Top 5 Best and Worst Cars of Professional Athletes

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who are totally obsessed with pro athletes and celebrities. But when you have millions to burn (and likely eventually go bankrupt), it is interesting to see the an athlete’s taste in cars. Since most of us will never own one of these cars, it’s fun to dream. Here the 5 most gorgeous automobiles that athletes own as well as 5 of the ugliest that make you wish their teammates would knock some sense into them.

5 Best Cars (Yeah!)

#1 – Kobe Bryant’s Ferrari Italia 458

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#2 – Alex Ovechkin’s Mercedes-Benz SL65

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#3 – David Beckham’s Porsche 911 Turbo

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#4 – Mario Williams’ Lamborghini Murcielago

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#5 – Lebron James’ Chevy Camaro SS

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5 Worst Cars (Ugh!)

#1 – Darren McFadden’s “Cop Attracter 5000”

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#2 – Joe Johnson’s Ford F650

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#3 – James Harrison’s Smart Car

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#4 – El Hadji Diouf’s Cadillac Escalade

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#5 – Stephen Ireland’s Range Rover

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How to Change the Oil in Your BMW E92 M3

m3-oil-changeToday’s modern cars are becoming increasingly complicated to work on. There are less things you can do in your own garage. I’ve changed the oil in my BMWs many times but I find that changing it in my ‘E92 M3’ is even more challenging. They’ve made it very difficult to completely drain all the oil out of the engine and made it extremely easy for me to overfill it.

Everybody knows that the ‘tools make the job’. Having the right tools is a must before you try to change the oil in your car. When changing the oil in an M3 you should do it while the oil is hot. Warm up the engine before you climb under the car. You’ll need a good set of ramps or jack stands to create enough space for you to slide underneath the car.

I have my own procedure that I follow that begins with removing the oil filter and oil fill cap. I use a 36mm socket to remove the filter. Before removing it I make sure I have a pan or tub underneath to catch the oil that dribbles out. When the oil is finished draining completely I move underneath the car.

While underneath my M3 I locate the 2 drain plugs under the motor. It takes a 6mm hex to get them out. I like taking a 6mm hex socket and adding it to a 3/8″ drive. There are certain safety precautions to take when changing hot oil. You can burn yourself really seriously if you don’t focus on safety. Oil that is at 140 degrees Fahrenheit can raise a 3rd degree burn in just 5 seconds. It only takes 1 second if the temperature is 156 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a precaution, when loosening up the drain plugs, I take a long socket extension with a swivel elbow to give me some room away from the plug. I also throw on some leather gloves to protect my hands. I start with the rear or main reservoir and loosen the plug.

oil-changeAfter it begins to slow down to a trickle it’s time to remove the other plug and let both of them drain simultaneously. As they drain I focus my attention on replacing the 2 ‘O-rings’ on the lid of the Oil Filter Housing. You can pop them out using a flat bladed screw driver. The larger one is quite easy to replace, then you have a smaller one that’s located on the tip.

Before installing the new O-rings take a little oil and smear it on them. Now it’s time for the oil filter. This should come in a complete kit including 2 gaskets and 2 copper crush washers. Replace your 6mm hex drain plugs. Be sure to put on the new crush washers. Torque the plugs down to 25 Nm (18 ft-lb), which is not that much force. Install your new filter and torque down your oil filter housing lid to 25 Nm as well.

The BMW Owner’s Manual is full of good and relative information, like how much windshield wiper fluid to put in or how much fuel. However, it does not tell you your engine’s oil capacity. When you look at the OEM of the E92 S65 motor you see that the motor capacity is 8.8 liters. To get an idea of how much oil the engine holds, you multiply 8.8 times 1.05 quarts per liter. That comes to around 9.3 quarts. The capacity of your oil pan is 8.3 liters and around .25 liters for your oil filter housing.

Again, I find it very difficult to completely drain all the oil from the engine. There is a bit of oil found at the bottom of the front air dam. An M3 comes with 2 oil pumps and 2 reservoirs. Because of all these oil pathways a total draining becomes quite difficult. With oil still left within the engine, when you try to add in 8.8 liters of new oil, it’s very easy for you to overfill your E92 M3. That’s why it’s so important that you drain it while the oil is warm. It comes out much easier that way. You could, of course, leave it to drain overnight or tip the rear end up but just draining it while its hot seems to be proficient.

Using a funnel for refilling helps to keep things neat and clean. Once the draining is finished and the plugs replaced you can add in an even 8 liters of oil. Here is where things can get a little trying. When you try to check your oil level and get an accurate reading you’ll have to start your car. The only way to get a truly accurate reading is when the oil reaches its operating temperature (above 160 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you haven’t overfilled your M3 I recommend taking your oil filter out and sucking the oil out from your oil filter canister. There is approximately 1/4 liter of oil in there. This is a far better option than draining some more oil from underneath the motor. This can be messy, hard to control, and inaccurate.

BMW has stated that you should change the oil in your M3 around every 15,000 miles or once a year. I like to change mine at around 7,500 miles or once per year.

Here are the tools that make this oil change much easier to perform:

  • 36mm Socket (for removing oil filter)
  • 6mm Hex Drive and Socket
  • Low profile car ramps (or low profile jack and jack stands)
  • Funnel
  • Flat Screw Driver (to remove oil filter gasket)
  • Torque Wrench
  • Mechanics Gloves

DISCLAIMER

Hot oil will burn you fast and deep. Be sure to take all precautions to avoid getting burned. Use the leather gloves for protection. Make sure your car is stabilized and will not fall down on you while you work.

Top Ten Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light is On

check-engineIs your check engine light showing? Can you tell what the cause is? What comes to mind is the garage and parting with some money. Some fixes you can do by yourself although but for some you still have to visit your car specialist. One or several of these reasons might be the cause of the engine light to show. Instead of spending money to have a local mechanic take a look, get yourself a good car code reader and the best multimeter you can afford.

1. Defective or broken oxygen sensor

An oxygen sensor determines the amount of oxygen in the engine and helps the computer to inject the required amount of gas into the engine. If it’s faulty or damaged the computer can’t tell the amount of fuel required and in most cases, it injects more fuel affecting the fuel consumption sometimes as much as 40% more than average.

2. Loose or faulty gas cap

If the gas cap is not sealed tight vapor will evaporate from the gas tank, and this interferes with the fuel system efficiency which alerts the driver using the engine light. The range will decrease and emissions increase.

3. Faulty catalytic converter

A catalytic converter is used to lessen harmful exhaust gasses. It fails if something else breaks such as the oxygen sensors or defective spark plugs. This triggers the engine light and reduces the gas mileage.

4. Broken Mass airflow sensor

The mass airflow sensor informs the vehicle’s computer to dispense the appropriate amount of gas based on the air flowing through the engine. It fails when the air filter is not replaced or fitted incorrectly. It decreases the range, increases the emissions or the car might shut down completely.

5. Faulty spark plugs or spark plug wires

Spark plugs initiate combustion and if they wear out or are defective the car might have a hard start or the ride will be jerky especially during acceleration. If the spark plug wires are naked or faulty, they should be replaced. When ignored the car might stall.

6. Broken alarm system

Car alarms that are installed after the cars are manufactured should be done by an expert because a wrong connection might affect the engine management system prompting the engine light. If the car already has the alarm, it should be properly mounted or removed entirely.

7. Faulty thermostat

A thermostat keeps the engine cooling functions in check. If it is defective, it might mismanage the engine and cause it to overheat, to avoid that the engine light alerts the driver.

8. Faulty Exhaust gas re-circulation

The exhaust gas re-circulation pushes back exhaust gasses through the combustion chamber which increases the gas mileage and reduces pollution of the environment and when it fails it does the exact opposite. The primary cause of failure is a broken ERG valve or a blocked system which should be cleaned or replaced.

9. Defective battery or a bad battery charging system

Most of the new cars engine management system are relying on the battery so when the battery or the charging system fails the whole engine will not function properly.

10. Bad ignition coil

The coil steps up the voltage of the battery and uses it to produce sparks using spark plugs which initiate the combustion. Poor maintenance, use of substandard spark plugs or old coils might be the cause of the failure.

Most of these glitches can be avoided by regularly servicing and diagnosing your car to fix them before they disable your vehicle.