Tag Archives: wrenching

Everything You Need to Work on Your BMW

Whether you want to make some modifications to your BMW or simply have to perform repairs and maintenance, you’re going to need a few tools. Turn your garage into a makeshift mechanic shop with these essential pieces of equipment. Then, get to work!

1. Floor Jack and Stands

If you plan to work on any of the components beneath your BMW, you’ll need a floor jack to lift and lower it. You’ll also need at least two jack stands to hold your car in place. Purchase stands that are rated for the weight of your vehicle to ensure the safety of both you and your car.

2. Wheel Chocks

Every year, roughly 13,000 automotive technicians sustain injuries while performing regular maintenance and repairs. To minimize injuries and fatalities, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates the use of wheel chocks while operating on heavy machinery. These little blocks will keep your BMW in place as you work and will provide peace of mind if you don’t trust your parking brake.

3. Micro-Abrasive Tube Brush

It’s also wise to have some tube brushes on hand. Use nylox micro-abrasive brushes for internal deburring and finishing applications. For battery maintenance and scrubbing the inside of cooling tubes, you might use a wire tube brush instead. You might also use these brushes to eliminate rust, clean corroded light sockets and unclog EGR ports.

4. Socket Wrench Set

You must replace your spark plugs every so often. When the time comes, you’ll need a socket wrench to remove the old ones. Purchase a set with multiple sockets to ensure you always have the right size for the job. Odds are good you’ll be using it for more than just spark plugs.

5. Breaker Bar

Sometimes nuts and bolts simply won’t move, no matter how much force you use. In this case, you’ll need a breaker bar. The long handle provides maximum torque and stability. Ones with flexible heads also allow you to work from any angle and reach around tight spaces for the best leverage.

6. Tire Pressure Gauge

AC Schnitzer M3 Wheel

In a BMW — and any car, for that matter — correct tire pressure is critical. Check the pressure every so often by using a gauge to take readings. Some even come with a built-in air bleeder to easily reduce tire pressure and a display that glows in the dark so you can ensure your tires are full day or night.

7. Creeper

Working on the undercarriage of your BMW for long periods of time calls for something a little more comfortable than a skateboard. Invest in a creeper with cushioning to support your body and rotating wheels to easily roll you under your car. After an hour or two on your back, you’ll be glad you did.

Do Your Research

As you know, BMWs are luxurious and come with a hefty price tag. Therefore, if you want to perform maintenance work on it, you must know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying to repair damages on top of the problem you were trying to fix in the first place.

Before grabbing your wrench, take some time to research the job you’d like to tackle. Read the owner’s manual, consult YouTube and public auto forums, and speak to experienced modders. These resources are invaluable as you work to maintain your ride and care for it properly.

Take Your BMW Wrenching to the Next Level

Working on your own car is one of the joys of ownership, and many BMW owners have some working knowledge of how to repair their cars, but just how comfortable are you turning wrenches when the stakes are high?

Mechanics spend years learning the ins and outs of specific BMW models, so when you begin life as a Bimmer enthusiast, don’t feel bad if a few trips to the shop are required. Over time, you can work on enhancing your skills. Stay with it, and a few years down the road you could be bolting whole cars together in your garage!

Entry-Level Jobs

No matter what kind of car you drive, saving money on maintenance and repair bills is an attractive idea. This is why many car enthusiasts choose to perform small jobs like oil changes and spark plug swaps on their own.

You will need a basic set of tools to pull off even these tasks — your car is not a snap-together model. For a few hundred dollars, you can pick up a basic set and a crawler to allow access below the vehicle. Don’t forget a quality set of jack stands — without them, you can’t raise the car off the ground safely.

Stepping Your Game Up

Once you’ve learned the basic layout of your BMW and how to find everything when the car’s in the air, you can begin to tackle tougher jobs. Maybe you’d like to install some upgraded suspension components or change out an old and failing radiator.

The more advanced jobs you’ll take on will require better access to the car. To give yourself better access and visibility when performing these jobs, a lift makes a great investment. If you know you will use it, you will recoup the money on jobs that would have required a mechanic’s facilities down the road. In some cases, you can even use a lift to add some parking space.

Advanced Procedures

When you’re comfortable making changes to individual components and performing routine maintenance, you can begin to consider doing more advanced jobs. There are classes available both for BMW-specific applications, and general engine work, you should attend if you’re going to do these jobs.

More advanced work might include complicated engine repair such as changing a camshaft or bottom-end component, or it might be making considerable modifications. Many enthusiasts talk about wanting to do an engine swap on their BMW, and while it’s certainly possible, you’ve got to know what you’re doing.

You Should Also Buy Some Orange Clean

Or GoJo — whatever pumice-derived cleaner you like best — because when you achieve this level of mechanical knowledge, all your friends are going to come around wanting your help. Hey, you live this stuff anyway, right? And if times get tough, you can always find work at a shop.

There are many reasons to begin doing your own work on your BMW. Start today and become a part of the movement keeping these timeless cars alive and well on the world’s roads.