A BMW is an engineering wonder, doesn’t matter if it is a modern spectacle or an old classic. But a classic BMW has a unique appeal to it that attracts enthusiasts towards it. Which is why if you are thinking of buying one, you are not alone. Perhaps it is the legendary styling of these old cars or the powerful roaring engine beneath them that is attractive. All we can say is that a classic BMW is a complete package and if you can afford one you should definitely buy one.
However, old cars, just like everything made of metal, are prone to rust. Particularly those that are kept poorly by previous owners. It is your job to inspect the vehicle, it’s every nook and cranny to ensure you get the best car for your money. Worried about how to check and what to check on a classic BMW? Worry no more, you have come to the right place.
1. How to Check for Rust?
Perhaps the most significant matter to look at before purchasing an old used car is its body. The metal body is prone to rust which is like cancer for your car. If the car you are buying has too much of it, you might have to think about abandoning it and looking for a new one. The bad news is it’s almost impossible to find a classic BMW with zero rust. The good news is that sporadic rust is treatable. You just need to know where to look for in order to judge what stage the rust is in and if the car can be salvaged with the least amount of bodywork.
Stages of Rust:
This type of rust is a welcome sign for you. This means that there is only rust on the surface of the body, it has not crept in and it has not eaten away the metal. Surface rust usually forms in places where the paint has thinned and moisture from the air and rain has seeped onto the metal body. The best part about surface rust is that it is the easiest to treat. You can even do it at home however it is better to consult a professional. A simple rub-down with sanding paper and the application of a good primer would solve your problem.
When the rust has penetrated deep into the car’s body, it creates deep hollows in it which is a clear indication of the rust entering its final stage. Even in this stage, rust can be cured with the help of proper sanding paper and primer. Modern products have also emerged that can help contain the rust and stop it from spreading further. These products usually use a mixture of phosphoric acid to kill the rust. In short, if you are faced by such a condition, you can still salvage your car.
Completely Rusted Panels
This is the last stage of rust and, you might have guessed it, almost impossible to repair. Rust eats away the metal and gaps are created in the body panels which is a deal breaker. Some parts can be saved, for example, if you see rust on the door panels, the hood and the fenders you can replace them with a new one. How to spot rust? Look for gaps and bubbles in the paint. They can usually be found on the lower part of the car’s body, near the wheels or on the roof near the doors. If a panel is entirely rusted, you have no option but to cut it out and replace the gap with a new sheet of metal by welding it in place.
Keep in mind, though, that the third stage of rusting will require you to make significant changes to the car, which would cost you a lot of money. Therefore, be diligent for rust in all the areas that are exposed to moisture.