View Full Version : Difference between 2003 and 2003.5 BMW M3

06-10-2009, 06:48 PM
Ok I assumed the difference in these 2 cars were just the tailights and the bearing recall. But someone just told be the bearing issue was in the 2002's only. I've been looking online and can't find a clear answer on this. The car I'm looking at was manufactured in November of 2002 so any help would be appreciated.

Also any other difference's I'm missing in these 2 years?

06-11-2009, 01:49 AM
ok heres what i know hope it helps
the factory m strut bar is not included in some 2002s or 2003s
led tail light is an obvious ... the climate control console is virtually the same but the buttons are up and down instead of left and right for low and high and the trunk where the licence is the top trim piece is longer on the 03.5s other than that they are almost physically identical .. the bearing recall is a big issue on 01s and are in rare cases in the 02s
i have a 02 and no recalls have been done ..
hope this helps

06-11-2009, 02:14 AM
You've never had your bearing recall done? Why? It's free and prevents a grenaded engine because of improperly matched rod bearings that can seize at any random time! That and your extended engine warranty is over now.

It doesn't matter really if it's a 2003 or 2003.5 at this point, since that extended engine warranty is gonna be expiring soon. Anyways the difference.

BMW introduced a fix at the factory in around April 2003 to stop the engines from grenading. Therefore, only cars built before that date would need a recall to fix the problem. But BMW covered all of 2003 cars with the extended engine warranty. So 2003.5 cars would've been fixed already AND had that extra warranty. Some extra piece of mind. Doesn't mean a whole lot.

06-11-2009, 07:56 AM
2002 also used CD-ROM navigation instead of DVD nav. In-dash player also was upgraded to CD in 2003+. 2003+ also had aluminum trim as an option. As mentioned below, HVAC controls were updated in 2003, also 2003.5 the trunk handles were extended and led tail lights were added.

Trunk handle is not a big a deal, however does give it an updated look, but the LED tail lights is a huge update compared to the old style. I prefer oem led taillights, and hate aftermarket ones. Aftermarket ones always get led burning out issues.

Strut bars were added as a standard equipment in 2002.5 so depending on the build date it may not have a sturt bar.

Now the recall is a very big deal, i personally would not buy a 2002 or 2003 if a recall has not been done, call one of the bmw dealership's and give them the vin, they will tell you if there are any open recalls. For the SMG owners, theres 2 new recalls, smg software update and emission related dme update. SMG update made a huge difference to my shifting, its sooooo smooth now.

06-11-2009, 08:07 AM
So are you not selling the car anymore? What changed your mind again? haha

06-11-2009, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by rage2

It doesn't matter really if it's a 2003 or 2003.5 at this point, since that extended engine warranty is gonna be expiring soon. Anyways the difference.

Yeah, I think the expiry on my old car was September 6, 2009. It is all based on the in-service date. I am sure if you look far and wide, you might be able to find an M3 that expires at the end of the year.

I would take the 2003.5 or a 2004.

I think the 2004 had an updated SMG display in the cluster where Neutral was an 'N' as opposed to the '0' that is displayed in the 2001-2003 M3 SMG cars.

Here are some of the updates:

06-11-2009, 01:20 PM
benyl, the warranty doesn't apply in canada for my car, confirmed at calgary bmw, vin look up showed that my warranty is expired way before, and they have no record of the extended warranty for lubricated parts. They said i would probably need to go states to get the warranty.

rage2, yeah after finding out the m3 coupe i wanted to buy got sold i couldn't find another one thats actually in good shape. Every single one was wayyyy over priced, or was in horrible shape. My favorite one is the one i went to go look at in country hills, lady posted a pic of a different car, when i went to go look it was totally a different car. Her's was a rust bucket with broken parts..

06-11-2009, 02:44 PM
hey roopi, found a guy who has a set of mint 19" stock m3 wheels for sale, let me know and i can send you his info, or you can buy my m6 wheels :)

06-11-2009, 02:51 PM
i tried to find the link to find the M3 shopping guide(tips). i'm sure Benyl or Rage have posted 1 before.

can anyone find the link pls?

hopefully, i could look into get a 335I or E46 M3 in a short future.

thx in advance

06-12-2009, 02:21 AM
oops maybe i should of mentioned before... no trust me i was aware of the recalled bearing issue .. my car was originally from vancouver ...checked the bmw records there bearing was not required to be done ... checked again once it was in calgary at crowfoot bmw and got them to check bmw canada and once again they mentioned it wasnt required.... so maybe mine wasnt affected..
i dont think it was every single m3 from 01-02 was it ?

06-12-2009, 04:28 AM
It was every single M3 up to around April 2003 build date. Either it's been done by a previous owner, or someone was fucking lazy lol. Since you don't have warranty on that anymore (extended expired) if it blows you're SOL.