05 January 2012

That Leak is Gone!

Finally got around to replacing the windshield washer pump. The orginal failed about a month or so ago and my fluid would leak out overnight, causing the low windshield washer fluid light to illuminate (which bugs me). I also replaced the grommet/filter at the same time, just to be sure. So far so good...
It's also been almost a year since I replaced my cabin filter, so I swapped it out for a nice new Mann Filter with activated charcoal.

22 September 2011

A busy day....

Took the day to do a few things to the car. I had been saving some mods and maintenance for today, So here's what went down. First up was an oil change. It's been 7,500 miles since my last change and although I'm sure I could go longer, I couldn't really stomach the thought. New Mahle oil filter and 6.75 qts. of BMW branded 5w-30 Full synthetic. I also took the time to replace my drain plug with a magnetic one. Thought it may be a good idea since I plan to do my own oil changes from now on. Big ups to getbmwparts.com for the excellent price on the oil and filter, $69.00 shipped! Whilst under the hood I also installed a couple M3 strut tower caps, doesn't do much, but I like the look. I also replaced the plastic coolant bleed screw with a brass one. I'll eventually get round to replacing most of the coolant system, hopefully by the end of the year. And While I was under the car I replaced two missing jack pads. Since I used ramps to change the oil, I didn't really need them, but it was nice to replace a couple missing parts. And lastly, but certainly not the least, I installed an M3 style lip spoiler, had it pre-painted at the factory. It was a straight-forward installation, but took about 30-45 mins to make sure I had it lined up correctly. I'll take some photos showing off the spoiler a bit later, after it's all washed and cleaned.

05 September 2011

The Ultimate Drive Checklist

Since taking up a job that requires me to live, literally, 10 seconds from the office, I have not really driven the Bimmer recreationally for some time. I've been on "work, eat, run, sleep" mode for a few months, and needed a break, just a small change, something to excite me. Then I remembered the Bimmer. It's been kept clean, fluid levels maintained, oil change up to date, but it's been begging to be pushed. Last night, I gave up and and planned a little drive around. Not just a leisurely cruise in the neighbourhood, no, I took it out on a 100 mile scenic and twisty night drive!

Now this wasn't as spontaneous as it may sound, I'd been planning all day for this and had a few things to make it more enjoyable:

First off, BMW Financial Services has recently released an app for iOS and Android that is dubbed "a Social Navigation app". Users can comment on, rate, create, and find fun, twisty, scenic roads in over 50 countries. The app is called "The Ultimate Drive"

I used this app to find a Palomar Mountain loop weighing in at 100 miles round-trip. I loaded the starting location and way points into the GPS and checked the most important item (the destination) off my checklist, but I wasn't done yet.

What good is a drive without music? I needed The Ultimate Driving Playlist. Sadly, my choice in music is a little outdated, or awesome, just not "night driving, twisty road awesome" So I gave it a little thought, and tried to think up songs about cruising or driving, or adventure, but nothing really came to mind, then I remembered a particular song I had always associated with auto-racing: "The Cardigans - My Favourite Game" a la the Gran Tourismo video game series, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the music selected for the games. I set about scouring the internet for the soundracks to each game and found them at "gtplanet.net". I picked out a few bands I knew and liked and got to downloading them + a few of my own. They are:

Goldfinger - 99 Red Balloons
Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
The Hives - B is for Brutus
Queens of the Stone Age - Go With the Flow
Pride Tiger - Let 'em Go
The Cardigans - My Favourite Game
Less Than Jake - Short Fuse Burning
Queens of the Stone Age - Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
Two Door Cinema Club - Undercover Martyn
Does it Offend You, Yeah? - With a Heavy Heart
Blonde Redhead - Equus
Franz Ferdinand - Michael
The Strokes - Under Cover of Darkness
The Sounds - Don't Want to Hurt You
Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
Interpol - Barricade
The Strokes - Alone Together
Two Door Cinema Club - What you Know
Interpol - The Heinrich Maneuver

Lastly, I wanted to try out a new app called "GPS HUD" from the android market. Basically it uses GPS and 3G to do display current speed, location, weather, date/time, bearing, RSS Headlines (customisable), Text Messages as they come, and an ECO drive indicator. You can also choose to have it auto answer calls and direct it through speaker. All of this can be mirrored onto your windshield for a HUD. I had to fashion something to keep my phone from sliding around the dash on the twisty roads, so {for now} I used a silicone sparkplug wire seperator from a previous car, wrapped it in black fabric tape, and snappd it on the front windshield defroster vent. Worked a treat. So with the DSC and Traction Control off, I was now ready to head out. The drive was great, nice twisty back country roads looping a mountian. Awesome HUD lighting up the windshield in a "look at me" but not too distracting way. Bi-Xenons lighting the dark road, peering to see whats around each turn. Tunes were great for mid-to-high speed driving. Pulling into the garage afterwards was the hardest part of the night, but a nice cold beer with my name on it, capped off a great 2 hours. All-in-all, everything went just as planned.

Happy Motoring.

26 June 2011

24 Hours of "The Green Hell"

After completing the record-breaking 156 laps, the BMW M3 GT with number 1 crossed the finish line second at the 24-hour race in the “Green Hell“, in front of 250,000 spectators. Augusto Farfus, Jörg Müller, Uwe Alzen and Pedro Lamy took turns at the wheel, delivered a strong performance and were 4:23 minutes behind the winning no. 18Manthey-Porsche at the end of the race.

Except for a collision on lap 24 and the subsequent three-minute stop-and-go penalty, last year’s winners ran a flawless race and impressively demonstrated the high level of performance of the BMW M3 GT. At the chequered flag for the endurance classic in the Eifel they were still just defeated by what in the circumstances was a small margin.

The second car with number 7, driven by Dirk Müller, Dirk Werner and Dirk Adorf, was lying 16th in the standings with 139 laps completed, when the BMW M3 GT came to a halt on the circuit in the the “Breidscheid” section having lost all traction. Earlier in the race, a problem with the brake system and the necessary repairs had cost it more than an hour. From the back of the field, the driving trio admirably worked its way back to the top-20, but was not rewarded with a finish despite its fighting spirit.

12 June 2011

24 hours of Le Mans

Twelve years after the BMW V12 LMR achieved its triumphant overall victory, BMW Motorsport is back on the podium at the Le Mans 24 Hours: In the hard-fought LM GTE class, Andy Priaulx, Dirk Müller and Joey Hand finished third in the no. 56 BMW M3 GT. Final-stint driver Hand crossed the finish line at the “Circuit de la Sarthe” after 313 thrilling laps and having covered a distance of over 4,200 kilometres.

In contrast, the drivers of the second BMW M3 GT, number 55 – Augusto Farfus, Jörg Müller and Dirk Werner – left the endurance classic empty-handed. The trio had battled for 276 laps, repeatedly fighting their way back after being hampered by incidents. Just two and a half hours before the end of the race, however, the fifth-placed BMW M3 GT came to a stop in the “Mulsanne” corner. Jörg Müller had previously reported to the team feeling vibrations in the car. Victory in the LM GTE class went to Corvette’s Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia.

The 79th staging of the Le Mans 24 Hours, which was at times dramatic and overshadowed by several spectacular and alarming crashes, proved to be a roller-coaster ride for Team BMW Motorsport. Both cars had to make several unscheduled pit stops for repairs and to change tyres, while rain showers added another factor to the final stages of the race. The two BMW M3 GT cars that had started the race from pole position and third on the grid, demonstrated their performance over the entire race distance, consistently clocking competitive times. Dirk Müller clocked the fastest GTE race lap with a time of 3:58.876 minutes. Bearing in mind the various incidents, third place for Priaulx, Dirk Müller and Hand was probably the best possible result.

01 May 2011

It can't hurt it...

I added a bottle of BMW Group's Fuel System Cleaner Plus, it's really just overpriced Chevron Techron, to my latest fill-up in an effort to ensure my fuel system will run smoothly until I get around to changing the fuel filter and other parts. I exclusively pump Shell V-Power Nitrogen Enriched fuel 91 octane, which already contains, in my opinion, the best additive and cleaners, but it never hurts to be "sure".

25 April 2011

Roadside Assistance

First of all, I am not subscribed to BMW Roadside Assistance, therefore the sticker on the toolbox is more or less useless to me. The colour was faded as well. After removing the sticker the blank spot where it was knid of got on my nerves, I knew something was supposed to be there, so I found the German BMW Roadside assistance sticker online and placed that in the blank spot. If it's going to remain useless it might as well look better!

23 April 2011

No Smoking - Follow up

Since I almost always have the Scangauge II's compartment open and visible, I find myself noticing the Cigarette icon on the cigarette lighter more and more often. I thought it was tacky and "in my way" so I removed the icon through a combination of "Goop Off" and scratching. Looks better without that icon, in my opinion, and I'm pleased with the results.

21 April 2011


Filled up the tank this morning after running the Bimmer down to almost fumes. I wanted to see how many miles I could get on one tank of fuel. I managed 432.3 with a 50/50 mix of Highway and City. That basically equates to 26 MPG. Not bad Considering the car is rated at "City MPG: 19 / Highway MPG: 27 / Combined MPG: 22" That's and extra 4 MPG.

I squeezed them out by following some simple, proven "tricks"

* Use A/C very sparingly.
* Keep the windows up at 40+ MPH.
* Use cruise control on the highway, ~70 MPH.
* Coast downhill or whenever possible instead of braking.
* Don't drive less than 10 miles per trip in the car.
* Pray for no red lights.

17 April 2011

Inspection I..... Done By Me!

Hit 90k miles this weekend and in anticipation I purchased the necessary items to perform my scheduled maintenance known as Inspection I. A pre-inspection told me that the coolant and washer fluid were low, but my brake fluid was fine. I purchased a Microfilter, and 6 Spark Plugs(not due until 100k, but why not) in addition to coolant and washer fluid. Also purchased a new Tire Pressure Gauge.

The inspection went fine with me starting with the undercarriage, working my way around the exterior, then under the hood, and then the interior, took me about 4 hours, including replacing the spark plugs and cleaning up under the hood. The Inspection being done by me was great as it allowed me to become more familiar with the Bimmer, and see just how great engineering can look deceptively simple . I don't take it for granted anymore.
The Official checklist of what is, and was, performed can be found at: