BMW E92 is regarded as one of the true last drivers’ cars, focused on handling and superb power, before BMW decided to handle all the controls to electronics. The M version of the popular sedan, the M3 E92, is the first and only M3 with a V8 engine and packs immense horsepower.
The BMW M3 E92 is a sweet blend between mechanical power and electronics but with outstanding dynamics, very good reliability, and is considered one of the best M cars to own. The most popular, S65 V8 engine is also a reliable powerhouse if maintained properly, but this generation of M also suffers from a few problems. Let’s have a look at the portfolio of the BMW M3 E92, including its performance, reliability, powertrain, some known issues, and much more.
Table of Contents
Is BMW M3 E92 Reliable?
BMW M3 E92 is a very reliable car and is known for its robust powertrain and overall build quality. Powered by a V8 engine and reliable DCT transmission, it would not break down like some other exotics would if pushed hard. But it must be kept in mind that M3 E92 requires special care and attention in routine maintenance, and if looked after properly, it can be a very dependable sports car without any major problems.
BMW E92 ME was the first 3 series M car with a V8 engine and a few other electronic upgrades. Apart from a few issues that could easily be resolved or avoided with proper maintenance, M3 E92 is a solid car.
If you’re planning to get a reliable E92 M3, it would be ideal to get a sedan version with fewer miles on it, as these are rare cars and are mostly used sparingly by the owners.
Also read: Is BMW E92 Reliable? (All You Need to Know)
What are the Most Common Problems with the BMW M3 E92?
Despite its solid build quality and good long-term reliability, the M3 E92 also has problems and mechanical issues that appear over time. These common problems include engine oil leakage, throttle body problems, oil consumption, VANOS seal issues, and faulty spark plugs.
These problems occur mostly due to negligence in maintenance and if the car is used roughly.
1- Engine Oil Leakage
Engine oil leakage is a common problem with the S65 engine and occurs mainly due to head gasket issues or valve covers. This problem causes burning of oil and excessive consumption, with engine knocking sounds. It occurs mainly because of the poor maintenance routine and usually after 150,000 miles.
2- Throttle Body Problems
The throttle body actuators, which open the butterfly valves during ignition, are known to fail over time and are a very common problem with E92 M3 models. This problem occurs after 125,000 miles and owners should remain vigilant by keeping a regular check on throttle body servicing.
3- Oil Consumption
The mechanism by which PCV works in the S65 engine leads to the buildup of oil and carbon deposits, which leads to poor combustion. This causes excessive burning of oil as the engine tries to make up for the power loss. This is a common E92 M3 problem and occurs after 150,000 miles. It is an inherent issue that can be rectified by installing an oil catch can.
4- VANOS Seal Issues
Introduced to enhance the performance and output in newer BMWs, the double VANOS system is prone to failure if servicing is not done strictly on time. The seals in the assembly are prone to damage and have a drastic impact on the performance. It occurs after 125,000 miles and requires a costly fix.
5- Faulty Spark Plugs
Spark plugs in this generation of M3 are known to fail prematurely. Primarily because of the buildup of debris and oil particulates. It is not such a headache to fix, and simply replacing all the spark plugs gets rid of the issue. It occurs around 65,000 miles and leads to poor performance of the engine.
Cost of Fixing the Common Problems with the BMW M3 E92
|1||Engine oil leakage||$400-600|
|2||Throttle body problems||$500-700|
|4||VANOS seal issues||$250-600|
|5||Faulty spark plugs||$200|
Which BMW M3 E92 Years are the Best and Worst?
BMW M3 E92 was on market for about 7 years and is known for being rock-solid in overall dependability. Despite its good reputation, the initial years suffered from some manufacturing faults and problems, while the later ones were very good.
Best BMW M3 E92 Model Years
Worst BMW M3 E92 Model Years
Also read: Is BMW E60 Reliable? (Read Before You Buy)
Which BMW M3 E92 Engines are the Most and Least Reliable?
BMW M3 E92 was launched with just one engine option, the legendary S65 V8. The first-ever and only V8 in the M3 generations ever, and known to possess great reliability with unprecedented performance. It featured some newer tech such as the VANOS system, re-configured valve timing, and the use of magnesium in manufacturing. Weighing just 202 Kgs, the formula 1 inspired powerhouse is truly a legend of the motorsports world with its superb capabilities/
Max. power: 420 hp
0-100 time: 4.5 seconds
Transmission: M-Dual clutch transmission with Drivelogic
Is BMW M3 E92 Safe?
When BMW M3 E92 is a very safe car and is packed with a lot of active and passive safety features. Apart from technology and safety equipment, M3E92 has a stiff and lightweight carbon-aluminum chassis that offers rigidity and multiple crumple zones.
The safety features & equipment on a BMW M3 E92 include;
- ABS brakes with electronic brake distribution.
- Electronic Traction Control.
- 6 Airbags and 3-point seatbelts for all passengers.
IIHS Safety Rating: Overall GOOD
How Much Does BMW M3 E92 Cost to Maintain?
These are the regular maintenance cost of a BMW M3 E92;
- Oil change: $250
- Filters (air, oil, and fuel): $350
- Brake fluids: $250
- Cost of a tire: $350
- Gear oil: $350
- Labor charges: $400-700
Yearly maintenance cost: average $2,100
Yearly Fuel Cost: average $2,500-3,500
Insurance Cost: $1,600
Also read: Is BMW E36 Reliable? (with Buying Tips)
What is a Good Mileage for the BMW M3 E92?
150,000 miles should be considered a good mileage for a neat M3 E92. It is not such an ancient vehicle and although it can easily drive past 400,000 miles, you should be looking for a vehicle with less mileage. If you’re planning to buy a used BMW M3 E92, your ideal choice should be a well-maintained car with around 150,000 miles on the odometer. It is one of the most reliable M cars produced by BMW and has a robust engine, solid transmission, and an overall body frame.
What Parts Should You Replace and After How Many Miles?
To keep the BMW M3 E92 up and running in immaculate condition, some parts and lubricants need to be replaced at regular intervals. Being a sports car, some engine parts require frequent servicing. These include engine oil and filter, spark plugs, timing belt, brake pads, throttle body service, and fuel injector cleaning.
|1||Engine oil||7,000 miles|
|2||Air, oil, and fuel filter||7,000 miles (20,000 for fuel filter)|
|3||Brake pads and tires||20,000 miles|
|4||Coolant and gear oil||30,000 miles|
|5||Spark plugs and battery||75,000 miles|
|6||Timing belt||80,000 miles|
|7||Throttle body service||25,000 miles|
|8||Fuel injector cleaning||25,000 miles|
Are BMW M3 E92 Parts Widely Available?
Although it shares many parts with the regular 3 series of that time and those were produced in large numbers. Even though BMW has a huge footprint across the globe and has established dealerships almost everywhere, sourcing special parts for M3 E92 can be difficult. These were not produced in large numbers and are quite rare to have, especially the sedan M3. The best option is to source OEM parts online via BMW headquarters.
The aftermarket is also flooded with E92 spare parts, but be careful with them and always use OEM parts. If not available, get in touch with your nearest dealership for sourcing.
How to Buy a Reliable BMW M3 E92?
Keep these points in mind if you want to buy a reliable BMW M3 E92 in the used car market;
- Get the car checked by a third-party inspection team for a detailed report on its condition.
- Must check the maintenance records, ownership history, and the CARFAX report, to be sure about the car’s history.
- Find an E92 M3 with fewer miles on the odometer and no history of major accidents.
- Ensure that the previous owner had all the faulty parts replaced.
- Avoid an M3 E92 with rust on the undercarriage area, or even if it has been treated for rust.
- Take a test drive yourself to know about its mechanics and performance.
- It is wise to check the BMW certified-preowned vehicle inventory for a nice car, and have peace of mind with your purchase
BMW M3 E92 – Pros & Cons
- A very reliable car with an iconic image.
- Rock-solid engine with outclass performance.
- No major faults that could render the car useless.
- It also offers top-notch luxury, along with speed.
- It is one of the fastest sedans and the only M3 with a V8 engine – if you’re an enthusiast.
- It is costly to maintain and run on a daily basis.
- Spare parts are very expensive, and so are the labor cost and services charges.
- It is difficult to find a clean car with no major accidents and fewer miles on the odometer.
- Parts are difficult to source and OEM spares are quite rare.
- Insurance can be very expensive.