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Autodealer dream buy: BMW M3 (E46)


FOR our Autodealer Dream Buy this week we’ve found what could be one of the most iconic BMWs to date… the E46 BMW M3. We have a special place in our hearts for this sports car. The E46 M3 has done wonders for the BMW brand; it proves that the company is dedicated to developing only the best cars for the road and the track.

It features a high-revving 3.2-lite straight six engine, which develops just over 250kW of power. It’s lightweight and remains one of the best-sounding BMWs to date - in our opinion.

We would love to own one of these, like the one we found on our website. However, what are some things that you need to look out for when buying one of these cars?

Here’s a list of items to check when looking to buy a BMW M3:

  • Check if the car has a service history with the agents. The M3 is a specialized vehicle and needs specialized attention. Make sure that it was serviced regularly and that only approved BMW parts have been used;
  • Get the car checked by a specialist. Make sure that the rear sub-frame is not cracked. If it is, work the reinforcing price into your offer. This is one of the few things many are unfamiliar with when purchasing an E46 M3;
  • If you opt for the SMG automatic gearbox (which many will advise you not to do), check that the software has been updated and that the gearbox oil is fresh. The hydraulic pump has been known to give issues; we advise that you have this checked or replaced;
  • These cars are pretty much bullet-proof but do take it for a drive, make sure that the gear changes are smooth and that there’s no knocking noises coming from the front. If there are, it could be the front control arms that need replacing;
  • The E46 M3 is quickly becoming a sought-after car; find one in its original condition;
  • Try and get one that hasn’t been fiddled with. Many owners would replace standard parts for performance parts; they’d change the colour of certain body panels or even lower the car. Chances are a car with these types of changes has been driven rather hard;
  • Check the rear tyres for any tread issues; they spin quite easily;
  • Make sure you do your homework; contact insurance companies and find out about running costs as well as service costs.

You can expect to pay anywhere between R160 000 to R400 000 - depending on kilometres and overall condition. The less kilometres and the better the year, the more expensive it will be. The E46 M3 was produced from 2001 until 2006.

Click here to view this car on Autodealer. 

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