Oct 012009

Last weekend I got a couple of quick, fun DIY projects acccomplished. In my previous wheels post I said I needed to give the M3 some attention, but again these were focused on the 530.

A little BMW esoterica — the 2001 530 was the first class of BMW car that came with the now ubiquitious “angel eyes” lights. They don’t accomplish anything, but they look good. Today’s models have angel eyes that are very bright and white, matching the Xenon/HID (high intensity discharge) headlight color. The earlier models had angel eyes that were noticeably dimmer and more yellow than the headlights.

Of course, there’s a kit you can buy that fixes that right up. EuroDyne sells two LED batteries that replace the stock halogen ones, making a big difference in color tone. It was ridiculously easy to install — you don’t have to mess with the headlights at all, just remove and replace the angel eye bulbs. The results shown below.

Another characteristic of modern BMWs is a propensity to draw battery power when they are not driven every day. In fact, it’s possible to drain a battery by letting the car sit for as few as 10 days without it being driven, unless you hook up a battery tender. My 530 has been a lot worse than my M3 in this department, having totally drained the battery twice, although one time it was due to a malfunctioning fuse.

A place called Griot’s Garage sells a cool little battery disconnect switch. You simply install it between the negative battery terminal and the car. Then when you go on a trip or just can’t drive the car for a length of time, you turn a small wheel and disconnect the battery easily. It’s also an effective theft deterrent, and all you need to do after you re-connect and start the car is reset the clock.

Easy little mods that can make a big difference — the perfect weekend DIY!

Angel Eyes -- Old Color

Angel Eyes — Old Color

Angel Eyes -- New Color

Angel Eyes — New Color

Battery Disconnect

Battery Disconnect


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