Tech Tip – The Truth About Lifetime Transmission Fluids – “Oil is Cheaper Than Metal”

BMW, Mini Cooper Transmission Fluid There is a trend with many manufacturers to use so called “Lifetime” transmission fluids in their new cars. Audi, BMW and Mercedes have been doing this for years. The real question is what is a “lifetime”? If the lifetime of the car is the reference point, most owners will be sorely disappointed, for it seems to us that almost all of the fluids need service around 60K miles, far shorter than the lifetime of most European cars. While fluids and lubricants have doubtlessly improved over time, we suspect that the real reason for [...]

By | January 15th, 2018|Case Studies|Comments Off on Tech Tip – The Truth About Lifetime Transmission Fluids – “Oil is Cheaper Than Metal”

BMW and Mini Cooper Battery Replacement – Registering New Battery

Did you know that the BMW engine computer, known as a DME (Digital Motor Electronics) must be programed to know a new battery has been installed? Our Senior Service Technician Nick explains why. We’re obviously playing up the humor here, but the topic isn’t a joke, it’s a real issue. Otherwise the battery can under or overcharge, and cause premature battery failure. Older batteries become sulfated with time and require a higher charging rate. So unless the DME is notified a new battery is installed, it will often overcharge, and damage the new battery in short order. The [...]

By | January 15th, 2018|Case Studies|Comments Off on BMW and Mini Cooper Battery Replacement – Registering New Battery

BMW Engine Camshaft Bolts Problem – Repair and Correction

What Happens Certain late model BMWs can experience a problem with the camshaft sprocket retention bolts failing. This is a design defect, and well know in professional BMW service circles. You can see on the photo below, that VANOS (variable valve timing system) to intake camshaft bolts have broken and backed out, 3 of the 4 bolts are damaged and loose. BMW said “in very rare cases the bolts holding the variable camshaft timing (Vanos) unit housing may become loose or, in extreme cases, break.” In such cases, the driver would be alerted by a check-engine warning light. Power to the [...]

By | January 10th, 2018|Case Studies|Comments Off on BMW Engine Camshaft Bolts Problem – Repair and Correction

AMC Tech Tip – Low Tire Pressure Warning Lights In Cold Weather

AMC Tech Tip – Low Tire Pressure Warning Lights In Cold Weather What As winter approaches, many motorists will experience a low-pressure warning light on the dash or simply observe that the tires look a bit less full than they should. The main reason for this is the dropping temperatures, which cause the air to become denser and consequently lower the tire pressure. Of course, tires naturally lose pressure over time, or there can be a puncture. Why Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are a real boon to safety and convenience, and they have been required on all new cars [...]

By | December 8th, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on AMC Tech Tip – Low Tire Pressure Warning Lights In Cold Weather

AMC Service Tip – Replacing Stuck or Blind Hole Bearing Races

Problem Removing Stuck Bearing Races Tapered roller bearings are commonly found in wheel bearings, transmission, differentials, and other automotive systems. They consist of two parts, the bearing cone with the roller bearing, and a “race”, which is the highly polished and hardened surface on which the bearing rides. The race is pressed into the part or casting and the roller bearing installed on top of it. So let’s say you have a bearing race (transmission, wheel, differential or other) in a “blind” hole that you need to replace. By “blind” we mean you can’t access it from the back of the [...]

By | November 22nd, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on AMC Service Tip – Replacing Stuck or Blind Hole Bearing Races

Investing In Your Team – BMW Service Training

Investing In Your Team - BMW Training - Last Weekend Want to most sincerely thank to the awesome AMC Team for attending BMW Service Training last weekend. I know that giving up a weekend isn't what everyone looks forward to. Ongoing training is something that we very strongly believe in here at AMC, it's been a key corporate value since we first started in business over 30 years ago. It benefits you the customer as it assures that we always have the latest and greatest in knowledge, and service techniques, to service your car promptly and efficiently. It's also [...]

By | November 13th, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on Investing In Your Team – BMW Service Training

Volvo and Land Rover Differential Problems – Out Of Town – We’ll Repair – Send To Us

The Problem This 2010 Volvo XC70 came to us with about 96K miles, and a loud noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The noise was noticeable at low and moderate speeds while driving, and sounded like a loud whine or hum depending on vehicle speed. Initially this noise sounded like a defective wheel bearing but on further exam we determined the noise was in fact coming from the rear differential, the gear system that transmits force from the transmission to the rear wheels. We've seen this before, both on the later model Volvo and the Land Rover LR2 vehicles, and [...]

By | April 11th, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on Volvo and Land Rover Differential Problems – Out Of Town – We’ll Repair – Send To Us

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 [...]

By | January 31st, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on BMW and Mini Battery Registration (Replacement)

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 [...]

By | January 31st, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on BMW and Mini Cooper Turbo Failure

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 [...]

By | January 31st, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on BMW, Audi and Volvo Torque Converter Problems