Unmistakable identifiers for each brand include the star for Mercedes, the double V for Citroen, and the kidney for BMW.
The concept of a “two-part radiator grille” as an arresting visual component for BMW automobiles led to the conception of the kidney as a result of this idea.
Its form and dimensions were continuously modified to correspond with those of the most recent models. But it was never completely gone. Even the more subdued noses, like those of the M1 or the 840i, have this component in common.
Even BMW’s electric car, the i3, maintains this tradition, despite the fact that the radiator grille on this vehicle is no longer split into two parts as it was on previous BMW models due to the absence of a radiator in an electric car.
Why should we replace the kidneys?
The star is consistently listed as Daimler-most Benz’s in-demand spare part, according to the company’s own internal research.
The fact that it is displayed so prominently makes theft of it extremely easy. On the other hand, the BMW kidney is one of those organs that is difficult to misplace.
Nevertheless, there are additional justifications for replacing this component. The following describes each of these:
- Repair of accidental damage
- Optical customization to suit the preferences of the owner
Before the kidney can be replaced, it is necessary for either scenario to first remove it from the front grille, hood, or bumper of the vehicle.
The size and shape of BMW kidneys can vary quite a bit from one another. On the other hand, their construction almost always remains the same. It is possible to disassemble the kidneys either all at once or in separate parts.
In either scenario, they can be broken up into two categories:
When it is installed, only the longitudinal ribs of the plastic grille that is formed by one part are visible. This part forms the plastic grille itself.
The second component is referred to as the frame. Chrome sheet metal has always been BMW’s go-to for this application.
In the end, the defining characteristic of a BMW should be one that can be recognized from a considerable distance. Glossy chrome is the finish that works best here, but ironically, this is precisely what bothers many vehicle owners.
The kidney is an extremely vulnerable part of the body. Due to the fact that it is predominantly made of plastic, it is extremely sensitive to all types of shocks.
There is a particularly high risk of injury from the towing couplings of the cars in front of the BMW. In most cases, relatively minor abrasions are sufficient to cause permanent damage to the kidney.
It is only necessary to perform repairs in the event that there is no longer suitable replacement part available. Even if they can be reattached, actual maintenance with plastic or acrylic glue is not possible, and the only fixes that can often be found are only touch-ups in appearance.
Optical disadvantages of the kidney
The design of BMW automobiles has traditionally been focused on achieving a certain level of progressivity. Even when the vehicle is at a stop, its driving dynamics, sportiness, and dominance should be obvious. Contrary to how it was done in the past, many drivers today prefer a certain modesty in their BMWs, even if this was previously highlighted by having a lot of chrome and trim.
When compared to chrome’s more traditional appearance, a kidney coloration that is understated and reserved is preferred by many drivers because they believe it to be more contemporary. Dark and understated hues were chosen for the replaceable kidneys so that they would lend the front of the BMW an air of contemporary modesty. This design was carried out expressly with this demographic in mind.
Problems that arise when attempting to transplant a kidney
A kidney is attached to the BMW grille via screws and clips.
Those clips made of plastic have the unfavorable quality of splitting easily. They are devised in such a way that a component is simple to set up, but it is significantly more challenging to take out.
It’s the same story with the kidneys, too. Therefore, extracting the kidneys without harming the radiator grill or bumper is the most challenging step in the kidney replacement procedure.
It is also important that the kidney itself not be harmed in any way. You may either keep it as a spare part to utilize in subsequent repairs or sell it for a profit. Both options are usually available.
Tip for beginners: the majority of the components should be disassembled if at all possible
When the kidney is completely put together, medical professionals who are used to working with plastic clips might be able to remove and replace it.
However, the method is not advised for beginners because there is a very significant risk of harming essential parts or inflicting minor body abrasions.
As a result, beginners should always disassemble a kidney “from back to front” (literally “from the back to the front”). If this means that you will also need to take apart the grille or the bumper, then you should make sure that you are prepared for this possibility.
It is crucial to use extreme caution and possess a complete understanding of the parts that make up the fasteners when disassembling something.
It is possible to immediately unscrew the screws.
The metal clamps can be effortlessly released from their hold on the object.
However, in order to disassemble the two-piece rivets, you need to be familiar with their internal structure. These components include a head as well as a plate that has a pin embedded in it. If you attempt to remove the rivet from the plate, you will only succeed in making the plate more damaged.
The dish in question crumbles apart as the bumpers are pressed down by the opposing side.
If you first use a plastic rivet remover to loosen the head of the rivet, then you can proceed with the next step. This makes it possible to completely remove the component with needle-nose pliers.
For instance, you can find these components on top of the bumper of a BMW F10, which is where it is located.
When working with plastics, it is important to use as many specialized tools as possible in order to minimize the risk of scratching the material.
In any event, the use of “trim pullers,” “rivet removers,” or “plastic clip pullers” is recommended over the use of a flat screwdriver. These days, you can buy them for a few dollars.
The task is made much simpler and a significant amount of bothersome and costly damage can be avoided with their assistance.
Quick and simple assembly required
In most cases, the replacement part is much simpler to put in once the kidney has been taken out of the body where it was originally situated.
It is strongly suggested that the replacement component be broken down into its two individual modules before being pieced back together and installed in stages.
The plastic grill is put into the frame and then secured firmly in position. You will have a much clearer view of the fasteners and other components so long as the decorative cover is removed.
When everything is where it should be, it is time to put on the cover, which, for the vast majority of models, merely requires being inserted.
In this instance, all that is required to secure the cover in place is a light touch from a human hand.
Last but not least, you reassemble everything, and at this point, there is nothing left to do.
This not only makes the car look better but also provides the sense of accomplishment that comes with having completed a task successfully.