Category Archives: DIY

Take Your BMW Wrenching to the Next Level

Working on your own car is one of the joys of ownership, and many BMW owners have some working knowledge of how to repair their cars, but just how comfortable are you turning wrenches when the stakes are high?

Mechanics spend years learning the ins and outs of specific BMW models, so when you begin life as a Bimmer enthusiast, don’t feel bad if a few trips to the shop are required. Over time, you can work on enhancing your skills. Stay with it, and a few years down the road you could be bolting whole cars together in your garage!

Entry-Level Jobs

No matter what kind of car you drive, saving money on maintenance and repair bills is an attractive idea. This is why many car enthusiasts choose to perform small jobs like oil changes and spark plug swaps on their own.

You will need a basic set of tools to pull off even these tasks — your car is not a snap-together model. For a few hundred dollars, you can pick up a basic set and a crawler to allow access below the vehicle. Don’t forget a quality set of jack stands — without them, you can’t raise the car off the ground safely.

Stepping Your Game Up

Once you’ve learned the basic layout of your BMW and how to find everything when the car’s in the air, you can begin to tackle tougher jobs. Maybe you’d like to install some upgraded suspension components or change out an old and failing radiator.

The more advanced jobs you’ll take on will require better access to the car. To give yourself better access and visibility when performing these jobs, a lift makes a great investment. If you know you will use it, you will recoup the money on jobs that would have required a mechanic’s facilities down the road. In some cases, you can even use a lift to add some parking space.

Advanced Procedures

When you’re comfortable making changes to individual components and performing routine maintenance, you can begin to consider doing more advanced jobs. There are classes available both for BMW-specific applications, and general engine work, you should attend if you’re going to do these jobs.

More advanced work might include complicated engine repair such as changing a camshaft or bottom-end component, or it might be making considerable modifications. Many enthusiasts talk about wanting to do an engine swap on their BMW, and while it’s certainly possible, you’ve got to know what you’re doing.

You Should Also Buy Some Orange Clean

Or GoJo — whatever pumice-derived cleaner you like best — because when you achieve this level of mechanical knowledge, all your friends are going to come around wanting your help. Hey, you live this stuff anyway, right? And if times get tough, you can always find work at a shop.

There are many reasons to begin doing your own work on your BMW. Start today and become a part of the movement keeping these timeless cars alive and well on the world’s roads.

Will the Sun Damage Your BMW’s Paint?

There’s nothing quite like rays of summer sunlight glinting off your car’s freshly waxed paint job, but that sunlight isn’t just good for pictures — it could be damaging your BMW’s paint job. How can you keep that stylish paint job in good shape without relegating your car to night driving?

Wash, Dry and Wax

The best thing you can do to protect your car’s paint job is to treat it well. First, wash your car with a soft cloth and a paint-friendly soap. Don’t use dish soap or any other suds-generating product you might have lying around the garage. These products are perfect for cleaning your dishes, but they contain abrasive qualities that can damage your paint’s clear coat and expose the paint to harsh UV rays.

Once you’re done washing and rinsing, dry your vehicle off with a chamois or microfiber cloth. Chances are, you’re not washing your car with filtered water, so leaving your car to air dry could also be leaving deposits of minerals or other contaminants to dry on your car.

Finally, put a good coat of wax on your car — in the shade or preferably in your garage. Putting wax on your car is akin to putting sunscreen on your skin. It protects your paint from the UV rays that can cause it to fade, weaken and peel. Just like sunscreen, you need to reapply it frequently to get the best protection possible.

Over time, sun exposure will damage your BMW’s paint. Treat your paint job like your skin and protect it as best you can from UV exposure.

Park in the Garage

We all love to show off our cars by parking them in the driveway or on the street, but parking them in the sun increases the exposure to UV rays. The solution to this is to park your car in the shade, but if that shade comes from a tree, you might find yourself washing your car more often than you’d like, due to pollen and sap falling from the branches.

Carports can be a good alternative, too, but keep in mind that carports won’t fully protect your vehicle from sun exposure. The best option is to park your car in a garage — but we get it. If you’re like most of us, your garage is full of clutter that has no other place in your house, and you just haven’t gotten around to sorting through it.

Need a good reason to clean out your garage and move your car inside? Here are a few. Not only does parking in the garage minimize sun damage to your vehicle, your garage also protects your car from would-be thieves or vandals. Keeping your car out of your driveway even helps improve the curb appeal of your home.

If you don’t have a garage, adding one to your home to protect your BMW and any other cars can be a worthwhile investment. Surveys have found an attached two-car garage can add upwards of $30,000 worth of value to your home, while a one-car attached garage or even a detached one can add between $15,000 and $20,000 in home value.

Keeping your BMW out of the sun all the time isn’t going to be an option — and we wouldn’t want it to be. Enjoy driving your car in the sunlight. Just make sure you take the time to protect your investment from the UV rays. A good wash and wax can do just that, but parking in the garage when you’re not driving is easily the best step you can take.

How to Tell If Your BMW Has a Blown Head Gasket

BMW may have the words “motor works” in their name, but no motor is impervious to damage. Many BMW fans prefer to keep older cars in their garage for the nostalgia and tactile driving experience they deliver. However, as cars age, they become more susceptible to breakdowns. One part that could break on older or higher mileage cars is the head gasket.

Head gasket failure is one of the most ominous issues that car owners deal with, but it doesn’t have to result in a totaled car. If you know what signs to look for to identify a leaking or blown gasket in your BMW, you can take steps to fix the problem before your situation becomes dangerous.

Here are a few signs to look for and some steps you can take to solve the problem.

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