Category Archives: BMW & MINI Articles

Why Pacific Motorsports uses Total Engine Oil

Why Pacific Motorsports uses Total Engine Oil

A long-time client shared the analysis of the oil in their BMW 328d after their last oil service here at Pacific Motorsports. The column to the right of the Averages column, where the heading is 24,791 miles and the date is 5/19/2020 is with a known quality Brand X diesel motor oil that was in the car when he bought it. The column to the left, dated 9/28/2020 is the Total Rubia Optima 1100 we installed at that mileage and replaced again at 30,800 miles. As the laboratory reports, the Total motor oil sampled is lower than average, and the previous oil, in the quantity of "undesirable" metals (the ones that indicate engine wear, as they are the metals of which the engine is made) and higher in the desirable ones used as friction reducing additives ( ... read more

Weakened & Dead BMW Batteries

Weakened & Dead BMW Batteries

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

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

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

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