E46 M3 Pre / Post Purchase Inspection (PPI)

This can be known as 3 things:

Pre Purchase Inspection:
An inspection before the vehicle is purchased (either the seller or buyer can arrange/pay).

Post Purchase Inspection
An inspection after the vehicle is purchased (always the buyer arranges/pays).

Pre Sale Inspection
An inspection before the vehicle is sold (always the seller arranges/pays).

At Redish Motorsport all these 3 names (above) include the same amount of detailed work.
Here is a video showing the type of checks we carry out on a PPI:

Your situation:

If you're buying (or selling) an E46 M3 you're likely to be asking (or be asked) some questions relating to the 'common issues'

  • Rear Axle Carrier Panel (RACP) - (sometimes referred to as Subframe).
  • Conrod Bearings
  • Vanos
  • Headgasket

We check these common issues to the best of our knowledge using our BMW Main Dealer training, and years worth of repairing E46 M3's as our YouTube Channel shows.


The Redish Motorsport E46 M3 PPI is split into 5 parts:

  • Roadtest
  • Initial Paperwork/Mileage/History/Credentials/HPI checks
  • Comprehensive Vehicle Inspection (including Engine Bay & Interior)
  • Paint & Bodywork Inspections
  • RACP, Conrod Bearings, Vanos, Headgasket Checks

We carry out a 12 mile fully-insured road test on varying roads taking in a mixture of slow urban traffic, mid range dual carriageway, higher speed dual carriageway, a B-road ascent and finally B-road descent.

Initial Paperwork/Mileage/History/Credentials/HPI Checks:
We check through the paperwork provided with the car (Service Book, original Book Pack with Instruction Manuals etc), then cross reference the Mileage stored with VOSA via Historic MOT data as well as check the mileage is matched in the Vehicle Dash, Engine ECU, and Light Control Module.

Then we check through History records and Invoices provided with the car.
We search through historic online records to check any of the previous registration numbers to see if there are any unfavourable hidden pasts.
Finally, we carry out a HPI check which includes an outstanding finance check amongst the usual HPI reporting criteria.

Comprehensive Vehicle Inspection:
A lot of our customers also wish to know more about the condition of their BMW E46 M3 and therefore take advantage of the opportunity to have their E46 M3 with a dedicated M-power specialist like Redish Motorsport.

This consists of us (arguably one of the UK's leading BMW E46 M3 specialists) studying the mechanical and underside components of your BMW E46 M3 to report on the condition of them.

We are extremely thorough and will even report on missing undertray screws, and incorrectly used or sited fixings for example.
We are all E46 M3 owner/drivers at Redish Motorsport and currently (2020) have 6x E46 M3's between us staff and have even built many E46 M3's from bare bodyshells.

So we're perfectly placed to inspect, check, test, and report on all manor of items like:

  • Engine & Ancillaries
  • Fuel System
  • Cooling System
  • Exhaust System
  • Clutch System
  • Gearbox & Gearshift 
  • Propshaft & Driveshaft
  • Front Axle & Suspension
  • Steering System
  • Rear Axle & Suspension
  • Braking System
  • Wheels & Tyres
  • Bodywork including corrosion assessment
  • Vehicle Exterior & Interior Trim
  • Vehicle Electrical Systems
  • Lighting & Instruments
  • Audio & Navigation
  • Parking Sensors
  • Airbag & Safety Systems

Once we've carried out our 'Comprehensive Vehicle Inspection', we will write a detailed report of any findings and present that to you in the form of a printed 'Advisory Report'.

Paint & Bodywork Inspections:
We will inspect the general condition of the paintwork using our keen eye for detail and moderate understanding of detailing procedures and years worth of bodyshop painting experience.

We will report on which body panels have poor paint in quality/finish/colour match.
We will report on any potential panel gap or alignment issues.
We will check for any signs of accident damage or panel replacement and advise.

One of the costliest repairs is the RACP (Rear Axle Carrier Panel) and it's potential to crack and have broken spot welds.
Therefore we include a detailed inspection of the RACP using Borescope cameras inside and underneath hidden panels in the car - as can be seen in the video example above.

You will receive a detailed printed report 
if any cracks or spot weld problems are found.
You will also receive a personal video of the findings from our inspection.
The video is completely personal to you and is recorded and explained by James Redish - arguably a pioneer of the BMW E46 RACP Repair & Reinforcement Processes in the UK back in 2011. This personal video lasts around 10-15 minutes for the 'RACP findings'.

Conrod Bearings:
There is no sure way of telling if the Conrod Bearings are beginning to wear.
Apart from changing them, the only option people have is to carry out an Oil Sample.
We will take a sample of your engine oil and send it away to Millers Oils Ltd for analysis.
Upon receipt of the pdf report a week later, we will forward this on to you which will help you understand if there are any abnormal wear metals present.

We will carry out a Vanos Test (using BMW DIS/ISTA Diagnostics) to check Relative Timing, Leak Deviation, and Solenoid Response Time.
We will also remove the Engine Rocker Cover and inspect the Exhaust Cam Hub as these like to snap one or both of the drive pegs.

We will carry out a Compression Test to check absolute compression in all 6 cylinders of the engine and also report on any potential pressure leakage.
This will help identify if there is a Headgasket, Valve, Piston Ring, or Engine Block/Bore issue.

 (We will need your E46 M3 for the entire day 7-8 hours).

Optional extras:
ou now have the option of having James Redish carry out a technical video for you. This video is personal to your vehicle and includes your name and registration number plate. It includes technical detail and visuals of an area you don't often see of your vehicle, and naturally includes the advisory points found in our report.The video package we offer is not mandatory and is offered at an optional cost of £90 inc VAT.

This additional service must be requested at the time of your booking.

Final points to consider:
It goes without saying that our reputation and knowledge on this platform are second to none - just check our Google & Facebook reviews, and forum feedback.

We can say hand on heart that you will not find a more thorough or detailed set of reports and personalised videos anywhere in the UK. 
We're so confident with our customer service and work we provide that we invite you to put us to the test. 
You will not be disappointed!

One of the most important things to understand is that we are regularly able to save purchasers thousands of pounds when at the negotiating stage (during a pre-purchase inspection) due to the amount of detail we provide.

Many times over the years we've been able to save purchasers from buying a vehicle which presents well on the exterior but is riddled with corrosion underneath and full of leaks and original parts which are causing no end of problem and will end up a large financial challenge to start a recommissioning/maintenance plan going forward.

On the flip side we're had some vehicles sent to us from high end specialist dealerships which are presented so well that we struggle to find issues.
They are the pinnacle of their class and it only helps strengthen a sellers position when having Redish Motorsport back up their claims with printed reports and personalised videos.
In turn this add value to the vehicle and put the seller in a stronger position knowing they have such a fine example for sale.
At the same time this can also help seal a deal as the yet-to-be-found purchaser has total reassurance from the leading specialist in the field that they are not likely to find a better example. 

Please Contact Us to discuss further or to make a booking.