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The BMW M3 is classified as a compact mid-size vehicle and is driven by a front engine and rear- or all-wheel. The first generation was based on the E30 two-door model of the same period, with a 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine codenamed S14B23, producing 195 horsepower in American specification, and in September 1989, the "M3 Sport Evolution (aka EVO2)" model was introduced. The second-generation BMW M3 was released in November 1992 and initially appeared as a two-door version only, with a convertible version and a four-door version added in 1994. The third-generation BM M3 was introduced in 2001, and later received an update in 2004, reducing its weight. As for the exterior of the car, the roof is made of the same carbon fiber as another model of the same period. In addition to the original two-door four-seat coupe version, there are also four-door sedans, five-door wagons, two-door convertibles, and other models. The fifth-generation BMW M3 was produced between 2014 and 2018 and was only available in four-door edition and the new M3 CS was launched, declining in weight and increasing in power output. The sixth-generation BMW M3, which is also the latest, debuted in the year 2021 and was divided into three trims. The design was not similar to the predecessors, as the front opted for a sportier one.
The BMW M3, recognized for its daily usability and high performance, has encountered several mechanical challenges. Three primary concerns include the "Engine Malfunction Reduced Power" warning, engine overheating, and unexpected transmission shifts into neutral. The aforementioned warning emerges across various models and can be attributed to issues in the Valvetronic and Vanos systems, malfunctions of the upstream O2 sensors, compromised ignition coils, deteriorating timing chains, aged batteries, and problems with the high-pressure fuel injection systems, particularly in turbocharged models. The root cause, in some instances, has been identified as potentially faulty throttle body actuators. Another significant problem pertains to engine overheating due to clogged or malfunctioning radiators, potentially leading to extensive engine wear or the need for a complete engine replacement. Preventative measures include regular coolant checks, using high-quality coolants, ensuring radiator functionality, and an annual coolant flush. The M3's cooling system, designed to maintain the engine around 190ºF (90ºC), relies on the coolant, radiator, coolant pump, and electric fan for optimal performance. Lastly, there have been frequent reports of the M3 unexpectedly shifting into neutral, with potential causes ranging from software issues, worn clutches, inconsistent electrical supplies from a malfunctioning alternator, and faulty SMG shift sensors. This underlines the importance of comprehensive vehicle inspections and adhering to expert advice for peak car performance.
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