Yearly Archives: 2019

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

What to Do if Your BMW Overheats

What to Do if Your BMW Overheats

With Summer officially here, let’s hope that the increase in ambient temperatures isn’t translated into an increase in your engine temperatures. If you see your coolant gauge climb, please try to do these things BEFORE it gets into the red. Pull over as soon as it is safe and turn the engine off. Call a towing service. Call Pacific Motorsports and notify us that your MINI or BMW has overheated and you’re waiting for a tow truck to bring it to us. That way we can get you on the schedule and be prepared to diagnose and repair your car as soon as possible. In the National Safety Council’s post, “What to Do if Your Car Overheats,” they say, “Your best bet is to get help from a mechanic.”  The reasons for this are obvious, those of us that work on cars for a living see and deal with these issues on a daily basis, so we are the best qualified to effecti ... read more

Importance of Experienced BMW and MINI Technicians

Importance of Experienced BMW and MINI Technicians

We received a call recently asking if we did emissions work on older cars, and, of course, we said yes because we do. This new client brought in her car, an immaculate 160,000 mile e46 325iX five-speed that she had custom ordered from BMW in 2002, and told her story. She had had it serviced exclusively at BMW dealers until this visit when it remained unrepaired after multiple attempts.  After we fixed it, took it through our state’s emission test, and presented the certificate to her, the reason why we were successful with the repair here at Pacific Motorsports became clear. At Pacific Motorsports our three factory-trained Master Technicians have been educated on models back to the late 1970s, and have worked on all of them since. This “seasoning” has given our staff the abilities to diagnose and repair a wide range of ... read more

Why MINI Coopers are Popular

Why MINI Coopers are Popular

Why MINI Coopers are Popular, an Informal and Unscientific Treatise MINIs, or MINI Coopers, are popular for a number of reasons, and, since we work on many of them, distilling the essence of their popularity to a few common elements may be difficult, but let’s try. When BMW relaunched the brand in 2002, they did so very effectively. The marketing campaign, especially in automotive magazines, was flat out brilliant. The games, stickers, etc. cemented the brand’s reputation as “fun”. It wasn’t marketed as practical, something you needed, but as something you wanted because of its attitude, like a club you wanted to join because of the credibility, it bestowed on you. The first thing they (Frank Stephenson was the actual designer of record) got “right” was the styling, which is undeniably MINI; endearing with just enough “quirk”. It was sized up to meet modern crash protection requi ... read more

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:

BMW Articles

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:

BMW Articles

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

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

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BMW Articles
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