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Blog : BMW

BMW of the Week – Not just any old 2002!

1974 BMW 2002 turbo

When it comes to cars, my jaw doesn’t drop that often, but this 1974 2002 turbo will make the jaw drop and the drool flow.  I’ve seen a fair amount of turbos, but I’ve never worked on one nor driven one — I got to do both, thanks to this immaculate car that had been impressively restored by Casey Motorsports in Petaluma, CA.  The turbo rolled into the shop for the usual stuff 2002’s need – new spark plugs, a valve adjust, some fluid changes and you’re pretty square for another few years.  But when an example like this is in the service bay, the cameras come out and the car stays a bit longer.  This car has everything going for it.  Looks great, mechanicals are even better, and a few special touches in the right places.  I took over 300 pictures in super high resolution, so here’s a few shots:

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BMW with a Dead Battery? Stop. Tow. Save Tons of Dough.

My hope is that you’ve found this posting before AAA, or other form of assistance, has come to rescue your BMW with a dead battery.   I know you only have one hour to leave work, grab the kids from practice, and pick-up dinner, but stop and just have your BMW towed.  DO NOT jump-start the car and DO NOT let any roadside assistance service install a new battery in your BMW.  It can be the most expensive battery or jump start of your life.

BMW’s built from 1999 through about 2003 do not respond well to a jump start, and pretty much every BMW built after 2004 needs to follow an exact procedure in order to change the battery properly.  While we’ve been aware of this for quite some time, a recent customer’s troubles has exemplified what can occur if someone tries to change a battery when they are ill informed.

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BMW 5 Series – Why I’m a 5 Guy

This weekend saw over 60 5 series cars at the Annual St. Patrick’s Day gathering for a bunch of guys and girls who feel much like I do – the best BMW Series over the years has been the 5 series.  It has great lines, is available in various formats and power ranges, and is the most versatile of the BMWs.  It was a great event organized by one of my customers and I got to see some great cars and to show off my latest project . . .

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BMW Cup Holders – Why do they break all the time?

Cup holders on BMWs are usually downright junk.  If you have an e39 5-series you probably know exactly what I’m talking about — they’re flimsy, they don’t really hold much more than a can of soda, and if you blow on them too hard they snap in half.  What’s the point??

It wasn’t until the late ’90s that BMW finally made them standard equipment on most models while other manufacturers had been implementing them for years.  The main reason for this is probably a cultural one.  Germans, as a whole, do not bring food into their cars.  Most wouldn’t even fathom it.  The only thing that Germans typically would do while driving in their car is smoke.  Which is why all BMWs seem to have an adequate ashtray and lighter that is reachable and convenient.

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BMW Microfilter – A Breath of Fresh Air

Having a clean and functioning microfilter in your BMW is extremely important as it promotes clean air circulation throughout the cabin while running your A/C or heater.  This filter should be changed during the Inspection II service or major tune-up on your BMW.  In San Diego we see many of these filters completely clogged with dust, dirt and debris.  With the wildfire season upon us in San Diego and Southern California clean air is of utmost importance.

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BMW Body Designations – Which “e” is my BMW?

While at your BMW Service Center you might have overhead a lot of “e” words, and possibly some “f” and “s” words, but terms such as e36, e60 and e28 have a distinct meaning to BMW technicians and enthusiasts.  For instance, if you have a 2003 330i, it is termed an e46.  These ‘e’ terms are used to identify BMW Body style design depending on the look and year of your BMW.  E is short for “Entwicklung” which is the German word for development, or to link the ‘e’, evolution.

If all these terms are Greek to you, here is a list that should prove helpful in determining the code name of your BMW.

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BMW of the Week – 1973 BMW 3.0cs – BARN FIND!

“Barn Finds” are talked about rather frequently amongst classic car collectors, no matter their preference in automobiles.  It’s a story of driving down a country road and out of the corner of your eye you see the sun reflecting off the chrome of a car just sitting half covered in a shack.  After approaching the owner you come to find that it belonged to their grandfather and has just been “sitting there” since the 70’s . . .

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Your BMW Warranty has expired – What now??

Once the factory warranty expires on your BMW, it can be a scary thing.  If your philosophy toward car care is the old “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” you’ll need to change your views on car maintenance or head down to trade it in for a new one.

Over the past 5 years I’ve noticed an incredible pattern with BMW owners.  They have little or no problems while under the warranty, which is not surprising as today’s automobiles are usually symptom free for the first 4 years or 50k miles.  They will have one or two little issues pop up from 50-70k miles which they will pay for out of pocket, and it’ll typically be expensive but not painful.   Things are honky-dory for the next year or so until 80k rolls around, then the car will basically need about $3,000 in catch-up work and they wind up hating their car.  Ouch! 

If your warranty expires today, here’s a few starters to keep the car going strong and to keep your wallet out of harm’s way.

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BMW of the Week – 1972 3.0csi

In my opinion, the 3.0cs/csi/csl is the most beautiful car BMW has ever built, and this 3.0csi is a really attractive example for a number of reasons.  It’s owner is a really nice guy who also owns an old 2002 and happens to live right around the corner from the shop.  Originally the car was not delivered to the US Market, but made its way to California early in life and has been very well cared for since. This car came into us for what I would call a day-spa treatment — none of the work being major surgery, but in the end you notice a big difference and it’s expensive.

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