2000 BMW 3 Series Consumer Review: BEWARE FRAME Issue on all E46

2000 BMW 3 Series Coupe - Consumer Review

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful
BEWARE FRAME Issue on all E46 models BEFORE You Buy
By stockman77 on


2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2dr Coupe


I've owned 7 BMW's, 3-E46s and have only learned recently that all E46s had a Class Action law suit for a defective frame build. I just bought my 323ci 6 months ago & after an inspection was told my frame is cracked and in need of repair.
BMW initially told me they weren't going to offer any assistance until I mentioned litigation and now they are "determining" what they'll do if anything beyond what I was told thus far. I bought this car because I know the 3-series very well and have come to depend on BMW's brand but NEVER would've bought the car, without a detailed frame inspection at least, had I known about this immense problem.
The Repair is about DOUBLE what the car is worth.

Best Features

Style, build, reliability (except for frame care), driving experience.

Worst Features

Better Customer Care & Disclosure about the problem to any prospective buyers. The Frame issue is a known issue at this point although there's little on the internet about it unless you know what to look for. All VINs should be associated with a frame warning which should be reflected on Carfaxs etc.
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By i_heart_bmw
on 05/24/13 00:42 AM (PDT)

Did you add strut braces to this? I have followed this problem and came up with that many cars are built with distressed areas that aid in the collapse of the car to absorb impacts. ie crumple zones) These areas, especially in the rear of bmws, are affected when strut tower braces are installed. This adds to pressure on those areas and leads to eventual fatigue. Performance enthusiasts weld brace plates to strengthen these areas. I realize this is two years after you wrote this review but I hope this helps

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