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BMW M3 Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • gmonkiesgmonkies Posts: 35
    Thank You!!! :)
  • drummer02drummer02 Posts: 1
    I'm not sure if this topic has been posted yet but this seems like a pretty knowledgable audience.

    Basically, I'm in the market for a real car after spending way too many years with a Honda. The 4 cars I am currently interested in from most to least are: E46, E36, Audi S4, Audi A4. Since this is a BMW post, my main questions pertain to the 36 and 46, but if anyone has any insight into the Audis I'd be interested as well. Since I'm finishing up grad school, my main concern is RELIABLE speed. I've heard some bad things about the reliability of Audis...

    Most likely, I'd like to purchase a black, manual coupe (36/46) for around $25,000 or less. I know I'm pushing it with the E46, but I have found some E46 coupes hovering around 60k miles. Right now there is an E36 with 35K for under $23,000 in my area. I know the differences in speed/power between the two models, but how about reliability and maintenance?

    Since I don't know as much about M3s, what is a reasonable amount of mileage I should consider? My plan is to wait it out until until I find a deal, then have the car inspected by a BMW mechanic. Obviously, that mechanic will know what to look for, but I would like to have an idea also. What are some common problems with the two models that I should consider? I know I want to look at maintenance records (ie- how often brake fluid etc.) My last question...what is to be expected each year for maintenance? I understand that BMW parts are very expensive, as is service at a BMW dealership. Is it unsafe to use non-BMW parts? Does anyone use a non-BMW mechanic? I have a very good mechanic, but working on a Honda is like fixing a simple lawn mower!

    Thanks a lot for any help. I'm sure topics like mine have been posted many times before, but I have a 14 credit graduate school summer ahead and not much time. If anyone has any comprehensive M3 websites to suggest that would be helpful too. Given my financial situation, which of the 4 cars would you buy?
  • gmonkiesgmonkies Posts: 35
    I'm no expert with my E46 M3 that I just got 4 months ago but I'm loving IT.
    I had been modifying honda/acura for over 10 years. I've owned a total of 8 of them from OBDO and OBD1 and I'm still not done playing with the 4 that I still have :-)

    But back to the M3. I got my 2001, 6 speed, with 74K for $18,100
    I took it to the dealer for a complete check with compression test added to make sure engine is still strong before I purchased it. I've found out a couple of things that needs to be changed which is pretty much maintenance stuff when the car gets to ~ 80K All the stuff that needs to be changed cause me about ~$ 4,000 from the dealer. I'm slowly changing it myself with the help of advice from guys here and Save about $1000 so far. Thanks.Guys!!!

    You can also check BMWforum.com is what I've been told

    Where are you located BTW?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,296
    My last question...what is to be expected each year for maintenance? I understand that BMW parts are very expensive, as is service at a BMW dealership. Is it unsafe to use non-BMW parts? Does anyone use a non-BMW mechanic? I have a very good mechanic, but working on a Honda is like fixing a simple lawn mower!

    I'd set aside $50-$75 per month for maintenance of an E36 M3(including tires). The cars are pretty simple to keep running. Oil changes are a dead easy DIY task-$50 for oil and filter. At @60K I'd replace the water pump and thermostat, and the radiator at 100K. Join BMW CCA and find a good independent BMW tech or a reasonable dealer. There are several around, if you know where to look. Me, I'm in the process of dumping a 2007 Mazdaspeed3- I'll replace it with either an E36 or E46 M3. Right now I'm leaning toward an E36 as it is relatively cheap and easy run as well as to add a few more horses(it will be my primary track toy). Plus, I love Dakar Yellow...

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

  • jman6jman6 Posts: 4
    Do any of you know how difficult it would be to repace an AC Blower motor? the dealership is charging me over 700 dollars and was wondering how hard it would be to replace myself?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,296
    A decent DIY pictoral on E46 blower motor replacement can be found here. You should probably read the whole thread while you are at it. It's a fiddly and agravating job, but if you have decent tools and reasonable DIY skills you can save yourself a fair amount of money.

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

  • rprrpr Posts: 2
    I have a 98 M3 and need new tires. I have Yokohama AVS ES 100 245/40 ZR17 91W and am looking for something different. Good performance tires but I only got 12K miles out of them. Does anyone have a recommendation? I looking for a good performance tire with a little better wear.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,296
    I've had good luck with various iterations of the Kumho Ecsta. I can usually get 20K out of them.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    That's a fairly low-priced tire though isn't it?

    MODERATOR

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,296
    Yes, but they usually do well in the Tire Rack comparison tests as well as on the street/track. Tire Rack even ranks the MX one category higher than the ES100 tire that the OP currently runs. In any case, I suspect that fewer than one in ten driving enthusiasts could tell the difference between the Kumho Ecsta MX and a tire such as the RE 050A on the street.

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

  • gmonkiesgmonkies Posts: 35
    when you decide on which tire you want, I might be able to ship it to you at a better price then tire rack depending on where you are located. I can definitely beat their price on tire / wheel package.
  • gmonkiesgmonkies Posts: 35
    my 01 m3 is 77K now, unless I didn't pay attention, my transimssion end did not make a "klunk" noise as frequent when I shift on normal driving. The car never got a chance to be on the track yet since I got it 4 months ago so it's hasn't been shift hard at all. The dealer inspection (before I bought it) picked up on my rear lower control arm bushing needing a replacement in a year but found nothing on tranny. Is that "klunk" noise common? or is the drvie shaft lost or something? what should I look for when I'm underneath the car to make sure everything is tight?
    :confuse:
  • gmonkiesgmonkies Posts: 35
    i got a friend with a 2000 540i sport with electronic control suspension front and rear. I know this is a m3 forum but I'm hoping someone will have an answer.

    he needs new shock and was wondering if he can save some money and use "Gabriel" suspension from autozone. Is alot cheaper than OE from dealer and is made for the 540 according to autozone. the only problem is that it is without the electronic control. if it will work, will the fitment be the same as OE without modification needed? or should he avoid possible headache and just pay the money for the OE? any insight will be appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Permit me to smack my forehead. :cry:

    No, please tell him/her not to do that. (see link I provided)

    If I were him/her, I'd contact Bilstein and ask them what package they have to solve this problem.

    I understand that replacing these shocks is very expensive, but that's a lot better than having a car that will be (IMO) significantly degraded with the wrong shocks on it.

    Bilstein Corp

    Hope this helps. It might be cheaper than the dealer, too.

    MODERATOR

  • gmonkiesgmonkies Posts: 35
    Yeh,

    i did speak to Bilstein already because autozone gave Bilstein as another option. According to autozone, their system sho electronic control for the rear only and not the front which didn't make sense. I called Bilstein and gave them autozone's part # and Bilstein said neither the front nor the the rear part # can be used for electronic control and they have had problem trying to make something that will work so they told me to go use OE from dealer. My friend now use the 540 as a grocery getter and was hoping he can save money using aftermarket without putting the car at risk on highway driving in normal condition.

    but you confirm my thought that he should just use OE. Thanks!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,671
    I don't want to plug these guys, but if there is an after-market solution, they will know about it.. They might know of a specific product use that even the manufacturers don't know about..

    But, I'm betting OEM is the only way, as well....

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    I'm just trying to get my head around putting an entry-level shock absorber on such a high performance sedan. I would think the shocks would turn to mush if you drove the car in any kind of spirited fashion.

    But I also understand that the OE solution from the dealer is murderously expensive.

    MODERATOR

  • gmonkiesgmonkies Posts: 35
    yeh
    good thing for him i get 20% discount from the dealer through my shop but is still 1/3 more than bilstein and almost 3 times as much from gabriel as my cost from autozone

    well, safety is definitely more important than a couple of hunder bucks for him and other drivers on the highway.

    thank you all for your feedbacks to confirm my thought. is just like racing, sometime you want to try to get away with it to strecth the dollar when you can. but sometime is not worth losing a race or worse by getting cheap parts!!!! experienced that too many times :-P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    What DOES a dealer charge for 4 shocks w/ the self-level system in place?

    I've heard some really scary numbers here. We are talking thousands of dollars, right?

    MODERATOR

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,296
    I've heard some really scary numbers here. We are talking thousands of dollars, right?

    $831 each for the front and $542 each for the rear. $2746 for all four. My E24 M6 had the self-leveling rear shocks and it was a simple matter to switch over to regular Bilsteins if you didn't want to pay to fix whatever failed. I don't see why you couldn't simply replace the EDC shocks with Bilstein Sport or BMW M Sport dampers. As for bargain shocks, I have a friend who fitted Monroe shocks to his E39 wagon. He's a fairly hard-core enthusiast and he was pleased with the results(the Monroes are made in Europe, FWIW).

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

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