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The Proper Way to Store Your BMW

There may come a time when you need to store your BMW for an extended period. Perhaps you’re planning to drive a different vehicle during the winter months. Maybe you’ll be away for a while whether it’s for a work assignment, military deployment, a long vacation or another reason.

Whatever the reason for storing your car, you don’t want the storage period to be tough on your car, and you want to make sure your car’s still in prime condition when it’s time to drive it again. Following tips such as these will help you to ensure your car is stored properly.

Find a Safe Location

Where you store your car is crucial to keeping it in good condition. The ideal place is in a garage where it will be protected from the element. If you have a garage on your property, this will be the most convenient option. You could also rent a storage space and leave your car there. If storing your car over the winter, the garage you choose should be well-insulated to protect it from cold temperatures.

If you do have to store your car outside, invest in a cover that fully covers your vehicle. It’s best to get one designed for your make and model to ensure that it fits right. Even if you store your car inside, you should cover it to provide further protection.

Last-Minute Maintenance

Don’t just put your car into storage as is. You need to take steps to prepare it, including topping off its fluids. Change the oil and filter since old oil can cause damage, top off the engine coolant with the proper antifreeze to water ratio, fill the gas tank and add some fuel stabilizer to prevent it from separating. Then drive the car for a few miles to circulate the new fluids before putting it away.

If storing your car for a long period, remove the battery, store it in a relatively warm place and connect it to a battery tender or trickle charger. These devices provide just enough power to your battery to prevent it from losing charge. A battery tender will cost you about $50.

Also, be sure you fill your tires to the recommended pressure. It might seem counterintuitive, but you should wash your car thoroughly and consider applying a coat of wax before you put it away. Dirt, debris and stains left on a car for long periods can damage the paint. You can apply a rubberized undercoating to any unpainted metal to prevent it from rusting.

How to Park the Car

Once all your cleaning and maintenance is done, you can park your car. The way you do will make a difference in how well it stores. Don’t, for instance, use the parking brake. If left engaged for too long, the brake pads and rotors could fuse. Instead, use a tire chock to keep your car from moving.

Leaving a car parked for an extended period can cause flat spots to develop on the tires. Less severe spots will go away after you drive on them, but spots that have been there for a long time may become permanent. If you’re going to store your BMW for more than 30 days, take the wheels off and put it on jack stands to prevent damage to your tires.

If openings such as the exhaust pipe are exposed, plug them with steel wool, a rag or another object to prevent rodents from getting inside them.
When storing your BMW for long periods, taking the proper steps to prepare it will help protect it during its storage period. If you follow these storage tips, your bimmer will be ready to go when it’s time to hit the road again!

How to Prevent Rust on Your BMW

In the history of the automobile, more prime specimens have probably fallen victim to rust than any other single cause of death. Oxidization can be difficult to avoid if your car makes its home somewhere near water or where cold weather requires many miles of driving on salted roads, but you can take steps to prevent this car cancer from setting in.

BMWs aren’t known for having particularly thin skin, but they are as susceptible to rust as the average car, and as any bimmer owner will tell you, that’s not a good thing. They’re worth preserving, which is why you should follow these simple tips to ensure your BMW enjoys a long, rust-free life.

Seal Your Car’s Undercarriage

This is a job you can do on your own, provided you’ve got some elementary bodywork experience. You can pick up sealant at your local auto parts store, but getting beneath your ride and performing the application process safely is something that might require a professional. Make sure you’re up to the task, and if you don’t feel certain you can do it, get some help.

Keep It Clean

A clean BMW owner is a happy BMW owner and not just because your car will look better for it. Keeping imperfections and corrosive road grime off your paint will make sure your car doesn’t suffer from oxidization. All the more reason to stay up on those regular wash jobs! And once you get it clean, keep your car covered or, better yet, in a garage where it’s safe from the elements.

Treat Scratches and Chips

Paint is your best defense against oxidization, so rust begins to form where paint has worn down and bare metal is exposed to air, typically from salt corrosion. For this reason, it’s crucial you spot chips and scratches early and fill them or repaint to prevent corrosion. Rust forms quickly from these, and if you don’t know what to look for, you might not see the problem until rust is already there.

Invest in Paint Sealing

There was a time when you might have wanted to spend the extra cash, but these days, you can probably get a BMW from the factory with its paint sealed. The new stuff works, and if your car has clean paint you want to protect, applying a sealant is a great step towards doing that. The process only takes an afternoon but will keep your bimmer from rusting for years to come.

Protect Your Interior

Many BMWs come with factory floor mats that are made of soft carpet, which looks great but doesn’t defend well against the elements. If you didn’t spring for the all-weather upgrade but live in a place where salt and snow are part of your daily life, throw a set of protective rubber mats down. If you don’t, salt that works its way to your floor panels could be a silent killer.

The best way to fix a rust problem is to avoid it altogether. You don’t want to go down the perilous road of using Bondo on your BMW. Leave that for the pick-n-pull crowd to apply to old muscle cars. A few preventative steps now, and you’ll enjoy a shiny coat of paint as long as you have your car!