Top Nav
Featured Image

BMW 3 Series E46 Fuses and Relay Diagrams

Featured Image

BMW E46 M3 GTR – One of the Rarest BMW’s

Featured Image

Pristine Supercharged BMW E46 M3 Build By IND

BMW 3 Series Generation E46

The BMW E46 is the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series, which was produced from 1997 to 2006.

“To understand what BMW is, just take a ride in the new 3-Series, the distillate of all the virtues of the Munich brand!” The praise of journalists of the Austrian automobile magazine Autorevue for the new generation 3-series with the index E46 does not seem excessive. BMW engineers succeeded another masterpiece – there was no doubt about it. It is enough to remember that following the results of 1999, the 3-Series became the third most popular car in Germany. Not in its segment, but in absolute number! For the non-priced model of a premium segment the result was simply phenomenal.

The main features: the valvetronic variable valve timing system, the first diesel bmw with direct injection.

The portrait of the “car without flaws,” as the E46 was often called, began with a spectacular design. The team of designers, recently joined by the famous Chris Bangl, carefully and gently reworked, or even better to say, updated the look of the previous generation of the “three”. Branded Bavarian nostrils, having become a part of a hood, twin round headlights behind transparent dispensers and more sloping line of a roof have helped to create classical, timeless look which looks actual even today.

The new design has successfully concealed the noticeably increased dimensions of the 3 Series – the E46 has once again become more spacious. At the same time, the wide use of advanced materials in the design – aluminum and steel superalloys – helped the “3 Series” not to gain extra weight.

That’s why, as with the previous generation model, the restyled E46, introduced in 2001, kept the appearance of the original, having changed only in nuances – for example, the shape of the headlights, bumpers and taillights have changed. The basic equipment of all modifications includes a stabilization system.

But the main breakthrough happened on the engine front. At the Geneva Motor Show in 2001, BMW introduced the 316i Compact with a revolutionary Valvetronic variable valve control system, which does without throttle. The Valvetronic technology subsequently appeared on other versions of the three, and then on other BMW models.

Production years: December 1997 – August 2006

Designer: Chris Bangle

Production (units, total): 3 266 885

Top model: BMW M3 CSL

Max.power: 360 hp

Top speed: 259 km/h


Wheelbase: 2,725 mm (107.3 in)


  • 4,470 mm (176.0 in) (sedan)
  • 4,480 mm (176.4 in) (wagon)
  • 4,490 mm (176.8 in) (coupe/convertible)


  • 1,740 mm (68.5 in) (sedan/wagon)
  • 1,760–1,780 mm (69.3–70.1 in) (coupe/convertible)


  • 1,410–1,430 mm (55.5–56.3 in) (sedan/wagon)
  • 1,360–1,370 mm (53.5–53.9 in) (coupe/convertible)

Curb weight:

  • 1,285–1,655 kg (2,833–3,649 lb) (sedan)
  • 1,365–1,785 kg (3,009–3,935 lb) (wagon)
  • 1,285–1,555 kg (2,833–3,428 lb) (coupe)
  • 1,465–1,635 kg (3,230–3,605 lb) (convertible)


Petrol engines:

  • 1.6–2.0 L M43/N42/N46 I4
  • 2.0–3.2 L M52/M54/S54 I6

Diesel engines:

  • 2.0 L M47 I4
  • 2.9–3.0 L M57 I6


  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual
  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed automatic
  • 6 speed SMG-II

Where to buy: Bring A Trailer

Reviews: BMW Blog HotCars

BMW 3 Series E46 Sales Stats

BMW 3 Series E46 Specs
Read More
Read More
Read More

Read More
Read More