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BMW M3 Maintenance and Repair



  • Well that's what I thought, too, so I sent him over to Bilstein, but they seem to be quibbling about this conversion. I really don't know myself, never tried it, but I'm sure some detective work could solve this problem. SOMEONE out there has done this already, i'm sure, and can give feedback.

    Well anyway, thanks for that. We seem to be drifting out of M3 territory, so maybe we should get back on topic, unless this also applies to M3 cars. ??
  • my top stops half way up...It will go back down but won't go all the way up. it's Sunday so I thought I might throw this out for a quick solution!


  • Sounds like the hydraulic unit might be bad. I believe you can peak at it and look for leaks by removing the left side trim in the trunk. It's under the NAV computer and the radio receiver. If there's no leak I guess you have to bring it in and have it tested.

    So can you gently urge it upwards with your hand? If it works with hand-assist, I'd say it's probably hydraulic. If it just jams up there, maybe there's a busted arm or bad bushing in the mechanicals.
  • Thanks! I tried a little more than gentle urge to no avail...It stops at the exact same spot every time, very strange...but it will go back down w/o any trouble. Could not find anything blocking it.
  • Okay. Does the motor keep humming or does it abruptly stop?
  • Keeps humming...
  • Okay I'm thinking loss of hydraulic pressure. Just a guess because we don't seem to have a jam (mechanical) and the motor is working (electrical) so by elimination....?

    You might check for a hydraulic leak, as that could damage the upholstery or paint surfaces back there.
  • gotta be the pump. Internal pressure loss?
  • No pressure loss...Cannot figure this one out!
  • I don't know the specs for pressure but I'd imagine from the symptoms you describe that it's an internal leak in the hydraulic pump---since the top works part way and the electrical motor is working, hence top control module sending the right signals.

    I believe there are trouble codes that can be read on this car to help with diagnosis on the top mechanism.
  • HI

    Just need to know what is the right tool to use for the drain plug. The last time/1st time I change the oil, i used a hex key to remove and tighten the drain plug. Since there was no way I can use the torque wrench, I hand tighen the drain plug (using new washer) with the hex key as tight as I can without stripping it. After a couple of months, I saw oil leak from the plug. I realized that the drain plug looks like it can be torqued with a torx set even though the hex key works.

    Now is time for another oil change, I used the torx to remove it but it started to slip. To prevent any damamge with a stuck drain plug that will require to be tapped out, I decided to leave it alone until I figure out the right tool.

    If it does use a torx, what size am I suupose to use? It was either T40 or T45 that had the best fit but still slips. Or am I suppose to get a hex key to remove and use a hex key end that can go on my torque wrench to tighten down properly for seal.

  • does anyone have DIY direction and diagram/photo on the air pump/ valve and where it is located?

    Bentley manual shows nothing that I can find on that and i can't seem to find anything detail on other forum, aside from the fact that peole claim is a easy easy diy.

    The dealer quoted a price of $1000 for parts and labor

    any help will be appreciated
  • Gimme your specs again, year, model, engine, blah blah and the exact part you are replacing and I'll try to look up DIY info for you and post it here:
  • actually, i google image for the air pump and found a link that shows diy for e 36

    i have a 01 m3, will so will the e36 be similar to e 46?
  • Perhaps this is of interest?

    GROUP 12
    Engine Electrical Systems

    Bulletin Number
    12 04 00

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ
    July 2000
    Service Engineering

    Secondary Air System Faults

    All models with M52 and S52 engine
    All models with M44 engine produced as of 1/97
    All models with M62 engine produced as of 9/98
    All models with M73 engine

    Customer complains that the "Check Engine" lamp is illuminated and the following fault is set in the Engine Control Module (ECM/DME):

    M52, S52 Engine:
    Fault code 245 (F5 hex) - Secondary air injection, bank 1
    Fault Code 246 (F6 hex) - Secondary air injection, bank 2

    M62 Engine
    Fault code 80 - Secondary air injection, bank 1
    Fault Code 81 - Secondary air injection, bank 2

    M44 & M73 Engine

    Fault Code 80 - Secondary air injection system
    Failure within the secondary air injection system.


    The following diagnostic tips / steps should be followed if the above customer complaint is received:
    1. For E36 vehicles equipped with M52 engine prod. 10/95 - 2/96 also refer to S.I. 12 04 96 regarding Recall Campaign No. 96E-A01.

    2. Refer to the OBD II training manual for illustrations and explanation of system operation.

    3. Perform test modules/component activation of secondary air system located in the "Service Functions" section using DIS/MoDiC.

    4. Check operation of secondary air pump using instructions provided in DIS/MoDiC.

    5. If pump is not operating correctly check air pump relay. For vehicles with M52 engine a modified relay was introduced into production P/N 12 63 1 742 690.

    6. If the relay is operating correctly and the electrical connections/wiring to the pump are OK, check the condition of the pump.

    7. If the air pump is seized it must be replaced.

    Important note :If the pump is seized as a result of moisture (water in pump), an improperly operating non-return valve is the cause. The non-return valve may stick open and allow exhaust gases to condense within the air pump housing leading to a failure of the pump.

    Non-return valve sealing / leakage check:

    The non-return valve must be checked as follows any time a seized secondary air pump has been replaced due to moisture.

    Disconnect the air pump feed line/hose at the non-return valve (line from the secondary air pump to the non-return valve).

    Visually inspect the non-return valve fitting internally for carbon type contamination. (Twisting the corner of a clean shop rag into the valve fitting as shown will assist with this check.)

    If no carbon type deposits are found on the rag, this indicates that the non-return valve is sealing correctly and does not need to be replaced.

    If carbon type deposits are found on the rag, the non-return valve is not sealing correctly and must be replaced.
    Note :A non-return valve which is not sealing correctly will cause damage to the secondary air pump as described above.

    8. Check also for cracked vacuum lines going to the non-return valve.

    -- For vehicles with M44 engine the vacuum line P/N 11 73 7 501 180 going to the non-return valve has been improved since 11/98.

    -- For E46 323i/iA and 328i/iA vehicles produced 4/98 - 7/98 see S.I. number 12 04 98 regarding the vacuum hose to the secondary air non-return valve service action.
  • there's no doubt bmw is an amazing performance machine combine with comfort in a reasonable price. But I'm starting to wonder if the complain from others that is not as relaible with multiple electrical/mechanical issue is really true

    Thanks for the info

    if you ever finds any DIY diagram or photos of the air pump or relay, I would appreciated.
  • jd1971jd1971 Posts: 1
    found this old thread as I am looking at purchasing m3. what is the problem with titles from NH? just curious as I am in new england
  • Oh some states in the past developed a bad reputation for being very loose with their title requirements, allowing out-of-staters to "launder" salvage titles for real ones.

    I really don't know if these loopholes have been corrected or not. I'm just so used to being on alert with titles from New Hampshire and Alabama that I remain on high alert when I come across one.

    Didn't mean to alarm you! Best thing for you might be something like

    Auto Check
  • I am thinking about buying a 2005 BMW M3 fully loaded with navigation with 48,100 miles. I was wondering if there are any known reported repair problems with this vehicle? The 2008 Consumer Reports Buying Guide saids it is a used vevicle that should be avoided. It reports transmission, electrical, power and suspension problems, but most of my internet research for the most part does not state anything like this.
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