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If you own a BMW in Chicago …

Others | August 23rd, 2007 by 2

then this article is for you. I am not sure if I have mentioned before, but I live in Chicago and most of my cars …

then this article is for you. I am not sure if I have mentioned before, but I live in Chicago and most of my cars were BMWs, some of them leased, others owned. I’m almost positive that if you live in a large city, you can relate to this. While I love my cars, it always hurts me to see the abuse they’re taking.

First of all, the parking in Chicago and the Downtown is terrible, very limited parking and tight spaces. While I always try to avoid parking in a tight place, sometimes I have no choice, and even if I leave enough space between cars, most of the time, someone will hit my bumper. I honestly think that the cars’ parking sensors should be standard on all the car, this way a lot of these small incidents wouldn’t happen.

Similar things happen when I park my car at the store’s parking lots, even though I try to keep away from everyone, nine times out of ten, someone ends up parking next to me and…guess what? A nice ding in my door. I guess it’s better than having your car scratched, so I try to live with it.

But if you lease the car, this could become an issue, since most of the lease inspectors are very picky about dents, dings and scratches. Luckily, BMW Financial Services are pretty flexible and as long as the ding’s area is not larger than a quarter, then you will not be charged for it. It did happen to me though when the damage was more extensive and I ended up paying for it.

The second thing that my “BMW” doesn’t like in Chicago are the winters. Our cold season here is pretty long and we get a fair amount of snow every year. I understand that in order to keep the roads clean , the city needs to use salt and sand for the winter road maintenance, but our BMWs are the ones that will suffer the damage. I hate to see my car all covered in salt and I try to wash it weekly, but it doesn’t really help much.

If you don’t have a parking garage at home, which a lot of the people in Chicago don’t, then a lot of mornings in the winter, you will pretty much find your car covered with snow and the truck snow plow is making the situation even worse. I did find my door damaged once because of a truck and unfortunately, the damage wasn’t minor.

And finally, we’re getting to the traffic issue. Chicago is probably in the top 3 nationwide for the worst traffic conditions. If you have a BMW with a manual transmission, then the chances that you will have to replace your clutch at one point, are pretty high. Also, the brakes will wear out faster and in my case, I have recently passed the 35,000 miles mark and when I took my BMW in for service, the front brakes needed to be replaced. Luckily, the job was covered under the maintenance program.

In the end, despite all the difficulties that I encountered, I still love Chicago and I LOVE my BMW.

  • Dan

    Hey there. I’m a BMW owner as well and am moving to the western suburb of Chicago (Oak Brook area) from Southern CA. You mentioned that you washed your car weekly but it doesn’t help much. What do you mean by that? Does your car have rust and obvious damages from salt even though you wash it regularly? Also, what kind of snow tires do you use?

  • Horatiu B.

    @Dan: Dan, it’s all about the winters here. That salt will stick to the car like crazy and if do wash it weekly, it will help a bit but also depending on the winter and the amount of snow.

    I wouldn’t worry about rust honestly, you’ll be fine.

    As far as winter tires, I used the Michelin X-ice, great tires.

    Btw, Oak Broak is a beautiful area

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