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Discussion Starter #1
(puts on flame suit)

Guys/Gals,
I've been avoiding this subject for several months...well, actually a couple of years...and I've finally made a decision.

I've got a project that needs to get done, and requires garage space to complete. I don't believe I can fit the project AND both M's in the garage without really making it cramped to work on the project OR the cars, so I've decided to move the M5 outside while I work on the project.

I will likely work on the project until the weather turns in the fall, at which time I will either store the project for the winter, or have it complete enough that I can work in the cramped space...

So, all that said, on to the root of this post. Does anybody have any suggestions for me for keeping the car outside? I have a cover, but I don't know if I should cover it in the rain, or if dew gets on the cover, etc. Do I just need to give her a good wax before I leave her out at night???

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

:cheers:
 

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I had purchased a cover from california car covers (internet place, can't remember url) for my 528 when i bought the M5. It was a nice lightweight material that really kept the car clean and dry. One of those new fangled high tech materials, like you'd have on a ski jacket. It really did work, you could hose it off and the car would be dry underneath. If you M5 sits for a few days at a time, this is a nice option. If you drive it daily and it gets dirty, you don't want to cover a dirty car, so the hassle factor goes up exponentially. You'd need to use a duster at least to wipe the car down before covering it. also a pita to put a cover on if it's at all windy.
Mike

oh, and don't worry, i won't judge you for leaving the m5 outside.... ouich
 

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As I understand it, a cover keeps the car clean, but contributes to microscratches... now is there a balance bwtween the scratching you get from having to wash it more often if stored outside without a cover? Since yours is silver, the slight swirl/microscratches aren't noticeable, and perhaps the trade off of longer stretches between washes is worthwhile.

How about one of those snappy portable car ports from Costco? Keep the dew and sun off it for the summer. Probably take at least that long for the local Homeowners Association to cite you a few times, haul your butt into a hearing, you can delay a few times, then take it down just before it turns to gunplay.... :)

Still, recognize that you are a horrible owner for not converting the spare bedroom to a garage- or doing the project in the kitchen where it belongs.

A

PS My car is outside 3 nights a week. Dew combines with dust to create an ugly haze... hotel won't build me a garage, go figure.
 

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Unfortunately my daily driver M5 has to live outside all the time but I do hand wash it a few times a week. The finish stays pretty good if you keep a good coat of wax on it.

Joe
 

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I've often joked with my wife that we could easily knock down a wall, build a ramp and i could park the M5 in the family room...



ard said:
Still, recognize that you are a horrible owner for not converting the spare bedroom to a garage- or doing the project in the kitchen where it belongs.
.
 

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mottati said:
I've often joked with my wife that we could easily knock down a wall, build a ramp and i could park the M5 in the family room...
My car's been outside a fair proportion of its life, though I've now (finally) got enough garage space cleared out to keep it inside.

Especially this time of year in California, the car's biggest enemy is the sun.

Things like the rear shelf fade, the heat doesn't do the interior bits any good, and the rubber BMW uses for windshield and rear-window seals isn't particularly UV-resistant (the windshield seal on my wife's '98 540i is a cracked, gummy mess from sun exposure.)
 

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I went thru an era when I didn't have a garage at home (I did at work) and had two very nice muscle cars. I kept both of them under high end car covers that had a felt liner that went against the paint - I believe they were made by California Car Covers. The main problem I had was when it rained (or snowed) and then I had to wait until the appropriate time to get the covers off and wash the accumulated dust/dirt out. All in all I was able to keep the paint pretty nice - I had cars a total of about 6 years outside under car covers.

Do you have access to a shady spot? This would help too if combined with a good cover and plenty of washings. Steve
 

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M-Fünf said:
So, all that said, on to the root of this post. Does anybody have any suggestions for me for keeping the car outside? I have a cover, but I don't know if I should cover it in the rain, or if dew gets on the cover, etc. Do I just need to give her a good wax before I leave her out at night???
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Jeff just as the others have stated, I too have used car covers for my prized possessions. Here are a few suggestions based on several years experience with car covers that may or may not be consistent with what others have said.

First get a quality cover designed for your car not a one size fits all (this will reduce the chances of the cover getting air under it during windy periods and decrease abrasion damage because of flapping). If you are going to leave it covered for long periods and there is frequent wind, I would consider straps or something to tighten the cover to your car and again reduce flapping of the cover on the car surface.

Next develop a procedure to put on and take off (most good cover manufacturers provide some basic guidance) I have found it best to do this because sooner or later you will be challenged to take it off on a windy day and having a plan will reduce your frustration. Always put it back in the bag or in the trunk iaw your plan, don’t just throw it in the trunk.

Be prepared to take it off and rewash your car if it rains while covered, otherwise the dirt trapped in the cover will be between your paint and the cover after it rains. You can reduce this by washing cover per instructions provided by manufacturer but this problem will not go away.

Shouldn’t be a problem in CA but don’t attempt to remove the cover if you have/had a heavy frost, cover just might be frozen to your car and you might damage the car or the cover. Snow may or may not be a challenge depending on what climatic changes occurred before the snow and how long the car sits after it snowed on the cover.

Some people feel the multi-layer covers with reflective out side are best, others think non reflective light color covers are better. I would not park the car with a cover under a tree where bird droppings and/or tree sap can become imbedded in the fabric.

Last item that you will face that is M car specific, most covers fit tight around the outside mirrors and may require you to modify installation or removal accordingly. Because of this most outside mirrors are subjected to flexing actions as tight covers are installed. M5 mirrors have no flex, so you may need to determine which position to use (folded or extended) to install the cover. Again, you will want the end result to be the best solution that keeps the cover tight but not too tight that it causes premature failure to the mirrors.
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the suggestion guys... :thumbsup:

The neighborhood I live in will not allow me to put up one of those tent-type covers for more than a few days.

I have the BMW car cover, but I don't believe that it is waterproof. I'll check on that.

The car will be parked in front of the garage, not under any trees, but will be in partial sun during the day. I've got sunshades for the front, but I think I'll get some more for the back and maybe even side windows.

Again, thanks for the help!

(removes flame suit...only slightly charred by ard) :haha:
 

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M-Fünf said:
I have the BMW car cover, but I don't believe that it is waterproof. I'll check on that.
It's important that a car cover 'breathe', otherwise you will end up with a humid, rusting mess underneath. The downside is that 'breathable' car covers allow a certain amount of dust through, and as others have noted, it's the equivalent of 1500-grit sandpaper if you let it accumulate too long. IMO this is still preferable to allowing the car to bake in midday sun. Just apologize to the car with a nice polish-and-wax when all done.

M-Fünf said:
I've got sunshades for the front, but I think I'll get some more for the back and maybe even side windows.
Be careful of those sunshades, particularly highly reflective ones - in my experience they can cause the windshield and the trim and seals around it to get VERY hot, on American cars they will cook the glued-on mirror right off the windshield, on our Saab the original A-pillar trims partly melted from the heat, and I think my wife's use of one of those shades contributed to the poor condition of the windshield seal on her E39.
 

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M-Fünf said:
Thanks for the suggestion guys... :thumbsup:

The neighborhood I live in will not allow me to put up one of those tent-type covers for more than a few days.

I have the BMW car cover, but I don't believe that it is waterproof. I'll check on that.

The car will be parked in front of the garage, not under any trees, but will be in partial sun during the day. I've got sunshades for the front, but I think I'll get some more for the back and maybe even side windows.

Again, thanks for the help!

(removes flame suit...only slightly charred by ard) :haha:

hey, all in good fun. M-fun.

What about putting sunscreens on the outside? That way the heat is kept fully out. Of course they aren't secure to mischief, but if it is in front of the garage during the day...

And somehow I knew the tent cover thing would be an issue... this is Kalifornia after all..

Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #12
JEM,
Thanks. I hadn't thought about the trapped heat...

Adam,
I'm not too worried about mischief. My garage is at the back of the property behind a locked gate...

Looks like I'm in for a full day of washing and waxing the beast!!! lovelove
 

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mottati said:
I've often joked with my wife that we could easily knock down a wall, build a ramp and i could park the M5 in the family room...
Shhhhh! don't say that too loudly - my husband will hear you!:confused3
 

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Build them a little house:



See the clearcoat damage on the M6? I blame car covers for that. I might be wrong (it might have been a bad paintjob).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
louv said:
Build them a little house:
I wish I could, Don. The city nix'd that idea. And I know my neighbor would tell them as soon as I put it up... :grrrr:
 

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Tough one, Jeff.

Wish to share the project that supercedes M5 care?

Maybe you could "rent" garage or carport space from a neighbor? You could also park it somewhere safe and use a different car for your daily driver - just take the Beast out for weekend drives.

Here's an idea:

There is indoor space I could (probably) arrange for you in a hangar at the Petaluma Airport - then you'll just need a beater to drive to/from work. Email me if you want to explore this option...

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey Paul,
The project is a 1954 Higgins Sport Speedster (an old rotted boat) that I bought in '00 and been neglecting. It should look something like this when complete:

Higgins
Of course, it looks nothing like that right now...

I may take you up on your very generous offer! I'll have to think about it, though. I don't know if I could bear to be without the car for an extended time... ??????
 
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