Any fellow BMW DIYers

Discussion in 'Home, Auto, Hobby and Computer Tech' started by ThreatMatrix, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. ThreatMatrix

    ThreatMatrix Feeling the Buzz
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    Anybody else with a used BMW and thus doing maintenance themselves? Familiar with ISTA+ or INPA?
     
  2. 78

    78 Dazed and Confused
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    Are you looking to buy the software? ISTA is the more up to date option. I personally wouldn't go near the stuff. Too many pitfalls on a car that sophisticated.
     
  3. ThreatMatrix

    ThreatMatrix Feeling the Buzz
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    Fortunately you don't have to buy it. I've got both loaded on my laptop, I'm just learning how to use it so I was hoping someone had experience with it. And yeah there's a huge risk of bricking your car if you don't know what you're doing. I have the Carly for BMW OBD scanner which does a lot and is less risky but there are some things that can only be done with ISTA/INPA.
     
  4. 78

    78 Dazed and Confused
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    What kind of Beemer?
     
  5. Concrete Helmet

    Concrete Helmet Hook, Line, and Sinker
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    Then take it to a local reputable tuner and have them do those things. I have multiple tunes loaded on handheld devices for my cars .....I never even plug them in and have a special cover for the port when I take them to the dealer so those meatheads don't dabble in my cars brains.....Get on a BMW forum and find out who's the best guy in your area.
     
    #5 Concrete Helmet, Jul 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    • ThreatMatrix

      ThreatMatrix Feeling the Buzz
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      550i M-sport
       
      • ThreatMatrix

        ThreatMatrix Feeling the Buzz
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        Then I wouldn't be DIY ;)
         
      • Concrete Helmet

        Concrete Helmet Hook, Line, and Sinker
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        No I get what you're saying I just meant if there are certain parts of the process you aren't comfortable with.....If you are comfortable with getting into calibration then fine. I personally can't even set up my own laptop so you could imagine what kind of a mess I could create :eek3:….If it's more involved than cleaning my air filter or playing around with the adjustments on my coilovers I take it to my shop.
         
      • ThreatMatrix

        ThreatMatrix Feeling the Buzz
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        You can't imagine what a pain in the ass it was to set up these tools. The tools are really the property of BMW so forums don't even want to share the links. Someone has to PM it to you. Then you have to have certain versions depending on your model and year. And then some only work on 32bit machines. It's taken me weeks and still some things don't work. I had to buy a laptop $175 then, and the first cable I bought didn't work so I had to buy another for $45.
        There are three main things that you can do:
        Code: That's the cutesy stuff like having your mirrors fold automatically or change how many times your turn single blinks.
        Diagnostics: Reading and clearing codes, monitoring realtime engine values, which cylinders are misfiring, coolant, oil, fluid temperatures and then trouble shooting trees and reseting adaption values.
        Programming: Not sure all the reasons you'd want to do this. If you replace one of the 60 computers in the car they have to be programmed to the car. That requires flashing the memory in the ECU and that can take hours. With the car off. And the car can draw up to 70Amps while it's doing that so you need a 70A power supply that will guarantee keeping the voltage up or you brick the car. The cheapest I've found was $400. And then I need a special $300 OBD interface. F that. I won't be doing any programming.

        I don't know about other high end models but BMW's are "special". The battery is in the trunk, for weight balance, and you have to register the battery if you replace it. Dealer charges at least $100 to do that on top of the price of the battery. Fortunately that can be done with one of the tools. There's no oil dipstick on some models - you read the level through the display. Transmission fluid change costs over $800. Of course there's no way to check the level. BMW claims the fluid is lifetime but ZF, who makes the transmission, says 70k miles. The filter is in the pan so that has to be changed, you put fluid in until it comes out but that depends on fluid temperature so you have to have a way of measuring that. Then afterwards you have to reset the transmission adaptions with one of the tools above and then go through something like this process:

        1) With the shifter in M Mode, accelerate the vehicle to ~30mph and select 3rd gear
        2) Continue driving for 2 miles
        3) Accelerate the vehicle to ~45mph and select 5th gear
        4) Using light throttle, accelerate to 50mph and then coast to ~40mph without applying the
        brakes, repeat for 4 cycles, then
        5) Accelerate to 55mph and select 6th gear
        6) With light throttle, accelerate to 65mph then coast to 50mph without applying the brakes, repeat for 4 cycles, then
        7) Select 3rd gear and repeat steps 1-6 for 5 cycles, then coast to a standstill and proceed to Step 3 below

        Actually the tranny fluid change isn't that bad if you DIY. Parts and fluid can be had for $250. The problem for me is that the car has to be level when you do it. Which means getting the car up on four jack stands. I didn't live this long to be crushed by a car.
         
        • Concrete Helmet

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          For the love of God.….:lol:
           
          • MJMGator

            MJMGator Slightly amused
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            Don’t forget to keep your left elbow on the armrest or you’ll have to start over.
             
            • Concrete Helmet

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              Christ that thing better blow me when I'm done with all that.....
               
              • MJMGator

                MJMGator Slightly amused
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                It’s like an extremely needy woman. :lol:
                 
                • 78

                  78 Dazed and Confused
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                  Nice car.
                   
                  • oxrageous

                    oxrageous It's Good to be King
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                    My thoughts after reading all that are that who would want to own one?

                    Eff them.
                     
                    • oxrageous

                      oxrageous It's Good to be King
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                      As a car guy, you want a car you can tinker with. BMW has gone completely out of their way to make sure their owners can't do a damn thing to their own cars (no dipsticks, really? :rolleyes3:) Instead, you better take the thing to the dealer and pay their insane repair prices. It's nothing but a scam.

                      They are neat cars, but not neat enough to deal with that crapola. It pisses me off. Those guys deserve two middle fingers from everyone who love working on cars.

                      :finger:
                       
                    • 78

                      78 Dazed and Confused
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                      Whoa, hoss. That's on older Beemers. Up through 2016, the factory paid for all oil changes for the first four years or 50,000 miles. It's now three years, 36,000 miles. Most owners didn't care if there was a dipstick or not.

                      Porsche doesn't cover jack shyt. You wanna drive one? Pay up.

                      Threat's probably outside the factory maintenance period. And, yes, dealers like to sell complicated cars because they make more on service than sales. That's good old-fashioned capitalism.
                       
                      #17 78, Jul 20, 2018
                      Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
                      • Concrete Helmet

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                        I agree totally and I do my research before buying anything. I think if you know ahead of time what you're getting into then it is what it is. That's not to say every make doesn't have a few hidden nuances...they all do and that's part of the "character" of any car, new or older......Then again I'm the type of(car) guy that falls in love a half dozen times a day just on my way to work...
                         
                      • Concrete Helmet

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                        No disrespect intended but you're a Chevy guy, aren't you?
                         
                      • ThreatMatrix

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                        Yeah you really gotta want to own a used BMW - and enjoy working on them. If you want a high milage low maintenance car buy a Honda. I think BMW builds their cars to last as long as the lease. Not that it's poor quality but they are very difficult to service. So labor (time) is expensive, Then parts are expensive if you buy from BMW - a $500 brake vacuum pump from BMW costs $200 from the OEM. Then there's the whole thing about having to have proprietary diagnostic tools to do just about anything. But most things are DIYable just time consuming.
                        And BMW did things like giving free oil changes under warranty but then require a 15,000 mile oil. And claim the tranny fluid is lifetime (which really means until warranty expires). And then everything talks to a computer, even light bulbs, so everything is "special".

                        Fortunately the DIY community is all over what are common failures and when they happen and what to do to as PM. Valve stem seals are common over 120,000 miles and an expensive or difficult DIY job however switching to a lower temp thermostat and using a product from liqui-moly called motor saver seems to mitigate the problem if you do it soon enough. Oil burning is a common complaint but again using liqui-molly's Ceratec cleans that up pretty fast. You have to use a high grade, good detergent, premium gas like Shell or Chevron. Or put Techron in before each oil change to clean injectors. You have to do regular fluid flushes but if your idea of fun on a Saturday is working on the car then you've got plenty to do.

                        Why do it? Driving my M-sport is almost as good as sex. I had a Lexus, Infiniti and a 300ZX and this is better than the best of all three. 0-60 in 4.7 secs is crazy in a 4-door sedan. High end torque so I can mash the pedal from 70-90 in a split second. Four driving modes: Economy (LOL I get 15MPG), Sport (stiffens suspension, changes shift points), Sport Automatic (even more aggressive shift points), and Manual (bat **** crazy). The cool thing about Manual mode is that it down shifts for you. Maybe they all do that now but my Infiniti didn't.
                        As far as handling it blew me away. It straightens out clover leafs. Zero sway or lean thanks to the DSC that actually adjusts suspension not just brakes like other so called systems. I don't know what speed it would take to get it lose and I'm afraid to find out. Low profile 275's on the rear and 245's on the front. Adaptive steering that adjusts steering angle based on speed, accelerometer input etc. so no drifting LOL. Adaptive headlights (Hudson was ahead of his time). The frickin side bolsters even inflate in turns to hold you in place.

                        I'll do some mods in the future. I've already done some cosmetic things. I'l add a quad exhaust with a cutout so I can hear the V8. It has a nice low rumble now but it's so damn quiet in the car that you can't hear it.

                        Bottom line is don't buy a used BMW unless your hobby is working on it. And it helps to have access to a 2nd car ;)
                         

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