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Winter Car Care: A Few Common Myths

Winter Car Care: A Few Common Myths - Motorwerkes - BMW Experts Calgary

We’ve walked you through a number of recommendations for taking care of your BMW during winter, but as with any topic regarding a vehicle, it’s just as important to be aware of common misconceptions. Here are a few to watch out for.

Your Tires

One misconception that crops up here and there regarding tires is that you only need to have two winter tires installed. This is not the case, and it’s always recommended to get a full set, as differing traction between the front and rear of your vehicle can be risky. Another pitfall is the assumption that winter tires are only needed in particularly icy conditions or in environments outside of urban areas. The truth is that wet, low temperature weather calls for winter tires regardless of what part of Calgary you’re in, and whether it’s actively snowing or not!

Your Battery

If your BMW has had a breakdown or just needed some help getting started thanks to the cold, you may have gotten a friend or family member to jump-start your car. A common assumption at this point would be that your battery will be recharged in a matter of minutes. This isn’t true during any time of the year, but it’s particularly false during winter, given the difficulties that a battery can have in low temperatures. Depending on the age of your BMW and the batter itself, you’ll likely need to keep things running for much longer, and could even require a load test to make sure it can hold a healthy charge.

Steering, Braking, and Stability

Many BMW owners might be enthusiastic about the latest traction and stability control technology, or about the fact that their model has all-wheel drive. They may also assume that this makes for flawless safety. The reality is that these functions aren’t substitutes for smart driving and winter tires. The same goes for ABS. Your braking should be more careful and calculated this time of year. Meanwhile, if you think that slightly deflating your tires can offer better traction, think again! When in doubt, ask your local BMW certified technician to find out if a certain piece of winter advice checks out.

Our goal at Motorwerkes is to ensure that your BMW runs and looks great for as long as possible, no matter what the season. Whether it’s an essential repair or an exciting performance upgrade, we’ve got all your BMW needs covered. Get in touch by calling (403) 768-3168 today!

Starting Your Car During Winter

Starting Your Car During Winter - Motorwerkes - BMW Experts Calgary

Depending on a few different circumstances, such as the model and age of your BMW as well as how you store it, you may occasionally experience a little trouble when starting it on a particularly cold day. Let’s take a look at why this might be and what you can do.

False Starts

Getting into the car and starting it up in the morning isn’t always the most pleasant process when you’re in the middle of winter. Your heating system won’t start doing its job until the engine has warmed to its proper operating temperature, but even before that, some drivers might have difficulty getting the ignition going. As many of us know, your BMW depends on many different types of fluids to work, not to mention your battery and your spark plugs. All of these can be affected by extreme low temperatures, so they’re the first things to keep in mind.  

Possible Culprits

Naturally, gasoline has a tougher time burning when it’s been sitting in your engine losing all of its warmth overnight. Many forms of engine oil will change in viscosity, becoming thicker and therefore working against the engine when it needs to get in motion. If you’re overdue to replace your spark plugs, their age is an important factor when it comes to ignition, so harsh winter temperatures on top of that certainly don’t help. And of course, winter cold can put a significant damper on the electrochemical reaction that your car battery depends on to help start your vehicle.

Taking the Right Steps

Overcoming the inconvenience of winter ignition trouble is easier than you think. Park in a garage or under some form of shelter any time you can. Be sure to turn off all electrical components before turning the ignition. When you do, don’t keep the ignition active for too long, otherwise you could overheat your starter. Depending on how cold it gets and the condition of your vehicle, using a block heater might be helpful. In any case, if you do run into persistent problems and suspect battery or spark plug issues, be sure to take your BMW in for a checkup as soon as possible!

Experiencing any issues with your BMW this winter? Come by Motorwerkes, and we’ll be happy to take a look. Our BMW certified technicians have decades of combined experience and are dedicated to giving you the best results. Call (403) 768-3168 to set up an appointment!

Is Your BMW Ready for Winter?

Is Your BMW Ready for Winter? - Motorwerkes - BMW Experts in Calgary

Preparedness is one of the most important qualities for any responsible driver. When the weather starts to get a bit more extreme, this is especially true. Everything from the condition of your BMW to the safety of you and your passengers depends on how you get ready for winter!

Gearing Up

The state of your vehicle itself is important, but some drivers might underestimate the importance of having the right supplies and equipment ready throughout the season. If you’re planning a road trip to visit family for the holidays, it will be critical to have the right things at hand in case you find yourself in a sticky situation. In addition to the usual scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, and batteries, you should also have a blanket, lighter, sand (or kitty litter) and handheld shovel for getting unstuck, and road flares. Of course, you should never forget that first aid kit!

Preparative Maintenance

The sooner you can take care of essential winter maintenance, the better. Switch out your tires for a high quality winter set if you haven’t already. A comprehensive check-up from a trusted technician is always a good idea. Attention should be paid to everything from the levels and condition of fluids to belts, hoses, electrical components, brakes, and more. You’ll want to keep a particularly close watch on your tire pressure, as this tends to sink a bit in low temperatures. Pay attention to the details and don’t delay if you think something needs work.

Mindful Driving

Winter preparedness isn’t just about what tools you have at the ready or the shape that your BMW is in. It’s also about knowing how you should adjust your driving habits. Staying safe and in control is key no matter what time of year it is, but with all those slick surfaces, lack of traction, and decreased visibility, this time of year has a way of presenting a few complications into what would typically be an uneventful drive. Be smart and moderate about your input, bear in mind increased stopping distances, and be sure not to accelerate when cornering. It’s good for you and everyone else you share the road with!

If you haven’t covered your bases for winter, now is a great time to have a certified technician get your BMW ready for the months ahead. From fluid changes to full inspections and maintenance recommendations, call Motorwerkes at (403) 768-3168, and we’ll take care of it!

Road Salt and Your BMW

Road Salt and Your BMW - Motorwerkes - BMW Experts in Calgary

Dealing with harsh Canadian winters involves all kinds of important measures and habits to optimize safety, maintenance, and more. One that we take for granted is road salt. It helps to mitigate the possibility of dangerous frozen surfaces, but how does it affect your BMW?

What Exactly Is It?

We see road salt every day during winter, but what is it made of? The material that is spread across roads during winter is typically a mix of halite (the unrefined mineral form of sodium), sand, and additives designed to provide consistency and traction that is favourable for application on roadways. In particularly low temperatures, additional chemicals are used to ensure that the salt can effectively do its job. The chemical makeup of halite allows it to melt snow and lower the freezing temperature of water it comes in contact with.

The Good and the Bad

Road salt and similar materials are necessary for winter safety, whether it’s on the road or on pedestrian surfaces. That being said, there are many reasons why it’s smart to stay aware of its effects and address them efficiently. Salt has a way of promoting corrosion in metals, particularly in the form of iron oxidation (in other words, rust) that can take a toll on many parts of your BMW. Driving kicks up a lot of this material into the exposed underside of your vehicle, leading to plenty of unpleasant cosmetic and mechanical consequences, such as exterior staining and damage to your paint, damage to your exhaust, subframe, coil springs, and more.

What You Can Do

These issues are certainly no picnic if they get out of hand, but if you’re diligent about maintenance then it should be a piece of cake to protect your vehicle from the worst of salt damage. Have your BMW washed and detailed professionally during winter so that you can ensure that the best care is taken to optimize its condition. You should look for not only a basic exterior cleaning, but also a check-up on the condition of the parts that are most vulnerable to corrosion caused by road salt. Be sure to talk with a local BMW expert to get tips for your specific vehicle!

Does your BMW show signs of staining or corrosion due to road salt? The Motorwerkes team would be more than happy to get your vehicle looking and working as great as ever. Give us a call at (403) 768-3168 to make it happen!

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!