Frozen BMW

How Winter Can Take a Toll on Your BMW

27 Nov, 17

Although BMWs are designed for endurance, no matter the outdoor conditions, they can still suffer after rough winter months. Cold temperatures certainly take a toll on all vehicles, and if you’re a BMW enthusiast, it can be disheartening to experience a decrease in performance. The conditions that come along with cooler temperatures can wreak havoc on your BMW, so it is important to stay on top of routine maintenance throughout the year and especially prepare your Bimmer for the weather changes in the winter months. It’s not easy to predict exactly how your BMW will be affected by the weather; however, there are specific areas you can focus on when getting your car ready for cold weather. Here are some of the ways that winter can take a toll on your BMW:

Tire Wear

When the outside temperature lowers, the pressure in your BMW’s tires drops significantly. This can be problematic if you aren’t expecting lower pressure levels in your tires—especially while traveling at high speeds. Most highway accidents are caused by unexpected tire blowouts and flats. To ensure that your tires stand up to the cooler temperatures, it is important to monitor the pressure changes and fill your tires adequately with air as often as needed. Furthermore, it may be helpful to have your tires inspected for punctures or soft spots to lessen the chance of a flat. Remember to always keep a spare in your BMW’s trunk at all times.

Battery Life

Cooler temperatures also affect your battery’s ability to start with ease—in winter months, batteries work harder to start the frigid engine. Batteries are recommended to be replaced every 3 or 4 years, depending on the typical frequency and duration of use. If you are concerned that your BMW’s battery is in deteriorating condition, contact a trusted automotive shop to perform an inspection—it may be time for a replacement. If you suspect you need a battery replacement, it’s best to do so before the winter months hit so that you’re not stranded with a car that won’t start.

Hardwater Damage

Rain, snow, and average condensation contribute to frozen water buildup in the various components of your engine and vehicle parts that can accumulate water, especially during winter. Unfortunately, as the water thaws, not all the components are capable of properly draining. This can create rust and corrosion to parts that were functioning properly before winter hit. One of the best ways to evaporate the water quicker is to allow your BMW to warm up a little longer before driving in the winter months. Generally this is no longer recommended for drivers; however, during specific conditions like especially cold, rainy weather, this may be helpful for your engine.

Fluid Thickening

Naturally, when your BMW’s fluids like coolant or motor oil are exposed to cold temperatures they thicken. This can affect your BMW’s ability to function properly or perform at its best. While there isn’t much you can do to prevent this from happening, short of keeping your BMW in a heated garage at all times, you can allow your engine to warm for a few minutes longer before leaving for work every morning or going off to run errands. Warming your engine will also warm the fluids, allowing them to flow more freely through it.

Ice Scrapping from Windshield

How We Can Help

At our shop, Santa Barbara Autowerks located in Santa Barbara, CA, we take a systemic, wholistic approach to automotive service and vehicle health. Focusing on preventive automotive care, we aim to keep your BMW in the best running condition possible at all times, and most importantly, avoid expensive and invasive repair work. Ongoing maintenance is critical for your BMW to withstand the winter seasons, and your safety is our number one priority. Using factory level diagnostic tools and equipment, we believe that one of the most important aspects of our work is paying close attention to the diagnostic process. This ensures accuracy and efficiency with every BMW repair or procedure we encounter, making sure we get it right the first time. To schedule a winter-preparatory inspection or to simply speak to one of our automotive specialists about your BMW, contact us today.

Frozen BMW image credit goes to: bizoo_n.

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