hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 BMW M3 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 BMW M3 Owner Comments

problem #1

Aug 162012

M3 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


While driving on a relatively hot day (92 degrees F), my vehicle's smg (sequential manual gearbox) malfunction indicator light turned on and I began having problems with the vehicle randomly dropping out of gear into neutral or "0" for 6-15 seconds at a time. When out of gear, there was a complete loss of power. On one instance of dropping out of gear, I was turning right at around 10-15 mph when I found I could not accelerate and an oncoming vehicle almost ran into me. Since the first occurrence of this, this type of "stalling" has happened much more frequently when the ambient temperature reaches above 90 degrees, and now I cannot drive longer than 30 minutes without the smg mil turning on and gears start dropping. I'm concerned that this may happen at higher speeds and leave me stranded on a highway or even in stop-and-go traffic, where it seems to occur very frequently. I've researched many forums for this and have found this to be a common issue with other M3 smg owners. There is some indication from other owners that the issue might be linked to a hydraulic temperature sensor located on the main smg hydraulic pump but I have not found any information from BMW detailing a repair for this type of issue. The only option seems to be a full replacement of the hydraulic pump, which has already been done on my vehicle once before for a similar issue. This type of replacement costs almost $4000 as quoted by the dealer. I think BMW should get serious about this issue and conduct an investigation on potential campaign remedies.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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