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I have had two previous autos, an E46 330i saloon and an E46 B3 3.3 Alpina, both of which failed on me at around the 100k mark but which I eventually got to understand is fairly normal at that mileage unless the ATM fluid has been regularly refreshed every 50-60k miles? I've had several other Bmws with autos - X5, 740, 535 but they didn't have issues during my ownership, so maybe I was a bit unlucky having two go on me with the the E46's?

I am actually still using the 330i at the moment till my next purchase (which is now my wife's car) still with the professionally rebuilt box (about 4 years ago now) courtesy of the dealer I bought from when it went bang 3 weeks after I bought it - but that's another story!

Anyhooo, I am looking for a 125i Coupe circa 2008, and whilst I could live with a manual, I'd rather have an auto, which I understand is a later ZF 6 speed transmission? What I would like to hear about are informed opinions about reliability of these boxes (eg. are ATM changes recommended for these also?)- I believe they are used on various other models.

I would also be grateful to hear about how reliable these engines are. A mate of mine says that all similar BMWs with these alloy blocks are renown for issues within the trade for head bolts to regularly shear (and then requiring a new engine) when needing to remove the head? I don't know just how accurate that is or if it's based on hearsay, etc., but I haven't read of this anywhere so far. Therefore if this is true, how likely is it to happen and at what mileage? Anybody with any experience of this?

Finally are there any other serious reliability issues with this 125i engine please?

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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