZHP.
I personally would RATHER have the ZHP, but then I'm a person that likes power but am bigger with how much I like the car's looks. ZHP has plenty of power plus looks better, imo. And newer.
hmm...i previously had a 323Ci that with personal mods looked even better than the 330-zhp and i still went with the M3.
the M3 is much more than looks, the performance is so much better from the lower ratio 3.62 LSD to the 8,000 rpm rev limited oil-cooler cooled S54 individual throttle bodied engine. the chassis is re-inforced in many areas over the non-M coupe too (often over looked).

but to each their own. BMW made these models with a different market driver in mind. so one is a better fit than the other for each individual.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:56 PM   #52
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I don't understand sometimes why people get scared of high mileage vehicles, in this case the E46 M3. Yes it has higher mileage, & you may or may not spend more to keep it running in good shape. That is why you do your research before hand and buy a well maintained M3. I guess you can go ahead buy a 80K mile M3 and then sell it before it hits 100K if your that paranoid Don't worry these cars will last well over 150K if you take care of them, I'd be more concerned totaling the car from wanting to do spirited driving from it all the time before it fails on you

I'd rather buy a perfectly maintained ///M from an enthusiast like myself than a rich old man who didn't give a crap & put the car away wet
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:39 AM   #53
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ZHP has plenty of power plus looks better, imo. And newer.
Even with my swapped 3.46 diff I wish my ZHP had more power. I do enjoy that the ZHP cost less than an M3 to maintain, but if I could do it all over again I would save some more and get the M3.
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