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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 12-06-2012, 07:35 PM   #1
Slow3
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4
My Ride: 3
Need some Purchasing Advice

Hello E46 Fanatics!
I'm contemplating on a used E46 M3 /or new car.

I would really like an E46 M3, but I believe i'm a bit blinded by the beauty of this beast.

I'm currently 22 years old, in close completion of college, and have gradually saved earnings over the years. I'm ready to reward myself, and hopefully stay happy with a vehicle during the beginning of my career.

I'd prefer you fellow Fanatics to respond in detail, so not only I, but the rest of the viewers to have a better understanding.(If they are also in this dilemma)
Furthermore; i'd rather not have responses like: 'I like my E46 M3, get one too."(You get the idea, time is money, and nobody wants to waste time.)

Questions:
1. What are the main issues/reasons that you encounter in your E46 M3?(SMG, recalls, etc. please be specific)

2. Whats the biggest issue?(One)

3. Is it worth buying an E46 M3, knowing of all the issues stated?

4. What would be the deadline mileage? How long do these cars last?(If engine is ritually maintained).

5. BMW E46 M3 or a more costly BMW 335i?

Last edited by Slow3; 12-06-2012 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #2
WDE46
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Location: Virgo Supercluster
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I am 23 and just graduated college in May. I managed to get a pretty good job. I am going to give you more life advice than anything about the car. Don't get offended by my questions as these are some things I wish I had asked myself. I just feel that I can relate to your situation since I did the exact same thing with my E46.

How much do you have? Do you own all the little things that are required to live on your own? There are so many things I had to buy for my apartment since I had always lived with roommates who provided some things. I spent a lot more money on that than I thought I would. Can you afford to do this AND pay for the maintenance that is 100% guaranteed needed. You are going to blow well over $1500 in maintenance in the first 6 months to a year (especially for an M3). Do you have student loans? I was lucky enough to not be in any debt upon graduating. Do you have a job lined up? What kind of benefits are you getting? Health insurance is outrageously expensive. Have you considered insurance costs? You are going to pay over $150/mo on an M3 as a 22 year old. If your car dies can you afford to have it repaired so you can make it to your job? If you don't keep up on maintenance something WILL fail and you'll have to take it to a mechanic unless you have a car you can use until you repair it. Did you know a M3 water pump is almost $500 (as compared to $60 for a non-M)? The engine needs valve lifter adjustments every 60K miles that need professional attention.

Basically, just make sure you've got yourself setup and comfortable before you get your car. I continued to drive my Jeep Grand Cherokee for 4 months after I graduated and 3 months after I started my job. It took that long to get everything else situated and find the right car. I still think I should have waited longer.

Anyway, I hope you still want the car after reading this. Do everything you can to convince yourself you don't need it or want it. If you still want it and you can afford it, go ahead.

I also need to add that you should keep active on these forums for a few months before you buy. I read a ton before I bought and then realized I still didn't know **** about the car (and I'm a knowledgeable car guy). You can learn a TON about your car, it's costs, and how it performs by reading tons of DIY guides and reading the General forums and seeing what problems happen often.

Last edited by WDE46; 12-06-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:59 PM   #3
Slow3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
I am 23 and just graduated college in May. I managed to get a pretty good job. I am going to give you more life advice than anything about the car. Don't get offended by my questions as these are some things I wish I had asked myself. I just feel that I can relate to your situation since I did the exact same thing with my E46.

How much do you have? Do you own all the little things that are required to live on your own? There are so many things I had to buy for my apartment since I had always lived with roommates who provided some things. I spent a lot more money on that than I thought I would. Can you afford to do this AND pay for the maintenance that is 100% guaranteed needed. You are going to blow well over $1500 in maintenance in the first 6 months to a year (especially for an M3). Do you have student loans? I was lucky enough to not be in any debt upon graduating. Do you have a job lined up? What kind of benefits are you getting? Health insurance is outrageously expensive. Have you considered insurance costs? You are going to pay over $150/mo on an M3 as a 22 year old. If your car dies can you afford to have it repaired so you can make it to your job? If you don't keep up on maintenance something WILL fail and you'll have to take it to a mechanic unless you have a car you can use until you repair it. Did you know a M3 water pump is almost $500 (as compared to $60 for a non-M)? The engine needs valve lifter adjustments every 60K miles that need professional attention.

Basically, just make sure you've got yourself setup and comfortable before you get your car. I continued to drive my Jeep Grand Cherokee for 4 months after I graduated and 3 months after I started my job. It took that long to get everything else situated and find the right car. I still think I should have waited longer.

Anyway, I hope you still want the car after reading this. Do everything you can to convince yourself you don't need it or want it. If you still want it and you can afford it, go ahead.
Thank you for your input.
Honestly, now that you've awaken me; probably barely enough to get me a decently mileaged E46 M3.

What is the $1500 in maintenance, and why 6 months? Does the water pump fail often? How often are the maintenance services?

In other words; 335i> E46 M3?

^ Sorry for the selective reading.
I'd still like to educate myself more with this car, even if I decide not to buy it.


I'd still love to get responses from my previously stated questions. Thanks.

Last edited by Slow3; 12-06-2012 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow3 View Post
Thank you for your input.
Honestly, now that you've awaken me; probably barely enough to get me a decently mileaged E46 M3.

What is the $1500 in maintenance, and why 6 months? Does the water pump fail often? How often are the maintenance services?

In other words; 335i> E46 M3?


I'd still love to get responses from my previously stated questions. Thanks.
I'm glad I made you question your decision. Like I said, I want you to buy the car, but you do not want to be stuck with a car like an M3 and not have plenty of money to throw at it if you have to. I don't think the M3's have cooling system problems like the non-M, but I know they require a good bit of maintenance just like any other E46. I can't be too specific as I don't own an M3. The $1500 could be anything. It is a used performance car and has likely been run fairly hard, unless you get lucky. You may need to refresh the suspension, do some fluid changes (diff and transmission), replace a few engine parts, replace a fuel pump, anything really. And M3 parts are expensive.

I would not say that a 335i is going to be better to you than an M3. If your 335i is out of warranty and a turbo bearing blows up are you going to be able to afford the repair? It has an electric water pump, which I'm not sure is reliable or not. Either way, that is expensive. The 335i is also harder to DIY things on. I don't know much about E9x problems. They are nice cars, but they do require maintenance too.

If you think you can't afford the M3, then consider a E46 330i with the ZHP option. Pick up a cheaper one, then use the extra money to make it a perfect car. Any E46 coming from a non-mechanically inclined or non-picky owner is going to require basically the same work. I bought a E46 with 65K miles and I wish I had just bought one for 25% less with 100K miles because the engines last a long time. The manual tranny lasts a long time. Everything you would do for a 100K+ mile car needed to be done to my car minus only a couple things.

Anyway, that's just more to consider. You can never learn to much about this decision.

EDIT: Are you going to borrow money for this car? Do you have any credit established? With no credit, a person can expect to pay 20% APR on an auto loan. I got lucky and borrowed from a family member. I signed a legally binding contract with them, but I don't get credit for it. For that I got a secured credit card and I buy my gas with that.

Here's a thread for non-M E46 cars that will give you some perspective on what these cars need.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=923563

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...6&highlight=50

Don't be intimidated. Not every car needs every thing.

Last edited by WDE46; 12-06-2012 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
jskeets
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Canada
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+1


Quote:
Originally Posted by wde46 View Post
i am 23 and just graduated college in may. I managed to get a pretty good job. I am going to give you more life advice than anything about the car. Don't get offended by my questions as these are some things i wish i had asked myself. I just feel that i can relate to your situation since i did the exact same thing with my e46.

How much do you have? Do you own all the little things that are required to live on your own? There are so many things i had to buy for my apartment since i had always lived with roommates who provided some things. I spent a lot more money on that than i thought i would. Can you afford to do this and pay for the maintenance that is 100% guaranteed needed. You are going to blow well over $1500 in maintenance in the first 6 months to a year (especially for an m3). Do you have student loans? I was lucky enough to not be in any debt upon graduating. Do you have a job lined up? What kind of benefits are you getting? Health insurance is outrageously expensive. Have you considered insurance costs? You are going to pay over $150/mo on an m3 as a 22 year old. If your car dies can you afford to have it repaired so you can make it to your job? If you don't keep up on maintenance something will fail and you'll have to take it to a mechanic unless you have a car you can use until you repair it. Did you know a m3 water pump is almost $500 (as compared to $60 for a non-m)? The engine needs valve lifter adjustments every 60k miles that need professional attention.

Basically, just make sure you've got yourself setup and comfortable before you get your car. I continued to drive my jeep grand cherokee for 4 months after i graduated and 3 months after i started my job. It took that long to get everything else situated and find the right car. I still think i should have waited longer.

Anyway, i hope you still want the car after reading this. Do everything you can to convince yourself you don't need it or want it. If you still want it and you can afford it, go ahead.

I also need to add that you should keep active on these forums for a few months before you buy. I read a ton before i bought and then realized i still didn't know **** about the car (and i'm a knowledgeable car guy). You can learn a ton about your car, it's costs, and how it performs by reading tons of diy guides and reading the general forums and seeing what problems happen often.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:33 PM   #6
choxor
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Search. Seriously. The E46 M3 has been out for 11 years. What you're asking: maintenance costs and common problems are VERY well documented.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:35 PM   #7
MercForHire
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Waterloo,Ontario
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My Ride: 323Ci 5 Speed Black
Can turn wrench? Buy M3
Can't turn wrench? Buy Honda

age has nothing to do with it
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:46 PM   #8
Slow3
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
I'm glad I made you question your decision. Like I said, I want you to buy the car, but you do not want to be stuck with a car like an M3 and not have plenty of money to throw at it if you have to. I don't think the M3's have cooling system problems like the non-M, but I know they require a good bit of maintenance just like any other E46. I can't be too specific as I don't own an M3. The $1500 could be anything. It is a used performance car and has likely been run fairly hard, unless you get lucky. You may need to refresh the suspension, do some fluid changes (diff and transmission), replace a few engine parts, replace a fuel pump, anything really. And M3 parts are expensive.

I would not say that a 335i is going to be better to you than an M3. If your 335i is out of warranty and a turbo bearing blows up are you going to be able to afford the repair? It has an electric water pump, which I'm not sure is reliable or not. Either way, that is expensive. The 335i is also harder to DIY things on. I don't know much about E9x problems. They are nice cars, but they do require maintenance too.

If you think you can't afford the M3, then consider a E46 330i with the ZHP option. Pick up a cheaper one, then use the extra money to make it a perfect car. Any E46 coming from a non-mechanically inclined or non-picky owner is going to require basically the same work. I bought a E46 with 65K miles and I wish I had just bought one for 25% less with 100K miles because the engines last a long time. The manual tranny lasts a long time. Everything you would do for a 100K+ mile car needed to be done to my car minus only a couple things.

Anyway, that's just more to consider. You can never learn to much about this decision.

EDIT: Are you going to borrow money for this car? Do you have any credit established? With no credit, a person can expect to pay 20% APR on an auto loan. I got lucky and borrowed from a family member. I signed a legally binding contract with them, but I don't get credit for it. For that I got a secured credit card and I buy my gas with that.

Here's a thread for non-M E46 cars that will give you some perspective on what these cars need.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=923563

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...6&highlight=50

Don't be intimidated. Not every car needs every thing.
I'd like to believe I have decent credit. I don't owe money to anyone, or anything.
I hope I do not have to borrow. But financing wouldn't be a problem, I can make money quickly.

Thank you for your time and patience WDE46.

Oh and MercForHire... with those words, it seems you might know a thing or two...

Although, I believe you're completely ignorant

Last edited by Slow3; 12-07-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow3 View Post
I'd like to believe I have decent credit. I don't owe money to anyone, or anything.
I hope I do not have to borrow. But financing wouldn't be a problem, I can make money quickly.

Thank you for your time and patience WDE46.

Oh and MercForHire... with those words, it seems you might know a thing or two...

Although, I believe you're completely ignorant
If you have never borrowed money or had a credit card, then you will have NO credit. You can have bad credit, good credit, or no credit. If you want to get the car soon, then you could finance and put down a good chunk. You don't want to be upside down on a loan. If you get a job, you can just pay the monthly payment until you've got all your other things sorted out, then you can put down another chunk to pay it off.

MercForHire is a 50% troll. What he said is somewhat true, but not totally.
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