Why I love my BMW more than most people

opinion piece

If you know me personally; or if you follow any of my various social media accounts, you’ll be well aware of my insatiable car obsession. I totally get that to non car people I must look like a weird obsessive girl who is addicted to loud cars. To most people, a car is an A to B form of transport and a heap of metal. But to me, and many other enthusiasts, a car is so much more than that.

Let’s set the scene, you’ve had a stressful day at work. Generally you feel downtrodden, fed up with life so you return home and have a glass of wine to unwind. Fair enough right?

Well for me the drive home would be the relaxation. Here are the main reasons why;

1. It’s a passion

We all have our hobbies and passions. For me cars are just that, I enjoy looking at them, talking about them. Pretty much anything car connected makes me happy. And in life you need to channel whatever it is that makes you happy. My car has the power to turn a bad day into a good one, it’s a form of escapism for enthusiasts.

2. Connected history

Although it sounds so cliche, I feel like the passion for cars is in my blood. My grandad was a car dealer, who got murdered in 1989. My dad trained at Volkswagen in Germany to re build Beetle engines. My dads brother is a mechanic. My mums brother is a mechanic. I practically grew up with my parents jacking up their Golf on our driveway, tools and oil everywhere; swear words aplenty. Subconsciously I think this gave me the push to be interested in cars, and once I learnt to drive I never wanted to stop driving. Ever.

3. Freedom

In our modern capitalist world of working to make a quick buck just to survive. There aren’t many activities that give you a sense of freedom. There is no such thing as freedom in our society. But driving can really give you a huge sense of empowerment and liberty. I cannot describe the feeling of driving my BMW on an open road, roof down, hair blowing in the wind and nothing standing in my way. This is not a new concept. The same concept was explored in the cult film Easy Rider; which focuses on the Biker / Motorcycle scene in America.

4. Loyalty / reliability

My car is never going to argue with me. It doesn’t upset me, anger me or let me down. It’s always there for me, whenever I want to escape my reality (fuel gauge depending) I think this is one of the biggest reasons people fall in love with their cars. The sheer fact that it is so much more loyal than any human you’ll ever encounter.

5. Networking

Through my love of cars I’ve been able to meet some great friends. Car forums and car groups on social media allow like minded people to discuss cars. I’ve formed some amazing friendships through the use of these. We all live in different parts of the country, but our love for cars unites us.

Some people may zone out for this part; but there are also specific reasons why I’m in love with my BMW 125i. So it’s a straight 6, 3 litre configuration and it’s naturally aspirated. I’m a purist when it comes to the N/A versus Turbo debate. Don’t get me wrong I’ve driven some amazing Turbo cars, but in terms of reliability and maintenance naturally aspirated has got to win the vote for me I’m afraid. Plus I get zero Turbo lag.

My car has the N52 engine, which is deemed as one of the most reliable engines BMW has ever produced. The straight 6 has shaped BMW history, and I can now see why. It sounds great when you put your foot down, it’s balanced, and it’s durable. You have enough power to put down when you want, but you can also drive sensibly and have a total sleeper. I love being able to switch between the two.

I’ve also got a thing for RWD. I love having over 200 bhp, and knowing that when it’s wet I’ve got to have total control and discipline so that the back end doesn’t kick out. I can’t imagine owning a FWD car. Where’s the thrill!?

Considering that the majority of newly built vehicles have turbos as standard. This type of N/A car is going to become very rare in a few years time. I never thought I’d say this, but I have absolutely fallen in love with this car. Every time I drive it I fall in love all over again. So until my bank balance can stretch to an E93 M3 (V8 NA), my baby isn’t going anywhere.

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I carn’t deal¬†

top tips

There’s two things that always gel together nicely, compliment each other just perfectly. (Stereotypically speaking that is). Pretty girls and flash cars. 

The problem is though, in reality, without sounding hugely patronising and bitchy. Most women like nice cars, but they have no clue about them from a technical perspective.  Working in a garage for almost 4 years I witness this on a daily basis, and it is utterly painful to watch.  

So I gathered as a fellow female who admires good looking expensive (fast) cars, but whom has the advantage of some technical knowledge. I can help educate other females about their cars or potentially buying cars. It’s soooo easy to get fucked over if you don’t know what your talking about. 

I don’t want to throw anybody in the deep end. I won’t start talking about timing chains and seized engines just yet (although if you don’t top up your oil you will seize your engine it isn’t a bad joke). I will ease you in gently, here are my top maintenance tips for female car owners everywhere; 

1. Maintain yo shit 

Please please please do yourself a favour and service & MOT your vehicle at least once a year (if you do extreme high mileage change the oil at every 10k miles)  . MOT is required by law once a year, on every car which is older than 3 years. But it does not check serviceable items such as engine, clutch or gearboxes. It is just to check the road worthiness of a vehicle from a safety perspective. So yes. Your car does need to be serviced once a year. 

2. Shop smart 

Don’t just go to a main dealer and pay ¬£500 for an oil service. Shop around, Google local garages that have a good reputation online (check reviews). And pile up some estimates, see which garages offer deals that suit you best and seem trustworthy. I would advise if you are unsure, go somewhere middle of the road. Not a main dealer which charges the earth to carry out basic checks, and not a back street garage with 2 technicians and no diagnostic equipment. An independent specialist garage should do the trick. 

3. Ignorance is not bliss 

I know we all lead terribly busy lives but if you see a red warning light stop driving you imbecile. Yellow indicates an advisory warning, red, means danger. Stop pull over. Google whatever light is on the dashboard, call a garage and ask whether they would advise you to continue driving. For example, if it is something more serious like an engine warning light or an oil warning light. Do not drive, you run the risk of causing further damage to the vehicle. 

4. Competence is key 

As women we are so independant with everything we do these days, so don’t let cars show you up. Learn basic things like how to open your bonnet & manually check the oil. Because in emergency situations you will be glad you know these little tricks – they could save your car, your life, and a whole load of money too. For example, when you go to fill up your fuel, you can check your tyre pressures and fill them yourself (the recommended psi for your car should be contained in the owners manual, or on a sticker usually inside one of the doors). Just simple small baby steps will help you in the long run! 

I hope these tips are helpful!! If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me…