6 Long-Term Maintenance Practices All BMW Owners Should Know

BMWs look incredible rolling off the lot, so how can you keep your vehicle in shape for a long time? It all comes down to how you maintain it over time. 

Long-term care preserves BMWs by detecting problems early and limiting wear and tear. Here are six long-term maintenance practices all BMW owners should know.

Get a BMW Checkup

Regular checkups help you maintain your physical health, so give your bimmer the same treatment by bringing it in for inspections. Find a BMW-certified mechanic in your area to let an experienced professional handle your machine in the best way. If your car is under warranty, the terms may require a certified technician to work on it— otherwise, you risk voiding the contract.

When at the shop, the mechanic will perform a complete inspection by reviewing the engine, brake system and other integral parts. Stop by every 5,000 miles to keep your vehicle in the best condition possible.

Find BMW-Friendly Products

While a mechanic performs many maintenance tasks, you can take some things into your own hands. For example, oil changes are a popular job to do by yourself on your days off. However, you should proceed with caution when gathering the supplies for fluid changes because BMWs need specific products.

For example, the manufacturer recommends using synthetic oil over regular in most of its vehicles, so check the owner’s manual to ensure you’re putting the right stuff in your car. Synthetic oil is preferable in BMWs because it has better viscosity and protects your engine for the long haul.

Learn Electric Maintenance

Exciting times are ahead as BMW introduces fully electric vehicles (EVs) to its yearly lineups. These machines have a battery range of over 300 miles, depending on the model and trim you get. This transition emphasizes the need for BMW owners to learn electric maintenance.

EVs typically require less work, but your electric BMW will need love and care to last as long as possible. Here are a few tips for long-term EV maintenance:

  • Battery charging: You might fully charge your electronics, but don’t use this approach with EVs. Limiting its time at 100% or 0% charge extends your machine’s life by optimizing battery health.    
  • AC unit: When the air conditioner breaks, driving in the summer gets uncomfortable quickly. Ensure your BMW mechanic inspects the air conditioning, especially before the hot weather arrives.
  • Software updates: Modern vehicles rely on software updates to ensure smooth rides. Update your EV as soon as possible to verify your BMW has the tools it needs to run well.

Monitor Your Garage Temperature

Some of the best maintenance practices you can implement don’t pertain to a specific BMW part. For long-term care, you should be mindful of where you store your BMW. Bringing the vehicle inside is best to protect it from the weather when it’s hot, cold, dry or wet. However, indoor conditions can still negatively affect your vehicle.

For instance, suppose you keep your BMW in your home garage. Nighttime can bring cold temperatures inside, even if you lock up for the evening. If this sounds familiar, add insulation to the garage door because it regulates temperatures and prevents moisture buildup.

Additionally, add insulation to the garage walls to keep cold air outside and away from your bimmer. When freezing temperatures arrive, your vehicle’s fluids thicken and become less effective, making climate control even more important.

Check Your Tire Pressure

When considering BMW care, you may imagine oil changes and engine tune-ups. These tasks are critical, but it’s important to remember your tires as part of your tasks.

The first step in tire maintenance should be to check the pressures regularly. Review your BMW owner’s manual for the recommended psi. Most suggest keeping the tires between 32 and 35 psi for safe driving.

Additionally, checking your tread levels is wise for long-term care. Driving your BMW to work or on fun road trips will wear the tread over time, so test it to ensure the depth is safe. The penny test is a solid home method, requiring you to stick an upside-down coin inside the tread. If you can see Abraham Lincoln’s entire head, it’s time to get new tires for your bimmer.

Drive Carefully

The best way to put long-term maintenance into your hands is to drive carefully. Follow the speed limits everywhere, and don’t accelerate or brake too rapidly. Overusing the gas and brake pedals makes your BMW work harder than necessary. Caring for your car now will pay dividends with fewer trips to the mechanic later.

Driving Your BMW for the Long Haul

Modern cars are more durable than ever, thanks to technology and improved manufacturing processes. However, the life of a vehicle is still up to you, the owner and how you treat it. Use these six long-term maintenance tips to get the most out of your BMW.

7 Clever Ways to Enhance Your BMW’s Security

BMW enjoys a solid reputation for being secure. Although Bimmers are highly sought-after, the German automaker has done a stellar job at neutralizing theft with its engineering decisions.

However, don’t be complacent. Do your share in keeping your BMW safe from car thieves with these seven tips.

1. Secure Your Phone

The My BMW App can remotely locate your vehicle, lock and unlock your doors, and start your engine. It’s so powerful losing your mobile device is one step closer to getting your Bimmer stolen. Prevent unauthorized access to it with the same vigor as keeping your keys away from malicious hands.

Download the latest My BMW App version once it becomes available to address bugs and fix any cybersecurity vulnerabilities it may have. Activate automatic updates to ensure it’s always recent.

Put a premium on strong password protection. Using a string of 12 characters or more to unlock your phone is better than relying on a four-digit PIN. If you’re not a fan of biometric authentication, an unguessable password is the next best way to keep your data safe if you lose your device.

Consider location tracking, too. It can help you find your phone when it goes missing. Note your smartphone’s unique identification number to easily prove you’re the owner when the authorities or a Good Samaritan recovers it.

2. Avoid Street Parking

Park indoors as much as possible. Most car thieves target valuable models they can access quickly. Leaving it on the street for everyone to see may attract larcenists’ attention and invite disaster.

Keep your Bimmer in your garage and ensure the doors are closed and locked. If you don’t have a garage, consider adding one or building a carport. Although a carport primarily protects against the elements, you can increase its security. A lockable gate, surveillance cameras, floodlights and motion sensors can deter malicious onlookers.

3. Create Physical Obstacles

Use obstructions to make life harder for criminals to drive your Bimmer away if you can’t hide it from the public. Block it with another vehicle if you have one. Steering wheel locks and pedal boxes are also effective visual deterrents. 

4. Park in a Busy, Well-Lit Area

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 1 million vehicles are stolen annually in the United States. This figure would’ve been smaller if only more Americans had decided against parking in deserted, dark areas.

If you must park on the street, choose a location where crooks can be more identifiable when they break into your vehicle. Car theft can still happen in broad daylight, but greater visibility and crowdedness can discourage less determined transgressors. 

5. Don’t Leave Valuables in Plain View

Do you carry precious cargo? How about your wallet, jewelry and other electronic devices? Hide whatever personal belongings you have in your car before leaving. 

The prospect of chopping up desirable German wheels whose components fetch steep price tags on the black market is enough motivation for many criminals. Don’t give them one more reason to target your BMW.

When parking your BMW in your driveway, keep the key away from your home’s exterior walls, doors and windows to render its signal less detectable. If you must park on the street, select a spot far from your house. Parking at a distance can confuse the crooks about which property it belongs to, making the crime harder to pull off.

6. Store Your Key With Strategy

You can fall victim to keyless car theft when criminals pick up, amplify and replicate the signal your key transmits to trick your BMW into thinking they’re you. Once they’re in, your Bimmer can disappear in literally a minute.

Moreover, buy a Faraday pouch. This box shields its contents from radio waves with its metallic lining. Storing your key in a tin container accomplishes the same goal. A microwave makes an excellent keyless car theft stopper, but you can damage it when you heat something without removing your BMW key first.

7. Install a Tracking Device

Fitting your car with a tracker increases the chances of recovering it when it’s stolen. The police can use the signal to locate your Bimmer instead of combing Facebook and Twitter and retrieve it before it winds up in a chop shop or shipping container that can block the signal.

Tracking devices may not occur to garden-variety joyriders and test-drive fraudsters, but discerning larcenists are wary of them. They’re familiar with common hiding spots because they use vehicle trackers to steal their targets later. Fortunately, a professional installer can place your tracker in an obscure location so it can play hide-and-seek longer.

Elevate Your Bimmer’s Security

Your BMW is only as secure as its weakest vulnerability. Its manufacturer can only do so much to keep it from being stolen, so use these tips to take security to new heights and outsmart various breeds of car thieves.

Drive Down BMW Maintenance Costs With These 7 Smart Strategies

BMW has a reputation for being high-maintenance. It’s the price you pay for driving a high-end German machine known for exceptional engineering and stellar craftsmanship.

Despite this, you can influence your Bimmer’s repair needs since many mechanical and aesthetic issues are a product of your decisions. Here are seven smart strategies to avoid spending needlessly more on maintenance.

1. Drive Mindfully

Aggressive driving will prematurely wear out even state-of-the-art German wheels. You can feel your BMW’s power without doing donuts in parking lots and other dangerous maneuvers. In addition, irresponsible driving behaviors — like speeding, recklessly merging into traffic, tailgating and passing on the right — will increase your vehicle’s risk of getting scratched and dented.

Moreover, drive fewer short trips. Automobiles perform best when their engines are warm. If you can, run multiple errands without letting your car cool down to prolong its components’ lives.

2. Pump Quality Gas

BMW requires premium gas, so fueling your sedan or sports activity vehicle with a less stable product will damage its engine and emission control system. Filling your tank with regular or mid grade gas may save you money initially, but the lower octane rating of either fuel may lead to spontaneous combustion. The unburned fuel from the primary combustion auto-ignites, causing the pressure in the cylinder to surge and resulting in knocking.

When you’re at the pump, buy at least 91-octane fuel. You may pay top dollar, but it will save you trips to the mechanic and cash on maintenance over the long term.

3. Be Self-Sufficient

Do-it-yourself care will go a long way. The acts of love you can express to your BMW include:

  • Cleaning: to remove dirt that can compromise its delicate components
  • Waxing: to rustproof it
  • Leather seat protection: to delay leather wear and tear

Generally, basic maintenance tasks are permissible if you abide by your owner’s manual. If your car needs repair, it’s best to take it to the dealer. A word of caution — any issue arising from your actions may void your luxury vehicle’s warranty.

The same applies to any modification to your coupe, convertible or roadster. If your automobile breaks down, a touch-up may render troubleshooting tricky or nullify your warranty when it plays a part in the failure.

4. Control Temperature

The weather can do a number on your BMW. Constant exposure to sunlight will ruin its paintwork. Extreme heat will wreak havoc on its interior. Humidity will negatively impact its engine performance and mess with its sensors. Frigid conditions will take a toll on its battery, causing it to fail too early.

A plain garage can safeguard your German car from the elements, but your space needs adequate insulation to regulate indoor temperature. Investing in garage doors with 2-inch polyurethane insulation will help you maintain your BMW’s ideal climate to stay in good shape mechanically and aesthetically.

5. Follow Service Schedule

Respect your Bimmer’s maintenance calendar. A qualified technician should inspect your car at least once a year or after running a certain number of miles. It’s the only way to discover early signs of damage so you can head off major mechanical problems.

Take your BMW in for a tune-up on schedule — even if everything works fine. This way, the service crew can proactively replace specific components before they malfunction without warning and require an expensive repair.

6. Extend Maintenance Coverage

If your BMW maintenance program is about to end, consider extending your coverage to reduce your future out-of-pocket repair costs — especially when your car is older.

A plan extension can be a significant expense, but it may be worth it if you think you’ll put plenty more miles on your Bimmer moving forward.

7. Use Independent Shops

If you let your BMW maintenance program lapse, you can entrust the upkeep of your vehicle to a third-party repair shop. Independent shops usually charge less than dealers because they tend to have low overhead. Personalized service distinguishes these auto establishments from authorized BMW centers, so expect more special care and attention to your unique needs.

Before you take your precious ride to an independent repair shop, here are three caveats:

  1. They may use aftermarket parts only.
  2. They may have Jacks of all trades instead of factory-trained BMW specialists.
  3. They may deliver less-quality work because of the above reasons.

For best results, look for a licensed local shop in your area that uses original equipment manufacturer components and has a wealth of experience repairing BMWs. You may have to wait as they order your replacement parts, but you can rely on their quality.

Reduce Your BMW Maintenance Costs

Your BMW will need TLC throughout its life, but you can influence its repair needs. If you’re smart and strategic, you can add years to your Bimmer’s life without spending a fortune.

The Ultimate BMW Forum