BMW 3 Owners & Service Manuals

BMW 3: Washing the vehicle

General information

Regularly remove foreign objects such as leaves in the area below the windshield when the hood is raised.

Wash your vehicle frequently, particularly in winter.

Intense soiling and road salt can damage the vehicle.

Steam blaster and high-pressure washer

Safety information

NOTICE When cleaning with high-pressure washers, components can be damaged due to the pressure or temperatures being too high. There is a risk of damage to property. Maintain sufficient distance and do not spray too long continuously.

Follow the operating instructions for the high-pressure washer.

Distances and temperature

  • Maximum temperature: 140 ℉/60 ℃.
  • Minimum distance from sensors, cameras, seals: 12 inches/30 cm.
  • Minimum distance from glass sunroof: 31.5 in/80 cm.

Automatic vehicle washes

Safety information

NOTICE Improper use of automatic vehicle washes can cause damage to the vehicle. There is a risk of damage to property. Follow the following instructions:

  • Give preference to cloth vehicle washes or those that use soft brushes in order to avoid paint damage.
  • Avoid vehicle washes with guide rails higher than 4 in/10 cm to avoid damage to the chassis.
  • Observe the tire width of the guide rail to avoid damage to tires and rims.
  • Fold in exterior mirrors to avoid damage to the exterior mirrors.
  • Deactivate the wiper and, if necessary, rain sensor to avoid damage to the wiper system.

Driving into a vehicle wash with a Steptronic transmission

Safety information

NOTICE Selector lever position P is automatically engaged when standby state is switched off.

There is a risk of damage to property. Do not switch standby state off in vehicle washes.

General information

In a vehicle wash, the vehicle must be able to roll freely.

To roll or push the vehicle.

Some vehicle washes do not permit persons in the vehicle. The vehicle cannot be locked from the outside when in selector lever position N. A signal sounds when an attempt is made to lock the vehicle.

Driving out of a vehicle wash

Ensure that the vehicle key is in the car.

Switch on drive-ready state.


Do not rub wet headlights dry and do not use abrasive or acidic cleaning agents.

Soak areas that have been dirtied, for instance from insects, with shampoo and wash off with water.

Thaw ice with de-icing spray; do not use an ice scraper.

After washing the vehicle

After washing the vehicle, apply the brakes briefly to dry them; otherwise, braking action can be reduced. The heat generated during braking dries brake discs and brake pads and protects them against corrosion.

Completely remove all residues on the windows, to minimize loss of visibility due to smearing and to reduce wiper noises and wiper blade wear.


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