21 How To - Various Small Tips

This section will bring various small hints and tips that do not have a more systematic place on this site – or may get lost in the more substantial subjects.

Quick Links: Be kind    Winter storage / charging   Steering Wheel Stuck   

Be kind to the S54:

The S54 is a piece of art – designed for performance. It’s not fragile, but you can wear it down faster than you like to if you do not observe a few simple rules:
 - Never rev. high or drive hard before the engine is properly warmed up.
 - Don’t rely on the leds to tell you it’s OK to rev high.
 - The oil temperature is your guide. Be gentle until it reaches about 90 degC – then you are free floor it.

No need to mention that if the oil is worn down or too old you ask for trouble yourself.

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Winter storage:

When the winter is over and it’s time to bring out your M3, here is what I do: I charge the battery to full capacity. When that is done, I open the fuse box in the glove compartment and take out fuse No 54 (20A) which is for the fuel pump. Then I turn the key – and keep the start motor going until I’m sure that the oil pressure is up and stable – plus some more just to be sure.
Next step is just to put back the fuse, start the engine and enjoy driving the M3.

Charging battery / trickle charging:

When your M3 stands still for longer periods, it needs to get the battery (trickle) charged.

In the engine bay there are two charging points. It’s advisable to use these points and not charge directly on the battery poles. Further it’s much easier since you do not have to remove any covers.

The following pictures show how I do it. It’s easy and rather failsafe – unless you slam the bonnet with the charger on top of the engine. You only have to beware not to have the 220/230 V on the charger when the shown jacks are not connected.

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Steering Wheel stuck:

OBS: Do not take out airbag before battery is disconnected. And do not connect battery while airbag is
disconnected. This for two reasons: A: You may accidentally release airbag. B: You will get airbag warning light/error.

When you are to take off the steering wheel, the procedure is to press the two springs through the left and right holes in the steering wheel. However, sometimes the airbag will not pop out. The reason may be that a wire may be stuck or squeezed between the air bag unit and the steering wheel internals.

Despite it may be tempting to try to pry out the airbag from the top of the steering wheel it’s not advisable since you may very easily harm the soft edges of either the airbag or the steering wheel top plastic cover.

Neither the top nor the bottom plastic cover can be readily removed before the airbag is out.

I found that the best (and cheapest) solution is to cut the bottom plastic cover as shown. When you unscrew the two torx screws (from the backside of the steering wheel) the center piece of the plastic can be remover. This provides access to pry out the airbag (springs released) without damaging other parts.

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