5 Ways to Make Your Next DIY More Fun on Your Audi, BMW, MINI, or Volkswagen

When you own a vintage or performance car, the goal is to have more fun times driving it than you have moments that make you frown. As with any hobby, however, there are those times that something goes wrong or its just time to take care of that nagging maintenance. Whether you are driving something old or something new, it is always critical that you take care of those concerns before they turn into something much worse. Even though its just basic maintenance, it is still part of the fun in owning something special like a classic or performance vehicle. Here is how you can be sure to have a fun time even doing something that many would consider tedious.

First and foremost, working on cars is always best enjoyed with a good friend or group of friends. Owning these cars makes us part of an exclusive club where we are sure to form tons of lasting relationships based around our common interest. These maintenance jobs are the perfect opportunity to strengthen those bonds as well as make basic grunt work on your car fun. So grab your friends, a few frosty beverages, and come up with a game plan.

Next, you need to be serious about ensuring the work is done properly and with the right parts, but don’t get so engrossed that you take the job too seriously. Remember, as long as you are careful and meticulous, you have nothing to worry about in your DIY job. Be relaxed and enjoy the time you spend wrenching on your car with the end-goal always in mind that it will get you back on the road with a smile on your face and the satisfaction that you did the job yourself. One easy thing to do is set out a piece of cardboard and place all your hardware in order into the cardboard. It makes putting things back together incredibly simple and stress-free.

Make sure you have the right parts and tools for the job. Often, one of the things I enjoy most about DIY’ing is how much my tool collection grows. If I don’t have something I need to work on the parts I am attempting to replace, then I get to use that as an excuse to justify the purchase. Schwaben has pretty much everything from your most universal to incredibly specific tools to help you get the job done right, while our Assembled By ECS kits come with all the right parts hand-picked by our team to ensure you have the best replacements all in one box to go start to finish on your DIY the right way. With all the components for your job start to finish included in one box, you won’t have to make back and forth trips to the closest parts store and pay a premium: if they have it.

Take your time: sometimes, especially with northern cars, you have to fight your way through uninstalling the faulty or worn parts. This can easily frustrate even the most patient at-home mechanic, so keep a cool head on your shoulders and a cold drink on hand while you focus on one piece at a time. Know the job will be finished and you will not become discouraged. Keep chugging away at it and don’t put too much stress on completing the job right then and there. It may be a little more inconvenient to place a restriction on yourself and know you aren’t going to be finished in one sitting, but it is better to take your time and spend a few days on a job than to rush and mess something up or become aggravated. Remember, we want to have as much fun as possible so maintaining our cars is still a hobby and not a chore.

Lastly, consider filming the whole process. You can easily set up your phone to record and show places as you encounter them that give you trouble. Look at it as a chance to help someone out in the future and maybe make a video that gets a ton of views. This can make the process more enjoyable as you will have something to make you slow down and step back on occasion rather than rushing through the job. It also allows you to go back and reference your pictures or video should you forget how something goes back together or where you put something like that pesky 10mm socket.

With a successful DIY complete, you always feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in knowing you are capable of taking care of your car. With the Assembled By ECS kits, which are kits we assembled based on our own need for a start-to-finish project all in one box, you can be confident everything you need will be there for you so you don’t have to keep going back and placing orders for that one thing you forgot. Take the guesswork out, lower your stress, slow down, have a drink, and enjoy your next DIY with Schwaben Tools and Assembled By ECS complete service kits.




DIY: How to Bleed Your Brakes the Right Way


This article will give you all the information you need to successfully bleed your brake system. The following topics will be covered:

  • When and why you need to bleed your brakes

  • The different methods you can use

  • The different tools that are available

  • The different types of brake fluid and why it is important to keep it sealed

Bleeding the brakes on your car is quite often thought of as one of the most annoying and confidence-shaking tasks that you can face. The fact is, it is actually one of the most misunderstood processes. All it requires is a little bit of patience and you will find that it is rather simple. Once you read and understand these processes, you will be able to successfully bleed a brake system with ease.

Brake Fluid Warnings

Brake fluid can be extremely dangerous. Always use caution and wear safety glasses when working with brake fluid. All brake fluid containers will have safety and emergency information printed on the label.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic which means it will absorb water from the atmosphere. This absorption will alter its chemical characteristics and reduce its effectiveness. It is critical to keep brake fluid containers sealed at all times and only open them when adding fluid.

Brake fluid is extremely damaging to paint, even if it only contacts the surface for a brief moment. We recommend using protective fender covers wherever possible. It is also a very good idea to keep water, a quick detail spray or cleaner, and a soft rag close by. In the event that brake fluid contacts the paint on your car, rinse it off immediately, followed by spraying a detail spray or cleaner on the surface and wiping it clean with a soft rag.

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 incorrectly 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 incorrectly 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.
Brake Bleeding Tools:
Brake Fluid Catch Bottle

The most essential of bleeding tools, brake fluid catch bottles are available in a couple of different styles. The Schwaben Brake Bleeder Catch Bottle is ideal for manual bleeding or pressure bleeding. It is easy to hold and easy to see through. The 90-degree bleeder nipple is easy to grip and is made of a soft yet resilient rubber which will easily push on and seal to all sizes of bleeder screws. The angle of the bleeder nipple also keeps the weight of the hose off the bleeder screw, preventing it from falling off. The clear tubing allows you to see brake fluid flow, and more importantly, the presence of air bubbles.

The Schwaben Power Bleeder Catch Bottles are ideal for gravity bleeding or manual bleeding when you are working solo. They are easy to hold and see through. The key feature of these bottles is a stainless steel lanyard which allows you to hang them from the suspension, allowing the bottle to remain connected while you perform other tasks.

Pressure Bleeder

The Schwaben Pressure Bleeder is very useful for many brake bleeding applications. They are a quick and efficient way of bleeding brakes, and very helpful when you are working solo. It features a high strength plastic bottle with an easily readable gauge on the side and a built-in hand pump in the

lid. A machined aluminum cap which fits most European master cylinder reservoirs is attached to the flexible brake fluid supply hose.

Vacuum Bleeder

The Schwaben Professional Vacuum Bleeder is also very useful when working solo. It features a high capacity plastic tank with an easily readable gauge on the side and a built-in vacuum pump in the lid. The added value of a vacuum bleeder such as this is that it can be used for evacuating any fluid on your car, which makes it a very versatile, valuable tool.

Bleeder Wrench

All wrenches are not created equal. Bleeder screws by nature are in tight locations, and quite often they are rusty. They are always very small, so it doesn’t take too much rust or corrosion to weaken their structure. Using a 12 point wrench can easily “round” them and give you nothing to grip.

The Bleeder Wrench features 11mm (a very common size for European cars) 6-point boxed ends. The six-point ends will firmly grip bleeder screws, allowing the twisting force to be applied evenly to the threads. A different angle on each end allows for easy access to the bleeders, and on some cars even with the wheels installed.

Pressure Bleeding Kit

Complete brake bleeding kits are also available on our website. We offer different kits which are specifically tailored to your car depending on the brake fluid type. This kit shown here includes a pressure bleeder with a high strength plastic bottle, an easy to read gauge, a built-in hand pump, and a pressure port all on the lid. Two brake fluid catch bottles, a Schwaben Brake Bleeder Wrench, and Pentosin Super DOT 4 Brake Fluid is also included. Look up your car at ecstuning.com to find the complete brake bleeding kit for you.

Here is a helpful video demonstrating these tools and techniques:

Brake Fluid Types:

There are different types of brake fluid and it can be a very involved topic, but for all practical purposes, we only need to concentrate on the
basics. Why are there different types of fluid? The greater the demand of your braking system, the greater the requirements of your brake fluid. As automobile and braking technology changed over the years, brake fluid had to change as well. The most common fluid types are DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5, and DOT 5.1. Here is an overview:

Brake Bleeding Theory:

In order to understand why you need to bleed your brake system, you must first understand the basics of a hydraulic brake system. In a hydraulic brake system, the mechanical input force from the brake pedal is converted to hydraulic pressure within the master cylinder. The hydraulic pressure is distributed through the brake lines to the brake calipers or wheel cylinders. Since the brake fluid does not compress, the hydraulic pressure created in the master cylinder is therefore transmitted to each wheel.

In a brake system that has air in it, when you apply force to the brake pedal, the force is converted to hydraulic pressure, however, the hydraulic pressure acts on the air in the system. The air compresses and as a result, the reduced hydraulic pressure is transmitted to each wheel, producing a brake pedal that feels “spongy” and brakes that are ineffective.

It is important to understand the different bleeding procedures and also to realize that it is not uncommon, due to the complexity of today’s braking systems as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method of bleeding, to have to use more than one procedure to remove all the air from the system.

Regardless of the method you use, the goal of each is the same: Force the air out of the brake system.

How often should a brake system be bled? Your brake system will need to be bled every time it is opened, such as when you are replacing a worn out hydraulic component, or when you are installing performance parts, such as one of our Big Brake Kits.

Flushing a brake system should be performed every two years regardless of mileage. Normal wear of the internal components of the brake system will begin to contaminate the fluid, and moisture is also absorbed by the fluid over time, even from opening the cap to fill or check the fluid. Even small amounts of moisture will react with the brake fluid and be very damaging to the expensive components of your brake system. Flushing a brake system can be performed using any of the bleeding procedures described here.

General Bleeding Procedure:

Gravity Bleeding:

Gravity bleeding uses the natural gravity flow of the fluid to force the air through the system.

Advantages of Gravity Bleeding:
• You can perform this type of bleeding by yourself.
• The pressure is so low that it will not affect any metering valves and fluid flow will not be restricted.
• You can let one wheel bleed while you work on another, so it can same time.
• It is a very clean way of bleeding with little mess.

Disadvantages of Gravity Bleeding:
• It can be slow.
• In some cases, it is not as effective due to brake system design.

The Procedure:

It is as simple as it sounds. Fill the brake fluid reservoir, connect a bleeder bottle to a bleeder screw, open the screw, and let the system bleed. If you have more than one bleeder bottle you can bleed more than one wheel at a time. Keep an eye on the reservoir to make sure it does not run dry and watch the fluid levels in the bleeder bottles. You will see the level in the bleeder bottles increase as the fluid flows out of the system, bringing the air along with it.

Manual Bleeding:

Manual bleeding uses the help of an assistant to depress the brake pedal while you open and close the bleeder screws.

Advantages of Manual Bleeding:
• This is one of the most effective methods the majority of the time.
• Your assistant can let you know how the feel of the pedal is improving during the process, saving you from getting in and out of the car.

Disadvantages of Manual Bleeding:
• It requires an assistant (which may not always be available).

The Procedure:

Fill the brake fluid reservoir and have your assistant pump the brake pedal three or four times, then hold pressure on the pedal. Connect a bleeder bottle and open one of the bleeder screws. Have your assistant tell you when the brake pedal sinks to the floor. Make sure they hold the pedal to the floor while you tighten the bleeder screw. Repeat this procedure until no air bubbles are visible in the hose when the bleeder screw is opened, then repeat for the remaining wheels. Have your assistant pump the pedal up and check for pedal firmness in between wheels.

There is an alternate procedure for manual bleeding in which you leave the bleeder screw open while your assistant slowly pumps the brake pedal
up and down. This procedure is equally as effective, but you must make sure that the end of the hose which is attached to the bleeder screw remains submerged in brake fluid at all times or air will be drawn back into the brake system.

Pressure Bleeding:

Pressure bleeding uses a pressurized tank of brake fluid to apply pressure and force the fluid through the brake system.

Advantages of Pressure Bleeding:
• You can perform this procedure by yourself.
• The pressure bleeder will keep the brake fluid reservoir full at all times during the procedure.
• This method is very effective on most vehicles.
• This is an excellent method of flushing brake fluid.

Disadvantages of Pressure Bleeding:
• On some vehicles, the pressure may not be high enough to bypass some metering valves or ABS valving.
• It can be messy where the pressure bleeder connects to the reservoir. Use extra caution not to allow brake fluid to drip on the car while installing or removing the bleeder on the master cylinder reservoir.
• The master cylinder is usually overfull when the procedure is complete. You will have to draw the extra fluid out.

The Procedure:

Connect the pressure bleeder to the brake fluid reservoir and pressurize it according to the bleeder manufacturer’s instructions. Connect a bleeder bottle to one wheel at a time and open the bleeder screw. When the fluids flow with no bubbles present, bleeding is complete. Repeat the procedure for the remaining wheels.

Vacuum Bleeding:

Vacuum bleeding uses vacuum in a tank to draw the brake fluid through the system.

Advantages of Vacuum Bleeding:

• It is a very clean method of bleeding. All fluid is drawn out at the bleeder screws, preventing the leaks that can occur between the bleeder bottle hose and the bleeder screw.
• You can perform this procedure by yourself.
• This method is effective on most vehicles.
• Bleeder catch bottles are not required.

Disadvantages of Vacuum Bleeding:
• There is an increased risk of running the master cylinder dry since the fluid may pull through quicker than you expect. • On some vehicles, the vacuum may not draw the fluid past some metering valves of ABS valving.

The Procedure:

Draw a vacuum in the tank using the vacuum bleeder manufacturer’s instructions. Connect the vacuum bleeder hose to one of the bleeder screws and open it. When the fluid flows with no more air bubbles, bleeding is complete. Repeat the procedure for the remaining wheels.

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 the 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.

Although this material has been prepared with the intent to provide reliable information, no warranty (express or implied) is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither is any liability assumed for loss or damage resulting from reliance on this material. SPECIFICALLY, NO WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR ANY OTHER WARRANTY IS MADE OR TO BE IMPLIED WITH RESPECT TO THIS MATERIAL. In no event will ECS Tuning, Incorporated or its affiliates will be liable for any damages, direct or indirect, consequential or compensatory, arising out of the use of this material.

Schwaben Professional BMW Scan Tool: E46 SMG Adaptation

SMG Adaptation

Whenever you replace a major component on your SMG transmission, you will need to perform a system adaptation to insure proper functionality. Our Schwaben BMW professional scan tool works perfect for this.  We are performing this on our 2003 E46 M3, and the procedure will be the same or very similar on most BMW models.

1: Switch the ignition on (do not start engine) and plug the scanner into the OBDII port

2: Select “BMW” 

3: Select “BMW” again

4: Select “enter VIN”

5: Using the keyboard enter in the last 7 digits of your VIN 

6: Select the vehicle that you are working on

7: Select “Service”

8: Select “Drive”

9: Select “Transmission Control”

10: Select the component that was replaced

11: Select “Adapt Transmission Fully”

12: Follow steps 1-5

13: Select “Ok”

14: Select “Ok”

15: Select “Ok”

16: Wait until the Process is complete

17: Your SMG adaptation is complete

18: Test drive the car and make sure the transmission functions properly

Interested in purchasing?

Schwaben BMW Professional Scan Tool

With the Schwaben BMW Professional Scan Tool, you have the power of a dedicated shop right in your hand to code, read faults, diagnose, and customize!

Schwaben Professional VAG Scan Tool- B8 Daytime Running Light Always On

1: Switch the ignition on (do not start engine) and plug the scanner into the OBDII port​

​​2: Select “VAG”


​3: Select “Audi”


4: Select “Systems”

​5: Select “Control Unit”
6: Select “Common”


​7: Select “Cent. Elect.”


​8: Select “Long Coding”


9: Write down the original values before attempting to change anything
10: Select “Software Coding”


​11: Select “Setting”


12: Using the keyboard change the 7th number from a “9” to a “1”

​13: Select “Finish”


14: Select “Yes”
15: Select “Done”


16: Select “Set Complete”

17: Select “Ok”


​18: Now your DRL’s will stay illuminated at all times!

Tyler’s B8 A4 Daily Monster

Modifying cars for many enthusiasts is not only a hobby, but a form of expression you take with you everywhere. More accurately, this form of self-expression takes you everywhere. For our friend Tyler that was exactly the purpose behind this B8 A4 build.

Tyler sat down with me at a small sandwich shop in Ohio to give me a better idea of what he wanted his Audi to be. An avid enthusiast, Tyler is not new to modifying cars. Since his DC2 Integra GSR in 2001, Tyler’s car history is filled with Subaru and Honda enthusiast vehicles. All of his builds have been heavily modified. Specifically, most of his previous cars included big turbos, extensive performance modifications, were intended for dedicated ‘spirited’ driving: both on tracks, or back roads.

Alzor 349 19×9.5 square sets on 235/40/19 tires finish off Tyler’s stance with an aggressive, yet classic look.

The Audi he most recently built tells something of a different story. A few years ago, Tyler made the switch to German performance with the purchase of an Audi B7 A4. One of two automatics he has ever owned, he enjoyed the B7 for its comfort and reliability. While he is not looking for something to put earthquake-inducing power into, an important factor in his driving experience was to be able to enjoy the car every time he drove it.

His B8 is exactly that: a beefed up, mature, and comfortable daily driver. With a new Frankenturbo, new pistons and rings from Audi, aesthetic changes like the ECS Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler and Engine Cover, and a few bolt-ons, Tyler took his run-of-the-mill A4 and turned it into something special. This car is an extension of his personality. He is as much an outdoor enthusiast as he is a car enthusiast, as you can see by his bike and kayak racks. The Audi checks those boxes perfectly.

“The car was supposed to be something I could drive every day. That could take me kayaking, hiking, or snowboarding. Something I could rely on year-round and still enjoy”

This idea is apparent when one hops in the rear seat and looks over to see a Recaro baby seat. Tyler and his wife are expecting shortly, and have already purchased things like the seat and VW clothing to indoctrinate their new son as quickly as possible into the way of the car enthusiast. The inclusion of his new family addition is exactly what the Audi was ready for.

While His B8 makes significant power over a stock equivalent, the car remains comfortable over bumps and is never excessively loud. Even more surprising is the traditional manual transmission equipped with the Quattro rather than the now favored automatic. The signs of an enthusiast are all there, coupled with the reliability and panache of a classy every-day utility vehicle.

ECS Carbon Fiber beauty and performance pieces accent the natural beauty of the Audi under-hood, and do more for performance than just sit pretty.

Overall, Tyler is able to drive a well equipped and comfortable Audi that is still able to satisfy his enthusiast bug without making hardly any sacrifice. Isn’t that what tuning is about?

Tyler’s B8 A4:

ECS Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler
ECS Luft-Technik Intake
ECS Carbon Fiber Engine Cover
Maxton Gloss Font Lip
Honeycomb Grille
Alzor 349 19×9.5 et+40 square sets on 235/40/19
Black Forest Industries Shift Knob
ECS Boost Gauge and Vent Pod
Frankenturbo Upgraded Turbo
CTS High Flow Cat
Malone Stage 3 Software
Recaro Baby Seat!
SoloWerks Coilovers
Prosport Oil Pressure Gauge Red/Blue
ECS Exhaust Swivel Tips
ECS Wheel Spacers (8mm rear)
ECS Billet Aluminum Oil Dipstick Upgrade
Mishimoto Intercooler Charge Pipes
Carista OBDII Dongle
ECS Billet Boost Tap Kit
42 Draft Designs 4-Way Oil Pressure Splitter


N54 Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Carbon Fiber Intake Install

Installing the ECS Tuning N54 Carbon Fiber Intake System is a rewarding project than an experienced technician will be able to complete in a few hours, plan accordingly based on your experience level.  Before you begin, read and familiarize yourself with these instructions and make sure you have all of the required tools on hand.  Thank you for purchasing our ECS Tuning Carbon Fiber Intake System, we appreciate your business!

The ECS Tuning N54 Carbon Fiber Intake System offers the following features and benefits: • Fully enclosed, sealed air box and intake tubes with carbon fiber exterior and fiberglass insulated interior • Large, reusable high flow air filters • Stainless steel hardware • Broader and smoother torque curve • Easy installation, integrates seamlessly with stock intake ductwork

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver(s) Available at ecstuning.com ES2225921
  • Torx Drivers: T20 Available at ecstuning.com ES11417
  • Safety Glasses
  • Small Angled Pick or Hook Tool
  • Nut Drivers: 6mm, 8mm
  • Allen wrench: 4mm
  • 1/4” Ratchet, Extensions


  • 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.


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.


Step 1:

Remove the upper wiring harness channel cover by pulling out each of the four tabs (arrows) to release them, then lifting the cover upwards and unhooking it at the rear.

Step 2:

Pull the battery cable and corrugated wiring harness out of their retaining clips in the wiring harness channel.

Step 3:

Carefully release the three retainers for the wiring harness channel by pushing down on each retaining tab.  As you release each one, pull out slightly on the channel to prevent the tabs from locking back in place.  The inset picture shows a close up view of a retaining tab.

These tabs and the cowl panel mounts are very fragile and can be easily broken, use caution during removal.

Step 4:

Pull the wiring harness channel forward and remove it from the cowl panel.

Step 5:

The large corrugated wiring harness mounts to the cowl panel at three different locations (refer to photo on right).

Step 6:

Carefully release the three retainers for the large wiring harness by pushing down on each retaining tab.  As you release each tab, pull out on the harness to prevent the tabs from locking back in place.  The inset picture shows a close up view of a retaining tab.

These tabs are very fragile and can be easily broken, use caution during removal.

Step 7:

Remove the six self threading screws holding the cabin air filter housing to the cowl panel.

Step 8:

Gently lift up on the cabin air filter housing and remove it from the cowl panel.

Step 9:

Remove the brake master cylinder cover by sliding out the rubber seal retainer and releasing the front and rear retaining tabs.  Lift the cover up and remove it.

Step 10:

Moving to the passenger side of the vehicle, disconnect the air temperature sensor by pushing in on the connector release tab and pulling the connector off of the sensor.

Step 11:

Remove the air temperature sensor wiring harness retention clips from the cowl tabs by pulling up on them.  These clips have small “teeth” that grip the cowl tabs as they are pushed into place, if they are difficult to release by hand a small flat blade screwdriver can be used to pry them off.  Lay the harness to the side after clips have been removed.

Step 12:

Remove the passenger side cowl cover by sliding out the rubber seal retainer and releasing the front and rear retaining tabs.  Lift the cover up and remove it.

Step 13:

Slide the driver side cowl seal retainer out of the slot in the cowl panel, and remove the screw holding the cowl panel to the body of the car.

Step 14:

Slide the passenger side cowl seal retainer out of the slot in the cowl panel, remove the washer hose retaining clip from the cowl tab.  This clip has small “teeth” that grip the cowl tab as the clip is pushed into place.  Remove the screw holding the cowl panel to the body of the car.

Step 15:

Tilt the cowl panel up at the front, then lift and pull it forward to remove it from the vehicle.

There are 5 tabs that hold the cowl panel tightly to the seal at the rear of the panel.  These can be easily broken, use caution during removal.

Step 16:

Disconnect the brake booster vacuum line by squeezing the two retaining tabs together and pulling up on the line.  Pull the line out of the retaining clip on the side of the original air box.

Step 17:

Loosen the clamps holding the front and rear turbo inlet tubes to the air original box.  (front clamp shown)

Step 18:

Remove the 2 screws holding the intake air duct to the radiator core support.

Step 19:

Release the intake air duct from the tabs on the original air box, pull the intake air duct off of the original air box and remove the duct from the vehicle.

Step 20:

Pull all 3 wiring harness retainers off of the retainer bracket on the side of the original air box.

Step 21:

Remove the front and rear turbo inlet tubes from the original air box.

Step 22:

Lift up on the air box and remove it from the vehicle.  Be careful to make sure all hoses and wires are clear while removing the air box.


Step 1:

The original air box has three rubber mounting grommets in the bottom.  Pull them out and install them into the new carbon fiber lower intake box by pushing them in until they are fully seated.

Step 2:

Position the new lower intake box so the grommets line up with the mounting studs, then evenly push it down into place until the grommets are fully seated on the studs (arrows).

Step 3:

Push the brake booster line mounting clip into place in the side of the lower intake box.

Step 4:

Reconnect the brake booster vacuum line and make sure it is secured in it’s mounting clip.

Step 5-6:

Be careful not to over tighten the hose clamps. Over tightening can crack the carbon fiber.

Install the remaining air filter onto the rear filter pipe.  Make sure it is fully seated against the lip on the inside of the filter, then tighten the clamp.  Use the picture for reference to make sure you install the filter on the correct end.

Step 7:

Insert the front filter pipe into the lower intake box, through the opening in the front of the box, and into the front turbo inlet tube.  Do not secure it at this time.

Step 8:

Insert the rear filter pipe into the lower intake box, through the opening in the rear of the box, and into the rear turbo inlet tube.

Step 9:

Install and tighten the two M6 x 20mm screws included with the kit into the front and rear filter pipe mounting ears.

Step 10:

Tighten the clamps on the front and rear turbo inlet tubes.

Step 11:

Install the new carbon fiber intake box lid, then install and tighten the two M6 x 10mm screws included with the kit.  Be sure to place one of the nylon washers on each screw.

Step 12:

Secure each of the three wiring harnesses onto the harness bracket on the side of the new carbon fiber intake box.


Use the following step by step checklist for final reassembly:

Install the front intake air duct in place then install the two screws securing it to the radiator core support.

  • Carefully install the cowl panel into place
  • On the RH side, install the cowl hold down screw, the seal retainer tab, and the washer hose clip.
  • On the LH side, install the cowl hold down screw and the seal retainer tab.
  • Install the RH cowl side cover and slide the seal retainer into the cover.
  • Install the air temperature sensor clips and connect the sensor.
  • Install the master cylinder cover and seal retainer.
  • Install the cabin filter housing and the six hold down screws.
  • Install the lower wiring harness into place on the cowl panel.
  • Install the wiring harness channel.
  • Install the upper wiring harness channel cover.


ECS Tuning Carbon Fiber Intakes are clear coated for excellent finish durability and UV resistance right out of the box.

Carbon fiber can be washed with any gentle cleanser or soap.  If it is safe for the paint on your car, it will be safe for the carbon fiber.

Be extra careful not to nick or deeply scratch the clear coat on the carbon fiber.  This can lead to water intrusion into the carbon fiber which will damage the finish and the integrity of the intake.

If the clear coat does get nicked or deeply scratched to expose the carbon fiber, seal the damaged area thoroughly with a clear coat touch up or clear nail polish.

To retain UV resistance and protect the finish, we recommend regular waxing with a high quality Carnauba wax.

Small surface scratches and light oxidation can be buffed out using the same methods and cautions you would use on the vehicle paint.

Interested in purchasing?

Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Intake System

Let your N54 powered BMW breathe better and look sharper under the hood with the Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Carbon Fiber Intake System.



Audi TT MK1 1.8T & VW MK4 1.8T Timing Belt Installation

As some TT owners discovered through painful experience, waiting too long to replace the timing belt can result in expensive engine repairs when a broken belt lets pistons and valves bump in the dark.

Today, we’ll replace a timing belt and water pump on a 2003 TT 1.8T 225 HP engine, code BEA. Even though our car has only 50k miles on the odometer, its original timing belt is a decade old, and many experts recommend that belt replacement intervals should be based on age as well as mileage, especially on interference engines like this one.

While the 1.8T engine design is a mainstay in many VW/Audi cars, its packaging in the TT and the tight belt fit on the sprockets creates a few challenges we’ll document here.

For First Time Installers:

If this is your first T-belt installation, you may be a little nervous about whether you have the belt properly timed. This is certainly an important consideration, especially on “interference” engines where incorrect belt timing can result in engine damage.

To take some of worry out of the process, you can add a few dabs of paint on the timing belt teeth as an added reference and safeguard.

With the engine timing marks properly aligned (see page 5), place two small dabs of paint on the old timing belt teeth on either side of the camshaft sprocket timing mark.

(We prefer using a tube of automotive touch up paint that comes with its own brush. This paint dries very quickly and does not rub off easily.)

In addition to the timing marks, add a separate arrow indicating direction of rotation.

Place a dab of paint on the small raised nub on the face of the crank sprocket and on the belt tooth next to it.

Quick Tip:

For added convenience, you can also place a single paint mark on the timing belt tooth at the top of the sprocket, and a matching mark on the raised boss on the aluminum housing behind the sprocket. That way, if the crank moves, you’ll know at a glance. (Just be sure the flywheel mark is aligned at TDC when you apply the marks!)

After removing the old belt, clip it to the new belt using large binder clips to keep the belts perfectly aligned, tooth for tooth. (Much faster and more accurate than counting teeth!)

Using the paint marks on the old belt for reference, add matching paint marks on the new belt, including the direction-of-rotation mark.

Now when you install the new belt, you can use the normal engine timing marks on the cam and flywheel and check your installation with the paint marks for a fail-safe installation.

Special Note: After the belt is timed and tensioned, bar the engine over two complete crankshaft revolutions and double check the timing marks, which should align again. It takes 720 degrees of crankshaft rotation to complete a complete engine combustion cycle. The crankshaft turns exactly twice as fast as the camshaft; 720 degrees for each 360 degrees of camshaft rotation.

DO NOT be concerned that the paint marks do not align again after two crank revolutions; they will not. Paint marks are used only for initial timing. Refer only to the cam and flywheel marks after turning the engine over by hand.

Getting Ready

Battery Disconnects and Keep Alive Memory: Most instruction sheets begin with a recommendation to disconnect the battery. This general caution is included because cranking the engine over with the timing belt removed results in immediate and costly engine damage. (Those wishing to forego this step should at least remove the keys from the ignition and hide them until the job is complete.)

Caution: Disconnecting the battery commonly erases memory in the powertrain controller and any other control module with “keep alive” memory.  If you want to keep these data in memory (emissions related OBD information, radio presets, etc.), a “memory saver” can be connected that supplies low current voltage to volatile memory. These backup power supplies do not have enough wattage to operate the starter.

Jacks and Jack Stands

Timing belt replacements require you to work both under the hood and under the car. If you have a lift, great. If not, please use a hydraulic jack large enough for the load and work on a hard, flat, stable surface. Once the car is raised to working height, please support it safely, using ANSI-approved jack stands.  Do not rely solely on the hydraulic jack. We strongly suggest that you have a buddy assist you for convenience and safety.

You’ll need some way to support the engine while the right side motor mount is removed, and some way to raise and lower the engine slightly to make wiggle room at different stages of the installation. If you choose to use a hydraulic floor jack, locate it under the engine in a spot where it cannot slip.

We’ll be using an engine support bar that straddles the engine compartment. Its threaded rods and attachment chains let you safely raise and lower either side of the powertrain from above. This tool is also useful for other repairs, including transmission removal, engine mount and clutch replacements.

This affordable engine support bar has a 1000 pound lift capacity, and can be adjusted to straddle different width engine compartments. Powder coated for durability, its padded support legs prevent paint damage. It comes apart for easy storage when not in use.

Here’s a bullet-point overview of the TT Timing Belt installation. For more detail, please see the diagrams and photos on the following pages. For those of you who have never tackled a timing belt before, we have a special section at the end showing how to use a few carefully placed paint marks as a quality control check to ensure correct T-belt timing.

Install new fasteners wherever specified, especially Torque-to-Yield bolts.

  • Remove the right beauty cover above the coolant bottle. Check antifreeze concentration.
  • Remove the top engine cover.
  • Raise the car. Remove the right front wheel.
  • Open the coolant pressure cap. Remove the belly pan. Open the drain valve at the lower radiator hose. Retighten when done.
  • Detach the coolant bottle, power steering, and charcoal canister. Pull them aside.
  • Loosen the charge pipe clamp nuts and clamps. Disconnect the pipe from the rubber air inlet. Tilt the pipe up and prop it out of the way.
  • Remove the accessory belt and belt tensioner.
  • Remove the top timing belt cover (2 snap clips).
  • Remove the lower side shield (two nuts on chassis studs on the bottom of the chassis rail).
  • Bar the engine over to TDC (flywheel mark) with camshaft mark aligned with rear timing cover mark.
  • Remove the vibration damper from the crankshaft (4 bolts)
  • Remove the lower timing belt cover (5 bolts).
  • Support the engine.
  • Unbolt the chassis engine mount and remove it.
  • Raise and lower engine as needed to remove the three engine mount-to-engine block bolts.
  • Screw the 5×55 threaded rod into the tensioner; compress the tensioner piston and remove the belt.
  • Remove the water pump (three bolts). Clean away all spilled coolant.
  • Rotate the mount clockwise into the area vacated by the water pump and remove it.
  • Remove the old tensioner (two bolts) and tensioner roller (8mm hex).
  • Install the new tensioner and tensioner roller.
  • Use the threaded rod to compress the tensioner as described on page 6.
  • Hang the new belt over the cam sprocket. Let the rear of the belt hang over the tensioner roller.
  • Reinstall the side mount on the block with one loosely installed bolt.
  • Install the new water pump. Lube the o-ring with fresh coolant.
  • Verify camshaft and flywheel timing mark alignment.
  • Install the new timing belt on the cam and crank sprockets and the water pump. All belt slack must be on tensioner side.
  • Double check timing marks again before releasing the tensioner.
  • Bar the engine over by hand two complete revolutions and check timing mark alignment.
  • Reinstall the top timing belt cover.
  • Reinstall the motor mount on the block.
  • Reinstall the lower timing cover.
  • Reinstall the balancer on the crankshaft.
  • Reinstall the accessory belt tensioner and accessory belt.
  • Raise the engine to normal height and reinstall the top chassis mount.
  • Remove the engine hanger.
  • Reinstall the remaining components: top engine cover, coolant bottle, power steering reservoir and right beauty cover.
  • Fill the cooling system.
  • Start the engine.
  • Bleed the cooling system.

Overview of the system components involved in timing belt replacement:

Bolt locations and torque specs are displayed for your convenience.

Belt installation is best performed with the help of a special tool that is described on the next page.

The TT timing belt is a tight fit on the engine and water pump sprockets. If you use the factory recommended method, however, belt removal and installation is much easier.

Remove the Old Belt Screw a 5 x 0.8 x 55mm long threaded rod into the threaded hole in the tensioner body. The head of the rod should stick up through the notch in the tensioner roller arm.

Place a washer over the stud and then thread on a 5mm nut. Tighten the nut until the roller arm compresses the tensioner far enough to let you slide the belt off the sprockets.

Install the New Belt In similar fashion, when installing the new tensioner and tensioner roller on the engine, install the threaded rod, nut, and washer.

Turn the nut again to compress the new tensioner piston until the grenade pin can be pulled out easily by hand. Pull and discard the pin.

Making sure that all timing marks are properly aligned, route the new timing belt over the camshaft sprocket, water pump, and tensioner roller.  (At this point, the belt will be too tight to install onto the sprockets.)

Continue tightening the nut on the threaded rod. Not too far. Just enough to compress the tensioner piston until the belt can be installed over the sprockets.

Installation Note:

All timing belt slack should be on the tensioner side. There should be no belt slack on the water pump side of the belt.

Installation Note:

After double checking the timing marks, remove the nut, washer, and stud. With the grenade pin removed, the tensioner piston will push outward as the nut and rod are removed, tensioning the belt. Bar the engine over by hand two complete revolutions and double check the timing marks to be sure they are properly aligned. If you are a first-time installer, check pages 18 and 19 for additional tips on belt timing.

Step 1

Under the hood, unscrew the threaded retainer (upper arrow) and remove the right side beauty cover.

To make extra room, you can also remove the front left cover, which is held in place by push pins.

Service Tip: To remove push pins, press the center pin inward to its next stop (inset photo). Then pry the main pin body from its hole.

Step 2

Check anti-freeze concentration. Do this first to save time later. We prefer a refractometer for this task, since it is more accurate than $2 floating ball testers.

If the coolant mix is 50/50 water/antifreeze, then you can top off the system later with a 50/50 mix and know the final concentration will be correct.

If the system starts with too much water or antifreeze, you’ll need to plan ahead and correct the makeup coolant concentration to end up at the optimal 50/50 ratio, or drain and refill the system.

Step 3

Remove the top engine cover.

  • Turn the two front retainer clips a quarter turn and remove them (arrows).
  • Then lift the front of the cover and slide it forward off the two retainer tabs at the rear.

Step 4

Raise the Vehicle Please support the vehicle safely and work with a buddy. Cars are heavy, and gravity never sleeps. Working without a lift? Back up your hydraulic jack with ANSI-approved jack stands.

Drain the Cooling System Open the plastic petcock at the base of the lower radiator hose to drain the coolant after loosening the coolant recovery bottle cap. This won’t drain the entire system; you’ll still get a good amount of water from the block when you remove the water pump later. Then close the drain.

Remove the Right Front Wheel Insert a hooked pulley through one of the holes in the center cap and pull straight out to remove the cap.

Remove the right front wheel.

Step 5

Remove the coolant bottle.

  • Unplug the coolant level sensor.
  • Free the two small diameter lengths of convoluted tubing from the side of the bottle.
  • Remove the two Philips head screws holding coolant bottle (arrows), and lift it up far enough to disconnect the two coolant bottle hoses (outlet and return).
  • Remove the bottle from the car.

Step 6

Suction as much power steering as possible from the fluid reservoir.

Step 7

Disconnect the rear hose from the power steering fluid reservoir.

Using a 5mm hex driver, remove the single long attachment bolt. Lift the reservoir and pull it forward with the front hose still connected. Position it out of your way.

Service Tip: Plug the rear (open) hose to prevent fluid leakage.

Step 8

Remove the nuts from the charge pipe clamp studs (arrows).

Pivot the clamp half shells upward and twist them 90 degrees to remove them.

Loosen the hose clamp at the front of charge tube and separate the rubber hose from the front of the tube.

Lift the front of the charge pipe up far enough to place a box (or similar prop) under it to keep it out of your way.

Step 9

Using a 15mm open end, pivot the accessory belt tensioner and insert a drill bit or hardened steel pin into the installation holes, as shown. (VW has a special tool for this: T10060A.)

The pin locks the tensioner in the relaxed position away from the belt.

Note: If you are reusing the old belt, mark it for direction of rotation and reinstall it the same way or risk premature belt failure.

This illustration gives you a better view of acessory belt routing and components.

Attach a 15mm open end to the raised boss on the belt adjuster. Turn the wrench in the direction shown to pivot the tensioner roller away from the accessory belt.

Service Tip: Belt tensioners do wear out. Their bearings fail and their internal tension spring weakens.

If you are installing a new belt on a high-mileage engine, it is advisable to install a new tensioner at the same time. Old tensioners commonly allow belt slippage and shorten belt life.

Step 10

After removing the belt, unbolt the accessory belt tensioner bracket and remove the tensioner from the engine.

Keep an eye on these three bolts. Note the location of the charge tube support racket.

Step 11

Pry off the spring clips (two clips at front and rear) from the upper timing belt cover and lift it off to expose the camshaft sprocket and belt.

Step 12

Inside the wheel well, remove the lower splash shield from the right side. It is held in place by two stamped nuts that screw onto chassis studs. One is visible in our photo (arrow). The other is accessible from beneath the car.

Step 13

Remove the crankshaft pulley. Use a 6mm hex head driver to remove the four bolts.

Using a 12-point 19mm wrench, bar the engine over until the timing marks on cam and crank are aligned.

Step 14

Remove the five bolts from the lower timing cover. (The fifth bolt screws through the cover into the water pump. It is out of view in this picture.)

Remove the cover and lay it aside.

If you wish to add paint marks at cam and crank sprockets, this is the time to do it. (See our First Time Installer blurb at the beginning of the article)

Step 15

Support the engine

Step 16

Unbolt and remove the top section of the left motor mount.

Step 17

Remove the top bolt holding the lower engine mount to the engine block.

Step 18

Raise and lower the engine as needed to remove the remaining two bolts holding the mount to the engine block.

Step 19

Remove the belt from the sprockets.

Step 20

Remove the three bolts from the water pump. The pump seals to the engine with an o-ring that may stick in place.

Pry at the top and bottom of the water pump to work it from its hole in the engine.

Step 21

If you want more elbow room, rotate the engine mount forward into area vacated by the pump and wiggle it out of the car.

Unbolt the tensioner roller (8mm hex driver) and the tensioner using (10mm socket or box wrench). (See fastener locations page 5.)

Clean the front of the block and bolt on the new tensioner (arrow).

Step 22

The tensioner roller ships with a short length of tubing on the bolt threads to keep the roller spacer (arrow) from falling off during shipping.

This washer must be in place when you bolt the roller to the engine to ensure correct belt alignment.

Step 23

Install the roller and torque to specs. Using the instructions on page 6 of this pdf, install the threaded rod and prepare the tensioner.

Note: If you removed it, don’t forget to slide the motor mount into position before installing the new water pump.

Step 24

Before installing the new water pump, lubricate the o-ring with clean antifreeze to make it slide into the engine more easily.

Alternately snug, then torque the pump bolts to specifications.

Installation Note: We always apply a drop or two of medium strength thread locker to the pump bolts for added peace of mind.

Step 25

Route the new timing belt into position, working it around the motor mount legs.

Using the description on page 6, install the new timing belt on all the sprockets.

Reinstall the lower timing belt cover. Apply medium thread locking compound, tightening fasteners to 10Nm.

Step 26

Raise or lower the engine to align the top engine chassis mount and the lower engine mount. Bolt them together.

Complete kits from ECS contain all bolts that should be replaced.

Step 27

Complete the installation of the underhood components and accessories removed earlier.

Step 28

Fill and bleed the cooling system. Audi recommends using a vacuum fill device similar to this one. It uses shop air and venturi vacuum to pull a partial vacuum in the system. Turning a valve on the tool connects it to a container with fresh coolant that is then sucked into the system. You can purchase our Schwaben Vacuum Bleeder Tool here, which performs this function.

If you do not have a fill tool, you’ll have to add fresh coolant at the coolant bottle, and bleed the system manually.

Set the heater to max hot, then run the engine for several minutes at high idle until the heater blows hot and the radiator cooling fan comes on.

You may need to shut the engine down and repeat this process more than once to purge all air from the system. Just remember that the system will be under pressure when hot, so don’t open the pressure cap to correct the coolant level until the system cools.

Interested in purchasing?

Audi TT MK1 and VW MK4 1.8T Timing Belt Kit

The most important major service most owners tackle at home is the Timing Belt Service. Make sure you have the proper parts and quality instructions with this kit Assembled By ECS.


Schwaben Professional BMW Scan Tool: BMW Rear Brake Pad Reset

Any time you replace the rear brake pads on your newer BMW with an electronic parking brake, you must use a scan tool to draw in the rear brake caliper piston so that you can install the new pads.  Then you must use a scan tool to reset the piston position, and our Schwaben scan tool works perfectly for this.  We are performing this on our 2016 F10 M5, and the procedure will be the same or very similar on most BMW models.
1: Switch the ignition on (do not start engine) and plug the scanner into the OBDII port

2: Select “BMW”


3: Select “BMW” again


4: Select “enter VIN”


5: Using the keyboard enter in the last 7 digits of your VIN


6: Select the vehicle that you are working on

7: Select “Service”


8: Select “Chassis”


9: Select “Parking Brake”

10: Select “OK”


10a. If you have not replaced the pads yet proceed to the next step


10b. If you have already replaced the pads then go to step 19


11: Select “Workshop Mode”


12: Select  “Option 4”

13: Pull the parking brake button then press “OK”

14: Press the brake pedal then release the parking brake then press “OK”


15: Press “OK” the scanner will check if the parking brake has been released


16: Press “OK” the caliper piston will be retracted in all the way


17: Press “OK” and wait 30 Seconds after the process is complete before disconnecting the caliper connector


18: Install the new brake pads and repeat all of the steps up to step 10


19: Select “Startup

Schwaben Professional VAG Scan Tool – B7 A4 Audi Door and Belt Chime Disable

‘We know the door is open, Audi, we opened it!’ This is something everyone who owns a newer car that dings at you every time you do anything. Fortunately, with our Schwaben Professional VAG scan tool, you can eliminate the chime for ‘open door’ quite easily! Below are the steps to help you take care of that nuisance once and for all.

1: Switch the ignition on (do not start engine) and plug the scanner into the OBDII port

2: Select “VAG”

3: Select “Audi”

4: Select “Systems”

5: Select “Control Unit”

6: Select “Electronics 1”

7: Select “17-Instruments” 

8: Select “Coding”

9: Write down the original values before attempting to change anything

10: Select “Software Coding”

11: Select “OK”

12: Select “Keyboard”

13: To disable the door chime (for B7 models only) go to the next step

     To disable seat belt chime go to step 16

14: Change the fifth digit from a “2” to a “0″

15: Go to step 17

16: Change the second to last digit to a “0″

17: Select “Finish”

18: Select “Yes”

19: Select “Set complete”

20: Select “Save”

Note: This will change change your clock, mileage, and date from american to European to change it back double click the reset button on the wiper stalk and scroll through the menu to change it back

21:Enjoy opening your door with out hearing a chime

Interested in Purchasing?

The Schwaben Professional Scan Tool for your Audi gives you complete control over all systems and functions of your car while enabling you the coding and reading ability normally exclusive to dedicated facilities. 


Schwaben Professional BMW Scan Tool – N54 Injector Coding

When you install new fuel injectors on your BMW N54 engine, you will need to enter each new injector value into the PCM. Our Schwaben scan tool works perfectly for this function.  We are performing the coding on our 2007 E92 335i, and the procedure will be the same or very similar on most BMW models. Following the procedure outlined below, you will be able to reset those values quickly and easily. Let’s get to work!

1: Switch the ignition on (do not start engine) and plug the scanner into the OBDII port


2: Select “BMW”

3: Select “BMW” again

4: Select “Scan Vin”

5: If the information is correct select “ok”

6: Select “Service”


7: Select “Drive”

8: Select “Motor Electronics”


9: Select “Adjustment Programs”

10: Select “Adjust Injector”

11: Read through the next few pages by selecting “Ok”

12: Select wether a new DME was installed


13: Select “Ok”

14: Select option 1

15: Using the keyboard enter what cylinder for which you would like to enter a new value


16: Using the keyboard enter in the new value for the injector.

Note that the code will be printed on the injector

 17: If you wish to enter more values select “yes” and follow steps 15-16, If not select “no” 

 18: Select “option 2” to save the new values 

19: Select “yes”

20: Select “ok” and switch off terminal 15 and terminal R

Terminal R is Key in ignition

Terminal 15 is ignition on

 21: Select “ok 

 22: Select “ok” and switch on terminal 15

 23: Click “F1” to end the coding

 24: Your new injectors are now coded to the PCM

Interested in purchasing?

With the Schwaben BMW Professional Scan Tool, you have the power of a dedicated shop right in your hand to code, read faults, diagnose, and customize!