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. 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.
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).