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BMW M3 Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • can anyone explain why a stock e46 m3 motor can reliably run on a activeautowerke supercharger kit but not for a turbo set up without changing to a lower compression piston?

    if the oem e46 m3 compression is not too high for supercharger, shouldn't it handle a turbo set up at the same psi assuming the CFI flow rate is the same with same size injector, tuned fuel map..etc?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    But who is claiming that, the maker of the supercharger?

    At any rate, they might be right. Turbos create more heat than SCers and also more 'surge' of power. SCers run cooler and offer a wider power band.

    So I could see this argument being correct in principle, although I could also see how the engineering of the particular kit could change the reliability factors either way.

    I guess it also depends on what PSI both these systems run at.

    Bottom line is that ANY bolt on kit, SC or turbo, is going to reduce engine life ultimately. You don't get something for nothing. You can take 10% right off the top on either application IMO.

    MODERATOR

  • Very interesting. I never realized turbo will have more surge if it's the same psi with same CFI and I always thought a good intercooler will make turbo as reliable as SCer. But that explanation makes sense.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    It makes sense to me, too. I mean, if you think about how the turbo delivers power, it does come on all at once whereas a SC is a gradual buildup from idle. Also given that the turbo lies adjacent to the exhaust system one would expect more heat whereas the SC is often up top in a cooler region. I betcha turbo intercoolers work harder and can't shed heat as fast.

    MODERATOR

  • Does anyone know what repair manual I can get other than Bentley? I just got the Bentley manual and it did not include cylinder head work for M3 motor. So I don't have the torque spec to install the oil seperator on the head. :confuse:

    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,286
    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!

    Like I said in post #114, join BMW CCA. You will then have online and phone access to the club's technical advisors.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • dwjldwjl Posts: 1
    gmonkies,
    I took my car in to the dealer for a recall (2002 M3) and they told me I need the euro valve and the power steering hose changed because they are both leaking. They quoted me $900 for the euro valve and $650 for for the power steering hose. I came across your thread after doing some research the the web. Did you fix the problem your self? If yes, was it hard to change out? Thanks for your help in advance.
  • Hey all, seems like there is a lot of people here who know their stuff, so I am seeking some help....I am shopping around for a 2002 or 2003 M3, but obviously with a car that is out of warranty, I am a little nervous shelling out for a used vehicle that could potentially have a lot of reliability issues. Any thoughts on reliability, maintenance costs, etc? Any "horror stories" out there with an M3? I am kind of torn between an M3 and a 2005-2006 G35, solely for the fact that there are tons of certified pre-owned G coupes in the Chicago area for a comparable price. As one poster said earlier, however, I would be willing to "roll the dice" on an M3 out of warranty if the reliability is sound.

    Thanks in advance!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    Well you have to do your homework and go in with your eyes open. Probably most people who have had bad luck with these cars out of warranty did not perform due diligence during the purchase process.

    If it were me, I'd:

    1. Find out all the problem areas by doing research

    2. Buy the BEST M3 you can afford. No projects, no question marks, no salvage titles, no cars with zero service history, no cars titles from Louisiana, Alabama or New Hampshire.

    3. Have the car meticulously inspected by an M3 specialist.

    Doing all this, you've improved your odds 90%. Is all this a guarantee of a happy life? No, it isn't but you are WAY ahead of the average buyer.

    Here, this will get you started!

    http://edgemotorworks.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=55- #cooliris

    MODERATOR

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,286
    The E46 M3 has proven to be pretty reliable overall. There were some engine issues early on any car you look at should have had the problem corrected by now. I always recommend that any potential BMW owners join the BMW Car Club since so many dealers and independent shops offer discounts on parts and/or labor to club members. The local Chicago chapter(Windy City) is one of the most active and friendly groups as well. I'm sure that you will find members more than willing to advise you regarding the purchase and servicing of an E46 M3. Best of all, they conduct a terrific Drivers School at Road America- made to order for an M3!
    What you must keep in mind is that you need to service any BMW by the book. Cutting corners on maintenance will end up costing more in the end.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • I do agree with the advice above that is best to have a certified BMW mechanic to go through the inspection before purchasing a used M3. I bought mine a month ago. The car looks, feels, sounds and drive like a new car. But luckily I ask the dealer to do the same list of visual inspection check as they would for their own certified pre-own. That cost about $125. But more importantly, I also asked them to do a compression test to make sure the engine is stil fresh and do a driving inspection. That cost another $400. It was $ worth spend because they found leaks from the oil seperator and power steering hose which could cause some major damage. I would have never been able to discover that myself from test driving it.

    Now I am driving my M3 cautiously until I get it fixed. This is where I'm stuck and need help I need to change the oil separator, part # 11-15-7-830-948 and the new O-ring. I purchase the Bentley repair manual and join the BMWCCA as recommended. However, the manual did not have any torque specification for installing a new oil separator. Some of the TSA that I have contacted from BMWCCA either couldn't help me or told me to call a dealership. I was not able to get the info from a local BMW dealer either. I have the parts and the diagram. I'm sure I know how to do it right if I have the torque spec so I don't over or under tigten. And I really don't want to spend over $800 in labor if I can do it myself. If anyone know the specification or know who I can speak to that can help me, I would appreciate the assistance.
  • I haven't changed it yet. But it's one of those things that it shouldn't be ignored. I got the euro valve, aka oil seperator from the dealer and it's like $60 and the O ring was about $10 I think. I got a diagram from the dealer and it seems pretty straight forward. But right now I'm stuck cause I don't have the torque specification and no one seems to know. Once I find the torque spec, I should be able to change it in less than an hour or two. As far as the power steering hose, I need to wait till I can get it on jackstands because you can only reach it from the bottom from what I can see. That will be more difficult. According to a website, the power steering hose should all be changed the same time along with the reservoir since it has a filter in it.
  • The M3 is so much better than the G35. The M3 runs neck to neck with porsche carerra and msrp was $20,000 less then carerra. Depending what price you are looking for, you might find a 2003 with extended warranty which ends in 2009. Also, if you are going to get infiniti, the new G37 is a much better car. 330 HP for $32,000 msrp vs the m3 333HP for $48,000 msrp. But then again, I love my used M3 and not sure if the G37 can handle like the M3. Just make sure you get the M3 to BMW for a full inspection, test drive and compression test by the mechanic and that will give you most of the warning signs that you will have to face.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    In terms of sporting abilities, I agree the E46 M3 is a step up from the G37 (not necessarily in HP, but in handling/chassis dynamics). But to compare it to a Porsche 911 is absurd.

    The M3 is a bloated, understeering land barge compared to the 911.
  • but is the carerra really worth $20,000 more? Which is more car for the $. There are so options to improve the M3 with extra $20,000 that can make the M3 out perform the carerra at tht point. Let's face it, unless some people buy the porsche for the name to show off their wealth, otherwise most people buy it for the excitement from the performance side and the M3 performance spec is pretty comparable if you put them side to side.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,286
    If anyone know the specification or know who I can speak to that can help me, I would appreciate the assistance.

    You might try posting your question on some other M3 forums. I'd also recommend joining the Yahoo E46 M3 group. If all else fails, you can always go to the BMW NA Online Tech site and pay $30 for 24 hours of access.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,286
    otherwise most people buy it for the excitement from the performance side and the M3 performance spec is pretty comparable if you put them side to side.

    True enough, but I have to agree with fedlawman in that the 911 is more agile and involving, primarily due to its lighter weight and compact size. Don't take it as a knock on your M3, as it's a great car. Still, given the choice I'd also go with the 911- assuming I didn't need a usable rear seat...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "is the carerra really worth $20,000 more?"

    Is the M3 worth $20,000 more than a Honda Accord V-6?

    "There are so options to improve the M3 with extra $20,000 that can make the M3 out perform the carerra"

    There are so many options to improve the Accord with the extra $20,000 that can make the Accord outperform the M3.

    "the M3 performance spec is pretty comparable if you put them side to side."

    BMW E46 M3 - 3415 lb curb weight; 107.5" wheelbase; 0-60 in 4.8 secs; 1/4 mile in 13.6 secs
    Porsche 911 - 3075 lb curb weight; 92.5" wheelbase; 0-60 in 4.3 secs; 1/4 mile in 12.8 secs

    No comparison. The M3 is a Grand Tourer - the 911 is a Sports Car
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    Such DIFFERENT driving experiences! The comparison seems forced to me.

    MODERATOR

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I agree - the comparison just doesn't work on so many levels.

    I can only guess that GMonkies has never driven a Porsche.
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