Monday, December 19, 2011

A Shiny New Brake LIght Switch

As I mentioned on the forum a few days ago, cars behind me at night had begun to flash their brights at me last week.  I finally figured out that the brake light switch was only working when I depressed the brake pedal very firmly. Therefore no brake lights, except when I actually stomped on the pedal.  A bad deal for city driving with all the inattentive, nonattentive, and attention-deficit drivers on the roads.

The next step was to determine where the switch was located.  The 2000 had two versions; a later one mounted inside the car behind the brake pedal, but of course I had the early model, a hydraulic switch on the master cylinder. 

1) The old switch

It looked fine but then the workings aren't exactly visible.

So I acquired a new one; alas the BMW version seems to be NLA.  After a moment's wrestling to loosen the nut on the old unit, the new switch went on quickly.

2) New switch

Now let's hope other drivers stop flashing their lights at me.

POSTSCRIPT:  Since the owners manual indicates that one should flush the brake fluid once a year and mine had last been changed nearly 12 months ago, I filled her up with new fluid today. Now the brakes are firm and operate like new. Best of all, the brake lights illuminate with just a tap on the pedal.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Futile Attempt at Washing

Despite having been caught driving in the rain only once - at least in recent months - the wheel wells have collected their share of detritus from fallen leaves, conifer needles and other assorted road flotsam.  So I washed the underside of the car today.  Driving back into the garage I decided to photograph my now pristine wheel wells. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that during the brief trip across the yard even more crud had kicked its way under the car.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cleaned Valve Cover

Having noticed this week pictures of other engines with much shinier valve covers than mine, I decided to brave the cold garage and apply some Autosol and elbow grease to the top of the motor, as well as to the oil filler cap.  A fun project with immediate gratification.

1) Before

 2) After

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Radio Wants to Talk

The radio is sending me a message - 'please please hook  up the power.'  I recently took the On/Off knob apart and cleaned it; the button now responds with a solid "click" when depressed.  Must be ready to go...