Tag Archives: car care

How to Get Your Garage Ready for Warm Weather

It’s finally warming up in most parts of the country, and that means it’s time to start getting your garage ready for nice weather. What do you need to do to make sure that this room — whether you’re using it for storage, crafting or parking your car — is ready for spring?

Organize Your Seasonal Items

You won’t need snow shovels and driveway salt now that the temperatures are starting to climb. Take the time to stow your winter gear — including clothing and jackets, if you store them in the garage — and retrieve your spring and summer equipment.

Don’t just throw everything in the garage as you sort it out. You’ll hate yourself later when you have to go through it all again and clean it up. Instead, organize your spring and summer gear — from beach toys to lawn mowers to trimmers — so you can easily access it without cluttering up your space.

Keep Out the Bugs

As temperatures start to climb, so to do bug populations. If you’re in the garage a lot during the day or keep the door open, you’re inviting six-legged guests into your space. Start by storing food — for pets or humans — in sealed containers.

Make sure you’re sweeping or vacuuming any food spilled on the floor. Spray the inside and outside baseboards of your garage with insecticide to kill any bugs that are already inside and keep any new ones from crossing the threshold.

Just because your garage isn’t a living space doesn’t mean you need to invite bugs to share the area with you. Get ahead of the problem before the weather warms up and you have to call an exterminator.

Clean the Floors

If you park your car in the garage or walk through it after parking in the driveway, chances are high your floor is covered in salt, dirt and other debris you’ve tracked in.

Take the time to give your garage floor a thorough cleaning as the temperature starts to climb. Dirty floors can be a sign of unclean work conditions, and if you’re planning to sell your home, a dirty garage floor could detract from the property’s value.

Clean and Maintain Your Door

Spring cleaning isn’t just limited to the interior of your home. It’s also a great time to clean and maintain your garage door, so it’s ready for the season.

Inspect the hardware both inside and out for any signs of rust or undue wear and tear. Take the time to wash the door — again, both inside and out. If it’s been a while since you painted it, now is the perfect time to add a new coat.

Restock Your Spring Chemicals/Materials

Spring doesn’t just bring showers and bugs — it also brings weeds, and just like the food in your pantry, the chemicals you keep in your garage will eventually expire.

Go through all the chemicals you’ll need for your spring chores and yard work. Make sure they’re stored properly and replace anything that has expired or doesn’t work as effectively.

Enjoy The Warm Weather

Now that the temperature is finally starting to creep up, the last thing you need to do is get outside and enjoy the warm weather.

Once you’ve got your garage ready for spring, you won’t have to worry about it until the thermometer starts dropping and you need your winter coats again.

Four Car Issues Every BMW Owner Should Know

BMWs might be known for being some of the most reliable luxury cars on the market, but like everything designed by human minds and built by human hands, problems can crop up. Some of these issues are minor, while others can leave you stranded on the side of the road if you don’t address them quickly.

Addressing these problems can help you optimize your Bimmer for the most ideal drive no matter where you take it. Let’s look at four of the most common BMW problems and how to prevent them — or repair them when they do occur.

1. Power Window Failure

One of the best parts of owning a modern car is the convenience of power windows — at least, until they fail and end up stuck open or closed. Any BMW equipped with the E46 window motor and regulator might experience problems.

The regulator clips can break, which means your windows will move slowly — or not at all. These problems are easy to fix, but they do require taking apart the entire affected door to access the window regulator.

2. Oil Leaks

Oil only works if it’s able to stay in the engine compartment. BMW’s have a habit of developing oil leaks once you pass the 55,000-mile mark. Some are easy to repair — the valve cover gasket and the oil filter housing gasket being two of the most accessible oil leak related repairs — while others, like the rear main seal, may require the assistance of a professional.

You can repair some small leaks without disassembling the engine by using products that act as stop-leaks. However, while being a temporary mechanic might be convenient, it won’t work for larger or more complicated leaks.

3. Cracked Rims

Many BMW models come equipped with 19-inch run-flat alloy rims. While these rims look amazing, they are prone to cracking — and a poorly placed crack can puncture your tire, leaving you stranded.

It is important to note that this is only a problem for Class Series vehicles sold between 2009 and 2012 — BMW settled a class action suit in 2015. Although there’s not much you can do to prevent this other than driving safely, it is something to be on the lookout for if you’ve got a Bimmer from those years with the original rims.

4. Coolant Leaks

This BMW problem is specific to the BMW 3 series, but that is a great variety of cars to choose from. Regardless of the year, coolant leaks always manage to crop up. These can have many different causes, from a cracked radiator cap to a blown head gasket to a hole in the radiator itself.

No matter what the reason is, it is something you need to repair quickly. A lack of coolant could cause the engine to overheat — plus, the coolant is toxic to animals and the environment.

BMWs are, by far, one of the most reliable brands on their market — but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their share of problems. Being aware of these four common problems can help keep your car running and prevent you from ending up stranded on the side of the road.

6 Things to Know Before Junking Your Car for Cash

No matter how well you take care of your car, there comes a time when it just won’t run anymore, at least not without work that will cost way more than the car is worth. At that point, you have several options, one of which is to sell your car to a scrapyard for cash.

Here are 10 things you need to know before junking your ride.

1. What to Remove From the Car

Don’t bring your car to a scrapyard without first going through it and removing all your belongings. Check the glove compartment, the trunk and under the seats.

You should also be sure to keep any documents you have in the glove compartment, as well as your license plate, before you leave your car at the junkyard. Also, you may want to take out any especially valuable parts, which may include catalytic converters, GPS systems, batteries, radios and bumpers.

2. The Preferences of the Scrapyard

Before bringing your car to the yard, ask about their requirements and preferences for how they like to receive cars. Some buyers are pickier than others.

Some, for example, might only take cars that have been stripped down to the bare metal, which means you’ll have to remove the seats, fluids and all plastic parts. Even if this isn’t required, you may be able to make more money by doing some of this work yourself.

3. What Your Car Is Made Of

Before junking your car, take the time to find out what metals it is made of. That way, you can ensure you’re getting a fair price.

Do your best to determine what alloys your car’s components include, and whether any of them are plated with other metals. Electroless nickel plating, for example, protects parts such as cylinders, pistons and fuel injectors. Some parts may even be gold-plated.

4. The Market Price

2014 BMW All-Electric i3 Press Drive.

Once you know what kinds of metals you have in your car, you should find out what the typical market price for it is. Junkyards may list prices on their website, but do some Internet research and call around to various yards to determine what the average rate is. Remember, prices may vary in different parts of the country.

5. Local Scrap Metal Laws

Legal requirements for scrap yards differ from state to state. Some states require them to have active licenses to operate. Look up the laws in your area and check that the scrapyard you’re thinking of selling to is licensed, if necessary. This can help you ensure you’re working with a reputable business and help you avoid potential legal trouble in the future.

6. The Details of Your Transactions

When the junkyard weighs your scrap metal, ask for its weight in pounds. Some yards will give you this measurement in other standards, which can be confusing if you have no reference for how much they are.

Getting the weight in a measurement you understand will help you ensure you’re getting fair compensation. After the transaction is complete, be sure to ask for a settlement report. This document should list the details of all your transactions.

Thinking of junking your car for cash? It can be a smart option if you have an old car you need to get rid of. Just make sure you’re prepared before you head to the local scrap yard.