Shipping

Q: Can I change my shipping address after placing an order?

A: Please be advised that your shipping address cannot be revised after the order has been placed successfully.


If you have made payment and want to change your shipping address, please directly contact e46bmwnation@gmail.com before your order is shipped out.


If you did not make payment yet, you can ignore the order with the incorrect shipping and replace a new order with your correct shipping address. The unpaid order will be canceled automatically after the due day.

Q: Customs & import taxes?

A: 

  • Orders may need to clear customs in your country.
  • Please check if your order will incur additional import duties, taxes or other customs related charges.
  • Import duties, taxes or other customs charges will be collected by the shipping company upon delivery.
  • Suppliers are not responsible for delays caused by the customs department in your country.
  • Additional costs or delays may occur during international trade. We sincerely hope that you do not use additional import costs or customs clearance delays as a reason for requesting refunds or leaving negative feedback.

Q: What supping carriers do you use? Or supported shipping methods? 

A: Currently use the following express shipping options: UPS, FedEx, DHL, TNT, EMS, TOLL, e-EMS, ePacket, China Post Registered Air Mail, China Post Air Parcel, China Post Ordinary Small Packet Plus, HongKong Post Air Mail, HongKong Post Air Parcel, Singapore Post, Swiss Post, Sweden Post, Russian Air, Special Line-YW, DHL Global Mail and S.F. Express.

 

Q: How long does it take for my order to be delivered?

A: Generally, orders are delivered within 3 - 60 working days depending on location, shipping from the USA is 2 - 14 working days. However, an extension can be made if the buyer and supplier mutually agree on a new date.

Q: How do I track my order?

A: We are updating the tracking service to our website, you will be able to view tracking information from account log in. If you are having troubles finding the tracking information email e46bmwnation@gmail.com with full name on the order and order number and the information will be provided.

Managing your orders

Q: How do I cancel an order?

A: You can cancel your paid order before the supplier ships it. You also need to contact e46bmwnation@gmail.com and reach an agreement to cancel the order.

Q: How do I check the order status?

A: Sign in your account and go to My Orders

 

Payments

Q: How does E46 BMW NATION protect my payments?

A: Pay securely with your credit card without exposing your details.When paying online, your details are protected by VeriSign SSL encryption (the highest level of protection commercially available).

Q: How do I pay for an order?

A:  Select the order and click the "Pay Now" button. Choose your preferred payment method on the checkout page.

Q: Why did my payment fail?

A: If your payment for an order has failed, please check it is not due to the following situations:

Card security code failed

Please note that an incorrect card security code could cause payment failure. Card security code is the short numeric code on the back of your credit card. Please verify that you have entered the correct card security code and try again.


Insufficient fund

If you meet the insufficient fund error log when you make payment by credit card, please make sure that you have sufficient funds in your account and that payment for your order does not exceed your credit limit.

Please also make sure you have used a Visa or MasterCard personal credit card to finish payment because at present debit card or business card is unable to be supported.


Exceed limit

Please make sure the order amount does not exceed your credit card limit. Or the payment is unable to go through smoothly.


The 3-D security code failed

Please make sure that:

1. Your credit card should be authorized by your credit card issuer to make an online payment by activating 3-D Security Code.

2. Your credit card has activated 3-D security code. If you have not activated 3-D Security Code, please contact your card issuer with this issue.

The 3-D Security Code for Visa is called Verified by Visa (VBV) and for Master Card is called MasterCard Secure Code.



Verification failed

If your order has been closed for security reason, your payment will not be deducted by E46 BMW NATION. However, some banks would hold this payment in this situation. Usually, the bank will reserve the payment for up to 7 business days before releasing back to the cardholder. If you have any concern about your payment, please be advised to check with your credit card company for details.

Q: Can I pay in my local currency?

A: Yes. 

INTRODUCTION

Q: What is an E46?
A: Each BMW body style is assigned a two digit number preceded by "E". The "E" stands for "Entwicklung", the German word for development. The E46 is the body style for:
The E46 is the body style for: 1999: 323i, 328i
2000: All 323 & 328s
2001+: All 325s, 330s, and the M3 Coupe and M3 Convertible (There are no plans for an E46 M3 Sedan nor Touring).

The E46 M3 started production in March 2001 and has 333 SAE horsepower. Check the E46 M3 board for more details.

Laguna Seca blue (aka LSB or 'Smurf' blue) demos started to hit dealer lots in the Spring of 2001.


Q: What are the production dates and model info for 2001?
A: 330's started production in June of 2000 and 325's started in September of 2000. MY2001 ends at the end of August 2001 for all E46s.


Q: What are the production dates and model info for 2002?
A: Production of MY2002 begins for all E46 models in September of 2001. All 2001 models will carry over to MY2002. Significant changes from MY2001 include styling changes, availability of bi-xenon headlamps on all models, white indicator lights in sport package cars, in-dash CD player available at no extra charge, Harman Kardon sound system standard in 330s, automatic climate control standard in 325s, and availability of Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) in M3s after November of 2001.


Q: What are the official SAE HP/Torque numbers for the US-bound 325 & 330s?
A: The 325 has 184hp @5900rpm and 175lb/ft of torque@3500rpm.
The 330 has 225hp and 214lb/ft of torque.

Q: Are there any differences between 1999 and 2000 cars?
A: All year 2000 cars come standard with DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) rather than ASC. Also, For the year 2000 cars produced after September 10, the following changes will be implemented (per Bulletin #00-3-7 26-Jul-99):

  • Power seats with driver's seat memory upgraded to include exterior mirror memory.
  • Radios will have clock function; as a result, an onboard computer function and the time can be displayed at the same time.
  • Child seat tether anchorages added as standard equipment.
  • Center console buttons redesigned.
  • New key design
  • New wheel 15" alloy wheels on the 323i.
  • Passenger side mirror park-assist. If you have power seats and the side mirror switch is in the LEFT position, then the mirror will tilt down when the car is put into reverse. 
  • Note- The exteriors of the cars have not changed. 



Q: What are the main differences between the 2000 323i and 328i??
A: HP/Torque 323i has 170hp/181ft-lb; 328i has 193hp/206ft-lb. BMWNA figures, of course. Most estimates hold both engines to be a bit stronger than that.

  • 323i has a Getrag transmission, 328i has a ZF transmission.
  • The rear differential ratio is 3.11 on the manual 323i and 2.93 on the 328i automatic and the 328i.
  • The 328i gets a forged vs. cast crankshaft in the 323i. (Turbo consideration...)
  • The 328i gets larger brake rotors 11.8" in front; 11.6" in the rear. The 323i gets smaller brake rotors 11.3" in front; 10.9" in the rear. Just for reference, an E36 M3 has 12.4" in front; 12.3" in the rear.
  • The 323i's content was vastly improved for 2000 with the addition of the Sport-Premium Package (now you can get niceties like reading lamps in an "entry-level" 323i)
  • The 328i gets Chrome and body-color detail trim. The 323i gets black.
  • The 328i gets 4-way power lumbar support. The 323i gets fixed lumbar.
  • The 328i gets front seatback storage nets. The 323i non-sport seats get none.
  • The 328i gets brushed aluminum interior trim; the 323i gets glossy gray.
  • The 328i gets an interior electric trunk release; the 323i gets none.
  • The 328i gets rain-sensing windshield wipers in it's Premium Package. The 323i gets none in any package. 



Q: What are the exterior differences between the two cars?
A: The 328 has the following:

  • Chrome crosshatch front grille
  • Chrome trim around windows
  • Body piece above front license plate is painted to body color 

Q: What are the differences between the 2000 328 and the 2001 330?
A: Here is a partial list:

  • New 3.0L engine
  • Duel exhaust all the way to the muffler
  • New sports steering wheel
  • 17" rims are standard
  • Brakes are 1" larger
  • Headlight washer jets standard on the cold-weather package
  • Silver trim around headlights
  • "Updated" steering (more power assist) *Note: Due to customer feedback, there was a midyear change back to a system with less boost, although more than 323s and 328s had.
  • Coupes get titanium front spoiler trim 

Q: Are all E46s manufactured in Germany?
A: All E46s except the 325i are manufactured in one of three production facilities in Germany. Some 325s (Sedan only) are assembled in South Africa.

Pricing And Ordering For a E46

Q: I paid $xx, xxx for my car. Did I pay a good price? A: Instead of asking yourself (or asking bimmer.org) if xx, xxx was a good price, calculate what you paid over invoice. Make sure to include the invoice price on all of your options. A "good deal" on a "fairly common" car is $1500-2500 over invoice. On brand new models or rarer cars, MSRP may be considered all you can get.


Q: Where can I use 323 & 328 pricing?
A: There are many sources including edmunds.com, kbb.com, and carpoint.msn.com.


Q: Does the dealer really pay the invoice price?
A: BMW dealers typically DO pay the invoice price. The dealer holdback was eliminated in 2000. Dealers earn a significant portion of their income via CSI scores obtained from independent surveys conducted after your purchase. (Hence, the frequent pleas that you rate them 'excellent' when asked.)


Q: My dealer is trying to charge me extra fees. Is this a BMW policy?
A: If the dealer is in a major metropolitan area, they must charge you a "MACO" or "DAG" fee. This covers local advertising fees and is usually $200-$500. Any other fees that you are getting charged for are being charged by the dealer, and are most likely 100% profit. Also, there is sometimes an "application and system fees" that is normally included in the invoice price.


Q: Is there anything I should insist on before signing the papers?
A: Floormats! E46s do not come with them.. and they cost around $80-120. Insist that your dealer include them. (some dealers DO include them automatically)


Q: Is the BMW Financial Services finance rate negotiable?
A: There is a "buy" rate and a "sell" rate in automotive financing. The buy rate varies by lender and can be influenced by (among other things)applicant's previous credit history, credit bureau "risk score", down payment (loan-to-value ratio), ...etc. The dealer earns "finance reserve" on the point spread between the bank's buy rate and the rate at which the deal is written.


Q: If I finance through BMWFS, how long is the rate lock good for?
A: The rate lock is good for 60 days from the expiration date of the prevailing rate bulletin that is in effect at the time of the approval. What does that mean? Most rate bulletins are normally in effect for 60 days. So if you get approved early when the rate bulletin is released, you could have your rate locked for as much as 120 days. An example: A 6.5% rate bulletin is released on April 1 and lasts through May 31 (expiration date). If you get approval on April 1, you are locked in not only until May 31, but an additional 60 days after the May 31 expiration date for a total of about 120 days.


Q: How do I calculate my own lease payment?
The depreciation calculation is simply obtained by first calculating the residual - multiply the M.S.R.P. by the published percentage offered by the leasing company (e.g. BMWFS 65% for 15k/yr 328i)... Next, subtract the residual from the adjusted cap cost which is the "selling price" (+) the bank fee and luxury tax (if applicable)(-)any cap reduction. Then simply divide that amount by the term of the lease to obtain the "monthly" depreciation.

The "rent charge" calculation is also very simple. Just add the adjusted cap cost and the residual, and multiply that sum by the lease money factor(e.g. .00305). That product is the monthly rent charge. Now add the depreciation and the rent and you have the base monthly payment! All that's left is the monthly tax, based on your county of residence.

Carlos Perez wrote this Excel spreadsheet to calculate it for you: lease.xls. Thanks Carlos!


Q: When a car a deal is reached and a car is ordered, what is the typical down payment ?
A: The average down payment is either $500 or $1000. The dealership would like to get $1000 but in almost all cases will accept a check for $500. Repeat customers at certain dealerships have been known to put nothing down but this is the exception rather than the rule.


Q: What is the corporate rebate program?
A: The corporate rebate was a program that BMW offers to employees of medium to large sized companies who participated in the program. This program has been discontinued as of 10/31/2000.


Q: What is the BMWCCA rebate program?
A: The BMW Car Club of America discount is generally the same amount as the Corporate Discount. They cannot be combined. You must be a member of the BMWCCA for one year previous to buying the car to get your discount. The CCA costs $35/year to join and includes a subscription to their magazine, Roundel. Membership also qualifies you to receive up to a 20% discount on parts and accessories from certain dealers. Click here to be taken to www.bmwcca.org.


Q: I hear that people in other countries (Canada, Germany) can get BMWs with whatever option combinations they want. Can I get this here?
A: Other countries have the BMW Individual Program and are able to order all options "ala carte". Unfortunately for the US, this program has not been adopted. However, there are a few "no-cost special orders" available for the E46's. See options section.

Maintenence

Q: What is the very first thing you should do the day you take delivery?

A: Read Your Owner's Manual, and watch any videos you have been provided. If this is your first BMW, you will find that many, many questions can be answered by reading the owner's manual. Failure to check your owner's manual before posting a question online will likely result in at least one (and maybe many) responses like this: "RTFOM!" Downloadable owner's manuals in pdf format are available through the Owner's Circle as a free service of BMW NA.


Q: What are the details of the break-in period?
A: YThe first 200-300 miles are critical to wear patterns in brakes and tires, so be mindful. For the sake of the engine and differential, you should not exceed 4500RPM or 100MPH for the first 1200 miles. Try not to use cruise control and vary your speeds and RPMs. On cars with a manual transmission, use engine braking as much as possible. This can also be done with the 'Steptronic' in manual mode.


Q: Should I really wait 15,000 miles before my first oil change like BMW recommends?
A: There has been much debate on this issue. Many believe that the 15,000-mile interval was more of a marketing move than an engineering move. Others have suggested that today's synthetic oil really can effectively lubricate the engine for 15,000 miles. All scheduled oil changes are free up to the 45,000-mile mark. If you decide to have your dealer perform a non-scheduled oil change (at the 7500-mile mark, for example), it will probably cost you $50-60. Make sure to tell your dealer NOT to reset the service indicator.

BMW has acknowledged that the present oil filter used in the E46 model vehicles (as well as other model and engines) will not necessarily last the desired 15,000 miles as required for extended oil service changes.

The filter's filtering media has been known to become brittle and break apart due to the heat and pressure generated over time. This allows pieces of the filter media to be passed throughout the engine's lubrication system as well as possibly clog the smaller oil passages and contaminate the engine oil itself. Also, it had been noted that quite often the engine's oil looked to be far less than desirable at 15,000 miles when the filter failed due to the continued passing of the media itself and because there was no filtering of the oil to remove the normal contaminates found in the engine's oil.

BMW mechanics have reported this information to the "Round Table" (a BMW information sharing team) that this is a commonly seen problem.

BMW has a new filter which replaces this previously used filter. This new BMW filter is designed to last the required 15,000 miles without failing thereby offering protection for the extended oil service schedule changes of 15,000 miles.

Next time you go in for your oil service, make sure your service department is aware of the new oil filter (part number 11-42-7-509-430).


Q: What type of oil should I use?
A: The BMW manual recommends BMW 5W-30 High-Performance Synthetic Oil, Castrol/Mobil 1/Valvoline SynTech synthetic, and allows the use of other synthetics provided they meet the specification API SH or higher.


Q: Help! I can't find the oil filter!
A: If you open up the hood, you will see a cap labeled "25 nm" near the front of the car staring up at you. Unscrew it and you will find the filter. You should always buy an OEM oil filter from your BMW dealer. It will come with a required O-ring.


Q: Where can I get an E46 repair manual?
A: For a few years BMW published most of their repair literature on microfiche; now it's on CD. To use the CDs, you need an IBM PC compatible. The repair manual CD (for E36, E38, E39, and E46) is called the Technical Information Systems CD, costs about $110, and contains repair information, technical data, torque data, and a complete up-to-date collection of bulletins. The repair instructions include instructions for scheduled maintenance procedures. They are overall quite comprehensive and are well illustrated, but they do assume basic proficiency. The software allows you to print out instructions, so you don't need to keep a PC in the garage.

The software's interface isn't that good, but once you get used to it and to where various information is located, it's good enough.

Ordering information Part Number TIS. Requires 486 or higher Windows 3.X OR 95 Computer, CD Rom drive, 4MB RAM, 10MB free hard drive space.

The new source for these CDs is Central Letter Shop, 800.695.0079 (voice), 877.695.0079 (fax).

The Parts CD (which covers all cars from 74-2000) is $126. The part number is SD92-148.
The TIS CD covers E36, E46, E38, E39, E31, E53. It costs $154. Part number is 01 57 9 788 607 (177).
Both CDs are updated as much as once a month. When you order, they'll send you the latest version.

Common Problems

Q: Help! My "Service engine soon" light just came on!
A: Check to make sure that your gas cap is screwed on tight. If not, the SES light will be on for the next few days.
If your gas cap IS tight, take your car to the dealer and get it checked out.


Q: My car is almost brand new, but at times it seems to operate with the temperature well above the normal range. (Or has overheated) What is causing this?
A: First, it is NOT normal for your car to operate with a temperature in the 'red' zone. Do not drive your car any further than is necessary to get to a safe place to pull over if this happens to you. You may find that turning off the A/C and turning the heat 'On' full blast will help cool the engine until you can safely pull over. Continued driving with the temp in the red zone risks serious engine damage and perhaps even a fire. Certain MY2001 vehicles were equipped with faulty Siemens auxiliary cooling fans. BMW NA has initiated a recall to replace suspect fans.There have been no reports of this problem with vehicles equipped with Bosch aux fans.


Q: When I brake at high speeds, my steering wheel vibrates.
A: Many people have reported this problem for MY2000 cars and earlier. It seems to develop after a few thousand miles. There was a TSB released which I believe replaced front control arms and rotors. There were mixed reviews on whether this fix resolved the problem. There haven't been many reports of this problem on MY2001 cars so it appears to be fixed.


Q: After it has rained, my windows make a loud squeaking noise when they go up.
A: This has been reported by a few, and they took their cars to a dealer for a window regulator or motor to be replaced.


Q: Sometimes my sunroof doesn't open or close.
A: It seems that the new E46s have an odd sunroof problem, where the car's electronics "lose" or "forget" its sunroof position initialization. The problem is most likely not the switch!

To fix the sunroof, note the position of the roof (closed, open, or tilted). Let's use the "tilted" as our example. Press and hold the sunroof switch in the tilted position (i.e. press the switch straight up). Hold it for 20 seconds- This should reinitialize and it should work properly now.


Q: I have an E46 Coupe with the HK system, and I can only find 10 speakers, not 12.
A: The coupe DOES have 12 speakers. There are two speakers located under one of the grilles in the door.


Q: Ugh!!! My E46 engine suddenly lost all its power while I was cruising down the street.
A: A few reported that while driving, as usual, the DSC and engine light would appear and the engine would not rev on demand. BMW had released Tech Service Bulletin addressing this problem on E46 and E39 in February, 99. The solution to it is to replace the throttle body which BMW refers to as an MDK.


Q: What other bizarre problems have been reported?
A: In one person's Y2K car, they were driving along and the DSC light came on, then the car immediately lost power.

Here's another problem reported by Lorenz:
After somewhat hard driving, I'd pull into my garage and turn off the car. The oil can light on the dash (the one that turns red during the power-on-self-test, i.e. when you turn the key from off into position II) would turn *yellow* and stay on for about 20-30 seconds. This is after I turned the car off and removed the key. Putting the key back in and turning it into position II, then removing the key, would turn the oil light off immediately.

This was due to the fact that my oil level was slightly low. Driving the car hard probably caused some of the oil to be distributed in the engine, and the oil sensor found a "low oil level". Topping up the oil (under warranty at the dealer) fixed the problem.

NOTE If your oil light comes on while driving the car (it did not in my case), the manual says to PULL OVER AND STOP DRIVING IMMEDIATELY to avoid engine damage.

Auxillary fans have been also reported to go out. If possible, don't drive it any further than to your nearest dealership.

Note to those alarmists: Bimmer.org participants/onlookers are a very small percentage of total E46 owners. What you see here on the board are a vocal few (with good reason) who have problems. Bimmer.org is has been a place where people can air out their E46 problems and commiserate with those who have the same problems. Taken that only a small fraction (guesstimate of <5%) of owners frequent this board and then those "few" who report these problems calculate to a very small %.


Q: My car starts beeping at me when I hit a certain speed! What's wrong??
A: The navigation system has this option. To disable it, hit the menu button, then use the round dial (not the volume switch, the one on the right side) to select onboard computer and then push down on the dial. Once you're in the OBC screen, rotate the dial until you highlight the limit, then push down the dial again. Now you can change the limit or disable it completely.


Q: My front windows squeak when raising them! What can I do?
A: Try some Gummi-Pfledge! Gummi-Pfledge is a BMW rubber care product. A 2.1 ounce tube part # 82 14 9 407 015 retails for $7.50. It protects and takes care of rubber items. It prevents door weatherstrips from freezing up in winter and keeps the rubber pliable. I cleaned the strips with Spray-Nine prior to applying. Although it comes with its own applicator, using my forefinger was the way to go. Applied sparingly as recommended, one tube should last for years.

Q: My windows don't seem to be sealed at the top- When I go over bumps in the road, I hear it "creak" or "pop"
A: There is a technical service bulletin that BMW has for this. Take your car to your local service center and they will replace the window regulators.


Q: What's up with the steering for cars produced between June and December 2000?
A: BMW marketing had feedback that said that their cars took too much effort to turn the wheel in slow speed situations, i.e. parking. BMW modified the steering rack and system to decrease the steering effort. Those owners who have had extensive experience with E36's (previous generation 3 series) or pre-June 2000 cars have stated that there was also a resulting loss of road feel through the steering wheel. Many of these board members have dubbed the "new" steering feel equipped cars as the "Ultimate Parking Machine".

Various owners have stated that the only E46's spared this steering boost and loss in road feel are those equipped with the all wheel drive option (i.e. Xi's).

Current rumors state that the steering rack was modified again starting on Jan. 1, 2001 and that the "old" steering was phased in. Some E46s produced between Jan and April may or may not have the "old" steering. The post-April 2001 steering has been dubbed as the "new-new" steering. This change was a direct result of feedback through bimmer.org members posting on the E46 board and direct contact with BMW NA. So our voice does count!

So the current terminology is:
"old" feel: pre-June 2000 build
"new" feel: June through December 2000 and some Jan-April 2001
"new-new" feel: post-April 2001
"retrofit" feel: early retrofit "pilot" run participants have stated that the retrofit feels somewhere between the "new-new" and the "old" feel.



Q: What is the 'steering retrofit'?
A: In response to consumer feedback, BMW NA initiated a program to satisfy owners of MY2001 E46s who prefer less boost in the power steering system. These owners maintain that a loss of 'feel' was associated with the newer systems which had more boost than MY2000 and earlier E46s. Initially, BMW NA maintained a list of owners who would be interested in changing their steering racks for systems with less boost. People who have called in to have their name added to a list of persons interested in a retrofit back in Jan/Feb began to be contacted starting the week of April 16, 2001, en masse. BMW NA is going through the list and contacting those with 323/325 and 330's that were produced between June and December 2000 and is offering a one-time free-of-charge changeover to a less boosted steering system. 

Thank You E46 BMW NATION for submitting information, the FAQ page will be updated weekly!