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 …
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.
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?
Your leaking oil filter housing gasket has been bothering you for months. Its dripping onto the driveway, requiring a weekly top-up with expensive synthetic oil. “How much money can I waste on oil this month?”, you ask yourself. I totally understand why the average BMW enthusiast would avoid this job for months at a time, however. Digging into this project will take anywhere from 4-6 hours depending upon your proficiency and what other items you replace along the way.
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.