Tuesday 26 November 2013

78,500 Miles

Added 1 litre of Castrol Edge 5W30 engine oil as the getting low yellow warning light came on.

Saturday 19 October 2013

76,300 Miles - Broken Fan

Whilst driving, there was a noise from the engine bay, a quick crunch, but the car continued to drive normally. Luckily I was just on my way to a petrol station. I filled up and then, luckily again, I had to just move forward to the air/water point. Looking back I saw a puddle on the ground where I had just been sat filling up. A quick sniff and it was obviously fresh coolant out of my car.

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Inspecting in the engine bay, I soon found that the mechanical radiator cooling fan (the one driven off the water pump via a viscous coupling) had lost all its blades...yes all of them!

They had all sheared off. The blades were all collecting in the bottom of the fan cowling. The fan cowling, even though made from very thick and touch plastic, was cracked. Even worse, one of the blades had punctured the radiator, hence the leak.

So nothing I could do but wait until Monday (this was Friday night of course and I was away Saturday) and get it to a garage.

I left Monday morning after topping the water up to go to Fensomes of Luton, thinking I should be alright to go the short distance, but I had only travelled about 5 minutes before the low coolant light came on, so I stopped and called the RAC. LUCKILY, I was just about to join the motorway when the light came on and the motorway was jammed, with no hard shoulder, so that would have been awful!

But to make up for it a little bit, the RAC turned up within 10 minutes and towed the car to the garage.

In the end it had a new radiator, fan cowling and fan assembly, but only the plastic fan, not the coupling, that seemed to be fine.

A blade also broke the outlet of the headlight washer pump, so the hose cannot be connected. For now, this is not a problem as I have disconnected them anyway until I can replace/fix them as they leak (the jet assembly that is).

Also, obviously, this means the coolant has been replaced.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

76,000 Miles - MOT and Front Suspension

MOT was due so booked it into one of my favourite garages, PJ Hodge and Sons in Northampton. Passed with no advisories.

Whilst it was booked into the garage, I also asked them to fit new lower front suspension arms (this includes inner bushes and outer ball joints). I provided them with Lemforder parts. Whilst they were doing the work, they also recommended changing the tie rods and tie rod ends. so these were renewed also.

Once all work was complete, they also performed 4-wheel alignment to make sure everything was straight as it should be. This is imperative after any suspension work.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

75,600 Miles

Had to add another litre of Castrol Edge 0W30 engine oil due to low light again. At first I found this rather worrying, thinking I got through a litre of engine oil in less than 5000 miles. But after speaking with a BMW specialist, aparently this is perfectly normal for these engines (I can only speak for the 3.0 M54B30 in mine) and official figures in the region of 1 litre every 800 miles are acceptable! Sounds crazy to me, but apparently, nothing to worry about. Just ensure to keep on top of it.

Also I have recently been noticing my washer fluid level dropping very quickly (basically emptying far quicker than I was using it). One day I noticed a patch of water under the front right corner of the car which on inspection (sniff) was obviously my washer fluid. I traced the leak back to the headlight washer units. Again, apparently, this is a common problem. I have not looked into it in much detail, but it is something to do with the spring return meachanism and o-ring seal not coming back together properly after use causing a leak.

Simple solution for now, disconnect the motor and hose that feeds the headlight washers. So I don't have headlight washers, but then nor do a lot of cars, so I can manage for a while until I get round to having a look at fixing it. I don't have Xenon headlights, so it is not a legal requirement for me to have functioning headlight washers.

Friday 6 September 2013

71,250 Miles

Added 1 litre of Castrol Edge 0W30 engine oil as the getting low yellow warning light came on.

Also noted that the front suspension joints (ball joints and bushes) sounded like they might be worn out. I found this out only because I had to park in a field (legitimately) and just driving slowly over the uneven surface of grass caused a fair amount of noticeable knocking from the front end.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

70,774 Miles - ABS Pressure Sensor

Yellow ABS/Traction Control light illuminated on the dashboard during driving. When keying off and on it would be gone but would soon come back on.

Whilst this yellow warning light is illuminated, it is telling you there is a problem somewhere in the ABS/Traction Control system and it has been disabled until the problem is rectified. So even though I could continue to drive, unhindered, it would be unwise as I would effectively have no ABS or stability control to keep me out of trouble.

Took it to Fensomes in Luton, a BMW specialist, who quickly diagnosed a faulty ABS pressure sensor which is relatively easy to change, being located in the ABS module in the scuttle in the engine bay. It would just require draining a small amount of brake fluid.

Sensor changed.

Thursday 25 July 2013

69,000 Miles - Bought

It was time to replace the Volvo with something a bit more... me.

BMW E46 330i M-Sport Touring
69,000 miles
Bought from Vixen Prestige 24 July 2013.