Oct 132014
Selling My BMW E36 M3

A personal era closed out this past weekend. After almost 11 years of ownership, I sold my 1999 BMW E36 M3. It only has 62,500 miles, and is in pristine condition. Not only was it in great shape with loads of preventative maintenance, but over the years I made incremental¬† improvements — performance software, exhaust, […]

Jul 162014
Cleaning the Cold Air Intake on My E36 M3

Last weekend I did an easy but important piece of DIY maintenance. I removed, cleaned and reoiled the Conforti cold air intake (CAI) on my 1999 BMW M3. Two years ago I had to replace the foam filter as part of a full DIY tuneup. I needed to replace it because I never cleaned it, […]

Apr 272014
E36 M3 Checkup

This weekend I gave my 1999 M3 a thorough checkup. The car is running great but it also turned 15 years old this month. In performing the inspection I was greatly aided by these excellent videos from Bavarian Autosport. An important area I wanted to focus on was the suspension bushings. Bushings connect the suspension […]

Mar 052014
The E36 M3 -- More Appreciated Every Year

I’ve enjoyed my 1999 BMW E36 M3 for more than 10 years. When the car was introduced back in 1995, it sparked criticism from some BMW enthusiasts. The E36 M3 wasn’t as raw as its E30 predecessor, a truly iconic car. The version sold in North America also did not have the more exotic and […]

Dec 082013
Unlocking the BMW Hidden Menu Options of the E36 M3

The onboard computers in modern BMWs contain a wealth of information. Much of this information can be accessed by the owner, yet BMW doesn’t include such information in owner’s manuals or any other documentation. The story I wrote about the BMW hidden menu options in my 2002 E39 M5 has become one of the most […]

Nov 022013
Front Sway Bar Link Replacement on the E36 M3

This weekend I replaced the front sway bar links on my 1999 BMW M3. Recently I had new OEM Sachs front struts installed, so it was time to refresh the end links as well. My car has low miles, but 14+ years still take a toll. Replacing front sway bar links is a perfect DIY […]

Apr 102013
My BMW M3 Turns 14

My 1999 BMW M3 turns 14 this month. I’ve owned the car for almost 10 years, having bought it with less than 16,000 miles. The first birthday story back in 2008 still says it all on how I feel about the car. It’s been a busy year keeping the car in top shape. That’s because […]

Mar 132013
Paintless Dent Repair on my E36 M3

Everyone who even cares a little bit about their car knows the awful feeling. You come back to you parked car, and some $#*&^#$* has left you with a ding. It happened to my M3 a couple of weeks back. I drove to the gym, and when I walked back out someone had left a […]

Jan 072013
Upgrading Headlights On My E36 M3

Over the weekend I installed my big Christmas gift from my wife, new headlights for my 1999 E36 M3. The new set is actually the same kind of headlights from the manufacturer Hella I installed back in 2004, but in black rather than chrome. For a little background, the stock headlights on the US E36 […]

Sep 172012
E36 M3 DIY Tune-Up, Continued

Last month I wrote about performing a DIY tune-up on my E36 M3. In that post I talked about replacing spark plugs and the air filter. This weekend I finished the main components of a tune-up by replacing the fuel filter and cleaning the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. The fuel filter is a very […]

Aug 202012

My 13 year old M3 is approaching 60,000 miles. In BMW vernacular, that means the car should receive an Inspection II service. An Inspection II involves a large number of things getting inspected (hence the name), but when you look at the work actually done it boils down to a general tune-up. Spark plugs, air […]

Jul 312012
Cooling System Refresh On My E36 M3

This weekend I accomplished a preventative maintenance goal for my 1999 M3. With the help of a fellow enthusiast and E36 M3 owner, I replaced most of my cooling system with new parts. The cooling system on many modern BMWs is a known weak point. Most of the problems arise from using plastic where metal […]