BMW Car Wash Overview
BMW always tops the list of most expensive cars to maintain for a reason, and it helps to be capable of lightening that load. We decided to create this guide to help budding enthusiasts master the correct BMW car wash and detail procedure - swiftly, flawlessly, with the right tools, and as straightforward as we can.Driving your BMW is merely the tip of the ice-burg when you add maintenance into the equation. Everything shrouded under the icy surface like repairing and tuning - the hobbies that consume our lives and bring us together - are the real reason why we own the Ultimate Driving Machine.
Though we constructed this guide for fresh fanatics, it isn't intended solely for new Bimmer fans or even exclusively for BMW owners. It's for anyone who is passionate about his/her car and takes the utmost pride in its overall health. Whether its technical repairs under the hood or detailing your car - we wanted to make sure enthusiasts at all levels of expertise are confident in their ability to take proper care of a BMW.
This guide - part 1 of our 4 part BMW Car Care series - concentrates primarily on washing and protecting your whip skillfully and efficiently. We've spent hundreds of hours compiling information from across the internet, sorting through the mayhem, and producing not only a palatable but relevant source of information.
We'll start with our BMW car wash procedure with a spotlight on certain "problem areas", while simultaneously reviewing the best cleaning products. Later on, we divulge the detailing process in the same manner. Feel free to skip around as much as you need to, and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions through our Contact Page!
How to Make Your BMW Last ForeverIf we were forced to provide you with only one piece of advice, it would include stressing the importance of cleaning your car on a regular basis. It doesn't matter how hard you scrub, if you don't wash your car consistently you can throw all the other advice out the window. Dirt, bugs, bird droppings and even rain can damage the paint on your BMW if left in outside for too long. Road grime can dull the paint's clearcoat, causing it to eventually peel. Most people also seem to forget that the sun's UV rays can wreak havoc mummifying your leather and spotting your paint. In a perfect world, we'd all have a drive-thru car wash attached to our garages keeping them in perfect condition. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for most of us, therefore compelling us to remain attentive.
BMW Car Wash FrequencyThe secret behind making your BMW last forever is vigilance and consistency. You must rigorously keep an eye on your paint's health until it becomes a habit. Bugs, bird droppings, and other acidic compounds should be removed ASAP before they sit into the paint and cause irreversible discoloration. We recommend washing your BMW at a minimum every two weeks to avoid paint damage.
Proper BMW Car Wash ProcedureWhen washing your BMW it helps to take the "Bottom-Up" approach. Begin by scrubbing and rinsing the wheels and tires before continuing to the body. This will save you valuable time and annoyance of having to inevitably re-wash or dry sections of your BMW over and over again from water splashing. A standard hose or pressure washer will work on typical BMW alloy and aluminum rims. We recommend Sun Joe's Pressure Washers because of their compact size and high water pressure ideal for all situations. Note: While using a standard hose will work fine, it's not quite as successful as a Pressure Washer at rinsing off a lot of the tiny bits of dirt and grime. [amazon table="37690"]
Exterior BasicsAvoid washing your car in hot weather as water and shampoo residue will dry prematurely, resulting in spotting and streaking that can ultimately damage your paint. Ideally, you want to wash your car inside or in the shade. It's imperative that you keep your car wet throughout washing, allowing you to dry it blemish-free with a squeegee or microfiber.
Start by thoroughly wetting down the exterior of the car, making sure to spray off any loose debris and dirt. Meanwhile, scrub and rinse from the roof down making sure all the dirt flows toward the ground. Make sure to get inside the gas cap and both sides of your mirrors, as well as every nook and cranny of your front bumper grilles.
BMW Cleaning Products Review 2020
Always use a high-quality BMW car wash soap (avoid using dish detergents). Car wash soaps and shampoos are specially formulated for use on auto paint, and will not strip off wax, and are easy to rinse off. A car wash shampoo is considered a "luxury" or "top-shelf" brand of car wash soap. In our opinion, there isn't much of a difference besides the price, as most standard car wash brands are exceptional at what they do.
Always scrub the exterior of your BMW with a high-quality microfiber mit or car wash brush. With most of the dirty work being done using a brush or mit, it's critical you select a premium product. We prefer using the brush here at the BMW Repair Guide…it is less messy and easier to clean hard-to-reach places like the roof. There's a myth floating around uninformed circles claiming brushes damage your paint - this couldn't be further from the truth.[amazon table="37689"]
An Amazon customer raised the question about the dangers of using a bristled nylon BMW car wash brush.
"How could anyone wash their car with a nylon brush? Don’t they know it leaves scratches?"
The supplier of the CARCAREZ 10" Car Wash Brush listed above - who also happens to be a professional car detailer - clears things up succinctly.
"In fact, using a brush like this will actually diminish the risk of scratches versus using a mitt or sponge, which will actually just rub dirt on the car back into the paint and cause scratches. I've been an avid detailer for over 30 years, and these "Flagged" brushes are all I use. When you wash your vehicle you fleck or lift the dirt off, you don't grind it back into the paint. These type of brushes (Always use "Soft" flagged brushes), also get into all the nooks and crannies of your car. Exceptional around headlights, trim, windows, edges, badges, logos, window cowls, grills and exceptional for wheels (especially around the lug holes)."
How to Clean Bugs off the Car
If your BMW has a bug problem, spray down the infected areas with some bug remover and let it sit while you begin washing. Come back and scrub those areas last in your BMW car wash rotation. Use it as liberally as you need - you can use bug spray to clean car headlights, taillights, the bumper, mirrors, and chrome.If you don't have any bug spray on hand there are a couple of "hacks" using everyday household items. WD-40 is an effective low-cost replacement bug cleaner and is widely used throughout the BMW community. Apply it the same way - spray your front bumper or mirrors and let it soak before rinsing. Dryer Sheets are a terrific hack with surprising results. Apparently, they are instilled with properties tailor-made for removing bugs, tar, sap, or anything sticky. Simply moisten a sheet with some water and scrub the infected areas like you would a typical bug spray. When it comes to purchasing the best bug remover you really can't go wrong. They are all comparable in terms of value. Bugs N All and Armor-All Bug Removers are probably the best bang for your buck. However, some people swear by Turtle Wax's Bug & Tar Remover while others prefer3D's Bug Remover. It's really what works best for you, so try a few different solutions out and see what you like. [amazon table="34598"]