Tag Archives: safety

How to Stay Safe Working on Your BMW

We all love working on our cars, especially if you’ve got something like a classic BMW in your garage. While it can be a great hobby that saves you a lot of money in the long run, it is important to make sure you’re staying safe while working on your car.

Have Somewhere to Work

The last thing you want is to be laying under your BMW working on something, only to have someone run over your feet because you’re trying to repair your car on the side of the road or in your driveway. Before you loosen your first nut, make sure you have a safe place to work on your car. A garage or carport is ideal, but if that isn’t an option, make sure you block off your driveway to keep people from accidentally running you over or knocking your car off the jack stands.

Invest in Jack Stands

Speaking of jack stands, don’t ever get under your car if it’s just up on a jack. Even putting it up on concrete blocks isn’t enough. If you’re going to work on your car, you need to invest in a good set of jack stands that are rated for your car’s weight. These will keep your vehicle safely off the ground, and off of you, while you’re working. Unless you want your head to look like a watermelon that someone dropped on concrete — which is what will happen if a car falls on it — don’t skimp on your jack stands.

Protect Your Hearing

Engines are loud — especially if you’re under them while they’re running. Whether you’re looking for a leak or are checking your wiring harness, one thing you should definitely protect is your hearing with some earplugs. Inside a passenger car, you don’t hear much of your car’s engine noise because of sound-dampening technology that is worked into the frame, but under the hood, the engine can generate between 70 and 100 decibels of noise. Extended exposure can result in serious hearing damage, so invest in some good earplugs.

Ditch the Butts

Smoking is a nasty habit, but it can be a fatal one if you do it while you’re working on your BMW. It doesn’t take much to ignite gas fumes, turning your car — and possibly your face — into a fireball. If you have to smoke while you’re working on your car, walk away, smoke your cigarette and wait until you’re finished before you head back to work.

Of course, you can try to quit smoking. Even vaping around gasoline fumes isn’t a good idea, because the hot coil that creates your vape cloud could also ignite the fumes.

Wait for Cooldown

For the love of whatever you deem holy, wait until your car cools down before working on it — unless you really want a radiator cap embedded in the ceiling of your garage. Your engine can reach temperatures upwards of 230 degrees, and your cooling system is under pressure until the car cools off. Water only has to be 150 degrees to cause third-degree burns.

In addition to the chance of burns, your car’s radiator fans will keep spinning to help the engine cool down even after you’ve shut it off. If you absolutely have to work on a hot car, take precautions. Kevlar gloves can help protect your skin, and pulling the relay for the radiator fans can keep your fingers attached to your hands.

Don’t let this discourage you from working on your car. Just be safe so you can enjoy this fantastic hobby without ending up in the emergency room.

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.

How to Stay Safe Working on Your BMW

Working on your car is a great hobby — and a great way to save money on car repairs — but it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful.  Here are three tips and tricks to help you stay safe while you’re working on your BMW.

  1. Invest in Jack Stands

Your car probably came with a spare tire, a lug wrench and a half-way decent jack to get it off the ground — but that isn’t all you need to stay safe.

If you’re going to be working on your car regularly, invest in a good set of jack stands or blocks, and don’t ever get under your BMW if it is just up on a jack. It doesn’t take much to knock a car off a single jack, and you don’t want 2000+ pounds dropping on your head while you’re trying to change your oil or swap out your starter.

Invest in jack stands — they could save your life.

  1. Make Your Garage Safer

If you’re working on a car, chances are you’re either in your garage or driveway. Working in a garage can present its own hazards, so it’s important to be aware of them.

First, get your garage door inspected and repaired if necessary. Garage doors are involved in more than 30,000 injuries every year, so having it checked by a professional can help to prevent injuries.  It also helps to ensure your door will open and close properly, so you don’t end up with your project car stuck in the garage.

Don’t ever start your car — even for just a few minutes — with the garage door closed. It might be tempting, especially if it’s excessively cold or hot outside, but it puts you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. If you expect to have to run your car with the door closed, invest in a high-end ventilation system to ensure no car exhaust gets a chance to build up in your garage.

Keep your tools organized and your floor clear. Get rid of any potential trip hazards you might not see if you’re focused on your repair job.

  1. Be Aware

Even if your car is off, under the hood can be a dangerous place.  Be aware of other potential dangers, including:

  • Spinning Fans: Your radiator fans can keep spinning for 15 to 20 minutes after the engine is shut off to facilitate cooling, and a swiftly spinning fan can easily cause lacerations. Be cautious when working with these fans or pull their relay to ensure that they won’t be spinning while you’re working.
  • Radiator Caps: Coolant gets hot when your engine is running — sometimes upwards of 230 degrees F — and the system is under high pressure while the engine is running and for some time after you shut it off. Don’t crack the radiator cap when the engine is hot if you can avoid it.
  • Fuel Lines: Fuel lines are pressurized, so if you need to remove them for whatever reason, make sure you release the pressure before you start disconnecting things. Spilled fuel is a fire hazard, especially if you’re working with electricity or anything else that generates sparks.

Take the time to be aware of the hazards that come with working on your car. Even something as simple as a spinning radiator fan could send you to the hospital for stitches if you’re not careful.

We all love working on our cars, but no one likes having to spend time in the hospital because we’ve injured ourselves while trying to repair a project car. Stay safe and enjoy working on your BMW. A busted knuckle is a badge of honor, but a hospital bill because you couldn’t be bothered to invest in jack stands is not.