Storing Your BMW This Winter? Consider These Tips

Storing Your BMW This Winter? Consider These Tips - Motorwerkes - BMW Maintenance Calgary

Depending on what model you have and your own personal preferences, you may be planning to store your BMW for an extended period of time this winter. If this is the case, here are a number of tasks you should be sure to take care of.

Reasons for Winter Storage

If you own a BMW that is truly a cut above the rest, you probably enjoy the summer quite a bit. There’s really nothing quite like taking your favourite ride out for a spin and clear, sunny days make for excellent driving weather. However, once the end of driving season draws near, you may be one of many luxury or sports model owners who store theirs for the winter. It’s a good move if you want to maximize cosmetic and operating conditions for as long as you can, particularly if you also own another vehicle for commuting or day-to-day transportation.

Taking Care of the Outside

After all that summer driving, residue from various sources has probably ended up on your exterior. The last thing you want is for this stuff to eat away at your paint or leave other forms of damage when left there for an extended storage period. A professional washing and detailing before storage is definitely a wise choice. Combine this with a good-quality cover and your vehicle will stay clean and comfy for the whole season. Considering the weight of your vehicle and how long it will be immobile, inflating your tires to the maximum PSI as written on their sidewalls is your best bet against the pressure loss that leads to flat spots.

Preparing the Inside

When was the last time you had an oil change? You should never leave a car in storage with oil that has been pushed beyond its limits. The rest of your fluids, from coolant to wiper fluid, should be filled. Some drivers add fuel stabilizer to their gas before storage to avoid the accumulation of harmful build-up, but this depends on the characteristics of your vehicle including its age. When you take your BMW in for a pre-storage oil service and inspection, ask your technician if it’s needed for your model!

Whether you’re storing your BMW this winter or not, an oil change and other pre-storage maintenance is always smart to consider. Call Motorwerkes at (403) 768-3167 before winter hits and our team will help you cover all the bases!

Why Use Synthetic Motor Oil?

Why Use Synthetic Motor Oil? - Motorwerkes - BMW Maintenance Calgary

The oil you use for your BMW is one of the most significant factors in how well it operates and how long its engine will last. The common recommendation for most BMWs is to use synthetic oil, but what exactly does it mean and why is it an important decision?

Types of Motor Oil

In terms of their chemical makeup, oils generally come in four different types: conventional, synthetic, semi-synthetic (or synthetic blends), and high-mileage oil. The conventional stuff is unprocessed and suitable enough for the most basic engine types and driving requirements. Synthetics and synthetic blends have been chemically tailored to fulfill specific needs, particularly resistance to temperature extremes and rust. Lastly, if a vehicle is a bit older and has racked up more than about 75,000 miles, the seal conditioner and other additives found in high-mileage oil can help to prevent things like leakage and sludge build-up, therefore prolonging the life of the engine.

Synthetics and Your BMW

What many of us love about our BMWs is that they’ve been engineered with high-performance engines. This means that your engine will probably be doing a bit more work than the average one, offering you an above-average drive. In order for this to be possible, BMW has designed many of their engines to operate at their absolute best when using approved synthetic oils. The molecular structure of these oils has been specifically engineered to be as controlled and fine-tuned as possible, reducing overall friction and optimizing viscosity ratings. They also contain additives that reduce engine wear, build-up, oxidation, and other unpleasant engine conditions. This all adds up to better performance and a healthier BMW.

Making the Right Choice

One of the keys to a happy engine is choosing the oil that your particular model was designed and optimized for. Unless you’ve had yours for quite some time and might need to use high mileage oil, approved synthetics are strongly recommended for BMW engines. As usual, it’s very important to follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual or to get a personalized recommendation from a local BMW technician. You’ll be glad you chose the right oil when winter kicks in and your oil can stand up to those harsh temperatures!

How is the condition of your engine? Are you staying on top of scheduled maintenance and oil changes? The Motorwerkes team can help you keep your BMW running smoothly all year long, just give us a call at (403) 768-3167 today!

Protecting Your BMW from Autumn Leaves

Protecting Your BMW from Autumn Leaves - Motorwerkes - BMW Services Calgary

Summer presents its own challenges when you want to avoid maintenance problems and preserve the great look of your BMW’s exterior. When it comes to autumn, however, one form of debris stands out in particular: leaves.

On Your Exterior

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, but as those leaves fall off the trees, they bring plenty of other stuff with them. Sap and quercitannic acid, for example, aren’t particularly friendly to your exterior. Calgary doesn’t usually experience a lot of rain, but the leaves always seem to accumulate water and turn into dirty mush anyways, this can wreak havoc on surfaces by producing leaf stains. Driving away while there are dry leaves on your exterior isn’t the best idea either, as they can sometimes be covered in abrasive grit that is rough on your paint job. Always be quick to remove them from your windshield, and don’t let them block your headlights or tail lights!

Mechanical and Other Issues

Keep an eye on that plenum chamber at the base of your windshield so that rain can drain effectively as you drive, otherwise you could end up with a wet interior. You depend on your wipers for visibility and a safe drive, so be diligent about preventing blockage by clearing them of leaves regularly. Your ventilation system could fall victim to stray leaves as well, leading to odors, unusual sounds, or overall dysfunction of the air system due to clogged vents and filters. Even if the leaves in question aren’t on your car, they’re certainly all over the roads! Watch your speed, turning, and braking when large quantities of wet leaves are present.

What You Can Do

Avoid parking under trees and be sure to use your garage at home if you can. For complete peace of mind when parking for an extended period, consider getting a car cover. If you do find leaves resting on your exterior, your first move shouldn’t be to sweep or wipe them off, otherwise you’re asking for scratches as noted above. As long as there is a manageable amount, pick them off by hand. If you’ve found them building up at the base of your windshield or in other crevices, a vacuum will do the trick. It’s all about prevention and attentive care!

It’s important to be aware of seasonal maintenance issues if you want your BMW to stay in great shape. To make sure it gets the best service, give Motorwerkes a call at (403) 768-3169 to schedule a detailing or inspection!

More Ways to Extend the Life of Your Brakes

More Ways to Extend the Life of Your Brakes - Motorwerkes - BMW Services Calgary

Last week’s blog gave you an idea of how good braking habits contribute to reduced stress on your BMW’s braking system, but there are many more ways you can make them last. If you want to prevent costly damage, here’s what you can do.

Treat Them Well

If your brake pads and/or rotors are newly installed, it’s often recommended to “break them in”. This typically involves making a few medium stops at a moderate speed and following with several hard stops at a higher speed, gradually bringing your vehicle to a resting position so that the pads and rotors are properly bedded. However, depending on the BMW specialist replacing your brake parts, this might be done for you upon replacement. It’s also wise to be cautious about how soon you park your car after an extended period of hard braking. If you’ve been going downhill for a while and repeated brake use was necessary, keep moving for a bit at a lower speed to allow time for cooling and avoid rotor warping

Be Aware of the Signs

Many drivers hear screeching and squealing and allow it to go unrepaired for too long. Whether it’s worn brake pads allowing contact between the rotors and wear indicators, or the rotors themselves have rusted, the system should be examined by a local BMW specialist as soon as possible. Has a significant amount of brake dust accumulated on the surface of your wheels? This symptom is easy enough to notice, so you should take a look if it’s been awhile since you had those pads installed!

Trust an Expert

Are you investing well in the quality of your brakes? It might be tempting to save in the short term when you need replacements or repair, but you should remember that the safety and integrity of your BMW is on the line. Always trust recommended maintenance schedules and replacement parts so that your brakes get the best and most compatible treatment possible. To avoid buildup of moisture, take your BMW in for a brake system flush at an interval that they recommend. With the guidance and skill of a certified technician, you’ll be getting the safest, most cost-effective drive out of your brakes!

Are your BMW’s brakes showing signs of wear? Don’t hesitate to give them the most experienced care in Calgary! Call Motorwerkes at (403) 768-3169 to make it happen.

Summer and Your Fuel Economy

Summer and Your Fuel Economy - Motorwerkes - BMW Technicians Calgary

As we know, the shifting seasons affect many aspects of our BMWs. You’re probably aware of how difficult it can be to optimize gas mileage during winter. Summer, however, has its own way of affecting fuel economy.

A Few Advantages

One of the upsides that summer offers is how quickly you’ll get to operating temperature. You won’t need to wait after ignition in the middle of July! The gas usage this saves can certainly make a difference. You’ll also be using certain electrical components less than you would in the cold, such as heating and defrosting. This avoids some forms of strain on your BMW’s engine. It’s also important to note that the average winter drive is inefficient and slow due to traffic congestion and more cautious speeds. Even if you do get a chance to pick up the pace, you’ll get higher aerodynamic resistance in cold air than warm air. Both of these factor promote better fuel efficiency during the warmer months.

Cooling and Airflow Issues

Despite these advantages, there are some downsides. Air conditioning is probably the number one factor you should bear in mind, as many of us try to get as much out of our A/C as we can during hot days without giving it much thought. This can be pretty taxing on your engine for prolonged periods of time. Your first impulse may be to drive with the windows down more often, but this will take its toll as well! The last thing you want to do is compromise the sleek aerodynamic character of your BMW with increased drag as the air flows into the vehicle.

What To Do

While it might seem like you’re out of options, you don’t need to worry! It’s all about timing. Open windows won’t bring wind resistance up by a significant factor at the lower speeds of your neighbourhood. But, once you hit the freeway or even speeds a bit lower, it’s wise to go for the A/C instead. Keep the temperature as warm as you can while still maintaining comfort. If your interior has built up heat while parked, it’s better to tough it out the heat and open the windows to aid circulation before blasting the A/C and giving your engine more work. And of course, don’t run your A/C with the windows open!

Have more questions about getting the best performance from your vehicle? Motorwerkes is here to help with all of your BMW questions and concerns. Give us a call at (403) 768-3168 today!