5 Mistakes to Avoid When Maintaining Your BMW’s Wheels

Your BMW is a significant investment, so you want to ensure you take care of it correctly and effectively. Maintaining your car takes skill and an understanding of its materials or you might accidentally damage it.

People can make some of the biggest mistakes by not knowing better. Here are some mistakes you should avoid when taking care of your BMW wheels.

1. Washing Them Incorrectly

Your wheels are a focal point of your vehicle, but you want your BMW to shine from every angle. Take time to clean each wheel individually so they shine their best. Doing one wheel at a time ensures you clean each one thoroughly rather than rushing to get the job done before the soap and water dry.

Consider using the right tools for your car. Skip using old or cheap toothbrushes for detail cleaning, as they may be ineffective and time-consuming. A wheel brush can do the same detail work of cleaning you want without all the effort you’re putting in with a much smaller brush.

After you’ve finished washing your tires, dry them with a microfiber cloth. These cloths are made with synthetic materials that can be great at wiping away dirt and grime and are more absorbent and less scratchy than a regular towel. It can also be washed and reused more than its cotton counterparts, making it a worthwhile investment.

2. Not Using Seasonal Rims

Not every BMW needs to have seasonal rims, but if you do a lot of driving and have the budget to take better care of your car, you may want to invest in them. Rotating your rims out seasonally ensures you’re constantly putting the best on your vehicle.

Lean toward shinier, flashier rims in the summertime, then swap them out for rims that will resist inclement weather during the colder months. While it might be costly to change them out seasonally, it can help you get the benefits you want for your BMW when it needs them most.

3. Never Checking the Tire Pressure

How often do you check your tire pressure? You should do so at least once a month, if not more frequently. You may not think it’s something you need to keep an eye on, but it’s more important than you might think and can save you and your BMW on the road. 

Knowing your tire pressure can help you avoid issues with flat tires, especially when you’re on the road or in the middle of a trip. Cars with lower tire pressure may also use more gas to get to the same place as vehicles with higher tire pressure. Additionally, when your tire pressure is down, you risk a blowout due to the heat built up within the tire. Keep yourself and your car safe by checking your tire pressure regularly.

4. Using Silicone-Based Tire Dressings

Some tire-dressing brands you might lean towards could have a silicone base, which isn’t great for your BMW. These dressings might make your wheels look nice and shiny, but over time, they start to turn brown and can actually attract more dirt and grime to your tires. Opt for another dressing if you want to avoid having to clean your car after every few days of driving.

You’ll find plenty of affordable dressings online that can give your tires the shine you’re searching for. The proper one will make your tires pop while keeping them neat and glossy. Each brand may promote something different, whether it’s more shine or longer-lasting cleanliness. When you avoid silicone-based dressings, you can be sure your car will stay clean and have the same kind of gloss.

5. Washing With Detergents From Your Home

You should always opt for cleaners specifically for cars. Harsher soaps might strip your vehicle of wax and paint — they could even leave behind stains that will be difficult or impossible to remove. Your BMW deserves better during its cleanings.

Make sure to use appropriate car cleaners, as they’re designed to care for your car rather than damage it. Just because you have soap on hand doesn’t mean it’ll work for your BMW’s wheels. Regardless of what type of detergent you use, you should wash your car on the lawn where the soil can filter out the unnecessary minerals rather than letting everything seep into a storm drain.

Look After Your BMW

What seems right for your car could actually be dangerous. Your BMW deserves proper treatment, which means you might need to buy things specially made for it rather than using what you have on hand. Once you know how to take care of your car’s tires safely, you can feel better about taking your BMW out on the road.

Why Is Your BMW’s VIN Number Important?

When you think of your forms of ID, you likely picture your driver’s license, Social Security number, birth certificate, or passport. These documents are essential for humans, but what about your car’s identification? You likely treat your BMW like your family, so its ID is also necessary.

Every BMW has a vehicle identification number (VIN), so why is it important? What can you do with this number?

Where Can You Find the VIN?

The VIN is an easily accessible piece of information in your BMW. Depending on the make and model, you can typically find the VIN inside the front door, the inside frame, or the jamb. Or it could be on the dashboard, close to the windscreen on the driver’s side. You’ll know it’s your VIN when you see a 17-digit number.

Each BMW has a specific VIN. The numbers may seem random, but there is a particular way to decode the ID. The first digit will tell you what country it’s from. For example, America will have 1, 4, or 5. The rest of the digits tell you the manufacturer’s specification data, the model year, the plant location, and the vehicle’s unique number. This form of identification for your car can come in handy, especially if you run into problems with your vehicle.

How Does VIN Help in Recalls?

One of the primary advantages of your VIN comes during a recall. If BMW announces a recall, you could use your VIN to search your car and see if the announcement affects you. You can use search tools from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) to find your vehicle and see if it’s part of the recall or if it’s had defects in the past.

Can VIN Help Insure the Vehicle?

Another critical use for VINs comes when buying car insurance. The insurance company will use your VIN to find out the vehicle history to help determine your policy. You won’t need a VIN if you want a quote from an insurance company. However, to obtain insurance, you’ll need your BMW’s VIN.

The VIN can help you get a good idea of what your insurance rates will look like. Your insurance rates depend on factors like the vehicle’s history, ownership status, mileage, and more. You can find out this information and more through your VIN to gauge how much your premiums should be and what policy you should get.

How Can a VIN Help Buyers?

Buying a car can be challenging these days. Inflation has contributed to the problem, but the supply chain issues from the last couple of years have increased the prices of buying a new BMW.

The primary concern comes from microchip shortages. Auto manufacturers slowed down microchip orders during the pandemic, but now they face increased demand for cars with insufficient chips to produce vehicles.

The average price of a new car reached a record-high average of $47,000 in 2022. Used cars aren’t far behind, either. You may be unable to wait to buy a car, so the VIN will come in handy. Do you remember the “Show me the Carfax” commercials? A VIN works similarly when searching for a vehicle to purchase.

All you need is your VIN, and you can search databases that will give you a full report on the BMW you’re interested in. This summary will outline every detail you need to know, such as the fuel economy, drivetrain, anti-lock brake system, and more. The VIN gives drivers a much clearer picture of the vehicle they want to purchase so they know what they should offer in negotiations.

How Can a VIN Help Sellers?

VINs come in handy for buyers and are also helpful for sellers. If you’re looking to sell your BMW, you can give prospective buyers the VIN so they can search for anything they want about the vehicle. Giving them the VIN can signify trust in the buyer’s and seller’s relationship.

Also, it can provide a leg up to the seller in negotiations because they’ll have more confidence that their selling price is fair.

Is Theft Possible With VINs?

BMW owners should be vigilant about their VIN. At the end of the day, it’s a form of identification like a Social Security number. You’ll want to protect it and only give it to people you trust. Car theft is a problem in the United States, and some criminals use VIN cloning to target people.

This act involves stealing a car and then taking a VIN from another vehicle of the same make and model. The criminal then creates a fake VIN plate and places it on the stolen car. VIN cloning leads to buyers getting vehicles that were involved in accidents and had other issues. Not to mention: They’re also stolen vehicles. Keep your VIN safe, because you never know when a criminal could take it.

Treat Your BMW VIN Like a PIN

When looking to sell or buy a BMW, the car’s VIN is one of the essential aspects. With this ID, you can see the complete history and get a much better gauge of what a fair price should be. It’ll also come in handy if BMW announces any recalls. Just remember to keep your VIN safe to avoid fraud attempts.

The 7 Best Ways to Upfit Your BMW Van

BMW van owners have a distinct advantage over other van lifers. You have more luxurious interior features, advanced control displays, and a personal internet connectivity service with voice processing software. These accessories make for a fantastic van life setup, but you still have to upfit the van with a unique design. Here are seven creative ways to upfit your BMW van.

1. Establish a Work Area

Your van shouldn’t just be a fun mobile hangout area. Every lifestyle needs a healthy balance between work and play. Establish an isolated alcove where you can escape from the van’s other distractions and work on your business endeavors. This addition would be especially useful if you have a hybrid or remote job.

Many van lifers section off a private space with curtains or tapestries that double as decorations. You can fill the space with a foldable table, a small lamp, and miscellaneous office supplies. Try to set up the area near a window, if possible. Sunlight boosts our productivity and is much better for a work environment than artificial lighting.

Alternatively, you could add a room to the outside of your van with a simple awning and screen tarp setup. The awning will protect you from the elements and the screen tarp will keep the bugs away. It might not give you the same privacy as an interior workspace, but it’s undoubtedly more spacious and affordable.

2. Get Creative With Storage

Storage is one of the hardest things about van life. Like a huge game of Tetris, you have to fill up a small space with lots of essential items without sacrificing comfort. You need to get creative with your storage strategies and use different types of shelving systems.

Pull-out shelves, shoe racks, netting, and transformable furniture like Murphy beds and bunk beds will help you maximize your limited space. You also must remember to create equal weight distribution so your van’s driving performance stays consistent. Lightweight and durable shelving materials such as aluminum and hardwood are the best options.

3. Overspend on the Kitchen

If you’re going to overspend on one part of your BMW van’s upfitting, it should be the kitchen. Cooking in a cramped space is a safety hazard and limits your food options. It also prevents you from storing all of the necessary cooking tools. A kitchen with roomy cabinets and counter space will take your van to the next level.

A pull-out kitchen creates the most extra space and allows you to cook outside. You can add more drawers, more counter space, a multi-burner stove, and larger kitchen appliances. This kitchen design also prevents you from stinking up the van’s interior from frequent cooking. All of the dirty work takes place in the fresh air and your van stays clean.

4. Include a Shower Space

Speaking of cleanliness, the fanciest upfitted vans contain amenities like showers and baths. Installation is simpler than you think. Attach a hose and extendable shower head to the kitchen sink and use a solar-powered tank to heat the water. You can then add a tile floor, a drain, and a retractable door to the corner of the van.

You can also buy a camping shower tent to save money on an indoor shower installation. Don’t worry about privacy – these tents are made of thick materials that you can’t see through. They also have better ventilation than indoor showers, which is a big deal for van lifers.

5. Use Natural and Artificial Lighting

Just like any living environment, you need to implement both natural and artificial lighting. The best lights for small settings are backlights, recessed lights, and strip lights. They take up minimal space and won’t make the van too bright. Rather, they will provide a calming warm glow and make the van feel cozy.

Skylights are fantastic additions to any van. They will let in much more sunlight during the day and allow you to stargaze at night. They also double as emergency escape routes if the van gets into an accident.

6. Add Fancy Floors

Durable flooring is crucial for successful van living. With that said, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for functionality. Your BMW has many luxurious floor options, including vinyl planks, carpeting, and bamboo that looks identical to authentic hardwood flooring. These materials will withstand the elements and keep the van warm during the winter months.

7. Upgrade Your Power Station

The more electronics you can use, the more luxurious your van will be. Upgrade your power station to a device with 1,000+ watt-hours. This station will be strong enough to power a fridge, lights, and several small appliances for days before recharging. An advanced power station would be a huge game changer for your BMW, which already has some impressive built-in technology.

Turn Your Van Into a Home

You’ve already invested a lot of money into your BMW van, so you might as well go all in. These seven additions are the best ways to upfit your van and turn it into a true home. They cover work, relaxation, hygiene, entertainment, and all of the qualities we look for in a home.

The Ultimate BMW Forum