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Identifying BMW E46 Vehicle Options
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Identifying BMW E46 Vehicle Options

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Pen and Paper

Applicable Models:

BMW 323Ci Coupe/Conv (1999-00)
BMW 323i Sedan/Wagon (1999-00)
BMW 325Ci Coupe/Conv (2001-06)
BMW 325i/xi Sedan/Wagon (2001-06)

Parts Required:

None required

Hot Tip:

Take notes on options and store it in your owner's manual

Performance Gain:

Will help when servicing and purchasing parts for your vehicle

Complementary Modification:

Replace battery

When performing repairs on your BMW E46 it is important to be able to identify standard items and optional features so you can correctly identify components and reorder any specialty parts specific for vehicles fitted with, say, the M-Sport Suspension package or the Cold Weather package. 

The following list is a compilation of E46 trim levels or options that your car might be equipped with. You can also use this as a BMW buyer's guide when purchasing a 3-Series BMW. 

E46 Trim Levels

Premium Package (ZPP)

  • Sport wheels and tires 
  • A multifunction steering wheel
  • Wood grain interior trim 
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers (standard equipment from model year 2004)
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Power seats
  • Lumbar Support (not available on the 325)
  • Moonroof (moonroof also available separately)

Sport Package (ZSP)

  • The sport package was available on all E46 models, unless you have the Performance Package (ZHP) or an M3. 
  • Three-spoke steering wheel
  • Sport seats with adjustable thigh support
  • 17-inch sport wheels
  • Sport suspension (rear wheel drive models)

Cold Weather Package (ZCW)

  • Pass-through seat ski bag
  • Heated seats
  • Headlight washers
  • Fold down rear seat

Performance Package (ZHP)

  • The performance package was available on E46 sedans from 2003-2005, coupes and convertibles from 2004-2006. 
  • 18-inch staggered, M badge wheels (style 135)
  • Three-spoke steering wheel with M badge
  • Short throw weighted shifter
  • Available in Imola Red as well as standard E46 colors
  • M-Tech II body kit
  • DME software to increase power to 235 hp (175 kW)
  • 6-speed manual transmission available
  • Upgraded suspension components (larger sway bars, stronger bushing, lower ride height)

Decoding your VIN

Your VIN (vehicle identification number) can be used to help purchase parts and identify vehicle options. The last seven numbers are all you need when ordering parts. However, it is important to know how to decode the entire VIN. 

The VIN is located in many places.
Figure 1

The VIN is located in many places. Two reliable spots to read it are on the left lower corner of the dashboard (green arrow), looking through windshield from outside vehicle.

The VIN is also located on the driver door jam, vehicle identification sticker.
Figure 2

The VIN is also located on the driver door jam, vehicle identification sticker.

Using the sticker on your driver door jam, you can also determine production date (green arrow).
Figure 3

Using the sticker on your driver door jam, you can also determine production date (green arrow).

Using the sticker on your driver door jam, you can also find your BMW model (green arrow) and tire pressure specifications as well as compatible tire size options (purple arrow).
Figure 4

Using the sticker on your driver door jam, you can also find your BMW model (green arrow) and tire pressure specifications as well as compatible tire size options (purple arrow).

Important VIN digit positions: The first 3 digits are the country of origin. Fourth and fifth positions are vehicle model. Position 6 is type of engine. The tenth digit of your VIN is vehicle model year. The last seven are the serial number.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Meg Comments: Where is the aux. Fan relay located on bmw 2003 325ci coupe
October 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is built into the fan. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
joe58 Comments: what feeds the voltage to the sap relay on a e46 325i
September 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Fuse 36, 50 amp, behind glove box. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:21:09 AM