Category Archives: Vehicle Advice from the Owner

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

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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