Category Archives: BMW & MINI Ownership Advice from Mark

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

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

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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