Be Sure Your Beemer Is Properly Insured This Summer

Car insurance policyWith the summer driving season just about upon us, you may be excited to get out and cruise around. You might be planning to head to the beach, to visit with friends or family that live across the country, or to simply visit places you’ve never been. Summer is a great time to travel, but you do want to make sure your BMW is properly insured.

What does insurance matter?

You may have the required insurance from your financial lender. You have liability and collision insurance. Do you have gap insurance?

If your BMW is relatively new, the moment you drove it off the dealership lot it lost several thousand dollars in value. This is one of the unfortunate side effects of purchasing a new vehicle.

If you were involved in an accident within the next week or month, for example, that completely totaled your vehicle, you may be required to pay out-of-pocket for the difference between what your insurance company pays out on the vehicle itself and what is owed on your loan.

Why is it important to think about this during summer months?

Some people think about these things as we head into the winter because we all understand how treacherous the roads can be. During the summer, we often think about sunny skies, dry conditions, and more, but rain that falls after several weeks of no moisture or precipitation at all can actually be just as dangerous as snowy or icy conditions during the winter.

In order to make sure you’re properly protected, check with your insurance provider to determine whether or not you have adequate insurance for the summer driving season. Some people increase their rate of liability at different times. Depending on your driving habits during summer, this is something you might want to look into, and you should also think about having your BMW serviced by a reliable and authorized BMW service center.

 

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If You Haven’t Done So Yet, It’s Time to Transition to Summer Tires

Rotating the Tires Helps them Last Longer and Improves Traction for Your BMWSummer is just around the corner. While we have been enjoying some ups and downs in the temperatures lately, no one can argue the fact that June is here and July is right around the corner. The hottest months of the year are still ahead and if you are driving your BMW with winter tires still on it, it’s well past time you had them switched out to tires that are more specifically designed for warmer weather.

What’s the difference?

The main difference between winter or all season tires and good, high traction summer tires is usually in the tread. The tread of winter tires will likely be thicker and more ragged. This allows your BMW to cut through the snow that is so common throughout the Greater Toronto Area throughout winter.

Thinner tread tires that don’t have the same kind of jagged lines to them help to provide better traction offer better fuel efficiency and more control during the summer months.

It’s also a good idea to realize that heat affects rubber performance.

The colder it is, the more difficult it becomes for tires to grab onto the pavement. During the summer, traction improves, but only if you maintain optimal tire pressure.

The recommended tire pressure during winter is different than it is during the summer, and if you don’t know much about tire tread, tire pressure, or other things, bring your BMW into Bimmex and have one of the friendly, professional, and highly experienced and well-trained auto service technicians look at what you have on there, recommend whether or not they should be changed, and explain the details about why it’s so important to pay attention to the tires you have on your vehicle every season of the year.

Stay safe and have fun this summer with good, quality tires on your BMW.

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When Do You Need a Wheel Alignment?

Rotating the Tires Helps them Last Longer and Improves Traction for Your BMWIf you were to stop the average person on the sidewalk and found out they drive and yes, they do own a car, you can ask if they know when it’s time to have a wheel alignment. Most of these men and women will look at you and wonder exactly what you’re talking about.

What is a wheel alignment?

When you drive down the road, your vehicle is supposed to work in perfect harmony with all of its components. From the steering column to the wheels, tie rods, shocks and struts, brakes, and so much more, anything that is not working as designed can affect the vehicles balance, it’s alignment, and much more.

Essentially, wheel alignment is caused by a number of factors, and when it is out, it can cause uneven wear and tear on the tires, improper traction control, and can even impact safety.

Whether you own a BMW or not, it’s a good idea to bring your vehicle into an authorized service center as soon as you realize there may be a problem with the alignment.

How can you tell when alignment is out?

The first major clue is that when you drive down a straight road with a flat surface and the car begins to pull one way or the other, there’s something wrong with your alignment. Most often this is a quick and easy remedy, but there can be circumstances that cause it to require more extensive work.

Many highways and even secondary roads across Canada have a pitch to them that can make it feel as though the car is out of alignment because it drifts off to the right, so if you have any questions, find a completely flat area, such as an open parking lot, aim your vehicle straight, put it in drive, and slowly release the brake. Make sure there are no other cars or people in the vicinity, and only lightly grip the steering wheel.

If you are not influencing the steering at all and begins to move to left or right, it’s time to get to an authorized BMW service center, like Bimmex, to have the wheel alignment checked and, if necessary, adjusted.

 

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How Important Are Online Reviews When Searching for a BMW Service Tech?

question1The moment you begin looking for a BMW auto service technician or center, you may have a lot of questions about their integrity, experience, qualifications, and even certifications. It’s important to choose the right BMW service center for your vehicle.

After all, BMWs are high performance, precision automobiles and deserve the best care from start to finish. When you begin looking for a local authorized BMW service center, you will probably understand the benefits of online reviews. So, how important are online reviews when you conduct your search?

Not every service center is up to date in a modern sense.

In other words, not every auto service center is going to understand the value and importance of online reviews, but that shouldn’t cause you to be penalized in any way. When you want to find a quality BMW technician, you can conduct your search online. That’s a great way to start.

Once you find a few potential companies that interest you, look at their online review history. There are numerous sites from which to choose, not the least of which is Google and Bing.

Keep in mind, however, that most people who leave reviews online are either friends or family of business owners, people who had an exceptionally great experience and want to share that, or who were extremely frustrated with the experience. You need to find a balance between those reviews and look at the details.

A simple review that may be five stars but only says “Great!” might be honest, but it doesn’t give you much in the way of an actual review. Look for reviews that get detailed about the service, name individual technicians, and you will be able to discover quality service centers that sit at the top of the list.

Yes, online reviews are important, but ultimately make sure you choose an authorized BMW service center, like Bimmex.

 

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3 BMW Detailing Tips to Keep Your Car Looking Its Best This Summer

Car Wash or Considering Cleaning It YourselfYou want your BMW looking it’s best this summer, don’t you? Of course you do. As such, you may need to spend a little extra time going over the finer details of keeping it clean, getting it waxed, and protecting its finish.

Remember, it’s not just about the exterior of your BMW that matters; it’s also about the interior. Below are three simple BMW detailing tips you might want to keep in mind. Sure, you can bring your BMW to a car wash facility and have a specialist there do everything, but you will miss a wonderful opportunity to not just connect with your vehicle more, but to also be more acutely aware of any issues that could be arising.

BMW Detailing Tip #1: Use the right materials.

When you wash your vehicle, make sure you use a soft terrycloth towel instead of a hard, abrasive sponge or brush. Anything that’s abrasive can scratch the surface of your BMW. While some of these abrasions could be so minor as to be unnoticed for a while, eventually they will impact the finish, making it age before it’s time.

BMW Detailing Tip #2: Start from the top down.

This makes common sense, but whether your cleaning the interior or exterior of your vehicle, start at the top and work your way down. When you’re detailing inside the car, you might want to run the vacuum cleaner across the roof and into any crevice that won’t cause scratching.

If you don’t start from the top, when you begin wiping surfaces down, it can kick up dust that settle back on parts of the vehicle you’ve already cleaned.

BMW Detailing Tip #3: Wax your vehicle at least once a year.

You should use a high quality wax for your vehicle at least once a year. Always remember to wash and wax your BMW in the shade. If you don’t have a shady area in which to park while you do these things, wait until the evening when the sun is setting down. If you don’t, the soap or wax can cook onto the finish of your vehicle, affecting it in ways you don’t want to consider right now.

 

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How Distracted Are You Behind the Wheel of Your BMW?

distracted drivingWhen you’re driving your BMW, whether you’re heading for work, going on vacation, or just heading into town to do some shopping, are you safe? While we have a tendency to focus on auto service, BMW repairs, and other topics, it’s also essential every once in a while to pay attention to safety.

More and more people are driving around distracted.

It’s important to realize that more and more people out there are driving without paying full attention to the road in front of them. They might be distracted on the phone, trying to read the newspaper, applying makeup, texting a friend, or doing something else. Even eating while behind the wheel, though often considered harmless, has led to numerous serious accidents and fatalities across the country.

Evaluate your own driving habits.

During the past week, have you picked up your phone to check messages while you were cruising down the highway? Sure, the highway may be wide open and there might not be many cars out in front of you, but things can change quickly. Did you realize that you can travel over 30 meters in a second while heading down the highway? That’s more than a third the way down a professional soccer field.

In that time, a lot of things can happen. There could be debris on the road that causes you to swerve, another vehicle could be approaching from an entrance ramp, or something could fly off a vehicle five or six car lengths in front of you. If you’re not paying attention when behind the wheel of your BMW, you can be involved in a very serious accident.

You can also hit somebody walking or riding their bicycles.

This happens far too often these days. Before you realize it, you could hear the thump and crash as you plow into somebody, either walking their dog, going for a jog, or riding a bicycle. It only takes one second.

It’s simply not worth it to be distracted when driving. Nothing is more important than being safe and not distracted when behind the wheel.

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Steps to Protect Your BMW’s Finish

Guy with a bucket and a spongeWhen you first bring your BMW home, it’s a great feeling. You look at the shine, how it glistens, and how the world seems to reflect in its surface. At that moment you want to do whatever you can to protect it for as long as possible.

There are some steps you should consider taking that will help you protect your BMW’s finish, not just for a year or two, or for many years into the future. Here are a few to keep in mind.

First, avoid harsh cleaning solutions and materials.

You’re not going to be using the same types of cleaning solutions or even materials, like a sponge, that you would to clean the interior portion of your house. You need soft sponges, waxing pads, terrycloth towels, and the right wash specifically designed for auto finishes.

Second, you want to wash regularly.

You want to keep up with the general cleanliness of your BMW as often as possible. A lot of people, unfortunately, simply drive their BMW to an automated car wash service center, but nothing is going to offer you more value and satisfaction than doing this yourself. Every once in a while, it’s okay to choose a car wash facility, but you will pay closer attention to minor imperfections, dings, and even scratches that can be taken care of sooner rather than later if you wash your BMW yourself.

Third, wax your BMW.

Every so often it’s a good idea to wax your BMW to ensure it stays protected. The wax backs up the finish and is not just helping your BMW to shine, but it’s also providing a layer of protection against rainwater, harsh ultraviolet radiation from the sun, pollution in the air, and much more.

If you have no prior experience waxing a vehicle, you should get some tips and have somebody help show you how to do it properly.

Lastly, keep your BMW in a garage for coverage.

Use a car cover if you don’t have a garage. If you have a garage but is full of junk, consider removing that to keep your BMW inside when you’re not driving or washing it. This helps to protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which will cause fading over time.

When you follow these tips, it should help your BMW look its best for many years to come.

 

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Can You Replace the Battery in That BMW Yourself?

replace batteryIf you own a BMW you may have noticed some things that are a little bit different with these vehicles than other brands. One important aspect to consider is the battery location. In the BMW E90, for example, the battery is located in the trunk of the vehicle. In other vehicles, such as the Z3, the battery is located under the hood, in the normal position, but you also have access in the trunk for jumper cables.

If you need to replace the battery, can you do this on your own?

In most vehicles the answer would be yes. If, however, you have no prior experience replacing a battery in any vehicle, this may not be the time to try doing it on your own.

When you attempt to replace the battery in a BMW, if it is a newer model, you may need to register it with the vehicle’s onboard computer system. This onboard computer is designed for diagnostic purposes to ensure proper operating conditions. If you don’t register the new battery with the vehicle’s onboard system, you could run into problems later on.

First, disconnect the negative lead.

Always remove the negative lead to your battery before anything else. This helps to neutralize the power source from the battery itself. You will need a 10mm wrench to loosen up the harness to remove the cable from the battery pole.

Next, it’s time to remove the positive side.

Just as you did with the negative lead, you will remove the positive lead and set it aside. Make sure these leads cannot come in contact with the battery itself, or serious risk of injury can occur.

You want to locate clips that hold the battery in place. Depending on the make and model of your BMW, these could be located on either side of the battery or the battery could be held in place by a clip toward the bottom. When you locate the clips that are keeping the battery in place, remove them carefully, make you sure you don’t crack or break them.

These clips are absolutely essential to keeping the battery in place and to avoid jostling while you drive down the road.

If, at any time, you realize you don’t have the experience or skill to replace the battery, call Bimmex for assistance. If your vehicle is not operating because of a dead battery, these auto service technicians will still be able to assist.

 

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How Often Should You Change the Oil in Your BMW?

Key Maintenance Checks for Your BMW, Especially Following WinterIt’s one of the most confusing aspects of vehicle maintenance today; how often should you change the oil? Whether you have a BMW or some other brand vehicle, changing the oil at regular intervals is absolutely essential to not just protecting the engine components, but helping it operate at peak performance levels.

For BMWs today, many of them use fully synthetic oil.

There is a common misconception about synthetic oil. Too many people hear the word ‘synthetic’ and assume this means it is fake or not real oil. It is real oil. It is petrol at its core. However, the processing of the oil is different, which allows it to be far more effective than traditional oil.

Because modern BMWs rely on fully synthetic oil, the oil does not need to be replaced nearly as often as they once had to be.

Now, your driving habits make a difference.

If you are spending a significant portion of your time behind the wheel doing highway driving, with minimal starts and stops, you won’t be placing as much pressure on the engine as you would with constant stop and go traffic. Also, if you are driving outside of the city, such as outside the Greater Toronto Area, there will be less air pollution, emissions from other vehicles, and more that can corrupt the integrity of the oil over time.

Basically, here’s a simple guide to help you determine how often the oil should be changed in your BMW.

  • If you drive between 0 and 17,000 km per year, you should change the oil twice yearly.
  • If you drive between 17,000 km and 30,000 km per year, you should change the oil every 7500 km.
  • If you drive more than 30,000 km yearly, you should change the oil every 12,000 km.

You may see the difference between the second and third listing here, but keep in mind that the average person driving between 17,000 km and 30,000 km every year is more likely doing a lot of stop and go traffic in the city. That’s why you should change the oil more frequently.

If you have any questions about your particular BMW, bring it to Bimmex. These auto service technicians can help you determine the optimal oil change increments for your Beemer.

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Simple Tips to Get Your BMW Looking It’s Best for the Warmer Weather Coming

Guy with a bucket and a spongeYes, warmer weather is coming. It’s exciting, isn’t it? You may have been trudging through winter and barely surviving, but you did it. Now, you’re about to get the opportunity to truly enjoy your BMW during this warm-up season.

What you want to do, though, is make sure it is operating efficiently, but also looking it’s best. Here are a few tips that can help you get your BMW looking it’s best for the upcoming spring and summer driving season.

Do the work yourself.

Sure, you can bring your BMW to a car wash center and have it done for you, but you may miss an opportunity to keep on top of the cleanliness and overall great condition of your vehicle. When people take care of their possessions directly, they have a tendency to protect them more fervently.

Wash and wax it.

Get a decent car wash, give it a nice, thorough washing down, and then apply a good wax finish. You want to use terrycloth towels that are nonabrasive to apply the wax and then, once it has dried properly, remove it.

Again, you can have a professional service do this, but when you wax your own vehicle, you will notice some things, possibly a few scratches, and something else you may be able to address now before rust begins to set in.

Protect the vinyl, if you have a convertible.

Depending on what the convertible is made from, vinyl, plastic, or some other material, make sure you protect it against the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Detail the interior.

Spend some time vacuuming out the interior of your BMW, use a soft bristled brand new toothbrush to get all of the dirt and dust out of every crack and crevice, and use a protectant, like Armor All, to keep the dashboard and all the components inside looking their best.

It’s also a good idea to have a sunscreen that you can place in the windshield of your BMW when you do have to park it outside, unprotected.

 

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