Independent specialists since 1974 H&B inc. 2300 Fourth St., Berkeley, CA 94710 email (510) 549-1515

When to Keep? When to Let Go?

Is your BMW a Classic?

H&B has extensive experience with the older BMW models, many of which are now highly collectible. We have developed special parts to enhance them, while keeping true to their original concept. If you are interested in maintaining and restoring your classic BMW, we have some more information for you.

In the car maintenance business, we have a built-in bias to hang onto cars and fix them up. We admit it. Nevertheless, there are times when that's simply not the smartest idea. We try to be candid and say when enough is enough — in case the owner hasn't already figured that out. But then, not every car owner who has that special human-to-machine bond hears us when we approach this subject. So here are a few guidelines which might help if you are pondering whether to keep or let go.

When to Keep? When to Let Go?

  • What is the general repair history of this model?
    If it’s a car we work on, then we know. After years of specializing in these models, there are not a lot of secrets hidden from us. Yes, the newest models will have some new eccentricities, but we’re not talking about those. The subject here is cars of a certain age, and if you have one,we will try to give you an idea of what lies ahead.
  • Have you been keeping up with the regular maintenance?
    If serviced with us, just look at the recommendations in the lower left corner of your last repair order. If that box is crammed to overflowing, the answer is probably no. In that case, you have a maintenance burden which will weigh in your decision. Again, we will be happy to help you estimate the cost of catching up with those deferred items.
  • Do you really like your car?
    If so, then pause and give it some credit for the pleasure it returns, and compare it in your mind with the many soulless machines lurking out there. Does it give you pleasure to look at and be in? Or would you rather be surrounded by all-new surfaces and new-car smell? These are among the often-undiscussed reasons for car swaps, so you might as well air them out.
  • Are you a good list-keeper?
    If not, and you see a new car as a clean slate, or zero to-do list, then there you are. Do remember, though, that all new cars require a shakedown period, during which you will find things not right or not to your liking. For some of us, this process is almost as annoying as the process of car shopping and negotiating. And the controls, and ergonomics generally, are ever-changing. This means that, despite your preconceptions, you may not like the fit and feel of a particular new car. Be sure to spend enough time without a salesman yammering at you to figure this out before you purchase.
  • Are you looking for the latest break-through in fuel economy or “green” car to help justifying the cost?
    If so, keep in mind that the automotive product cycle averages five to seven years, and longer when big technologies are involved. That means from the phase-in of the upcoming CAFE regulations to the production of really fuel-efficient cars may take about that long. If a car dealer tells you otherwise, well then — have you seen the movie ”Fargo?”
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