Basic Maintanance and repairs - BMW Forum -
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#1 (permalink) Old 03-28-2006, 06:05 PM
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Thumbs up Basic Maintanance and repairs

Being a first time owner of a BMW, I wanted to know what types of basic repairs are possible to do yourself. Is it worth the $100 to buy the maintance and repair manual for an E39 in order to learn how to do repairs, like brake jobs. Can someone of basic mechanical knowledge and tools do a full brake job including rotors, pads and sensors?
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-28-2006, 08:10 PM
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it is definitely worth it to buy bentleys manual and check engine reset tool if you want to do things yourself.
dealer charges an arm and a leg to fix things, so if you are good with your hands, 100% worth it!

there are tons of things you can do yourself, if you know whatcha doing. Most of the equipment can be rented out at autozone or some other auto shop.

as far as break job goes, i'm not exactly sure, but i think you'll be able to pull it off.

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-29-2006, 01:49 AM
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Super D-Man is right. If you are going to do your own work (and who could afford an older E39 if they don't?), then you will need:
1) the Bentley manual ($107 or so from Amazon)
2) Peake Research or similar code reader/reset tool.

My Bentley manual and reset tool have paid for themselves many times over. Even where there are detailed write-ups available (like I find the Bentley manual fills in the blanks (like missing torque specs, etc.). On the other hand, I've found that a well-done bmwtips write up is a great complement to the sometimes terse info in Bentley. Bottom Line: Use both resources!

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#4 (permalink) Old 03-29-2006, 11:48 AM
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E34 Repair Manual

Your other choice if $$$ is a problem:

You can also refer to the E34 manual (posted on this forum) as a reference on your car.
I know your car is an E39 but the concept/design in mechanics is similar.

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#5 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 10:04 PM
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Also a helpful thing is to have a good friend who is a mechanic and specializes in german cars...

seriously, though... I have been the proud owner of my bimmer for about 3 weeks now and have successfully completed the following tasks without a manual:

R&R valve cover gasket and spark plug gaskets
R&R ABS sensor and brake sensor
R&R brake pads
R&R speakers in front doors
R&R driver side seat switch cover

Of course, having some good mechanical background helps. I do plan on getting the bentley manual, the shop manual for my prelude was invaluable when I did a head gasket R&R, replaced the A/C condenser, and troubleshot many CEL codes. Well worth the investment!

Jason / 1997 528i
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 03:27 PM
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I bought the CD Manual and although it's not the greatest, it's better than nothing. I would highly recommend getting a manual whether Bentley's or the CD manuals sold on Ebay. So far I have successfully removed all the shocks which requires the removal of the rear seats. I'm in the process of replacing all the shocks and springs.
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