Video | A $25 Part Fixed My Broken Rolls-Royce Phantom

Where we last left off in my journey through Rolls-Royce Phantom ownership, my BMW-sourced 6.75-liter V12 began misfiring badly, causing my dashboard display to instruct me to "drive moderately." So I drove moderately to my mechanic to figure out what had just happened — and to finally address my Phantom’s numerous other problems.

Despite all of the mechanical issues I detailed previously, I wanted to drive my newly purchased 2005 Phantom for a few weeks just to see what it was like to have the ultimate land yacht. The issues weren’t bad enough to make the car undriveable, and what I didn’t want was to immediately spend a bunch of money sorting it out, and then have to return immediately for the next crop of repairs once I actually started using the car. Since I’ve had so many bad experiences with heavily depreciated luxury cars, I wanted to start this relationship on the right foot.

In past videos, I also complained about all the obvious cheap BMW technology found throughout the car — but this is the last time you’ll probably ever hear about it. That’s because it turns out that the cause of the misfire was a simple, easy-to-change ignition coil, which was only $25. It appears to be the exact same ignition coil in a 2005 BMW 3 Series — and this $25 part completely solved the issue. This has to be the cheapest Rolls-Royce engine repair in all of world history. I’m also saving lots of money on window regulators, as both of mine in the front are failing, and the Rolls-Royce dealer wants $2,600 for the pair — but, thankfully, I Googled my way into a rebuilding from Arizona, which will repair both regulators and warranty their work for only $1,000 total. I also have a fault code relating to the $1,000 suspension pump — but it appears I can find a rebuild kit based on a BMW part for less than $200.

In addition to the ignition coil, my mechanic and I did a bit of extra work. He removed the insanely heavy door panels and windows, which was required to extract the window regulators, while I removed the hood trim and aftermarket wrap. I was actually fond of the brushed metal look on the hood of my Phantom, but the wrap was ruined by someone who stupidly glued a trim piece back to the hood. Glue residue was everywhere, and there was no way it was coming off without ruining the wrap. The removal process took two hours and a lot of patience — but now that it’s finished, I like the stock look so much better. I’m also relieved the wrap wasn’t there for a reason, as the paint was flawless underneath.

While I was working on the wrap, my mechanic, the Car Wizard, moved on from the door panel to investigating the tire situation. Unfortunately, this year of Phantom came equipped with Michelin’s PAX run-flat system, which was quickly abandoned due to the high cost of the tires (and the need for special equipment to mount the tires). Since Michelin doesn’t make the tire anymore, my only option is to buy a set of very expensive newer Rolls-Royce wheels, or adapt my existing set to work with a traditional 21-inch tire. This turned out to be the major failure of the day, as we hoped to saw apart the tire and remove the run-flat disc inside — but in addition to the funky run-flat system, the wheel has a very strange double lip, likely to keep the tire mounted to the wheel when it’s flat. There’s no way a traditional tire could mount to this weird setup — so I have no choice but to spend $4,000 on a newer set of wheels. Ouch!

Still, things could be much worse, and I’m not regretting my crazy purchase yet. Since I just transformed my Phantom into the world’s largest Morgan 3-Wheeler, I had no choice but to leave it at the Wizard’s shop. Thankfully, I have a few other cars I can drive until the Phantom gets properly sorted.

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