Thursday, September 7, 2017

BMW Hood Emblem, replacement.

After 2 years it fades and cracks.  From Amazon.
BMW Hood Emblem:

Hi guys I just wanted to do a quick post to talk about my BMW's hood emblem.  As you can see it's looking very bad right now.  Picture to the right.

To be fair, I do park my car outside, I don't garage it, and well... the sun is very damaging. Specially to plastic.

 I just checked the last time I got this emblem and to my surprise, I have bought emblems 3 times, in the last 4 years.  They are less than $10.00 dollars, so I can't complain.

If you are looking for them this is where I got my emblem:

Amazon link:  82mm BMW Hood Emblem

Full disclosure: I am not sponsored by these people, this is just where I get my emblem.
Original BMW Emblem, AFTER 3 years.
You might think that it's a cheap knock off, but in fact the original BMW logo Emblem, didn't last long either.  Only difference being that instead of it cracking it peeled.

So pick your poison....

NEW FACTORY EMBLEM


Let me know how long your Emblem lasted...




Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fog Light Repair / Bulb Replacement

Fog Light Repair / Bulb Replacement E90, 330i

I have to say I am very impressed with how long the Bulbs in my Car have lasted, my car is 11 years old and I've only had to replace 3 bulbs so far.

I personally think it's German Engineering at it's best.  I've owned other cars and usually with in 1 to 2 years a bulb goes out.  It's something that happens regularly to other cars, not to my car.

As you can probably guess by now, we are going to talk today about replacing the Fog Light, Bulb.

My bulb went out when I hit something on the Freeway.  I don't think you can tell but the entire Fog light Housing is broken, it's pushed in a bit in the picture above.  When the Fog light got it, it immediately took out the bulb, I got the "Ding Ding Ding" associated with something wrong, you know what I am talking about... and I saw that a bulb was out on the display it showed a fog light symbol.  Honestly I thought it was the main headlight initially, that would have been expensive, so I am happy it wasn't that.

It's actually not that difficult to replace, but it does require a little bit of work, just follow along.

Tools: You will need an 8mm socket to remove 4 screws below and to the side of the where the bulb is located.  Just enough to have access to the bulb.

Access: The idea is to make enough room to be able to twist off the bulb so that it can be replaced.  I ended up removing 3 screws from the bottom of where you see in the picture below, and 1 screw in the fender.  Again, enough room to access the bulb.

Special Note: The Harness attached to the bulb was not long enough to twist off the bulb, as I twisted the bulb initially, it didn't want to rotate enough to be able to remove the bulb, so I looked at the wire Harness closely and I noticed that the wire harness is clipped onto the bulb housing on the left side, I undid the clip and that gave me about 2 inches of length more to be able to twist off the bulb off.  I was struggling for a good 3 minutes before I realized I could do that.

Only Enough clearance for me to reach inside to remove the bulb,
That is all you need.

Bulb to twist off

Bulb Replacement:  The Bulb I ended up getting is an Sylvania H11, it was a perfect fit. The Original Bulb was a Philips H11, in case you were wondering.

Here is an Amazon link where you can buy it:  Sylvania H11 Bulb Link




Bulb Close ups:  This is what the bulb looks like when you take it out from the Housing.



Bulb Clip:  To remove the bulb from the Wire Harness you will need to undo 2 clips on the side of the Harness:  You have to undo them both at the same time for the bulb to pop out of the wire harness.
Undo both sides of the clips to remove bulb.
Note:  The Bulb only goes in one way. The bulb has a keyed part that prevent it from being installed backward, in the wrong polarity.

Note the key on the right side

Replacement Bulb:






Jacking up the Car:  I did have to jack the car up to get access to the bottom of the car, I guess I could of done it without Jacking up the car, but I have to say it was easier that way.



Bad Bulb:  I don't know if you can see it but the inside of the bulb is broken.

Wire inside the bulb is broken.

I was thinking of doing an LED upgrade, if I do that upgrade later, I'll post about it.

Thanks for Reading this far, have a wonderful day and I hope this was helpful to you.



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Leaving the radiator cap off, for a week

What happens when you leave the radiator open for 1 week, while using the car : BMW E90 2006

Open Radiator
It all started in a warm summer night.  I usually check my car every few months, for anything that may need service.  I've gotten accustomed to this because you never really know when something may fail, and well... I prefer to catch it before it happens.  This was one of those days.

As I usually check the level of oil in my car, no easy task I may add, no dip stick as you know.  But I digress... I was checking the radiator reservoir to see if it was low.  My car usually needs a top off every once in awhile.

 I believe I have a leak somewhere, not very big but big enough to make me have to check the level more often than normal.

I remember the day, it was already dark, and i was trying to rush.  So I did what I usually do I checked the oil level and then the antifreeze.  No big surprise the level was a bit low, and as I usually do I proceed to top off the antifreeze.

Antifreeze, sprayed up and stained the hood padding
But this was the day I had regret would happen.  I forgot to put the cap back on.  Now I have to say I am extremely surprised the cap didn't fall off and create some major havoc, because the cap is a sturdy piece and if lodged in the wrong place could have caused some major damage.  I'll explain why later.

What would happen as a result of leaving the cap off the engine for a week:

DAY 1 : Let me start off by saying that I drive very far to work, and the engine gets hot.  The next morning, I noticed that when I got to work, I could smell something weird, now I wasn't sure if it was from the outside, I just remember thinking... that's a weird smell...  but I got out of my car and I got inside the building and I totally forgot about it.

 When I got out of work and I drove back home, this is when things started to get weird...  When i got home, I parked my car and I turned the engine off, in between me parking and turning off the car, I thought I saw a plume of smoke come out of my "car vents".  For just a second.  I thought I was seeing things, because it didn't smell like smoke.  For a second I didn't know what to think...

DAY 2 :  I got into my car and got to work.  Turned my car off and same deal, I thought I saw a plume of smoke... I am thinking... What is going on!  Did I just see smoke come out of the vent.  Now keep in mind that I get to work before the sun come out, so it's not like it was daylight, it was dark inside my car.

DAY 3 and 4 : I went on my normal day, I couldn't smell smoke, so I assumed everything was fine.  I did not see smoke, and honestly if I did I kinda ignored it.

Day 5  : Finally Friday comes around and when I got home.  It was unmistakable, it was a plume of "Steam" coming out of my car vent, NOT SMOKE this whole time, hence the smell, it was actually steam!

Mystery Solved : Now you might say why was it coming out of the car vent.  Well let me explain what I think happened.  When the radiator fluid got hot and steamed, the cabin fan was ON, so it probably sucked the steam into the cabin, it's a very short trip between the Radiator Cap "area", to the Vent intake.  Mystery Solved.

Did my car get Damaged: The answer is NO.  The fluid in the radiator reservoir wasn't even low, the amount that boiled out wasn't significant.  Now the results would of been much different if I would have pushed the car really hard, but because I was driving to work at freeway speeds most of the time, nothing happened.  Not taking the car for Canon Carving. Also this happened with in One week, if I would of gone longer something different would of happened, I am certain of that.

What happened to the Reservoir cap?  I know you were asking yourself... all this time what happened to the cap, did the cap fall off, where did you put it.  The cap was lodged in between the hood and the engine.  It was a miracle that it didn't fall off.  It could of damaged a lot of things if it got lodged in the wrong place

I hope I don't do this again, this could of been a very different story, luckily it got a good ending.

Until next time...

Friday, April 28, 2017

Spark Plug Replacement 101

Spark Plug Replacement 101

I've heard a Car Tech say that one should change out the spark plugs on a car every 100K miles, if not before.  Most people don't change them at their recommended lifespan, unfortunately I am one of those people.  Not because it's expensive or a hassle, mainly it's because the car runs fine, and so I ask myself, do i really need to...

At the end you lose if you don't, let me tell you why:

First: Old sparkplugs decrease the engine power, and because you get less power you tend to be heavy footed when you... let's just say, drive spiritedly, right?  Not to mention you get terrible gas mileage, as if the car didn't get bad gas mileage already, right... but that is beside the point.  The point I am trying to make is that, the car will feel heavy, when you have old spark plugs.

Second:  Because you are not getting full spark inside the engine or "poor" spark inside the cylinder of the engine you can get "build" up or Zut, inside the cylinder, which eventually will require service.  This can rob you engine of power, there is a solution, if you already have zut build up.  It's called Walnut Spray Wand.

Here is a link to Bavarian Autosport for the part if you need it: Walnut Spray Wand Blaster, it's a pretty cool idea, and it's something that should be done to all BMW's if you ask me.  To be very honest I am a little scared to do it myself because it's so involved, but I thought I would mention it, in case you didn't know about this.  Plenty of Videos on Youtube, if you are interested in more information.

Third:  You can ruin other parts of the car, that wouldn't otherwise go bad, like the Catalytic converter, or even the injectors.  Why???  Because the car doesn't run smooth, you tend the push the car to get more power and thus, ruining other parts that wouldn't other wise go bad.

When to change the Spark Plugs:
The I-drive will remind you to change the spark plugs, if your car is equipped with an I-drive.  I am replacing my spark plugs every 100K, with zero issues.  But ultimately it's up to you when to do it.

New Spark Plugs:
I got my spark plugs from Amazon, my car is a 2006 BMW 330i,

Here is link: BMW 330i 2006 Spark Plugs LINK ILZFR6D11

Thin Wall Socket:
You will also need a "thin wall" socket:  Here is a link: Thin Wall Socket LINK, trust me you will need one, get one if you don't own one, you will thank me later.

I replaced my spark plugs by myself before, it was not difficult.  I used NGK's, and that was 100K miles ago, I think the ones in the engine are still good, but I rather replace them, just to get peak performance, among other benefits.

My car currently has over 200K, and still going strong.



Thanks for Bavauto.com for the pictures.  I've bought many things from then, they are always fast to ship, and they have good prices.  I am not getting any money for saying this, I just like their service.

Thanks to Amazon also for providing some of the pictures. www.amazon.com

Sunday, April 9, 2017

E90 Fuel Rail Line Gasoline Leak, and Hose Replacement



E90 Fuel Rail Line Hose Gasoline Leak

For about a week, I've noticed a subtle smell of Gasoline, it came through the Air Vents, and for a while I thought it was not my car... perhaps the car next to me I thought and during those few days, day by day, I started to get worried that I may have a gasoline leak.  The Smell of Gasoline wasn't extremely intense but worrisome.

I haven't noticed any stains or leaks in my driveway, but I knew I would have to get to the bottom of this problem, because if left unattended it could be very dangerous.

Finally a couple days ago, as I am getting out of my car I notice a very strong smell of gasoline, unusually strong, and I knew I had to do something about it.  I didn't see any gasoline, but boy could I smell it.


To my surprise the problem was very obvious, also extremely dangerous.  Because I had just come back from a trip and my engine bay was "very" hot.  I was afraid that a fire could start if left unattended, so I set off trying to unplug and clean the gasoline that was still leaking out.

Oddly enough, I could hear the problem, I heard a hissing, I think it was air escaping from the gas tank, I could hear it bubbling too, later confirmed when I removed the cover off the engine bay.

In my quest to get a replacement hose, I realized that this does tend to happen, and unfortunately I could only find it on Ebay, other than BMW.  I could find No part number or where to get it.  So here it is: Ebay Link,

The price on Ebay is reasonable, compared to New from BMW, I decided to buy a new one, because it's such an important part, I didn't want any issues with a used part, this is the part number printed on the out side of the "new" Hose:

From BMW South County:
Part # 13 53 7 560 586
Price $157.21

How to Disconnect the Fuel Rail Line: Push the hose back into the connector, and push in on the Blue plastic, push in the blue plastic evenly, and the line slides off.  It takes a little bit of practice, it took me about 6 tries to get it.

Push <--- back on the hose towards the spigot, and then Push ---> forward on the "blue" plastic, only, evenly.  Then quickly pull out the hose.

 How to Connect the Fuel Rail Line: Push the Fuel Line hose back into the spigot, and it snaps back in.


Be very careful, a hot engine bay and Gasoline could set off a fire.
When you remove the Fuel Line, Fuel will come out.  I waited until my car engine was cold to start working on the car.

Tip: If there is NO pressure on the line, the hose can move freely back and forth freely, which would mean there is a leak in the line, BUT... if the fuel line is pressurize the hose will NOT move back and forth, and it feel solidly connected to the spigot, in the rail line.


To remove the hose, there was only one part that really gave me a hard time, because I didn't know what to expect.  It was a shield cover that is covering the other end of the hose.  After removing all the Obvious nuts I believe it was 3, the metal shield would not come out.  After a little bit of investigation I noticed that there is a 10mm nut on the other side of the shield, that you can't see easily.  After I removed that last nut, it came out and I could get "full" access to the hose.

I have to say that I struggled to disconnect the other side of the hose, because the spigot on the other end is made of plastic, but this is the trick...

This is what I did to disconnect it:

I know you can find a tool to disconnect the hose, but I am no professional so I don't have it, so this is what I did:

Find yourself a wrench that is the same size as the blue part on the Hose,
Note: your hose may have a "Green" quick disconnect not blue like mine.

Now using a wrench, use the "U" part, put it on the end of the Fuel line hose, and while holding the hose, put pressure on the "Blue" quick connect, "Press IN" on the Hose, while you apply pressure inward for a second or two, then quickly pull the hose out.

It took me half an hour to do this, so don't get discouraged, because if you rush this part you will need to buy more than just the hose to fix this.  It's going to feel like it's not working, but keep working it.

Take your time... note that when you remove the fuel line, FUEL will come out, so be prepared with a rag or "Pig mat" to absorb the fuel.

Support Jack

This is where I put the support for the car, I had to remove a cover by the wheel well to get access to it.  I left both the jack and the support stand on the car as an extra safety precaution, I think you should too if you are doing this.  I ended up removing the wheel too, to get better access to the bottom of the car.  I removed the Left side Driver side wheel.


I hope this helps you remove and replace the hose, it was a learning experience for me.  But well worth it, because taking it to the dealer would have cost me easily $500 dollars.

If you have the time, I recommend replacing this part too, specially if you've never had it replaced before: OIL Filter Housing "Gasket".  It's about $5 dollars, so well worth it in my opinion:

OIL FILTER HOUSING GASKET:  I noticed a lot of oil coming from the Oil Filter Housing while looking for the fuel line, and I figured while I am here might as well do it too, you do need specialty tools to reach some of the bolts, plenty of video's online showing you how...
 


Part number for the is:
 11 42 7 537 293

from BMW South County.


Good Luck with all your car work, and thank you for reading this far.  Until next time.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Blower Motor Replacement

Blower Motor Replacement

After months of procrastination I finally got around to replacing the AC blower motor in my car.  It was not that difficult.  But it was an experience to get it replaced.  I think the most difficult part was figuring out that I have to remove the cup holders before I can remove the glove box.  After that it was downhill to replace the motor.  I didn't get the resistor controller, I only got the motor, although later I regretted not getting the resistor controller too, I'll tell you later in story why, pictures below.

My motor was making a strange sound at low speed, it was getting in my nerves, I run my fan ON all the time, and at time it was unbearable, sample fan noise below.

If you are interested this is where I got my motor: Amazon Link: Blower Motor

My car: BMW 330i 2006

Instructions:

1.  Remove the trim around the cup holders,












2.  Remove the cup holders, (both cup holders).
3.  Remove screws around glove box, and remove glove box.  (If you don't remove the cup holders you won't be able to remove the glove box.  Disconnect all lights and switches from glove box.












4.  Remove lower trim at the bottom of the globe box, a few screws there too.












5.  Remove the duct, to get to the fan.  (note that you have 2 parts to the duct, they go to the back seat/cup holder in the middle compartment), they are only pressed in, no screws for these.












6.  Disconnect Blower Fan
7.  Pinch the release tab in the front of the Blower motor Housing,  (tab is facing front of car), then blower motor just drops off.













8.  To re-install everything follow reverse order.

The Blower Motor Resistor / Controller Concern:


Blower Motor resistor on Amazon: Link to Resistor / Regulator.

Being that my motor was only making noises, and that it was not broken, I assumed that the Resistor was okay, but to my surprise it was not, it had signs of overheating, which apparently is a common thing on this model year car.  I ended up using the same "overheating" resistor, and it is still working, but I ended up taking it apart, to see what the problem was, everything "ohmed" out good, so I ended up reusing it again.  I did end up scraping the "crud" off one of the Terminals because it very discolored, like it had overheated, the Connector "plastic" also, looked like it overheated, and melted the plastic around it, which I have to say I am very surprised there hasn't been a Recall for this type of issue.  In my case the wires on the terminal fused together, which could cause a Fire.  I cleaned/scraped both terminal and I crimped the connector to make sure they were making a solid connection, because I suspect it was a loose connection that caused the overheating.  I also separed the wires that had fused together and I re-wrapped them.  I suspect these wires were draining my battery too.

Resistor BMW part number: 64 11 9 265 892
Blower Motor BMW Part number: 64 11 9 227 670

The Melted Connector:

Melted Resistor Controller Connector

Both Wires fused together, not sure if it's Battery Power and Ground on the connector but I assume it is.

A few other interesting picture of the Resistor controller:





The final results:

Before I replaced the Blower Fan
Noisy Blower Fan

After I replaced the Blower Fan
Replaced Blower Motor (No weird noise)


I am very interested in knowing how many people have replaced their motor, only to find that the connector had been overheating, let me know in the comments below.  Thank you for reading this far.