A 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
Objective: Add the ability to play your iPod, iPhone, Android, or any other MP3 player to your E39.
Applicable Vehicles: 1997-2003 BMW E39 5-series (Without Navigation): 523i, 525i, 528i, 530i, 535i, 540i, M5.
Objective: Buff out shallow scratches in the clear coat. Continue reading
It’s always something, right? Usually electrical sensors are the most prominent, annoying, and expensive problems we have with these cars, and this only perpetuates this theory. Continue reading
The 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
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.
A 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
Today I installed very lightly used carpeting into the trunk of my 2001 BMW 540i/6. The carpeting that was in the vehicle was in very poor condition due to abuse and lack of knowledge by the previous owner.
Objective: Refresh the look of your trunk area. Continue reading
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
We all know that buying a 1997-2000 BMW E39 is cheaper. There seem to be more of them for sale, and those that are found are almost always several thousand dollars less than their 2001-2003 counterparts. There is a reason for this: cosmetics.
Other than the ‘face-lift’ cosmetic changes, BMW didn’t really change a whole lot on these cars. A few new colors, standard features, but nothing like updates between iPhone generations. Let’s first be clear with what the ‘face-lift’ did for the E39: