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Good morning all E46 owners I am just on my way to buy my first BMW and wanted to know where to look for the chassis and engine identification numbers so I can check they match the log book. The BMW VIN is on a plate mounted on the top of the dashboard, on the passenger side where the number can be seen through the windshield. Mozesz okreslic warunki przechowywania lub dostepu do plikow cookies w Twojej przegladarce.
Select F3: Program ZB-Update bottom, the screen will display if you want to program current ZBNr, click Tak.
Copyright © 2012 Autos Post, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. General E46 Forum This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW! In the chance that you are on this forum to research the BMW E46 prior to purchase, I wanted to provide you a buyers guide to help you in this decision, for or against. The E46 model year ranges from 1999-2006 in North America and is the 4th generation of the 3 series car. The E46 was a huge success for BMW in all their markets with their record year in 2002 in which they sold over 560,000 units worldwide. The E46 was widely considered the performance benchmark of its class due to its huge success. There were Several Optional Packages available for the E46 These were "bundled" options that were offered.These are important to know about if you are looking for specific features. A Three Spoke Steering Wheel on the Left and a standard Steering Wheel is pictured on the Right. This package may be somewhat harder to deturmine, at least in my experience, because the only real indicator you may see in a pictures is the heated seats button.
Road and Track Magazine announced the 2006 M3 with the SMG, as it's favorite sports car of all time.
If any Fanatic that owns a M3 would like to chime in on what to look for in the M3, please do so, or PM me and I can format it and add it to this post giving you credit for that section. The E46 M3 Competition Package, known by the internal designation "ZCP", was initially offered in December of 2004 as an exclusive option for the North American market. A car that does not have any packages can be identified by items such as non powered seats and Lack of wood trim on the dash as on the car in the Left picture. Note the Manual controls on the seat and the electronic controls on this seat with a ZPP or better package. Please know that there are aftermarket kits to replace the wood trim in these cars, so the lack of wood trim may not be a positive indicator.
A lot of E46s (if not all of them for NA) are "Prewired" for options that the buyer could install at a later time. The types, one has three buttons in the rear view mirror on the bottom edge of the drivers side. If you see one of these that does not have white numbers, that device will only support fixed code openers. Beneath the panel where these badges are located (Touring) there is a comparment with a little equipment shelf. The E46 already has anti-theft devices installed at the factory such as fuel cut off, and vehicle immobilization. A car equiped with BMW Assist will have a "SOS" on the rear view mirror in the lower Right Hand Corner. One thing you will need to consider when searching for your E46, is what is your primary intention for the car. The Realoem site will let you know what engine is in the car, production month and year and other info.
Having a car with these lights lit up may or may not be a bad thing, but it certainly is a price negotiating point. If you need a remote key repair, there is a member of this site that performs these repairs. BMW offered a full time all wheel drive option available in the sedan and the touring versions. Some considerations for a Xi, Maintenance is going to cost more as you have to deal with all the mechanics for a AWD vehicle such as front axles, and front differential for example. If you really want to do the inspection yourself or want to supplement the PPI, I recommend watching a 3 part video (links below) from Bavarian Autosports on what to inspect in an E46. For me, when I walk up to a car that I am considering, I have my own personal check list that I use. Oil Filter Housing Gasket for leakage- It's kinda hard, but you have to look down behind the oil filter on the block for oil on the Left side of the engine. Spin the engine fan (on an automatic) if it spins freely, the clutch fan needs to be replaced. Oil Filler Cap- I look for a yellowish sludge on the underside of the cap and down in the engine.
Inspect Power Steering-Check around the reservoir and follow the lines, if there is a leak, it will be dirty with oil and dirt. Turn on Laptop and run PA Soft-Obtaining this software is highly recommended if you are set on owning a E46 BMW. Press the accelerator-listen for any hesitation in the rev up and any excessive or odd noise from the engine.
Inspect Interior-Look all around the car at the upholstery, linings, plastics, and other items.
Electric Seat Operation-Move the seats in the full range of motion on all the different controls to ensure proper operation, there should be no sounds other than the seat motor.
Listen to the engine running-You will want to listen for any abnormal sounds, and feel for vibrations. If you have very specific needs or want specific options in a car, it may be that you will have to search for your car in other cities, (or wait and watch a real long time in your city for that car to come up). There were a number of early production E46s that suffered from subframe cracking issues, see this video. There was a class action law suit against BMW in which they settled over this matter and issued a recall.
Because of the excessive use of plastic parts that BMW incorporated in this car, many failures occur.


What can your bmw's vehicle identification number tell you?, Can help you get exactly the right bmw repair parts every time!
Copyright © 2012 Autos Weblog, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. Ford 11 digit vin decoder - productmanualguide, Ford 11 digit vin decoder pdf books bellow will provide you all related to ford 11 digit vin decoder! Can't remember exactly where, but there is an engine number on a plate with the cars colour code etc somewhere in the engine bay. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.
I am no expert and don't claim to be, however I have put many hours in searching for the two E46s (so far) that I have bought and I have done a lot of reading and question asking on this site prior (and after) doing so. Every car is unique and will have its own issues and its own strong points so this guide is just that, a guide. I do not know the facts behind all the options and which ones were or were not offered on an individual basis, but two that I know of for sure are Seat heaters and the Moonroof. There are things to look for when looking at pictures of a car on the internet that may indicate what packages a car has (if it's not already mentioned in the listing) These things to look for are marked with a "NOTE" next to the package name. This version had a larger, more powerful engine, sportier suspension, a limited slip differential and various aesthetic modifications, The M3 was released in 2001. Parts for a Motorsports car are more expensive than their non M counterparts and insurance will also cost you more for a Motorsports car as compared to a E46 equipped with the ZHP package, the closest E46 to a M car. To see what the car you are looking at is prewired for, look in the trunk on the drivers side on the side panel. You most likely will need the rolling code type as fixed code openers go way back and are not around that much anymore. BMW Assist is similar to GM's OnStar or Mercedes-Benz mbrace services as they both use the cellular network and Global Positioning telemetry to locate or guide the vehicle. Will it be a work vehicle such is my case, will it be a hobby car for the weekend, will it be a Daily Driver or will it be a car destine for the track.
You can find out a lot of information from the pictures people post, the more pictures the better.
This site will also allow you to look up parts for your specific car should you end up buying it. It's rare to have anything other than a single key with a used car from a dealer or auction house.
You need at least two ways to get into the car apart from breaking a window or drilling out a broken lock!!
For the ones that want more of a sport type of driving, there are 5 and 6 speed manual transmission out there for the E46. Contrary to what some people may believe, having a Xi car does not in any way make it any faster or handle better (except in bad weather).The reason BMW developed the Xi was to answer the desire for a car that would be well equipped for inclement weather and snow.
For the DIYer, the lower front end of the engine is much more cramped to work in due to the items for the front wheel drive. I have included this check list as a downloadable PDF at the end of this post if you would like to see it.
This sludge is condensation buildup and is an indication that the Crank Case Valve needs to be replaced. If possible look at the drive axle boot while you are down here and see if you can spot any tears in the boots.
This is a normal function but it is unclear as to why BMW designed this feature into the cars.
I wanted to bring my experience together in one post so that others my benefit from my efforts and the collective efforts of other E46fanatics on this site. So the presence of a option by itself may not necessarily mean that the car will have the package that includes that item. These in no way are guarantees that the cars have these packages, just indicators that the car MAY have that package because people change parts out all the time. If its not installed, and you see the badge in the trunk, the car is ready for this option. BMW Assist can provide turn-by-turn directions, remote unlocking, vehicle diagnostics, airbag deployment notification, theft recovery and towing or flat tire repair.
When dealing with the BMW dealer, BMW sites and BMW specific programs almost always you will only need the last 7 digits of the VIN. SULEV cars can be found throughout the country now that the car has been out for several years. Look for any information lights that may be lit up on the dash such as the Air Bag light for example. As with the "Diamond" key, they have a permanent battery inside that cannot be replaced * and that battery is almost always dead given the age of these cars. The door lock on the drivers side was not intended for everyday use, this is the remotes job. There is a attatched PDF check list at the bottom of this first post that you can print out and use as a inspection guide. Many believe, as do I, that BMW engineered these on the car for a purpose, and they need to be installed.
Don't let a dealer or other seller bullshit you by saying a fuse needs to be replaced, or they just need to do this or that. You should notice a very slight draw on the engine and no additional noise, anything else requires further investigation. Make sure you do not smell radiator fluid from the vents, an indication of a heater core leak. It was more common in the 330 and the M3 cars because they had more toque than the other models, but subframe cracks have been reported on all versions of the E46.
It has been theorized that a "would be" car thief would not be given the luxury of the use of a door handle if they were attempting to jack a car. The best way to know what options a car has or had is to get the VIN and plug it into a web site that will tell you what packages and options the car left the factory with.
For the most part, its an easy upgrade that you can do yourself should you choose to do so.
A cable will be in there that goes up to the head unit, and you can control the changer from the head unit and the steering wheel functions.


The Prewire is for additional items such as a high powered siren and other security items to enhance the factory installed system. Examples were the BMW CPT7000 Cellular Phone and the very old school BMW Cellular "Mayday" Phone. My recommendation and the recommendation of a lot of others is to stay away from these cars.
Most of the E46 cars were originally delivered to the original buyer with two "Diamond" Keys with built in multi function remotes as in the picture below. There is a stick in the center console or paddle shifters on the steering wheel with the SMG. After you take a look at the car, I highly highly recommend you also have a Pre Purchase Inspection (aka PPI) performed from a reputable Independent (aka indie) shop that knows this car.
Note however, that sometimes people can get in a accident and elect not to contact the police or the insurance in these cases an accident would not show upon a carfax so don't rely or put a whole lot of faith in a carfax.
Although a visual inspection will not necessarily tell you if they are good or not, you will be able to see if they are in really bad shape. Make the selections for foot air, chest air and top air blowers to ensure the air diverter motor is working. If the seat heaters are broken there is really no fix for them other than replacing the whole seat. When I finally did find my car, I flew out to the international airport near the dealer in that city.
Thus the felon would have to crawl through the window if they really wanted to try to steal the car.
You will be able to tell when one is on it's way out by hearing little cracking noises when the window is going up.
Additional things to consider when conducting your search, are you a Do It Your Self type or one that would rather have someone else work on the car? The fuel pump is sealed inside the gas tank, so when the fuel pump goes out the entire tank needs to be replaced, a $6,000.00 expense.
Be wary of pictures that cut off the whole dash board while the car is running or pictures of the dash with the key on, but the engine off as the seller may not want to disclose a possible light. At some point the lock linkage will break, and if your diamond remote is not working, you will have to resort to calling a locksmith to break into your car, break a window, or drill out a lock.
You will usually find a SMG transmission in a Motorsports car (M3), but some later model E46s came with a SMG transmission as well. If I saw that a car was reported as being in an accident, personally, I would not look any further at that car as there could be problems with that car that I do not want to deal with. The car will store issues that have happened in the past, but not necessarily are a current issue as well.
Once inside the car, the center console unlock button would not unlock the door and the handles were disabled, so to aggravate the bad guy further, they would again have to crawl through the window to exit the car.
It also requires a registration to pull the info for a specific car.) There is another website that does not require translation or a registration, but I don't remember what it is. If there is a after market one such as a Kenwood, a little converter box is needed to change the BMW cable over to the Kenwood one. You will save a huge amount of labor dollars if you can and are willing to do the work on the car yourself.
Do not attempt to purchase one on eBay and expect it to work, because it won't, and you will have wasted some money and you wont be able to find someone to cut the key. If your car has the folding down rear seat, you could open your trunk and gain access to your car that way, but if you only have the valet key, this option will not work as the valet key will not open the trunk. There were two version of the SMG that you can do further resarch on should you choose to find out more about these transmissions.
People have reported that a car that has been in an accident and fixed just did not drive like it use to. PA Soft will also allow you to customize certain features in the car, one example is you can have the car automatically lock the doors when the car hits 5mph for example. Whatever the reasoning behind this design feature, it recently resulted in a death of a high school student. This converter allows for the head unit to still be able to control the changer if its not a factory unit. If you are looking at pictures on the internet or physically looking at a car, these engines can easily be identified by the location of the Oil Filler Cap. So the whole moral of this story is to ensure the dealer provides you with a working master REMOTE key. The SMG transmission has had a history of issues and It is the recommendation of many here to stay away from these transmissions. There are plenty of E46s out there to choose from or wait on, you really dont need that one that has been in an accident, unless you can bargain the price down a lot to make it worth it.
There are many adjustable features you can choose from, and they can be Key Independent, meaning when you use one key to unlock the car, the car will set all the settings for that key including seat and mirror position. The SULEV engine has the cap on the lower left as you stand in front of the car looking at the engine as in the picture directly below. I doubt they would be willing to loose the deal over a couple hundred dollars to get you a working key.
When I called around, some shops said that they would only put it on the computer if the car had the "Service Engine Soon" light on. One thing to be sure of however, is to have a exit plan in place in case you get there and the deal goes South, because if it does go South, they are not going to be willing to drive you anywhere.
If a person was good about taking their car into the dealer for maintenance and service, a reputable shop will make a entry on carfax so you can see a service history.
Also carfax recently launched a new service called "mycarfax" where a owner can record their maintenance that they do themselves directly to carfax. In another case, I searched for BMW mechanics near a dealer who I wanted to buy a car from, and made arrangements over the phone to have the dealer take the car to the mechanic that I paid. If you are looking at cars out of state and the dealer does not want to work with you in this regard, I would look elsewhere for a car.



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