With many cars not in daily use, BMW are providing a useful guide to ensuring customers cars remains in working order. Most of this advice would apply to other makes/marques too.
During this unprecedented times owners may have concerns over the maintenance of their cars. In response to this, BMW Ireland have put together a list of frequently asked questions for customers with some practical matters to help keep their BMW ready for its next journey.
BMW also says that it is committed to supporting customers affected by the closure of our retailers during the coronavirus restrictions.
The BMW Ireland customer care team are always on hand to provide further advice and help with any queries customers may have about their vehicle. This team is available by phone on 1890 719 421, or by email to: [email protected].
How long will my battery last during a period of non-use?
Car batteries, like any battery, discharge when used. Your car will take power from the battery even when locked and parked, as it is uses the battery to power essentials such as the car alarm.
How long you leave a car without starting will depend on the condition of your car’s 12-volt battery. A BMW with a healthy battery should last at least two weeks, without needing to be started up to re-charge.
If, as part of your essential-only travel, your engine runs for approximately 20 minutes once a week, the battery in your car is unlikely to go flat.
Do not lock/unlock or switch on the ignition without driving the car unless necessary. Prevent listening to the radio, using your headlights, heating or air conditioning system without first starting the engine. These excessive ‘wake ups’ of the vehicle electrical systems should be minimised.
What to do to my tyres when parking a car for an extended period of time?
Check the tyres to make sure they are at the recommended pressures to prevent cracking of the sidewalls and flat spots. Check the valves and valve caps for leaks and that the valve caps fit properly.
If storing the vehicle for longer than three months, increase the tyre pressure to 3.5 bar. Remember to adjust the pressures to the recommended values prior to driving the vehicle.
Will my car being parked for a long time affect my brakes?
Your brakes will be affected by an extended period of non-use. You may see surface rust on the brake disc after even a short period of time. With prolonged periods of non-use, brakes and handbrakes can become corroded and require replacement.
Using your car at intervals, sufficient to charge the battery for example, should keep your brakes corrosion-free. Remember to drive with caution if your brakes show signs of light surface corrosion as stopping distances may temporarily be extended. If you have any concerns about it is important to seek expert advice.
What fuel level should I have when parking my car for long periods of time?
Ideally think about storing your BMW with a full tank of fuel to avoid any condensation build-up.
How long will my battery last when not using the car?
An Electric Vehicle or Hybrid High Voltage battery will last for weeks when not being driven, as a Li-Ion battery has a low self-discharge rate. The car can be left connected to a home charger ‘wall box’ as charging will stop once the battery is fully charged.
A BMW’s Battery State of Charge can be seen and monitored in the vehicle or via the Connected Drive app on a smartphone.
How often should I clean my car?
The general advice is to wash your car every one to two weeks where possible. Benefits may include removing any external influences that may cause damage to the paintwork (e.g. bird lime ), clearer visibility which contributes to safer driving and of course, keeping your BMW looking at its best!
Is my warranty affected by Coronavirus?
BMW is committed to supporting customers affected by the closure of our retailers during the coronavirus restrictions. Customers requiring a vehicle service during the delays caused by Coronavirus can rest assured that your warranty will be unaffected by this disruption. All cars serviced within three months or 3,200kms(whichever is earlier ) of the service indicator will be protected in full by any applicable warranty.
For customers with a warranty expiry during the coronavirus restrictions (from March 14 onwards ), we will extend your warranty coverage until June 30. End of warranty checks due during this period will also be fulfilled. Customers in self-isolation beyond June 30 should contact a BMW Centre to arrange for collection and delivery of your car.