Bellwether Financial Advisors

Category: Tech Articles

President’s Article November 2016 – Winterizing for Storage

President’s Article  November 2016 – Winterizing for Storage

I thought this year would be the year which I would not need to get any cars ready for winter storage. My plan was to sell the 1999 M3, the 1989 325is and the 2001 740iL in order to purchase an E92 M3. Two-thirds of my plan worked well. By the end of last summer, I sold the M3 and the 325is so no storage fees were incurred last winter. The 740iL became my winter car and the plan was to sell it in the spring. After putting much time and money into the 740iL, I was not willing to give it away due to the thousands of dollars spent to keep it reliable for our many trips to Cedar Rapids, Storm Lake and Okoboji. But then, a perfect E92 M3 came calling, and now I am back in the “winterization” business preparing the E92 M3 for storage.

Following are some tips I have used over the years to prepare my cars for winter storage. I now have the benefit of indoor heated storage, but my procedure is as comprehensive as when I stored the 325is in an unheated garage in previous years. The first step is to wash, wax, clean and vacuum the vehicle inside and out. I apply leather, vinyl and rubber protectant to all appropriate surfaces. Then remove all wheels and clean them from the inside out and apply wheel wax. I usually paint all the lug bolts. I inspect all suspension and brake parts and apply rust resistant paint to any part of the undercarriage which may show signs of rust. Add a bottle of Sta-Bil to the tank and fill it with fresh gas. The final step is to fill all the tires to the maximum listed on the tire sidewall to prevent flat spots while sitting for several months in storage. Drive it to the facility and connect the battery to the battery tender. It is very rewarding for the first ride of the spring to be in a clean and shiny car.

President’s Article September 2016

President’s Article  September 2016

I have been working on my own cars from the time I was 14 years old, which is now more than forty years. Like me, many of you have also worked on your favorite automobile because of the enjoyment obtained from this pastime. But many of us also work on our beloved cars to make the hobby more economical and possible to enjoy our cars. For many of us, when we were young, it was a necessity to do our own work because of the lack of funds. But for many of us and as we have grown older, our car hobby is enjoyable and we have continued to do much of the work ourselves.

A commonly held belief is that it is always more economical to do the work ourselves. Although that may be the case most of the time, it is not always true. Recently I purchased an E92 M3, which had been my plan since I sold my E36 M3 and my E30 325is. As always, when purchasing a pre-owned car, I immediately change all of the fluids and any worn parts.

I purchased the required 10-60 BMW oil and filter at our local dealer with my club discount. But due to timing and lack of time, I decided to have the first oil change at the dealer while I was in Des Moines. When it was time to pay for my oil change service, I was surprised to learn it was about $20 cheaper for the dealer to change my oil than it was for me to purchase the products and do it in my driveway! I asked my service advisor how this could be, and he explained to me their oil price in bulk is much more economical than the the price I will pay over the counter.

An old myth was dispelled that day, sometimes the dealer service is more economical that doing it yourself.

July/August Newswerks is here!!!

July/August Newswerks is here!!!

Follow the link to get your copy of the Newswerks.  It may also be found in the Newwerks archive on our website.  July_August Newswerks

Tech Session at Simpson Motorsports – Iowa City

Tech Session-Simpson Motorsports March 26 at 10:00 am.

Jim and Tim will demonstrate the things that they inspect when looking at a car for our driving school tech inspections. They’ll also show some vehicle suspension areas that are commonly upgraded, and of course field questions from attendees.

Simpson Motorsport is a family-owned business, specializing in BMW service. With over 30 years of experience, Jim Simpson has a long background in car maintenance, upgrades, and racing. The shop can do everything from routine service of street cars to full race preparation and engine rebuilds.

When we’ve had our fill on the technical side, we will maintain Iowa Chapter tradition of regrouping at a local watering hole afterward for lunch, libations, and camaraderie. Watch for details on that in your email blasts and on our Facebook page if you’re just joining us for lunch or come on down to Simpson Motorsport for the whole gig!

Preparing Your BMW for Waxing

By Rick Prevette

With the weather getting ready to turn colder it’s time to get out and put a nice fresh coat of wax on our ride. However, before we jump right in and treat our ride’s paint and chrome with a new shiny coat, we are going to invest some time in properly cleaning the surfaces before waxing.

Clean the paint? When I wax, doesn’t the wax clean the paint as I am putting it on? In a word — no. Unless you are using a one step cleaner & wax product, waxes and sealants are for protection, not cleaning.

Now, I’d guess some of you may be asking — “Exactly what does this mean, cleaning the paint? Isn’t washing the car good enough?” Well, washing the car is a necessary step, but it is only the first step. By washing, you are removing the obvious dirt and dust that your ride has collected. However, you are not removing the surface contaminants that are still clinging to the paint. These contaminants include rail dust, acid rain residue, brake dust residue, stubborn road grime, etc. In fact, the next time you wash your car, run your hand over the finish and you may feel the grittiness caused by these contaminants.

You may also be asking “Why should the paint be cleaned before waxing?” Basically, the cleaner the surface, the longer the wax or sealant will last and the better it will look. If it has a clean surface to cling to, you will get the maximum performance from your wax or sealant. Cleaning the paint also removes the old wax. These days, many of the waxes are not very compatible with each other. This means that if you apply one kind or brand of wax over a different one, you may not get the gloss and protection that you expected due to a poor interaction between the two products.

The first thing we need to do is remove any rail dust. Rail dust refers to those very fine particles of iron that become embedded in your ride’s paint. They reveal themselves as tiny pin point brown dots and will have a rough or gritty feel. Our concrete streets contain a high amount of iron. As you drive, very small amounts of the road surface is worn away. The iron particles are kicked loose and embed themselves into your ride’s paint. Rail dust is found most prevalent on the front of your ride, behind the wheels and on the rear panels.

If the rail dust is not removed, the tiny particles of iron will continue to rust and eat their way down thru the paint and into the body of your BMW. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to remove. Simply take an automotive clay bar, flatten it into about a 2” by 2” pancake, spray an area to be cleaned on your ride with a clay lubricant and then rub the clay bar over the area. The clay bar will grab and pull the iron particles out of the paint. As you notice the clay bar becoming dirty, fold and knead the clay bar onto itself to continually bury the removed iron particles and expose a fresh surface of the clay bar. Wipe the surface dry as you finish and move onto the next area.

Now that you’ve removed all of the rail dust, let’s perform a final cleaning and polishing of the paint. For this process, you will use a pre-cleaning lotion which will leave the paint literally squeaky clean. This is a very mild cleaner and polish that will remove the remaining surface contaminants as well as very minor surface imperfections and swirls. You will obtain the best polishing results by using a buffer to apply the pre-cleaning lotion. If you do not have a buffer available, your polishing results will not be quite as good, but you can still accomplish good cleaning results. Machine buff or hand apply the pre-cleaning lotion and rub it over the paint finish. Allow it to form a haze and then buff off with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Be sure to use a fresh clean microfiber cloth on each new panel section.

Now you are ready for waxing. Choosing and applying the correct type of wax or sealant is important. I will provide you with some insights into this in our next article of “The Joys of Detailing”.

Enjoy your ride . . .

« Previous PageNext Page »

Club Sponsors