An Owner's Guide to Basic BMW Parts and
By Cyril Joseph
Modern cars have become so advanced and computerized that most of the maintenance is beyond the
scope of the average weekend mechanic. Today's BMW is not your father's car that could be kept going
with a screwdriver and a wrench. However there are many BMW parts serviceable by the owner.
Engine Tune Up
Although our car engines may have computer brains, they still run on the basic spark plug system and
even the best computer control can't overcome faulty connections. Maintaining these BMW parts is still
an easy way to keep your engine running at peak efficiency.
Inspect your spark plugs at least every 30,000 miles and replace them if they show signs of wear. Pull
only one plug at a time so you can be sure to get it back in the same cylinder. If a particular plug needs
to be replaced more often than the others, this may be a sign of problems in the cylinder. Regardless of
how good the plugs look, replace them every 100,000 miles.
The distributor and rotor will degrade over time and get cracks in their plastic casings. Moisture seeps in
through these cracks and corrodes the metal inside which leads to misfiring. Replace as recommended
by your manual or more often if they appear worn. Modern spark plug cables are nearly maintenance
free but should still be occasionally tested for proper resistance.
Replace Your Filters
Filters are one of the cheapest BMW parts you can replace and yet are one of the leading causes of
problems if left unchecked. A blocked filter restricts the flow through, which puts unnecessary strain on
the engine and leads to more serious problems. Never be tempted to save money by not replacing a
filter on schedule.
Oil filters should be replaced every time you change your oil. As the oil circulates through the engine, it
picks up an assortment of contaminants such as soot or rust. This process helps keep your engine clean
and running well and is just one of the functions of the oil system.
The fuel filter provides a similar function, trapping contaminants in the fuel before they can get to the
engine. Even if you use the cleanest fuel you will still need to replace this filter. Rust and sludge build up
in the gas tank, eventually finding their way into the fuel line. The manual probably says replace every
30,000 miles but many mechanics recommend replacing yearly or if you have any problems such as
stalling or loss of power.
Finally, the air filter and PCV breather filter make sure that only clean air gets into your engine. Without
a steady supply of air, your engine suffocates and combustion is poor. It's not enough to simply blow out
the contaminants. Tiny particles embed in the filter and can't be removed.
A few dollars of BMW parts can add years to the life of your car and save you thousands in serious
If you have a BMW or want to buy, bmw owners manual is what you may need.