Today, I wanted to showcase some of the things I hate about my BMW E92 M3.
My M3 has been my smiles per gallon machine for the last three years. I previously documented my experiences with the car all over the web, particularly in some Autotrader articles like when I described what three years of ownership have been like and when I compiled a short list of some of the quirks of owning one.
As I say in my video above, hate is definitely a strong word for something I hold so dearly — and for something that has been part of my automotive life for three years. You can basically view this list of items as a snapshot to my annoyances with my M3 ownership. I also mention in the video that some of these items aren’t 100% specific to the M3, but also can pertain to the regular 3 Series as well.
Anyway, enough build up — here’s the list of things that annoy me.
The Seatbelt Butler
I am extremely enthusiastic to tell you that the single most worthless thing about my BMW E92 M3 is my car’s seatbelt butler. The seatbelt butler is a device which slides up your left shoulder after you turn on the car, attempting to grab the seat belt and enhance your laziness level by bringing it to you.
My driver side seat belt butler has, not one time in three years of ownership, brought me my seat belt. It always fails and lets go of the seatbelt.
As my video mentions, there is an apparent fuse pull that can be done to remedy the annoyance, but I don’t mess around with anything electrical or anything airbag-related with my cars. Call it a personal pet peeve.
The Single-Piston Brake Calipers
Of all of the things that I "hate" about my E92 M3, this one is the only one that has any negative effect on performance. While the E92 M3’s brakes are about the size of a 4-piston brake caliper, they are in fact a single-piston brake caliper.
I mention in my video that they have to be the hardest working single-piston brake calipers in the automotive industry — and they’re definitely the hardest working on a car with over 400 horsepower.
I cannot think of another performance car made during the timeframe of the E92 M3 (2008 to 2013) that has a single-piston front brake caliper — or any since then. Every car in the range is rolling around with 4- to 6-piston calipers, usually from Brembo.
This can be fixed, but it will cost me a few thousand dollars to get some performance calipers from Brembo, AP Racing or Stop Tech to improve the performance in the brake department.
So far I have yet to have any reason to complain about my single-piston calipers other than the fact that they’re single piston calipers — but once I have an issue, they’ll definitely be replaced with something more up to snuff.
It Doesn’t Fit in the Glove Box
I admit that this is probably the most nitpicky thing that annoys me about my M3: The owner’s manual doesn’t fit in the glove box. An owner’s manual belongs in your glove box. It is the universal location for your car’s owner’s manual. Placing your nice branded OEM M3 manual in the glove box causes the manual to bend and buckle the edge, and it causes a significant concave bend in the manual.
There’s no real fix for this unless you took out the manual from new, or you threw it in the trunk. I guess I should be lucky I even have a manual, since I bought my M3 used.
The Angle of the Roof to Window Causes Rainwater to Fall on Me
The E92 M3 is intoxicating to listen to when it rises to over 8,000 rpm. I personally installed a Borla ATAK exhaust, which just amplifies all the glorious noises this machine produces. When I drive, I like to crack my windows to even further enhance the sound. I do this even if it rains — as long as it’s not a full-on downpour. This also helps prevent some window fogging.
Unfortunately, due to the roof-to-window angle of the car, water will fall directly on me while I drive. In most cars if you crack or open a window with some sort of rainfall it will land on the door closest to the window glass — or, at worst, on the driver door arm rest. But for my E92 M3, it falls straight down on me, as the view I give in my video shows.
This can’t be fixed, and I still crack my window, because I just can’t not hear that sound.
One of the Tallest Seats of Any Performance Car
As I have mentioned in previous Autotrader articles, I am one of the tallest automotive journalists. It is after all the reason I am not rolling around in an Alfa Romeo 4C. My issue with the seats is perhaps made worse by my height. I believe the BMW E92 M3 is well-known for having some of the tallest seats of any performance car. By tallest seats I mean not where the headrest touches the ceiling, but more the fact that the top of the seat, where your butt sits, is one of the highest.
My tall 6-ft, 6-in frame has no issues fitting in my M3 when it comes to headroom. In fact I have about four or five inches left before my head touches the ceiling — but these taller seats give me a sense of being higher than the wheel instead of parallel with the wheel or a little lower to adjust the wheel.
Most people fix this issue by swapping in some aftermarket race seats from the likes of Recaro or Sparco. I personally have begun looking into these options myself.
I know, I know — some of this stuff is nitpicky. But as I say in my video, the nitpicking just solidifies just how much of a performance benchmark E92 M3 models really are. The performance is there every time I drive my M3 — and that’s what really matters.
If you own a E92, E90 or E93 M3 and hate something or something annoys you to no end and I failed to mention it let me know in the comments below. Find a BMW M3 for sale
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