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.
Keeping your E30 in good running order doesn’t have to be costly. If you’re a BMW enthusiast, chances are you’re also a DIY enthusiast. Let’s be honest, not many people can afford to run to their indie mechanic every time they need a repair on a car that’s over twenty years old. For example, something as simple as a clutch slave cylinder replacement can cost nearly $400 with parts, labor and tax at a local garage. This is something the weekend mechanic can repair in a few hours with around $60 in parts.
If you have just made the leap into E39 ownership, congratulations on your new car! If you don’t already know, the E39 generation 5 series is one of the greatest BMW models ever produced. Today, this model is still celebrated for its handling, styling, whisper quiet interior and excellent build quality. They say this is the last of its kind before the road feel was all but eliminated by BMW’s new model designs.
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.
Nothing connects us to the car we drive as much as the steering wheel and shift knob. Over time, the leather on these parts will become worn down and unpleasant to touch. One of the easiest and most enjoyable upgrades for your BMW is to install a new shift knob. Here’s how to remove and install a new factory shift knob: