Sunday 29 November 2020

E81 120d M-Sport: New springs and dampers!

Sean at work has a 1er with nearly 200k miles on the clock, through you would never tell as most of the parts have been replaced since he got it for a mere £700. Yes, you can get a zippy M-Sport 120d for this price, but unless you are willing to get your hands dirty I wouldn't recommend it. Of course, you probably are willing to do that or you wouldn't be here in the first place, so go sick there are bargains out there!

This time it's having new rear springs and dampers as one has leaked all of its fluid and is jammed in position. The opposite side was constantly hitting the bump-stop. She rides good now.

Wednesday 25 November 2020

F10 530d: 4 new Run Flat tyres (Goodyear Excellence 255/55/17)

 My run-flats that came with the F10 have been run practically, well, flat. They were an advisory on my previous MOT and the last 12 months have not been kind to them with the F seeing a fair bit of use and the two rears are about 1mm from the wear bar, so with the next test looming its time to throw some fresh rubber on.

I went for the same, like-for-like Goodyear Excellence that were fitted when I picked the car up, in 255 / 55 / 17 size. I'm not sure if these are standard fit from BMW, but it's what the police were running on it for high-speed pursuit, so they will do for me and my mainly sedate driving style...

They aren't cheap kit. Even with a discount through work I was quoted £233 for two new tyres and I needed four. This price I would consider prohibitive just for new rubber when I can get four new regular tyres for as little as £100 the lot, but the Goodyear is what I wanted so I went for used tyres. Well, they are hardly used, with the set I bought having 7mm+ of tread left and a 2019 DOT code. Three of them have a puncture repair in the tread, but even so the deal I got was too good to turn down... £250 for all four!

Run Flats or normal tyres??

I've grown used to these Goodyear tyres over the last five years, though they would not be my first choice in normal circumstances. The grip, noise and ride are all pretty good and I've had a decent run out of them given the amount of tread left when I bought the car. They have suffered two punctures during that time and this is where the Run Flats show their worth. The first I repaired straight away, but on the other occasion I ended up driving for four days and covered 75 miles on a tyre with zero PSI, yes that's ZERO air in it and to be honest the tyre still performed perfectly and there car drove as normal. OK I would NEVER recommend anyone doing this, but yes they work and are worth the extra money they cost! The downside of this convenience is the harsh, bumpy ride due to the reinforced side-walls. This may be a big factor on low-profile tyres, for instance I had 18" alloys on my E60 with Run Flats and the ride was pretty harsh, and I would imagine it gets even worse for 19" and 20" with tiny side-walls, but with my current 17 inch rims with a 55 profile side-wall the ride is actually very good, so this argument becomes negligible! 

Tuesday 24 November 2020

F10 530d: Cleaning up the 17” Cromodora alloys...

Thought I would give the 17 inch Cromodora alloys a quick clean while the tyres were off for replacement. I can't imagine they have been cleaned inside the rim in the car's entire 170,000 miles. I jet-washed them, gave them a liberal coating of Autosmart Ali-Shine (it's basically 'wheel acid') and jet-washed them again, thats it. You can see they have had a bit of a hard life, but I have to say for that mileage they haven't come up half bad!


Monday 23 November 2020

F10/F11/G07: Front Fog-Lamp / Spot-Lamp Fault fix... the bulb or not the bulb?

 If you get 'Front Foglight Failure' coming up then it's likely a bulb has blown, but I believe it is a common problem on the F10 showing this error but both front fog lamps are still working, or a light not working but the bulb is not blown. It should be an easy fix.


1. Using an 8mm hex-socket remove four of the screws holding the front side of the corresponding wheel-arch liner - two from the bottom edge and the other two that run up the outer edge of the wheel-arch. This should be enough to peel the arch-liner back and see the back of the fog-light.

2. Remove the wiring-connector by pressing the clip and sliding it upwards.

3. Remove the bulb-holder in the back of the fog-lamp by giving it a quarter-turn anti-clockwise and it should pull out easily.

If the bulb is blown then it can be removed from the plastic holder and replaced.


The worst case scenario is a fault with the lighting module or wiring to it, see this post -, but it is far more likely to just be a loose wiring-connector behind the bumper.

Firstly, the wiring-connector to the fog-lamp itself connects from above, so it is possible moisture can fid its way in and corrode the terminals, which can be easily cleaned up with some emery-cloth and a small screwdriver/awl. It is also feasible that road dirt / debris can drop into the plug as it is removed, making it not seat correctly when it is replaced, so rule these out first.

Secondly, there is another wiring connector higher up in the front bumper behind the bottom of the headlight unit. It is hard to spot, as wires seem to run to the fog-lamps from both sides of the car and also link to the headlights, so it will appear as if the wiring to the fogs are intact, when this plug becoming loose or not properly connected will stop the fog-lamp working and throw the error, but not affect the headlights. This can be caused when a headlight has been removed for bulb-replacement or work on the front of the car, so if this work has been done to the car recently then be sure to check this plug.