BMW 3-Series (E46) 1998-2004 Review
Available as a 4-door sedan, 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible, 3-door hatchback and 5-door wagon (320i only).
N42 engine can suffer from problems with timing chain tensioners, variable valve timing system, and burn oil due to worn valve stem seals. Later 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engines feature variable valve timing system and can be problematic.
There have been reports of the chassis cracking, particularly on early 6 cylinder models.
M52 engine can consume oil due to engine wear or PCV system components. M54 engine can have issues with piston rings requiring an expensive engine overhaul.
All models equipped with timing chains and most models require premium unleaded.
Some late model coupes and convertibles had an SMG transmission (a type of semi-automatic transmission). These have proved to be problematic and expensive to repair.
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