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      11-03-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
Rahul718
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Looking for my very first BMW and M3

Hi everyone. I currently drive a 07 350z and my summer ride is a '13 cbr 1000rr. I made a decision that it's time to let go of the Z because I've been dreaming about an e92 m3 for the past 2 years. Now I'm finally in a position to get one. I may even let go of the cbr due to recent health issues. It's sad but it means more $$ toward the m3.

It's been ingrained in my head to never get the first year production of a car but from all the searching I've done, it seems the 08 e92 m3 is pretty damn reliable thus far. I'm a purist and I love manual, but how reliable are the manual transmissions with these cars? This will be a car I'm looking to keep for a very long time, and in theory, manuals require less upkeep and are more robust. However, I had to replace the transmission in my Z due to a 5th gear synchro so I want to be sure I now get the most reliable transmission, whether it be manual or DCT. Any insight here? So far it seems the DCT has been pretty reliable minus a few lag issues which were remedied by dealer updates in the software.

Secondly, I like the 09 due to the new taillghts. Realistically, can I get a 09 with 35-40k miles with sunroof (I don't care for the other goodies) for $40k or less? Sunroof is a must for me, despite how sick the CF roof looks. I can always overlay it tastefully.

This won't be my DD. With that said, is shelling out an extra $4k for warranty even worth it? I have pretty simple plans for the car...suspension, front lip and exhaust. I don't plan on going broke modding it.

I appreciate the insight!
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      11-03-2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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Manual is going to have less issues than the DCT, lots of moving parts.

I would stay away from the 08 and 09 just because they fixed a lot of issues that were persistent between the two first years of production in the later models.

As far as warranty goes, there are no factory service manuals, this IS NOT a Nissan! So I would recommend the extended warranty, a couple issues can easily ring up more than 4,000 dollars. Remember that even though you are going to be buying an M3 for like 35-40k, it will still need to be repaired like a 70k+ vehicle.

Nick

p.s. if you are going to be doing "performance" mods, the best thing you can do for the car is go CF roof, a lot less top weight.
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      11-03-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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Everyone here is going to tell you something different but I was in the same boat as you about a year ago. Looking at 09+ E90 M3's with things in mind that I really wanted. I ended up getting an 08 E90 with 18k miles (21.5k now) and dont at all regret it. The same problems that float around this board happen in all years and different miles. Check out the High mileage 08's check in thread and you will see any major problems are few and far in between. With that said Def get a 6MT unless you like your sports car to drive for you...lol

Good luck and welcome!!
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      11-03-2013, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by te37 View Post
Manual is going to have less issues than the DCT, lots of moving parts.

I would stay away from the 08 and 09 just because they fixed a lot of issues that were persistent between the two first years of production in the later models.

p.s. if you are going to be doing "performance" mods, the best thing you can do for the car is go CF roof, a lot less top weight.
Which issues are you referring to? From what I've read, the 08-09 seems pretty reliable. I also read that the sunroof only adds 30lbs. I can live with that. After not having a sunroof in my Z, I can honestly say I miss it. Warranty is most likely something ill get. I figure with tax title and warranty ill be in the $45k range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentAttack View Post
Everyone here is going to tell you something different but I was in the same boat as you about a year ago. Looking at 09+ E90 M3's with things in mind that I really wanted. I ended up getting an 08 E90 with 18k miles (21.5k now) and dont at all regret it. The same problems that float around this board happen in all years and different miles. Check out the High mileage 08's check in thread and you will see any major problems are few and far in between. With that said Def get a 6MT unless you like your sports car to drive for you...lol

Good luck and welcome!!
Thanks man. It seems like the 6mt is what I'll go for.
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      11-04-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
Rahul718
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I know with used cars it's always a gamble, but is 30-40k miles "safe" when buying used or should I look for something lower? I've always had Japanese cars and would buy those with a big higher mileage, but I know with German cars maybe I should consider buying with as low mileage as I can afford.
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      11-04-2013, 10:36 PM   #6
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30-40k miles on an M3, or any BMW for that matter, is absolutely nothing from a major mechanical standpoint. A major service should take place somewhere after 25k + miles, so you should make sure that that has happened and that the car has a full service history with a fairly reputable garage.

Obviously, you should have the car looked at by a pro mechanic before purchasing.

One caveat would be to find out if the previous owner tracked it or not. I'm not sure I'd want a car that had been run ragged around a track - whether the driver is skilled or not - it's going to shorten the life of some components.

I'm at 38k miles on my M3 and have no qualms about the mechanics or anything else. Performs like the day I drove it off the lot.

Last edited by alipali; 11-04-2013 at 10:42 PM.
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      11-09-2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alipali View Post
30-40k miles on an M3, or any BMW for that matter, is absolutely nothing from a major mechanical standpoint. A major service should take place somewhere after 25k + miles, so you should make sure that that has happened and that the car has a full service history with a fairly reputable garage.

Obviously, you should have the car looked at by a pro mechanic before purchasing.

One caveat would be to find out if the previous owner tracked it or not. I'm not sure I'd want a car that had been run ragged around a track - whether the driver is skilled or not - it's going to shorten the life of some components.

I'm at 38k miles on my M3 and have no qualms about the mechanics or anything else. Performs like the day I drove it off the lot.
Agreed, I will not buy a car that's been tracked. But here's the question...when buying from the dealer, is there any way to truly know? Similarly, it's easier to gauge whether its been tracked when buying from a private party. Things to look for that indicate track use?

Also, are there any areas of the car to check if prospective cars are "Sandy" cars? I live in the area that got the brunt of the hurricane and would like to ensure I do not get a Sandy car. My thoughts are since these are expensive cars and people will likely have comprehensive insurance, that M3s damaged by Sandy would be totaled.

Lastly, I read about M drive and how that feature makes or breaks the driving experience. When I go for my test drives how can I make sure it's enabled?

Thanks for the feedback!
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      11-09-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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look for wheel studs, high amount of front end chips if no clear bra, heat checking of the rotors, edge wear of tires if still same ones, camber plates, stainless lines or any other mod that would indicate track use then dig into it deeper.
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      11-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #9
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The 6mt is fortunately not plagued with issues like the Zs trans (mine is on the 3rd trans and ready for the 4th). That said there is some talk around the forum of an issue with the 08 clutch or pressure plate and there is a change for the 09+.
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      11-09-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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I have owned both an '08 6mt sedan and now a '13 DCT coupe. My '08 had 36k miles when I sold it and I had zero problems with it. I wouldn't fear a well maintained '08 but I do appreciate the updates made in later years. The idrive/navigation system is much better in the '09+ cars. My preference would be an '09 or newer. As far as sunroof.... I think you would be crazy to get a coupe with a sunroof. The car looks 10x better with the carbon roof and there is no such thing as a "tasteful" roof overlay. I also think the DCT transmission is incredible. The shifts are amazing, the car is faster, and I feel just as connected with the car when I drive it in manual mode. That being said, it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. I would base my purchase decision on the condition of the car and other options because each transmission has its advantages. I do however prefer DCT.
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      11-09-2013, 04:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicer View Post
I have owned both an '08 6mt sedan and now a '13 DCT coupe. My '08 had 36k miles when I sold it and I had zero problems with it. I wouldn't fear a well maintained '08 but I do appreciate the updates made in later years. The idrive/navigation system is much better in the '09+ cars. My preference would be an '09 or newer. As far as sunroof.... I think you would be crazy to get a coupe with a sunroof. The car looks 10x better with the carbon roof and there is no such thing as a "tasteful" roof overlay. I also think the DCT transmission is incredible. The shifts are amazing, the car is faster, and I feel just as connected with the car when I drive it in manual mode. That being said, it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. I would base my purchase decision on the condition of the car and other options because each transmission has its advantages. I do however prefer DCT.
Maybe you'd be a good person to ask. But how different did the sedan feel compared to the coupe?
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      11-09-2013, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askjeeves View Post
The 6mt is fortunately not plagued with issues like the Zs trans (mine is on the 3rd trans and ready for the 4th). That said there is some talk around the forum of an issue with the 08 clutch or pressure plate and there is a change for the 09+.
Ah a fellow Z owner. So you know exactly how much I want to avoid transmission issues.
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      11-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul718 View Post
Maybe you'd be a good person to ask. But how different did the sedan feel compared to the coupe?
Any difference in performance or feel is indiscernible IMO. The sedan is more convenient if you have passengers often. It comes down to personal preference. I like the carbon roof on the coupe and I think it looks more sporty overall. The sedan has a tough, chunky look.
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      11-09-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicer View Post
Any difference in performance or feel is indiscernible IMO. The sedan is more convenient if you have passengers often. It comes down to personal preference. I like the carbon roof on the coupe and I think it looks more sporty overall. The sedan has a tough, chunky look.
Cool, appreciate the feedback! You kind of swayed me to consider the CF roof. Looks great, but I still love cracking the sunroof open during the summer. I won't let that be a deal breaker though.

I just started actively looking for a m3 today and its amazing how much cheaper the sedan is...it's significant!

I read about DCT software updates. If I get a DCT, how can I be sure whether it has the updated software? Do dealers charge for this update?
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      11-09-2013, 05:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul718 View Post
Cool, appreciate the feedback! You kind of swayed me to consider the CF roof. Looks great, but I still love cracking the sunroof open during the summer. I won't let that be a deal breaker though.

I just started actively looking for a m3 today and its amazing how much cheaper the sedan is...it's significant!

I read about DCT software updates. If I get a DCT, how can I be sure whether it has the updated software? Do dealers charge for this update?
No charge for the update during warranty period (could also be free post warranty if it's considered a defect) and it should be in the service history. I have had zero issues with DCT. My wife drives a PDK Cayman S and DCT is a much smoother / better transmission IMO.
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      11-09-2013, 05:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicer View Post
No charge for the update during warranty period (could also be free post warranty if it's considered a defect) and it should be in the service history. I have had zero issues with DCT. My wife drives a PDK Cayman S and DCT is a much smoother / better transmission IMO.
That's nice I want my wife to get a cayman s!
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      11-09-2013, 06:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lute View Post
You can't just get into an M3 as your first BMW. You have to work your way up. 328, then 335, then M3.

How else can you particpate meaningfully in the M3 vs...??? threads
Ha...my dad was always a BMW guy (had a 635csi and a 1988 m6 on top of a few of the 3 series and 5 series cars back then) so at least it runs in the blood. I was thinking of a 335i prior to this but I just can't stand them anymore. I see them all the time and I love the exclusivity of the M3.

I anticipate it'll take me a few months to find the right M3 though
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      11-09-2013, 08:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by te37 View Post
Manual is going to have less issues than the DCT, lots of moving parts.

I would stay away from the 08 and 09 just because they fixed a lot of issues that were persistent between the two first years of production in the later models.

As far as warranty goes, there are no factory service manuals, this IS NOT a Nissan! So I would recommend the extended warranty, a couple issues can easily ring up more than 4,000 dollars. Remember that even though you are going to be buying an M3 for like 35-40k, it will still need to be repaired like a 70k+ vehicle.

Nick

p.s. if you are going to be doing "performance" mods, the best thing you can do for the car is go CF roof, a lot less top weight.


So many things wrong with everything he said. First... Not many issues with an 08-09. Consumer reports just issued its long-term reliability testing and the e92 M3 is second in its class. Manual over DCT? Many will also argue that!
"Not a Nissan" hahaha ok?! I've owned two 350z's one was a DE the other was an HR. I later made the move to an Infiniti IPL. All the models I've listed have seriously weak trans. The M3 DCT is far superior in reliability and performance to Nissan transmissions. Even the almighty GTR has had its fair share trans failure.

Good luck OP! Follow the preventive maintenance schedule and the 08-09 will treat you well.
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      11-09-2013, 08:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lute View Post
And you know this how

I replaced two in my 350z. My G37 IPL had to go in for reprogramming many times. The early GTR's had trans failures left and right. See OP's first post... Many prior Nissan owners are familiar with these issues.

An MT will be much less prone to issues than the DCT. It's simple logic, less complexity means less chance for something to go wrong.



Not just mechanically, the electronics are what's worrisome.
I haven't read many horror stories about the DCT. I've seen a few members with hiccups... Nothing major. We don't see countless threads of trans failure on this forum like the Z/G/GTR.

Thanks for your "simple logic" opinion.
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      11-09-2013, 09:14 PM   #20
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I appreciate everyone's feedback. I'm really torn on the transmission. The idea of something going wrong with the dct out of warranty is worrisome. But I've come to the conclusion that I won't let the transmission type be a deal breaker. As long as I get my color and a coupe, ill cross that bridge when I get there.

Btw..saw a few 2010s with high mileage (for the year)...around 45-50k. These are easily in my range according to KBB (high 30k, low 40k). Since this won't be my DD, ill probably make up for that high mileage accumulated and it'll once again be a low mileage car for the year in a couple of years.
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      11-09-2013, 09:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I appreciate everyone's feedback. I'm really torn on the transmission. The idea of something going wrong with the dct out of warranty is worrisome. But I've come to the conclusion that I won't let the transmission type be a deal breaker. As long as I get my color and a coupe, ill cross that bridge when I get there.

Btw..saw a few 2010s with high mileage (for the year)...around 45-50k. These are easily in my range according to KBB (high 30k, low 40k). Since this won't be my DD, ill probably make up for that high mileage accumulated and it'll once again be a low mileage car for the year in a couple of years.
FYI... http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...=894069&page=3

Many members on the forum with over 100k DCT transmissions. Not many problems reported.
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      11-09-2013, 11:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
That's nice I want my wife to get a cayman s!
Haha, yes I created a monster. She wanted a 911 turbo but that didn't fit our budget. We were lined up at a stop light last night and she tried to race me. It caught me by surprise.
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