A BMW is one of those status symbols that never goes out of style. New or old, a BMW carries a cache that is hard to match with any other automaker, especially when you consider the luxury sport market. In fact, BMW basically created the market back in 1972 when they unveiled their new 5 Series E12 Coupe, and that tradition and pedigree continues to this day.
However, you can also get in a lot of trouble driving that BMW because of its peak performance and sporty handling. While looking every bit as comfortable on the track as at a movie premiere or even on the big screen itself, a BMW is commonly known as the ultimate driving machine because it’s always been about performance first.
But if you’re new to BMW, you may not realize that all that power under the hood can get away from you, particularly if you have a stretch of open road ahead. Here are some driving tips that can help keep you and your BMW on the road and out of the repair shop. Some people call it basic BMW care, but these good driving tips are essential if you want to keep that BMW around for the long haul.
WHY REIGN IN THOSE DRIVING HABITS?
Many people get a BMW to see just how far they can push it. And while there’s a lot of assist tech in modern-day BMWs, they can still get out from under you in various circumstances, and that means keeping various driving tips and tricks in mind for those times when you might be tempted to go too far. They’re not necessarily tips that are specific to BMWs, but you can’t be too careful when you’re behind the wheel of one of the world’s most advanced driving machines.
While BMWs are fun to drive, especially fast, driving like you’re in a race at all hours of the day is no way to treat your new vehicle. Not only are you risking an accident, but all that wear and tear will eventually catch up with you in costly repair bills and other visits to a BMW mechanic. Instead, if you can reign in those driving habits with convenient driving tips, you’ll be able to preserve your car’s value, prevent costly repairs and ensure that you have a reliable vehicle for years to come. You’ll also save money on fuel, extend the life of your car’s parts and reduce the chances that you’ll see an accident.
Here are some driving tips to keep in mind:
- Accelerate and brake less. It can be tempting to punch it out of every red light and squeal the tires and brakes every time you have to come to a stop. But if you drive more reasonably on a daily basis, you’ll significantly reduce the wear and tear on your car, as well as the chances that you may have some kind of accident. Leave the racing to race courses or empty back roads and you’ll get more out of your BMW.
- Slow before turning. While the squealing and smoke from drifting through a corner can be nice for the ego, it’s hell on your tires, brakes and suspension. You can certainly experiment here and there, but one of the best driving tips is to leave the fast and furious driving to times when you can afford to truly wind it up, such as on a closed course or when others aren’t around. If you don’t, you’ll end up paying for it in broken parts or other issues and wear that will eventually catch up with you.
- Keep an eye on that transmission. Some of the most long-running BMWs today feature manual transmissions that can run basically forever if they’re treated well. Learning when and how to shift smoothly is as much an art as a science, though today’s BMWs are mostly automatic transmissions, and that can represent a significant expense if your reliable automatic transmission gives out. To prevent that, it’s best to drive reasonably and save those harsh wind-ups for when you really need them.
- Don’t forget about the weather. This next driving tip has to do with being prepared for the weather. Rain, snow and ice can all represent a significant hazard out on the road, particularly if your BMW is equipped with the wrong type of tires or ones that are on their last legs. Loss of traction, control and even hydroplaning are common if you’re driving outside the capabilities of your BMW or its tires, which can be made worse with the wrong tire pressure. To ensure that you’re always prepared, have two sets of tires for the winter and summer months, and be sure to check pressure and tread periodically.
- If you find yourself out of control at any point, ease up. This driving tip may be filled with common sense, but it’s hard to overstate the value of letting up if and when your driving is out of control. If you find yourself in a skid and you’re not sure what to do, don’t try to power your way through it. Instead, let up on the accelerator or feather those brakes to reclaim control. Don’t punch it or wildly swing the wheel around — you’ll likely make your skid worse and risk an accident.