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

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

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

Good News – Mini Cooper Timing Chain Warranty Extension, Recall & Reimbursement

Good News If you own a 2007-2010 Mini Cooper S over 30,000 miles on the odometer, you've likely paid to have the timing chain system, or perhaps even the engine, repaired or replaced. * Important - We literally receive hundreds of phone calls per year on this issue. Please note that unless you are a service customer of AMC, or live in the state of Maine, or are willing to transport your Mini Cooper here for service, we can not answer questions about out of state vehicles, and would refer you to the the local Mini Cooper dealer in your state for assistance. If you are a [...]

By | March 4th, 2016|Case Studies|Comments Off on Good News – Mini Cooper Timing Chain Warranty Extension, Recall & Reimbursement

Mini Cooper Timing Chain Service

- Mini Cooper Timing Chain Service - New kit installed Big Nick hard at work doing a timing chain update in a newer Mini Cooper. Be it a Cooper, Cooper S, or Clubman, we see this nearly weekly on the Mini Coopers in our area. You can read all about Mini timing chains at our Mini Timing Chain 101 page - http://tinyurl.com/Happy-Mini Fortunately this was caught BEFORE it failed and damaged the engine. When looking at the R56 Mini Coopers (2007 and newer) , we'd always advise checking to see if the timing chain has been updated to the newer [...]

By | January 13th, 2016|Case Studies|Comments Off on Mini Cooper Timing Chain Service

Mini Cooper – Engine Problem – Carbon Deposits On Intake Valves

Problem occurs with both "S" and non "S" models Carbon Deposits On Intake Valves As the largest Mini Cooper service specialists in Maine, at the Atlantic Motorcar Center we've noted a significant increase in late model Mini Coopers with cold start or cold running problems, even to the point of stalling, or Check Engine warning lights coming on. We've found that many of these Mini Cooper direct injection engines suffer from an excessive carbon build up on the back of the engine intake valves.  The carbon build up can cause drivability issues such as stumbling, flat spots and lack of power, [...]

By | December 22nd, 2015|Case Studies|Comments Off on Mini Cooper – Engine Problem – Carbon Deposits On Intake Valves

Washer Solvent Warning Light Sensors and Rain X Deicer

Low Washer Fluid Warning The Problem Have you experienced a washer low level light that seems to stay on all the time, or worse yet, doesn't come on at all, even when the fluid is low or empty? This is something we are seeing more and more often, now that the New England snows have finally left us, problems with the fluid level sensors in customer car's washer solvent bottles. The problem seems to occur across the car lines we service, and doesn't seem to matter what kind of car, we've seen it in Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen. [...]

By | April 14th, 2015|Case Studies|Comments Off on Washer Solvent Warning Light Sensors and Rain X Deicer

Headlight Lens Refinishing – We Do That – Save Money And See Better

Tech Tip - Headlight Lens Refinishing – Save Money And See Better – Headlight refinishing - Volvo. We can do the same on Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, Saab and Lexus. How many of you get in your car that’s a few years older now and find that your headlights are no longer shining like they used to? More and more cars have gone from glass headlight housings to plastic ones for cheaper production costs and weight reduction. One side affect we see more with lights of this type is heavy pitting and discoloration from the natural elements we [...]

By | March 5th, 2015|Case Studies|Comments Off on Headlight Lens Refinishing – We Do That – Save Money And See Better