BMW i3 Cabin Air Filter DIY

Improve the air quality in your BMW i3 by replacing the cabin Air Filter. Going to the dealer will cost you well over 5x what it would cost to do this at home. The entire filter replacement takes about 15 minutes and is not difficult to do. These are also know as the carbon filters or charcoal filters or microfilters. To replace the filter on the BMW i3, you will need a torx socket like this:

BMW E92 Fender Removal DIY

Removing fenders on the BMW 335i (or any E92) is more difficult than I would expect. The main reason is because some of the bolts are just very difficult to get to. Some of them are in the wheel well, some are inside the fender and some are behind the side skirt. In this video I show you how to access all of those bolts and remove the fender. The passenger side has an additional step as it requires the washer fluid bottle to be removed as well.

BMW 3 Series (E92) Reverse Camera Install DIY

After installing the wireless CarPlay on my BMW 335i, the only thing that was missing was the reverse camera. Fortunately, this was a very easy add on thanks to the add-on I had already installed in the camera. This $35 dollar camera functions as you would expect and has great quality for the price. Install took me about 90 minutes total and it’s definitely worth it to make the car a lot more modern. Hope it helps you install yours as well!

Ford Escape Wireless CarPlay Retrofit – Seicane Headunit Install/Review

Hey guys and welcome back to the channel! My little system has been driving this car for a while and now it’s finally time I modernize it for her by installing this 9.7 inch Android head unit with built in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This Ford Escape came with a tiny little display, so adding CarPlay support was not an option without replacing the entire headunit. Anyway, I’m very excited to see how well this works, so let’s take this car apart and get it installed!

It has been a week since I installed this unit in the car so now it’s time for a quick review. Let’s start with the rearview camera. I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the instructions, so I didn’t know how to configure the rearview camera. Since these cars can have different camera options, you have to select the one you have in your vehicle. I’m happy to report that I contacted support and they were super helpful and quick to respond with instructions. Here is how you do it.

You will also have to connect to the internet in order to activate the 360 app which is what’s used for the backup camera. I used my phone’s personal hotstop for this and that worked fine. Internet is not needed for anything else after.

Now that we are here in the configuration menu, you can see everything else you can adjust. Personally, I didn’t touch anything else as everything else worked as expected.

Review of unit:

Connecting to CarPlay is very simple. You connect your phone to Bluetooth on the Android unit and then open the ZLINK app. In the settings you can enabled it to automatically start the app when you are connected. Then the next time you start the car, your phone will automatically connect wirelessly and CarPlay will turn on.

One thing I haven’t figured out was how to remove the control panel at the bottom here as it does not control the HVAC on this car since it is manual. Higher trim models have electric controls and would work with this control panel at the bottom.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with the quality of the unit and especially the display panel. It easy to see in the sun and there isn’t too much glare. Touchscreen feels very modern and operates smoothly between menus and apps. The headunit also integrates into the car’s system, so you can control things like volume using the buttons on the steering wheels. You can also get into car’s original settings from the settings menu in case there is something to adjust there. Finally, I wanted to touch on the sound quality. The built-in amplifier is doing a great job and sounds more powerful than the original headunit. Music sounds clear and there is no hiss or noise even at higher volume. There are many other things you can do on this headunit besides the CarPlay and Android Auto, especially, if you insert a SIM card, but that’s a whole video in itself. If you would like to purchase this or a similar unit for your vehicle, check out the links in the description. Seicane make units that fit your specific make and model which makes the integration that much better! Let me know what you think in the comments down below. Like the video if you liked it and I’ll see you in the next one!

Review:

Installed this in a 2017 Ford Escape with the basic radio (only the tiny screen) and wow what a difference. The car now feels a lot more modern and Wireless CarPlay works great as well. Installation took about 90 minutes doing it for the first time and going slow not to break any clips etc. The value for money here is great as well, you get a 9.7 inch QLED screen (WOW), modern features, support for original vehicle camera, steering wheel integration and much more. It even has a built in amplifier that’s more powerful than the original and pushes the speakers just right! It sounds nice and loud in the car. I would recommend this unit to anyone that wants to elevate their car and make it feel modern again giving it a few more years of enjoyable life.


BMW R NineT Tail Tidy Install

Ever since I got my BMW R NineT, I have been dreaming about cleaning up the rear of the bike and getting rid of the stock fender, brake light and turn signals. With the NewRageCycles’ fender eliminator kit, I was able to do that in about and hour and it looks 100% better! I’m very impressed with the kit and love how it turned out. The kit also hides the license plate under the seat cleaning up the look even more. This tail tidy kit works on all BMW R NineT bikes and there is no need to remove the passenger foot pegs or make any permanent changes to the bike. This is completely reversible.

Fixing BMW i3 Start/Stop Button for $5 DIY

I looked for a fix to this very simple problem, but was not able to find any videos or solutions. However, I did find a decal that would solve the problem for me! It was $10 for 2 of them and all you have to do is remove the old residue, clean the button with rubbing alcohol and put the new one on. If yours is as bad as mine, you will have to color in the edges, but if it isn’t scrape a little less than what I did. The start/stop button on this BMW i3 is now fixed and is actually transparent where the words are, so it looks like OEM.

BMW Z4 Aftermarket Apple CarPlay Retrofit – Full Installation DIY

After upgrading the speakers and subwoofers in my BMW Z4, it’s now time to modernize the infotainment system even further by installing an aftermarket Apple CarPlay and Android Auto unit with a BMW style controller. My Z4 came with a storage box instead of the screen, so I couldn’t do what I did in my BMW 550 and just add an interface to the existing screen. Anyway, let’s take the car apart and get this installed!

Last generation BMW Z4 (e89) never offered Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and most didn’t even have a screen fitted. My Z4 is a perfect example as it doesn’t have any kind of display and came with a storage box instead. So, in this video I go through each step of installing an aftermarket Android unit that offers CarPlay and AndroidAuto. This unit also displays vehicle information when the car is running. Even though this head unit is touchscreen, I decided to add optional controller to make it easier to use while driving. This unit can be installed on any BMW Z4 E89 that doesn’t have a display or you are willing to replace the original CiC unit.

I have now wirelessly connected my phone to the Apple CarPlay and played with it for a little bit. CarPlay works as you would expect and connects automatically. Of course, you can also use it without connecting your phone and still have music, navigation and car data. This unit pulls this data from the car computer and can show you speed, revs, mileage, temperature and other data in various screens. Anyway, this concludes the install video, subscribe to the channel to see the follow up video for a quick review of the unit after I use it for a couple of weeks. Also, if you have any questions about the install or the unit, leave those down below and I will answer them in the same video. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next one.

BMW N20 (Z4) No Start When Warm Fix

BMW Hard to Start Warm

INTRO:

After two years, no help from the dealer or the Indy shop and countless troubleshooting steps, I have finally solved the bad start issue on my BMW Z4. Hey guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel! Today, I will go over all of the steps I took to try and solve this problem over the last 2 years, what I’ve learned in the process and how I accidentally solved it.

Quick Preview:

To put a lot of this into perspective, I got the car with a blown engine and swapped in a newer 30k-mile engine in my garage. Since I didn’t use the same exactly engine as I took out, I had to swap a lot of parts in the engine replacement process from the old engine. As a result, I had a few issues once everything was finished, but nothing I couldn’t solve. Except for this bad starting issue. When the car was cold, it would start no problem. However, after the engine was fully warmed up, there was a chance that it wouldn’t start or hesitate while starting. It didn’t help that the car has auto stop and start option and would turn the engine off at each red light.

From the information I have given you so far, what do you think the solution to this problem is? Leave your comments below and NO cheating! Now would also be the best time to hit that LIKE button to support the channel!

Troubleshooting:

Since I believed the issue had something to do with the engine swap, I started troubleshooting some of the more obvious items. I rechecked and retightened all of the ground wires as well as the power wires going to and from the alternator and starter, checked all of the fuses and everything else I could think of. None of it made a difference. To be clear, I never had ANY codes on the car related to this issue.

With the wiring not being the problem, I got to thinking that it must be something to do with the ignition system. The most obvious item that came to mind and something I definitely touched during the swap was the crankshaft position sensor, this sensor tells the rotational position of the crank to the ECU and when it goes back, shows similar symptoms to what I had. Luckily, these are very cheap on eBay, so I swap it out but the problem remained. Similarly, the camshaft sensors monitor the speed and position of intake and exhaust camshaft. ECU uses this information for ignition and fuel control, but after swapping these out as well, I still had the same starting problem.

At this point, I’ve posted on forums, groups and consulted with a few friends and of course everyone gave a different solutions and mostly blamed different sensors that are known to fail on a BMWs. Since I like tinkering with cars, I got right to it! I’ve swapped out the air intake temperature sensor, cleaned and later swapped the mass air flow sensor, tested the coolant temperature sensor on the engine block, unplugged the O2 sensors to see if that made any difference and even looked into the oil pressure sensor as well as checked the oil pressure when the engine was fully warmed up. All was normal, still no codes or any other indication of something being wrong with the engine.

Just to check some items off my list, I smoke tested the vacuum system on the engine to look for any leaks, replaced the vacuum solenoid and even cleaned the PCV valve in the process. Of course the results were still the same.

Knowing that the wires are all secure, the ignition system is operating as expected, most of the sensors on the engine have been replaced or tested and there were no vacuum leaks on the car lead me to believe that it has something to do with the fuel delivery. I started with a big one and replaced the HPFP as I had a spare one from my old engine. The HPFP is one of the common issues on this engine that can cause very similar symptoms. However, even after replacing the fuel pump, the fuel pressure regulator AND testing the fuel rail pressure, my starting situation didn’t change.

Things I’ve Learned:

All of the items I have mentioned so far have had no effect, but replacing the injectors did make a change, just not to how the car started. What I learned was that there were 2 different injector types on the N20 engine, the EU5 and the EU6. Although practically the same, at full throttle, I would get a lean code pop up once in a while. After replacing the newer EU6 injectors with the EU5 Injectors from the old engine, those codes never re-appeared. The reason I’m mentioning this is in case you are troubleshooting a similar issue and didn’t think to look at the injector version.

Dealer:

So, I definitely learned a lot in the process but after all of this time, the car would still be hard to start when warm. Since I couldn’t figure it out, I decided to take the car to a local Indy shop that specializes in German cars. They spent a couple of days troubleshooting the car and at the end told me that it ‘might’ be the Valvetronic servo motor that needs to be replaced. Looking online, it looked like a possible solution, but before I took the engine apart, I brought it to a BMW dealer to check out as well. They scanned the car, logged some data, reset the adaptations on the DME and sent me home. The issue was back before I even got home. Not wanting to pay $200/hour for further troubleshooting, I left it alone and drove the car as is for a while.

Final Fix:

Knowing everything you know now, have you figured out what the issue was? The solution was purely accidental. If you follow my channel, you may have seen a video where I replaced the starter motor on this car. After I removed the old one and got the new one out of the box, I noticed that they were different in size, color and even OE manufacturer. I was sure I ordered the correct starter as I went by part number that came up for my VIN. The reason these two were different is because the starter that was install on my car was for N20 engines that do NOT have the Auto Start/Stop functionality. Someone in the past, installed a starter that technically fit, but was not made for this version of the car. After installing the correct starter and driving for about a week now, I have had absolutely zero issues! This just shows you that you can try 100 different things, but sometimes the solution is hiding in plain sight. I hope some of the troubleshooting steps I talked about help someone fix their cars that have a similar starting problem. For now, I will continue enjoying my BMW Z4 now that it’s 100% issue free. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you in the next one!

BMW Aftermarket Apple CarPlay 1 Year Review

Hey guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel. About 9 months ago I posted a video where I installed an aftermarket Apple CarPlay and Android Auto module in my 2014 BMW 550i. Since then, I have answered many questions in the comments, emails and on my Instagram, but it seems that I’m answering the same questions over and over again and now that I have used it for many months, I figured I’d put it all in one place. So, in this video, I will talk about the Pros and Cons, missing functionality, extra features, compatibility and answer all of your questions as well.

I’m making this video so that you can make an informed decision and not waste your money, so hit that like button if you like the video and leave your comments down below with any additional questions.

When I first installed this aftermarket Apple CarPlay on my BMW, I got lots of people asking about the quality and all of the features. Of course, at that time I have only used the system for a day or two and couldn’t give all the answers, but now I’m ready to tackle this one.

The most common concern for people was whether it would fit their specific year and model car. Well, to answer this, you have to understand BMW’s iDrive systems a little bit. The earliest system you can install Apple CarPlay using this method and without replacing parts is the iDrive CCC which came out on some BMWs in as early as 2004 model year. This system was in use until about 2010 model years on some cars. So, if your car has THIS screen, you need CCC version of the device.

The next system was Car Information Computer or CiC and it looked like THIS. If your screen looks like this, you will need an aftermarket unit made for CiC iDrive. You cannot interchange these unless the unit you get is made to work with different versions. This iDrive version was on BMWs between 2009 and 2014. I will post a list of different models in the description or comments for your reference.

BMW introduced a further update to the iDrive System in early 2012 and called it the NextBestThing also known as the NBT, which is what I have in my car and what I showed in the video. This is for 2013-2018 model years, but once again, it varies depending on the model. As an example, on the BMW 5 series F10, it’s from 2014-2016 model years.

The last system you can update using this method is the iDrive NBT EVO which of course replaced the original NBT iDrive system and is still being used on many models today and it looks like THIS.

I hope it clears up some of the questions as to what unit you need for your car. Please do your research, refer to the list I the description and make sure you understand which iDrive you have before you order. If you are more adventurous, you can also remove the screen in the car and take a look at the connector on the back. On F10 5 series, if the connector has 4 pins, it’s the CiC version and if it has 6 pins, it’s the NBT system. If you are having trouble with this, leave a comment down below and I’ll do my best to help you.

Alright, so you know which unit you need, but you have some questions. Let’s see if we can clear some of those questions up.

I know my biggest concern before installing this unit was how fast and how accurately it would connect to my phone. Well, it connects perfectly about 98% of the time. What do I mean by that? Well, if you don’t have your Bluetooth or WiFi on on your phone, it will sometimes connect half way and you are just stuck at THIS screen (show screen). You then would have to manually connect to the correct system in Bluetooth or WiFi Settings. Now, that’s not the only way it can mess up the connection. I have had times where it just refused to connect and I had to restart the unit by holding the back button for 3 seconds. This has happened about 10 times in the 9 months I’ve been using this. That’s actually a very small number in my opinion and I’ve been very happy with how fast and reliable it has been overall.

My second biggest concern installing an aftermarket Apple CarPlay unit was audio quality. Most BMWs have a wonderfully balanced and great sounding system, so I was worried it would ruin the experience. Once again, it’s not perfect by any means. It sounds great at almost any sound level, but as soon as you turn it up past a certain point, there is a hissing noise that becomes very apparent. Of course, the volume has to be very loud at this point and there has to be a silent moment in whatever you are listening to. I think this is my main concern, but not a deal breaker since it’s only at very high levels. To reduce this as much as possible, go to the settings and make sure your volume is set to the max.

Now let’s do some rapid fire questions and then finish the video with my final thoughts.

We have already answered what cars it can be installed in and the different options, but does it use the original camera or do you have to get an aftermarket one? You can switch between Aftermarket and Original in the settings. So, if your car doesn’t have one, you can install an aftermarket one and use it.

How does the camera work when you are using CarPlay? It quickly switches back to the OEM system and it works as normal, including the curving lines and sensors.

Nice, right? So, what about the radio? This device does NOT have a radio built in and you cannot mix the two audio sources together. The best solution for using Google Maps and listening to the radio at the same that I found was to play the radio station you want, or save it on one of the memory buttons, go to Apple CarPlay, but do not switch the audio source to AUX and use it without any sound.

Speaking of switching back and forth, how easy is it to switch between the systems? This system starts up when you unlock the car and the phone connects automatically, so to switch back to the BMW system, you just have to hold the BACK button for 3 seconds. This as far as I understand shuts down the unit, so when you hold BACK again for 3 seconds, it starts up again and your phone reconnects. There is no sleep mode type of function.

Cool, so we can switch between systems, but does it use the original BMW microphones or do you have to wire the one that came with the unit? Luckily, the answer on this one is YES, it does use the original microphones in the car. If your car didn’t have one or it’s broken, you can use the one that came with it as well, but you’ll have to route it the proper position. These are used for both Siri commands as well as voice calls.

Speaking of voice calls, how is the sound quality? The quality coming in sounds absolutely perfect; however, I have had a complaint from someone on the other line saying that I sounded like I’m on speaker, so I went and played with the options. Enabling this feature made it sound much better in my car, but I think it depends on your car set up. It still does not sound as good as original BMW as echo does happen on some occasions. Overall, it’s pretty good, but not amazing. Luckily, there is an option to allow phone calls to be handled by the original BMW system.

What about playing music, how is that experience? When used wirelessly, there is a slight delay in audio. Of course, this isn’t a problem if you are listening to music, but can be noticeable when watching a video. It also isn’t nearly as bad as it is on the original BMW Bluetooth audio. This problem can be easily fixed by plugging in the phone via USB. You can also use AirPlay, which is wireless and has no delay whatsoever. It clones everything on your phone to the screen, including videos, movies, apps etc. One feature I miss from the original system is volume based on your speed. The volume does not adjust automatically as you go faster or slower.

Now let’s talk a little bit on how well it integrates into the car. The iDrive controller and buttons around it works as you would expect. All of the buttons on the steering wheel work great as well and you can even use the little scroll wheel here on the steering wheel as the secondary controller. I use this most of all as I can keep my hands on the wheel and perform most of the functions.

One item that I wish would have been integrated is the Heads-Up-Display. While it still displays your speed and other BMW items, it does not show any music or navigation information. So, if you rely on the arrows and instructions being up on your windshield while using GPS, this might not be for you. I did a little bit of research on this and it looks like this display is basically ran by a different computer/module and since this device is just sitting between the head unit and the display, it cannot control it.

The last item is more related to Apple CarPlay in general. I’ve had a few questions on what apps are available and can you install stuff like Netflix or YouTube? Apple CarPlay allows you to basically install only Navigation and Audio related apps. So, you can have Google or Apple Maps and Waze for your navigation. Spotify, Apple Music or even radio apps like the TuneIn radio or iHeartradio for audio and even podcast and audio book apps. Besides those, WhatsApp and standard messaging apps are available, but mostly only work through Siri. You cannot type in a message directly as an example. There are of course some other ones, like the SpotHero app to find and pay for parking or PlugShare to find local charging stations if you have an electric car.

Well guys, this video turned out much longer than I expected, but I really wanted to answer as many common questions as possible and make the decisions easier for you. So, what do I think of it and would I do it again? Well, this may not be as good as an OEM installation of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but it damn sure is 10 times better and easier to use than the original BMW navigation and media player. I also love that my fiancé can easily use her phone with the car without an hour set up.

Upgrading Hyundai Kona’s Fog Lights

Hey Guys and welcome back to another video on the SimpeCarGuy channel. Do you see a problem with this picture? I SURE DO! Those fog lights definitely do not match the rest of the design and modern look of the car. So, today we are changing them to the same color temperature LEDs. This shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes total if you have worked on cars before. Hyundai recommends removing the bumper cover completely to replace the bulbs in the fog lights, but of course we aren’t doing that as that’s a big and risky job. I will show you a much easier way. Let’s get started.

In order to do this safely, I throw a chock behind the rear tire to make sure the car will not roll back and then jack it up and put a dolly under the front tire. The jack stays in place under a little bit of tension as well to give me two points of safety. You can of course put the car on a jack stand as well.

You will need just a couple tools for this job, a 10 mil socket and a trim removal tool. If you don’t have one of those, you can use a flat head screw drivers, but you will most likely break some of the clips doing so.

You will only need a couple of things for this job. A trim removal tool and a 10 mil socket.

Next you’re going to climb under the car and remove 7 bolts. What we are trying to do here is remove the plastic underbody panel and get access to the back of the fog lights.  If you have one of these impact drivers, it only takes a few seconds to deal with the bolts.

I really recommend getting one of these trim removal tools as it makes life so much easier. You can use a flat head screwdriver if you don’t have one, but you will most likely break a couple clips. I got a set of 100 clips and the tool for around $10 on amazon if anyone is interested. Once all of the clips are removed, the plastic can be slid forward and out of the way. It took me a total of 5 minutes to get to this point, so even if it’s your first time, it shouldn’t be a big job at all.

Now that we have one of them done, you can see how easy it is to replace these fog lights and look at the difference! It’s huge and it matches perfectly.

Also, I do apologize for the noise in the previous clip, but I wanted to show you in real time how long it takes and the cicadas aren’t stopping for at least another month. Now let’s finish the job by doing the same on the other side. Twist the bulb to unlock, pull it out and insert the new one. Lock it in place and plug in the connector. As easy as that. And here you can see the fan going and making sure the LEDs don’t overheat.

And there you have it everyone, not nearly as hard as it looks! To finish the job, I put the underbody panel back using the bolts and plastic clips and took the car off the jack stand.

Well, that’s all I have for you today, I know this isn’t as easy as it is on some cars, but nothing to be afraid of here. I think it should have came from the factory like this and match the rest of the car and you also get an added benefit of better illumination on turns. Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think of this upgrade and if this video helped you change your fog lights, hit that like button and subscribe to the channel for more automotive content. I’ll see you guys in the next one.