Articles:

A Letter to Our Community

A Letter to Our Community

Given the recent Stay at Home order from the Governor’s Office, we would like to emphasize that, as a business deemed essential by both the federal Department of Homeland Security and state governments, we remain open.  As with gas stations and grocery stores, it is legal to leave your home to bring your BMW or MINI to us for service. How long this may be possible is anyone’s guess. Our goal is to maintain the health and safety of our clients and employees by engaging in the most prudent procedures possible. Please call us to inform us of your arrival. This may be done prior to your departure, on your way to Pacific Motorsports, or from our parking lot. Knocking on the window, which some clients have done, is fine, too. Additionally, as part of our newly adopted Social Distancing Policy, we request that all vehicles be dropped off outside our front door under the awning. Please leave the keys in the car and we will retrieve both upon your departure. All contact ca ... read more

Sudden Brake Screech

Sudden Brake Screech

Sudden Brake Screech Current Road Conditions While this winter here in the Willamette Valley has been mild, with minimal sanding of roads, there remains a fair amount of debris in the roadways. Main Cause of Sudden Brake Screech Small pieces of gravel can be spun up by the tire and find their way into brake components, becoming lodged between the brake pad and rotor. Once there they can produce an unpleasant screeching sound, providing an aural indicator of their presence. Sometimes these rocks will be pulverized and break down through actuation of the brakes. Sometimes they won’t, stubbornly remaining in place, where they can damage both the pad and rotor*. Next Steps Should you experience any suddenly new brake screeching, come see the Friendly Professionals at Pacific Motorsports, and let us help prevent possible further damage from occurring. *An evenly scored line, or groove, can often be seen on the brake rotor where the rock scores ... read more

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When I Brake?

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When I Brake?

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When I Brake? Main Cause of Shaking Steering Wheel The main cause of shaking or shimmying of the steering wheel when braking is warped front brake rotors (also called brake discs). The vibration is caused by the brake pad making inconsistent contact with the rotor, sort of like a warped record spinning on a turntable.  Common Causes of Warped Brake Rotors Brake rotors can warp when they are heated up and then one portion becomes cooled at an uneven rate. A classic example of how this can occur is coming down a long hill or mountain, where repeated long braking is required, causing heat buildup in the rotors. Following this with braking to a stop, like at a stoplight, is where the problem occurs. The portion of the rotor that is clamped under the brake pads retains heat, while the exposed portion can freely dissipate it to the air. There are other circumstances under which rotors can warp, but the aforementioned describes the basic process. Con ... read more

Interior Vehicle Water Leaks - Diagnosing & Repairing

Interior Vehicle Water Leaks - Diagnosing & Repairing

Interior Vehicle Water Leaks - Diagnosing & Repairing One of the vehicle issues that only come up when the problem is present is interior vehicle leaks, as they do not telegraph their impending arrival. Preventive maintenance is therefore seldom in the picture, this is usually a reactive repair. There’s nothing to fix if everything is dry, after all. Water, penetrating through the bodywork, finds its way wherever it wants, and it's relentless; think the Grand Canyon, or any recent hurricane or flood. Unlike a squeaking belt or brakes, simple diagnosis and replacement of obviously broken or worn parts are unlikely to immediately follow. Properly determining the source(s) of all the leaks can be challenging. Active ongoing diagnosis can sometimes take a few hours, and, in the case of trunk leaks, possibly include a person with a flashlight inside looking while the car is being constantly showered. Modern cars are rolling computer networks, with electronic modules s ... read more

BMW and MINI Cooling System Problems

BMW and MINI Cooling System Problems

Cooling System Problems, They’re Not Just for Summer. Lack of heat is often a sign that your BMW’s cooling system isn’t functioning properly. This can be the first sign that something is wrong. It isn’t always the gauge going into the red that signals this problem, lack of heat can, too. The heat generated by the engine warms the water and antifreeze mixture that cools the engine. This warm coolant flows into the heater core in the interior and is the source of warmth used for cabin heat. If there isn’t any heat, or the heat is weak, that indicates an issue with the vehicle’s cooling system. Since many MINI Coopers have neither a low coolant warning light nor a coolant gauge, this is often the only way to know that there is a problem with these cars. Be comfortable, and keep your MINI or BMW in safe operating order, call the Friendly Professionals ... read more

Congruence

Congruence

We often wonder how we look to others and the outside world, and most of us hope that what we put forward is congruent with how we both act and view ourselves. This is such a story. When searching on the internet for a product or service, one thing that seldom enters one’s mind is how that experience, in the digital domain, matches up with the reality of the physical world. And it never occurred to us at Pacific Motorsports, either, because we consider our outward facing presentation to be the same as how clients are treated under our roof. Yet how do we really know this? This came into focus recently when a new client returned for some additional work on their beautiful 6 Series. Noticing the out-of-state license plates, I asked how he had found Pacific Motorsports and decided to come here.  First of all, as an experienced BMW owner he said he didn’t want to go to the dealer, as he had had enough ... read more

October is Car Care Awareness Month

October is Car Care Awareness Month

October is Car Care Awareness Month and all of us at Pacific Motorsports are here, as always, to help you care for your beloved MINI or BMW. “Fall Car Care Month in October is the ideal time to give your car some extra attention before harsh winter weather sets in,” said Rich White, Executive Director, Car Care Council. “taking a little time for auto care now can help you avoid the headaches of a costly emergency breakdown later.”  The courtesy inspections we provide our clients during every service visit go a long way towards helping you prevent the kind of scenario Mr. White alluded to. At Pacific Motorsports we spot potential issues before they can become “tow truck” episodes. In an ideal world, we’d prefer to perform preventive maintenance service for you, rather than breakdown repair, as it is less costly and can be done on your schedule. Let us know what we can do for you to help ensure your peace of mind and reduce the chance(s) ... read more

Driving Older Cars on a Regular Basis

Driving Older Cars on a Regular Basis

Owning and enjoying vehicles 20 or more years old on a regular basis has its own charms and challenges. Higher mileage due to use is the obvious situation but isn’t necessarily a negative. These are some of the things that one can expect from those that service these cars.  First of all, they’re fun to drive, as you actually drive the car. We fondly refer to them as “analog cars”, as electronic aids and systems are, for the most part, absent. Steering and road feel, for example, are greater than most new cars, too (electric power steering, anyone?). The fun-to-drive factor, in addition to style and personal preference considerations, are the primary reasons we hear from our clientele about why they own and drive the cars they do. As I often say, cars are all about emotion, they don’t make rational sense, so drive what brings you pleasure. These cars present a differe ... read more

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BMW Articles

Delayed Maintenance on Privately Owned Vehicles in US Reaches $25 Billion

Delayed Maintenance on Privately Owned Vehicles in US Reaches $25 Billion

We’ve all put things off that, at the moment we made that decision, we knew we’d be better off taking care of it immediately. Procrastination is a fact of life we all engage into some degree, even though we know it often works against us. One of these areas of life is automotive care and maintenance. And if we’ve been turned off by the unprofessional approach of many dealerships and independent repair shops, that only worsens the situation. The first time I heard of this statistic was about 10 years ago, and the number was what seemed at the time to be a staggering $10 billion. The number is now an unbelievable $25 billion in deferred maintenance in the non-commercial US vehicle fleet. That’s a lot of overdue brake jobs, bald tires, and old fluids.  This estimate is based on a survey of more than 100,000 househol ... read more

Field Testing the Flir TG275

Field Testing the Flir TG275

We were approached by representatives of Flir Systems, makers of cutting-edge infrared camera technologies, to test their new hand-held automotive tool, the TG275. Pacific Motorsports was one of three workshops, and the only independent, in the Portland-area invited to participate in the field testing of this new device. On August 1, 2019, this testing period culminated in an interview session and filming of our technicians providing their feedback and demonstrating some of the uses we’ve found for the camera. The photo you see on the left is of our Service Manager, Matt Erwin, a 19-year BMW Level 1 Master Technician providing his input. We thank Flir for the opportunity to take part in this field testing and wish them much success with this versatile instrument ... read more

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