BMWs are highly prestigious cars, the choice of many business professionals.
So much so that BMW was even named the most sought after manufacturer for company car ownership (https://www.bmwbusinesspartnership.co.uk/bmw-named-sought-manufacturer-company-car-ownership/ retrieved 17 October 2017). From classy hatchbacks such as the BMW 1 Series, to the electric BMW i3 and luxury saloons in the 3, 4, 5 and further Series, the range is packed with quality vehicles.
As a BMW owner or someone looking to become one in the near future, you’ll want to ensure your car is reaching its peak performance. There are many areas to focus on to ensure your car stays in top condition, as this guide details.
Regularly Inspect the Tyres
Tyres that are in a poor state can be unsafe and also cause additional damage to your BMW. You should check them regularly for the tread depth, pressure and any unusual cracks, bubbles or irregular looking marks. Especially when buying a second-hand BMW it is important to undertake these checks first.
Inspect the tread depth by placing a 20p coin between the grooves. If you can see the outer band then the tyres will need replacing, as the legal minimum for tread depth is 1.6mm and this could result in skidding and accidents. Check the tyre pressure each month as well because underinflated tyres will put extra strain on your car, reducing fuel economy too. If you spot any other odd marks on your tyres, take it to a professional garage.
Keep Fuel Levels Well Above Minimum
As a BMW owner, it is essential that you never let your car’s fuel fall below about a quarter of a tank. Aside from the risk of your car running out and breaking down, low fuel levels can damage the engine. Particulates and debris build up in the fuel tank over time and become more concentrated when fuel runs low, which can contaminate the fuel line. While the filter should catch most of these, it does mean you’ll need to replace that more often.
Low fuel levels also increase the chance of an engine overheating, as the fuel pump which sends petrol or diesel from the tank to the engine heats up as it works. Being surrounded by fuel keeps it cool, but if these levels are low then it can remain hot and potentially cause a problem.
Check the Oil and Filter
Fluids and filters need to be checked and changed regularly by every owner of BMW cars to ensure they are running at their optimum performance. Not enough or old oil and a dirty filter can mean important areas of the engine are not well lubricated and allow dirt and soot to enter it, causing corrosion. It is important that whenever the service light comes on to take it in to the garage for a service to reduce any such problems arising. Other factors that point towards an oil issue are:
- The engine is louder than normal
- Your BMW sputters when trying to keep a consistent speed
- Smoke can be seen or smelt from the exhaust
Wash Thoroughly and Carefully
Every BMW owner should take pride in the appearance of their car, both inside and out. Avoid automatic car washes, as there is a risk of picking up scratches, instead wash your BMW by hand. Regular washing is essential, ideally every week, to remove any dirt that could potentially damage your car’s exterior.
Don’t wash directly after driving or in sunlight, as the heat will cause water to evaporate and damage the paint. For the best results use special BMW soaps and cleaning products, as general detergents can strip the wax. Finally, dry the car with a cloth to prevent spots appearing when air drying.
Look After the Windscreen and Body Work
Salt, stones and dirt from the roads can be unavoidable and cause chips to the bodywork and windscreen for any owner of BMW cars. If you notice any chips to your windscreen, take it to a garage as these can be easily repaired by professionals and prevent the problem getting worse. With the bodywork, minor scratches can be covered up with the correct paint, while larger dents may also need professional attention.
Protect it Financially with BMW GAP Insurance
Along with a warranty and insurance, BMW GAP insurance is another way to financially protect your prized car. GAP insurance for cars covers the shortfall of what you paid for your BMW and what it’s worth at the time if it is written off. This can drop by a lot over time, especially for new BMW cars that will depreciate in value. A write off could include your car being stolen, involved in an accident or damaged by fire and floods and BMW GAP insurance covers all these eventualities.
Along with driving sensibly, these car care pointers should help any BMW owner ensure their luxury motor delivers a top performance on the roads.