Category Archives: DIY

How to Build the Perfect Garage for Your BMW

Owning a BMW is a fantastic experience, but it might be short-lived if you don’t have a garage to keep it in. If you’re like most of us, your garage is probably an overflow for all the stuff that doesn’t fit in your house — and cleaning it out is a huge hassle, so why not build another garage instead? If you’d like to create the perfect garage to store your BMW in and you’ve got plenty of spare property to build on, here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.

Step One Planning

Before you break ground or start buying supplies, your first step should be to plan your new garage. You’ll need to account for everything from the foundation up, including ventilation, electricity and insulation, among other things. If you’re not handy with architecture programs, consider hiring a pro to design a garage for you. Even if you’re planning on building it yourself, this can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

Here is also the step when you’ll want to start researching building permits in your area. Find out what permits, if any, you’ll need to obtain to legally build a garage on your property.

Step Two Gathering

Step two involves collecting everything you’re going to need to build your garage — wood, concrete, electrical components and a garage door should all be on your list.

You don’t want to have to stop in the middle of your project to go pick up more lumber or drywall because you didn’t purchase enough to begin with. Make sure you gather all your supplies before you break ground.

Step Three Construction

Step three is to build your dream garage. Start with your foundation — you’ll want a solid place to park your car. Once the foundation is in place, you can build it from the ground up — literally.

If you’re not confident in your handyman skills, or you’re worried about being able to build your garage up to code, it might be smart to bring in a professional to do the work for you. It might cost you a bit more, but you won’t have to worry about your garage roof falling onto your BMW, or your new garage burning down in the middle of the night because you incorrectly installed the electrical panels.

Once you have the garage built, it’s time for the fun part.

Step Four Features

Now that you’ve got four walls and a roof, it’s time to trick out your garage with shelves, cabinets and other storage for your tools, toys and other car accessories.

Cabinets make an excellent addition to any garage, and you can build them yourself at home as long as you have the proper tools. These can be a great weekend project if you’re handy with a saw — and don’t forget to invest in high-quality saw blades to ensure you get clean cuts and smooth edges to build the perfect cabinet.

Step Five Enjoy!

Once you have your garage built and tricked out, all that’s left is to park your BMW and enjoy all your hard work!

Constructing a garage can be an ambitious project, but if you’ve got a BMW or other luxury car and nowhere to park it, building a new garage is a great option — and it can add value to your property as well!

How to Protect Your BMW From Theft

There’s nothing quite like adding a new BMW to your collection, but bringing home this marvel of German engineering can make you a target for thieves. These cars are popular targets because even the older models can be worth quite a bit of money, either to collectors or for parts. If your newest addition is a BMW, what can you do to protect yourself and your investment from car thieves?

Lock Your Doors

It might seem like common sense, but many modern car thefts are made possible because people neglect to lock their cars. Most car thieves are looking for easy marks – most are walking around testing car doors. If they find an unlocked door, it just takes them a minute or two to clear out anything valuable in the car.

Start out by just locking your car doors anytime you walk away from your vehicle. It might not seem like much, and it might not discourage serious car thieves, but it will discourage casual thieves and hopefully keep your car and your belongings safer.

Don’t Use Your Car for Storage

It’s tempting to lock your belongings in your car so you don’t have to carry them around or lug them in and out of your house, but leaving belongings – especially high dollar items – will make your car more attractive to potential thieves. Even if you lock your car doors, a thief can easily break your window and steal any visible items.

If you absolutely have to store items in your car, lock them in your trunk before you arrive at your destination. Putting stuff in your trunk once you’re there just lets thieves know where your expensive belongings are.

Have Somewhere to Store Your Car

Parking your car in the driveway might be more convenient, but it also makes it more vulnerable to thieves. Having somewhere to store your car when you’re not driving it can help protect it from criminals by making it a more difficult target.

You might think your car is secure in your garage, but if your door is crooked in its track, it might not be as safe as you think. Whether the door has become crooked because the rollers aren’t running correctly, or because the torsion spring has broken, it prevents it from being able to keep your car safe and secure during storage.

Opt for Newer Cars

While a classic BMW might be a great addition to your collection, it’s important to remember that older cars are more prone to theft because they don’t have the advanced security measures that newer cars have. If you have your heart set on a classic BMW, make sure that you’ve got a secure place to store it when you’re not driving it.

BMW’s are a favorite target for thieves, especially the high-dollar newer models or collectibles. Make sure that you double-check your locks and your garage door to ensure that your car is secure.

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.