Winterizing Your BMW

By October 8, 2014Blog, Education & Tips

Let’s be honest. Winters in Southern California aren’t too tough.

Winterizing Your BMWWe might swap out our short sleeves for sweaters, and our boardshorts for wetsuits, but compared to BMW drivers in the North and East, things aren’t too bad.

Just because that Surf City sun still shines brightly doesn’t mean your BMW should go without proper winter treatment, however.

Coast Motor Werk has a few friendly tips on winterizing your BMW that will give you – and us, since we care about your car – some peace of mind.

A Few Friendly Tips

Oil and Filter

Cold weather can take a toll on your oil and oil filter. If you’re spending this holiday season at the North Pole (or somewhere with a similar 7-day forecast), replace your current oil with a lighter viscosity grade for easier startups and reduced friction.

Tire Pressure

For many drivers, it’s a constant surprise how much a deflated tire can affect your BMW’s performance. Weather-related temperature drops can hurt your tire pressure, and without the proper amount of air, your fuel efficiency will decrease, handling becomes sluggish, and traction starts to decline. Check the manual and the fine print on the tires to find out the proper inflation level, and keep it there.

Battery & Lights

Winterizing Your BMWStarting your car in cold weather, especially on early mornings, can stress out your electrical system. Have your battery and alternator checked to make sure they can perform when you need them most.

While you’re at it, look your BMW up and down to make sure all exterior and interior lights are working. That way, other drivers will see you on the road, and you won’t have to empty your kid’s college fund to pay that fix-it ticket.

Brakes & Fluids

Finding out your brakes have gone squishy is never good when you’re on the road; it’s worse when you’re driving through a winter rainstorm. Have your brakes checked regularly (regardless of the season, but especially in winter) to stay safe out there. Also, make sure all fluid levels are topped off, and some cold weather washer fluid wouldn’t hurt either.

Winterizing Your BMWDetailing

Precautionary steps like washing and waxing your paint and chrome can protect your car against the harmful effects of salt, sand and contaminants that cause rust and dull the finish. Having the carpet and seats shampooed to keep your interior fresh is another good idea that works in all seasons.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze is essential to your car’s winter protection. Replenish or replace it as needed. Antifreeze should be kept at a full level, and dissolved 50/50 with water.

(Thanks to The Little Garage and Peterson BMW in Boise for these suggestions!)

Preparing For Storage

Maybe you aren’t going to drive your Bimmer at all during the winter. If you’re locking the car away and strapping huskies to your dogsled for the next few months, here are a few more ways to get ready for the cold season:

Fuel Fix

Dry gas and Techron added to the gas tank will help prevent condensation and freezing within the fuel system. Consider adding some fuel stabilizer to keep the gasoline from going bad, especially in areas that include ethanol in their fuel.

Winterizing Your BMWTire Pressure, Again

Adding some extra air to your tires will help prevent flat spots, if the car is going to sit unmoved for several months.

Pull the Plug

For longer spans in storage, disconnect the negative cable from the battery, or unhook the battery altogether and store it in a warmer space to prolong its life.

(Bimmerinfo.com has some more winter storage tips, if you need them.)

The BMW-obsessed mechanics at Coast Motor Werk know all about winterizing your BMW, summer-izing your BMW, and springing into action on any repair or maintenance task. Schedule your appointment today!

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