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.
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.
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.
I’m sure all of us will experience this at some point: you’re going about your life cruising to work in your BMW and you crack your window open for a little bit of fresh air. It makes a horrid clunk sound and you immediately realize that your window isn’t going back up anytime soon. It’s likely that you need a new window regulator; but how do you keep the window up until you can get it fixed?
Shopping online for replacement parts for your BMW has never been easier thanks to this brand’s massive enthusiast following. You can purchase parts at just about any major outlet, with brands ranging anywhere from low end suppliers to the good old German-made brands. Wether you are shopping for your E30 or E46, here are my favorite online vendors to order parts from.
Searching through the list of BMW codes is a necessary part of diagnosing the service engine soon light in your car. After scanning your trouble codes, starting with a code or a group of several codes is a great way to begin diagnosing a problem; many times a quick search of a DTC code will lead to a simple answer to help you complete the repair.
Replacing the coil packs on your BMW is one of the easiest repairs you can do yourself to save money and avoid a trip to the repair shop. In fact, I recently shared an invoice from BMW detailing the ignition coil replacement cost in my E39 that the previous owner had paid for. Often times a failing coil pack will cause symptoms such as: rough idle, poor fuel economy, stumbling acceleration, and will turn on the service engine soon light.
Some of the best upgrades you can make to maximize the fuel economy of your BMW include: replacing the spark plugs, keeping correct tire pressures, and replacing old oxygen sensors. The oxygen sensors before the catalytic converters – located in the exhaust manifolds – play a large part in controlling the fuel mixture for the engine. When they have high mileage or have failed they no longer send a clear signal to the engine’s computer, at which point the computer defaults to a base line map designed to protect the engine. This default map is a rich fuel mixture (extra fuel) which causes sluggish performance and decreased fuel economy.
Replacing the spark plugs and coil packs on your BMW is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to increase performance and enhance fuel economy. This job can be completed with just a few basic hand tools and an hour of your time. Factory Bosch ignition coil packs cost about $29 each and NGK platinum factory spec plugs cost about $7 each. At only $36 per cylinder, that puts a full tune up at $216 for a six cylinder and $288 for an 8 cylinder.
If you drive an old BMW like I do (15 years old to be exact), it’s likely that your factory BMW BBS wheels are in poor shape. Rarely do the original wheels survive a decade or more of daily driving and curb abuse. If you’re lucky, you may have a perfect condition unused spare in the trunk- which is where my idea came from.