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2015 BMW M3 Long-Term Update 3

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/7/2015 Edward Loh, Motor Trend Staff

I had three specific issues to address at the M3's first service, for which, at 11,518 miles, I was about 1,500 miles overdue. First and foremost, I asked the guys at South Bay BMW to diagnose and fix the incessant squeaking coming from inside the vehicle. The brittle creaking over speed bumps and in and out of steeper driveways has been maddening and my chief complaint when anyone asks me about the car. In addition, I informed the service department of an issue that had just cropped up, most recently on the drive into the parking lot: a juddering sensation from the front wheels, particularly at low speeds (below 20 mph) and only when making 90-degree turns. The operating theory I passed along was that it was the surface of the brake rotor rubbing against the pads in the calipers under load, near the extremes of the turning radius. Before handing over the keys, I mentioned that visual assets manager Brian Vance added a quart of oil recently at the prompting of a low-oil warning. South Bay BMW offered a perfectly acceptable X3 loaner for the estimated three-to-four-day service and were communicative throughout the process.

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When the car came back, the creaking issue was solved. The cause of the noise was dirty door seals, so all four seals were cleaned and lubricated and the creaking disappeared. Less easy to fix was the brake judder. The service write-up states it was "operating as designed" and noted that during the road-test diagnosis, "traction control activation during hard left turn with brakes applied." A "client road test with shop foreman" was recommended, presumably to demonstrate how traction control could be mistaken for the brake issue, but that drive never happened, and the brake judder (which is felt through the steering wheel and not through the rear wheels) is still a recurring issue.

Newest member to the MT team, photog Robin Trajano, took the F80 home over the weekend and introduced it to grandpa E46.© Provided by MotorTrend Newest member to the MT team, photog Robin Trajano, took the F80 home over the weekend and introduced it to grandpa E46. Regarding the addition of oil, the service manager wrote: "Operating as designed[.] Checked for leaks, none found. Due to increased engine power, all Motorsport engines can consume up to 2.5 quarts of engine oil per 1,000 miles at any time." As fudge factors go, up to 2.5 quarts per 1,000 miles is as rich and chocolately as I've ever heard, even for high-performance M vehicles. That being said, we accumulated substantial mileage just after the oil change and haven't had to add any since.

The final service procedure was the replacement of the engine compartment sound insulator, as part of recall 0051460300. There was no prior notification of this recall from the dealer, but BMW North America told me that it affected M3 (F80) and M4 (F82) vehicles built from March 18, 2014 to May 20, 2014 and dealt specifically with "the rubber strip at the back of the engine compartment that seals against the hood when it is closed." Apparently water can leak into the engine compartment and affect wiring connectors unless the insulating strip is replaced. Total cost for this service was exactly $0 because routine maintenance is covered for four years or 50,000 miles. A nice touch, even though not every issue was addressed.

Next up, to combat one of the coldest, stormiest winters in recent memory, we'll slap snow tires on the M3 and send it up to mountains.

More on our long-term 2015 BMW M3 here:

2015 BMW M3© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 BMW M3
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