Maintenance Tips for e36 BMW

Published: 19th December 2011
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These articles will be an ongoing source of BMW maintenance and tips and maybe some tricks to keep your beloved BMW in shipshape condition. I will also cover general maintenance like oil changes, brake pads replacement, etc., but as a rule these articles will inform, advise and enlighten you on some or most of the lesser known gremlins that tend to make your BMW experience unpleasant.

Let's look at the engine.
On higher mileage units the little inch vacuum pipe that connects the intake manifold to the idling speed valve tends to perish and split or it can even break off completely. This will cause your car to hesitate on pull-away and stutter and miss for a second or two but then settles down. The idling will also be erratic and the engine may even die when stopping. This is such a small item and is so easy to miss, but in the BMW maintenance tips you will always find the "How to" of items never mentioned elsewhere! The pipe can be found, as you stand facing the engine, with the one end sticking out of the idling speed valve. It then ducks underneath the intake pipes (on the older 1992 - 1993 models) to the intake manifold situated underneath the throttle cable assembly. On the newer models the pipe comes out of the intake manifold and a few inches to the left plugs into the idling speed valve. Just grab the pipe and give it a tug to make sure that it is still OK. It is simple to replace if suspect and costs only a few cents.
At the same time it will be a good thing to check all the vacuum pipes for leaks, hardening and splitting. These pipes will eventually perish and it is very tricky to diagnose an intermittent fault caused by a split vacuum pipe.
Some Interior Problems.
The electric window winder switches sometimes just stop working for no apparent reason and they can be quite expensive to replace. Carefully pry the offending switch housing out of its mounting in the centre dash and unplug the electrics from the switch. If you now have a look at the switch, you will see two steel clips on either side of the switch, holding it securely in the housing. Carefully depress these clips and pull the switch from the housing. The rocker part of the switch can now be lifted from the switch housing by prising it off with a blunt knife. Just be careful not to remove or loose the inside parts, which will drop out if you turn the switch over. Now, when you carefully look at the inside of the rocker, you will notice a small ridge on either side that presses on the switch underneath it to activate the switch. These little plastic ridges tend to break, rendering the switch useless. However, don't despair, it's easy to fix. Get yourself a tube of superglue and re-glue the small piece that broke off and must still be lying somewhere in the switch housing. Re-assembly is the reverse of the dismantle process, but just ensure that the rocker is not reversed when you replace it in its housing.
Your aircon is fitted with a pollen filter, which is situated on the right hand side of the transmission hump underneath the dash. If this filter is not replaced periodically, the airflow from the aircon outlets will diminish considerably. To reach the filter, remove the lower part of the dash and you will see the filter nestled on top of the gearbox hump inside a housing. Just un-clip it and replace it with the new one you just bought.
If you want to keep your precious BMW forever, there are certain essential points you will have to cover on a regular basis to keep it in good condition and this BMW maintenance Tips forum will help you do most of the work yourself.

To keep your BMW in perfect shape it is important to do regular maintenance on it. However, sometimes some small thing breaks which the dealers can charge an absurd amount of money and a DIY repair job seems to be the answer. In these articles I try to share some of my experiences to help the home mechanic with some tricky repair jobs.

It is important to know where you can buy your BMW parts at a decent price and possibly it is now the time to go on the internet to get a quote. ====> At this shop <==== You will see numerous parts and the price you should pay.

I have been driving and maintaining my BMW's now for many years and although they are technically very advanced, it is still possible for the DIY mechanic to do some maintenance himself.

Author: James van Heerden

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