Metric Wrench’s BMW, Mercedes and Audi Blog featuring all of the latest information from around the automotive industry, the latest industry news, view expert opinions, or just join discussions about your BMW, Mercedes or Audi with other enthusiasts from around the world.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Road Trip and Your BMW

So you’re planning your summer vacation and you’re going to drive your BMW. That sounds like a lot of fun and remember that your BMW like any car needs a little TLC before you hit the road. If you begin your road trip with a BMW that is having technical difficulties, it could put a damper on your entire trip. So prepare ahead of time in order to make your summer driving vacation as pleasurable as possible.

Cooling System

Your air conditioning is very important on those summer road trips. Check the air conditioning. Is it cold? If the answer is no, have a technician at Metric Wrench inspect it to find out why not.

Drive Belts / Hoses
Drive Belts and hoses can deteriorate over time and heat can cause damage as well. Inspect all the belts and hoses in your car for cracks or leaking. Be sure to check the tension on those belts as well. If you discover that you have belts and hoses that are damaged, you should have them changed before you start your summer vacation in your Mercedes or whatever car you are driving on your vacation.

Nothing can ruin a summer vacation quicker then a dead battery. Did you know that a dead battery tops the list for break-downs? Have your battery checked before you leave to be sure that it is in great shape for your trip.

Check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacture recommends for tune-ups and if its close or time, be sure to have your engine checked BEFORE you leave on your summer driving vacation.


It’s also a good idea to check the fluid levels in your car, that includes transmission fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, washer fluid, power steering fluid and lets don’t forget gas. If it’s time for an oil change, make sure to have it done before you leave on your summer vacation.

Having your tires properly inflated cannot only save you gas, but it can also save on the tread of your tire. And while you’re check to see if your tire is properly inflated, don’t forget about check your spare tire.

It’s a good idea to have your brakes checked before you go on that road trip this summer, make sure that there aren’t any problems there.

Exhaust System

Inspect your muffler and pipes; make sure that there aren’t any loose hangers or holes.

Windshield Wipers
Take a few minutes to inspect your windshield wipers and refill your windshield washer fluid. Windshields can get a ton of dead bugs on them, make sure that you clean your windows and that your wipers are good.


Last, but certainly not least, check your brake lights, turn signals and headlights. Make sure that everything is working properly before you leave for your summer road trip.

If you are planning a summer road trip or vacation and you want your car inspected by a certified BMW/Mercedes technician; then call and schedule your check-up at Metric Wrench today!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spending Money to Repair Older BMW’s-90 and Newer Up to ’03 vs Buying a Used Later Model

Is it cheaper to buy a used BMW or a new one? Doing some web searching I learned that cars depreciate 20% off the lot in addition to an annual 7-12% depreciation.

It seems that biggest thing to take into consideration here are the repair costs. These costs typically start after the new car warranty expires. So let’s say that your bumper to bumper warranty expires after 3 years, now you have to start paying repair bills.

Let’s begin the repair/maintenance costs at year 4 which would mean that your repair costs would run on average of $324.

Buying this new car every 5 years would result in a total cost of (not accounting for financing charges) $39,395.

Buying this car once it’s 2 years old for around $13,000 (after small dealer markup) and keeping it for 5 years then buying another 2 year old car for another 5 (for a total of 10 years of driving):

• Purchase price - residual value @ year 7 + repair costs (from years 2-7)
• $19,406 - $12,422 + $3,040 = $10,024 x 2 = $20,048

It seems that purchasing a used car every 5 years would be less expensive than purchasing a new car every 10 years. But please take into consideration that these calculations are not absolute.

I think the biggest issue with new cars is the massive depreciation after the first year. If you are a new car person, why not buy an “almost new” car that is one or two years old? At least that way you still get the new car feel, the warranty is still good, AND you don’t have to pay for the 30% depreciation that comes with the first 2 years.

But depreciation isn’t the only thing to look for, one of the things that we keep seeing is people with average means purchasing a '02, '03 745's for 20k to 30k and thinking they got a great deal. The cars sold for 75k and up new. The problem occurs when something goes wrong with these cars. Keep in mind these cars have usually only been serviced at the dealers under the free service while under warranty plan, (oil changes at 15 to 20 k miles etc.) A $5000 repair bill is very common and not just once but year after year. Not a good thing! The lower priced 1,3 and 5's are less complicated, have less depreciation and less to go wrong. So do your homework before purchasing a used BMW and make sure that it truly is the better value.