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RE: PH buying guide: BMW M3 (E46)

RE: PH buying guide: BMW M3 (E46)

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Discussion

fushion julz

512 posts

96 months

Wednesday 18th July 2012
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St John Smythe said:
They were quite unloved at one point it's true. Guy I know bought a nice one few years back for about 4k. It's now worth 15k. Who'd of thought it?
Do you know me?

Bought mine in 05 for a smidge under £4k...it was totally standard at the time. It has a few (reversible) mods now, and is probably worth £12.5K+

WEHGuy

1,335 posts

96 months

Wednesday 18th July 2012
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MikeM3Power said:
Patrick Bateman said:
CLK500 isn't a comparison, CLK55 would be the one.
Really?
I thought the CLK55 amg would be compared with the M3 CSL.

Thanks!
I would have thought the CLK Black is comparable with the CSL? The CLK 500 isn't even an AMG.

Cheib

13,423 posts

98 months

Wednesday 18th July 2012
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MikeM3Power said:
How does the M3 compare to say the other brands equal cars:

Like
S4 cabrio
CLK 500

I believe they are the only matches?
None of those are anywhere close comparable to an M3. When the E46 M3 hit the roads it was a significantly better car than anything else on offer.

It wasn't until Audi launched the B7 RS4 and Mercedes the C55 AMG (I think not very good on AMG's) that they had anything remotely comparable...those were maybe 2005 or 2006 ?

torres del paine

1,586 posts

144 months

Thursday 19th July 2012
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philis said:
Thought id balance out this thread with some E46 M3 ownership annoyances that rarely, if ever get mentioned on any enthusiasts websites for fear of being labeled a woofter.

6. If its wet, stay the hell away from the accelerator, will annoy the hell out of you on a long journey
Twaddle... why do people keep on saying this?

M3s are very planted and with decent rubber can be driven hard in the rain. I have done so many times.

And yes, you are a woofter smile



benny.c

2,791 posts

130 months

Thursday 19th July 2012
quotequote all
torres del paine said:
philis said:
Thought id balance out this thread with some E46 M3 ownership annoyances that rarely, if ever get mentioned on any enthusiasts websites for fear of being labeled a woofter.

6. If its wet, stay the hell away from the accelerator, will annoy the hell out of you on a long journey
Twaddle... why do people keep on saying this?

M3s are very planted and with decent rubber can be driven hard in the rain. I have done so many times.

And yes, you are a woofter smile
Must admit, I don't understand this one either. The M3 is absolutely fine in the wet unless you are a heavy footed oaf. It's no harder to drive in the wet than any other car I've driven.
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Patrick Bateman

9,353 posts

97 months

Friday 20th July 2012
quotequote all
Cheib said:
None of those are anywhere close comparable to an M3. When the E46 M3 hit the roads it was a significantly better car than anything else on offer.

It wasn't until Audi launched the B7 RS4 and Mercedes the C55 AMG (I think not very good on AMG's) that they had anything remotely comparable...those were maybe 2005 or 2006 ?
Of course an S4 is comparable, hell, Top Gear compared them and the S4 was faster round their track.

philis

415 posts

140 months

Friday 20th July 2012
quotequote all
benny.c said:
torres del paine said:
philis said:
Thought id balance out this thread with some E46 M3 ownership annoyances that rarely, if ever get mentioned on any enthusiasts websites for fear of being labeled a woofter.

6. If its wet, stay the hell away from the accelerator, will annoy the hell out of you on a long journey
Twaddle... why do people keep on saying this?

M3s are very planted and with decent rubber can be driven hard in the rain. I have done so many times.

And yes, you are a woofter smile
Must admit, I don't understand this one either. The M3 is absolutely fine in the wet unless you are a heavy footed oaf. It's no harder to drive in the wet than any other car I've driven.
Prolly just me not being comfortable with the whole rwd thing, having been brought up on FWD LSD + 4WD cars which could happily be driven on the limit in all conditions, Jumping into the M is a completely different experience.

MikeM3Power

249 posts

89 months

Wednesday 25th July 2012
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Hows the petrol?

I had an E36 evo convert and i was putting in about 70 per week

PJM3

3 posts

64 months

Thursday 26th July 2012
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I have had my M3 now for almost 10 years, brought it new in December 2002 so far the faults or recall have been:

Recall:
Big end shell replacement on early 2001 - 2003(some cars had the engine replaced).
SMG hydraulic sensor replaced.

Warranty:

warped front disc: both front disc and pads replaced.
Driver seat leather: re-upholstery seat.

Extended warranty:
Seized front brake caliper: new caliper and both front disc and pads replaced.
Rear coil spring snapped: replaced both springs
Rear coil spring snapped again (1 year later): replaced both springs.
Car went into limp mode: replaced potential sensor in butterfly value.
Rear parking sensor failed: replaced parking sensor.
Another rear parking sensor failed: replaced 2 parking sensors.
Engine coolant temperature high: replaced viscous fan coupling, air-con fan and fan motor.

My M3 has only done around 37,000 miles and has never used a drop of oil or had any issues with the rear subframe. It is my pride and joy and yes it has been driven hard on a few track days and have had a couple of launch controls starts. Overall it has been maintained by the same dealer I purchased it from since new and I have only paid for service costs, tyres and fuel. Will I replace it? only if I can get a car that is just as luxury and fast for the same price that rewards the driver.



gaz1234

5,233 posts

142 months

Saturday 28th July 2012
quotequote all
PJM3 said:
I have had my M3 now for almost 10 years, brought it new in December 2002 so far the faults or recall have been:

Recall:
Big end shell replacement on early 2001 - 2003(some cars had the engine replaced).
SMG hydraulic sensor replaced.

Warranty:

warped front disc: both front disc and pads replaced.
Driver seat leather: re-upholstery seat.

Extended warranty:
Seized front brake caliper: new caliper and both front disc and pads replaced.
Rear coil spring snapped: replaced both springs
Rear coil spring snapped again (1 year later): replaced both springs.
Car went into limp mode: replaced potential sensor in butterfly value.
Rear parking sensor failed: replaced parking sensor.
Another rear parking sensor failed: replaced 2 parking sensors.
Engine coolant temperature high: replaced viscous fan coupling, air-con fan and fan motor.

My M3 has only done around 37,000 miles and has never used a drop of oil or had any issues with the rear subframe. It is my pride and joy and yes it has been driven hard on a few track days and have had a couple of launch controls starts. Overall it has been maintained by the same dealer I purchased it from since new and I have only paid for service costs, tyres and fuel. Will I replace it? only if I can get a car that is just as luxury and fast for the same price that rewards the driver.

launch! ouch

garypotter

867 posts

73 months

Wednesday 5th December 2012
quotequote all
torres del paine said:
philis said:
Thought id balance out this thread with some E46 M3 ownership annoyances that rarely, if ever get mentioned on any enthusiasts websites for fear of being labeled a woofter.

6. If its wet, stay the hell away from the accelerator, will annoy the hell out of you on a long journey
Twaddle... why do people keep on saying this?

M3s are very planted and with decent rubber can be driven hard in the rain. I have done so many times.

And yes, you are a woofter smile
I have an E36 3.0 coupe man, with very cheap tyres on the back and NO traction control and I find I can drive it hard in the rain before it says enough.
Only lost it once badly in the dry on a roundabout in 2nd gear ended up looking back at the traffic with the wheels still spinning... oops

mcmikey43

26 posts

69 months

Monday 28th January 2013
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Just thought I'd share some info from a recent buyer after 8 months ownership.
Buying should be done with care, there is a lot of rubbish out there and I looked at 10 or so before making the leap. I never found a decent one at a dealer but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Prices are volatile but much below 8k is probably risky and mileage doesn't seem to be a problem.

There is a decision to be made between SMG and manual. I went for the SMG because it was something different, it's slow witted round town but when really giving it the beans it's fantastic, I don't regret the decision and just ignore those who complain I'm not a real driver. Beware though that the SMG can go wrong and it's a 3 figure fix though you can get a recon pump on for 850.

The big issue is the subframe crack. If it hasn't gone it will and if not attended to it will rip its floor off. The repair is 4000 but BMW will do the repair either for free or at a reduced rate. Mine has been done at Cooper Teesside and they didn't manage to get 100% paid by BMW leaving me with a 500 quid start point and they charge more than others for additional work so beware, who you go to is important. There is a list on M3 cutters forum tech pages of who to go to to get it free as well as discount for other work, I reckon I paid 1000 more than I needed to. BMW do not pay over 10 years and there is also a problem if it is modified at some dealers. Strengthening is done for less by some indys.

Good points about the car.
It's fantastic fun to drive and is brutally quick, if you hate tailgating reps when you are in slow moving traffic, dropping down a couple of gears when the traffic clears is so much fun. I use it as a daily driver commuting 60 miles a day and it's also good for that, it does 27 mpg, only 7 mpg less than a 2012 318i loan car I had from BMW when the floor was repaired. The seat is also much more comfortable than the one in the more modern machine. Others said lose the electric seats for weight but I must say I like the Adjustability and memory.

Things I hate
There is a sense you are waiting for something to go wrong, I open the car up quite often so I know that I'm stressing a10 year old car but up to now it seems able to take it. Not much else I have to say.

Final recommendation is to enrol on M3cutters forum and get involved, it's a great forum with knowledgable people and a surprisingly low level of bull****ers. It's been a big help for me. Apart from that dip your toes in, it is something really special for the price of a Dacia Sandero, no competition for me.

VinceFox

20,298 posts

95 months

Monday 28th January 2013
quotequote all
I must admit, i flipflop between wanting one and keeping my e36 evo instead, but recently i'm starting to err towards keeping the older car and just having the paint tidied and an insp 2 instead. The subframe thing is really making me have a big rethink on these which is a shame as i'm a big m3 fan.

mcmikey43

26 posts

69 months

Tuesday 29th January 2013
quotequote all
VinceFox said:
I must admit, i flipflop between wanting one and keeping my e36 evo instead, but recently i'm starting to err towards keeping the older car and just having the paint tidied and an insp 2 instead. The subframe thing is really making me have a big rethink on these which is a shame as i'm a big m3 fan.
I think the subframe issue has really become the main issue and I wouldn't advise anyone to buy one that hasn't been done already. If you do you are going to be looking at £1000 even if BMW pay the lot because of bush changes and doing the brake lines whilst it's apart. That said it is a magnificent piece of kit and I don't regret taking it on.

JuanGandini

952 posts

62 months

Wednesday 28th August 2013
quotequote all
A chap at work was leaving the office car park in one of these the other day and it got me thinking whether I should look around for a decent one (despite my c15k miles per year at the moment). Do these estimated running costs look right or way out of the realms of reality?

Detail Total Monthly
Purchase price £12,000.00 £-
Loan repayments £- £-
Tax £280.00 £23.33
Fuel £3,817.80* £318.15
Insurance £560.00 £46.67
Tyres £860.00 £71.67**
Servicing £1,000.00 £83.33
Warranty £1,000.00 £83.33
Total £19,517.80 £626.48


  • Based on 15k /year @ £1.4 per gallon, 25mpg ave
  • Set of four per 15k miles



Edited by JuanGandini on Wednesday 28th August 17:22

gaz1234

5,233 posts

142 months

Wednesday 28th August 2013
quotequote all
surely too much?

JuanGandini

952 posts

62 months

Wednesday 28th August 2013
quotequote all
Yep that's what I was thinking but I'm unsure on costs for warranty, maintenance and tyres if commuting 15k per year. Any ideas?

gaz1234

5,233 posts

142 months

Wednesday 28th August 2013
quotequote all
£400 i reckon

laingy

395 posts

164 months

Thursday 29th August 2013
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looks right based upon the analysis

James-18yd2

1 posts

5 months

Friday 3rd November
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I owned a CSL for a few years and the howl was totally intoxicating and meant toundrive it around in second gear most of the time!, but I have to say that it was never really exhilarating to drive. Running costs high- £13,000 over the 2 years but always well received by most people at petrol stations etc. Not seen as a snobby car.