The Ultimate Car Detailing: Zaino

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It’s a guy thing.  In the garage or shop of a car enthusiast, you’re likely to find dozens of car products.  Soaps, tire shines, glass cleaners, leather conditioners, assorted towels, brushes, sponges, et cetera.  We like to spend our weekends polishing our cars, even if they only go back in the garage directly afterwards.  For some reason, it’s a therapeutic process, the cleaning of our cars.  But just like any process, there are dozens of ways to go about it.  And with automotive detailing, there are millions of ways to do it wrong. Waxing and polishing products are tools, and like any tool, they are only productively effective when used correctly.  Zaino products are my tools of choice.  They’re not cheap, easy to use, or something you can do in-between commercials.  This article is designed to enlighten the correct way to complete the Zaino wax process on your vehicle, and then maintain all of your hard work. Continue reading

BMW E39, E38, E46 LED License Plate Lights

afterA really easy, and affordable way to modernize the rear of your BMW is to update your license plate lights.  Until recently, BMW has used very yellow, and very dim, lights to illuminate the rear plate.  Here in modern times, they’re using significantly brighter LEDs that produce a very white colored light.  I installed these lights into my 2000 M5, and have been happy with the results.  They do NOT trip a check warning or light inside the car. These lights are very bright, but not ridiculous.  See the below photo for a comparison.   Continue reading

BMW Depreciation: E30 M3, E36 M3, E39 M5. Andrew’s Thoughts.

1987-bmw-e30-m3-and-1996-e36-m3-photo-365393-s-1280x782As an automotive enthusiast, I am never content with the M5.  There will always be a car that is more comfortable, there will always be a car more reliable, there will always be a car that is faster, and there will always be a car that is just better.  However, at the price point E39 M5’s are at, it is a great do-it-all car.  And that is why I keep it around. Continue reading

BMW Alarm Goes Off? Hood Sensor Replacement

IMG_7120The car sits alone, all is quiet, nobody is around.  It’s safe, locked, and being patient for it’s owner to return to the garage.  But before you do, the car freaks out.  The lights are flashing, the siren is wailing, and you’re just thinking to yourself:  “WTF.” Continue reading

BMW E39 523, 525, 528 530 Spark Plug Replacement

E39 Spark Plug ReplacementToday I installed new spark plugs into my E39 525iA.  The following is a quick tutorial on how to do the same to your E39!

Objective:  Replace the spark plugs in your vehicle, helping it run better and more effeciently.

Applicable Vehicles:  1997-2003 BMW E39 5-series with 6 cylinder engines: 523i, 525i, 528i, 530i.

Parts Required:  6 OEM, Bosch, or NGK (What I used) spark plugs.

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BMW 16:9 Navigation Display Knobs

IMG_4915A weak point for an article, yes, but something nonetheless that we should address.  As new, enthusiastic owners buy up BMWs, we often like to do a little maintenance.  Replace some trim here, a shift knob there, et cetera.  After years of use, the somewhat-cheap rubber knobs really deteriorate.  They look scuffed, and feel slushy.  Replacing them can improve the feel of your radio and navigation system!

Objective:  Refresh navigation display with fresh, new knobs. Continue reading

1994-2010 BMW Navigation System Upgrades: (Computer, Display, Software, Maps)

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In this article, we will discuss in-depth the steps required to upgrade your BMW’s navigation computer, display, software, and maps.  The information in this article is only applicable to BMWs that speak the same ‘language’.  All of the following models speak this same language, utilize the same connectors, and make use of the same hardware/software interface:

  • E38 7-series (1994-2001)
  • E46 3-series (1999-2006)
  • E39 5-series (1996-2003)
  • E53 X5 (2000-2006)
  • E83 X3 (2004-2010)
  • E52 Z8 (2000-2003)

*It is important to note that in order to upgrade your navigation system, you must first have a navigation system from factory.  Retrofitting navigation to a car that did not originally come with one, while not impossible, is exceedingly challenging, time consuming, and expensive.  This article does not cover or support such an endevour.

*I will also note that BMWs produced for the Japanese market are not supported in this article.  They used completely different wiring harnesses and electronic components for some reason, and they do not speak the same language.   Continue reading

BMW Initiates Recall For Over 780,000 Vehicles

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BMW has initiated a recall for several models, more than 780,000 vehicles worldwide, in countries such as Canada, Japan, South Africa, and the United States.  There is a problem with the positive battery cable; the tin on the connector may degrade over time, causing electrical problems, stalling, or even a complete loss of power while the vehicle is in motion.

The affected vehicles include:  1 Series coupes and convertibles (both 128i and 135i) from the 2008 to 2011 model years; 3 Series sedans, coupes, convertibles and sport wagons (both 328i and 335i) from the 2007 to 2012 model years; and Z4 roadsters from the 2009 model year to present date.

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