Originally Posted by CesarF7
I found my question in the BMW 3 Series (E46) Service Manual: 1999-2005 by by Bentley Publishers - ISBN 0-8376-1277-2
"... Theft proofing of the radio by code is o longer required as the radio does not function without the k-bus connection and a valid signal from the instrument cluster..."
Really interesting, but a question now rises. The 10th character of my VIN code is ´W´ saying it´s a 1998 car model. But it´s a E46 too. Why Bentley´s title of the manual says 1999 to 2005 only. It doesn´t include the 1998 cars! Someone knows?
The Vin tells you the production year not the release year or year the car was sold.
Meaning that a 1999 BMW most likely was not made from Jan 1st, 1999. But made in 1998 and first sold in 1998 or 1999 or 2000 as a 1999 year model car. Which is why my gfriend bought her 2007 Accord brand new in Oct of 2006. The car was made in 2006 and sold in 2006 and the vin carries the production year of 2006 even though the model year is advertised as 2007 car.
The flipside of this situation where the model year precedes the year the car was first sold was with my 1995 318i BMW. It has a production date of 9/95 according to the vin number, but it was sold to the first owner in 2/96 off the model line of 1996 BMWs. So the owner would have said her newly bought BMW was a 1996 318i and she would have been correct when in fact it is a 1995 318i.
The effect of this is when you see used cars from the same model years and some cars have ultra low mileage where others from that same year have 15,000 to 30,000 extra miles on them. As a rule of thumb I always check the vin for production date and tend to pick cars that were made and bought in the same year or made the year before and bought the following year. These cars hold up better and usually have less mileage.