All posts filed under: BLOG

Test Driving a 2021 Tesla at the Milford, Connecticut Gallery

About a month ago I made a video called The End of Gas Powered BMW’s where I drove around in my 1990 735iL just talking to the camera about electric cars and my desire to drive one. I’ve been curious and interested in electric vehicles for a long time. In fact, I gave an elaborate presentation on Toyota’s hybrid technology for an engineering class at The University of Connecticut back in 2006. Wow, it’s hard to believe my college days were that long ago. Anyway, after uploading that video, it turns out that one of my subscribers is a Tesla employee who also happens to be a BMW enthusiast. Hey, even Elon Musk began his passion for cars with BMW, long before the idea for Tesla was born. Elon’s mother tweeted the photo below two years ago: Elon working on his E21 BMW in 1995! In the photo, it looks like he has the door card trim panel removed to repair a broken window regulator motor. The steering wheel also appears to be a three …

BMW Ownership: A Decision Made in the Spirit

Last week I came across an interesting document while browsing vintage BMW literature online. The document is a 1989 Preview Brochure for the 3er, 5er and 7er series BMW cars. In my 17 years of BMW ownership, I had never even heard of a preview brochure. I was shocked at how well the introduction was written; it really sums up our collective enthusiasm for BMW car culture in an eloquent and simple way. We have to appreciate how this kind of marketing material could only have come from a boutique, West German auto manufacturer in 1989, just months before the Berlin Wall fell. Back then, the company was not the corporate behemoth that it is today. One can recognize where the copy must have been loosely translated directly from German, as the wording has a kink or two. Today, that marketing copy would be so highly polished by the BMW executives that something like this would never see the light of day in the US market. Here’s what it means to be a BMW enthusiast. …

Making Money on YouTube with a BMW Car Related Niche Channel in 2020

Five years ago I began uploading videos to YouTube, primarily as an experiment to see how things worked. When unique problems or issues came up on my cars, I thought I could turn that problem into an opportunity. The opportunity was a chance to share my experience and help others facing the same issues, as most BMW issues are commonly shared between models. When something broke, and break they did, I thought to myself: “Great, here’s another video.” The other opportunity that often comes with solving other people’s problems, is money. In this case, for me, it’s not much (yet). But I do earn a small income from the BMW video content I produce and upload to my YouTube channel. This topic is somewhat taboo as many creators choose not to share how they’re doing on the financial side of things. I think that a secretive mindset is a huge disservice; sharing the knowledge one has simply expands opportunities for others and takes nothing away from those who share it. Everyone with an interest in …

Five New YouTube Videos on my 1990 E32 735iL

Recently, upon late night browsing of Facebook Marketplace, I stumbled upon a 1990 735iL available for sale. Days went by, then a week. I saw that the car was still available and it was on my mind; I couldn’t stop thinking about how great the car’s condition was. It had been garage kept and driven less than 1,000 miles per year since 2008. Then, Facebook’s sneaky notification buzzed my iPhone. The asking price had dropped from $3,500 USD down to $2,900 USD. I asked for some details on the car, checked out the VIN number, and prepared my offer. I asked if $2,500 USD would do. It was accepted. One week later on a Sunday afternoon the seller delivered the car to my driveway two hours from New York! This Fall 2020 E32 project began as an accidental purchase of a classic BMW that I really should not have purchased. My day job is a stay-at-home Dad to my one year old daughter. I run a business and YouTube channel on nights and weekends, which …

BMW Intermittent Random Stalling Issue Help

If your BMW is randomly stalling out, it is dangerous to your safety on the road, and it must be resolved ASAP. Here are some of the common reasons why your BMW might be exhibiting stalling issues. The fuel pump is faulty and needs to be replaced. 2. The crank position sensor is faulty and needs to be replaced. This is common on older classic cars such as the E30, E32, E34 and E36. But it can also present as an issue on modern cars like the E39, E46. 3. One of the most difficult to diagnose stalling issues is when the intake camshaft position sensor is beginning to fail. This part will fail very slowly overtime, and will not always throw a service engine light with stored code. This makes diagnosis next to impossible. This stalling happens in slow speed such as coming to a stop sign or slow drives around a shopping center parking lot, for example. If your BMW is showing these symptoms of intermittent stalling, with no trouble codes present, it …

BMW Door Handle Gasket Seal Replacement E31, E32, E34, E36

The rubber door handle gaskets on the E31 8 series, E32 7 series, E34 5 series and E36 3 series cars will all fail in time. The original BMW gasket dries up in the sun from UV exposure over the years causing cracking and crumbling. Unfortunately BMW does not sell the gaskets separately, so you must purchase the entire door handle if going with the genuine replacement. This can add up to several hundred dollars for a sedan. Instead, quality aftermarket gasket kits are what most people use, coming in at around $29 USD for a set of four gaskets. You can buy a set here. How to Remove the Door Handle Cover Plate and Gasket Open the door and look at the jam on the edge of the door With a nylon pry tool, remove the plastic cap covering the access hole. Avoid using a metal object for this step as it can damage your paint. Spray lubricant such as WD40 onto the sliding brass mechanism and allow to sit for a few minutes. …

How to Do The BMW Trouble Code Stomp Test for E30, E31, E32, E34, E36 Cars

You may have heard about the “Stomp Test” that can tell you what trouble codes are stored in your vintage BMW’s engine computer. Unlike modern OBD II cars (from 1995 onward) that use a scan tool plugged into the OBD II port, older cars system is classified as OBD I. Some cars have this OBD I diagnostic port under the hood which can allow for a tool to scan for codes. Fortunately for classic BMW drivers in the US, there is the Stomp Test. This works on cars with Bosch Motronic 1.3 or later, which is in model year 1988 cars and up. If you have a 1987 model year BMW, it may be on the cusp, so it depends on what ECU is in the car and its production date. I have been told this test does not work on European or Euro Spec cars, though have not confirmed myself. How To perform the Stomp Test: Turn the ignition to position two. That’s the second click on turning the key. Do not start the …

Two Things to Learn Before Buying an E30 BMW

Are you finally buying your dream car, “God’s Chariot”? Here are two important DIY’s that you’ll need to learn when you buy your E30 3 series BMW. First, the valves on an M20 6-cylinder engine will need to be adjusted roughly once a year or every 15,000 miles. This keeps your car running correctly and reduces the possibility of breaking a rocker arm. Poorly adjusted valves can put additional stress on the already fragile rocker arms in this motor, so be sure to stay on top of this maintenance item. Adjustment of the valves on an M20 engine requires simple tools: 10mm deep socket and ratchet with extension Stainless steel feeler gauge set to measure the correct gap Alan key set; use a small key to adjust the rocker eccentric while adjusting New M20 valve cover gasket This procedure should take you anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on your experience and mechanical aptitude. Perform this check and adjustment in early spring each year when taking the car out of storage, before the driving season begins. …

Is Buying a Used BMW i3 a Good or Bad Idea?

So you’re thinking of going all electric… me too With the prices of used BMW i3 EV and used Nissan Leaf EV vehicles coming down rapidly these days, the thought of buying my first new (used) electric car is making more sense now than ever before. Leasing a new electric car is typically advised over buying a new one due to the huge depreciation hit these cars suffer from in their first 5 years. However, buying an older used electric car outright is more appealing for several reasons: no monthly car payment, no need for expensive full insurance coverage, no hidden fees or wear fees when returning the lease car. In addition, many enthusiasts just prefer to actually own vs. feeling like you’re renting. The most important considerations when buying an electric vehicle are the range capability and current battery condition. How well will a particular car’s electric range fit into your daily needs such as commuting to work, family trips, shopping trips. I have found that it is common for EV owners to share …

The Top 10 Most Common E53 X5 BMW Repairs

Top 10 Most Common E53 Repairs So you’re the proud new owner of BMW’s first generation X5 SUV. What kinds of repairs will you encounter during your ownership journey? Well, have a look at the Bimmerzeit top ten most common repairs and failures of this model. None of these jobs are particularly difficult to repair yourself as a DIY, and you can follow all of my step by step BMW repair tutorials to help you along. To see all 83 of my X5 video repairs in a YouTube playlist, click here. 1. Exterior Door Handle Carrier Replacement The exterior door handle carrier is made with a unique design on the E53 which features a cable and aluminum frame that pivots to actuate the door lock mechanism. Over time, the cable (like a bike brake or shifter cable) stretches and no longer actuates the latch properly. I’ve owned two X5’s and have replaced the driver and passenger front carriers on both of them. Very common failure item. To order a new carrier, buy here. 2. X5 …