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General Maintenance

Choosing Engine Oil by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

Many new owners seek advice about which oil to use for their BMW, and the best advice is to be found in the Owner’s Handbook, which has a couple of pages regarding engine oil – but it is unfortunately commonplace for previous owners to retain the handbook.

BMW Oil and Filter Changes by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

Many owners are terrified of losing that string of BMW Dealer stamps in their service book, believing that such expenditure may gain a better trade-in value or an easier private sale. Although this has a logic in terms of fairly new cars, an investment of maybe several thousand pounds will never be redeemed on a long-term car deemed by the trade to be virtually ‘worthless.’

Transmission Oil Changes by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

The older BMW gearboxes were filled with either normal 75-80 EP gear oil or automatic transmission fluid, this being denoted by the use of either a brown or orange label near the filler plug, and owners of such cars therefore accept the need to change the oil from time to time. Many have found that the use of a more modern synthetic lubricant improves their gear change action, but if following this route, first find if your gearbox requires the use of GL3/GL4 oil only, or the modern GL5 standar

Battery Maintenance and Problems by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

Even those who keep their cars in top condition often ignore their battery until it dies. This failure is usually regarded with surprise, and accepted as being ‘One of those things,’ but at £60 to £80 a time it is an expensive folly.

How to Replace your Brake Pads by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

Many owners regard the presence of a brake pad wear warning lamp as an excuse to ignore the condition of their pads, but the warning is only given when the friction material is worn to 3 mm, when there is a risk that damage to the discs will soon occur, particularly if the owner leaves replacement until the next service.

How to Replace Your Brake Discs by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

A brake disc should last – under normal use – for about 100,000 miles, but it seems to be quite a common ploy for MoT testers to “advise” owners that their brake discs are warped, and that a new set of discs and pads is necessary. In most cases this is gem of wisdom is based on nothing more than a cursory examination of the discs, which – particularly on an infrequently-used car – may exhibit signs of incomplete contact with the pads, often in the form of a rusted area around the edge of the d

How to bleed your brakes by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

Brake bleeding is one of the most cost-effective maintenance tasks you can perform, an annual operation removing most of the impurities which accumulate in the lowest parts of the system. These include moisture, rubber particles worn off the piston seals, and metallic debris from cylinder bores. Moisture is absorbed through the rubber hoses and into the hygroscopic brake fluid, reducing its boiling point, and as the “wet” fluid is denser than when “dry” it will gradually find its way down and i

How to Maintain Your Handbrake by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

The BMW handbrake employs drum brakes integral with the rear discs, which obviously have to be removed if access is required. This can be less than easy, and is the basis for the increased price of an Inspection 2, which on most BMWs is little different from an Inspection 1 apart from requiring that the condition of the handbrake shoes is inspected.

Under Bonnet Cleaning by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

I am always amazed by the number of BMW cars on which the body work is regularly treated to expensive polishes, yet the engine bay and underside is totally neglected. Cleaning this area is not difficult, and even on a neglected car it can be recovered with regular attention. A morning’s work every week for a month will make a dramatic change. Do not worry about getting water on the engine and its ancilliaries – just use an open hose pipe and common sense.

Engine Remapping by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

Many people ask if it worth having their engine management system remapped, the answer being that it works well, with no snags other than the cost – unless you plan to keep the car for a long time, or it has an annoying flat spot, then perhaps it is not worth paying for – that depends on the owner’s priorities.

Catalytic Converters by Mike Fishwick

Mar 23, 2014
Category
General Maintenance

Although many of us regard may it as an irrelevance, the introduction of the catalytic converter may well be seen in historical terms as the most significant event in the history of the motorcar.

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