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 …
Last week while researching German to English translations and brushing up on my German I had an epiphany that took 17 years of BMW ownership to realize: the correct way to pronounce BMW is not how I’ve been saying it! That’s right, for the last seventeen years of fanatical BMW ownership I’ve been saying it completely the wrong way. In fact, the official BMW website now has a page dedicated to pronouncing their brand’s name so you don’t have to make the same mistake I did. They share video pronunciations in a variety of languages from French to Mandarin and everything in between. You can visit that page here. While working on translations and designs for my new brand, I realized that the W in BMW is actually spoken as “Vee” in Germany. I knew that the W was pronounced as a V as part of the entire word, but hadn’t previously considered the individual letter itself or the letter as part of a name such as BMW. Therefore, everyone in Germany, Austria and most …
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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?