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      08-14-2011, 02:13 AM   #1
Lay-Z M3
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Thoughts please gang.....

So I have recently made the move to BC from Ontario (originally from England), and currently have a 2010 Mini Jcw on lease with thougts on buying out. Now my new job role involves alot more driving, which the Mini is very capable in covering, she is comfortable, wonderful on Gas and very flexible in Downtown Vancouver.

However, before the JCW I had a 2008 E90 M3 and realise that I miss it too much!! So my thoughts were to get another M3. Problem is that the depreciation (as with the Mini) will be heavy due to the 80k - 100k kms that ill be doing each year - and as an Ex BMW employee of many years, I know of the more long term issues posed by direct injection and Turbochargers. The Mini I have been warned 'will' become unreliable with that kind of useage - with a history of HPFP issues (as with the N54 and N55 engines in the 135, 335, 535, X5, X6 and Z4's) and more worryingly the timing chain adjuster which can cause monumental fails!!

So my various BMW tech friends have advised a 'normally aspirated' ride to see me through a few yers of heavy useage. E46 and E9x M3's being good forerunners due to their nature of being over engineered for the jobs they undertake. Sadly my current financial situ allows more for a nice E46 than it does a nice E9x M3. So with this in mind I was wondering if there were any 'mega mileage' M3 owners on here that could shed some light on dependability, especially as I am a 6MT man but with the allure of SMGII for the heavy City traffic being somewhat in the back of my mind (although I appreciate that more can/will go wrong withthese transmissions + clutch life is shorter on average).

What does everyone think? E46 M3 a good choice? Ill entertain plugs for SMG if you can back up with real life stories of longjevity and fault free motoring.

A good friend of mine has had 3 including a CSL and his current boasts 125k miles (200,000kms) without fault!!

Many thanks in advance

All the best

M
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      08-14-2011, 04:59 AM   #2
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Ummm...................buy a new Toyota with a warranty?



Seriously..................keep the MCS.
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      08-14-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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LOL - thanks mate I enjoy driving too much to have a 'white good on wheels'
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      08-15-2011, 12:58 PM   #4
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I don't know your budget but there's a ton of 2008 E9x M3's that are in the mid $40k range with about 30-50k miles on them. I read an article on Yahoo that said the M3 engine can last 200k miles with no problems if it was taken care of properly.
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      08-16-2011, 12:27 AM   #5
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Thanks Angelin, I had considered another E90M or an E92 - one was on here for $37,500. Just not up here in Canada everything is $50,000+! Should have just bought mine out but couldn't survive the payment at the time.

I wanted to be well under $30k CDN so I might keep it until next summer and review whats happening then. That way the 2009's will be more plentiful, with the all important I-Drive2!
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      08-16-2011, 12:35 AM   #6
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By then my budget should be stronger too
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      08-17-2011, 01:11 AM   #7
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yeah, what he said
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      08-17-2011, 02:06 AM   #8
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yeah, what he said
LOL - specifically what who said, look at an E9X or keep the Mini??

Not much love for the E46 i'm seeing.....are they a money pit used then?
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      08-17-2011, 02:50 PM   #9
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LOL - specifically what who said, look at an E9X or keep the Mini??

Not much love for the E46 i'm seeing.....are they a money pit used then?
i love my e46. i have the 330i e46. i bought it used with 79k miles on it
i've replaced the tires, changed the diff and manual tranny fluid, spark plugs, detailed it...
i plan to keep it and refresh it as money and time permits
my next projext is the cooling system and then the suspension, and the filters
just preventive maintenance
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      08-29-2011, 12:12 PM   #10
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Just got this off another MINI forum - kinda backs up my concerns!

Did I get a lemon or is Mini quality this bad? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi all,

My husband bought his first Mini nearly ten years ago and loved it so much he convinced me to get rid of BMW Z4 and buy a 2010 Mini Clubman. I have never regretted buying a car so much in my life. With less than 20,000 miles on it, I have had my Mini die on the freeway 4 times and towed to the dealership twice. Both times it was towed to the dealership were for "fuel issues" which eventually were found to be a bad HP Fuel Pump.

The other two times it "ran out of gas" with nearly 80 miles left to empty on the gauge. The running out of gas continues to be an issue and I've just resigned myself to refilling with 100 miles to empty. Oh did I mention the check engine light has come on two times and both times I took it in they couldn't diagnose the problem for days and eventually said they were other "fuel issues".

I live in SoCal and having your car die in the fast lane is absolutely frightening and is a safety issue. I also work at a refinery and I know about gasoline and the requirements for producing it. All these fuels issues are BS... I think we got a lemon!

You'd think my family would take warning from my problems, but nope. My poor mother went out and purchased a Countryman. She just called to tell me her car just died for the second time on the freeway and is being towed to the dealership. She has already replaced a pump and is also having "fuel problems" with check engine lights coming on.

I love how cute my Mini is, but I can't keep getting stuck on the freeway. Never again for Mini, and now I question buying another BMW. Please take my families warning and buy something else.
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      08-31-2011, 11:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lay-Z M3 View Post
Just got this off another MINI forum - kinda backs up my concerns!

Did I get a lemon or is Mini quality this bad? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi all,

My husband bought his first Mini nearly ten years ago and loved it so much he convinced me to get rid of BMW Z4 and buy a 2010 Mini Clubman. I have never regretted buying a car so much in my life. With less than 20,000 miles on it, I have had my Mini die on the freeway 4 times and towed to the dealership twice. Both times it was towed to the dealership were for "fuel issues" which eventually were found to be a bad HP Fuel Pump.

The other two times it "ran out of gas" with nearly 80 miles left to empty on the gauge. The running out of gas continues to be an issue and I've just resigned myself to refilling with 100 miles to empty. Oh did I mention the check engine light has come on two times and both times I took it in they couldn't diagnose the problem for days and eventually said they were other "fuel issues".

I live in SoCal and having your car die in the fast lane is absolutely frightening and is a safety issue. I also work at a refinery and I know about gasoline and the requirements for producing it. All these fuels issues are BS... I think we got a lemon!

You'd think my family would take warning from my problems, but nope. My poor mother went out and purchased a Countryman. She just called to tell me her car just died for the second time on the freeway and is being towed to the dealership. She has already replaced a pump and is also having "fuel problems" with check engine lights coming on.

I love how cute my Mini is, but I can't keep getting stuck on the freeway. Never again for Mini, and now I question buying another BMW. Please take my families warning and buy something else.
Wow. Thank you for the post. We are in the process of buying a countryman but will reconsider after your comments. Maybe it be best two wait for next 3 series next year.
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      09-02-2011, 01:53 PM   #12
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that's just one (or 2) cars out of tens of thousands of cars. There's always going to be bad apples, but it shouldn't deter you from what you want.
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      09-05-2011, 02:20 AM   #13
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CMK227 - join the Mini2 forum, it seems to be the best for feedback, like a Bimmerpost.

As above, make a balanced decision based on overall member posts! My story is such that ill be out of warranty in such a short time, I want to minimise my exposure of a car payment and 'repair bills'. However as an Ex BMW employee I would urge to to try an X1 before signing, they are great!!! Plus depending on the Counrtyman model you are looking at not that much of a price jump
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      09-05-2011, 03:27 AM   #14
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CMK227 - join the Mini2 forum, it seems to be the best for feedback, like a Bimmerpost.

As above, make a balanced decision based on overall member posts! My story is such that ill be out of warranty in such a short time, I want to minimise my exposure of a car payment and 'repair bills'. However as an Ex BMW employee I would urge to to try an X1 before signing, they are great!!! Plus depending on the Counrtyman model you are looking at not that much of a price jump
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      09-05-2011, 03:35 AM   #15
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The allurement of a Z4 M coupe is also on the cards now! lol
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      09-05-2011, 08:28 AM   #16
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As the first driver (wouldn't say owner, parents car), I have a 2004 M3 with 120,000km along with Extended Warranty up to 140,000km. I might extend it again up to 160,000km. I've paid $8000 for Ex Warranty but had $12,000 worth of parts and labor claimed.

Problems up until now covered under warranty.
1. 2 Cats failed at 75,000km.
2. Alternator failed at 70,000km.
3. AC failed 3 times in span of 1.5 year. It's currently at the dealership getting fixed under warranty. They finally found the leak after 2 tries.
4. Pedal shifts weren't working at around 85,000km.
5. Driver Window switch didn't work at 85,000km.
6. LSD Left Seal leaked twice every two years.
7. SMG was reprogrammed at roughly 45,000km. It had 2 seconds delay between gears. This happened when I put my Iforged 19's on. I guess the ECU couldn't adjust to aftermarket wheels very well. However, the reprogram helped. No more issues with my SMG (knock on wood). I've had 3 different sets of rims after Iforged Rims. Still no issues.

Things I will do in the future:
1. When ICBC Aircare goes out of business, I will install straight pipes if my cats fail on me again. I am not going to pay $6000 on two cats. Apparently, they're $3000 each. That's what I've been told by my service advisor.

2. Change my stock suspension to coilovers at 140,000km.

3. Prepare a budget to change LSD Seal, which was roughly $650-700 when it was fixed by BMW dealership under warranty if I remember correctly.

4. Prepare a budget to change the hydraulic pump. I haven't changed mine yet, but I already prepared $2500 in case something happens. This is NOT COVERED by warranty. It is a wear and tear part.

Engine wise, still running strong! Dynoed it in March, I was able to get 3250hp/230tq. Number decreased. what can you expect. it's 7.5 yrs old. haha

Oil change at every 12,000km with Lubro 10W60. Last longer and cheaper.

I've never used the launch control.

End of the story, it's best if you get an aftermarket extended warranty for a E46 M3. If not, prepare to pay some big bucks.

Last edited by ///M3Lover; 09-05-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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      09-05-2011, 09:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M3Lover View Post
As the first driver (wouldn't say owner, parents car), I have a 2004 M3 with 120,000km along with Extended Warranty up to 140,000km. I might extend it again up to 160,000km. I've paid $8000 for Ex Warranty but had $12,000 worth of parts and labor claimed.

Problems up until now covered under warranty.
1. 2 Cats failed at 75,000km.
2. Alternator failed at 70,000km.
3. AC failed 3 times in span of 1.5 year. It's currently at the dealership getting fixed under warranty. They finally found the leak after 2 tries.
4. Pedal shifts weren't working at around 85,000km.
5. Driver Window switch didn't work at 85,000km.
6. LSD Left Seal leaked twice every two years.
7. SMG was reprogrammed at roughly 45,000km. It had 2 seconds delay between gears. This happened when I put my Iforged 19's on. I guess the ECU couldn't adjust to aftermarket wheels very well. However, the reprogram helped. No more issues with my SMG (knock on wood). I've had 3 different sets of rims after Iforged Rims. Still no issues.

Things I will do in the future:
1. When ICBC Aircare goes out of business, I will install straight pipes if my cats fail on me again. I am not going to pay $6000 on two cats. Apparently, they're $3000 each. That's what I've been told by my service advisor.

2. Change my stock suspension to coilovers at 140,000km.

3. Prepare a budget to change LSD Seal, which was roughly $650-700 when it was fixed by BMW dealership under warranty if I remember correctly.

4. Prepare a budget to change the hydraulic pump. I haven't changed mine yet, but I already prepared $2500 in case something happens. This is NOT COVERED by warranty. It is a wear and tear part.

Engine wise, still running strong! Dynoed it in March, I was able to get 3250hp/230tq. Number decreased. what can you expect. it's 7.5 yrs old. haha

Oil change at every 12,000km with Lubro 10W60. Last longer and cheaper.

I've never used the launch control.

End of the story, it's best if you get an aftermarket extended warranty for a E46 M3. If not, prepare to pay some big bucks.

Thank you so much for this 'real world' insight. I'm condidering just a 128i Sport now cause of the running costs, put the PE on it 330i inlet manifold asnd it'll be running 265/270bhp. Then a quaiffe diff ordered from the UK (in time) and hoefully i'll be satisfied for a while. on a 2004 M3 an extended warranty is $5000CDN Vanos is $5000CDN - just seems like it could go on and on!!
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      09-06-2011, 01:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lay-Z M3 View Post
Thank you so much for this 'real world' insight. I'm condidering just a 128i Sport now cause of the running costs, put the PE on it 330i inlet manifold asnd it'll be running 265/270bhp. Then a quaiffe diff ordered from the UK (in time) and hoefully i'll be satisfied for a while. on a 2004 M3 an extended warranty is $5000CDN Vanos is $5000CDN - just seems like it could go on and on!!
Go for a 128i for less headache. Don't get me wrong, I love my E46 M3. I love its timeless style and great handling. If problems keep coming up even with extended warranty, at 160,000km, I will get rid of it. All my friends/customers know I baby my E46 M3 a lot too. I've also heard a E46 M3 driver

Sometimes, we just have to face the reality: THE COST.
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      09-19-2011, 03:35 PM   #19
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You can get a decent feel for e46 M3 running costs here: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=190111

My car has been pretty flawless. I've had it from new and it is now at 120,000 total miles and ~4000 track miles. It gets driven year round, including a trip to detroit in Jan every year (has seen -30 there).

In that time, I've had the following failures:
alternator (80,000 miles)
throttle position sensor (90,000 miles)
subframe (42,000 miles)
2 coils

I have done a fair bit preventatively (cooling system and bushings every 100,000 miles, trans and diff fluid on the OBC indicated inspection intervals, etc), but you should be doing most of that with every car. Mine has been incredibly reliable, especially with the way I drive it. Easily the most reliable car I've ever owned.

It often seems to me that the babied e46s are the ones that have issues. There's only two significant issues that the car suffers from:
1) subframe mount failure (~$1000 to have fixed, Turner kit locks it down forever).
2) VANOS exhaust sprocket tab failure. Only effects probably 3% of the cars out there, but if it happens to you it has a decent chance (maybe 20%?) of taking the engine out. You can lock that down forever with a Dr. VANOS cryogenically treated exhaust cam gear ($850 for part, ~$500 for labor) and Z4M exahust cam bolts.

Read through the thread I linked. If you follow that, you're pretty unlikely to have any significant issues.
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      09-20-2011, 11:20 AM   #20
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My E46 currently has about 79.5k miles and its a 2002. I have yet to see any major problems with it. I definitely don't baby it as far as my driving, although I keep up with maintenance almost religiously. To me that is what's going to make the car reliable. If I drove my car 30k miles between oil changes, never changed out diff and tranny fluids, etc. then the car would most likely be pretty unreliable. But that is no fault on the car. Bottom line is if you maintain the car then an E46 M3 will be a reliable daily driver.
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      09-24-2011, 10:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
You can get a decent feel for e46 M3 running costs here: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=190111

My car has been pretty flawless. I've had it from new and it is now at 120,000 total miles and ~4000 track miles. It gets driven year round, including a trip to detroit in Jan every year (has seen -30 there).

In that time, I've had the following failures:
alternator (80,000 miles)
throttle position sensor (90,000 miles)
subframe (42,000 miles)
2 coils

I have done a fair bit preventatively (cooling system and bushings every 100,000 miles, trans and diff fluid on the OBC indicated inspection intervals, etc), but you should be doing most of that with every car. Mine has been incredibly reliable, especially with the way I drive it. Easily the most reliable car I've ever owned.

It often seems to me that the babied e46s are the ones that have issues. There's only two significant issues that the car suffers from:
1) subframe mount failure (~$1000 to have fixed, Turner kit locks it down forever).
2) VANOS exhaust sprocket tab failure. Only effects probably 3% of the cars out there, but if it happens to you it has a decent chance (maybe 20%?) of taking the engine out. You can lock that down forever with a Dr. VANOS cryogenically treated exhaust cam gear ($850 for part, ~$500 for labor) and Z4M exahust cam bolts.

Read through the thread I linked. If you follow that, you're pretty unlikely to have any significant issues.
Thanks mate, really great insight!
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      12-02-2011, 04:18 AM   #22
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Just an update to my previous post.

-Two months ago, finally got to replace my AC condenser and AC fluid for $2K at BMW under Warranty , which brings it up from 12,000 to 14,000CDN total claim.

-ICBC Aircare just renewed their contract this year up until 2025.
I am in the process of looking at other aftermarket cats or just drive lot less.

There's just no way I am going to spend $6000 on two cats.

Obioban, you have one lucky E46 M3. I've been reading your maintenance thread. It's really helpful.
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