How to Prepare Your BMW for Winter
While not all cities experience harsh weather, even a dusting of snow can affect a vehicle’s condition if you aren’t prepared. BMW maintenance is important for the longevity of the vehicle. Here are a few tips to help get your BMW ready for safe seasonal driving.
Check the Brakes
During a long, harsh winter, the quality and reliability of your BMW’s brakes will be tested regularly. Before the first snow flies, have your vehicle’s brakes professionally inspected. During the process, a technician will assess the condition of the brakes, servicing them if necessary.
Schedule Service Before It Gets Too Cold
Along with an oil change, a general service inspection should be on your winter maintenance checklist. It’s a good idea to get a tune-up every 3000 miles or so, and if that interval falls during the winter, it may be better to get it done during the fall. A proper tune-up involves an inspection of the engine’s hoses and belts, its ignition, wiring, spark plugs, emissions and fuel filter, and much more. Call today to schedule your seasonal tune-up.
Maintain Good Visibility
The condition and clarity of your car’s windshield are crucial to your safety and visibility on the road. While keeping the windshield wiper fluid reservoir full is an easy way to keep glass clean, other steps should be taken. In the fall, be sure your wiper blades are in good condition, and check them regularly throughout the season. Check your windshield for chips and fill them in before cold weather turns them into cracks.
Your BMW’s headlights should be in working order, which means they must be tested for effective brightness and proper alignment. If you aren’t sure how to do it, bring your vehicle in for a pre-season service appointment, where expert repairs will help you stay visible and safe all winter long.
Test the Battery and See If It Stays Charged
Winter weather has substantial adverse effects on a vehicle’s battery capacity, and BMWs are no exception. When a car battery won’t hold a charge, you’re more likely to end up stranded. Automotive experts can service batteries completely, from assessing their fluid levels to replacing them altogether if necessary. Even after getting a new battery, keeping it charged on cold nights is essential.
Oils, Coolant, and Fluids
Engine coolant, oil, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid—they all perform important functions but are often forgotten by BMW owners. Winter’s temperatures often take a significant toll on a car’s inner workings, and when colder days are approaching, there’s little time to worry about fluid levels.
Motor oil is affected by outdoor temperatures. When it gets below freezing, oil tends to thicken, which makes BMW engines more susceptible to damage. Many experts suggest changing to thinner oil for winter driving, which will lubricate the engine’s moving parts. Your automotive expert can recommend the right oil for your BMW.
When drivers bring their BMWs in for scheduled seasonal maintenance, the team will ensure that all vital fluids are at the right level and replaced if necessary, especially during the winter when it’s most important.
Pack an Emergency Kit and Store it Away
It’s crucial to be prepared for anything winter may send your way, which means creating a basic emergency kit. When poor weather shuts the highway down or you have a flat tire, the kit should contain basic tools as well as items that will help keep you warm, such as:
- A shovel
- Jumper cables
- A tow rope
- A first aid kit
- Road flares
- A flashlight
- Traction pads, sand, or kitty litter
With these basic items, you’ll be ready for any roadside emergency.
Winter BMW tires are a must for driving on black ice and packed snow, especially on inclines. Checking the tires for proper tread depth is an important step, but the best winterizing strategy is to replace your all-season or summer tires with those that are better suited to cold-weather driving.
Your BMW’s ground clearance is another thing to consider when planning for wintertime road trips. With a visit to a local repair shop, the experts can provide services such as tire installations, suspension setups, and alignments, which will ensure that your vehicle is ready for the road.
Get Your BMW Ready for Cold Winter Days
At Bimmer Performance Center, our team of European vehicle specialists will help get your BMW ready for winter. We serve the entire Raleigh area, and we are ready to help drivers stay safe and comfortable all season. Click for more information or call today to schedule winter BMW maintenance.