Your car is broken, and now you’ve got a difficult decision to make. Do you make the fix yourself and save some money at the risk of getting it wrong, or do you bring your vehicle to a knowledgeable mechanic, spend the extra cash and let them deal with the complexity of a modern car?
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Today’s cars are more complex than ever, and BMWs are no exception. It’s probably not entirely fair the stigma some people associate with BMW, but the fact is that to achieve the levels of performance and refinement you think of as coming along with the roundel badge, some advanced design is required.
So what are the jobs you definitely don’t want to sign up for? Here are five of them.
You might be a great artist — that doesn’t make you a metal worker. Also, if you’ve ever seen the way a body shop looks after repairing a car, you’ll understand why there’s no reason to unleash this kind of hell on your personal garage.
BMW uses special finishes at the factory that require careful color-matching to get right. If your car has suffered body damage, use a professional. You’ll be much happier for it.
- Windshield Replacement
A windshield is quite a large piece of glass. Getting that glass situated just right so it seals correctly and protects you from the elements has a lot to do with keeping you safe and comfortable in your car.
Not to mention that if you get this even a little wrong, you’ll be dealing with a load of other problems, like leaks — inside. You don’t want that.
- Transmission Maintenance
If you’re even considering going down the path of repairing a transmission on your own, you’d better have some years of mechanical experience under your belt, a dedicated workspace with a host of auto-specific tools and lots of free time. Since you likely don’t, it’s best to steer clear.
Even mechanics undergo transmission-specific training to learn how to rebuild transmissions, and when you consider the complexity of a gearbox like the eight-speed automatic found in many modern BMWs, this one is out of your league.
- Suspension Component Replacement
Here’s one where you might think it doesn’t sound that tough. You’re right, and maybe you’ll do okay when it comes to swapping your stock wheels and tires out. Probably best to stop there, though.
That’s because BMW suspension is very complex, and an even better reason to avoid wrenching on these complicated setups is the risk that if something goes wrong, your car could behave erratically on the road — or worse. Suspension fixes tend to cost less than engine work, too, so just go see the pros.
- Timing Belt Maintenance
Your car’s timing belt is sort of like the glue that holds everything together. Timing belts are designed to last about 60,000 to 70,000 miles, and if they break, your car will be in rough shape.
The belt itself is a simple part. However, getting it free means doing considerable teardown on your BMW’s engine. So pay a pro to do this one, and rest easy. It won’t cost that much.
What Can You Do?
Being a DIYer and a car enthusiast used to be easier. If you’re really ok with downtime and the possibility for extra costs incurred by your potential mistakes, knock yourself out. Otherwise, we suggest someone with some experience on the clock for a project.