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What's ahead maintenance wise ...

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by craigfraser, Sep 3, 2013.

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    Although I've owned a BMW since forever ... (and still '72 2002tii), I consider myself a neophyte in all things mechanical etc. My last purchase was an M5 (E39) which I owned for 6 years, and it's there, I learned what it "really costs" to own an M.
    I'm looking for a fellow member to give me an idea what I might expect to pay down the road to maintain the low mileage (less than 50K) manual transmission M3. And please tell me it's less than the E39. With the kids grown and gone, the E46 is better suited size-wise for the missus and me. As an example would 10% of the purchase price annually be accurate? More? Maybe less? My driving habits are right forward. Although I'm not a track guy, I would drive the vehicle as it was intended to be driven. It won't see salt or muck, but I reside in the midwest and the weather often sucks. Secondarily, what should I look for, be aware of? For example, are the catalytic converters as prone to fail as they were on the E39? Thank you in advance.
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    Don't have one, so no experience to share - threads from elsewhere (just from quick googling, you may find more/better with more searching):





    Do a search on sunroof cassette cracking or failure, there should be threads on tips to keep the sunroof operating - pre-emptive replacement of sunroof clips, and the right kinds of cleaning & lubricating needed.
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    Terry Sayther

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    My experience as a BMW fixer is that you'll be jumping out of the deep water onto dry land. The e46 m3 still breaks, but it is stronger and more reliable in all aspects. Cost of ownership is tremendously lower ON AVERAGE. Have it checked over before purchase to make sure it's not already a project. Buy a good one and relax.
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    The e46 M3 is a great car very fun to drive but does have pricy problems. A couple common ones are head gasket leaking oil, SMG transmission pumps failing, Early models subframe cracking (make sure it was inspected), the valves need to be adjusted at 100 k as can be pricy job at the dealer. As with any vehicle do have it inspected by some one who knows these cars. Remember M stands for Money haha.

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