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Old 09-27-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
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Thoughts on E46 M3?

I am planning to get my first car in the near future and plan on purchasing an 04'-06' E46 M3. Does anyone have any experience with the car they could share? Pros/Cons?

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:48 PM   #2
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too much power for a barely noob
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:52 PM   #3
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Pros
Fun to drive
Make sure u get 6mt coupe, no cab, no smg pls.
Cons
Insurance
Maintenance
Fuel consumption
All cost a lot.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:59 PM   #4
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wow man, i would rather get a older used car and use it as a learning experience.. bmw m3 as first car
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:06 PM   #6
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E46 M3 is one of my all time favorite cars. SMG transmission on this model is notorious for problems, go with the manual..its more fun anyways. Insurance and maintenance are expensive, but fucking great all around car.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:13 PM   #7
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HAS NO LICENSE

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Old 09-27-2011, 05:19 PM   #8
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Buy a Volvo, I hear they're safe and fast.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX1988 View Post
Pros
Fun to drive
Make sure u get 6mt coupe, no cab, no smg pls.
Cons
Insurance
Maintenance
Fuel consumption
All cost a lot.
Wait why no cab? I like it a lot more lol.


What kind of problems occur with the SMG?
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:46 PM   #10
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I also vote for the 6 Speed, Coupe. Someone i know has one, extremely fun even to just ride in.

Its my dream "slightly affordable" car.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:47 PM   #11
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SMG hydraulic pumps seem to fail, but often times its just a relay that needs to be replaced. Mine was SMG and was perfectly fine for the 3 years I owned it. Watch out for problems once the car hits 100K km's. Try to get as low mileage as you can.

Common problems are rear subframe crack (on coupes), rear trailing arm bushings, alternator dying at around 100K km. It's a super fun car to drive. Just be prepared to pay for the maintenance. Requires special oil (Castrol 10W60) which is more expensive than most. You can get 400KM to a tank with moderate driving.

To date my favorite car I've owned (even after owning E92).
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:50 PM   #12
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^ The one I'm looking at says "brand new SMG transmission" is this good or bad?
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:32 PM   #13
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go for the manual, but they are hard to find.

there will always be some regular maintenance items you will need to take care of.

being as its a bmw, some can be pricey, so factor that in when purchasing the vehicle, cost of maintenance.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #14
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Dude, don't get an M3 as your first car. You don't know much about the M3 to begin with.
In addition, you lack the general experience when it comes to maintaining cars due to your age.
I can tell you that I've learned a lot since owning my first car. From oil changes to lowering a car myself.

Honestly, you should get a cheaper, more reliable, car.
Get experience from driving and repairing that. When you get older, you can get something more fun to drive.

Edit: Unless you're ballin' rich, then you don't need to know anything. Just pay a shop/stealership and have them fix the issues for u =D
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #15
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E46 M3 is one of my all time favorite cars. SMG transmission on this model is notorious for problems, go with the manual..its more fun anyways. Insurance and maintenance are expensive, but fucking great all around car.
is that SMG in general or that specific SMG on the m3?
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:23 PM   #16
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Dude, don't get an M3 as your first car. You don't know much about the M3 to begin with.
In addition, you lack the general experience when it comes to maintaining cars due to your age.
I can tell you that I've learned a lot since owning my first car. From oil changes to lowering a car myself.

Honestly, you should get a cheaper, more reliable, car.
Get experience from driving and repairing that. When you get older, you can get something more fun to drive.

Edit: Unless you're ballin' rich, then you don't need to know anything. Just pay a shop/stealership and have them fix the issues for u =D
Thanks for the heads up and yeah money's not really the problem. I have an abnormal obsession with cars so I will learn and have taken automotive tech classes in high school. I will definitely look into other options though.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:33 PM   #17
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is that SMG in general or that specific SMG on the m3?
There have only been 3 generations of SMG. None of them have been amazingly reliable. In concept it's pretty simple though, just a computer controlled hydraulic pump connected to a standard 6speed transmission.

If the past owner of the vehicle didnt' know how to drive SMG and drove it like a regular auto (ie. holding the car on a hill with the gas instead of brake), then things like the clutch will wear out faster and abnormally.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:52 PM   #18
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i used to drive a manual phoenix yellow m3 with lime yellow interior

i give thumbs up to this car. Maintenance is not that expensive, only Inspection II is slightly noticeable. Oh and m cars (not sure other bmw's) rotors and brake pads gotta be changed together.

Also engine oil only takes in 10W60 synthetic oil. I had to refill mine every month (~$20 each time).

All forms of SMG sucks, even on the M5, just like the R-Tronic of R8. All shifts hella slow and laggy.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:58 PM   #19
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I dunno what car you were driving, but SMG is super fast. I'd like to see anyone shift as fast with a manual tranny as SMG does at redline. It's a very violent shift but its fast!
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:12 PM   #20
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i have a 02 e46 m3
only thing i regret is getting smg instead of manual
but i got an amazing deal on it so i guess it works out
maintenance isn't that expensive (mine is 100% stock besides iforged wheels)
you can do most of the things yourself
insurance isn't that bad if you have discount

don't worry about getting used to driving it
it's amazingly simple and has the perfect amount of power
when you're ready, take off traction control
and have a shitload of fun
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:40 PM   #21
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You were about to make a left turn right into an incoming car during your test. Your examiner's not going to be there when someone plows through your M3. Get a safe, reliable car and drive around for a couple years so you don't destroy the car you love. And I would get a manual transmission, keeps you aware.

Otherwise I love that thing and would buy one if I had the money over all others in it's class.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
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You were about to make a left turn right into an incoming car during your test. Your examiner's not going to be there when someone plows through your M3. Get a safe, reliable car and drive around for a couple years so you don't destroy the car you love. And I would get a manual transmission, keeps you aware.

Otherwise I love that thing and would buy one if I had the money over all others in it's class.
so you're saying that an m3 is not SAFE, RELIABLE CAR ? the car he gets has very little to do with how HE drives, im pretty sure an m3 is SAFE and a REALIABLE car
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:46 PM   #23
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Get a manual transmission M3. Try to find one that has the cooling system replaced, brakes, suspension (tie rods, ball joints, control arm bushings, etc.) and has overall been maintained. Before you run out to the bank to take out all your pretty pennies, take the car in to a reputable BMW/European repair shop for a thorough pre-purchase inspection - you won't regret it.

Oh, my E36 M3 is for sale.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:46 PM   #24
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I learn't my lesson that day and have been triple checking my turns and only proceeding when I am sure it is safe. To be fair though it was the first time I drove in fog/heavy rain.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:48 PM   #25
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Can you drive a manual? If not practice on a beater before getting an M3 lol.
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