Whether you’ve got a classic BMW or a newer model, it’s always fun to add some new toys to your favorite car. If you’re not a mechanic, getting started on your new project car can be a tricky proposition, but here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started working on your BMW — or any other vehicle in your garage.
It might be tempting to just dive right under the hood. However, if you don’t have at least a basic idea of what you’re doing, you might end up spending a lot more money to have someone repair your car after you take it apart — not to mention the cost of having it towed to a repair shop!
Take time to learn how to work on your model of BMW. Call your mechanic buddies. Pick up a Haynes Manual. Watch videos on YouTube. There are tons of resources that don’t require you to go to school to become a mechanic. If you’re at least a little handy and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, start learning.
Get the Right Tools
You can’t do any job correctly without the right tools — whether you’re building a cabinet, planting a tree or repairing a BMW. If you don’t already have a well-stocked garage, your next step is to pick up some tools. The essentials you’re going to need include:
- A high-quality set of pliers
- A complete set of open-end box wrenches, in both standard and metric measurements
- Screwdrivers — all of them
- A sturdy rubber mallet
- A breaker bar for those stubborn, hard-to-remove bolts
- Jacks and ramps to get your car off the floor
- Allen wrenches and star-bit wrenches
- A comprehensive socket set — including extensions and universal joints to help you get to those hard-to-reach bolts
Before you start working on your BMW, make sure you do some research. Will you need any specific tools for your car? Some cars use specialized locking nuts and bolts that can only be removed with a specific tool — either purchased from the dealership or from an aftermarket dealer.
Your garage is a tool, too — no one wants to work on their car in super-cold or super-hot weather. Additionally, having a garage where you can keep your car is the best way to protect your BMW from the weather, falling tree branches and even from casual car thieves. To keep your garage floor looking good for years to come, take time to seal it with epoxy flooring. It lasts for years, can stand up to even the highest traffic and is a lot easier to clean than concrete if you spill some grease or oil.
Unless you’re some sort of mechanical prodigy, you’re going to make mistakes and end up having to ask for help occasionally while you’re working on your car. Don’t let this discourage you. Instead, brush yourself off and try, try again. You didn’t learn to walk in a day, and you’re not going to learn how to tear down an engine and rebuild it in one, either.
Finally, have fun with it. Working on your car, whether you’re rebuilding a classic or tuning a new one, should be something you enjoy. Put on some good tunes and dive in!