Articles:

How We Became the First Business in Portland with Renewable Power

How We Became the First Business in Portland with Renewable Power

We finally closed on our building in October 2004 and needed to establish utility service. Since we were coming from a Pacific Power service area, we needed to open an account with Portland General Electric. As I had renewably sourced power at home since the inception of that program, I asked for it for our new shop, presuming it to be a simple procedure. After all, it is the right thing to do for our environment. The response from the PGE representative at that time was that we couldn’t have it because they didn’t have such a program for small businesses. Was that an acceptable answer? Of course not. Doing the right thing sometimes requires pushing through inconvenience and persevering. I told the representative that even though such a program wasn’t currently available that I still wanted it. “You and I both know you’re going to have a renewable energy program for small businesses one of these days, so why don’t you go to your boss and tell them ... read more

Categories:

The BMW Shop

The Difference Between Customers and Clients

The Difference Between Customers and Clients

When I think of customers I think of commercial transactions where someone is trading money for something in a brief exchange, like buying candy. You may not buy your candy at one place exclusively either, nor be willing to drive across town in order to acquire it. The transitory nature of the exchange, coupled with a focus on convenience as a primary determiner, are hallmarks of the customer mindset. Additionally, the vendor may not interact much, if at all, with the customer, as a purely commercial transaction doesn’t require any kind of relationship. A client is someone with whom a long-term relationship can be forged, and one that includes shared history and knowledge. Doctors and accountants are the kinds of vendors or service providers that are often associated with such a long-term professional relationship. We purposefully choose to see the same doctor and utilize the same accountant because history and knowledge of a situation are valu ... read more

Categories:

The BMW Shop

Check Engine Light Code Reading

Check Engine Light Code Reading

Over the past couple of decades, a myth has arisen that all that is needed to diagnose a vehicle problem, such as a check engine or airbag light, is to hook it up to an automotive diagnostic scanner and an accurate answer will be produced. And now that they’re as cheap as $70, anyone can diagnose their car and know exactly what’s wrong. If only life were so easy. So, where does the information that the diagnostic computer or scanner receives come from? This information, what are sometimes referred to as trouble codes, comes from sensors. These sensors only know that there is an incorrect reading from a specific component, such as an oxygen or crank position sensor, they don’t know why the reading is incorrect. Is the sensor itself faulty, or is it the wiring, or the engine management computer? It could be more than one thing, especially on an older vehicle. The code points in a direction, it doesn&r ... read more

Understanding Condition Based Service (CBS)

Understanding Condition Based Service (CBS)

CBS is the latest maintenance tracking system BMW and MINI created to manage maintenance items and regular service intervals. Where service intervals and maintenance items used to be based on mileage or time (and a series of green, yellow and red lights on the instrument cluster), sensors now monitor fluids and systems to determine replacement based on how the vehicle is driven. This information is accessible via either the iDrive monitor or the dashboard information center. A mileage figure or date is shown indicating the date or mileage at which time the service will be due. A negative number indicates how many miles overdue the specific service may be. The CBS system is checked during every service here at Pacific Motorsports, so all parties are aware of the current conditions that the vehicle is reporting. This modern reporting system is not the be-all-and-end-all, however, it is ... read more

Categories:

The BMW Shop

Post Purchase Inspection Report

Post Purchase Inspection Report

Current Condition, or Post-Purchase Inspection So, you've recently acquired a car and it is making a noise, or a light has come on, or you otherwise wonder what condition its in, what can you do?  At Pacific Motorsports we offer our clientele the opportunity to have their vehicles inspected by our BMW and MINI factory-trained Level 1 Master Technicians. These thorough inspections, similar to Pre-Purchase Inspections we perform for those looking at purchasing a used vehicle, provide everyone with the knowledge of the vehicle's current condition.  If the quality of your driving experience, as well as peace of mind, is something you value, give us a call and see why our exclusive specialization ... read more

Categories:

The BMW Shop

Consumer Reports on the Superiority of Independent Auto Repair Shops

Consumer Reports on the Superiority of Independent Auto Repair Shops

“Consumer Reports members reported greater satisfaction with independent mechanics, overall, than members who took their cars to most chain auto repair stores or local dealerships,” is how the Consumer Reports Member Survey titled “Auto Repair Shop Rankings” in the February 2019 issue begins. “Customers who had their vehicle repaired at local, independent repair shops had the most positive experiences.” These are not new findings to us and our clients here at Pacific Motorsports. It underscores the gulf between the service and professionalism offered by those whose reputation is bestowed from a corporation above, and those of us who have to earn it every day. Come see why the focused specialization on BMW and MINI vehicles allow us to provide A Highe ... read more

Categories:

The BMW Shop

Best Practices

Best Practices

Would you go see your neighbor the dermatologist if you were having migraines? They’re convenient and went to medical school, after all. Is that a Best Practice approach to life? It’s amazing how many people engage in a similar thought process when it comes to their automobile, thinking that any mechanic can repair any car. It’s possible, given enough time and trial and error, that that could happen. But, with all of the specialized knowledge, tools and computer diagnostic equipment required to properly service today’s complex vehicles, the chances aren’t great. We believe in specialization here at Pacific Motorsports, because we don’t believe that everybody can do everything in today’s increasingly complicated world. Everybody doesn’t have the training, experience, information, equipment, facility or orientation to do everything. That’s why up ... read more

Categories:

The BMW Shop

Think Twice Before Drinking and Driving

Think Twice Before Drinking and Driving

I had a dream last night, or was it this morning, about people getting arrested for drunk driving after holiday parties. Yeah, it was kinda depressing. Statistics went flying by, but the one I can remember, and I seldom remember my dreams, was $10,000. Ten grand is what people have told me they’ve spent on their DUI odyssey. That’s inclusive of fines, court costs, diversion programs, attorney’s fees, etc. Ten grand is a lot of money. We all know better, we know not to drink and drive, yet people do it daily. As human beings, we have a remarkable capacity for engaging in behaviors that are against our self-interest, and this certainly qualifies as one.  Please think about it before you start drinking this year. What’s the strategy? In a world of ridesharing options, there are a few worth considering. Make a plan, because having that ignition interlock, if you get to have one while retaining your driving privileges, is going to be a big dr ... read more

Tips for Driving in the Rain

Tips for Driving in the Rain

The season of rain, and sometimes snow, is upon us here in the Pacific Northwest, and with it comes an increase in vehicle crashes. While we cannot control the behavior of others, we can control our own, and utilizing safe driving practices is one. Stopping distances increase on slippery surfaces, so leave more room than you might normally between your car and the one in front of you. Yes, people might (will) cut in front of you into that extra space, it happens to me all of the time. Don’t let those less-than-safe behaviors get to you, and drop back a few more feet after it happens. I’ve spent a bit of time in auto wrecking yards searching for no longer available parts for old BMWs, and with few exceptions, every BMW and MINI I’ve seen had front-end damage. In other words, their career on the road was ended because their driver drove it into something else, often another car. By allowing greater distance between your car and the on ... read more

Flood Damaged Vehicles

Flood Damaged Vehicles

We’ve seen many images of flooding and flooded cars on the news recently. This year it’s Hurricane Florence making the headlines, last year it was Harvey. In previous years it is been Ike, Sandy, and Katrina. All of these storms have destroyed many cars, with one million being attributed to Harvey alone. These cars don’t all go to the crusher, some get cleaned up and resold, especially the more desirable and valuable ones, like BMWs. We know because we’ve seen some of them here at Pacific Motorsports. As people are more aware of flooding, and the damage it causes, in the areas most affected, these flood cars are usually sent away to be sold, to places where flooding may not be a consideration when shopping for a car. How can one protect themselves from unscrupulous, or merely ignorant, sellers flogging a seemingly good looking car? As with any ... read more

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