If you’re a long time BMW driver, owner or enthusiast you may be surprised to learn that installing a new battery is no longer an easy 10 minute DIY job on modern models. Starting around 2006-2007 most BMW cars require the battery to be programmed and registered when replaced. This is because of more complex power management and battery management software. When replacing the battery, you need to tell the car that a new battery has been installed and input parameters such as the amp hours capacity and type of battery (AGM vs. lead acid). While this seems like an unnecessary hurdle to DIYers, it’s actually just a result in the evolution of technology that makes a lot of sense. If you’re still driving an E30, E28, E34, E36, E32, E39, E53 or E46 then there is no need to program a new battery with software; you simply remove and replace the battery. Nice and easy. Thanks to inexpensive scan tools made for BMW’s found on Amazon, you can program and replace your battery yourself …
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.
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.
The time has come to sell my Delphin Metallic 1987 325is. I started driving E30’s back in 2003 after purchasing my first 325i for $700. It was arguably the coolest cheap car you could buy back then. These days, a 325is in original form commands more dollars and more respect after many years of flying under the radar. The secret is out: the E30 is a bonafide cult classic.
The 1973 2002 was the last year of the round tail lights and arguably one of the best years. This desirable Tii model was one of the early fuel injection cars from BMW though it does not sport an original Tii motor. It’s hard to say which is more desirable, a Metric Mechanic built S14 engine from an E30 M3 or an all original Tii motor. This tastefully modified engine-swapped car boasts 275 horsepower with a 2.5 liter stroked S14.
Today’s Craigslist find brings us to Ventura, California. A 1987 325is with automatic transmission is listed for only $5400 which seems to be well priced for the condition. Of course, the automatic transmission detracts from the value a bit compared to an original factory 5 speed model.
While browsing for E30’s this morning I came across a beautifully maintained 1991 318i sedan. Grab a fresh cup of your favorite coffee and dig into your E30 search. This five speed sedan located in Baltimore has beautiful paint and interior, and is listed for only $7500. You’ll find it here on Craigslist until the listing is deleted. The VIN is WBAAJ931XMEJ00140
The E30 318is is commonly referred to as the poor man’s M3. It shares some traits with the M3 including a 4 cylinder engine, near perfect 50-50 weight distribution and a thrilling driving experience. While it’s 1.8 liter M42 engine boasts a modest 138 horsepower compared to the M3’s 197 horsepower, it is still a fun little drive.