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!

Why BMW Is Ceasing the Production of Diesel Cars in the U.S.

Diesel cars have been a major part of the BMW lineup since they were introduced in the 1980s as a response to the oil crisis of the late 1970s. The design celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, which makes BMW’s decision to stop producing diesel cars in the United States all the more surprising.

Why is the German car giant ditching it’s diesel engines, and what will be appearing in its place?

Dropping Sales and Emissions Concerns

The demand for diesel cars has been declining in recent years, even in Europe, where they’ve been so popular until now. European diesel sales are expected to drop to 5 percent of new car sales by 2030, and in the United States, diesel sales have suffered in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal of 2017.

Volkswagen was found guilty of modifying their diesel car’s emissions systems so that they would appear to pass emissions tests, but it was actually generating more CO2 and other emissions than was legal. It resulted in a massive recall, and only 222 Volkswagen diesel vehicles were sold in January of that year. The year before, January sales were nearly 4500.

The Rise of the Plug-In Hybrid


2018 will mark the end of BMW’s diesel line in the United States. That means some models, like the 540d xDrive, will only be available in the States for a single year.

This doesn’t mean the BMW model line will be shrinking dramatically, though — in spite of the rather abrupt announcement, the manufacturer has also announced it will be releasing several plug-in hybrids to replace the diesel models being removed from the lineup.

These may end up being a better idea for BMW in the long run, especially in North America, where eco-minded drivers are giving up their gas-guzzling cars in favor of hybrid or electric alternatives.

BMW isn’t the only manufacturer jumping on the green energy bandwagon. GM is planning on eventually phasing out all of its gasoline-powered vehicles sometime in the future, but will be introducing at least 20 totally electric models by 2023. Ford is planning on launching 13 new electric or hybrid models in the same timeline. Volvo is planning on rolling out electric cars for its entire line as early as next year.

2014 BMW All-Electric i3 Press Drive.


Replacing its diesel models with plug-in hybrids might be one of the smartest things BMW has done in a long time.

Industry experts haven’t released any information yet about the exact specs of the new hybrids, though they probably won’t be ready to roll out for the 2019 model year. For drivers who have their hearts set on owning a new diesel BMW, only a few are left on the showroom floors, but they won’t be there for long.

New hybrids might be changing the face of the BMW lineup, but they definitely won’t be sacrificing their luxurious designs in favor of better gas mileage. New information will hopefully be available at the end of this year or the beginning of 2019.

BMW and Racing Heaven at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Words by Mitchell Weitzman

“Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.” And for many, this is the week they wait for all year long. Another August, another
Monterey Car Week, and another Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca. This has been said by many before, but there is little else like historic racing, where you can see your hero cars you grew up watching, and some that you never thought you’d have the chance to see (for us younger folks), race. This is no simple cruise either, with many owners of these vintage beauties thrashing them the way they were meant to.

Photos by Mitchell Weitzman, Daniel Blodgett, and Cory Brundage

Garage queen is not an applicable word to the racing of such historic machines. BMW’s heritage is partly built around its racing heritage. Being ‘the Ultimate Driving Machine’ requires a certain degree of pedigree. From the display of racing BMWs in the paddock and on the circuit, it’s easy to see that the pedigree – the authenticity – is intact.

A blitz of howling 3.0CSL Batmobiles made up the majority of the BMW field in the highly competitive  GT category, supplemented by M1 ProCars, E21s, and a couple E30 M3s. Seeing them tangle with Porsches, and the many Datsun/Nissans (the featured marque this year) was a true spectacle. They sound rather nice as well. Diving in on the inside under braking into the corkscrew, the action was sublime.

Every year the BMW CCA sets up camp along the straight between turns 4 and 5. A large car corral is assembled as well, being able to spot the many interesting and rare BMWs on the hills of Laguna. Even a Z1 was present (the disappearing doors were closed/up, unfortunately). Inside the CCA tent were several more beautiful and classic examples, as well as dining for members and an optimal spot to watch the racing.

The elevation changes make Laguna Seca particularly fun to watch, with all sorts of hills, dips, and off and on-camber corners. The Corkscrew remains one of the most challenging turns on the planet, with its incredible drop and then down the chute into fast turns 8 and 9.

My favorite moment of the weekend? Seeing Double F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen rip around the circuit in the 1995 Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 GTR. This is no exaggeration when I say that this is the best sounding car I’ve ever heard – it’s aural intoxication. I got right up to the inside fence at the turn 1 crest while he blasted down the front straight. He literally kicked rubber slags into my face. It was awesome.

But the sound of that mystical BMW V12 is on another planet. It can be heard from the Andretti Hairpin while screeching up the Rahal Straight towards the corkscrew. The rifle-crack downshifts, too, send chills down the spine. Onboard video can be seen here from the weekend. Please, turn the volume UP.

Entry into the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion includes full access to the paddock, where every competing car can be seen up close. Most all the drivers, owners, and mechanics are invitingly friendly, too. And while most other events during Monterey Car Week cost hundreds of dollars, the Reunion is only pocket change for a full weekend pass. The variety is immense as well, from 1930s Grand Prix cars, vintage Formula 1 cars, and to Group C prototypes.

Go once, and it won’t be your last.

Ever see Rush? This is the exact real-life car that Niki Lauda drove in the 1976 finale in Japan, where he pulled into the pits and retired from the race because of dangerous, soaking conditions.

 

Afterburners on

 

 

The Ultimate BMW Forum