How to Repair a Water-Damaged BMW

Your garage or street was sunk by a flood or storm — and now that the waters have receded, you can see that your car has sustained some serious water damage. Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to a vehicle — often damaging every part of the car or effectively totaling it.

However, water damage isn’t necessarily a death sentence for your car. Often, it’s possible to repair or reduce the effects of even serious water damage. 

Below, we’ll cover the steps you can take to repair a water-damaged BMW.

Dealing With BMW Water Damage

Start by flushing the water out of the engine and fuel system. Do this by flushing the oil, cranking the engine with spark plugs removed and draining the gas tank if there is any water inside. Then, change the oil and test the engine with the spark plugs in. If the engine runs, and the oil doesn’t look cloudy or watery, the engine will probably be functional in the short run — however, you may need to repair or replace it in the near future.

Fuse boxes, control modules and other electrical equipment will likely need to be replaced. Some of these components may even work for a time after the flooding, but flood damage is almost always going to irreparably shorten their lifespans. Even if you can’t or don’t want to replace those components right away, you should plan to replace them in the future.

Next, you’ll need to air out the car and clean the interior as well as you can. This will take some time, and you’ll probably need some heavy-duty fans or shop vacs. You may need to remove the parts of the interior that have been water-damaged and cut out a significant amount — or all — of the interior carpeting or leather.

Any part of the car that relies on fluid — brake fluid or power-steering fluid — may have been compromised by the flooding and should be inspected.

If your car was soaked by saltwater, these steps probably won’t be effective. Saltwater flooding will generally wreak havoc on sensitive electronics and cause your car to rust rapidly after the fact. While freshwater damage can be mitigated or repaired completely, saltwater flooding is likely to damage a car beyond repair — especially if it relies on a lot of electrical and computer components, as BMWs often do.

You should also know that many mechanics won’t work with flooded vehicles due to liability issues, and the amount of work it can take to get a flooded car road-ready. However, depending on the extent of the damage and the value of the car, you may find your mechanic or dealership willing to help you out.

Avoiding Flood Damage

There are also steps that you can take in the future to make sure that your BMW won’t be water damaged again. These can be especially useful if you live in an area that’s flood-prone.

If you have control over where you park, try to avoid parking in low-lying or flood-prone areas. If you don’t, you can use water-resistant materials to help make sure that your garage or car storage space is water- or flood-proof. 

If you know that a flood is coming and you can’t move your car, you can seal it as best as you can. Keep windows and doors tightly closed. Repair any cracks or damage to rubber seals if possible. You can also disconnect your battery, which can help save sensitive electric components. 

Try to keep your car out of water. If you have to drive during a flood, avoid puddles and other drivers, as they can create waves and expose more of your car to floodwater. Keep the engine revving whenever your car is partially submerged.

Saving a BMW From Water Damage

It’s not always possible to rescue a car from flood damage, but it is possible some of the time. If you want to try to repair flood damage, you should start by checking the engine and any car systems that rely on fluids — like the oil, power steering and brakes. 

In the future, you can also take steps to avoid flood damage — like not driving through water, moving your car out of areas that might flood and keeping your garage or car storage space as water-proof as possible.

BMW M2 CS Racing Now Available for Motorsport Drivers

Fans of the Ultimate Driving Machine will attest that BMW’s boastful motto was born from success at the racetrack. Those early racing BMWs, 20002s and 3.0 CSLs, are remembered today through the M2 CS, Munich’s most compact, track-hardened two-door from the current lineup of driving machines. And now, weekend warriors and professional race teams can source their race cars direct from the BMW factory.

The M2 CS Racing, launched November 6th, is a factory-developed race car competitively priced to compete with like offerings from Porsche, Mercedes, Ford and other competitive marques. For BMW, it’s the newest flag-bearer of their storied past, picking up after the successful M235i racing which was launched in 2014. 

Same Great Look, New Race Flavor

The formula for a car like the CS Racing is fairly straightforward. Strip out the car’s interior to make it light. Harden the suspension to give it track-appropriate sharpness, and add the requisite technology to provide telemetrics and data logging to inform racing strategy. Along the way, BMW has breathed on the already-fast 7-speed dual-clutch transmission to make shifts even more instantaneous and added a mechanical limited-slip differential with dedicated cooling. 

The CS Racing use the same M4-derived S55 straight-six as its roadgoing brethren, however, the engine’s state of tune limits it to between 280 and 365 bhp to comply with the regulations of the various classes where the M2 might compete. An upgrade to deliver 450hp, the output of the current CS road car, is said to be in the works. Those new to racing will be happy to learn that the CS Racing keeps ABS and driver stability aids that will make the car easier to keep on the blacktop when testing the limits of adhesion. 

Where to Watch the M2 CS Racing

Customers waiting anxiously to get their new track toy can expect to take delivery of the CS Racing in 2020. The car completed testing at tracks in Miramas, France and Portimao, Portugal, and has seen track duty in the hands of factory racers Junior Beitske Visser and Jorg Weidinger who campaigned the car in the VLN Endurance Championship Nurburgring series. 

In addition, expect to see the car campaigned in the TC America, Blancpain GT World Challenge and potentially even American Le Mans’ most junior class, GTD where the CS Racing’s (relatively) affordable price might make it attractive to privateer racers on a budget. However, were it to compete in an American Le Mans race the M2 CS would potentially share track time with the big-brother M8 GTE, a 600 horsepower monster that factory-backed teams will field in the same series. 

Where the CS Racing will be a sure success is in the world of club racing where BMW continues to enjoy a strong following. The combination of strong handling dynamics, powerful and tunable boosted six-cylinder engines, and a rapid-fire dual-clutch transmission in a rear-wheel-drive package will never lose the support of purists who grew up driving this type of car and want to continue the experience in a modern BMW coupe. 

5 Things to Do After You Buy a BMW

Responsible for bringing the sports sedan to the masses, the blue and white roundel commands a respect that few other marques can match. Whether it’s your first or the next of many, buying a BMW is a reason for celebration. In addition, there are a few other things you ought to do.

People have been owning BMWs for quite some time, and while the brand has its fans and haters, you would be wise to listen to the advice of those who have come before you in the annals of BMW ownership.

1. Check for Recalls

BMWs are complex cars, and their engineering often pushes the limits of what’s currently doable. That makes them great to drive, but it can lead to catastrophic failure if a recall isn’t addressed. Speak to your local dealer and understand whether your car needs to have any major recalls addressed so that you can be comfortable owning it for a long time and eventually, selling it.

2. Get Some Driving Skills

Sitting down behind the wheel of a BMW can make you feel prestigious. It can also bring out the worst driver in you. Your fellow BMW owners would appreciate it if you don’t go pulling stunts that are more associated with the Mustang crowd, if you know what they mean. Consider attending a defensive driving school or getting a high-performance driving education, which will help you better understand the limits of your new car and how to explore them safely. Probably off of public roads.

3. Find a Good Mechanic

All cars break down at some point, and while there will always be people who claim that BMWs are unreliable cars, there are many others who’ve had good experiences with the marque. It’s true that the maintenance required to maintain a more premium car with advanced engineering, such as a BMW, is greater than that required by your garden-variety Skoda, finding a capable mechanic whom you trust will offset some of the costs that might come later in ownership. They’ll be able to advise you on the car’s maintenance needs early on.

4. Change Your Tires

Most cars these days run all-season tires that are hard and not designed for “spirited” driving. It’s also true that many owners neglect to change their tires when they’re worn down or past due for a change because of age. Dry and cracked old tires are just as dangerous as worn-out tires, and a set of good sticky summer rubber can really change the on-road behavior of your car. Invest in a good set so that you can enjoy driving your BMW from day one.

5. Drive It!

The Ultimate Driving Machine wasn’t made to sit around in your driveway. If you’re going to be a BMW owner, the best way to do it is behind the wheel of a BMW. These are great cars and cars that demand to be taken out and driven hard. Whether it’s eating up miles on an eye-opening road trip or helping you explore the nearest canyons (at legal speeds, of course), make sure you find some time to go and enjoy your new BMW. With a little attention, it’ll be with you for a long time.

The Ultimate BMW Forum