BMW Tech Tips PDF

Anyone who has owned a 2002 for more than a few weeks has been introduced to the car’s inscrutable nature. Once upon a time, the Club (BMW CCA) and the Roundel were full of 2002 advice. Many new 2002 owners today have never had access to this “wisdom” gained through the years. As our chapter librarian, I have read the back issues, and that priceless reference “Tech Tips.” Much of this advice is the result of expensive lessons many learned late at night while contemplating a resolutely immobile 2002. Consider then the following one hundred and one tips; I personally guarantee that at least one will be useful to an ’02 owner in the next twelve months.

101 Essential BMW 2002 Technical Tips

1. Replacing all fuses is cheap insurance against electrical failure.
2. Bosch rebuilds are the only one to consider.
3. BMW dealers often have the best prices under their factory rebuilt program.
4. Reversing wires on front turn signals can result in working signals but no dash indicators.
5. Erratic gauges can often be traced to a bad ground, either on the instrument cluster itself, or engine to frame.
6. Too tight belts destroy water pumps; tighten only enough to run the alternator.
7. If you run 32/36 Weber conversion, using the stock air cleaner with an adapter can result in increased drivability.
8. Replacing the front lower door molding plastic clip with the metal retainer used on the other end of the molding helps prevent the door trim from falling off when opening the door.
9. Never install driving lights without using a relay; wiring damage and fires often result.
10. Increased offset wheels are hard on bearings. Service them more often.
11. For better handling cheap 320i rims can be used, 325 alloys are a good bet for a cheap +1 conversion.
12. A 320i radiator is as good or better than the 2002 part it is lighter, and the whole conversion costs $50.00 less than the 2002 radiator alone.
13. If your 2002 runs hot, and the radiator is more than 2 years old, replace it.
14. Never ignore a bad drive shaft coupling (Guibo). To do so can destroy the transmission case.
15. 320i rear drum brakes will bolt onto a 2002 for much improved braking.
16. Braided metal brake lines are more durable and perform better, and cost little more than stock parts.
17. Do not resurface a bad brake disc, replace it.
18. Use of non-original rear brake linings may result in a parking brake which cannot be adjusted.
19. Check exhaust manifold studs regularly; the front stud seals an oil passage and its loss can cause fires and sudden engine failure.
20. When buying a 2002, check for excess engine movement; more than mild vibration may indicate a broken frame mount it can be fixed but it is quite a job.
21. Check the rear sub-frame regularly; they have been known to rust through even on otherwise rust-free cars This can lead to a big, dirty job and parts are getting hard to find.
22. To get drag-race-style acceleration from a 2002, use the gears from a 1976, but be prepared for lots of noise at cruising speeds.
23. BMW O.E. exhaust systems are the longest lasting and most quiet you will find.
24. Do not discard the plastic cover when making door repairs; its job is to keep water out of the car.
25. To restore smooth acceleration action, clean grit from under the pedals, lube the ball mounts and replace the nylon bushing on the accelerator rod.

26. Check shifter mount bolts regularly; loose bolts can cause noise and difficult shifting.
27. Rebuilding a shifter with new springs and bushings job results in much better shifting.
28. Re-using gaskets is false economy.
29. Using headers without a rear mount usually results in premature flange failure.
30. Rebuilding a brake caliper without sleeving is a waste of time; buying new units is a better bet.
31. Try changing brands of oil if your 2002 is using oil.
32. Tailpipe smoke on deceleration usually means valve seal problems.
33. The 320i can be a cheap source of Recaro seats for your 2002.
34. Drain your speedometer cable; it collects water.
35. The factory made the best shop manual; it is bi-lingual and has lots of pictures.
36. To prevent rust, clear grit from under front fenders, especially on top of signal lights and at the trailing edge brace.
37. 2002s run fine on unleaded fuel.
38. 2002 aluminum bumpers are expensive, but may be refinished fairly inexpensively.
39. Use BMW filters.
40. Change brake fluid at least annually. More often if you do driver schools.
41. Use BMW anti-freeze, use distilled water for batteries and cooling systems.
42. BMW no longer makes a 2002 battery that fits, Sears does, and it is cheaper.
43. Use tool handle dip on metal moulding clips to prevent rust.
44. Use compressed air to blow moisture from behind trim.
45. Change rubber fuel lines at the first sign of aging.
46. Use the Bosch blue coil.
47. Consider changing to an electronic ignition.
48. The adapter kit for a late Chrysler New Yorker will allow the mounting of a din style radio in a 2002 console.
49. Use the metal or nylon shift boot retainer; the styrene plastic style breaks.
50. There is a lot of room for stereo gear under the back seat.