Warmer weather is finally here, which means it’s the perfect time to get out and start working on all those Bimmer projects you has been putting off through the winter cold and spring rains. Before you start working on your BMW, though, there are a few steps that you should take to make sure you are fully prepared. Here are five things you should do before you even think about working on it.
Invest in Jack Stands
If you don’t work on cars often, chances are you don’t have access to a lift to get your car up off the ground, so you’ll be relying on jacks and jack stands. Don’t use the crappy jack that came with your spare tire — they’re great in a pinch, but are horrible for everyday work. Instead, invest in a good floor jack that can handle the weight of your project car.
If you value your life, don’t work on your car while it’s on the jack. Jack stands are designed to hold the weight of your car — hydraulic jacks can fall, creating a very dangerous situation. Pick up a good set of jack stands that can handle the weight of your project car. Get two stands if you’re only lifting one end of the car, or four stands if you need to get all four wheels off the garage floor.
Buy Good Tools
Take it from our experience — there is literally nothing worse than trying to break a stubborn bolt free, only to have your tool break instead. With tools, you get what you pay for — and if you pay for cheap tools, you’ll find yourself paying for them again and again.
Buy good tools. It’s as simple as that. Some companies also offer lifetime warranties on their tools, so if they ever do break, you can exchange them for new ones.
Ditch The Clutter
No one likes working on their car in direct sunlight — especially during the warm summer months. If you have a garage, you’re already ahead of the game — that is, unless your garage is full of clutter and overflow from your house. If that’s the case, before you start working on your car, you need to ditch the clutter and make room for your car.
Not only does this make your garage look better, it makes it safer, too — trying to work in a cluttered garage is asking for trouble. You might end up tripping over your own junk and hurting yourself, and that makes it a lot harder to work on your project.
Be Smart — and Safe
If you’re new to the world of car projects, keep safety as your No. 1 priority when you’re working. BMWs can be tricky, but don’t let frustration take your eye off safety.
Let someone know you’re going to be working on your car — that way, if you get stuck under the car or get hurt, you won’t be stranded because you’ll have someone to come check on you.
Make sure you know what you’re doing before you start working. You don’t want to end up with a face full of refrigerant because you accidentally cut the wrong pipe. If you’re not sure, ask! There are online forums like this very website you can ask more experienced mechanics. If all else fails, go to YouTube and search for the project you’re working on. Chances are, you’ll find a how-to video for your model.
Have Backup Transportation
Don’t work on your daily vehicle without some form of backup transportation. If your project stretches longer than a day or two or you need to make a run to the parts store mid-project, you might find yourself walking to the nearest parts store.
Make sure you’ve got a ride, an extra car or the Uber or Lyft apps downloaded on your phone. No matter how you get around, don’t leave yourself stranded.
With a little bit of preparation, you can easily enjoy your project BMW without too much hassle. Just make sure you’re prepared for anything and you’ll be good to go.