Top 10 E46 Modifications that should be outlawed!
Of course everyone can mod their E46 how they want, but in my opinion these mods are either poor taste, illegal, dangerous and serve no purpose other than to bro-brag, make noise, cause problems with the law, etc. Others are just really poor taste. I'm sure some are nice people who have these mods but still I stand by my opinion! I would outlaw these mods as they usually take more away then they add! And there's little to no value in them.
1) Loud Pipes and Intakez and Headerz
E46s from the factory have classy, carefully tuned exhausts that make quite a bit of aggressive noise from the factory. The fact that they make noise, particularly on 330s, means they're not very restrictive. Unless you drive a dedicated track car, aftermarket exhaust on your E46 non-M doesn't do much for your E46 other than make it loud, obnoxious and improve your 1/4 mile times from 15.5s to 15.458s. Is that half of a tenth of a second worth it for the $800 for the part (not including install) and $1000 in tickets you'll get? Besides, the stock stuff looks way classier anyway (than a shiny wavy mirrored Wugnaflo) and gives the car a refined appearance--no wonder why BMW chose it! If your car is dedicated track beast with supporting mods, then sure go for one. But for the street? Why bother. Remove the butterfly flapper on a 330i or get a ZHP muffler and bam. Instant high quality exhaust! And don't get me started on aftermarket intakes for the E46. Stock is the platinum standard. Aftermarket fits poor, sounds poor, looks poor, and performs poor. This is a fact as premium members of E46Fanatics have confided in me personally. I've helped fanatics remove many aftermarket intakes.
2) Tint Dark Tinted lights
You aren't batman. The whole point of a light is for light to illuminate so you can see stuff with your eyes. You know, so you don't hit it. Painting or tinting your lights is not only illegal and dangerous, but poor taste and lessens your visibility as well as others from seeing you. For the same reason, lets do away with "stealth" or chrome-coated and blue-tinted bulbs. Any time you apply paint, you block light. Period. Yes you can compensate by upping the juice (by increasing the winds in the filament), but the result is increased heat, power consumption, and burnt lights. Don't pay more to destroy your car. Besides, amber looks great! Still question this? See California Vehicle Code § 26101-26104. Don't live in California? Your state has similar laws.
I wrote an article here on why it's bad. But basically it's dangerous, looks poor, and drastically reduces performance. Don't do it.
4) Grill stripes
We get it, the company that makes your car has an tough motorsports division and you want to show off the colors on your car like your favorite sports team. But 1) your non-M is not an ///M and 2, even if it was, people already know it's an ///M because well, it's an ///M. Besides, what good is your ///M heritage when a stock 2017 Civic turbo will shred your doors off. The money is better spent on a new set of wheel bolts. And while we're at it, don't paint your grill surrounds. It just makes your grills look even tinier, like you are plugging your nose. Lets also do away with the eyelids.
You can buy this stance sticker pack on eBay (source)
This one goes out to all you hard-parkers out there who show up at Ikea meets w/ sagged jeans, flat-billed caps, and dollar-store neon sunglasses. Yes, the guys who plaster stickers representing crappy tuner brands going down the windshield usually tilted--because tilting gives you extra hardness. It's a throwback to the 90s ricer area where the stickers were on the fenders straight. Now with stance, the stickers are tilted, and go down the windshield, often including a sticker describing the feeling after eating gas station sushi. Less is more, guys. Nobody's impressed that you threw on a bunch of crappy parts and are offering free advertising.
6) Racks with stickers or stancing
Found example photo on Google
Unused racks with wind deflectors that have stickers on it AND stance? Get em outta here! If you have a rack on a tasteful car, without stickers, and it happens to be between outings, fine. But if your rack is the intended emphasis on your car drawing attention to it with stickers and you have pics of your car w/ a rack on your favorite forum, it should be outlawed. Looks poor, gives poor mileage, and is a poor visual accessory. Get a rack to use it to do fun stuff. Nothing more.
7) Generic or aftermarket low dust brake pads, drilled rotors. Bro brakes!
The stock pads are good enough for 98% of people and drilled rotors are definitely a no go. BMW Performance are OK in a pinch, but for car shows only. I wouldn't outlaw them. But bubble-bones low dust, and other aftermarket bro-pads, I would steer clear of as they often cost more and do less than stock. See my full brake write-up here.
8) Aftermarket body kits, aftermarket wide body
These look poor, especially those by RC Hintzelheimer. Just cause it sounds German doesn't mean it's good. All it does is make it look like a low quality euro tuner car. Today, premium for BMW body stuff is stock sport such as MTECH or ///M. Stay away from the gaudy, the wavy stuff, the poor fitting stuff. It's noticeable from a mile away and makes the car difficult to sell because the body is all hacked up. Hope you plan to own it for life!
9) Cheap/generic HID/Blue bulbs
Poor taste, illegal, poor performing. Don't do it.
Bad stuff. Your $300-$3000 is much better spent on new tires and brakes or another safety item.