All posts tagged: BMW

E90 BMW Broke Down with All Warning Lights On and The Car Won’t Drive

If you’re experiencing the classic dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree scenario in your E90 3-series BMW, you are probably thinking that something horribly catastrophic just happened to your car. But don’t worry, yet. Recently my 2007 335i broke down on the highway on the way home from my mother-in-law’s birthday celebration. I was with my wife and daughter and it was just getting dark out. It was also the hottest and most humid day of the year so far with temps around 90 degrees. This was the worst possible time to experience a break down! The car was cruising along for 15 minutes on the journey home, without any hint of a problem. All of a sudden, every warning light in the car came on and it began slowing down. The speedometer dropped to zero, even though we were going 65 MPH. The transmission shifting felt clunky, too. The coolant, ABS, airbag, DSC dynamic stability control, brake, service engine soon, yellow gear of death, and others, came on and cycled through like a …

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. …

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. …

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 …

Why is My BMW AC Blowing Warm Air?

As we drive through the peak July heat of Summer, one question I’ve been hearing a lot from my subscribers is about your BMW air conditioning system issues. There are three really common issues across all BMW’s with respect to inoperative or weak AC problems: The center control knurled stratification wheel knob is poorly adjusted The electric auxiliary fan behind the front bumper has failed The AC freon leaked out and needs a recharge of 134a The first place to start diagnosis is the easiest: check your center control knurled stratification wheel knob in the center of the dashboard. Every BMW since 1980-something has one. And it may be the most misunderstood HVAC control knob of any German car out there – even today! Here’s a background on how this HVAC control knob works and why it could be causing you to have warm air blowing in the Summer and air too cool blowing in the Autumn and Winter. The often overlooked stratification knurled wheel for the center vent is often the cause of heating …

How to Get FREE BMW Oil Changes for Life

Not long ago BMW offered four years or 50,000 miles of free maintenance when purchasing a new BMW, which included free oil changes. They did this in part due to the reputation their German engineering had earned over the years for being costly to maintain; with ownership came frequent trips to the local BMW dealership. They eased this pain point and reinforced the idea that they stand behind their vehicles – reliable vehicles- so much so that four years of service was included. The most expensive BMW’s tend to be leased at a greater volume than they are purchased outright. In fact, more than half of all BMW’s sold are leases. For high rolling BMW lessees, knowing the total monthly costs and keeping them at a fixed amount without enormous service bills popping up was a great draw. This was a strong marketing pitch for BMW to sell and lease new cars. Sadly, BMW announced in 2016 (for 2017 model year cars) their maintenance plan was reduced to 3 years or 36,000 miles and would …