My car was nearing the end of it's service countdown at around 77,000. So I decided to schedule an appointment with VS Motorsports to do the work. Although the car was schedule for an oil change according to the car's countdown, I actually decided to do a full Inspection II. This was actually my first time doing a scheduled maintenance outside of the car's extended warranty. I decided to do some of the requirements in the Inspection II simply out of "father's intuition" and I really just wanted to refresh everything and anything I could afford at the time. I also decided it would be a good time to replace some of the parts of the VANOS
Inspection I + Spark Plugs + Fuel Filter + Power Steering Flush
VANOS Cam Bolts (upgraded to newer OEM version)
VANOS Solenoid Plate
VANOS Filter + O-Ring
OEM Suspension (3" Lift :taser
Review on VS Motorsports Service:
Hands down the best speciality shop in the Chicago-land area. I am actually glad I pushed more for the Inspection II, even though VS Motorsports said I most likely needed just a scheduled oil change as indicated by my car history. Prior to this and recent oil changes, the car was 100% maintained by our local BMW dealer. My family and I have been customers of their's for literally 20 years so we gained their trust. They were the last ones who did the scheduled Inspection II at around 60,000 miles.
When I got to VS Motorsports, everyone asked me who maintained the car prior to them. This actually got my heart beating pretty quick because I was worried they were going to tell me something catastrophic. Turns out that 9 valves were really tight on the intake side, more than what they are used to seeing. My spark plugs looked pretty nasty, even though it should have been replaced at the last Inspection II by the dealer. And my diff fluid was sludge.
This really blew my mind because I started to really question the integrity of that dealer. Fortunately, nothing too troublesome has arisen other than I lost trust in that dealer. The wear on those fluids and spark plugs seemed rather unusual and makes me believe that the dealer did jack squat when it was under warranty.
The car idles much better with no extraneous noises like before. Due to the crazy blizzard we had last night, I couldn't really push the car at all to determine if it's revs a little smoother. I am so glad I threw on the OEM suspension last night. It felt great to run 4x4 in 6-8" of snow, haha. The replacement of the transmission and diff fluid were much appreciate. Despite the sub-20ºF temperatures, the car shifts really smooth even as it's warming up in the morning.
What I really wanted to emphasize in this "review" though is the service by VS Motorsports. These guys know the E46 M3 inside out. They were able to point out flaws that all previous shops have done on my car. They even inspected my subframe reinforcement and said that it could have been done a little prettier. Their customer service and how they treat you as a client is great. They really do treat you as a friend, not as a human being with a credit card. Matt, Kris, and Kenny at VS Motorsports continue to fill me in on their projects, their goals for this coming years race season, updates on how they renovate the shop. It's just fun hanging out with them. They always educate me on all these tips and tricks with the E46 and E90 M3. Good times!
Due to my schedule, I don't have the time to work on my car as much as I'd like. So it's comforting knowing I can drop it off at a reputable shop knowing it'll come back better than how it arrived.
So where the car stands today. Most of the preventative and schedule maintenance is taken care of. All fluids replaced, bushings have been replaced/upgraded recently. The only really next big maintenance project I have is the cooling system. I am waiting until this coming track season to see how my temps hold up, but at the looks of it now, it seems to be ok. Hopefully the crappy plastic radiator holds up for a bit as I save more pennies.