Since we don’t sell cars here at Pacific Motorsports, and only pay occasional attention to this market, we found the following rather surprising. Data collected by the online car buying guide Edmunds reports that used car prices of all types of vehicles increased last month. They called it, “an unprecedented historical shift in the used vehicle market, where listing prices typically decrease during this time period due to depreciation.” Factors driving this change include increased consumer financial responsibility (keeping debt levels low) and decreased new car availability due to Covid-19 related production shutdowns. As always, Pacific Motorsports is here to safely service your BMW or MINI, so that you may enjoy that which you already own, and avoid this unique and abnormally high market. We respectfully remind everyone to wear a mask when visiting our facility. Thank you.
As with everything we do at Pacific Motorsports, we believe in answering the question of, “Why my BMW AC isn’t working” with proper diagnosis. The air conditioning system contains a number of components, routed together with hoses, valves, and fittings, none of which are inexpensive. There are many opportunities for something to go wrong in an air conditioning system, regardless of age. So, if you are experiencing a lack of sufficiently cool air, or worse. Let us properly diagnose why. Some of the most common reasons BMW and MINI air conditioning systems don’t work include: A/C Leak There is currently an insufficient amount of refrigerant in the system, sometimes noticeable as a hissing sound in the dash area of your BMW or MINI. It may have leaked out to the point where the system is incapable of functioning as designed. The cause may be a leak from a hose, valve, fitting, or component. Inoperable Compresso ... read more
With more people beginning to venture out as the stay-at-home restrictions are relaxed, some of their vehicles are experiencing the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting. One of the most obvious and common is a weakened battery. While we’ve seen a lot of no-starts from completely dead batteries, the first sign can often be a long, or slow, crank on startup. Newer BMWs have large batteries because of the extensive electrical systems present in modern cars. The plethora of safety, monitoring, and control systems that need to be maintained at constant voltage are significant. As a result, we refer to them as “rolling computer networks”. When a battery weakens, it cannot fulfill its function of maintaining a stable power supply to all of these electrical systems, so they begin to shut down. This can go from the annoying, deleting the functionality of convenience features like the clock, to the expensively catastrophic, cutting power to the electric water pump th ... read more
We have people stop by to admire our clients’ classic BMWs all the time. These cars evoke nostalgia and pleasant memories of days gone by, and they’re just not as common as they once were. They also reached the bottom of their respective depreciation curves years ago, and have been steadily trending up ever since. This upward trend has been particularly dramatic with the 1983-1992 (in the U.S.) e30 chassis 3 series cars. What were once plentiful used cars in the $1,000-5,000 range are now $7,000 to $30,000, and up aspirational and collector cars. With BMW’s original M3, the now-iconic e30 M3, going for $75,000 to over one hundred thousand dollars now. Due to our long-time expertise with these cars, Hagerty Insurance called to interview us about them for their, “Your Definitive 1982-94 BMW E30 3 Series Buyers Guide” published last year. After all, we’ve done ... read more
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 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? 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 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