CRP Automotive: Trusted Replacement Parts for 50 Years

CRP Automotive has supplied OE quality replacement parts to European manufactured vehicles for over 50 years. This longevity and dedication to OEM standards have made CRP and their subsidiaries Rein Automotive, ContiTech, Pentosin, and others, incredibly well known and trusted in the automotive community.

Nearly every restoration or maintenance project features their parts, and for good reason: their quality, service, and trustworthiness has made them one of the largest suppliers to companies like ECS Tuning in order to provide the very best in OE quality replacements to enthusiasts like you.

With their impressive catalog and affiliate companies’ specialties, CRP Automotive can offer nearly every replacement part you might need when it comes time to refresh your favorite European performance vehicle or even restoring that hunk of metal rotting away in your neighbor’s barn.

For more than 30 years CRP Automotive has been the largest supplier of import replacement parts for all European makes. With their time-tested dedication to quality and service, let CRP Automotive help you finish that repair or see that your classic car once again enjoys feeling its tires on the pavement.

All your essential replacement parts from CRP are available right here at ECS Tuning, your trusted source in aftermarket and replacement parts for your favorite performance car.


Interested in purchasing?

CRP Automotive

Trusted source in OEM Quality Replacement for 50 Years!


Dorman Products: New Since 1918

Dorman Products is a renowned supplier of original equipment parts generally “exclusive” to manufacturer dealerships including replacement parts, hardware, brake parts, fasteners, and more to the automotive community. Their high-quality focus and unique components offered as an alternative to “genuine” manufacturer parts makes for a low cost, reliable, and often a more effective replacement for your beloved car.

Often, when we replace components in our cars, it is as a result of a mechanical failure or the part’s lifespan has reached its end. When it comes to mechanical failures, Dorman Products examines the causes of failure and develops exclusive replacement parts which address those faults seen in factory components. Many times they produce the only part that will permanently solve problems seen in failure-prone components across several makes.

With Dorman Products, you can be confident in their OEM quality and exceptional function while enjoying the benefits of maintaining your car with a part designed to outlast and outperform the original piece.

When it comes time to replace that faulty door handle or failing actuator, Dorman Products has the trusted parts with improved designs to give you the peace of mind the job will be done right once and for all. Beyond their meticulously engineered quality, a focus on OEM styling and fitment prevents any sacrifices often seen in aftermarket components that would deter purists.

Make your next replacement easy and permanent with Dorman Products high-quality replacement OEM+ parts, hardware, fasteners, and so much more!

Interested in purchasing?

Dorman Products

OEM fitment and quality with improved durability and reliability!


Carista OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter

Most enthusiasts will agree that their car is part of the family. We all love our cars and the relationships we are able to build with them, but modification is what we do. The process of customizing, maintaining, and improving the functions and appearance of our cars is cathartic in a way. Just as adding more aggressive brakes or fitting performance suspension changes the driving dynamics of your vehicle, the electrical ‘convenience’ functions hidden in your onboard computer can give you added enjoyment. Carista brings us an OBD2 adapter dongle that pairs wirelessly with your Android or iOS device to give you diagnostic readouts, customizable function toggles, and reset service indicators.

The Carista Bluetooth OBD2 Adapter allows you to customize your car to your liking from the comfort of your own phone with an app available on both Google Play and Apple AppStore. With the in-app services, you can change vehicle specifics all the way from comfort access features to how long you want a one-touch blinker feature to stay on, depending on your car’s make and model.

Carista features more than just comfort and convenience customization: safety access to your vehicle including only unlocking the driver’s door with a first click of the remote button, the duration your doors stay unlocked when you start driving, and remote window access. With the Carista OBD2 Adapter, you have full control of your vehicle’s functions down to your preferences, but it does more than just make your car more enjoyable.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the Carista Adapter is the access to manufacturer-specific diagnostic information. The app gives you the ability to access ABS, airbag, navigation, and unlocks your ability to reset your warning lights associated with those factory safety features. This, of course, is dependent on whether your vehicle is supported by this function.

Even if you are just looking for something to tell you what may be wrong with your car and save yourself a headache and expensive trip to the dealership, the Carista Adapter is definitely worth having. If you have an emissions check coming up, this tool is perfect for pinpointing the issue so you can quickly and easily pass that registration requirement without the ordinary hassle of chasing an issue or resorting to calling the shop.

This is the perfect gift for the Holidays to drop in an enthusiast’s stocking, or anyone with a supported vehicle, as the app is easy to use and handy for anyone who can use their smartphone with any confidence.


Carista gives you the power of a dedicated service shop to tackle maintenance and customization at home with your smartphone. Most of us enthusiasts enjoy the ability to change, improve, or delete what we see fit in our cars. This strengthens the relationships we build over time with the vehicle and make the driving experience more connected and enjoyable. With the traditional options on the market for simply reading CEL’s or the excessively expensive professional scan tools, Carista sits in a comfortable middle ground, giving you an affordable and powerful tool to make the experience you have with your car easy, convenient, and fun.

Interested in purchasing?

Carista OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter

Get the most out of your vehicle and keep those pesky check engine lights at bay.

New Updates! ECS Nation: Mike’s Mercedes-Benz CL600 V12 Rear Mount Turbo (M275)


If you are looking for an unusual build with heart and devotion, here’s Mike’s build. Mike purchased this CL600 when it was nearly dead in 2015. He put over 850+ hours of work into it to make it what it is today. He began fixing over 40 initial problems from purchase and then later made over 40 modifications to it as well. Mike submitted his build to us in the 2016 Virtual Car Show and it was still in production. And now the World’s first rear mount turbo setup on this Model/Engine.

Mike’s Story:

It all started when I went to go look for a “practical car”.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the V12 emblem peering out from the snow pile. I asked the salesperson what was under there and he replied “A piece of junk Mercedes”. I said I want to test drive it and after 2 hours of cleaning snow off of it and out of it I got my wish and limped it around on its test drive. I knew immediately that I was going to buy this car regardless of how neglected it was. I went to get a pre-purchase inspection and found out that it had $45,000 worth of repairs needed at dealership price. So, I bought all the parts needed and did all of the repairs myself which was a great learning experience.  Fast forward 2 years, 850+ hours of working on it, 70+ repairs/modifications, 1 Magazine feature (Mercedes Enthusiast), 2 broken bones, and an endless number of sleepless work nights…it was completed.  The once broken and abused CL600 is now the World’s First Rear mount turbo CL600 V12 M275 Mercedes-Benz…and it loves it. As heavy of a car, as it is, the engine and heart of the car has been unchained and is running as it has always wanted to…as a supercar engine just like it is in the 1st Gen Pagani Zonda’s.


I have completed several projects on the car that either no one or only a couple of people have attempted (some of which I helped). For instance, the car originally came with a hydraulic suspension system called ABC. ABC was great unless something went wrong and that was an unfortunately common occurrence leaving you stranded. I decided to convert to coilover suspension and retrofit a non-ABC tandem steering pump and completely deleted the hydraulic system. From there I decided to install a Nitrous Express system. This was tricky, as was every project because there is NO support or DIYs for these vehicles. People are afraid to change the 24 spark plugs the car comes with, let alone what I was doing to it. After successfully completing some passes at the drag strip on nitrous, I still was not happy with the way the car’s power fell on its face after the first couple thousand RPMs. I knew a turbo upgrade was needed from the small stock twin turbos…but what could I do there was no room and heat soaking was already a serious issue.

After researching for a few months I decided that a rear mount 78MM Borg Warner turbo would be the solution, I just had to figure out how to plumb everything, supply oil, and get the engine to play nice. I contacted Eurocharged Performance for tuning advice and decided they were definitely who I would be working with. After acquiring some sponsorship opportunities from Toyo Tires, Eurocharged Performance, Glowshift Gauges, APEX PERFORMANCE TURBO SYSTEMS, and a few others locally the build got underway! With the help of a friend, I was able to remove the stock turbos without pulling the engine. From there I was able to remove all of the stock turbo parts, vacuum system, ignition system, and exhaust.  I installed the SLR McLaren Mercedes-Benz upgraded 722.6 valve body springs, solenoids, and the Eurocharged TCU.

Once I was able to get the car stripped, the fabrication began!  I used 2000-2002 non-turbo CL600 exhaust manifolds (inverted and flipped around to fit) to start my custom exhaust layout.

I welded all of the custom bends (which proved difficult on a V12) followed by the mid piping and to the trunk’s T4 flange. I used 2.5” piping leaving the engine and merged to 3” piping staggered in the back and heavily wrapped to keep the air hot going to the turbo. I used a TiAL 44mm wastegate paired with a GReddy electronic boost controller and a 4” single split exhaust leaving the big Borg. The turbo was mounted and welded the framing into place for the plexiglass trunk basin. Next, I designed the best oiling system I could think of for the rear mount turbo, which was a standalone oil reservoir in the trunk. This consisted of the reservoir, an oil temp sensor a feed pump from Turbowerx, a check valve, a pressure sensor, a sump pump (matching Turbowerx pump), another check valve and pressure sensor, and lastly an oil cooler all of which is the trunk. At the front of the car, the engine bay received a much better water to air cooling system and polishing since you were finally able to see the actual engine.  I am hoping to hit my goal of 1000 HP this year and will be doing so after a cross country Rt66 road rally in August.  

2017 Roadtrip

After 5,700 miles of driving in 11 days, I think it is safe to say that the World’s First rear mount turbo CL600 w215 M275 build was a complete success, despite having little to no pre-trip testing. I was thoroughly proud of the Benz after its journey. There is a special bond that I have made with this car and making it drivable across country was a memory of a lifetime that cannot be replicated. I was nervous and did not know what to expect having changed so much this year and doing all of the work myself. Over 50-60 projects later and the car took the whole trip in stride. It was happy at 75 on cruise and it was happy chasing down an LS nitrous equipped Camaro to speeds well above the “pegged out” limitation.  

 The car survived the 116-119 degree F heat of Death Valley and the Mohave Desert, but also the 11,000+ foot elevation change in Colorado. The beast enjoyed the New Mexico roads that seemed to expand endlessly into the horizon and also the sharp twisties through Oatman Arizona. In Santa Monica, California, the Nasty V12 gained the looks and photos of many passerby’s, but it also gained attention the night before racing into LA from the mountains. No matter what beating I gave the car on this trip it seemed to take it and then returned the favor with G forces.  The only issues I ran into were a stone chipped windshield, a shattered fog-light (removed), and a leaking oil return line in the trunk that I had to replace in New Mexico.  The emotions when I was driving home the last 2 minutes were strong. I listened to Odesza “Say My Name” and enjoyed the amazing and beautiful V12 soundtrack. Upon parking the car in my garage and sitting there letting the oil circulate a bit more before shutting it off, I realized something in my heart…I realized just how incredible these machines truly are and also how much magic / amazing memories they can bring to your life. 



Modification List:

Suspension / Braking / Wheels

  •       Removed ABC system
  •       Removed ABC control unit
  •       Removed stock ABC/Power steering pump
  •       ABC System Deletion
  •       ABC Pump Deletion
  •       Power steering pump conversion to w220 non-ABC
  •       Coilover Suspension Conversion (Eibach)
  •       18” Lightweight MB 5 spoke rims
  •       18” TOYO R888 Tires (275 rear / 255 front)
  •       EuroParts/Mercedes-Benz lower and upper control arms
  •       Brembo upgraded rotors throughout
  •       Brembo 4/6 pot calipers

Ignition / Electronics / Computer Management

  •       Mercedes-Benz Coil Packs
  •       ECS Mercedes-Benz Ignition Control Module
  •       24set of step 7 cold NGK Plugs
  •       Mercedes-Benz gas pedal with new pedal sensor
  •       ABS sensors throughout
  •       ECS Transmission conductor plate (3x)
  •       ECS Transmission wiring harness
  •       Eurocharged Transmission Control Module
  •       Eurocharged ECU Tuning
  •       Glowshift gauges (wideband A/F, boost, oil temp, 2x oil pressure, nitrous pressure, fuel pressure)
  •       GReddy Spec ii electronic boost controller
  •       Remote mount Whistler 360 radar detector
  •       Rewired all stock sensors (MAP, temp, pressure, etc)

Engine / Cooling / Turbo / Transmission

  •       Removed stock turbos
  •       Removed stock exhaust/stock turbo manifolds
  •       Cut and capped existing oil feed/return lines
  •       Looped stock turbo water feed/return lines
  •       Removed washer fluid Reservoir
  •       Removed heating lines to washer fluid
  •       Removed stock steering wheel
  •       Removed stock heat exchanger
  •       Separate coolant reservoir/system for intercoolers
  •       2x Electronic fans for heat exchanger
  •       2x Bosch water pumps for intercooler circulation
  •       Custom Water-to-Air Intercooler
  •       Water ICE tank
  •       Water lines to and from backseat/engine bay
  •       Mercedes-Benz 2000-2002 nonturbo exhaust manifolds
  •       Nitrous Express 10Lb – 125 shot (wet-shot) system
  •       Nitrous Express Purge system
  •       Massive front mount heat exchanger
  •       * Borg Warner rear mount S400 series turbo *
    • Compressor Wheel: 74.5mm / 101.45mm  – 95lbs/min
    • Turbine Wheel: 78mm x 87mm
    • Compressor Inlet: 5”
    • Compressor Outlet: 4”
    • Turbine inlet: 0.90 Divided T4
    • Turbine Outlet: 4”
  •       2x TurboWerx  Oil pumps (1 scavenge / 1 feed)
  •       5 QT remote standalone oil reservoir for turbo only
  •       Oil feed/return lines + Front mount oil cooler
  •       Mobile1 Full Synthetic 0W-40 throughout
  •       Replaced all stock vacuum lines
  •       TiAL Sport 50mm MV-R Wastegate
  •       TiAL Sport 50mm Blow Off Valves X2
  •       GReddy Electronic Boost Control Valve Spec ii
  • SLR Mercedes McLaren 722.6 Solenoid/spring upgrade kit (used a few parts from it)






ECS Nation: Anthony’s 2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG


I was getting tired and started to look for something that had more power than my 1998 3000GT (still own/drive). Had the 3000GT for over 12 years. 

After a year of searching for specific features, I spotted this C63 down in LA at Keyes European. I decided to fly down test drove it and bought it the same day and then had it shipped back to Kansas.  Have had the C63 since November 2014.  Just been slowly adding things onto it.  Started off with wheels and tires from HRE then moved onto a tune from Eurocharged.  Blacked out some trim pieces and got tint.  Then removed the secondary cat and replaced it with stainless steel straights (work done by Kultured Customs).  Not much more I want to do with it, maybe headers and supercharger down the road if I ever get tired of it lol.  It is my daily driver.

Big shows –

Placed 1st in World of Wheels – Custom Exotic for 2016 and 2017

Placed 1st in Import Face Off – Best Euro

Modification List

Tune – V5 EuroCharged Tune – around 540hp / 494 torque
Secondary cat delete/replaced with straight pipes (done by KulturedCustoms)
Differential – Wavetrac LSD
ROW Airbox / AFE Pro Dry Filters
HRE Wheels FF01 in Tarmac
Michelin PSS 235/35 and 255/30
Mode Carbon Lufstrom Carbon Fiber Front Lip
Vorsteiner Style 1 Carbon Fiber Spoiler
Mode Carbon P31 Carbon Fiber Diffuser
MACarbon Red Carbon Fiber Keyless Start Button
Vinyl Wrapped Side Markers & Trunk Lid Trim
Black steel license plate / Black bolts
Customized License plate
Custom AMG / Affalterbach Mode Selector Knob
AMG Door Pins
20% tint on sides and rear windows
507 (black) DRL Trim

Build Thread



Easiest Oil Change Ever Courtesy of Schwaben Tools!


The Schwaben 6.5 Liter Extractor system is hand -operated for fast extraction of any type of fluid. Two different diameter extracting tubes are included to suit your particular application. The unit has a vacuum release button for quick and easy release. Displace 6.5 Liters ( 6.8 qts.) of fluid in minutes while maintaining a clean, oil-free workspace. Specially designed pour spout for mess-free emptying of the container.


  • Flip out foot for stability while using the extractor
  • Built in hose storage
  • 41″ Main tube 3/8″ OD
  • Two 35″ extension tubes 1/4″ and 3/16″ OD ( couples to the main tube).

Check out the video below:

Interested in purchasing?

Schwaben Fluid Extractor

Extract all types of oils and fluids the easy way


Torquing Tips

Torque to Yield or “Stretch” Bolts

Many bolts will have a torque specification listed in the format – xx Nm (xx Ft-lbs) + xx degrees. These bolts are torque to yield bolts, commonly referred to as “stretch” bolts. The correct procedure for torquing these bolts is:

Stage One – Torque the bolt(s) to the initial Nm or Ft-lb specification. If there is more than one, be sure to torque them in the correct sequence.
Stage Two – Tighten or “stretch” the bolt(s) the additional specified number of degrees. If there is more than one, be sure to follow the correct sequence.

Note – Some bolts may have two or more stages of torquing before the final stage of “stretching” the bolts.
When tightening more than one bolt in a specified sequence, be sure to mark each fastener with paint immediately after performing the final stage or

“stretching” of the bolts. This will ensure that you keep track of which bolts have already been “stretched”.

All Torque to Yield bolts should only be used once and should be replaced each time they are removed. If they are reused, they will not be able to achieve the proper clamping force with the specified torque.


Torque specifications are always listed for a dry fastener (no lubrication) unless specified otherwise.
Some fasteners require lubrication on the threads -or- on the contact surface while torquing. These fasteners will be listed with the specific location and

type of lubrication required. Always follow manufacturers recommendations exactly.

Lubricating a fastener that is intended to be installed dry and then torquing it to factory specifications will increase the clamping force and stress on the fastener and components, which can result in damage or failure.

Do not lubricate the threads of any fastener unless it is specifically recommended by the manufacturer.

Ribbed vs. Non-Ribbed Bolts

Ribbed and Non-Ribbed bolts in the same location generally require a different torque specification.

A ribbed bolt is identified by the ribs on the contact surface.

A non-ribbed bolt is identified by the smooth contact surface


Oil Change Fundamentals, Tools, and Procedures


The most essential of vehicle services, the oil change, sometimes raises the most questions. Most of us relate oil with lubrication, and it’s true that lubrication is its primary function, but it does a lot more than you think. There are many questions and theories about what type of oil to use and how often to change it. Here we will discuss the basics of oil, what it does, and why it is so important to extend the life of your engine. We will cover the different types of oil, filters, tools, and oiling systems and you will be prepared and confident to perform a successful oil change on your vehicle.

Oil Functions:


Lubrication – reducing the friction between two surfaces, is the most basic and widely known function of engine oil. Your engine oil is the only material between the surfaces of the moving parts inside your engine. The camshaft, crankshaft and connecting rod bearings rotate on an extremely thin film of oil. Cylinder walls, chains, and valve train components are all lubricated as well as fuel pump push rods and distributors. Anywhere any type of component moves, there is engine oil for lubrication.


As the oil circulates throughout the engine, it absorbs heat from engine components then dissipates it to cooler areas. Under normal operating conditions, this cooling effect can remain internal to the oiling system. In heavy-duty and high-performance applications, additional oil cooling may be required and can be accomplished by the addition of engine oil coolers which circulate the oil through either a cooler that transfers heat to the engine coolant or to the air. Some engines also have additional internal cooling in the form of nozzles that spray the engine oil at high-temperature areas, such as the underside of pistons.

Cleaning and Corrosion Resistance:

As a benefit of having the inside of the engine coated with lubricating oil, the metal parts are not exposed to elements that cause rust and corrosion. The engine oil also collects and suspends soot and ash particles, generated from the combustion process, that would eventually build up as deposits on the internal surfaces of the engine. The oil will then release these particles into the oil filter element as it passes through.

Modern engine oils, however, enhance and modify certain beneficial characteristics by including additives:
• Chemical cleaning agents neutralize the impurities that are constantly being generated through normal use. • Dispersants prevent the contaminate particles that are suspended in the oil from gelling.
• Antioxidants inhibit rust and corrosion by minimizing the oil’s ability to react with the substances around it.

Other additives include chemical substances that help the oil to reduce friction, minimize wear, and allow the oil to flow better at higher and lower temperatures, making today’s engine oil extremely complex and multi-functional.

Chemical Reaction:

Exposure to high temperatures over an extended period of time will cause the structure of the oil to break down on a molecular level. This breakdown will reduce the viscosity of the oil (increasing heat and wear through friction) and causes the oil to become more acidic, leaving the engine components exposed to corrosion.


Engine oil eventually becomes saturated with the contaminants that it is cleaning from your engine, and over an extended period of time the oil filter will become overwhelmed. The oil will no longer be able to release these contaminants and will instead leave them as deposits inside the engine.

Contamination also occurs from the lingering presence of water condensation, caused by the incomplete removal of blow-by gasses, or the engine not reaching normal operating temperature on a regular basis. The condensation will react with the oil forming sludge and harmful acids. One of the most common problems, the tan colored, sometimes milky looking sludge that you may see on the inside of your oil cap and valve cover is a sign of contamination from condensation.

Oil can also be contaminated by excess fuel in an engine that is running improperly or by coolant in an engine that is developing internal problems.

Oil Types:


Conventional engine oil is a petroleum based oil which is refined from, of course, petroleum crude oil. Even though the refining process is quite advanced from what it was years ago, there are certain impurities and molecular irregularities that are inherent to conventional oil. The end result is a chemical composition that can vary considerably depending on a number of factors including the refining process.

Conventional oil does, however, contain many cleaning and anti-corrosion additives and is rated and adheres to all of the testing and grading standards developed for engine oil.

Due to the inherent impurities and molecular irregularities, conventional oil will not perform as well as synthetic motor oil and will require more frequent oil changes.


Synthetic engine oil consists of the same molecular chain of hydrogen and carbon atoms as conventional oil, but with one distinct advantage: They are manufactured and chemically engineered to obtain a certain molecular composition with a precise and uniform structure. The final molecular composition of synthetic oils is designed and controlled with extreme precision, resulting in a final product that has predictable characteristics and consistent structural stability. For these reasons, synthetic oil will surpass the limitations of conventional oil, with qualities such as the ability to operate at higher and lower temperatures, resist breakdown caused by high temperatures, and remain cleaner by more efficiently collecting and releasing the contaminants in the engine.

Synthetic oil is rated and adheres to all of the testing and grading standards developed for engine oil.

Synthetic Blend:

Synthetic blends are exactly what you would think – a blend of conventional and synthetic oil. Why you ask? Synthetic oil has proven itself to be a superior performer without question, but it has a drawback, it is much more expensive. Synthetic blends are simply a way of providing an oil that is moderately better that conventional at a price that is more affordable than synthetic.

Oil Classification:

Quality standards and grades are established by independent automobile and oil industry organizations:

• The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) established a grading system using numbers to indicate how an engine oil flows at certain temperatures, otherwise known as the viscosity index.

• Associations such as the API (American Petroleum Institute), ILSAC (International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee) or the ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) contribute to testing, technical standards, and ratings for engine oil.


Viscosity is how we measure the oil’s ability to flow at certain temperatures. It can be thought of as the thickness or “weight” of the oil.

The viscosity grade is critical to your engine’s performance and protection. Be sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for SAE oil viscosity.

The number with a “W” after it in a viscosity rating indicates the thickness or “weight” of the oil at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

The number with no letter in a viscosity rating indicates the thickness or “weight” of the oil at 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oil rated with both numbers is considered multi-viscosity or multi-weight oil.

Service Ratings:

An oil’s service rating describes what type of engine and uses it has been formulated for.

Oil designed for cars, vans and light trucks falls under API’s “S” (Service) categories.

Oil designed for heavy duty trucks and vehicles with diesel engines falls under API’s “C” (Commercial) category.

Refer to the charts on pages eight and nine for service rating descriptions.

API Service Ratings for Gasoline Engines:

NOTE: The oil service rating is critical to your engine’s performance and protection. Be sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for the correct service rating.

API Service Ratings for Diesel Engines:

NOTE: The oil service rating is critical to your engine’s performance and protection. Be sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for the correct service rating.

Manufacturer Oil Specifications:

Most of the leading auto manufacturers have developed their own “terminology” or “codes” to identify the oil that they specify for use in their engines. They sell this oil through their parts department but keep in mind that all of their oil specifications meet current SAE, API, ILSAC, and ACEA technical standards and ratings. The following charts will help you “decipher” manufacturers “codes” when choosing oil for your car.

BMW/MINI Oil Specifications:

BMW Longlife-98 (BMW LL-98)
Special long-life engine oil, approved by BMW. Also meets ACEA A3/B3, API SJ/CD, EC SAE 5W-40. Usually required for BMWs manufactured before MY 2002. Obsolete since 2009.

BMW Longlife-01 (BMW LL-01)
Special BMW approval for fully synthetic long-life oil. Product meets ACEA A3/B3 and API: SJ/CD EC-II. Usually required for BMWs built after MY 2002. Can also be used where a BMW Longlife-98 oil is recommended.

BMW Longlife-01 FE (BMW LL-01 FE)
Fully synthetic long-life oil with fuel economy properties. Oils meeting this specification must have a low HTHS viscosity to meet the manufacturer’s fuel economy requirements. These oils are only suitable for the following engines: N1x, N2x, N54, N55, N63, N74.

BMW Longlife-04 (BMW LL-04)
Special BMW approval for fully synthetic long-life oil. Viscosities are SAE 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30 and 5W-40. Usually required for BMWs equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). Can also be used where a BMW Longlife-98 or BMW Longlife-01 oil is recommended.

BMW Longlife-12 (BMW LL-12)
Special motor oil for certain approved gasoline engines and the following diesel engines only: Nx7K1, Nx7U1, Nx7O1 from the model year 2013. Not suitable for engines with 2 or 3 turbos.

BMW Longlife-14+ (BMW LL-14+)
Special motor oil for the following gasoline engines only: N20, Bx8 from the model year 2014. Not allowed for diesel engines.

Mercedes Oil Specifications:

MB 229.1
For petrol and diesel engines. Minimum quality required ACEA A2/B2 with additional limits on engine.
MB 229.3
For petrol and diesel engines. Minimum quality required ACEA A3 / B3 / B4 and MB 229.1. It can only certify 0/ 5 W-x oils.
MB 229.31
Multi-grade, low SPAsh engine oil, advised for both diesel and petrol engines of Mercedes-Benz, Smart, and Chrysler. Only low viscosity engine oils which can realize a 1,0% saving on used fuel in the M111 Fuel economy test (CEC L-54-T-96) can get this approval. In this test, the fuel savings are compared to the performance of the Reference oil RL 191 (SAE 15W-40).
MB 229.5
MB sheet for energy conserving oils for certain car and van engines. Approved oils must meet ACEA A3, B3 and B4 specification and some additional demands by Daimler Chrysler AG. Oil must be on the approval list.
MB 229.51
Low SAPS Long Life engine oil for diesel engines with particle filter meeting emission EU-4 -> standards.
MB 229.52
Oils meeting this specification must have lower ash content, at least 1% better fuel economy compared to the requirements of MB 229.31 and MB 229.51 and better oxidation stability for biofuel compatibility. Can also be used where an MB 229.31 or an MB 229.51 oil is required. Just like MB 229.5 and MB 229.51 this spec requires a long life oil.

Volkswagen/Audi Oil Specifications:

VW 500.00
Volkswagen specification for multi-grade engine oils for gasoline engines with SAE 5W-X/10W-X viscosity. This is an “old” oil specification and is applicable to engines built before the model year 2000 (up to August 1999). Oils with an approval made post-March 1997 were given an alternative, later VW specification.
VW 501.01
Conventional motor oils suitable for some VW engines built before MY 2000. This is an “old” oil specification and is applicable to engines built before the model year 2000 (up to August 1999). Oils with an approval made post-March 1997 were given an alternative, later VW specification.
VW 502.00
Oil for gasoline engines. The successor of VW 501.01 and VW 500.00 specification. Recommended for those which are subject to arduous conditions. It must not be used for any engines with variable service intervals or any which are referred to under other specifications.
VW 503.00
Long-life gasoline engine oil for VW cars with WIV (system for longer service intervals). Also meets ACEA A1, SAE 0W-30 or 5W-30 specification. VW 503.01
This specification is specifically for Audi RS4, Audi TT, S3 and Audi A8 6.0 V12 models with outputs of more than 180bhp, running with variable service intervals (30,000km or 2 years). Now superseded by the VW 504.00 specification.
VW 504.00
The VW 504 00 specification supersedes the VW 503 00 and VW 503.01 specifications. VW 504 00 oils are suitable for engines meeting the demands of Euro IV emissions standards.
VW 505.00
Passenger car diesel engine oil specification, minimum performance level CCMC PD-2. Lists viscosities SAE 5W-50, 10W-50/60, 15W-40/50, 20W- 40/50 requiring 13% max. evaporation loss and SAE 5W-30/40, 10W-30/40 requiring 15% max. evaporation loss.
VW 505.01
Special engine oil for VW turbo diesel engines with pump-injector-unit and for the V8 Common rail turbo diesel engines. Meets ACEA B4 SAE 5W-40 specification.
VW 506.00
These oils are suitable for diesel engines with extended service intervals of up to 50,000km / 2 years. Not for use on engines with a single injector pump. Oil change is indicated by the electronic service indicator. Viscosity is SAE 0W30.
VW 506.01
These oils are especially for “Pumpe-Düse” (unit injector or “PD” engines) running on extended service intervals (30,000 – 50,000km / 24 months). Oil change is indicated by the electronic service indicator.
VW 507.00
Low SAPS oils suitable for Euro 4 engines and almost all VAG diesel engines from 2000 onwards with extended service intervals, unitary injector pumps and also Pumpe-Düse (“PD”) engines. Excludes V10, R5 engines and VW Commercial vehicles without fitted DPF (diesel particulate filters) – these must use a 506 01 specification oil.
VW 508.00
This standard is not yet released. It will probably require a low SAPS oil with energy conserving properties.

Oil Change Intervals:

The age old rule has always been “every 3 months or 3000 miles”. This is quickly becoming an obsolete notion. Improvements in the refining technology of conventional petroleum based oils, synthetic oil technology, and advancements in engine design have extended the standard oil change interval.

Many modern vehicle oil change intervals are as high as 7500
miles, and some even higher. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended service internal. Many vehicles have an advanced electronic system that calculates oil life depending on a number of factors including climate, mileage, speed, and even personal driving habits. These systems will warn you when you are approaching the target mileage for an oil change.

If you are ever uncertain if the oil should be changed or not, there are a couple of things that you can do:

1) Inspect the condition of the oil on the end of the dipstick. Clean oil will be transparent. As it gets dirtier, it starts to darken in color. If the oil is very dirty, it will be dark in color and no longer transparent. If it reaches this point, you have gone too long and it should be changed immediately.

NOTE: Diesel engine oil will typically be black in color, even immediately after an oil change. You will have to rely entirely on mileage to know when an oil change is due.

2) It never hurts to change your oil. If you are unsure of how long it’s been and it looks like the oil might be getting dirty, simply change it. It can only be good for your engine.

If your vehicle does not have an oil change interval calculator, keep track of them by using an oil change sticker, available at ECSTuning. com as ES#2808806.

Oil Filters:

All oil filters, regardless of type, consist of the same basic components:

Spin-on Filter:

A spin-on filter is one of the older, more common filter designs. Spin-on filters are one piece units with all components contained inside a metal outer housing. Most spin on filters have fluted ends which allow for
the use of a matching oil filter cup wrench for removal. Some spin on filters have special fittings on the end and matching tools that can be used for removal. The seal fits into a groove on the end, and tightening/ installation instructions are almost always printed on the side.


1. There are no reusable components to wear out or get damaged, you are replacing the complete filter every time.
2. Installation is performed by hand, no torque wrenches or tools are required.

3. Spin-on filters are generally the quickest and easiest style of the filter to replace.


1. They generate more waste and are more difficult to completely drain. 2. They can be very hot and difficult to hold during removal.
3. They can be easily overtightened or under tightened.
4. There is no provision for draining prior to removal, making them much messier.

Cartridge Filter:

A cartridge style of filter is one in which the filter media is a separate replaceable element inside a removable outer housing. The housings are made of either plastic or metal, and the bypass valve, support tube, and anti-drain back valve (if equipped) are either part of the housing or built into the element. Most housings have a built-in hex for easy removal, some are fluted on the ends requiring a cup style wrench, and many have drain valves. Cartridge filters were originally used years ago and were eventually replaced by the spin-on style of filter, but are once again becoming the more popular style of filter.


1. There is much less waste generated, only the filter element is replaced. 2. The housings are easy to remove due to a built in hex on the ends.
3. Replacement elements are typically less expensive than a spin-on style of filter.

4. They have a specific tightening torque and they seal much better with very little opportunity for leaks.
5. They have a provision for draining before removal, making them much cleaner.


1. Original equipment plastic housings can become worn or cracked. 2. A greater number of tools is required for service.
3. Replacement housings can be expensive.

Drain Plugs:

Most original equipment drain plugs are made of steel and utilize an aluminum or copper sealing or “crush” washer. Some drain plugs are made of billet aluminum for weight savings and some also have a magnet in the end to pick up metal particles in the oil.

The aluminum or copper sealing washers are designed to crush slightly when the drain plugs are torqued to their proper specification. This not only creates a seal between the drain plug and oil pan but also prevents wear on the oil pan since the drain plug will be removed and installed over and over again.

In order to obtain the proper amount of crush on a sealing washer, it
is extremely important to always torque the drain plug to the proper specification published by the vehicle manufacturer. It is for this reason as well that the sealing washer should be replaced with each oil change.

Another reason to always torque the drain plug is that the threads are only designed to withstand the torque specification. If the drain plug is over torqued, the threads will begin to stretch and eventually damage the threads in the oil pan. Oil pan replacement can be expensive and time-consuming so it’s best to avoid it using proper service procedures.

When using a magnetic drain plug, always wipe the metal particles off when performing an oil change.

Always inspect the threads on the drain plug when you remove it. If they show any signs of wear or if the drain plug does not spin out easily, it is a good idea to replace the drain plug.

Crush washers are available separately, and also in kits with new drain plugs. It’s best to buy a “handful” at a time so you always have them when you need them.

Oil Service Tools:

Oil Filter Cup Wrenches:

Oil filter cup wrenches are designed to lock onto the fluted end of a “spin- on” oil filter or cartridge filter housing. They have a 3/8” square drive on the bottom so you can simply insert a 3/8” ratchet or extension for turning. They are available in many different sizes to fit the filter or housing on your application and are very effective for quick removal.

This 4-piece kit, available on our website as ES#1892107 covers many of the most common sizes on European cars. Some cup wrenches are available separately as well, visit our website to confirm the correct size for your application.

Oil Filter Pliers:

Oil filter pliers are designed to grip and remove “spin-on” style oil filters. They work well on all filters and eliminate the need for many different tools. They will, however damage the housing of the filter during removal, so if you will be reusing the oil filter, you will have to remove it by hand or use a cup wrench.

The pliers shown here are available on our website as ES#2748880 and have adjustable jaws to work in tighter locations.

3-Jaw Adjustable Oil Filter Wrench:

These adjustable oil filter wrenches work great to grip and remove a “spin- on” style of oil filter. The fit a wide range of sizes, eliminating the need
for many different tools. They have a 3/8” square drive on the bottom so you can simply insert a 3/8” ratchet or extension for turning. These will, however damage the housing of the filter during removal, so if you will

be re-using the oil filter, you will have to remove it by hand or use a cup wrench.

The wrench shown here is available on our website as ES#2748752.

Specialty Tools:

Many of the large MANN or MAHLE “spin-on” styles of oil filters have a removal slot on the end of the filter and this tool can be used for quick and easy removal. It has a 3/8” square drive on the bottom so it can be turned easily with a 3/8” drive ratchet or extension.

The specialty tool shown here is available on our website as ES#2185250.

Filter Housing Sockets:

Many newer vehicles are equipped with a “cartridge” style of oil filter. The housings for these filters are equipped with a large 6-point head on the end for removal. Quite often they are located in tight areas, requiring a large and very shallow socket. Filter housing sockets are designed exactly for that job, with a 3/8” square drive in the end for easy use with a 3/8” ratchet or extension. The most common sizes, 32mm and 36mm, are available on our website, check your application for the correct tool.

32mm Filter Housing Socket: ES#2730723

36mm Filter Housing Socket: ES#240945

Filter Housing Drain Tool:

Some of the filter housings for the “cartridge” style of oil filters are equipped with a spring loaded valve which will allow you to thread in this tool and drain the cartridge before removal. This makes the job a lot cleaner and prevents messy spills.

The drain tool shown here is available on our website as ES#8616.

Multi-Size Drain Plug Wrench:

This multi-size drain plug wrench has eight different 6-point sockets incorporated into one tool. Sizes 12mm through 19mm will fit most drain plugs, and save you time when you only need to grab one wrench and know you have the size you need to get the job done.

The wrench shown here is available on our website as ES#2221249.

Drain Pan:

The most essential tool for the oil change. This 8-liter oil pan will handle the capacity of most engines and has a spout for easy pouring to transfer the used oil into a seal-able container.

The drain pan shown here is available on our website as ES#2748892.


Standard funnels are very useful for filling your engine oil while preventing spills on the top of the engine and to allow you to leave the oil bottle upside down to drain completely.

The funnel shown here is available on our website as ES#1899379. It comes with a screen and a removable 12” flexible neck.


The form-a-funnel is a very useful tool. It is made out of pliable nitrile rubber and can not only be formed into the shape of a funnel, but it can also be formed over frame cross members, hoses, lines, and cooled exhaust components to keep oil off of them while draining.

The form-a-funnel shown here is available on our website as ES#2184828.

Basic Oil Change Procedure:

Step 1:

Run the engine until it reaches operating temperature, then shut it off. This will ensure that all of the old oil completely drains out.

Step 2:

Safely raise and support the vehicle, and remove any insulation panels or skid plates, depending on how your vehicle is equipped, to allow access to the oil filter and drain plug.

Step 3:

Loosen the drain plug using a wrench of the exact size, so you do not risk stripping the or damaging the head of the drain plug.

CAUTION: Do not use a crescent wrench, any style of adjustable wrench, or vise grips to remove the drain plug, or damage to the head of the drain plug will occur.

Step 4:

Place a drain pan underneath, then unthread and remove the drain plug. Allow the oil to completely drain out until there is no longer a stream of oil, only an occasional drip. This may take 5-10 minutes.

Step 5:

Clean the drain plug and replace the crush washer. Be sure to inspect the threads on the drain plug for damage, and replace it if necessary. If you have a magnetic drain plug, be sure to wipe the collected particles off the end.

Step 6:

Wipe the opening of the oil pan clean, then reinstall the drain plug and torque it to the manufacturer’s specification.

Step 7:

Cartridge Filter

If your filter housing is equipped with a drain plug, remove it at this time and allow the oil to drain.

NOTE: Some cartridge style of filters may be located on the top of your engine, sometimes under the engine cover.

Step 8:

Cartridge Filter

Loosen the filter housing using the tool that corresponds to the style of housing that you have and unthread it until it becomes loose enough to spin by hand. Here we are using a 6-point housing socket.

Step 9:

Cartridge Filter

Unthread and remove the filter housing and drain the rest of the oil out of the housing.

Step 10:

Cartridge Filter

Pull the old filter element out of the housing.

NOTE: Some filter elements have a “top” and “bottom”. The new element should be marked, but it is a general good rule of thumb to look at the top and bottom of the original element as you remove it and note any differences.

Step 11:

Cartridge Filter

Remove the seal from the filter housing using a small pick or needle nose pliers.

On the housing shown here, the seal is on the inside and has a small tab that can be gripped with pliers. Some housings will have the seal located in a groove on the outside.

Step 12:

Cartridge Filter

Thoroughly clean the seal groove of the filter housing.

Step 13:

Cartridge Filter

Apply clean engine oil to the new seal included with your filter, and install the seal into the groove in the housing.

Step 14:

Cartridge Filter

Slide the new filter element in place into the housing.

NOTE: Some filter elements have a “top” and “bottom”. They will be marked accordingly and there is generally a noticeable difference that you will see the top and bottom. If your filter element has no markings and is the same on both ends, it can be installed either way.

Step 15:

Cartridge Filter

Thoroughly clean the filter housing base located on the engine.

Step 16:

Cartridge Filter

Thread the filter housing with the new element in place back onto the base and torque it to the manufacturer’s specification.

Step 17:

Cartridge Filter

Reinstall the housing drain plug (if equipped) and torque it to the manufacturer’s specification.

Step 18:

Spin-on Filter

Remove the filter using the correct tool, making sure to catch all of the old oil in a drain pan.

The photo on the left shows a spin-on filter with a special boss on end, using the corresponding tool for removal.

The photo on the right shows a spin-on filter with a fluted end, using a cup wrench for removal.

Step 19:

Spin-on Filter

Check the sealing surface to make sure the old filter seal did not stick to it, then clean the surface thoroughly.

Step 20:

Spin-on Filter

Apply clean engine oil to the seal on the new filter.

Step 21:

Spin-on Filter

Install the new filter and tighten it according to the instructions printed on the filter. Typically, once the seal contacts the base, you will tighten the filter an additional 1/4 turn by hand. Do not over tighten these filters.

Step 22:

Fill the engine with the correct capacity and type of oil as recommended by the manufacturer. Use a funnel to prevent spilling.

Step 23:

Start the engine and make sure the oil light goes out or the gauge registers pressure so you know that the oil is circulated through the filter. Check the engine oil level on the dipstick. It should be at “operating level”. Refer to your owner’s information if you have any questions regarding the proper reading of the dipstick.

Step 24:

Some vehicles do not have a dipstick and require you to use the onboard electronic system to check the oil level. Be sure and consult your owner’s information for the proper procedure.

TECH TIP: Always check your drain plug and filter for leaks before driving the vehicle.

Common Oil Filter Locations:

Interested in purchasing?

Oil Service Kits

Assembled By ECS



ECS Exact-Fit Brake Lines

The Heart of a Complete Brake Job:

Automotive brake fluid hoses are often ignored during a vehicle brake service. Brake pads and rotors are commonly accepted replacement items, but many motorists mistakenly assume that their brake hoses should last the life of the vehicle.

That assumption is incorrect and dangerous.

Stock brake hoses are made of a synthetic rubber inner core, surrounded by one or more layers of fabric mesh reinforcement, which is then encased in another layer of rubber. Brake hoses connect chassis-mounted rigid steel brake lines to calipers and wheel cylinders mounted on moving suspension components. Suspension travel continually exes and twists them as the vehicle is driven, weakening hoses over time.

Brake hoses are also heat cycled, splashed with road salt and abrasives, and degraded by ozone, airborne contamination, and UV rays. Exposure to chemicals, especially petroleum- based fluids, can also degrade hose rubber. The combination of physical stress and chemical attack eventually leads to hose failure.

Failure usually presents itself as leaks caused by hose cracks and fissures, or mechanical separation of the hose from its crimped fittings. Since brake system operating pressures are very high, small leaks grow quickly, and hoses may split open without prior warning, causing an immediate and highly dangerous loss of hydraulic pressure.

In this white paper, we will explain how brake hoses are made and show you how to inspect old hoses. We will also explain why ECS Tuning Exact-Fit lines should be included in a professional-grade brake system service.

Brake Hose Construction – Stock Hoses:

  • The inner core of a stock brake hose is commonly made of a synthetic rubber compound. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) and CR (chloroprene rubber, also called neoprene) are often used since they are cost effective and fairly strong. Both are flexible, and expand slightly when exposed to brake fluid line pressures, a characteristic that can give a slightly soft feel to the brake pedal as it is initially depressed.
  • The hose is wrapped in a fiber mesh that reinforces the core and limits expansion under pressure. Multiple mesh layers may be used.
  • The layered hose is encased in a seamless rubber coating for protection. EPDM is a common material for the outer coating, although it is less resistant to oils, grease, and gasoline than it is to ozone and UV rays.
  • Metal fittings are inserted into the hose and may have barbed nipples to better grip the hose inside diameter. Fittings may have male or female threads or banjo ends attached by a hollow bolt and washers to the brake actuator.The fitting is then crimped around the hose with great force. The crimping die compresses and deforms the collar to create a strong physical bond that seals the hose and fitting to prevent fluid loss under pressures that may exceed 2000 psi.


Exact-Fit Hose Construction:

Premium Exact-Fit lines from ECS Tuning, are made of special materials.

The core of an ECS Tuning Exact-Fit line is made of extruded PTFE (trade name Te on®). Stronger than rubber, PTFE swells less under pressure, is flexible and durable, and is unaffected by chemicals that can damage EPDM, including petroleum-based fluids.

The inner core of an Exact-Fit line is surrounded by a stainless steel mesh that is stronger than fabric mesh reinforcement used in stock hoses. As a result, the stainless mesh resists core expansion under pressure better than fabric mesh and provides added shielding to protect the core from abrasion and impact damage. Less core expansion gives a harder initial pedal feel when the brakes are applied.

The outer coat of the Exact- Fit Hose is made of a bright red, seamless polymer.

Attractive and more impact resistant than synthetic rubber, the Exact-Fit outer layer also provides added protection from chemical and UV attack.

Pedal Feel:

Brake pedal feel is affected by several factors including, but not limited to, the physical characteristics of the brake hardware, wheel bearings, friction material coefficient of friction and condition, and brake hose expansion. In most instances, the addition of stainless reinforced lines can make a noticeable improvement in pedal firmness, other factors notwithstanding.

The brake pedal has a softer feel with stock hoses since they swell more initially under pressure. Since Exact-Fit hoses swell less, they need less fluid volume to exert the same pressure, making the pedal feel firmer.

Long term testing by original equipment vehicle manufacturers and reputable aftermarket brake suppliers indicates that the decreased pressure-volume ratio associated with stainless lines does not significantly affect the operation of computer-controlled brake systems used in ABS and traction control systems. This is an important concern, since many vehicle stability, traction, and antilock braking controls are now installed as standard equipment.

Exact-Fit lines do not affect the pressure torque relationship of the braking system, since this factor is determined by the physical characteristics of the brake system components, including caliper and rotor size and condition, and brake friction material condition and coefficient of friction.

Tested for Your Peace of Mind:

To ensure that our brake lines meet customer expectations for safety and performance, Exact-Fit lines are made of materials in assembly equipment that complies with DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) standards listed in FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) 106. (Title 49, Volume 5, Subpart N, Section 571.106 of the Code of Federal Regulations.)

Exact-Fit hoses use a two-piece fitting design. An aluminum crimp collar is slid over the hose end. Collar and hose are inserted into a zinc- coated, corrosion resistant fitting,
then crimped by a shaped set of dies that compresses the fitting and collar tightly around the hose. The fitting collar changes shape when crimped to create multiple compression bands for added strength.

All lines are made on dedicated, DOT-compliant brake equipment. Our material and equipment supplier submitted stainless lines made with the process used to make Exact-Fit hoses to an independent lab for rigorous testing.

Test samples complied with the following DOT test categories:

  • Construction
  • Constriction
  • Labeling
  • Volumetric Expansion
  • Burst Strength
  • Whip Resistance
  • Tensile Strength
  • Low-Temperature Resistance
  • End Fitting Corrosion Resistance
  • Ozone Resistance
  • Brake Fluid Compatibility
  • Hot Impulse
  • Dynamic Ozone Resistance
  1. As a final quality control step, each Exact-Fit line is tested in-house at ECS Tuning to 3000 psi (21,000 kPa), a pressure greater than what it will normally experience in a vehicle braking system.

Exact-Fit Means What It Says:

Exact-Fit hoses get their name from their tailored t. Cut to the exact length specified for each make and model, they require no further modification to ensure an original equipment t. That includes Exact-Fit hose ends, threaded or banjo style, with copper sealing washers supplied for applications that need them.

Hoses that require stand-off support brackets are pre-fitted with transparent polymer sleeves and grommets for secure mounting.

Kits That Fit:

ECS Tuning Exact-Fit hoses are available in axle sets for front or rear or as complete vehicle kits.

Do You Need New Hoses?

While good looks are reason enough to install Exact-Fit Brake lines, the condition of your old hoses may already be a safety issue and a more compelling reason to upgrade. Careful inspection of existing hoses can reveal concrete evidence of impending hose failure. These steps will help identify potentially dangerous hoses.

  • Look for cracks. Physically flex the brake hose. Hoses with a cracked outer rubber coating should be replaced since breaks in the shield layer let water, abrasives, and harmful chemicals penetrate to the fabric mesh where they damage and weaken it.
  • Look for leaks. Inspect the areas where the hose is crimped to the end fittings. Look for fluid leaks, and replace any hose that shows signs of dampness.
  • Check for swelling. Have an assistant press the brake pedal as you inspect the hoses. This is especially important on vehicles that have a low, spongy brake pedal. Brake hose should never expand visibly or bloat. Replace any hose that does.
  • Check the outer rubber for flaking. Run your hand over the outer rubber. Does a layer of black powder rub off onto your skin? If so, the rubber is already degraded, and probably brittle.
  • Check for wear spots and abrasion. Replace hoses that show signs of chafing or abrasive wear. Replace missing or damaged support brackets that let the hose rub against the chassis, road wheels, or suspension components.
  • Check your odometer. If your car has traveled 100,000 miles or more or is six years old or older, odds are the original brake hoses should be replaced as a preventive measure. Similarly, if one hose has already failed, it’s wise to replace all remaining hoses, since they are also nearing the end of their service life.
  • Prevent Hose Damage. Repair professionals observe accepted practices carefully when performing any brake maintenance or repair. Here are a few important tips about brake hoses to add to your list:
  • Never let the weight of a brake caliper hang by the brake hose. Always use a caliper hanger or bungee cord to support the caliper weight.
  • Never use heat to separate corroded brake fittings. Heat from a torch will damage the hose and cause the brake fluid inside it to boil violently, sometimes causing the hose to separate from an end fitting, or even explode.
  • Never reuse sealing washers. Whenever a brake line banjo fitting is installed, use fresh sealing washers of the correct size. Never reuse an old washer.
  • Inspect lines on lowered cars while they are sitting at ride height. Lowering a car affects suspension geometry and component spacing. Hoses that were the correct length at factory ride height may be too long on a lowered car, allowing them to chafe against the chassis, steering links, or wheel and tire.
  • Check for hose twist. When installing a caliper, do not twist the hose 360 degrees out of position. This is a common error that occurs when the caliper is removed during pad replacement. When it is reinstalled, the caliper is twisted one complete turn, placing constant stress on the hose, causing it to fail prematurely.
  • Check hose length. The wrong length hose is always a problem. Too short, and the hose will be pulled and stressed at full suspension drop or when steering. If the hose is too long, it will chafe or get pinched between suspension arms and links.
  • Make sure the inner hose is not blocked. If the brakes at a single wheel are always applied, the hose may be the problem. A material defect has allowed a small flap of rubber on the inner hose wall to act as a one-way valve. Open the brake bleeder and test again. If the road wheel turns freely now, the hose is trapping fluid pressure inside the caliper and must be replaced.
  • Never use locking pliers to pinch off a brake line. Pinching off a brake line can crush the line, causing permanent damage.
  • Flush the system. Often overlooked, flushing and refilling the brake system with fresh fluid from a factory sealed container should be part of any major brake system service. Fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture that affects fluid performance during braking. Water in the system can freeze, and boils at lower temperatures than brake fluid. It also contributes to internal corrosion and component failure.


ECS Tuning Exact-Fit Brake lines are a quality upgrade from stock brake hoses. Made from premium materials to exacting standards, they can be expected to deliver long and trouble-free service, whether they are installed for their looks, or as a service upgrade for stock hoses.

Interested in purchasing? Click HERE to shop now!

Suspension & Steering Basic Fundamentals & Inspection


This PDF has been created for informational purposes to help answer any questions you might have on what components make up the suspension on your vehicle, and how to recognize when they’re in need of replacement. After reading this PDF you will understand:

* How to recognize ball joints, tie rod ends, shocks, struts, bushings, and other suspension components
* How all of these components work and why they are important
* How to test suspension components, and how to recognize worn or failed parts
* How to use all of this knowledge to keep your vehicle on the road longer, and keep your vehicle safe and stable

A thorough inspection of your suspension can help prevent uneven tire wear, unpleasant noises around turns or over bumps, and even breakdowns caused by broken suspension components. An inspection is something which should be done as frequently possible, it’s often easiest to perform during a routine oil change, but it is also a good idea to at least perform a quick inspection any time the vehicle is being serviced.

Please note that this is a general guide for a suspension inspection. While you will gain a good understanding of suspension systems and component wear, some types of suspension are more complicated and difficult to understand and diagnose. If you are uncertain in any way as to the condition and safety of your steering and suspension, please consult with a professional automotive repair facility.

Installation Notes:

  • RH refers to the passenger side of the vehicle.
  • LH refers to the driver side of the vehicle.
  • Always use the proper torque specifications.
  • If applicable to this installation, torque specifications will be listed throughout the document and at the end as well.
  • Please read all of these instructions and familiarize yourself with the complete process BEFORE you begin.

General Preparation and Safety Information:

ECS Tuning cares about your health and safety. Please read the following safety information. This information pertains to automotive service in general, and while it may not pertain to every job you do, please remember and share these important safety tips.

  • Park your car in a safe, well lit, level area.
  • Shut the engine off and remove the key from the ignition switch.
  • Make sure any remote start devices are properly disabled.
  • ALWAYS wear safety glasses.
  • Make sure the parking brake is applied until the vehicle is safely lifted and supported.
  • If using an automotive lift, be sure and utilize the factory specified lift points. Lifting a vehicle in an incorrect location can cause damage to the suspension/running gear.
  • When lifting a vehicle using a jack, always utilize the factory specified lift points. Lifting a vehicle in an incorrect location can cause damage to the suspension/running gear. ALWAYS support the vehicle with jack stands.
  • ALWAYS read and follow all safety information and warnings for the equipment you are using.


Front Suspension Components:

(1) – Sway Bar
* Transfers suspension movement to the opposite side when going around corners to keep the vehicle body from rolling excessively.

(2) – Sway Bar Bushings
* These bushings secure and align the sway bar to the chassis.

(3) – Front Tension Strut (also known as front position Lower Control Arm) * Guides the suspension as it travels up and down.

(4) – Front Lower Control Arm (also known as rear position Lower Control Arm)
* Guides the suspension as it travels up and down. Please note: some vehicles may also have front upper control arms as well.

(5) – Front Subframe (also known as Front Cradle or Crossmember)
* The front subframe is a very important structural component, as it is used to attach the suspension to the chassis, as well as carry the

weight of the engine, front differential, and possibly more depending on the application. The front subframe reduces the vibrations felt inside the cabin though the use of bushings at its mounting points.

(1) – Inner Tie Rod End
* Connects the steering rack to the outer tie rod end.

(2) – Inner Tie Rod End Boot
* Protects the inner tie rod end by keeping out any outside contaminants. If these boots are damaged the inner tie rod ends can wear out

prematurely, causing loose steering and abnormal tire wear.

(3) – Outer Tie Rod End

* Connects the inner tie rod end to the steering knuckle.

(4) – Lower Ball Joints

* Ball joints are comprised of a ball and socket joint, much like your knee or hip. Ball joints allow movement between the control arms and the steering knuckle during suspension travel. Please note: Some vehicles may also have upper ball joints.

1 – Strut Assembly
* Dampens the up and down movement of the suspension.

2 – Front Coil Spring
* Coil springs carry the weight of the vehicle and are the main component which is responsible for ride height. 3 – Strut Mount

* The strut mount secures the strut to the chassis and holds it in place. On some vehicles, the strut mount incorporates a bearing to allow the suspension to pivot.

4 – Sway Bar End Link
* Connects the sway bar to the steering knuckle, or strut (depending on the vehicle).

5- CVAxle
* The CV axle transfers power from the transmission to the wheels, while allowing the suspension to travel up and down. 6- CVAxleBoot

* The CV axle boot protects the CV joint by keeping out any outside contaminants. If these boots are damaged the joints can wear out prematurely, usually resulting in a clicking noise while turning at lower speeds.

7 – Steering Knuckle
* The steering knuckle is the main carrier for the wheel bearings, brakes, and the wheels, and connects to the upper and lower suspension components.

8 – Wheel Bearing

* Wheel bearings are used to allow the wheels to spin freely and smoothly. These bearings will make noise or become loose when they need to be replaced.

9 – Wheel Hub
* Wheel hubs are where the wheels attach to the vehicle. Depending on the application the wheel hubs may be pressed into the wheel bearings, or th wheel bearings and wheel hubs may come as an entire assembly. 10 – Axle Nut or Bolt

* Secures the outer CV joint to the steering knuckle.

Rear Suspension Components:

* This list and diagram is only meant to be used as a general guide, as these components may have different names have different layouts depending on the application.

(1) – Rear Shock Absorbers
* The shock absorbers dampen the up and down movements of the suspension to provide a smoother ride.

(2) – Coil Springs
* Coil springs carry the weight of the vehicle and are the main component which is responsible for ride height.

(3) – Lower Control Arm
* Guides the suspension as it travels up and down. Please note: some vehicles may have multiple lower control arms.

(4) – Upper Control Arm
* Guides the suspension as it travels up and down. Please note: some vehicles may have multiple upper control arms.

(5) – Rear Subframe (also known as Rear Cradle or Crossmember)
* The rear subframe is a very important structural component, as it is used to attach the suspension to the chassis, as well as carry the weight of the rear differential, and possibly more depending on the application. (6) – Rear Subframe Mount

* Subframe mounts are also typically comprised of rubber and are responsible for reducing vibrations felt in the cabin of the vehicle.

Road Test:

* Professional driver on a closed course. Always drive safely and obey all traffic laws.

The first step in trying to diagnose a suspension or steering problem/noise should be a thorough road test. This is where we can really try to pinpoint a good starting point for our visual inspection later on.

Listen for any abnormal noises such as clicks, clunks, knocks, or grinding coming from the vehicle, and try to determine:

– What area of the vehicle they are coming from?
– Does the noise occur going around corners, over bumps, or is it related to wheel speed?
– Does the steering feel loose or vague?
– Does the vehicle pull to one side or the other?

Be sure to drive the vehicle on a variety of roads and speeds (as speed limits allow), bumpy side roads are a great place to nd suspension rattles, and the highway is a great place to hear a loud wheel bearing. It may be a good idea to have an assistant ride along to help determine where noises are coming from.

Bounce Test:

Once the road test has been completed, it’s time to start looking for the causes of your noises or poor ride quality. Begin on the ground and perform a bounce test.

Simply place your hands on the vehicle and push downwards several times, letting the suspension rebound after each push. Once you stop pushing down, the vehicle should rebound to ride height and stop there. If it continues to bounce, this is a clear sign of a worn out strut or shock. This test can be performed on both the front and the rear of the vehicle, it is best to test one wheel at a time.

Initial Checks – Front and Rear:

Step 1:

Safely lift and support the vehicle so that all four wheels are off the ground. Place your hands on the left and right of a tire as shown, then alternately push and pull back and forth. Lightly push in on the left while pulling out on the right, (you are looking for play – not trying to turn the wheel) then lightly push in on the right while pulling out on the left.

This method will allow you to feel any loose components such as inner or outer tie rod ends, bushings, wheel bearings, or ball joints. If you are unsure if you feel anything loose, have an assistant visually look at individual components as you wiggle the wheel back and forth. The assistant should be looking for any component which shows play.

Step 2:

Following a similar pattern to step one, place your hands on the top and bottom of the tire as shown, then alternately push and pull back and forth. Push in on the top while pulling out on the bottom, then pull out on the bottom while pushing in on the top.

This method will allow you to feel any loose components such as ball joints, bushings, wheel bearings, and strut components. If you are unsure if you feel anything loose, have an assistant visually look at individual components as you wiggle the wheel back and forth. The assistant should be looking for any component which shows play.

Repeat this process for all 4 wheels.

Closer Inspection of the Suspension:

Example 1:

Look closely at all of the suspension components we covered on pages six through nine. Look closely at bushings for signs of collapse such as the control arm bushing in the photo.

This photo was taken on a vehicle that had been making a clunking noise when going over bumps. You can clearly see how the bushing is beginning to tear and wrinkle, and it has collapsed downward as a result.

Example 2:

Bushings will crack long before they collapse like the bushing in example one. You can look for cracks such as the rear control arm bushing in the photo.

This photo was taken under the same vehicle as an example one. You can see how the bushing is beginning to crack near the control arm. It’s very likely this bushing won’t make noise at this time, but if it is not replaced it will continue to deteriorate.

Remember that control arms are used to keep suspension components in line as the suspension travels, but if the bushings are worn it can have an adverse effect on alignment angles and cause uneven tire wear or could cause the vehicle to pull to one side or the other.

Example 3:

Here we see a pair of outer tie rod ends. The tie rod end on the right is brand new and has not been installed on a vehicle before. Notice that the rubber boot has no tears or damage, the threads on the stud are clean and show no signs of damage. We also have zero movement/play in the joint.

The tie rod end on the left was removed from a vehicle which had a large amount of play in the steering wheel. We can see that the boot is badly torn, and when we performed a shakedown like we showed on page 12 we could feel a large amount of play in both outer tie rod ends. We also found there was a large amount of movement/play up and down (see the arrows in the photo), this is a clear sign of a worn out joint which is in need of replacement.

Example 4:

We can also use a pry bar to find a bad ball joint as shown in the photo. Place a pry bar between the control and the knuckle, being careful to not damage or puncture the ball joint boot. Pry up on the knuckle and look for any vertical play in the ball joint, if there is vertical play this means the ball joint must be replaced.

Please remember, if you find a worn steering component such as a ball joint or tie rod end, replace these parts as soon as possible. If they are left alone they will eventually wear out so badly that the joint could separate from the socket, which could cause a serious accident.

Example 5:

Closely inspect the shocks/struts on both the front and the rear of your vehicle. Signs of wear include oil leaking from the inside and torn/ripped protective boots. Symptoms of a worn out shock can include a loud
and rapid thumping noise when going over bumps, and the vehicle may bounce more than it should when going over bumps.

Example 6:

This is also a good opportunity to inspect other vehicle systems while you are under the vehicle. These systems can include:

* Brakes
* Tires
* Exhaust
* Engine
* Transmission
* C/V Axles

You Are Ready To Inspect And Diagnose Your Suspension!


Proper service and repair procedures are vital to the safe, reliable operation of all motor vehicles
as well as the personal safety of those performing the repairs. Standard safety procedures and precautions (including use of safety goggles and proper tools and equipment) should be followed at all times to eliminate the possibility of personal injury or improper service which could damage the vehicle or compromise its safety.
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