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How to Not Crash Your First BMW

Congratulations — you just signed on the dotted line and got to take home your first BMW. It’s so tempting to put the pedal to the metal and see what your new car can really do — but the last thing you want to do is crash your new car right after you pick it up! Here are a few tips and tricks to help you keep your new BMW on the road.

Know Your Car

Before you get behind the wheel, make sure you do some research on your new car. What is its top speed? How fast can it go from 0 to 60? What about stopping distance? If this is your first time owning something quick, you might be shocked at the difference between this and your old clucker.

While you probably won’t be trying to break that speed record, it’s still a good idea to know what your car’s capabilities are before you start driving it. It lets you know what to expect when you take off from a stoplight or have to slam on the brakes to avoid a distracted driver in front of you.

No Lead Feet

The BMW M5 30th anniversary edition can do 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 199 miles per hour. Even if this isn’t the model that’s sitting in your garage, chances are your BMW has more power than you’re used to in a car. Take off your lead boots and drive smart — you’re not going to hit that top speed on your daily commute or anywhere else unless you’re on a track, so stick to the posted speed limit when you’re on public roads. It can be tempting to push it on a straight highway, but remember you’re not the only one on the road.

No Distractions

It’s important to remember this anytime you’re driving, but it’s especially important if you’re behind the wheel of a powerful car like a BMW — be aware of your surroundings. Don’t let an accident on the side of the road, your favorite jam on the radio or a lovely sunrise distract you from driving. In this same vein, leave the cell phone in your pocket or your glove compartment. Distracted driving was responsible for 3,450 fatalities in 2016. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 83,000 accidents each year are the direct result of people driving while sleep-deprived. Driving without sleeping for 24 hours slows your reaction times — it’s roughly equal to a 0.10 blood alcohol level.

Don’t Show Off

Just search YouTube for “BMW Show Off Fail” and you’ll find hours of footage that is fun to watch but not so fun to be a part of. If this is your first time in a fast car, you might be surprised at how many people want to race you at a stoplight. It might seem like a fun challenge, but the pride you get from beating someone off the line isn’t worth the dozens of things that could go terribly wrong.

Getting your first BMW is an awesome experience, but you want to make sure you’re driving safely. The last thing you want to do is have to tow your BMW to the shop because you crashed it. Don’t speed, don’t get distracted and don’t open up that throttle unless you’re on the track. BMWs are powerful, but that power can be dangerous in inexperienced hands. Other than that, enjoy your new BMW and the fantastic comfort and security it offers — you’ve earned it.

7 Ways to Drive Improve Your BMW Driving

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Will the Sun Damage Your BMW’s Paint?

There’s nothing quite like rays of summer sunlight glinting off your car’s freshly waxed paint job, but that sunlight isn’t just good for pictures — it could be damaging your BMW’s paint job. How can you keep that stylish paint job in good shape without relegating your car to night driving?

Wash, Dry and Wax

The best thing you can do to protect your car’s paint job is to treat it well. First, wash your car with a soft cloth and a paint-friendly soap. Don’t use dish soap or any other suds-generating product you might have lying around the garage. These products are perfect for cleaning your dishes, but they contain abrasive qualities that can damage your paint’s clear coat and expose the paint to harsh UV rays.

Once you’re done washing and rinsing, dry your vehicle off with a chamois or microfiber cloth. Chances are, you’re not washing your car with filtered water, so leaving your car to air dry could also be leaving deposits of minerals or other contaminants to dry on your car.

Finally, put a good coat of wax on your car — in the shade or preferably in your garage. Putting wax on your car is akin to putting sunscreen on your skin. It protects your paint from the UV rays that can cause it to fade, weaken and peel. Just like sunscreen, you need to reapply it frequently to get the best protection possible.

Over time, sun exposure will damage your BMW’s paint. Treat your paint job like your skin and protect it as best you can from UV exposure.

Park in the Garage

We all love to show off our cars by parking them in the driveway or on the street, but parking them in the sun increases the exposure to UV rays. The solution to this is to park your car in the shade, but if that shade comes from a tree, you might find yourself washing your car more often than you’d like, due to pollen and sap falling from the branches.

Carports can be a good alternative, too, but keep in mind that carports won’t fully protect your vehicle from sun exposure. The best option is to park your car in a garage — but we get it. If you’re like most of us, your garage is full of clutter that has no other place in your house, and you just haven’t gotten around to sorting through it.

Need a good reason to clean out your garage and move your car inside? Here are a few. Not only does parking in the garage minimize sun damage to your vehicle, your garage also protects your car from would-be thieves or vandals. Keeping your car out of your driveway even helps improve the curb appeal of your home.

If you don’t have a garage, adding one to your home to protect your BMW and any other cars can be a worthwhile investment. Surveys have found an attached two-car garage can add upwards of $30,000 worth of value to your home, while a one-car attached garage or even a detached one can add between $15,000 and $20,000 in home value.

Keeping your BMW out of the sun all the time isn’t going to be an option — and we wouldn’t want it to be. Enjoy driving your car in the sunlight. Just make sure you take the time to protect your investment from the UV rays. A good wash and wax can do just that, but parking in the garage when you’re not driving is easily the best step you can take.