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BMW M3 Maintenance and Repair



  • daler2daler2 Posts: 2
    I talked to Gary (I had also seen his name mentioned on the TireRack site as well). He said essentially all the tires in this category tend to become more and more noisy as they wear. He also said the Contis were clearly the best value (they had gotten a great price from Conti) and that the performance and wear of the others tires listed on TireRack for my car were not much better (if at all) for the added cost. He also said if I could get 25K out of the Contis there was little to gain from switching. So I guess I'll order the Contis. At least I know how they will handle and wear (and make noise). Besides, at the price I can almost by two of the Contis for the price of one of the Michelins.
  • I'm looking at a couple of 2001 M3s being sold in MN, NY, and NJ. I'm concerned that I will have rust problems later down the road. Should I steer away from buying a car from a rust-prone state, or am I just being paranoid?
  • Unless you are buying a car that was manufactured in the '80s, then you have nothing to worry about... New cars that are washed at least monthly just don't rust anymore, unless they have had body damage and a poor repair/paint job.

    If the car looks to be well taken care of, rust should never be an issue, no matter where it comes from... especially a BMW..


    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Hi definetley go for it man. My father got the 1999 bmw m3 convertible green with tan interior 5spd manual when it first came out now the scoop with the roll bars are there is a system in the car that will deploy the roll bars that are located behind the passengers headrest it will punch out the plastic window when the systems reaches a certant angle like a pengelum and it will deploy quikly and this saves lifes its amazeing it comes standard on m3's
  • Well this message is about a year old but I have to say I think I have the same problem with my M3. The people who responded are on the wrong track I think because the problem does not occur when you decelerate but actually happens when you accelerate, it does in my case anyways.

    My problem started a few months after I got my M3 Nov 2004. It was happening almost exclusively in 1st gear, usually on a cold start but not always and very intermitently. It would start bucking wildly as I accelerated usually from a stand still position until I geared up which I would have to do quickly to cancel the bucking action. The more you accelerate the rougher the jerking. The dealer had a problem identifying it and the 3rd time it was in they had it for over a week had some german bmw guy look at it did some minor work and when I got it back it started bucking in 2nd gear mostly instead of first. Lately it has been running fairly smooth but with the cold weather I think it might become more frequent. If the problem persists I think I need to take it back to the dealer.

    I went to another dealer recently but they could not identify the problem. The mechanic said he has encountered similar problems with other customers and said in sport mode this is not uncommon as you need to apply constant and heavier acceleration as it was meant to be driven in sport mode. I told him I have the problem in any mode and the more acceleration the more it bucks; he didnt seem to believe me.

  • Was over at a friends house looking at his BMW M3 series. Not quite sure on the year. I thinks its a 95. Anyways, the dashboard indicator light is on referring to a problem with the electronic shift. The car is an automatic, and when you drive it, it has no power when the accelerator is pushed down. In the owners manual, it states that this condition is due to the car stuck in 4th gear. Is there some kind of sensor I can check? Or any type of "transmission control module" I should be looking for? I'm not a mechanic, just a DIY type person who likes to tinker with cars. :confuse:
  • I havnt bought a bmw yet but im looking to buy my first car within the next 2 months. ive always wanted an M3 and now that i have the money to buy one I have a dilemma, I cant decide what color I want it in. id like to hear peoples opinions. p.s it would be a 02' 0r 03' model
  • I like mystic blue. The new reds are awful IMO. Anthracite metallic is kind of nice but a bit understated. I don't think the green fits an M3. Silver is nice but very common.
  • irockdiesel7,

    You will find that a large majority of folks will get a Bimmer in some version of grey, silver, or black. Some (like me) feel that a BMW just "looks right" i.e., looks like a BMW should, in one of those colours. Also, some prefer a traditional colour like that so as not to affect "resale value" come trade-in time.

    On the other hand, I personally believe in some individuality, especially if you are buying an M3. In that case, one of the M-specific colours, e.g., Imola Red, Carbon Black, and Laguna Seca Blue, among others, will definitely enhance the attention-grabbing aspect of an M3. I was sure I wanted Imola Red for my new M3, then I changed to Silver. Changed for a third time when I saw Interlagos Blue (only available on '05 and '06 M3s with the ZCP/Competition Pkg) and it took my breath away! :surprise: As soon as I saw it, I knew that was my colour.

    So, to answer your question...if you prefer conservative/traditional, I would recommend Carbon Black or Titanium Silver. Want to turn some heads? Laguna Seca Blue or Phoenix Yellow (which is actually more of a gold) will definitely accomplish that!

    Hope that helps. :)
  • My sweetie and I are co-owners of a used auto Dealership.We both love BMW's and we specialize in BMW's and their restoration. We have approximately 25 BMW's ranging from a 1970 model 2002 up to a 1995 740i, 2-1991 M5's, a 1997 M-3, 2-1990 525i's, a 1998 528i, and a 1989 730i. So we are familar with BMW's. We are looking at a 1997 BMW that is being advertized as an M3, But it says that there is an automatic transmission in it. I could see on the pictures that it only has a Single Exhaust. I was under the impression that the M-Class cars only came w/a manual trani and I have never seen one w/single exhaust. :confuse: I think they are wrong and they have a 330i w/ a M3 emblem. What do you all think? I love the 330i but not if I am paying for a M3. :cry:
    Thanks a bunch for any insight at all!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,644
    Don't mess around, check the VIN # and do a CARFAX if you are suspicious of any modern car.
  • e85fane85fan Posts: 9
    I have listed a Chrysler Master Engine Rebuild Kit and some reconditioned parts on E-Bay and I am getting very few lookers. Is there an auction site where I would get a better response?
  • phatcat1phatcat1 Posts: 5
    Hey Frank, I have a 2005 smg model coupe and I have had the same problem. I asked the dealer about it and we took a test drive. Basically he said that in sport mode that will happen and that it was a driver issue in terms of throttle control. Anyway as the car has aged it has gotten a little better but a cold start will make it jerk that way and the only way I get around it is by accelerating fully, which makes me look like a n jerk. I wonder if anyone else has this problem in 1st gear and how they get around it?
  • emkeeperemkeeper Posts: 1
    is it accurate to say the 06 M3 gets 16mpg city / 23mpg highway?
  • hey phatcat1!

    im not sure if i know exactly what you are talking about, but if you're talking aobut the jerking that occurs when driving slowly in 1st gear its because you need to switch into 2nd gear. if in manual mode thats easy to do, but in automatic, to switch, release the gas for about a second and press on it again this should allow the SMG transmission to switch to 2nd gear on its own.

    This happens because the car starts at an aggressive gear ratio, you can lower it by pressing on the down button of the button below the stick. When the gear ratio isn't at an aggressive setting it shouldn't ever jerk because you won't need to go up to high RPM's just for the car to switch.

    i just got an 03 M3 and noticed that same problem and thats how i got around it.

    if you dont understand something because i do realize that what i typed is kind of confusing so yeah, just e-mail me at

    bye, hope i was helpfup
  • tiananmentiananmen Posts: 1
    I am currently looking for a used M3 and found a 2003/SMG with ~37k miles. The production date is Feb/03 so it averages about 12k/year. My concern:

    - is the mileage high?
    - anything else you can think of that I should look out? Such as timing belt, brakes, etc. that may need significant repairs/replacement for a M3 with 37k miles?

    I don't have a user's manual so really don't know the maintenance schedule in terms of mileage.

  • asdftgyhasdftgyh Posts: 1
    I too am a novice to the M3 scene, but have been researching the cars for a few months now. I am interested in purchasing a 97-99 M3 in the near future. Are there any common problems, specific to M3s of those years, that I should look out for when inspecting a possible purchase? Thanks for the help.
  • stereolofistereolofi Posts: 1
    Phatcat1, I have a 02 M3 with SMG and have the same problem. Whenever first starting the car in the morning if is jumpy in first gear, with or without Sport mode on. I usually just drive in manual mode and from a stop, start out in 2nd gear. This works well while the car warms up. Hope that helps.

  • phatcat1phatcat1 Posts: 5
    Hey, thanks for the tip. I am getting this less and less as I drive the car more. I have had my car for almost a year now and Im not sure if its bc Ive broken the car/engine in or I'm learning how to drive it better! Enjoy those revs! ;)
  • red4manred4man Posts: 1

    My name is Clinton Redman and I have a 2001 E46 M3. I have had the car for 4 yrs from 28000km to 131 000km. I was away for 6 weeks on business. The car was parked at the airport, undercover. When I returned and floored it after 20 minutes, the problem first occurred. The car has been back to BMW 3 times and numerous tuning guys have looked at it, no solution. Various faults have shown up, but resetting them has not solved it. The added disadvantage of this problem is that the car feels extremely underpowered from 4000rpm when reset.

    Have you found a solution?
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