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Offline a.taylor

  • Joined: Oct 2009

  • Location: Wollongong
So I've been floating around for a while now without really posting up much about my car. Im not going to try and claim it's an exotic but for the price it's about the most solid entry to the sports car (european) market that would do everything I wanted of it. I drive it every day and regularly have 3 or 4 mates along for the ride, 2 seats wasn't an option for this reason.

As the title mentions its a 2003 model. Built late in the year so its actually MY04 (LED tail lights, 19" wheels standard etc.). Just about to hit 105,000 km mark. 18k of which I have done since i bought it early in the year. It has the SMG transmission which is great when getting stuck into it and fine around town.

I have had a few reliability problems with it (more than I ever had with the Mazdaratti) but that was somewhat expected and a price I am willing to pay. Alternator and coils have been the two big failures so far. The alternator left me stuck out in the sticks out of phone range, had to wait about 3 hours for NRMA and a tow. The seccond last photo below was from that occasion.

A few photos I have taken below.

Harbour Side by a.taylor, on Flickr

IMG_1781.jpg by a.taylor, on Flickr

IMG_1790.jpg by a.taylor, on Flickr

Illuminated by a.taylor, on Flickr

IMG_2046.jpg by a.taylor, on Flickr


Offline hummel

  • Joined: Nov 2007

  • Location:
  • Drives:
Nice ride,

I've been keeping an eye on these as a next car. They seem great buying but you speak about the problems you've had, what kind of cost are we looking at? What about insurance? Was keen on 135i but M3 is cheaper and has more appeal!

Offline M308

  • Degranged

  • Joined: Aug 2008

  • Location: Adelaide
  • Name: Scott Thomson
I'm a huge fan of the E46......very nice mate :thumbsup:

Offline Fil-Ski

  • Joined: Feb 2009

  • Drives: 993TT
  • Location: Adelaide
Another M3 fan.
Great colour

Offline a.taylor

  • Joined: Oct 2009

  • Location: Wollongong
Thanks Lads.

...what kind of cost are we looking at? What about insurance? Was keen on 135i but M3 is cheaper and has more appeal!

Never having owned anything before the mazda i cant really compare to anything in terms of service and parts cost. Generally speaking costs have been about as expected, expensive but not  unreasonable to my mind. The alternator was ~$1400. Coils ~$86 each - replaced all 6. Appraently the coils are a more common problem on the lower models that usually have the cheaper brand from the factory. They seemed a bit surprised that the M3 had them so swapped them all out for the more reliable brand. All prices are through the local BMW dealer so you can probably do better else where but they have looked after me well and i know i'm getting genuine parts so i am happy to keep going back to them.

As a 23 year old with no history i pay about $2500pa for comprehensive insurance. Again for me expensive but not unreasonable.

I had half an eye on the 135i when i was looking around as well and came to the same conclusion.

Fil-Ski - It was a personalised colour so you wont see many M3's wearing it ;-) strangely enough though i have seen another one getting around wollongong  :doh:

Offline dodger

  • Tommy Gunna

  • Joined: Dec 2009

  • Location: Melbourne
That is a very, very, good looking car :thumbsup:

Offline a.taylor

  • Joined: Oct 2009

  • Location: Wollongong
I'm surprised about the Electrical issues. Is that common in BMWs??????

I am a bit surprised by them as well to be honest. They can be particularly frustrating too particularly when:-
A) you are out in the sticks (as mentioned, alternator)
B) going to drive home late on a Friday evening of a long weekend after a particularly long and frustrating day (it was fine on the drive in to work, coils)

But such is life. It brings a massive smile to the face on a spirited drive through the hills.

Offline CortinaD

  • Joined: Jan 2008

  • Location:
  • Drives:
Hey mate lovely car. The 01-04ish m3's have the Bremi coils which have problems. The later ones have the bosch which dont have issues. Having said that, my car is still running on bremi coils fine although I have a set of Bosch ones in my garage just in case.

My alternator went out at 65k. If you buy everything from O/S and fit it yourself you will save heaps.

You should get your subframe checked :)

Offline hummel

  • Joined: Nov 2007

  • Location:
  • Drives:
Thanks for the replies a.taylor! Appreciate it!

They just seem good buying for what you get but maybe they're getting a little long in the tooth? I'm a benz fan at heart but nothing in their range seems to beat the E46 at the same price point.

Fantasic color as well, way too many silver and blacks around!

Offline cel

That colour is really nice on the car, and cool photo's as well!  :thumbsup:

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