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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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BMW Maintenance Log

(Image: E46 on lift getting some TLC)

Please choose a vehicle maintenance log to examine:

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

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)

My Mystic Blue / Gray 330ci is one of the last to come off the E46 production line in Regensburg. It's fully loaded except for a lack of Park Distance Control (if you need it, you shouldn't be driving a BMW), the rear sunshade (they break), and Navigation (which was obsolete years ago).

Known internally to BMW as package "ZHP", 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.