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Identifying BMW Z3 Vehicle Options
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Identifying BMW Z3 Vehicle Options

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Pen and Paper

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Hot Tip:

Take notes on options and store in owner's manual

Performance Gain:

Will help when servicing and purchasing parts for your vehicle

Complementary Modification:

Keep info with your service records

When performing repairs on your BMW Z3 it is important to be able to identify standard items and optional features. BMW Z3 models were not option heavy like some other BMW models, only a few items were offered each year. In the other models BMW had Trim Levels, however this is not the case with the Z3. In this tech article I will do my best to list each available item by model year breaks. I am going to list the standard options and the new options with the year they became available.

Z3 Vehicle options

1996 model year

  • 4-cylinder engine: 1,895 cc 1.9 liters 103 kW , 138 HP @ 6,000 rpm; 133 ft lb @ 4,300 rpm
  • 13.5 gallon fuel tank
  • Four-wheel ABS
  • Front fog lights
  • Conventional lens halogen bulb headlights
  • Luxury trim leather on gear shift knob and leather on shift lever skirt
  • A multifunction steering wheel
  • Roll bar (optional)
  • Automatic transmission (optional)

1997 model year

  • First year the 6-cylinder engine was available. 2,793 cc 2.8 liters 142 kW , 190 HP @ 5,300 rpm; 206 ft lb @ 3,950 rpm
  • 4-cylinder was available also
  • Traction control (standard equipment)
  • On-board computer (optional)
  • CD changer (optional)
  • Heated seats & mirrors (optional)

1998 model year

  • This is the last year the 4-cylinder engine was available.
  • Roll bar hardware (standard equipment) Roll bar remained optional
  • Limited slip differential (standard in 6-cylinder models)
  • Chrome trim (optional)
  • Extended leather upholstery (optional)
  • Sport seats (optional)
  • Sport wheels, 17" (optional)
  • Wood grain interior trim (optional)
  • Power top (optional)

1999 model year

  • The 4- cylinder engine was replaced by a 6-cylinder 2.5-liter (referred to as the Z3 2.3), the 2.8 6-cylinder is still available.
  • Sport wheels, 16" & 17" (optional)
  • In-dash CD player (optional)
  • Airbags are now dual-stage airbags
  • Side airbags introduced (standard equipment)
  • Fuel filler door now locked via central locking
  • Hard top roof (optional)
  • Coupe version now available
  • M models get ACS traction control

2000 model year

  • Convertible top liner
  • Redesigned rear body
  • Cup holder
  • Aluminum look trim (optional)
  • Cross spoke composite wheels 17" (optional)

2001 model year

  • M52 engine changed to M54 engine
  • M model changed from the S52 to S54
  • Redesigned wheels
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DCS) replaces ASC traction control
  • M models now include a low-tire-pressure warning system.
  • Moonroof (available in M Coupe models)
  • Sport package (optional)

2002 model year

  • Automatic transmission Steptronic 5 speed (optional)
  • In-dash CD player now standard
  • Cassette radio (optional)
  • Luggage net (optional)
  • Sport package (optional)

Decoding your VIN

You 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 left lower corner of dashboard (green arrow), looking through windshield from outside vehicle.

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

The VIN is also located on the driver door jamb, vehicle identification sticker. (green arrow)

Using the sticker on your driver door jamb, you can also determine production date.
Figure 3

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

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

Using the sticker on your driver door jamb, 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:
chris Comments: You guys are awesome just found you and will be shopping here. Tech help is huge.
December 28, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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