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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 03:06:33 AM   #1
Yar1
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Default How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

Since I sold my winter beater/daily car a few months ago due to high miles and starting to show signs of decline. I have been dailying my M in the meantime. While I am absolutely loving it, it has added a few miles (up to 130K now) and has required more maintenance.

I live in the midwest and seeing as winters can be harsh here, I'm faced with either buying a winter beater or sticking it out with the ///M on winter tires. This would entail commuting to school, work, etc. Shes never saw a winter and is still in what I would consider excellent shape (purchased from the 1st owner).

Naturally, I am curious about others' experience or opinion on winter duty!
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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 03:37:15 AM   #2
delvin
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

Since it has never seen winter I would be hesitant. A beater under $2k would be ideal IMO
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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 04:36:27 AM   #3
bostonbruck
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

I’ve never driven my m3 in the snow. I have a $2000 E46 325i for that duty
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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 05:34:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

The thought of my m3 in the salt scattered wasteland we call midwest winters makes me cringe
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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 06:55:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

You guys will cringe because of me then....



I dailied a E46 ZHP 330i for 9 years, year round in all conditions. The E46 chassis has the same sealant protection as every single model with I'm sure some lemons that made it out of the factory with missing spots. I never once had an issue with corrosion with my 330i and I don't expect to have any issues with the my now, dailied M3 that I've put into adverse conditions for 3 happy years.



In normal dry/wet life, the traction limits are so high that you cannot begin to understand and appreciate how balanced the E46 is in handling at the point there you have one axle sliding under your own command unless you're at a track or other controlled environment. In the snow it's such a joy to be able to point the car's direction with your foot and a little bit of steering all while traveling 5 mph. The 330i was great in the snow but it's open diff left traction missing in one wheel when things got dicey but I never needed to be towed as I pick the challenges that won't get be into that "deep" of trouble. The M3 with LSD has just a tad more grip and a whole lot more attitude which is such a gem when you can play at low speeds confidently. The feedback is simply predictable and amazing once you "get the feeling". It's an amazing precision tool when you get the honour to drive a car like this in the snow.

If it is driven/played with in crappy conditions then I will make sure on the next "clearish" day, it'll get power washed inside the fenders and under the car.

My cars have always been parked outdoors 95% of the year so they are getting hammered by the elements no matter how hot or cold. I keep the exterior in good condition with protection. Currently my M3 is ceramic coated as well as fully XPEL Ultimate wrapped from front fenders, forward, including 100% of the hood.



I had the RACP/subframe worked on before last winter and everything checks out fine so I'm confident this car will handle everything I throw at it in the PNW winters. It also got a lot of extra sealing to prevent corrosion in the longer term. I will always inspect it when I get a chance and address any issues that arise.



To this day she has no sign she is "tortured" in the snow/sand/gravel/ice. This is a great robust car if you choose for it to be robust in your daily life.

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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 07:46:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

It depends on where you are. Dont they still use salt there? I grew up in michigan and now live in the mtns in colorado. I dont drive the m in winter do to the mag cloride.(i have hard water so i dont wash my car at my hse) and there are plenty of warm sunny days to drive the m in winter. But Ive got a mile of dirt roads to my hse. Im not worried about my ability to drive in the snow but other drivers on the road seem to have no clue.
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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 01:21:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

I've daily driven mine in Chicago for the last 10yrs; do a wheel swap on Thanksgiving and Easter (PSS4s on summer wheels, snow tires on OE rims).
During the winter months, I run through a touchless carwash (with underspray) the 5 or 6 times it gets above 32deg to rinse off salt build up.

winter commute_riverside.jpg winter commute.jpg

Note the "-" in front of the number...
Cold temp.jpg



Couldn't be happier
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OE+ additions: Evolve CSL airbox | Supersprint Exhaust | PE tune | OE CSL trunk | 18Ē VMR 710 w/PSS | EU2pc Brakes | Koni+Dinan springs| Valentine1 w/StealthOne | Stereo build log

Last edited by ultimatemj; Mon, Aug-13-2018 at 05:07:59 PM. Reason: Pics disappeared
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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 02:09:49 PM   #8
11b4
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

I drove a year in central iowa with a heavy winter with my m3. Just put snow tires on it and you'll be fine. It's not like snow adds a crazy factor. Just be smart and realize you're not driving on dry roads and you gotta slow things down and react better to braking distance, etc

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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 02:22:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

I think given itís not seen a winter yet I wouldnít. The rust and depreciation isnít worth it. Buy a beater. A reg e46 with snows is fine. And then you keep your M pristine.


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Old Fri, Aug-10-2018, 02:28:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: How many of you daily your M's in colder climates?

My 04 330xi had multiple rust repairs on fenders and one quarter panel during the PO's ownership (one owner car from upstate NY when I bought it). There is additional rust starting on both rear rocker panels, the other quarter panel, and the bottom of the driver side rear door. Seeing that ... I wouldn't drive my M3 in heavy salt like they use in upstate NY / New England.

Given how many spots there are on my 330xi, I'm undecided if I want to let it rust away until I can buy a viable electric car for my daily, or keep chasing it down ... only 104k miles.
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Discussing Streamline & Dr M3an M3's CSL Airbox Development Journal Collaboration in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)