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Ask Smithy Xtra Gearbox gear-up

Asked by Tristan Smith

I'm looking at buying an E46 BMW M3 with between 60 and 70,000 km on the odo and either with manual or the SMG gearbox, but there are reports of engine problems on early 2002 cars. I also find the SMG box are a pain, and I'm not sure about its reliability. Others say the M3 is bullet proof. What do you think?

Answered by CarsGuide

4 May 2010 Graham Smith

There are no engine issues that should cause you any concern, but it’s absolutely crucial to buy a car that has had proper maintenance including regular oil changes. Like you I find the SMG a pain to drive, and I wouldn’t own one. They can also be expensive to repair and they are known to give trouble.

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