How to Diagnose an Issue With Your BMW

Your car helps you get to where you need to go. Plus, your BMW gets you there in style.  To keep your car running smoothly it’s essential to keep up with everyday maintenance. 

Here are some common maintenance issues to look out for.

1. Faulty Restraint System

When this issue occurs, your airbag light flashes and stays there for an extended period. The problem is usually due to an imbalance between your passenger seat and a weight sensor. Your clock spring may also be faulty.

Here are some of the other common reasons for this issue:

  • Faulty airbag module
  • Defective seatbelt 
  • Low battery voltage
  • Problem with the wire harness
  • Water damage 

To fix the issue use a scanner to clear the airbag light. Plug it into the diagnostic port located under your dashboard. Start your ignition, but don’t turn on your engine. Turn on the scanner and find the control settings for your airbag module. Then you want to check to see if you have any fault codes. These will help to diagnose the problem. If your restraint systems need to be repaired, take your BMW to the dealer. 

You want to get this issue fixed, so your airbags deploy properly. In 2017, frontal airbags saved an estimated 2,790 people over the age of 13. 

2.  Issues With the Sound System

Your iDrive system allows you to connect to your phone. This way you can listen to your favorite playlist while cruising down the highway. If your iDrive system starts malfunctioning, there will be lower sound quality. 

To reboot your iDrive, hold down the knob. Then press the CD eject button and audio system power button for around one second. 

If this issue persists, you might need to replace your system. To save money, consider buying individual parts online. 

3.  Check Engine Light 

This warning will pop up on your dashboard. It may mean your transmission got stuck in limp mode or your fuel cap is loose. 

Also, look out for these other common causes:

  • Cracked or loose hoses
  • Old battery
  • Bad mass air-flow sensor
  • Bad charcoal carbon canister
  • High-pressure fuel pump failure 

Use an OBD-II scanner to read fault codes to diagnose the specific problem. If your light continues to flash, this can indicate a more serious problem. You want to take your car to the dealer as soon as possible. 

4.  Cooling System Failure 

As your BMW ages, the parts of your cooling system can become brittle. This can cause your system to malfunction. You will need to replace any broken parts. 

To determine if your system is failing, check for signs of overheating. If your temperature gauge remains high, this is a sign to turn off your engine and let it cool down. A steaming hood is also a warning your engine is overheating. In this case, you may want to add some extra coolant to your system.  

If you see white exhaust smoke, your car is leaking coolant. The coolant will be easily distinguishable since it is a bright green color. 

If you notice any of these signs, take your BMW to your local car mechanic. 

5.  Problem With the Locking System

Over time your car’s locking mechanism can weaken. Usually, it is due to the lack of connection between your key and the car sensor. Malfunctioning fuses or control module failures could also cause it. You may need to order a new key. Keeping up with routine maintenance can help to prevent this issue. 

It is important to get your locks fixed as soon as possible. This will ensure your belongings remain safe. In 2019, there were about 721,855 motor vehicle thefts. 

6. Oil Leaks 

You want to check for this, especially if you have an older model. Fuel leaks commonly come from valve covers. They can also occur at your transmission or differential seals. If you notice a burning smell or smoke coming from your hood, these are signs of oil leakage. Also, be on the lookout for oil spots on the garage floor.

When you notice these signs, take your BMW in for a repair. If you wait too long, it could cause long-term issues for your engine.   

7. Battery Terminal Issues 

The Battery Safety Terminal (BST) helps to reduce the risk of fire during an accident.  It works by disconnecting your vehicle’s positive cable. However, the cable can also come apart during minor impacts, like hitting a curb. When this happens, your car may not start. It will also trigger your airbag light to turn on. To fix this issue, use a scanner to clear the codes. 

How to Keep Your BMW Running Smoothly 

Your BMW allows you to ride around in style. With this luxury also comes the responsibility to maintain your vehicle. Keep in mind these common BMW issues during your next car inspection. 

Summer Tailgating Tips for BMW Owners

When we think of a tailgate, we typically think of playing catch, eating hot dogs and enjoying a crisp, cold beer. However, tailgates are perfect opportunities to spend time with friends and family, and there’s no better time to throw one than during the warm summer months. 

Based on the car you drive, it may be challenging to plan a tailgate. There’s more to consider when you drive a luxury car, such as a BMW. Avoiding messy condiments can seem like a game — but you shouldn’t have to spend your time trying to prevent tailgaters from spilling food or drinks in or on your sweet ride.

It’s always a good idea to plan for your tailgate, whether that’s purchasing food or drinks or bringing along blankets and lawn chairs for comfortable seating options.

As a BMW owner, keeping your vehicle clean and safe is a priority for you. No one wants to see your car accidentally damaged in a fender bender or dirty from ketchup or mustard.

Let’s dive into some helpful summer tailgating tips that you can use to ensure you have the best time possible.

Protecting Your BMW

In an ideal situation, your car shouldn’t be of much concern to you when tailgating. However, protecting the interior of your vehicle is crucial when participating in a tailgate. Not only do you have to consider the risks of driving into a crowded parking lot, but you want to avoid messes that come with a tailgate.

BMWs are expensive, and you want to keep yours in good condition. Naturally, the longer you own a BMW, parts deteriorate, and the exterior is subject to bad weather conditions and damage over time. Be sure to consider this before driving over to a live sporting event for some tailgating fun.

Taking good care of your BMW will make you happier in the long run, and taking it to a tailgate may seem scary. To remove the guesswork from throwing a tailgate, consider using the following tips to prevent any damage to your BMW.

Tips for Planning a Safe Tailgate

Protecting your car shouldn’t be difficult. Follow these tips to keep your vehicle protected so you can have a great time at your next tailgate.

Bring Plenty of Cleaning Supplies

Consider filling a storage bin with various types of cleaning supplies. This includes sanitizing wipes, paper towels, napkins, and tablecloths. The best way to prevent spills or large messes is to cover up the areas of your car that matter most. 

It’s recommended that you cover the interior of your vehicle with large tablecloths. In addition to spill protection, it makes cleanup that much easier. Pull off dirty tablecloths out of the backseat of your car and dump any leftover crumbs or debris. Taking care of your luxury upholstery is crucial if you want to keep your car at a high value.

Grill Away from Your BMW

A staple at any good tailgate is a grill. One benefit of grilling before a game is that it saves you from spending too much on concessions inside the stadium or arena. Cooking your food is half the fun of a tailgate. Cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and sausages are delicious tailgate foods, but they run some risks.

Grease and smoke from a grill can undoubtedly cause damage to your car. Remember that grill placement plays a big part in keeping your vehicle safe. Be sure to place your grill away from your BMW, so it’s protected. 

Invest in an Alternative Space

Cars are perfect for transporting your tailgate necessities, but if you’re able to, purchase a canopy or tent to use in the parking lot. Feel free to experiment with seating arrangements and table setups. You can even design your layout to match your favorite team’s colors. Your tailgate party will be able to quickly locate your spot by using an alternative space.

While it can be fun to sit in the back of your BMW trunk, it poses more risks to your car. By setting up a tent somewhere nearby, you’re able to keep an eye on your car to prevent break-ins and still have fun at the same time. 

Keep Your Car Safe While Having Fun

Great memories come out of fun tailgate parties. The last thing you want is to spend your tailgate cleaning out the interior of your BMW and missing out on all the action. 

By planning and taking the time to prevent messes, your car will be protected, and you can kick back and enjoy the game!

Can a BMW Tow a Tiny House?

Tiny homes are on the rise. During the pandemic, over 50% of Americans said they would consider living in a small house. Although tiny homes are appealing, you need to be able to haul them. 

If you’re a BMW enthusiast and just purchased a tiny house, you might wonder if you can find a way to tow the tiny home with your vehicle. Of course, you want to keep your car and be able to take your home wherever life takes you. 

Not all vehicles are capable of hauling a large load. There are certain vehicles built with safety features and other parts that can easily tow a trailer, another car or mobile home. You have to have the right equipment to safely and effectively get your house between locations. 

When you tow a house, you’re towing your life. The tow vehicle is the most critical factor throughout all of it. You can have the best tires and chains to hook the house trailer to your car, but you risk losing everything if the vehicle cannot handle the load. For those who own a BMW, you might ask the question — can a BMW tow a tiny house? The simple answer is that it depends on the kind of BMW you have. 

Choosing a Vehicle That Can Tow Your Home

There are BMW models that can tow a tiny home. Before getting into that, you need to know the basics of choosing a vehicle that can tow such a large item. If your car is undersized, then you cannot successfully pull your tiny home. 

You could purchase a new tow vehicle, but if you don’t plan on moving your tiny home very often, this might not be necessary as you can probably find a friend who can tow it or rent a vehicle for towing. 

One factor to check is the towing capacity of your vehicle. Although the trailer and your car have wheels, and the engine can pull it, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a limit. With the weight of a tiny house and all of your belongings, you could easily surpass the towing capacity. Eventually, this could cause damage to your vehicle. Assess your home’s weight to determine if your vehicle’s towing capacity can handle it. 

Also, ensure that you have the proper hitch. Two vehicles that are the same weight may not be able to carry the same load because of the hitch. Ensure that the hitch fits your tiny home’s trailer, too, and that it can handle the weight of your small house. Tiny homes on wheels are typically heavier than your average recreational vehicle or camper, which is why these factors are essential when you’re about to tow your house.

BMW Models That Are Ideal for Towing a Tiny House

You don’t need a pickup truck to transport your tiny home. However, if you have or purchase the right BMW, hauling a tiny home is possible. Here are the BMW models that are safe to move your tiny house: 

  • 2020 BMW X5: The BMW X5 model can tow up to 7,200 pounds. It has a 3.0L TwinPower Turbo inline powertrain. If you need to upgrade to an all-wheel-drive, that’s a possibility with this vehicle. It’s larger than the BMW X3, which is why it is capable of towing your tiny house. Usually, tiny homes that are no longer than 14 feet can be pulled using this vehicle. 
  • 2020 BMW X7: The X7 model of BMW SUVs is the largest of them all. This has 300 pounds more towing capacity than the X5. It also has a 3.0L TwinPower Turbo inline system, but at six cylinders. 
  • 2019 BMW X7: Finally, there’s the 2019 version of the BMW X7. This is a more cost-effective option if you’re looking for a BMW to tow your tiny home since it’s an older model. However, it has just as much power and towing capacity as its 2020 version. For the maximum power, you can opt for the xDrive40i trim V8. 

These BMW models should all be able to handle smaller tiny homes. Don’t underestimate the power of a BMW! 

Tips for Towing a Tiny Home

Below are a few extra tips to keep in mind when towing your tiny home to ensure it gets to its final destination with ease: 

  • Check over your BMW’s specifications to ensure it can haul the load. 
  • Ensure that your vehicle is licensed and insured to tow. 
  • Plan the route before you travel and avoid bridges, traffic jams, potholes, and any other obstructions.
  • Properly hitch and secure your tiny home to the BMW. 
  • Make sure everything in your tiny house is secured, like appliances and any personal belongings so they don’t move while you’re driving. 
  • Check that the tiny home trailer lights are correctly connected and that they work when you use a turn signal, brakes, etc. 

Now, you’re ready to move! 

The Mighty BMW

As long as you have the right BMW, you can haul your tiny home. Then, hitch it to the back and see where your next adventure takes you.

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