In order to keep your car running
correctly, and hopefully not cost you a fortune at the local dealer, it is worth
investing a little time and money in preventive maintenance. The following
article is meant as a guide to the amateur mechanic in all of us with limited
resources, and the bare minimum tools most of us have. Any unusual noises or
feel should be looked at as soon as possible as an ounce of prevention is always
worth a pound of cure. Depending on how many miles you drive you may want to
increase or decrease the frequency of your maintenance program. Most 325IC are a
minimum of 8 years old so parts will be worn. I feel it is worth buying the
Bentley's BMW 3series service manual 84-90 (ISBN 0837603250), it has many step
by step guides and excellent photos it costs about $40 new.
I have divided the schedule into weekly, monthly,
semi-annually, and annually. Again, this is only my view, if you have anything
else to add or suggest please let me know.
As with most things, THINK SAFETY FIRST! ! ! Don't put
your fingers into the engine bay while the car is running, or touch anything
that is hot, and do not make any unnecessary short cuts, lastly, if you are not
sure go to a real mechanic.
- Give the ol' gal a good clean, wash the outside,
windows, inside. You will notice the car will appreciate it and renew your
pride in your car.
- Check the fluids, engine oil, transmission oil,
radiator level, screenwash, brake fluid, battery level, power steering, look
for any leaks on your floor or around the car.
- Check all the lights (might save you a ticket),
operate all the electric's such as windows, wipers, horn, and run the A/C or
heat for at least 15 mins.
- Check tires for wear, any objects in the tread, and
- Check the condition of the window wipers and
- Perform all the weekly checks.
- Check under the hood for wear to items such as the
brake hoses, or heating hoses.
- Check V-belt tension.
- Inspect distributor cap, rotor and spark plug leads.
- Lubricate door hinges, locks, and antenna.
- If you have a power top, check the operation movement
- Check the trunk for leaks, spare tire pressure.
- Clean top by giving it a vacuum, and clean with a
soft-top cleaner, do not fold away if still wet. It is worth while placing a
soft cloth or towel between the plastic window when it folds as this will save
- Perform all the monthly checks.
- Change the oil (you should do this every 3,000 miles
- Replace oil, air, and fuel filters.
- Rotate the tires.
- Replace Spark Plugs.
- Lubricate throttle cable with oil.
- Check rear axle fluid level.
- Apply leather feed to the seats and trim.
- Clean and lubricate all rubber trim around windows and
- Check brakes for wear along with rubber suspension
- Check fuel tank, hoses and connections for leaks.
- Inspect the exhaust system.
- Perform all the semi-annual checks.
- Flush the radiator and cooling system.
- Change transmission and rear axle oil.
- Change brake fluid.
These are jobs most of us can do. I still feel it is
worth having the car inspected and serviced at least once a year by BMW or a
reputable mechanic. It may be worth buying motor oil by the case, as this is