Maintaining your BMW during the Coronavirus isolation period.
With Ireland in the midst of restrictions in an effort to contain the Coronavirus, we recognise that BMW owners will be following the government guidance on social distancing and travel restrictions. The latest government guidance on Coronavirus can be found here: www.gov.ie
With many cars not in daily use, BMW owners can take measures to ensure that your car remains in working order during this period.
The following practical tips will help you to keep your BMW ready for your next journey. Please stay safe and only make essential journeys.
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.
If a battery discharges fully as a result of non-use, a replacement cannot be covered by the vehicle warranty. The warranty covers the battery for manufacturing defects but not for depletion as a result of lack of use.
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 2 weeks, without needing to be started up to re-charge.
If, as part of your essential-only travel during the Coronavirus outbreak, your engine runs for approximately 20 minutes once a week, the battery in your car is unlikely to go flat.
Excessive ‘wake ups’ of the vehicle electrical systems should be minimised. 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.
If there’s any doubt about the condition of the battery, or the car will not be used for longer than 3 weeks, connect it to a BMW Battery Charger or a suitable trickle charger.
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. Proper inflation helps 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 3 months, increase the tyre pressure to 3.5 bar. Remember to adjust the pressures to the recommended values prior to driving the vehicle once out of storage.
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 corrosion 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.
HIGH VOLTAGE BATTERIES AND HYBRID CARS
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.
CAR CLEANING & GENERAL MAINTENANCE
How often should I clean my car?
The general advice is to wash your car every 1-2 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!
Subject to the terms of the BMW Automotive Ireland Legal Notice and Website Use, the information provided is purely a guide on how to keep your vehicle appropriately maintained, in particular during this period of lockdown. BMW accepts no liability if your failure to follow any one or more of the recommendations in the guide results in damage or loss to you, your vehicle or any third party; or in the event you follow any one or more of these recommendations using inappropriate materials or equipment, which cause damage or loss to you, your vehicle or any third party.