Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Maintenance and Performance Upgrades

For detailed walkthroughs (with pictures) of how to fix things on your E30, go to my Walkthroughs and Guides section.

Maintenance I've done

Jan 5, 2003
144944 mi.
Oil change (15w-50 Mobil 1, new OE filter and OE drain plug gasket)
Jan 13, 2003
144944 mi.
New interior door handle trim ring (the old one was missing when I bought the car (OE replacement)
Jan 20, 2003
144944 mi.
Timing belt (OE Contitech)

Timing belt tensioner pulley (OE)

Water pump (OE) In order to replace the water pump, you have to take the front of the engine apart and take off the timing belt. If you're replacing the timing belt, you've done 99.9% of the work toward replacing the water pump, and vice-versa. If you don't replace these two at the same time, you're doubling the work for yourself.

Alternator drive belt (OE Contitech)

Power steering drive belt (OE Contitech)

A/C compressor drive belt (Gates. 1/2 in. width, 2 in. larger than OE) I bought the OE belt oroginally, intending to install it, but it's just too short. The other belts are ok (see my tip on installing the alternator drive belt), but the A/C belt is just impossible to get on. When the old one was on, it was tensioned properly with the tensioner maxed out in the "loose" position. This position is normally reserved for installing the belt, after which the A/C compressor can be rotated to tension the belt, but this belt was tight in the loose position, leaving me no room to install the new belt. I finally got fed up. I went to the auto parts store and bought a longer one. (details on this fix in the tips section)

Distributor rotor and mounting bolts (OE) The only reason I replaced this was that when I tried to take it off the get to the timing belt, the mountint bolts (allen head) were completely stripped. I got two of then out with a torx bit, but the third I had to use needlenose pliers on. BMW, of course, doesn't sell the bolts individually, so I had to buy the whole rotor. I guess it would need replacing sooner or later anyway.

Thermostat (Shaft)

New coolant (Prestone aluminum-safe, phosphate-free - 50/50 distilled water to coolant mix)

Coolant bleed screw (mounts on top of thermostat housing - OE replacement) This was another one of those things that I didn't plan on replacing until I had the car taken apart on the driveway. The old bleed screw was not only stuck like crazy, but it was stripped. Yuck. I works ok like it is, the bolt only has to be finger tight the do the job, but I repaced it anyway. I can't stand stripped bolts.

New coolant hoses (upper and lower radiator hoses, hose from thermostat to inlet pipe, hose from thermostat to water pump - all OE)

New hose clamps (Ideal)

Jan 25, 2003
144944 mi
Head Bolts Replaced (OE - new torx type)
Jan 30, 2003
144944 mi
Tires (Dunlop SP Sport A2, size 205 / 60 / 14 . All four tires replaced)
Feb 8, 2003
144944 mi
Fuel Filter (OE Bosch unit. Inspection II item)

Rear shock mounts (OEM Boge, OE on 2002 M3) Direct replacement for E30 mounts.

Feb 10, 2003
144944 mi
Oil Filler Cap (OE) The old one came apart when I tried to take it off
Feb 19, 2003
144944 mi
ABS relay fixed Integral fuse blew a while back while jump starting the car backwards. This illuminated the "Anti-lock" light on the dash, and made the ABS not work.

Maintenance that needs to be done

Inspection II
This is the 30,000 mile service on E30s, and it's due on my car. I've done about half of it.

I really need to repair my odometer so that I can keep track on maintenance. It recently broke at 144944 mi.


The BMW rondels on the hood and trunk are cracked, and some of the paint is chipping away. Replacement rondels are around $10-12.


Repair Guides

Timing Belt Replacement
ABS Relay fix
Intergrating Your Garage Door Opener

Home |  My Car |  Gallery |  Maintenance |  E30 Links