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#657 of 2734 Tool to remove Radio in 1993 bmw 525
Jun 04, 2004 (1:27 pm)
My grand daughter has a 1993 525 and the radio stop powering up. We have checked the fuse and it's not blown we can't remove the radio because the dealer says it takes a special tool, It looks like an ordinary allen screw but so far we can't find one that fits. The dealer won't sell us the tool, It seems that they want to make the money them self by pulling the radio.
Does any one out there have any ideas on how to get the radio out?
#658 of 2734 Misc...
Jun 04, 2004 (2:14 pm)
Rugby65, I'd try a different dealer for the tool, or I would go to your friendly neighborhood tool dealer and see if you can find a driver head that will match up to the screw.
#659 of 2734 Maintenance Advice from Experts Who Know
Jun 04, 2004 (3:44 pm)
div2... You're absolutely right: "it's refreshing to hear the opinion of someone who actually has experience with regards to the subject matter being discussed." Always best to stick with the experts.
I enjoy reading Mike Miller's responses to the plethora of routine maintenance questions he is asked as Technical Editor of both Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer magazines. Some recent samples:
Roundel, 1/04: "Oil-change intervals need to be appropriate to the product used...the otherwise absurd 15,000-mile BMW factory interval. I'd drain Mobil 1 every 5,000 miles. Always change the filter with the oil." and "I think 5,000 miles is an excessive tire-rotation interval. I do it once a year when I switch from summer tires to snow tires."
Roundel, 4/04: "Unfortunately, since the advent of free scheduled maintenance and extended service intervals, 'dealer maintained' means that very little was done to the car beyond a list of checks and adjustments. If you're lucky, this car [a '97 E39 528i with 66K miles] has had four engine-oil changes, one air filter, one coolant change and three brake-fluid changes--but it's more than likely that it just had the engine-oil changes and the air filter."
Roundel, 6/04: "Change your gearbox and differential oil every 30,000 miles."
Bimmer, 8/04: "my best advice is to maintain the car. Change gearbox and differential oil no matter how loudly the dealer whines about 'lifetime fill' oil. Tell them you will trust lifetime oil when they give you a lifetime warranty."
He is one of the best reasons to read Roundel and Bimmer!
#660 of 2734 Excessive maintenance...
Jun 04, 2004 (4:01 pm)
Roundel, 1/04: "Oil-change intervals need to be appropriate to the product used...the otherwise absurd 15,000-mile BMW factory interval. I'd drain Mobil 1 every 5,000 miles. Always change the filter with the oil."
Sorry, I cannot buy into that one. I've seen the research, I've seen the oil analysis numbers, I've seen the torn down motors. Unless the esteemed Mr. Miller knows something the engineers at Mercedes-Benz don't know (and can back it up with hard facts), I'll classify his comments more as "Religion" than "Science".
#661 of 2734 shipo
Jun 05, 2004 (6:30 am)
Mike wasn't able to make the last Roundel staff meeting at TechFest East, but I discussed this issue with my friend Mark Calabrese as well as a few others. The "Change oil every 1000 miles" philosophy is not a majority opinion. I've known Mike for nealy fifteen years and he has been a great asset for many owners. That said, not every expert agrees with his opinions on servicing frequency. The extended service intervals have been in effect for nearly five years. Can anyone show me a BMW final drive, manual transmission, or engine that has failed due to following the BMW maintenance regimen?
#662 of 2734 Maintenance, Short-term Ownership, and Longevity
Jun 05, 2004 (8:41 am)
div2... You note that "The extended service intervals have been in effect for nearly five years." and then ask "Can anyone show me a BMW final drive, manual transmission, or engine that has failed due to following the BMW maintenance regimen?"
Would be interesting to see what percentage of E39s and E46s even have 100K let alone 150K?
Is interesting to read all the discussions in Roundel and Bimmer about catastrophic AT failures in the 80-120K range. And how BMW dealers tend just to completely replace transmissions and differentials that have problems. Dealers don't appear to do much work on them any more. Just pull out the bad one and put in a new one.
Thinking the original 3/36 "free" maintenance came out around MY1998. Can anyone explain why BMW extended service intervals when it started paying for the maintenance? Were they getting previous owners into paying for unnecessary maintenance? Are they trying to hold their own costs down?
Since BMW's b-to-b warranty expires at 4yr/50K and even the CPO warranty (which you pay additional for) expires at 6yr/100K, skimping on maintenance won't cost BMW much. Few of today's buyers even keep the car past about 40 months of ownership. And look at the percentage that lease for only 2, 3, or 4 years and never even own their own vehicle. What do they care about the long-term future of their former car?
Maybe the better questions will be, "What shape will E39 and E46 BMWs be after 150K or 10 years?" and "What percentage of E39s and E46s are still on the road in 2015 or 2020?"
Not sure what you mean when you discuss "The 'Change oil every 1000 miles' philosophy is not a majority opinion." Don't think anyone is recommending oil changes every 1K or even 3K. But 5K or 7.5K is reasonable for ensuring healthy long-term life.
#663 of 2734 2004 545i - Sirius Radio
Jun 05, 2004 (10:20 am)
Anybody have one of these? I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the system to "accept" my attempt to "store" stations. It seems to do so, but where do they go? Where's the list? I go to SAT/Presets, and none is there in any kind of organized way to indicate I selected them.
Also, with iDrive, is there no way to select a station by number? Instead, always have to scroll the list (unless I can figure out the store bit)?
#664 of 2734 Well...
Jun 05, 2004 (2:36 pm)
In my meager and limited experience(21 years of owning and maintaining most everything from a couple of 3.0S sedans, an M6 and an E39)ZF slushboxes have NEVER been particularly robust-fluid change or no fluid change. OTOH, the GM autoboxes have proven to be reasonably durable. My wife's 1997 528iA work hack has 104,000 miles on the clock and we have experienced no drivetrain failures. This matches the experience of most all the E39 Group owners. The AT and final drive fluid have been changed exactly one time-at 99800 miles. The engine sees 9000 mile oil change intervals using Mobil 1 0W-40 and consumes no oil between changes. Granted, this is one person's experience with one vehicle, but I still have yet to see evidence of even one BMW drivetrain component-excluding the ZFs mentioned earlier-that has failed due to a factory mandated extended drain interval.
#665 of 2734 More on oil: mileage quality, the cold start, etc.
Jun 06, 2004 (5:52 am)
When considering frequency of oil changes it should be remembered that not all mileage is equal. This cannot be stressed enough in my opinion. 15K miles on one engine could be equivalent to 5K on another, and 30K on yet another. Accordingly, the 15K interval means nothing to me. It's as if someone said the desirable weight of every human being should be 180 pounds. You will know an engine by its driver's itinerary and habits. Some driver's can go 30K without an oil change, others 5K.
I believe the most significant factor contributing to engine wear is the cold start, the time at which most of the oil is in the sump as opposed to on the engine parts. Accordingly, this is why there has been a move toward lower-viscosity oils—the watery 0-40—to get the oil to the engine parts quicker on startup, to circulate more freely, and to get the oil to operating temperature more quickly.
Compare the following two cars:
Car A — has 150K miles and was driven by someone who cold-started it only thrice a day and was on the highway for most of the time
Car B — has 50K miles, 8 cold starts a day, mostly stop-and-go traffic
In my opinion Car B should clearly have a higher oil-maintenance frequency and that BMW should acknowledge driving conditions and freely adapt to them with their maintenance policies.
All of this is much ado about nothing if you trade your car in every four years as this is a longevity issue. However, driver habit/maintenance comes into play significantly when buying used, even more so than mileage. Since resale values are mostly influenced by mileage, I have to believe the best car bargains can be had with high-mileage cars that fit the profile of car A. For instance, if a pristine 2001 M5 with 150K miles came along came at $27K and you could verify this type of usage, and that the engine was never oil-starved, it would be a bargain in my book. This car could go another happy 150K miles, and at the end of say a 10-year run you could just give it away.
Shipo, with regard to those Mercedes tests. I clearly believe that oil frequency intervals can be extended versus what we have been used to in the past. However, I have to believe those tests are agenda-driven and narrow in scope. They serve to benefit Mercedes. Automotive tribology is not exactly an advanced science, and "overmaintenance" of cars is not exactly a religion, rather it is more a matter of scientific common sense. Not that I am criticizing the maintenance instincts of you and Div2, but I tend to subscribe to Riez' err-on-the-side-of-caution outlook. Engine oil is a critical fluid, the car's the lifeblood, yet fluid maintenance is not even a drop in the bucket compared to the overall cost of ownership.
Furthermore, after knowing my wife and her cars for 25 years, I can tell you unequivocally that she exactly fits the Car B profile. Her cars have needed frequent oils changes and her 03 530 cannot make it to the 15k interval, that is unless I was willing to live with chocolate syrup on the dipstick. I don't care what an oil analysis would reveal, I am not willing to let that happen.
Lastly, as someone who has owned several used cars over the years, I can also tell you that I have always been vigilant when profiling the owners of these cars and their driving habits. It's not hard to spot the abusers. On every occasion I have bought from people who echo what Riez has been trumpeting among other reasons. These cars have served me extremely well and without headache. As far as I am concerned, automotive gerontology is nowhere, and until I know more, there isn't anyone who can convince me that something as elemental as simple frequent oil changes isn't good practice.
Just my proverbial 2 cents.
Jun 06, 2004 (6:40 am)
In fairness to BMW I have to mention that they did change my oil and filter for free at 9k miles. But after the 15k interval, let's see if they do it again at 22-23k. Indeed, I will be lobbying for this.