Check out These European BMW Car Seats

Car seats are an essential tool to ensure our youngest passengers are safe and secure, especially in the event of a car accident. Unfortunately, they’re not exactly fashion-forward — most of them have kid-friendly colors and cartoon characters which can look pretty silly in your snazzy BMW. Thankfully, the German car giant is on top of that, too — they just released some BMW-branded car seats that will look good in nearly any car. Let’s take a closer look at these seats and the brilliant configuration.

This design lets you fit 3 car seats in a normal back seat, giving each one plenty of room. We just wish this happened in the US.

Baby Seat Group 0+

These car seats are currently only available in Europe, but hopefully, we’ll be seeing them in the States before too long. BMW currently lists three seats as part of its BMW accessory line — The Baby Seat Group 0+ is an infant car seat, the BMW Junior Seat Group 1 is for children from 12 months to 4 years, and the BMW Junior Seat Group 2/3 is an adjustable booster chair for children age 3 to 12 who are too large for the previous two seats.

BMW writes all the names in caps, but we felt like we were screaming so we skipped that part.

Car Seat Safety

Car crashes aren’t just dangerous for adults. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children under 13. They also estimate 71 percent of these accident-related fatalities would have been preventable if the driver adequately secured the child.

Child restraint laws might vary from state to state, but in general, you need to ensure:

  • You have appropriately restrained all children under age 4 in a car seat
  • All children under 2 are in a rear-facing car seat
  • Children over 4 but under 8 need to be in a booster seat and a seatbelt
  • Children over 8 and under 18 must be in a seat with a belt that fits properly

The American Academy of Pediatrics takes these rules to a new level to include height and weight restrictions. Toddlers up to 2 should stay rear-facing until they exceed the height and weight requirements of their infant car seat — which will depend on the exact make and model of car seat you purchase. Children who have outgrown their infant car seats should be in forward-facing car seats as long as possible.

To ensure safety in the event of a car accident, children who are too big for a car seat should sit in the backseat until they are at least 13. Most children will require a booster seat or belt positioner until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Car seats don’t have to look like an eyesore in the backseat to be able to keep your little ones safe. BMW has proven that — even if you don’t drive a BMW, you might want to think about picking up one of these sleek BMW car seats for your car.

What to Look for When Buying a Used BMW 3 Series

Owning a BMW is a fantastic experience, but for most of us, buying a new one off the lot isn’t an option because of the cost. Luckily, plenty of used BMWs are on the market just waiting for you to pick them up. If you’re want to purchase a used BMW 3 series, what should you be on the lookout for? Here are four things.

  1. Cooling System Problems

The BMW 3 series is an excellent line of vehicles, but it’s notorious for coolant system failures between 80,000 and 100,000 miles. The 3 series has three main failure points: the expansion tank, the thermostat and the water pump.

If you’re getting a BMW that has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, find out if the cooling system has ever been serviced, and how long ago the service happened. If it hasn’t been, expect to replace all three of those parts at the same time to prevent cooling system failure.

  1. Frame Damage

Older cars are always at risk for rust or frame damage, and 3 Series BMWs are no exception. If you’ve found a good car you’re interested in purchasing, make sure to have it inspected at a BMW shop or a shop that has a BMW specialist on staff.

It isn’t a deal-breaker — especially if you’ve found your dream BMW — but it is an expensive repair, so make sure you keep that in mind.

  1. Too Many Stickers

The fact that stickers are on the car isn’t going to be a huge deal. However, it could be a clue into how the car was handled in the past. If the car is covered with racing stickers, chances are it was at least autocrossed. Again, this may not be a bad thing if it was done right, but it could also mean the car was driven hard. If the car has a snarky “eat my dust” or middle finger bumper sticker, chances are it wasn’t driven at exactly the speed limit everywhere it went.

Don’t worry, though — with the right tools, removing decals and stickers is simple. All you need is a razor blade and an adhesive remover. Slide the razor blade under the edges of the sticker, then spray beneath it with the adhesive remover. Repeat as necessary until the label comes off, then use the adhesive remover again to get rid of any remaining residue.

  1. Car History

This is a given for any used car — you should always write down the VIN and research the car’s history before you buy it. A site like CarFax or other similar resources will help you discover how many owners the vehicle had, whether the mileage is accurate and how well past owners have maintained it over the course of its life. It will also let you know if the car has ever been damaged or totaled. If anything in the car’s history doesn’t add up, you know this is probably a car you should avoid.

Picking up a used BMW 3 Series is a fantastic way to get your feet wet, so to speak, in the vast pool that is owning a BMW. Just do your research before you sign on the dotted line to make sure you’re getting the most for your money and aren’t buying a piece of junk.

How to Take Your Car to Its First Show

Car shows offer a fantastic way to see some amazing cars or show off your own car, but if you’ve never gone to one before, taking the plunge to present your car at its first show can be intimidating. Whether you’ve got a classic BMW that you want to showcase or a modded race car that you want to show off at the track, it’s essential to find out what you need to do before you take your BMW to its first show.

Wash Everything

If you’re going to show your car — no matter what model of car it is — you want it to be as clean as possible. Give the car a good wash to remove any dirt or debris and make it look shiny and new. Don’t neglect the interior of the car or under the hood. If you’re showing your BMW, you’ll want to give your engine a good cleaning. It doesn’t have to appear off-the-assembly-line new, but you want to make it look like you at least made an effort!

Once everything is washed, add a good coat of wax, and polish your car so that you’re sure it looks its best when you’re on the showroom floor.

Pick Your Class

Before you enter a show, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right show class. There are generally three classes — street, stock and modified — but each show might have its own classes. Be careful to read up on the individual show before you enter.

Stock cars are cars that, other than being in good shape, are basically the same car that rolled off the assembly line when it was new. It might have some replacement parts, depending on the car’s mileage, but it hasn’t been modified at all.

Streetcars fall in the middle and might contain some aftermarket parts or paint jobs. They still look like their classic stock counterparts, but they pack a few extra secrets under the hood.

Modified cars, as their name suggests, have been heavily modified and may have a lot more power than street or stock cars.

Keep All Your Paperwork

It’s not just the car that the judges are going to look at. Make sure you have all your paperwork in order, including your license, registration, proof of insurance and receipt for your entry fees. You can and probably should also have some process photos of your car, especially if you’re entering in the modded class. Having some before and after pictures can help show the judges all the work you’ve put into your favorite BMW.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is to have fun — win or lose, car shows are a great place to network and find some new friends or reconnect with old ones while you enjoy a few brews over the hoods of your favorite cars. You can enter your BMW in nearly any car show, but you might want to pick a BMW-only show if you really want some competition.

The Ultimate BMW Forum