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Friday, August 28, 2015

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Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Doug's BMW Ownership Blog

(Image: BMW 328is and 330ci Together)

You've reached Doug Vetter's BMW Ownership Blog, in which you'll find lots of information regarding the maintenance and upkeep of two specific types of BMWs -- the 1998 328is Coupe (E36) and the 2006 330ci Coupe (E46).

The 328is is my daily driver while the 330ci is my sunny day car. When I bought the E46 I had an opportunity to trade the E36 but I was having too much fun driving it. For this reason, it remains in my stable and the E36 subsection of this site will continue to be updated for many years to come.

This site is not endorsed by or affiliated with BMW.

(Image: E36 Maintenance Log)1998 328is (E36) Maintenance Log

This fine example of a Boston Green / Sand 328is was specially ordered, produced in Regensburg, Germany, and acquired on February 14, 1998. While the date is only a coincidence, it was indeed love at first sight. And just like a fine woman, she's been with me through thick and thin. I still enjoy driving this car every day.

The vehicle is equipped with all options on the standard order list available in the US at that time, including front and side impact airbags, digital automatic climate control, and the sport package, which combines a lowered, more aggressively-tuned suspension, 16" alloy wheels, and heated sport seats with high bolsters.

(Image: E46 Maintenance Log)2006 330ci (E46) Maintenance Log

My Mystic Blue / Gray 330ci is one of the last to come off the E46 production line in Regensburg. I equipped it with all options including the Performance Package (ZHP) but left out Park Distance Control (needless complexity that is costly to replace), the rear sunshade (they break), and Navigation (costly and obsolete).

The Performance Package sets this car apart from a traditional 330ci in a number of ways including a power boost to 235HP/222LB-FT (courtesy of upgraded cams and DME firmware), speed limiter set to 155MPH (same as the M cars), a suspension tuned by the M division, staggered 18x8/18x8.5 style 135M wheels, tweaked dual exhaust, M perforated leather steering wheel, and other cosmetic enhancements. Based on my driving so far, the ZHP is the perfect compromise between the more sedate 330ci and the significantly more costly E46 M3. If I had to make a more direct comparison, I'd say it performs a lot like the US-spec E36 M3.

(Image: DIY)DIY Maintenance Procedures

This section contains articles that explain how I accomplished various maintenance procedures so you can do them too.

(Image: Articles)Articles

Sometimes I write more formal articles that describe a particular maintenance procedure that is just too complex or in-depth for a log entry. Look for those articles here.