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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 12-12-2009, 09:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Praise for the E46 Steering Wheel Buttons!!!

Since my gfriend got the 2010 C Class 4Matic and the winter weather conditions in the NE finally switched to AWD-mandatory I've been driving that around town for the grocery/laundry runs (lol).

Now I've slowly come to realize the horrible placement of the steering wheel buttons relative to our E46 buttons.

On my E46 the heavily used Volume/Track up-down & Bluetooth Phone buttons are all on your left hand side whiles the rarely used Cruise Controls are on the right hand side.





Thus your right hand is free to do other things in the car that are on the driver's right side like shifting, putting a CD in the radio, getting stuff/drinks in your cup holder/console area whiles your left hand is ALWAYS on the wheel and you can still answer/call on the phone and play the volume or track on the radio at the same time.

On the C Class, like EVERY other car I've come to find out, it's the reverse so your volume/phone/track buttons are on your right hand side and the less used cruise control are on your left hand side.



Why would they put the volume/radio/phone buttons on the same hand you would use to control the buttons on the radio face, hold your cell phone, drink your coffee or do other things around your center console. Having the volume and Radio controls on the same side of the radio seems redundant especially when people tend to take that hand off the wheel more often than their left hand.

So its like I have to pause every time I want to drink my coffee and check the weather since my right hand is doing ALL the running around in the C Class. Even having the door lock & window buttons on the driver door are a nuisance after you drive an E46.










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Old 12-12-2009, 09:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very interesting! Love all the dash pics!
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I just wish my E46 had a cruise control stalk behind the steering wheel -- on the right side -- as does teh E36. Much more convenient.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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^ i wis the reverse! thats why i"m retrofitting the Steering wheel controls into the m3
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No way. With the stalk, I can operate the cruise control without taking my hands off the wheel, or my eyes off the road. With the buttons, I can't do either.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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when BMW factory they were building e46 they were looking for you to do the steering wheel, so they didnt find u n they did it wrong DELMARCO
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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?????? I just have to move my thumb over a bit and hit a button I fumble with that stupid stalk!
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I noticed this with my 330. I also think it makes sense to have it on the left side( the volume control)

You can turn up the volume, shift from first to second and drift at the same time.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think having buttons on the steering wheel at all is completely retarded. A steering wheel should be a steering wheel ... as in device you steer the car with, not your command center.

Do you really need radio and cruise control buttons there? How often are you adjusting those things that you can't move a hand for a fraction of a second?

When used properly: to keep both hands on the wheel, yes I agree, it's safe and good ... but really, even you admit, that just gives you a free hand to do other, more distracting things.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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...but really, even you admit, that just gives you a free hand to do other, more distracting things.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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But I do that anyway. Don't really need buttons for that; I just keep moving my hand between my two knobs.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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But I do that anyway. Don't really need buttons for that; I just keep moving my hand between my two knobs.
lol....who hasn't.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh, I cherish every little button of my sweet german chunk of perfection

Yes it is a little childish - using the buttons on the steering wheel, but I certainly do it.

I usually use the buttons on the stereo itself, but sometimes I feel like changing the music volume without moving my arms - just a finger.

No, it's not a necessity, it's just that feeling that YES, my car is ready for my every move. It kinda makes me feel taken care of, you know?

Here in Europe not every family can have a RWD car. I consider myself lucky and feel very proud for my E46 320d. (RWD in Europe = basically BMW, Benz, and Lexus, synonyms to power, luxury, and coolness)

Back to the topic - I spent some time while choosing my (used) car, checking out everything about BMW details.

Like the location of the buttons for windows - of course it is the only logical place for them. This way the driver doesn't have to let go of the s.wheel or change hands, just to open/close the window.

Same for the steering wheel controls - volume is used much more then cruise control, so it is on the left side of the s.wheel - where the "main" (left) hand is always present.

Cruise control is on the other side, where the "steering side-kick" (right hand) sometimes visits the steering wheel, because it is mostly used on highways, when both hands are free of "active driving" like constant shifting and turning in the city.

Makes absolute sense to me and switching them around would ruin my idea about german "think-it-all-through-very-carefully"-ness.

My s.wheel is exactly like the first pic of the first post by Delmarco (THIS ONE) and I am absolutely in love with it. From all the s.wheels on E46, this is the sexiest one (IMO of course).

It does have a "little detail" that need correction though.

I CAN'T BELIEVE such a beautiful s.wheel, with "finger curves" (have NO idea how they are called correctly in english), with all the controls, little M badge, and IMITATION of leather!!!

The car's interiors are leather, only the steering wheel is not. Why don't the BMW people just kick me in my private parts, too?

-------

Yes of course I will send it to the factory to "dress" it properly. Pics will be here, but not too soon - it takes quite a while for a s.wheel to get wrapped in leather (mostly because of traveling to and from the factory).

Peace.
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