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M3 2006-SMG or NO?

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by hotwheels, Jul 17, 2009.

    • Member

    hotwheels

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    Aloha,

    I'm looking to purchase a 2006 M3. Should I avoid SMG? I'm new here and see alot of SMG issues...:confused:

    I am not too proud to ask if there is anything anyone feels I should know about the vehicle.:(

    It would be greatly appreciated.:)

    v/r

    Miguel

    M3Driver guest

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    I have 33k on mine and have never had an issue. I talked to my techs at the local BMW dealership before I got it and they said they saw less trouble with those than the manual. Also with 2006 being the last year of the e46 M3 most the early-SMG issues have been sorted out.

    I'd buy another one.....
    • Member

    EuroWerkz1

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    SMG V Manual

    I have seen many small issues with early 2002-2003 SMG's mostly related to software. The also have a slight tendency to freak-out at high operating temperatures during track duty. For the most part I haven't seen any expensive or serious problems any more frequently than a manually shifted 6 speed. As far as which is more desirable or which is a better choice for an M3, that is quite another debate that I haven't decided in my own head much less for this forum.

    Either way, enjoy!

    Skip guest

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    I've got 42 K on a 2002` M3 with SMG and have not had a problem. But then I don't track the car either as it's a ragtop. I like the SMG but primarily for an uncommon reason..... at 5' 6" tall, I really like being able to have the seat back beyond where I could if I needed to be clutching with my foot. For me, the manual transmission with an automatic clutch is the best of both worlds.

    pathfinderguy guest

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    LOVE my SMG vert, it's just a complete blast to drive...

    377253 guest

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    Hotwheels,

    Why don't you try both and use your own personal taste?

    For me, the SMG won the contest, no question asked. In the Sequential mode, the capability of lightning up-shift and down-shift rev matching are just beyond me "normal" driver can do consistently in a manual (I have been driving manual almost all my life). However, you won't be able to hot-rod burn the tires on take off as in a manual car; but for me burning tires is not something I do anyway. The SMW USA launch assist is mild, not that agressive as Euro version, not enough to burn the tires. In a sense, the USA launch kind of good protective in a way, and as a bonus, it is unlimited (the Euro has a counter, only allows like a dozen or so).

    Now, in automatic mode, which I hardly ever use, it worked OK... it is not as smooth as a true automatic (torque converter) one. It will help you get by in a trafic jam.

    As for reliability, so far, knock on wood, it has been bullet-proof for me...

    Hope my two-cent helps,
    2004 M3 Alpine White SMG
    • Member

    hotwheels

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    Good information. I'll take my time; I'd like to be satisfied. After all, I turn 47 today :rolleyes:

    thanx again,

    Mick

    KCP37 guest

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    I see a lot of guys with SMG online who wish they had a manual, but very few the other way around. I like my SMG, but had a brief problem with it after the emissions software update a few months ago. My Dinan software was erased which really changed the shifting charasteristics. It was later corrected, but I couldn't help but think this could have been avoided entirely if a had bought a manual.
    • Member

    hotwheels

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    so help a fellow M3 lover out...help me find one in blue hopefully.:rolleyes:

    mpauly guest

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    Drove an SMG for three days before deciding. Ended up flying fro IA to CO to buy a 6 speed manual. Much more engaging on thr track. Found the SMG to jerky in auto mode during city driving. I have to admit I am a manual transmition freak. Good luck either one will be a blast.

    benrosen3 guest

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    To SMG or Not To SMG

    I am going through the same thought process right now. The lease on my 2007 328XI coupe is up in 4 months and I will be buying an 06 E46 M3. I have driven a stick version and it was quite nice to say the least. I want to drive an SMG version before I make a decision on what to really go after. I am looking at different message boards and see many different comments, which I might add, have been quite positive on SMG. I love a stick, but if I can get out of using my left foot and get a satisfying ride I will probably go for it. I just have to get out and drive one.
    • Member

    330indy1

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    I think it's fair to say that a manual will cost you less than the SMG II in maintenance... (and IMO be more fun to drive, allowing full manipulation of the throttle with the spectacular S54 engine)
    • Member

    az3579

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    Well, as far as manipulating the throttle, it doesn't matter if you have SMG or Manual, because it's mostly a clutchless manual, so I don't think it's going to shift unless you tell it to. I may be wrong though.

    One thing's for sure though; I would avoid having any unnecessary electronics in the car, and the SMG tranny is pretty much one big software program, with the exception of the hardware bit in the middle. Electronics are not reliable, and if something goes wrong, you'll spend lots of $$$ to fix it, if if you don't have a heckuva time diagnosing it first.
    • Member

    330indy1

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    I think it would take a bit of effort with SMG because you will be predicting the engagement (timing it with your throttle inputs) instead of controlling it.
    You don't control the actual clutch engagement in SMG.... it is done for you..... obviously you tell it "when" to ....
    That is what I mean by full manipulation of the throttle.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Ah. Should be:

    I get what you're saying now.
    • Member

    330indy1

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    Yeah well I will stick to my original message; it's about the throttle, and control of the clutch is the means to the end brother!

    pkincy guest

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    I only have one BMW and it is a 2005 E46 M3 Vert with SMG.

    My other 4 cars are all 6 speeds. My truck is an A4. I value having a car that can shift itself so that I can multitask when I drive......I know, not real safe but you gotta keep in touch. And than I can slap the shifter and go to paddle shifting when I an in the twisties and want/need to really concentrate on hitting the apex.

    One caveat....the SMG is not an SAG, so it will shift exactly as you would if you had a manual....well not exactly as it rev matches better than this driver can heel and toe.

    But on lazy upshifts it acts just as you would. It lets off the gas, depresses the clutch, and than reengages the clutch. That is not a seamless power transfer like an automatic with TC would make. I think that is the major source of bad press on the SMG. People are used to automatics and expect it to be the same.

    It is a manual and acts like one, albeit with software doing your work for you if you wish.

    I have not doubt that I can hustle the SMG car around a track more quickly than I could if it had a 6 speed. I love the paddle shifters, the rev maching and the shift quickness.

    I probably should say my 6 speeds are by Borg Warner (Camaros) and ZF (Corvette) and none of them are famous for smooth quick shifts. In fact my major problems with podium finishes and great lap times is the 3/2 downshift in those 6 speeds, so I do definitely appreciate the SMG.

    Try both and decide.

    Perry

    gilespjr guest

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    2006 M3 CSL with SMG

    In July 2010, I purchased a SMG 2006 M3 with ~22,000 miles. In November 2010, the hydraulic pump failed. Diagnoses by the Dealer following two failures of the hydraulic pump fuse only...need to replace the hydraulic pump. After the $3200.00 replacement, I had to return the vehicle to the Dealer with shifting mechanical noises. The Dealer reduced the mechanical noises but advised that the "learned value" system of the car will make further improvements as the car adjusts to the driver. Hummm? I have read multiple posting on BMW CCA and other web sites about the E46 SMG. In my opinion, a large percentage of these postings indicate continuous issues with the hydraulic pump and its associated systems. Seemingly, all these issues result in the Dealer collecting a relatively large repair cost and a denial of any design flaw by BMW. I absolutely enjoy the car but the risk is not worth the reward. Recommendation...avoid.
    • Member

    nopcbs

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    Geo:

    Exactly why I passed on an SMG and bought a manual 2006 M3 two months ago. The manual has its problems like the long shift throw/shifter and rubbery shift, the stupid valve on the hydraulic clutch line that makes a smooth 1-2 or 2-3 shift almost impossabe, and the too long clutch throw unless you screw in the elevator bolt (and even then...), but you will never have to pay several thousand when a pump goes bad and leaves you stranded and you will not have to worry every day if today is the day it will finally go.

    By the way, in my M3 search, I asked the service managers of several BMW dealers their opinion of the SMG
    as a used car purchase prospect and the recommendation was universally "we don't advise it".

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