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Car Maintenance

dullonien

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Anyone else do their own car maintenance, or even into modifying cars? I've done most of my own maintenance on all my cars over the years. Stems from growing up on a farm where I'd help my dad fix all kinds of cars/tractors etc. I've always been a bit reactionary in the past, fixing things when they broke, but since purchasing my current car (an '02 BMW 330i MSport Touring), I've been trying to do preventative maintenance. The car is quickly approaching 20 years old, so there's a decent amount to do to make sure it's still reliable.

With that in mind I've got a busy weekend ahead of me doing the following:
- New O2 sensors
- Replace valve cover gasket
- Replace VANOS seals
- Replace intake gasket
- New spark plugs
- New coil packs
- Replace CCV & associated pipes
- New oil filter
- New fuel filter
- Oil change
- Clutch delay valve delete

In terms of other maintenance I've done over the past couple of years:
- New alternator
- New radiator
- Upgraded water pump (metal impellor)
- Coilovers all around
- New suspension top mounts
- New control arms
- New track rod ends
- Upgraded to mixture of polybushes + Myle HD bushings throughout
- Drilled + grooved discs
- EBC Redstuff pads
- New heater resistor
- New rear brake lines in kunifer
- Rebuilt brake callipers with new seals + sliders etc.

Future work:
- Replace offside front wing (unfortunately it's started to rust)
- Repair offside rear arch (more rust)
- Induction kit (K&N)
- New wheels
- Android touchscreen head unit
- Replace the old 5sp manual gearbox for the newer 6sp
- LSD

Once all of that is done I've got some plans to install a turbo or supercharger because I'm after some more power but absolutely love the car and wouldn't want to replace it with anything newer. There's a bit of work involved there though including installing ARP headbolts (if I don't want to lift the head and destroy my engine), fabricating a custom exhaust + installing a new ECU (maybe just a piggyback) and getting it tuned. My brother in-law builds rally cars (and all sorts of other machines) so I'll have some help there. My ultimate aim would be 400bhp, but I think that'll be a few years in the making.
 

dullonien

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Not sure if anyone's really interested but this is how my engine looked todaybhalf way through.

20210417_160534.jpg

Waiting for a gasket to arrive that I forgot to order until I can re-assemble. Also waiting for a 22mm impact socket to arrive after failing to remove one of the O2 sensors. Bugger is rusted in there solid and wouldn't budge with a slotted socket, so smashed the top of the sensor off so I can use a standard socket which hopefully won't slip!
 

Tallshort

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Well I'm no way at your level but I have always been able to do a rough service on any car I have owned up unto the one I have now. Used to quite enjoy ordering the parts etc. Could always manage a oil filter, oil, filter change. Did a fuel filter change on a corsa once and the breaks and pads which was a lot simpler than I first thought. Was a tank driver for a good part of my army life so I was trained to do service maintenance to a degree and most small petrol cars were simple enough to do. Came a cropper once trying to do a Laguna once but its because I had the wrong parts. Have a c class now and dont touch it as any mistake could prove costly but my eldest is a couple of years away from his driving licence so going to get him a cheap little petrol runaround that I can fix for him if needed.
 

dullonien

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Yeah newer cars are certainly more difficult to work on from a diy pov. Part of the reason I'm sticking with the car I have.

Newer BMW's need lots of trivial items such as new battery etc. programmed into the ECU, which is ridiculous imo.

I've got one of the cheap bluetooth OBDII dongles that you can connect to your phone and scan errors using an app like Torque. Super useful for diagnosing errors and clearing faults. There's guides for everything online then, and forums where people have discussed things going wrong, so in some ways it's easier than ever to do lots of this stuff.

Anyway, managed to get lots more done today. Changed the CCV and pipes, what a faff that was! All tangled around and behind all the intake manifold, so lots of taking apart to get at it. Also drained oil, changed oil filter and fuel filter, so ready to put back together when the gasket arrives.
 

Al Bangor

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I do regular maintenance on my truck, but that's the extent of it. Kudos to those of you who do more. Automotive care is much more complicated now than when I grew up. o_O
 

The_Blindside

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And with so called driverless cars being the future:

 

dullonien

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Yeah, only going to get more difficult.

I was getting a couple of new tyres from KwikFit one day a couple of years back, woman came in looking for her brakes doing, they had to turn her away because she was driving a Prius (or similar hybrid). Apparently they're not insured to work on any Hybrid cars because some of the systems are so expensive to replace if something went wrong!

I'll be like Will Smith in I, Robot, still driving a vehicle with Petrol: "Please tell me this doesn't run on gas! Gas explodes, you know?"
 

ncurd

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I use to do all my own maintenance but never had a car that really required it before, my 106 and wife's Focus barely needed anything done over the year. I sincerely regret getting rid of the 106 (it was 1.4 Diesel) because it was so damn reliable, I got a facelift first generation Laguna that was a family car that my Dad and sister had before me and it died within two weeks of having it (garage couldn't even work out why it wouldn't start).

Then it was Mini and I did pretty much all non MOT work on that as well but it burnt through oil like anything so it went last October.

Got '16 plate BMW 430i now and honestly I know its money hole but regular servicing will be done by a dealer because regular service stamps will help keep what value it has if I ever sell. Although I suspect the first gen ones might retain a little more value than they would otherwise because the 2nd gen ones have a pug ugly grille.
 

dullonien

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So, been doing a little more maintenance recently. I've got a big washer leak, where the washer tank will empty every couple of days.

So I replaced the pumps and grommets/filters for the windscreen and headlight washers hoping that was the cause of the leak, but it's still leaking. Narrowed it down to the nearside headlight washer itself, so ordered the parts to replace both the actuators and nozzles on both sides to be sure.

I've also got a replacement front wing to fit which is rust free, so need to find time to fit that soon as well.

Been eyeing up some wheels too. I really don't like the standard MV1 alloys on the car, they're not to my taste + they're a nightmare to clean + one leaks air. Problem is I want a set of slightly old school 5 spokes, but there's not many options out there and the ones I've found are wide with low offsets, so gonna struggle to get them to fit. Either that or they're hellish expensive - £1k+ per corner, and I can't justify spending twice the value of the car on wheels! I absolutely hate the stretched tyre/camber scene, so the other option is to roll/flare the arches or go more drastic by welding in some M3 arches.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Got a new car on Sunday,
Scraped the back of it today driving up a spiral ramp into a carpark
Drove into the same car park the last two days and remember thinking how the new (bigger) car isn't harder to handle than my old car.....next minute

I could honestly scream, ha
 

dullonien

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Nooo. I always see all the scrape marks up those ramps and think who's the idiot who's managed that :p
 

TRF_Olyy

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Episode 4 Movie GIF by Star Wars
 

dullonien

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I do feel for you, we all make mistakes. I reversed my old car into a column in a hospital car park. I tell myself it's because it was early hours of the morning after waiting hours in A&E and the weather was awful so windows were a little steamed. Reality is I wasn't paying enough attention and I forgot the column was there in my blind spot.

What car did you get Olyy?
 

TRF_Olyy

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I do feel for you, we all make mistakes. I reversed my old car into a column in a hospital car park. I tell myself it's because it was early hours of the morning after waiting hours in A&E and the weather was awful so windows were a little steamed. Reality is I wasn't paying enough attention and I forgot the column was there in my blind spot.

What car did you get Olyy?
Ford Focus, so it's about 20% longer than my old Citroen - thought I'd sussed the turning circle but apparently need to pay closer attention...

Got a pretty reasonable quote from autoglass to come to my place and fix the two panels, so going to wait for a quote from another place before making a decision

Nightmare of a Wednesday, ha
 

dullonien

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Just checked, and E10 shouldn't be an issue even for my 20 y/o car. Seems like a no brainer to introduce this if it can reduce so much carbon. Appears as if a lot of the USA have been running it for decades!

While I'm replying to this thread, I did some more work on my car this past weekend. My alternator died last week - obvious whine, electrical burning smell + battery symbol flashing up on dash were all tell tail signs - so I changed that for another reconditioned Bosch unit, let's hope this one lasts longer than the 4.5 years/20k miles the last one did!

While I was there I also replaced the oil filter housing gasket. It was certainly due replacing as it had turned hard like plastic and came out in pieces. There was a lot of oil in that area so I'm hoping that was the cause of my bad oil leak. The other likely culprit is the sump gasket which is a mission to replace, so fingers crossed.

I also doused the engine in degreaser and carefully pressure washed it all over to remove all the old oil, changed the oil filter and put new oil in there again, so going to now keep an eye if any new drips develop from anywhere. I can then look at trying to clean my driveway which is a right state atm, although getting oil out of tarmac is almost impossible, so may need to think of re-finishing it somehow.
 

dullonien

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I think I'll make this a recurring feature - "what has Dylan fixed on his car this week!" :)

Literally the day after doing the the work on the alternator and OFH gasket whilst doing the school run, the traction control, ABS and hazard symbol lights popped up on my dash!

A little googling later suggested the likely cause was a malfunctioning wheel speed sensor, but there was some suggestions misaligned tracking can also cause issues. I'd only just had my tracking done, which they'd struggled with on the rear-left, so took it back to them first. They spent an hour trying to wrestle it into spec, but there's certainly something up back there, nothing huge, but something I'll need to address soon. Unfortunately it didn't solve my ABS/traction control issues.

I was also made aware of some software available to download for BMW's called INPA, which when coupled with a £20 usb to OBDII cable gives full access to the full set of diagnostic and tuning software BMW dealers use. Armed with this I could see see real-time data from my wheel speed sensors, which clearly showed no reading from my front right. £30 and 10min of my time this weekend, and all is good again, well for now at least...
 

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die_mole

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please keep them coming. I’m completely useless when it comes to car maintenance so I have much respect to those of you that do.
 
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