of the things I’ve gleamed from the internet, with some of
my brief personal experiences, now I am in my 3rd
E46 Coupe, and my 2nd M3
Can be prone to rust, owing to dirt getting caught between
the inner wing liner, and the edge of the wing. Get the
inner liner out, and get it cleaned.
The same as the E36, watch for trapped dirt that causes the
arches to rot out.
I have noticed paint starting to bubble around the boot lock
(where the key goes in)
The clips on the rear cluster are delicate, and are prone to
snapping, not a big issue, but if they are attached with zip
ties or tape, they can rattle, New ones are roughly £35
As with the E36, the rear ¼ window seals seem to perish. But
unlike the E36 they are about £250!!!
The rear springs are known to fail, and I can confirm my
current car has recently had a set @ 44K, and my last E46 M3
had to have a set of front ones, I can only assume if you’re
running a set of 19’s with the stiff suspension setups of
the make, they come under a lot of abuse.
The E46 coupe generally as an issue with its door seals, as
they can move and get damaged over time, where out or just
split, and as they carry a heated element, they are
expensive to buy, circa £225 + vat last time I checked. The
M3 seems to have an issue that the trim separates from the
seal, thus looking a mess, again, something my current car
has fallen foul of.
The diff’s on the E46 M3 can make a scrubbing noise when
making tight slow turns, like reversing out of a car park
space. Mine does this, I tried the fix, which was the latest
BMW supplied Diff Oil @ £90 + Vat+ Fitting, and though the
old stuff was minging, it still makes the noise. My garage
advised me not to worry about it. Research on the net will
tell you all about the reasoning.
Connecting Rod Bearing Kit - The Major Factory Recall.
There was a service recall for the Oil Pump Connecting Rod
Bearing Kit, if the car you are looking at was subject to
the recall, ensure it was done, as well as the running in
service @ 1200 miles.
Quote from the net “"The
problem has been identified as contamination of the engine
lubricating system during assembly in combination with
unfavourable tolerances in the engine oil pump for the M3
coupe/convertible produced from October 2001 through
Wheel up size options (from Net)
Yes, the correct upsize is 245/40/18 front and 275/35/18
rear for 18" wheels and 245/35/19 front and 275/30/19 rear
for 19" wheels. Many have done this on both stock and
lowered cars without any rubbing issues.
I personally have been very lucky with the E46 SMG so
far, but they can be problemattic. From my internet research
and recent personal experience I can advise watching for the
Cog Warning, which could be any generic SMG error, which in
my case was the Gear Position sensor, which tells the ecu
what gear the car is in I guess, and these are just shy of
£300 plus fitting, which can be done DIY, and there are some
good articles on the net, but my Indy did a good job. Then
you need to have the adaptations ran using the BMW software,
again dealer or Indy with INPA or similar can do this. My
advice is get BMW to run the diagnostics, so you know where
The salmon really
can also fail, which is a cheaper fix, under £15, but to get
to it you need a torx T25 screw driver, and its located in
the fuse box under the bonnet top right hand corner
Also check the SMG
Fluid levels, as if they drop the car can spit out gears,
and if you have assess to BMW diagnostics, check the
pressure of the SMG pump is working parameters, again a lots
of info from this specifically on line.
As many car owners
have odb diagnosis tools, may be worth having a look at the
fault codes on the car you look to buy to see if they is any
error message hanging around, as I bought a car once that
got a fault 5 miles into the drive home, and it kept coming
back, so the owner had obviously just cleared it prior to my
test drive, so be wary, on BMW's warning lights can mean
cash needs spending