The dreaded DSC problem with the E39, E46 and E38 model BMW is an extremely common one. The main symptom is that your DSC – or dynamic stability control- light may come on for a few minutes and then go away at random times. Eventually, the DSC light will stay on, no matter how many times you turn the car on and off or push the DSC button. You may also have the ABS or BRAKE warning lights on at the same time.
Changing the front brakes on your BMW is one of the easiest mechanical repairs you can do yourself. If you take your car to your repair shop, not only are you paying twice as much for the parts, but you’ll pay hundreds of dollars in labor, shop fees, sales tax.
Auto detailing has been a hobby of mine for the last 13 years, since purchasing my first car in 2003. That car was a Zinnoberrot E30 sedan, which was a true diamond in the rough. My dad convinced me that the dry, faded looking paint was nothing to be concerned about. “It will come right back with polish”, he said. After discovering how paint polish applied by hand brought the paint back to a rich glossy shine, I was hooked on that process of transformation.
One of the primary reasons I drive an older BMW and not a new model is affordability. Driving a used car that is paid in full offers so many financial advantages over financing a new model that rapidly depreciates. One notable downside of driving these older models is working around the dated electronics when all you want to do is connect your music and drive.
Today I stopped by a local BMW dealership in Connecticut to take a look at the new 2016 M4 convertible. Just outside the showroom were several M4 convertibles on display, which actually appear very similar to the coupe model thanks to their sleek hardtop shells. Only a true enthusiast would be able to distinguish the convertible from the coupe on their exterior design cues alone.
One of the most common problems with vintage BMW’s is that the plastic gears inside the gauge cluster degrade over time. The delicate plastic gears turn into a soft cheese like material and stop tracking mileage in the odometer. This makes it difficult to tell the true mileage of an old BMW, because often the owner will continue driving the car for years before making a repair.
Removing the instrument or gauge cluster in an E30 is a relatively simple task. It’s not as easy as removing the cluster in later models that followed such as the E39 or E53, but still not too bad. Since we’ll be removing electronic parts, it’s recommended that you disconnect the battery before beginning work.
One of the most frequently asked questions I hear among new E30 enthusiasts is, “How do I remove my steering wheel?” The removal of non-airbag steering wheels is very easy, and I’ll cover how to remove this version in this post. The airbag wheels are slightly more involved to remove, and I’ll cover that version the next time an airbag model E30 is available to me.
Two of the most useful automotive tools I’ve ever purchased are an air compressor and an impact wrench. Admittedly, I spent years working on various BMW projects with nothing more than a few breaker bars-and in those really tough situations- extra help from a strong friend. Maybe that was out of stubbornness to spend the money on such expensive tools.
Nothing connects us to the car we drive as much as the steering wheel and shift knob. Over time, the leather on these parts will become worn down and unpleasant to touch. One of the easiest and most enjoyable upgrades for your BMW is to install a new shift knob. Here’s how to remove and install a new factory shift knob: