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Messages - gs223

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General X3 Forum (E83) / Re: Hard wire
« on: February 13, 2018, 08:48:08 AM »
When done, a post in the How-To section with some pics would be great!

General Discussion / Re: London 'T' charge
« on: December 02, 2017, 10:19:33 AM »
The official proposals on this change have now been published: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/environment/air-quality-consultation-phase-3b/?cid=airquality-consultation

The proposals confirm the extension of the controlled ULEZ area up to but not including the North and South Circular roads in London. It would start in April 2019 with residents having an exemption until October 2021. This would apply to:
    Diesel cars, vans, minibuses and similar vehicles – Euro 6 NOx and PM
    Petrol cars, vans and similar vehicles – Euro 4 NOx
    Motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and similar vehicles – Euro 3 NOx

One particular irritation about the proposal is that the charges would apply every day, whereas the Congestion Charge applies only on weekdays.

Although described as a "consultation" I would be very sceptical about any material change.

General X3 Forum (E83) / Coolant light initially on, then goes off
« on: November 13, 2017, 07:31:29 PM »
Car model as in sig, recently started showing coolant warning light when cold, but light goes off after ~4 mins when engine warms up. The top-up float indicator shows the main reservoir is absolutely fine, and no apparent coolant loss is seen. Might be associated with recent colder weather. Ideas?

I've found YouTube an excellent source of instructional videos on basic interior tasks.

General Discussion / Re: London 'T' charge
« on: October 25, 2017, 11:10:34 PM »
So, how did those emissions numbers get on my V5C?

Further investigation provides the answer. If one goes to http://carfueldata.direct.gov.uk/ and follows the link entitled Find fuel consumption and emissions information on a new or used car and then answers the various successive queries, one ends up on a web page like this:

A full dataset of emissions information may be downloaded as a CSV at http://carfueldata.direct.gov.uk/downloads/default.aspx if the above fails.

The thing I really don't like about this whole thing is that the taxing authorities appear to be delegating to the car manufacturer to declare Euro conformity when all the information is already available and in their database. The idea that a car company would undermine their opportunity for new car sales by endorsing conformity when it wasn't obligatory is laughable. :(

General Discussion / Re: London 'T' charge
« on: October 24, 2017, 12:16:35 AM »
Well, clearly at any given point in time a manufacturer can only state compliance with regulations in effect, or notified, at that point in time. However, if a given model has declared (and presumably has had verified) specific emissions outputs which comply with later standards, then the authorities should recognize the model as so compliant.

So, how did those emissions numbers get on my V5C?

General Discussion / Re: London 'T' charge
« on: October 23, 2017, 08:59:37 PM »
One possible explanation for the discrepancies is that the web site checkers are taking into account the DVLA-recorded emissions figures. If you look at your V5C in Section 4 you will see either in subsection D.2 or in subsection V details about the vehicle. In my case (car in signature below) I see:
V1: CO: 0.370
V2: HC: 0.057
V3: NOx: 0.024
Now, if I look at the AA's version of the official Euro standards at https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/fuels-environment/euro-emissions-standards it appears AFAICS that my car easily meets Euro 6 while being 10 years older than the standard date.

Nevertheless, I have a suspicion that the taxing authorities like TfL would find it a lot more favourable to them to simply ban based on age. An article has just come out suggesting that car manufacturers had a lot more influence on this issue than is said: https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/10/sadiq-khans-t-charge-is-another-bung-for-the-car-industry/ . Can we expect BMW to officially state the achieved compliance level of older cars?

I must say I don't like airbags at all. Gonna do a bit of research now on them...

General Discussion / Re: Something different picked up on Monday !
« on: October 17, 2017, 08:34:26 PM »
I like the relatively normal seats there, comfy and easy to get in and out of...  :thumbsup:

How To (E83) / Replace old steering wheel
« on: October 15, 2017, 10:48:28 AM »
Recently I acquired an X3 3.0i SE 2004, with 100K miles on the clock but in generally good condition. The most tired item in the cabin was the steering wheel, which was worn smooth, with the paint on the plastic panel retaining its radio and cruise buttons flaking off.

A quick web search turned up several after-market steering wheels suppliers on eBay, and I went with one called speedautot, from Germany, who do refurbished ones with an M-style lower flattened frame. In their offering, the left and right parts of the wheel (the hand holds) are finished in perforated leather, and the upper and lower parts are available in either leather or alcantara; the plastic retaining panel is covered in a new carbon fibre wrap. Both variants appear to be available with or without control buttons, the latter being slightly cheaper and perfectly fine in this case as they are straightforward to relocate from the old steering wheel.

Tools I needed:
- 10mm spanner
- Good-size screwdriver (any type head)
- Small flat-head screwdriver
- 16mm 1/2" drive socket with extension bar and handle
- Long Torx 10 driver (not a Torx bit)

The steering wheel exchange procedure is very well shown in the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMY_Ax4eI5A so take some time to watch it carefully. There were a couple of subtleties which arose when I did it, and I'll point these out in the summary below which is provided for convenience.

- Open the tailgate, disconnect the -ve terminal of the battery, ensuring it can't accidentally reconnect. Don't close the tailgate as it is a bit of a pain to reopen without electric power
- Wait a couple of minutes for the airbag capacitor to discharge
- Ensure the steering wheel is in a centred position with the wheels pointing straight ahead
- Use the big screwdriver to release the airbag retaining clips on each side, and gently pull out the airbag
- Use the small flat-head screwdriver to pop up the retaining clip on the top of each airbag connector and unplug them to release the airbag
- Carefully unplug the two electrical connectors at the top inside of the steering wheel
- Using the 1/2" drive socket release the centre bolt retaining the steering wheel; note my bolt was 16mm whereas in the video it says 17mm
- It's best not to have the steering lock engaged when undoing the centre bolt, just hold the wheel firmly with the other hand
- Take both old and new steering wheels to a convenient working area
- Working from the back and using the T10 driver, release the old steering wheel controls and retaining panel (five screws)
- Using the T10 driver, release the steering wheel controls from the old retaining panel (two screws either side)
- Mount the the steering wheel controls on the new retaining panel (see pic below for where to do this as it is possible to do it wrong)
- Mount the retaining panel and controls in the new steering wheel and re-fasten from the back
- Mount the steering wheel back, observing that there is a small nick on the the spline head which should match up with a similar mark on the wheel to ensure correct alignment
- Reinsert the two electrical connectors at the inner top of the steering wheel
- Refasten the steering wheel bolt very firmly (65Nm torque)
- Reconnect the two airbag connectors and re-install the airbag by pushing it in firmly on either side, ensuring all wiring is tidy
- Reconnect the battery, and start the car
- Turn the steering wheel to full left lock, then full right lock: this is needed to recalibrate the 4x4 xDrive system I believe
- Fully lower, and then raise, every electric window: this is needed to reinstate one-click window operation
- Verify the steering wheel radio control still works (if applicable)
- Verify the steering wheel cruise control still works (if applicable)

Enjoy your new steering wheel! I found mine a real pleasure, with a much more secure grip, pic below.

P.S. This change will almost certainly count as a "non-standard modification" on your car insurance and may well be chargeable - best to check beforehand...

General X3 Forum (F25) / Re: Road Noise
« on: October 14, 2017, 10:47:46 AM »

General X3 Forum (F25) / Re: Road Noise
« on: October 13, 2017, 07:44:49 PM »
Having done a bit of research, I found links to an outfit called Sound Deadening Shop, https://www.deadening.co.uk/ and made an enquiry, and this was their feedback:
The BMW X3 suffers with body boom as do many modern hatchback type vehicles. We recommend treatment as follows;

A 2 stage treatment. Applying one product and then another product over the top as a 2 stage process:

Stage 1) Treat the metal body panels with Silent Coat 2mm Mat to reduce panel resonance and body boom.
Use on all metal panels up to 50% coverage for most cost effective results, or 100% for a fully comprehensive job. The Silent Coat 2mm product can be used on any metal panel in your vehicle, with the most common areas to treat being the floor, doors, wheel arches and bulkhead.
Concentrate initially on the rear floor and wheelarches of the vehicle as this is where most noise is generated. Car manufacturers apply little if any noise damping material in this area.

Front and rear inc. doors. Recommended pack: http://www.deadening.co.uk/products/silent-coat-2mm-deadening-mat

Boot only recommended pack: https://www.deadening.co.uk/products/silent-coat-2mm-mat-volume-pack

Stage 2) Use these products straight over the 2mm you have just applied. These tackle airborne noise that is not directly generated by the body panels.

Floor & Boot; Use Dodo Pro Barrier MLV, this is a barrier treatment to block unwanted noise intrusion into the cabin from outside. 100% coverage is recommended for the affected boot/floor areas. Use this product to treat the boot and cabin floor to help block road, exhaust noise and tyre roar.


Doors, sides & roof; Use Silent Coat Isolator Closed Cell Foam, this is a closed cell foam treatment for vertical areas (doors&sides) and the roof. Silent Coat Isolator is a special formulation closed cell foam with excellent thermal and acoustic properties ideal to reduce noise, insulate the vehicle and to isolate barriers and trim panels. (It can also be used on the floor as a substitute for the Pro Barrier if budget is a concern.)


For these stage 2 products we'd recommend having a measure up to determine the correct amount needed. We suggest applying stage 2 products like a blanket, covering 100% of the panel.

If I take this on, I'll post again.

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