Driving is a great experience, but there are always ways you can make it better, especially if you’re enjoying a luxurious ride behind the wheel of a BMW. If you’re not sure where to start, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered a list of seven things you can do to drive your BMW a little better.
- Don’t Drain The Tank
This is especially important for the BMW 3 series, but you should keep it in mind for all of your BMWs — don’t run the car until the fuel tank is empty. There are much better ways to get some weight reduction. The fuel pump itself is inside the tank and is cooled by contact with the fuel — running the tank empty damages the fuel pump and can lead to an expensive and time-consuming repair.
- Eco Pro Mode for Winter Driving
We all love the traditionally turbocharged BMW engines, but that extra torque and spin put you at risk for getting stuck on snowy or wet roads. No one likes the Eco Pro mode for standard driving — it makes your gas pedal feel heavy and you don’t accelerate as fast — but it’s ideal for wet or snow-covered roads. You might accelerate a little slower, but it keeps you from spinning off into snowy oblivion.
- Pick the Right Shoes
Believe it or not, the shoes you wear can affect how you drive. A good pair of driving shoes should securely fit on your feet but remain thin enough you can feel the car as you shift the pedals. A good pair of Dockers will do the trick, and won’t break the bank either. They’ll allows you to get more responsiveness out of your car by providing tactile sensation and information through the bottom of your feet.
- Drive Defensively
When you’ve got the power of a BMW at your fingertips, it can be tempting to drive aggressively — speeding, accelerating quickly or braking heavily — simply because you can. Not only does this put you at higher risk for an accident, but it’s also actually compromising your fuel economy. Studies have shown this type of driving lowers your fuel efficiency by up to 30 percent on the highway and up to 40 percent in city traffic. Drive safely and defensibly to improve your car’s fuel efficiency.
- Don’t Grind Your Gears
A manual transmission can take your driving experience to a whole new level, but only if you actually know how to drive it. Grinding your gears, in addition to humiliating yourself, damages your transmission. Shift properly, and avoid things like engine braking — shifting to a lower gear at high speeds to force the engine to slow the car down without pressing the brakes. Yes, it is effective at slowing the car down, but it damages the car and leads to premature breakdowns.
- Stow the Cell Phone
This should be a no-brainer but it happens so often it bears repeating. Don’t mess around with your cell phone while you’re driving. Distracted driving leads to more than 1.5 million accidents every single year — you can’t drive your BMW better if you’re watching a junker tow it away after you’ve totaled it. Stow the cell phone and if you absolutely need it, such as for navigation, use it in hands-free mode and stick it on your dashboard.
- Take a Class
If you’re like most of us, it’s been a while since you had a driver’s ed course — so you could probably use a refresher. You can look into performance driving schools if you want to learn how to get the most out of your BMW, or you can simply look into your local DMV’s defensive driving course. Either way, you’re getting your skills refreshed, learning new skills and as an added bonus — many defensive driving courses qualify you for lower insurance rates!
Getting behind the wheel of a BMW should be something you enjoy — so take the time to become a better driver so you can enjoy it for many years to come.