BMW and Mini Battery Registration (Replacement)

The electrical system in late-model Minis and BMWs is quite sophisticated, in that it tailors charging as closely as possible to both the type and age of the battery. The Engine Management computer also controls the alternator output. When replacing a battery, this computer needs to be informed if you’ve replaced the battery or updated the vehicle from a conventional Lead Acid battery to an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) type; it charges the AGM differently than a traditional battery. How It's Done This process of updating the alternator-control computer is called Battery Registration. Ignoring the registration process after replacing a [...]

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Volvo Fuel Pump Failure

Tech Tip - Volvo Fuel Filter Changes, Prevent Problems and Save Money See the photo? That's a electric fuel pump, you don't want to have to buy one, read on for a a quick way to save yourself some real money, and headache! Volvo has a 105K or 120K mile schedule for replacement of the engine fuel filter. Lately we've been seeing an increasing number of the Volvo electric fuel pumps failing. Prevent Rather Than Repair We feel that this problem is brought about by extended intervals between fuel filter replacement. In the past, fuel filters were often changed at [...]

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BMW and Mini Cooper Turbo Failure

Problem A common yet avoidable problem we see with BMW and Mini Coopers is turbocharger failure. Turbocharger failures can be catastrophic, so they are important to address at the first sign of a problem. As its name implies, a turbocharger is a device increases the power output of an engine. In our workshop, we see a number of turbocharger or "turbo" issues, on a number of different cars. Almost always on vehicles not serviced by us, but rather referred to workshop by the dealer, or another repair facility. Over the years we’ve compiled a very effective set of diagnostic principles to make the [...]

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BMW Seat Occupancy Sensor

What It Is A vehicle’s passenger occupancy sensor detects whether a passenger is in the seat and decides whether or not to allow the airbag to deploy in the event of an accident. If the sensor determines a weight on the seat is not a person, the airbag does not deploy. The traditional seat occupancy sensor is a mat sewn under the upholstery on the surface of the seat. Beginning in 2006, manufacturers began replacing traditional seat occupancy sensors with occupancy classification sensors that not only determine whether the weight in the passenger seat is a person or not, but also [...]

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BMW, Audi and Volvo Torque Converter Problems

Problem In our workshop, we see a number of transmission issues, on a number of different cars, from BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Honda. Almost always on vehicles not serviced by us, but rather referred to workshop by the dealer, or another repair facility. Over the years we've compiled a very effective set of diagnostic principles to make the determination of the failure mode, and corrective action, very straightforward. Prevention The old bromide that "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" never rang truer than in the case of the automatic transmission. Proper servicing, which is all too [...]

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Volkswagen 2.0 TSI Timing Chain Failures

VW and Audi 2.0T TSI Engines had some issues relating to the lower timing chain tensioner.   This includes both CCTA, CBFA, CAEB and CPMA engines from 2008-2015.  On this model these was an early version of this tensioner that may fail losing its hydraulic tension. When the 2.0T TSI Timing Chain Tensioner Fails it can cause the intake or exhaust valves to contact the piston while the engine is running.  If this happens you will need the cylinder head to be removed and the valves to be replaced.  At this time you would also need to verify there was no further [...]

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