How to reset service reminder?

I'm a first time BMW owner. We just got a 97 528 with 110 k miles. I got it for $9,500 and it looks very sharp, runs and drives very well and we
quickly discovered the appeal of driving a BMW. We knew when we bought it that there were a few things needing fixed; 1 window window regulator, climate control display, remote trunk release.... There are a couple of guys in the area who specialize in working / restoring BMW's. The repairs we need to make will cost about $1,250 plus it's going to need tires soon. Do you think I got a reasonable deal?
After having the BMW dealer price a 4 wheel alignment at $181, then finding that a local tire store could do a good job for $49 I'm betting that there are very few reasons I would ever take my 97 528 with 111,000 k miles to the dealer. A guy at work said an installed battery would cost about $300. I found a BMW site which tells what type brand of $100 Diehard fits and works fine. Are these kind of price at the dealerships normal?
Usually I change the oil in our cars myself. On the BMW there are the "service lights" on the dash that come on and tell you how long till ervice is needed. Does anyone know how to reset that yourself?
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To reset the service lights without a tool... http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/electrical/e36_reset_service_lights.html
To reset the service lights with a tool... http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/reset-plug/reset.htm
Kyle. 98 740iL 97 M3
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I doubt they would even come CLOSE to doing a good job. When you get your new tires and they wear badly and unevenly you will find out it was money wasted.
I'm betting that there

Like they know the car? But if you have a good mechanic who you trust there is no reason to take a car that age/mileage to a dealer for service.
A guy at work said an installed battery would cost about $300. I

Yes and no. Depends on the dealer.

Do a search. It's been covered about 98,877,987 times. Make sure you change the filter with each oil change, and USE THE BMW PART. Aftermarket bargain filters are crap. AND PLEASE-dispose of the oil properly.

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You sound like a real jerk, but I'll try to overlook that. I noticed that your E-mail address goes through an anomymizer. I don't blame you for not wanting people to know who you are.
My chosen garage seems to have done a very good job aligning my car and for only for $49. I've done some checking around and there are a lot of BMW owners who have work done at this location. Do you think that aligning wheels on a BMW is so complicated that it warrants over three time the cost? I think not.
I expect my cars to go at least 200k with no major problems. If I didn't then I'd buy American and pay much less than I do for Honda/ Acura or BMW.
Thanks for the advice to do a search on resetting the light, but some fine people here gave me the link to a couple of good sites which tells exactly how to do this.
Also, I do recycle my oil; the Arabs pump it out of the ground and I pour it back. Recycled. Just kidding, but it's no more of your business to tell me to recycle something than it is mine to tell you what to drive or how many kids to have.

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Stepping in here, I would say; it depends. The only real alignment "adjustment" on your car is the front toe-in. They can usually get that right OK. In fact I usually do this myself (after suspension or steering work) and can get it "close enough" with fishing line and a ruler.
The other angles that they need to check occasionally and make sure are within tolerances are front and rear caster, camber and rear toe angle. All of these checks need to be made with a certain "preload" as that is how the engineers at BMW specified them. If they are out they can be fixed by replacing bushings or other suspension and/or steering parts.
I have never known a tire shop to go the extra distance to perform the checks this way. It means having the correct weight sandbags on hand to simulate the driver and passengers in the seats. Without the weights you can get things close but it will not be exactly correct.

That's fine, and that car probably will do that, but I think it also depends; What do you consider "major" and how conscientious are you at performing preventive maintenance? If you consider probl;ems with the peripherals or the cooling system major, I doubt you will take this car past the double century mark without one of these type of problems. Also, making sure the full service schedule is observed is cheap insurance IMO to ensure its longevity. I have never owned a Japanese car, but my understanding is that you can get away with almost no maintenance beyond oil changes now and then and they still run up the miles.
Good Luck with your new wheels.
YMMV, -Fred W
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Not my experience at all - if you want the steering wheel to be 'straight' afterwards. I recently replaced the rack on my 'other' car. With the old one on the bench, I accurately marked the distance between the track rod end faces - ie the part the locking nut bears on. Then transferred the ends to the new rack - since they were fairly recent - making sure the trackrods themselves were equal. On fitting the rack, use the centre finder to centralise the steering wheel. Then checked the distances between the front and back of the road wheels - as best I could, given there's an engine in the way. ;-)
A four wheel alignment showed it about 3mm out. And even after this was corrected - using the centre finder - the steering wheel wasn't quite straight.
I adjusted both sides equally until it was - and had it checked again for toe-in. Finally, everything was fine.
--
*Modulation in all things *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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spam please*yahoo.com> wrote:

Well, I guess I must be better with the fishing line than you are Dave. ;-)
Actually, the wheel may not be perfectly straight the first time, but as you noted you just have to adjust both sides the same amount (different directions) until it does. The fishing-line method seems a more accurate technique than the try-to-measure-through-the-oil-sump method.
-Fred W
I really should do a webpage write up on it some day (with groovy pictures of course).
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Fishing line and a ruler?
I have used a tape measure to align the front tires on my Jeep, but I was wondering what the fishing line was for. Could you please describe the procedure?

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Well, here's the abbreviated version of it Jeff;
You start out by tying a small nut to one end of the fishing line and then wedge that nut firmly into the tread at the rear of one of the back tires about half way between the ground and the top. Then you stretch the line all the way around the car, and around all four wheels so that it passes over the axle on each wheel and fasten it in the same way.
The front wheels should always be "toed in" and the line will conform to that condition. You have to pull the line away from the sidewall at the front of the tire until it is just barely touching the rear. It's easiest to do this if you make a set of shallow wedges of wood to place under the line as a spacer. By measuring the gap at the front you will know the toe-in for that side.
To make it more accurate I have made some small wood blocks with double sided tape on one side that I temporarily stick to the rim of the wheels to make all measurements. This eliminates any error due to tire sidewall variations. When making the blocks you should determine what the difference in the front and rear track width is and make your front blocks thicker to compensate for that so that the line is truly running parallel and square.
With this scheme you can measure both front and rear toe.
Like I said, I should put a web page together for show-and-tell.
-Fred W
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To abreviate this even more, the line goes around all four tires at roughly the 3:00 and 9:00 position. The rear tires will, in a perfect world, touch the line at both locations of the tire, 3 and 9, and the front tires will be toed in or out depending on if they touch at the front only or the rear only. Or some variation on that theme.
This makes sense to me even if I described it wrong. The goal is to establish the straight lines on each side, then analyze the lines to judge if the front tires are square to one another. If the front tire is toed in, then the string should be lifted off the leading edge of the rear tire, and of the front tire is toed out, then the string should be lifted off the trailing edge of the front tire. If the front tire is straight, then the string should touch both the front and rear tires at both the 3 and 9 positions. Do I assume correctly that the string should be as high as possible on the tire without going above the plane of 3 and 9?
I used a tape measure on my Jeep to measure the front tires only to judge toe in. The trouble with the BMW is there are significant obsitlces that do not exist on the jeep, so the same procedure can not be used. I think I can see in my mind how the string would work, and I wouldn't have thought of trying this. I think I'll give it a whirl on my daughter's truck. It should be pretty straight forward because she has a solid axle on the rear, so suspension variations that exist on the BMW will not be there on her truck.

This is a good idea. The sidewall variations can easily exceed the specification tolerances.

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Yeah, you've got the picture. And think of the savings at ~$70 per alignment. The only tricky part is converting the measurements to degrees of toe-in that are the usual unit of specification. I'll leave it to you to do the appropriate mathwork or find a suitable calculator. ;-)
-Fred W
-Fred W
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DO NOT BELIEVE THIS FOR ONE SECOND.
While there are certainly alignment shops that can't tell their ass from a hole in the ground, there is no reason to think that all of them are like that. There is no reason to pay a dealer $180 for an alignment when a good 4 wheel alignment can be found for $70.

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You just learned not to tkae your car to the dealership. I would find a good BMW authorized mechanic that knows your car, and let him do all of the stuff you can't do yourself. He'll be thrilled to reset the Service Indicator for free if he gets your other business.
Having said that, the indicator is reset by taking Pin 7 to ground when the key is set to ON, but not START.

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