There are a ton of choices available when it comes to wheel cleaner detailing products and sprays. Everyone has a favorite, and they are without a doubt an essential part of BMW ownership thanks to those dusty factory organic brake pads stuffed into every production BMW out there.
Ceramic brake pads are known for their low or zero dusting, coupled with excellent braking bite under spirited driving at high brake temperatures. I have tried several aftermarket brands of high performance ceramic brake pads over the years, and never really liked any of them more than the BMW factory pads. The factory pads dust a ton, but their bite is excellent for a daily driven car and they’re also very quite. Read More
One of the most common wear points in a car is the steering wheel, since it sees a ton of use and abuse over the life of the car. The M tech sport steering wheels in particular have a way of wearing and peeling badly that BMW didn’t really plan for. Original versions of the sport steering wheel trim have a black coating that peels and scratches off over time, revealing the white bare plastic beneath it. Updated versions now available seem to be from a black plastic, which should wear better instead of peeling over time. Updated trim is available here.
One of the cheapest and best upgrades you can make is to replace this trim piece, which is about $75 or so online here. I recently replaced the trim piece specific to the E53 sport models, and detail the steps on how to remove the steering wheel so replace the trim in this new video below.
Most sport package cars require the airbag and steering wheel to be safely removed before the trim can be replaced. It’s always important to disconnect the battery and use safety precautions while working near an airbag.
The procedure for steering wheel removal on the M-technic wheels is pretty much identical as the video above here. While you’re replacing that trim, go and check out BMW’s website to see if your airbag needs to be replaced under the latest recall. Click here to check, have your VIN number handy. BMW will replace Takata airbags free of charge under this recall program.
Every BMW owner needs to own a diagnostic scan tool or two. Even the most basic setup, including a cheap OBD-II scanner like this one and a cheap airbag tool will save you hundreds if not thousands over the years of your Bavarian ownership. There’s really nothing more satisfying than scanning a car for friends and family when they’re in trouble, and saving them from paying a $100 diagnostic fee to some repair shop. Read More
With today’s advances in fuel economy in new BMW models, those of us driving older models will try almost anything to squeeze out a few extra miles per gallon for our daily drivers. Keeping the tires properly inflated, ensuring fresh synthetic oil is flowing through the veins, and rebuilding those vanos units are the tried and true methods for maintaining better fuel economy. Read More
The New Year is here and along with it comes the flood of new model year releases from electric car manufacturers. BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen are the three automakers currently manufacturing EV models that I would personally consider buying or leasing this year. While a Tesla is on my dream list, the current pricing is simply too expensive for your average driver, myself included. We’ll just have to wait until their more affordable model 3 is finally delivered which, according to the Tesla site, is slated for mid 2018. Read More
How do you tell if your BMW has a bad thermostat? Thermostats fail in one of two ways; they either fail stuck open or fail stuck closed. When they fail in a closed fashion its usually easy to tell because your car will likely experience severe overheating problems with the temperature needle buried in the red. This is the most dangerous type of failure because an overheating engine can cause major damage, including head gasket failure and cracks in radiators and cooling system components. In more severe cases, head bolts can strip the weak threads in the aluminum block of an M54 model engine. Read More
Cleaning the wheels on a BMW with OEM brake pads can be a tedious part of your detailing schedule, but it doesn’t have to be. Finding the right wheel cleaner and technique is the best way to cut down on time spent cleaning brake dust out of every nook and curve of those expensive factory wheels. Today I’ll discuss the Sonax Full Effect wheel cleaner and how I found it for cleaning BBS wheels on a BMW. Read More