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      04-25-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
cghempel
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Advice Needed: Moving to Dallas

Fellow members,

I will be relocating to Dallas next month for my job and I could use some advice. For reference, I will be living in an apartment in the downtown/uptown areas until I can get a feel for the city. Plus being able to walk to work will be convenient.

1) The relatively high crime rate has me somewhat concerned (being from Kansas, I have been lucky and have never really had to deal with this before). The apartment complex that I will be living in for the first year or so has an underground gated parking garage with security cameras. Should I be worried about my M3 being parked in the garage? Parked on the street somewhere? Etc? Should I worry about my car being vandalized? Wheels stolen? Broken in to? What precautions can I take to minimize this risk? (other than the obvious don't leave valuables in your car, etc.)

2) I have done some research on emissions testing and I have found that cars needs to get inspected/smog tested every 2 years. Is this correct? I have a catless x-pipe on my car right now and am wondering if I should remove it before I move down there. The problem is that I really enjoy the added power and sound :

3) What BMW dealer has the best service department? Will they hassle me for any minor mods (x-pipe, etc.) or are some rather friendly? I have a great relationship with my SA here in Kansas and so I do not have any problems here. He takes great care of me. Any recommendations for a good SA in DFW?

4) Also what are some fun things to do in Dallas? I am completely new to the city so I could use some help here.

I apologize for the lengthy post. Thank you for your help!
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      04-25-2012, 05:35 PM   #2
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1. Join DFW AutoClub and ask question #1 there.

2. Inspection is yearly. It's an OBDll read plus a safety inspection. You get 2 years on a new car.

3. There are 4. None are great. Most people are going to Classic up in Plano. Pat Arnold is the M guy. Again, ask on DFW AC. Lots of BMW guys on there. There are some good independents such as Autoscope which has 3 locations and is a Dinan dealer.

4. Look at the Area Events Forum on DFW AC. You'll want to attend Cars & Coffee at least once. It's the first Saturday of every month at Classic BMW in Plano. DFW AC meets every Saturday morning up in Frisco. There's a big club scene, if you are into that. Ask on DFW AC. There is a large and diversified membership from really old guys like me who know nothing about the club scene to much younger guys who know pretty much everything about it.
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      04-25-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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Just a bit more: Looking at the DFW AC site you will see that there are plenty of "car" hobby events in the DFW area. You might also want to look at the BMWCCA Lone Star Chapter site. They are active in autocross, DE's, and tours. Depending on your interests, there is plenty going on: Several museums, symphony, ballet, plenty of live music (the University of North Texas in Denton has a huge music program). Then there's pretty much all the professional sports.
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      04-25-2012, 09:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by calintexas View Post
1. Join DFW AutoClub and ask question #1 there.

2. Inspection is yearly. It's an OBDll read plus a safety inspection. You get 2 years on a new car.

3. There are 4. None are great. Most people are going to Classic up in Plano. Pat Arnold is the M guy. Again, ask on DFW AC. Lots of BMW guys on there. There are some good independents such as Autoscope which has 3 locations and is a Dinan dealer.

4. Look at the Area Events Forum on DFW AC. You'll want to attend Cars & Coffee at least once. It's the first Saturday of every month at Classic BMW in Plano. DFW AC meets every Saturday morning up in Frisco. There's a big club scene, if you are into that. Ask on DFW AC. There is a large and diversified membership from really old guys like me who know nothing about the club scene to much younger guys who know pretty much everything about it.
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Originally Posted by calintexas View Post
Just a bit more: Looking at the DFW AC site you will see that there are plenty of "car" hobby events in the DFW area. You might also want to look at the BMWCCA Lone Star Chapter site. They are active in autocross, DE's, and tours. Depending on you interests, there is plenty going on: Several museums, symphony, ballet, plenty of live music (the University of North Texas in Denton has a huge music program). Then there's pretty much all the professional sports.
Thank you very much for the information!

1) Thanks for the tip about the DFW AC. Are you a member of the BMW CCA as well? How would you compare the two?

2) Since my car was new last July I guess I have another year before I need to worry about this then. BTW, are there any tricks to getting through the DMV faster? I know the tips that make it go smoothly here, but I am wondering if it is different there. I guess I could just ask DFW AC at a cars & coffee.

3) Thank you for the direction on Classic BMW. Our dealer (we only have one) is not great either, but my SA is a good friend of mine. Needless to say he takes care of me there.

4) Again, much appreciated. I am not interested in the club scene really, more just getting to know the city and its nightlife outside of bars/clubs/etc. I have noticed that quite a few concerts roll through DFW. I am big music fan so I am excited for that to say the least.

I guess I'll see you around once I get down there. Thanks again!
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      04-25-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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1. I'm a member of both. DFW AC is free (just go the site and register). It's a loose Internet based all makes enthusiast group. The membership is interesting and diverse from wealthy guys with the latest exotics to poor students. There is lots of chatter on the website. If you have a question, someone will have the answer or know where you can find it. DFW AC members are into DE's, drag racing, motorcycles, guns, getting together, and lots of other stuff. BMWCCA (not free) is more formal. The site and forum are not very active, but as I said before, the chapter is very active with monthly autocrosses (spring - fall), a couple of DE's a year, and tours. Non-members are generally welcome to participate in BMWCCA events.

2. There are rules about when you should get a state driver's license and register your car when you move to the state. You'll need to look at the TX government sites to find out what those rules are. My guess is that you are fine (for practical purposes) until your Kansas stuff runs out. My experience is that the Texas DPS (driver's license) is painful. The county tax office handles vehicle registration. That's not too bad (at least up in Denton). I'm pretty sure you will have to have a Texas inspection before you can register your car in Texas.

Yeah, no doubt we'll cross paths.
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      04-26-2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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You will need to pass inspection to register your out of state car in Texas. This includes the smog/obd2 check.
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      04-26-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calintexas View Post

That's not too bad (at least up in Denton). I'm pretty sure you will have to have a Texas inspection before you can register your car in Texas.

Yeah, no doubt we'll cross paths.
You're in Denton? Me too. I've only seen like 1 other e9x M3 in Denton. It was a red vert. Maybe you?
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      04-26-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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I work in the Uptown area and parked my previous M5 and now the M3 in a secured garage every day with no problems. Lots of cars in our garage that are far more valuable and exotic than an M3 and never heard about any problems. Now, parking it out on the street in downtown at night in an unsecured location might be asking for trouble if done too often. I would also recommend Classic BMW in Plano as well. Best of luck with the move.
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      04-26-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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Welcome (rock chalk?) As others have said, you'll need an inspection to register an out of state car in TX. Classic BMW is pretty good and Autoscope (independent shop) is pretty good too.

I don't think Uptown is too dangerous but like you said, don't leave valuables in clear sight and get wheel locks if you don't have them already.

Fun things to do aside from bars/clubs there's tons of shopping (Northpark mall, Galleria mall, West Village, Highland Park), there's tons of sports (Mavericks, Cowboys, Stars, FC Dallas), the horse racing track in Grand Prairie, Texas Motor Speedway, exercise at White Rock Lake/Katy Trail, Fort Worth stockyards. There's a lot of different things but DFW is very spread out so you'll be driving a lot.
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      04-26-2012, 03:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calintexas View Post
1. I'm a member of both. DFW AC is free (just go the site and register). It's a loose Internet based all makes enthusiast group. The membership is interesting and diverse from wealthy guys with the latest exotics to poor students. There is lots of chatter on the website. If you have a question, someone will have the answer or know where you can find it. DFW AC members are into DE's, drag racing, motorcycles, guns, getting together, and lots of other stuff. BMWCCA (not free) is more formal. The site and forum are not very active, but as I said before, the chapter is very active with monthly autocrosses (spring - fall), a couple of DE's a year, and tours. Non-members are generally welcome to participate in BMWCCA events.

2. There are rules about when you should get a state driver's license and register your car when you move to the state. You'll need to look at the TX government sites to find out what those rules are. My guess is that you are fine (for practical purposes) until your Kansas stuff runs out. My experience is that the Texas DPS (driver's license) is painful. The county tax office handles vehicle registration. That's not too bad (at least up in Denton). I'm pretty sure you will have to have a Texas inspection before you can register your car in Texas.

Yeah, no doubt we'll cross paths.
1. I've been a member of the BMW CCA for a while now up here and it is good to know DFW has an active chapter as well. DFW AC also sounds like a lot of fun. I'll check them out once I get down there!

2. I have been doing some reading on that the past few days. Their website states that I need to get my car registered within 30 days of moving, but I don't think it will be a problem if I take a little longer than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger22 View Post
You will need to pass inspection to register your out of state car in Texas. This includes the smog/obd2 check.
Thank you for the information. Are some places easier (faster, less hassle?) to get an inspection than others?

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Originally Posted by DFDubM View Post
I work in the Uptown area and parked my previous M5 and now the M3 in a secured garage every day with no problems. Lots of cars in our garage that are far more valuable and exotic than an M3 and never heard about any problems. Now, parking it out on the street in downtown at night in an unsecured location might be asking for trouble if done too often. I would also recommend Classic BMW in Plano as well. Best of luck with the move.
That makes me feel a lot better about having my car down there. Thank you for the advice!

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Originally Posted by moonraker View Post
Welcome (rock chalk?) As others have said, you'll need an inspection to register an out of state car in TX. Classic BMW is pretty good and Autoscope (independent shop) is pretty good too.

I don't think Uptown is too dangerous but like you said, don't leave valuables in clear sight and get wheel locks if you don't have them already.

Fun things to do aside from bars/clubs there's tons of shopping (Northpark mall, Galleria mall, West Village, Highland Park), there's tons of sports (Mavericks, Cowboys, Stars, FC Dallas), the horse racing track in Grand Prairie, Texas Motor Speedway, exercise at White Rock Lake/Katy Trail, Fort Worth stockyards. There's a lot of different things but DFW is very spread out so you'll be driving a lot.
Rock Chalk all the way! Are you an alumni?

Classic and Autoscope seem to be the only recommended places down there. It is nice to know that there is a good independent shop as well (Autoscope).

I am fairly excited to check out all of the new things DFW has to offer. Kansas City is spread out as well so I'm used to the driving.

Thanks for your help!
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      04-26-2012, 04:05 PM   #11
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You're in Denton? Me too. I've only seen like 1 other e9x M3 in Denton. It was a red vert. Maybe you?
Not me, but yeah, an M3 is an exotic vehicle in Denton. I have a red E90 sedan. I'm not out and about that much in it around town. I've seen the red E93. I think a woman owns it. I've also seen a black E92 near the El Matador restaurant on University a few times.
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      04-26-2012, 04:21 PM   #12
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The inspection fee is state regulated. Dealers and most repair places can do it. In addition, there are places that just do inspections. If you've got mods that impact your OBD2 readings, you'll need to seek advice when you get down here.
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      04-26-2012, 04:37 PM   #13
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Classic and Autoscope seem to be the only recommended places down there. It is nice to know that there is a good independent shop as well (Autoscope).
!
Autoscope did some work on my old M5 and they are first class all the way. Incredible facilities. Most clean and well kept garage area I've ever seen.
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      04-26-2012, 04:44 PM   #14
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The inspection fee is state regulated. Dealers and most repair places can do it. In addition, there are places that just do inspections. If you've got mods that impact your OBD2 readings, you'll need to seek advice when you get down here.
A friend, who knows far more about these cars than I do, told me that rural inspection sites are not required to buy the computer (OBDC) setup because they usually can't justify the cost with enough volume. The state allows them to do it old school where the tech either passes or fails it, not a computer. So, my buddy takes his M3 with catless Xpipes and tune out for a little road trip when he needs his inspection done. Says never a problem and rarely do they ever even go near the exhaust. I think Texas is more focused on losing federal funding due to high pollution in the bigger cities and not so much in the small towns where readings are never taken for federal standards.

Can someone else verify?
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      04-26-2012, 06:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DFDubM View Post
A friend, who knows far more about these cars than I do, told me that rural inspection sites are not required to buy the computer (OBDC) setup because they usually can't justify the cost with enough volume. The state allows them to do it old school where the tech either passes or fails it, not a computer. So, my buddy takes his M3 with catless Xpipes and tune out for a little road trip when he needs his inspection done. Says never a problem and rarely do they ever even go near the exhaust. I think Texas is more focused on losing federal funding due to high pollution in the bigger cities and not so much in the small towns where readings are never taken for federal standards.

Can someone else verify?
I think there is an issue with doing that if your car is registered in a non-attainment area (such as the DFW metroplex). There's quite a bit of info on DFW Auto Club. Here's a link to a "state inspection" search on DFW AC: http://www.dfwautoclub.com/forums/se...earchid=251616
Update 5/1/12: It looks like the search link has expired. Just search on "state inspection" on the DFW AC site. There are several relevant threads.
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      04-26-2012, 11:57 PM   #16
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      05-01-2012, 03:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by calintexas View Post
The inspection fee is state regulated. Dealers and most repair places can do it. In addition, there are places that just do inspections. If you've got mods that impact your OBD2 readings, you'll need to seek advice when you get down here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFDubM View Post
Autoscope did some work on my old M5 and they are first class all the way. Incredible facilities. Most clean and well kept garage area I've ever seen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFDubM View Post
A friend, who knows far more about these cars than I do, told me that rural inspection sites are not required to buy the computer (OBDC) setup because they usually can't justify the cost with enough volume. The state allows them to do it old school where the tech either passes or fails it, not a computer. So, my buddy takes his M3 with catless Xpipes and tune out for a little road trip when he needs his inspection done. Says never a problem and rarely do they ever even go near the exhaust. I think Texas is more focused on losing federal funding due to high pollution in the bigger cities and not so much in the small towns where readings are never taken for federal standards.

Can someone else verify?
Thanks for the information guys! I really appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calintexas View Post
I think there is an issue with doing that if your car is registered in a non-attainment area (such as the DFW metroplex). There's quite a bit of info on DFW Auto Club. Here's a link to a "state inspection" search on DFW AC: http://www.dfwautoclub.com/forums/se...earchid=251616
Thank you for the link! Lots of helpful information on that site.

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You picked the wrong city: move to Houston
I didn't pick the city, it picked me
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