15 Jan, 2018

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

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

 

BMW, Mini Cooper “Lifetime 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, […]

15 Jan, 2018

BMW and Mini Cooper Battery Replacement – Registering New Battery

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Tech Tip – Registering New Battery on BMW and Mini Cooper

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 […]

8 Aug, 2017

Tech Tip – Buying A Pre-owned Car?

By | August 8th, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on Tech Tip – Buying A Pre-owned Car?

Just had a customer contact me this morning about the purchase of a used BMW from a private seller. The price sounded too good to be true…until I heard the rest of the story. Seems it needs a “few things” – “It idles up-and-down and will even stall. It could be a mass airflow sensor, oxygen sensor, or something similar.”

Yikes, right? Might be a bargain, or might be real headache, but you don’t know until you have the car looked at professionally. As our Service Manager Rick likes to say “The […]

31 Jan, 2017

BMW and Mini Battery Registration (Replacement)

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

BMW_BatteryThe 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 […]

31 Jan, 2017

BMW and Mini Cooper Turbo Failure

By | January 31st, 2017|Case Studies|Comments Off on 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 determination of […]

22 Dec, 2015

Mini Cooper – Engine Problem – Carbon Deposits On Intake Valves

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

Problem occurs with both "S" and non "S" models 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 […]