E46 BMW 3 Series Coupe

Best Performance Parts Mods for BMW 3-Series (1999-2006)

Regarded as one of the most classic BMW series to date, the E46 3-series set the standard when it comes to the ultimate sports sedan, coupe or convertible. Any model within the 3-series will yield a driver thousands of miles worth of amazing driving experience. What many BMW owners don’t know is that their car was designed with the potential to do even more, by the way of upgrading and adding BMW performance parts, which won’t cost you an arm and a leg either as some might suppose.

The right performance parts modifications can make a huge difference in how your BMW 3-series looks and performs. There are a ton of performance parts for BMW 3-series models available that can take it from off-the-assembly-line stock form to a lean-mean-performing-machine.

E46 BMW 3 Series M Sport Package Interior

Since so many auto-enthusiasts drive a BMW 3-series, we’ve put together below some recommendations on which parts to your BMW you should focus upgrading for maximum improvement:

Suspension Parts

Before you think about adding new car parts like a spoiler or body kit, you should start off with better suspension parts for your beloved BMW. If you’re planning to keep the stock height on the vehicle, you may not be that impressed with the outcome. Going for the “Fast and Furious” vibe, you’re going to want to lower the suspension of your BMW.

Keep in mind that your 3-series is now at least 10-years-old so you may need to fully replace your complete suspension system before lowering the vehicle.

Parts Install Pro Tip: Get shock tower reinforcement plates to provide more support to the strut towers so that it can handle the weight of the vehicle once it’s lowered.

Intake System

Are you looking for a bit more power in a BMW 3-series model? If so, then you should invest in upgrading the cold air intake parts. The stock intake system was designed a bit restrictive to abide to industry guidelines in order to get it to the sales floor. As you know, the engine runs on both fuel and air. The bigger your engine, the more air it can pump, generating more power and torque. An upgraded cold air intake system brings more cool air into the engine giving it that extra power.

Performance intake systems will vary in technology and size, but can help produce around 8-25 horsepower increase.

E46 Cold Air Intake System

Parts Install Pro Tip: Check your car’s manual and/or consult a BMW expert to help evaluate the actual potential value of investing in this engine parts upgrade.

Exhaust System

The exhaust system is necessary for good fuel economy and is also vital for the safety of the passengers and environment. This system is responsible for removing toxic fumes from the engine so it doesn’t get congested and/or weaken combustion.

The main individual exhaust parts in the system are: the manifold, oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, muffler and exhaust pipe. When any of these exhaust parts fail, it can quickly lead to corrosion, and consequently a rusted muffler and even a clogged converter, which then causes an increase in fuel costs; all of which are just bad news for your BMW’s engine performance.

Parts Install Pro Tip: For substantial improvement, you really need to upgrade the entire exhaust system. Many people will upgrade just the muffler and maybe the pipe, but that affects mostly only the pitch and power of noise-output.

Exterior Parts Mods

Once you’ve given some love to what’s under the hood of your BMW, you can shift focus to certain exterior parts to really improve its overall look. Exterior modifications are oftentimes the most fun-type of parts upgrades, as they’re geared more towards the aesthetics of the automobile. If you’re not thrilled with the body of your vehicle, you should consider investing in new BMW body parts. In addition to the dealerships, many larger online auto parts stores have OEM BMW body kits that can completely change the way the bumpers and trim of the car are contoured and shaped.

If you’re looking for other quality “BMW accessories” for your 3-series, obviously consider some new rims and here is where that rear spoiler would do the trick.

Parts Install Pro Tip: For that extra sparkle, consider upgrading the rubber trimmings, adding new emblems to the wheels and hood, and even getting new windshield wipers.

The BMW 3 series is by far one of the consumer favorites of the last 20 years. While the most current 3-series was manufactured nearly 10 years ago, it goes without saying that they’re still one of the most fun and reliable luxury-sedans. If you happen to be the proud owner of a car in this dynasty series, adding a few performance parts modifications like those described above will make your beloved BMW feel, look and sound brand new again.


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