Your best approach by far would be to find a good local indy BMW mechanic and ask him. Then use him for a thorough PDI when the time comes.
I did not want to interrupt the E36 thread with off topic questions. So, I'll ask it here; What are the preventive maintenance items that should be looked out for when purchasing an e46 M3? Besides the subframe welding issue, what else should be looked for? Suspension refresh kit?
Up to production date 10/01 there was a recall on connecting rod bearings.
Also ask for service records for oil changes and note that Castrol TWS 10w-60 was used and that interim oil changes were made between the "free scheduled maintenance" BS every 15k.
Last edited by ATL_Av8r; 10-09-2012 at 02:59 PM.
MemeGate 2012 - First Responder, post #2
Originally Posted by .skully.
Here is a link to the Bimmerforums "Everything you should know before buying a E46 thread"
I used a similar guide to buy my E36 M. Still had a PPI done, but this allowed me to ask the right questions and find a car that was well taken care of.
S54 needs periodic valve adjustments. Plan on doing one right when you get the car for peace of mind.
There's also been multiple instances of the intake side VANOS camshaft bolts backing out/shearing which can nuke the engine. No idea of failure rates, and if I can grow a pair I'm going to check mine out when I do my valve adjustment.
Valve adjustment is definitely DIY-able for any semi competent. It looks more intimidating than it is. BMP design has a couple of videos on youtube I basically used exclusively for my directions on how to do it.
If you still think it's over your head, should only be 4-5hrs at an indy shop (not bad every 30k or so, if you ask me)
BMWCCA, SCCA, CCSCC
Current: 2014 Mustang GT, 301A, Track, Recaro; 2006 F-150
Past: 2007 Z4 M Coupe, 2007 E90 335i, 2002 Hyundai Accent, 2001 Volvo S80, 2001 Daewoo Nubira (seriously), 1999 Ford F-150
OP, are you kidding me? This stuff is incredibly well-documented on the internet. By this point, we know virtually everything about the E46's weak points.
This checklist took me less than 10 seconds to find via Google:
DD: 2012 GLI
Gone but not forgotten: 2010 Golf 2.5
Summer fun: 1995 M3
Former E36 318i driver and self-appointed Chairman of the Momentum Preservation Society.