When you drive a BMW, you expect excellence above and beyond that of the average vehicle on the road. The brand is built on smooth performance, sleek style, and above all, mechanical perfection. When a BMW owner drives off the lot for the first time, they can expect nothing but excellence from their new vehicle.
That just makes it all the more jarring and frustrating when one of your engine’s parts calls it quits, be it a problem as big as a blown catalytic converter or as small as an oil leak. While it’s normal for your BMW to have some small fluid drips in and around the engine (such as condensation from the A/C system), what’s not normal is when you notice puddles of fluid beneath your BMW every morning. That begs the question: where is the oil coming from?
The Importance of Oil in Your Engine
Oil in your engine is responsible for cooling and lubricating all of the heated moving parts. Your oil makes sure that your engine does not overheat or wear out too quickly through normal use. Without it, you run the risk of severe and extensive engine damage that may result in your engine overheating.
Furthermore, without oil, the more heat-sensitive parts of your engine may break or crack after repeated exposure to hotter-than-normal temperatures.
Here are the most common locations of oil leaks in your BMW:
Oil pan gasket leaks
Perhaps the most common leak of all comes from the oil pan gasket. The oil pan in your BMW is where your oil sits when the vehicle is not in use, and therefore can accumulate sludge and mineral deposits over time from old or hot oil, which can wear at your oil pan gasket over time.
Valve cover gasket leaks
This is one of the most common locations to experience a leak in BMW. The valve cover gasket protects the rocker arms and valves at the top of the engine. Typically, valve cover gasket leaks are more common after 60,000 miles, although a defective gasket can leak much sooner.
Rear main seal leaks
The rear main seal tends to fail when the crankshaft of your BMW encounters too much wear. When that happens, the main seal may be unable to hold tight or it may be otherwise damaged and may begin to leak.
Timing cover gasket leaks
The timing cover gasket is the seal that protects the connection between the engine block and the timing cover. If the timing cover gasket is the issue, you may also notice that coolant is leaking as well.
Oil filter housing gasket leaks
If you notice that oil is leaking only on the left side of the engine or if it looks like it’s coming from the oil pan but not the oil pan gasket, the leak may actually be coming from the oil filter housing gasket.
Common Causes of Oil Leaks in Your BMW
The cause of your oil leak is dependent upon where the leak is coming from. However, some causes are more common than others:
Old age and high mileage are one of the most common causes of oil leaks in any vehicle, as the wear and tear over time causes some parts to fail.
Inconsistent oil changes and improper oil type can cause oil deposits to build up in your oil pan or other parts of your engine.
Rough driving habits can overexert your engine, which leads to the components of your engine potentially being damaged.
A loose filler cap usually occurs when the cap is improperly replaced after an oil change. This can cause oil to leak from your pan.
Turning Wrenches will Address Your Oil Leak in Louisville, KY
If you suspect you have an oil leak in your BMW, bring your baby to Turning Wrenches of Louisville, KY today. Our knowledgeable, friendly technicians have been working under the hood for decades with only the best diagnostic and repair tools available. Moreover, our dedication to fixing and restoring German-made cars to their best selves is unmatched in the Louisville area. We offer a 36-month/36,000-mile warranty on all parts and repairs, so you know that you’re protected until the time comes for your BMW’s next servicing. Call us today.
As you drive your Audi, necessary servicing and maintenance should be performed. The longer you have your vehicle, the more often you may have to bring it into a trusted mechanic. One such part that may require extra maintenance is the timing belt. If the timing belt is continuously functioning in a problematic fashion, then other internal engine parts will be damaged. The best way to avoid this is by knowing the purpose of your timing belt and what signs to look for that indicate there is an issue with it.
The Purpose of the Timing Belt in your Audi
If you have an Audi that is older than 2005, you will have a timing belt in your engine. After 2005, Audi vehicles were designed with timing chains instead of timing belts. Regardless of if your Audi has a timing belt or chain, the purpose and function are still the same. The timing belt is made out of rubber and is located inside the engine. It serves to maintain the synchronization of the camshaft and the crankshaft.
The camshaft is responsible for ensuring the proper function of the valves so air and gas can be let in and out of the engine. The purpose of the crankshaft is to move the pistons up and down. Both parts have to always move in a synchronized fashion, and this is the job of the timing belt. All of these parts working together will ensure that your Audi remains running as your drive.
It is suggested that the timing belt is changed every 75,000 or every five years. Although the timing chain is meant to last the lifetime of your Audi, some Audis may experience occurrences when it does. Knowing the signs that point to necessary repair is important.
Signs of Timing Belt Issues
The first sign that there is an issue with the timing belt in your Audi is a ticking sound coming from the engine. When the timing belt begins to wear out, it will not be as tight as it was previously. The timing belt will then no longer fit onto its pulleys as intended. The older the timing belt is, the looser it becomes. The ticking noise comes from the timing belt hitting parts in the engine that it normally has no contact with. So a repeated ticking will be heard as your drive.
Another sign of timing belt issues is that the engine will not turn over. As previously stated, the timing belt is required to correctly function the necessary parts that allow the engine to turn on and run. Without the timing belt working properly, the parts it is connected to will not either. Thus, the engine will not turn over when you turn the key.
The third sign is oil leaking from the front of the engine. The timing belt needs lubrication in order to function correctly. The way this occurs is oil in the timing belt cover. If there is a leak that can be seen in the front of the engine, then the timing belt cover is not secured properly. When this happens, there is an issue with the timing belt. Lubricant is needed to ensure that the timing belt is able to properly and continuously synchronize the camshaft and crankshaft.
Dealing with the Timing Belt Issue in your Audi
Keeping an eye on the overall function of your Audi is one of your main responsibilities as a car owner. So if you notice any of the above signs of timing belt issues, it is time to bring your Audi in for serving.
The best place to go for repairs is Turning Wrenches in Louisville, KY because all of our technicians are trained and certified in Audi vehicles. We care about your car and want you to continue to drive safely after the repair, which is why we offer a 36-month/36,000-mile warranty on all our services. In addition to this, we use the latest tools and diagnostic equipment to address the timing belt issue and any problems in your Audi.
We always ensure that you are safely back on the road after a timing belt repair or any maintenance. Contact us today for an appointment.
Your Mercedes is a stable vehicle that was built to last for a long time. When you bought it you knew that you would own it for many years. During those years you have come to expect that the functionality would last. As your Mercedes ages, there are going to be certain parts that fail and need to be repaired or replaced. One such part is the MAF sensor. Below you will find out more about what the MAF sensor is and what signs of failure to look for.
The Mass Airflow Sensor
In order for your Mercedes to properly operate, the engine needs to have the correct mixture of air and fuel running through it. If there is too much or too little of either part, the engine is going to be compromised.
So, in order for the air portion of the mixture to be correct, it is monitored by the Mass AirFlow (MAF) sensor. The MAF sensor is responsible for calculating the amount of air that is coming into the vehicle and sending this information to your Mercedes’s computer. Based on the readings from the mass airflow sensor, the computer will then make any and all required adjustments to the engine airflow.
The way the MAF sensor is designed is simple. The part consists of 2 wires. One wire is heated and the other is cool. The readings are produced by determining what current is required for keeping the heated wire at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This measurement is what is sent to the computer of your Mercedes.
Signs of MAF Sensor Failure
The first sign to look for and be aware of is lean idling. As stated before, a properly-balanced mixture of air and fuel is required for optimal engine function. If the MAF sensor has failed, then incorrect or no readings will be sent to the computer. This will cause the engine to have too much air in the system. The increased amount of air in the engine will lead to a failed combustion process. So, when you are attempting to start your engine, it may take a couple of tries because the overflow of air in the system is preventing proper and complete combustion.
The second sign that will point to MAF sensor failure is a delay in acceleration. You will notice this occurs whenever you are attempting to reach higher speeds. When you step on the gas pedal, the response may not be immediate. A failure in the MAF sensor can cause this issue because the sensor will disrupt the amount of gasoline that is getting to the engine. So with a lack of gasoline, there will be a delayed response in acceleration.
The third sign that you can use to identify MAF sensor failure is excessive gasoline consumption. When the MAF sensor is not working as it should, the readings the computer is getting is inaccurate. So when this happens, the incorrect amount of air is being pumped into the mixture. This will cause more gasoline to be used in order to make up for the lack of air being used. You will notice this when you are constantly having to fill up your Mercedes’s fuel tank.
One last sign and the most common symptom that will let you know there is a MAF sensor failure, is an illuminated check engine light. Whenever there is an issue with a part in your Mercedes that is controlled by a computer, you will know about it because a service light will illuminate on the dashboard. You can expect this same thing to occur when there is a MAF sensor failure. The check engine light will come on, and you will need to take your Mercedes to a shop to have a diagnostic test run.
Repairing the MAF Sensor
Now that you know the signs that will help you to identify MAF sensor failures, it is time to have that failure fixed. The failure could be caused by faulty wires in the sensor, dust and grime, or general wear and tear. Any and all of these causes should be looked at and identified by a trained and certified technician. You will be able to find just that here at Turning Wrenches in Louisville, KY. We will use the most up-to-date tools and equipment in order to properly diagnose the MAF sensor failure. Once the issue has been identified, we will work with you in forming a repair or replacement plan. You will leave our shop happy and satisfied with the work that was done on your Mercedes.
Audi has always been known as the brand that pushes the limits of what’s possible, from the mechanical performance of the vehicle itself to the new and innovative technologies incorporated into the driver’s seat. The brand has built itself on testing those limits, creating and implementing their own technologies to push the boundaries of what the public has accepted as normal, standard, or even includable in a modern vehicle.
One of these newer technologies making its debut in recent years is the digital dashboard that is making its way into newer Audi models. Let’s take a look at its functions and signs of failure, so you can make repairs as soon as you suspect an issue.
The Audi Digital Dashboard
Digital dashboards replace the traditional analog display in favor of a higher-tech, far more functional option. In addition to the usual speed, fuel, and temperature gauges, the digital dashboard allows drivers to customize their display to include or preclude music, phone calls, and maps, among a wide variety of other options.
Due to the young age of the technology, as well as the number of electrical and mechanical pieces involved in bringing the digital display to light, occasional issues are to be expected as the design and function improve toward perfection. When such issues occur, it’s especially critical that Audi owners, those on the front lines of this new technology, know what symptoms to look for in their failing dashboard.
Signs of Digital Dashboard Failure
These are one of the more common mechanical issues to occur with the digital dashboard. While they can be replaced at home by those with proper mechanical know-how, doing so carries the risk of interfering with and potentially damaging other components of your electrical system. If you have a blown fuse, you’ll notice signs such as:
flashing or otherwise glitchy displays
dim or dull screens
partial or complete failure of the display
These are not a huge problem in and of themselves, but having a blown bulb behind your digital dashboard can be dangerous if it means you can’t see important information such as your speed or warning lights. Having your bulb replaced quickly is important for your safety as well as the functioning of your Audi.
These problems in your digital dashboard are possible, although not common. These will manifest as missing pieces or lines crossing your display. When this occurs, the only recourse is to visit a certified Audi specialist and have the display reset and possibly replaced entirely.
It is responsible for controlling the icons the dashboard is able to display. Failure of the instrument cluster is a serious problem that should be addressed immediately, as it makes driving your vehicle dangerous not only for you, but other drivers on the road. Not knowing if you’re cruising along at 50 mph or whipping along at 80 mph not only puts you in danger of crashing but also at risk of an annoying ticket.
Preventing Dashboard Display Issues
Due to the complex nature of the displays themselves, there is no foolproof way to guarantee your display will never fail. However, one thing you can do to make sure your display is at peak performance is to routinely update the display as Audi sends out digital patches and system upgrades.
When you visit your mechanic, request that they do a complete systems check and software update to ensure your Audi is running at its best. While this may not prevent electrical or other issues, it will ensure you’ve done everything you can.
We offer complete and comprehensive services to repair electrical malfunctions and mechanical breakdowns. We utilize only the most up-to-date tools and equipment for every make and model to serve you best.
The reason why BMW is so well-regarded for the incredible driving and handling of their cars is largely thanks to their unique VANOS system. This high-tech part achieves what was thought impossible. It gives you the best of both worlds: smooth driving and increased power. The only true drawback to this part is when it fails, you notice it. A failed VANOS unit will contribute to a drastic decline in performance. Therefore, it is important you look after your BMW’s VANOS system and keep an eye out for the early signs of failure.
VVT units exist in many modern cars, but the VANOS system is unique to BMW cars and is the manufacturer’s rendition of this common part. BMW was one of the pioneers of VVT, and their first VANOS system was released in 1992. This changed the high-performance driving game for ever. Engine performance was dramatically increased through the reflexive manipulation of the intake and exhaust valves. Added bonuses were smooth idling and increased torque, which led to an all-round improvement in power, performance, and handling.
Additionally, the VANOS system can also regulate the flow of engine oil that the cam gears receive. It does this using solenoids, and this ensures that timing adjustments are made with the maximum level of precision. There are currently three types of VANOS systems: Single VANOS (1992 to 2002), Double VANOS (1999 to 2010), and Double VANOS with Valvetronic (2004 to 2015). So the age of your BMW will directly impact which type of VANOS system your vehicle uses.
Signs of VANOS System Failure
As previously mentioned, an overall decline in your BMW’s performance will likely indicate an underperforming VANOS unit. However, this decline may be subtle and happen over time, making it hard to notice. So, keep an eye out for the following signs:
1. Loss of Torque/Power
As the VANOS system boosts the power and torque created by your engine, if it is under performing, the power and torque output that your engine can achieve will be reduced.
2. Engine Hesitation When at Low RPM
Low RPM commonly occurs when idling, such as when in traffic or waiting at an intersection. When the VANOS system is lacklustre, the engine’s timing won’t be precisely regulated, resulting in both power loss and engine hesitation at low RPM.
3. Rough Idle
One of the great things about the VANOS system is how smoothly it makes your VANOS drive. Therefore, it’s common sense to expect that when the VANOS system becomes sub par, your car will drive much less smoothly. Also, rough idling is likely to occur.
4. Reduced Gas Mileage
The VANOS system is responsible for getting the very best in efficiency out of every part it interacts with. When it isn’t working properly, your engine won’t function at peak levels, which can result in increased fuel consumption.
5. Cold Start Problems
Many cars can struggle with cold starts, but add in a faulty VANOS system, and it’s likely you’ll find it much harder to wake up your BMW.
6. Stalling in Cold Weather
On a similar note, when winter hits and your VANOS system isn’t working, you can expect an increase rate of stalling and an unhappy, uncooperative engine system.
7. Generation of Fault Codes
Your BMW’s onboard computer (ECU) is likely to pick up on the overall reduction in engine performance and may generate error codes pertaining to the VANOS unit. If the problem becomes severe, the ECU will likely trigger the Engine Management Light (EML or check engine light).
8. Engine Goes Limp After Accelerating
Your engine works hardest when it accelerates. As the VANOS system helps make this easier by making sure timing is perfect, when the VANOS system is not operational, the engine will not be able to correctly regulate its timing. This typically results in a sharp decline in power post-acceleration and a limp engine.
You Can Rely on Us
Here at Turning Wrenches of Louisville, KY, we’re eager to help the BMW drivers with their VANOS problems. We want you to experience the very best that your BMW can offer, and we’ll make sure any problem we find is addressed and repaired to the highest standards. We look forward to speaking with you about your BMW and getting you back on the road safely and efficiently. Call us today to schedule an appointment or consultation.
The crankshaft position sensor is an important measurement tool that is essential in all modern combustion engines, including your Mercedes. It is needed to monitor the speed of rotation and the position of the crankshaft. It sends the information it collects to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) which is the main computer onboard your Mercedes.
The data given by the crankshaft position sensor allows the ECU to make alterations as needed to ensure your Mercedes achieves high-level performance. This means that accurate information regarding the crankshaft position and speed is essential for maintaining good engine management and timing. Ultimately, when the crankshaft position sensor fails, the engine is unable to run correctly if at all.
The crankshaft position sensor rarely fails without warning. There are usually some signs and symptoms that occur which can make you suspicious. Let’s learn more about this important sensor, why it fails, and how you can tell if failure has occurred.
How the Crankshaft Position Sensor Works
Located next to the flywheel ring gear, the crankshaft sensor can come in 2 different variants. Your Mercedes will either use an inductive sensor or a hall generator. These two forms work by altering magnetic fields using the ring gears rotational movement. The magnetic field which is created is used to form a range of voltage signals which are then picked up and used by the ECU.
Reasons Behind Crankshaft Position Sensor Failure
As the crankshaft position sensor is an electronic component, the reasons why it fails largely follows the same reasons as the other electronic systems of your Mercedes:
wiring short circuits
damaged or cut wiring
damaged encoder wheel
metal abrasion causing soiling and contamination
How to Tell if your Mercedes has a Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor
There are 3 key signs which can indicate imminent failure of the crankshaft position sensor. Remember, without a working sensor, your Mercedes is unlikely to go anywhere at all, so watch for the early warning signs below.
As the crankshaft position sensor helps regulate the timing of your Mercedes’ engine, when it starts to fail, you will likely notice starting your car successfully first time around starts to become a rarity. Without the data provided by the crankshaft position sensor, your ECU is left guessing. This can create a chain reaction that has all your engine systems running out of sync with one another, which will cause a false start. As the problem progresses, your vehicle may reach a point where it is simply unable to start.
If your Mercedes stalls intermittently, then the crankshaft position sensor may be on the fritz. This is commonly caused by issues with the sensor’s external wiring and not with the sensor module itself. When the wiring is damaged, the connection between the sensor and the ECU becomes spotty, despite the sensor working perfectly. This will result in your Mercedes performing normally and then suddenly and intermittently stalling when the connection between the two parts is lost. This issue should be resolved as soon as possible because any rogue element that makes your vehicle unpredictable is an accident waiting to happen.
Engine Management Light
The check engine light, otherwise known as the Engine Management Light or EML, can be triggered by the ECU whenever an issue with the engine is detected. This can range from low-level issues such as a loose gas cap to more severe problems, such as catalytic converter failure. As a failing crankshaft position sensor throws the engine’s timing into dysregulation, it can cause the ECU to trigger the engine management light. This will then send out a relevant error code which can be diagnosed by a professional mechanic. This light is meant to safeguard the health of your engine and should never be ignored.
At Turning Wrenches of Louisville, KY, we are passionate about auto repairs and servicing. We have a hardworking team of mechanics who will work diligently to fix the problem with your Mercedes, be it the crankshaft position sensor failure, or other unrelated problems. So, for trustworthy repairs and great customer service, look no further than Turning Wrenches. Our dedicated customer service team is ready and waiting to take your call.
Figuring out transmission issues in your MINI can be tricky, as there can be many different symptoms that can often mask themselves as other issues, meaning that getting to the true crux of the issue can take a lot of trial and error. You may also find that you only experience one or two issues, which can make you doubt is the transmission is to blame at all. Let us help you demystify the signs of transmission malfunction in your MINI with our handy list.
Sign 1: Your MINI Won’t Go into Gear
One of the most commonly-experienced symptoms of a transmission malfunction is a MINI that won’t go into gear or slips or changes gears unexpectedly. This issue can occur at one specific gear or across all gears. Gear issues can be caused by your transmission fluid running low, using the wrong transmission fluid, or issues with the shift cables or clutch linkage.
Sign 2: A Burning Smell
A burning smell will typically be caused by burning transmission fluid, due to your transmission system overheating. Transmission fluid is essential for the correct lubrication and cooling of your transmission system, and therefore, this issue should be remedied as soon as possible. An overheating transmission system can be caused by low fluid levels, fluid leaks, and expired transmission fluid.
Sign 3: Transmission is Noisy in Neutral
Strange noises when in neutral is often sign of a transmission issue, which can usually be fixed by a fluid change. More serious problems that cause this are wear and tear to parts such as bearings and gear teeth.
Sign 4: Gear Slippage
Gear slips are defined by a car that suddenly changes to neutral. This can create a dangerous scenario for drivers and should be treated with the utmost severity by immediately visiting a professional repair shop.
Sign 5: The Clutch Drags
This issue is reserved to MINIs with a manual transmission. It happens because of a failure to disengage the clutch disk from the flywheel. This will prevent successful gear changes and cause a grinding noise. This issue is commonly caused by excess slack in the clutch pedal.
Sign 6: Transmission Fluid Leaks
A transmission fluid leak is a very clear indicator of a transmission system issue. Transmission fluid is identified by its transparent red color and its sweet smell. Transmission fluid tends not to leave the system unless there’s a leak, so if your levels drop, you’ll need to have the problem resolved.
Sign 7: Illumination of the Check Engine Light
The check engine light will illuminate when your MINI’s onboard computer, otherwise known as the ECU, detects problems with parts integral to your car’s health. This can occur for many reasons, including the transmission.
Sign 8: Grinding and Shaking
In manual transmissions, this sign will be noticeable in your MINI when shifting gears. It usually is an indicator that your clutch is worn out or that you have an issue with the gear synchronizers. In MINIs with an automatic transmission, you may notice your car will shimmy into each gear.
Sign 9: Noisy
Hearing odd noises when driving your MINI is never a good sign and can indicate transmission problems. Automatic transmissions will make noises, such as whining and humming, whereas manual transmissions will make much more mechanical sounds, such as clunking.
Sign 10: Unresponsive Transmission System
A working transmission will always shift into the correct gear. Any type of hesitation, delay, or struggle to make this change is a clear sign your transmission system needs investigating for malfunctions. This can be indicative of a failed clutch and should never be ignored, as they can create a dangerous distraction when driving, which can increase your risk of accidents.
Right now, many find themselves at home for long periods of time in quarantine, either self-imposed or mandated. Concerns of the spread of the novel coronavirus have risen and become such a central focus of our lives and thoughts that some things may understandably get overlooked — like the condition of our cars.
In times of crisis such as these, while driving is minimal, having a reliable car is perhaps more essential than ever. Drivers need to know that their car will be able to take them where they need to go in situations of urgency. If you or a loved one experiences a medical emergency, a faulty car could result in a breakdown that could — without wanting to sound too alarmist — prove to be disastrous in the end.
Drivers depend on auto repair shops and the mechanics and staff that work at them. The public has a vested interest in and depends on the work of repair shops to make it through this pandemic without any additional problems that could be avoided. Repair shops are essential businesses, and consumers need them now, perhaps more than ever.
This is said not to create unnecessary worry or panic in this stressful time, but because, in the end, ensuring you have a safe, reliable means of transportation is not only in your best interest. It’s in everyone’s.
A Perfect Storm of Factors
It can be easy to not think about cars at this time, especially if you are one of the millions of Americans that are out of work or working from home. Errands and duties that require a car are scarce for those who do not hold an essential job.
While there is no way to measure how much time Americans are currently spending in their car, auto sales have certainly plummeted. That nosedive is expected to continue in the following months: Eric Lyman, chief industry analyst at car-shopping website TrueCar.com, expects auto sales to dip by 50–60% in April.
As cars sit idle, their batteries begin to lose charge. So, while many of us are practicing social distancing, our batteries may be slowly losing their ability to get started. Sitting for a week or so is fine, but if your car sits for a month, there’s a chance it won’t start when needed.
In addition, tires begin to lose their pressure over time when not driven, as air leaks out of them. When this occurs, you are putting your vehicle at risk for developing other problems.
As the importance of social distancing becomes more realized by the public, some may begin putting off necessary tasks. Social distancing is absolutely crucial to ensuring that COVID-19 is overcome and managed, but if you rely on your vehicle to take you to the hospital if needed and it is not in adequate condition, you should consider getting your car repaired. A trip to an auto shop requires little interpersonal contact, and most mechanic shops are taking the necessary precautions to keep their customers safe.
A reliable car is part of emergency preparedness, and this pandemic is no exception.
A Breakdown May Be More Than An Inconvenience
If you need your vehicle to transport you or a loved one to a doctor’s office, hospital, or testing center in a time of emergency, a breakdown could lose you crucial minutes in care. Engine problems such as overheating or transmission problems could cause your vehicle to stall out. Stalling out is dangerous enough when it comes to the problems it can create in traffic, but in times when a person’s physical health is in jeopardy, an extra level of danger is created.
If your car is stalled, extra time will have to be taken. Whether a loved one, taxi, ambulance or ride-hailing service picks you up from where you are, each minute spent waiting is a minute out of the care of a medical professional. The symptoms of COVID-19 are prone to show up quickly or unexpectedly, so time is of the essence if someone is experiencing an emergency related to the virus.
This will likely hit hardest those who live in rural areas, as they will have to drive a further distance to get to the hospital. As a business whose purpose revolves around vehicles and those who drive them, we want to make sure that drivers are able to properly transport themselves or their loved ones to get the help they need.
Auto shops are needed during this pandemic so that drivers are safeguarded against car problems that a trusted mechanic can help to identify, repair and prevent.
Other Options May Be Unsafe, Not Available
Commuters who own a car but have become accustomed to arriving to work via other means may soon be unable to do so as cities are cutting public transit routes to arrest the spread of COVID-19. Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington D.C., as well as many other cities have reduced the number of trains or buses operating. For those who still have no choice but to use public transportation, there is a significant risk of infection while aboard.
Riding in a car is preferable and poses little to no more threat to yourself or others than sitting in your home — unless you are carpooling, which is currently discouraged. If your car needs servicing in order to run, doing it now is imperative. By repairing your vehicle and driving rather than taking public transportation, you not only reduce your odds of contracting the virus, you eliminate the chance of unknowingly spreading the disease on public transit yourself.
For those who are unable to drive due to financial reasons, declining ridership on public buses and trains will help them better protect themselves by making social distancing easier.
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have suspended their carpooling service, but typical programs are still available. Those who can drive their own personal vehicle should do so rather than take Uber and Lyft for their own safety, as any and all personal contact should be avoided if possible.
This means that the auto shops drivers depend on to keep their cars running reliably need to remain open, as they provide a critical service the public depends on.
The Strain on Infrastructure
Unfortunately, the number of ambulances and first responders that the world has is limited. Right now, the number of response vehicles needed are not enough in some places. New York City is receiving an extra 250–500 ambulances to help them cover the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has at the time of writing hit around 40,000 residents in the city. While New York City is maybe a special case and the situation varies from community to community, the fact remains that emergency infrastructure is under strain.
A properly maintained car can help reduce the amount of pressure placed on our emergency infrastructure in the midst of this virus outbreak. Being able to reliably count on your vehicle and drive to the hospital yourself or with the help of a loved one — except for extreme cases of emergency in which an ambulance is necessary — can save your life by arriving in a timely manner and save the lives of others by freeing up ambulances for those in dire circumstances.
There are other risks of ambulance rides, such as infecting the first responders and EMTs that brave the ride to help others. If it is possible and it would not do harm to yourself, driving yourself is preferable as it reduces the chance of further spreading any contagion by reducing the number of people with whom you come into contact.
Steps to Take
It’s advised to drive your car at least two times a month for at least 10 miles to prevent a substantial loss in battery power. If you only crank your vehicle, you further drain the battery, so it is important to drive it for at least 10 miles to allow it to recharge. This is also a good chance to pay attention to any problems that could exacerbate themselves in an emergency situation.
Check your car’s oil and coolant levels and make sure that you have at least enough gas in the tank to carry yourself to an emergency care facility and back in case of emergency.
A charged battery, an engine that can reliably run without overheating or stalling, and a transmission free of major problems is critical in this time. This virus does not discriminate in who it infects, and every individual should have a plan in place to respond to this crisis, and that includes a well-maintained car. Any questions that you have about your vehicle should be directed to a certified mechanic through the appropriate channels that allow for adequate social distancing measures, such as via telephone or email.
Auto shops provide an essential service in our society and, without them, additional strain would be placed on top of the industries which must respond to this pandemic. If you need work done on your primary vehicle that is indispensable for its operation, please visit an auto shop. It is in your best interest and the best interest of those around you.
Mercedes Benz is known for its high-performance engine, next-generation innovations, and a sophisticated interior. One system that is well-known for contributing to the incredible driving experience that Mercedes Benz offers is the AirMatic system. Let’s dive deeper into this integral system and look at ways to ensure each drive is the ultimate driving experience.
The Value of the AirMatic System
The AirMatic system is an air suspension marvel developed by Mercedes for their new models. The AirMatic system works in unison with the Air Dampening System (ADS) to create an unbelievably-smooth driving experience. The ADS provides the suspension with a cushion, while the AirMatic system controls air inside the suspension to match the terrain and driving conditions.
Why It’s Important to Keep your AirMatic System Well-Maintained
When you’re driving your dream car, it is essential that you keep on top of maintenance. Maintenance helps extend the lifespan of your Mercedes and ensures that each drive feels as good as the last. Without proper maintenance, parts will start to wear and then fail. You will notice a dramatic drop in performance and may become frustrated with potentially-dangerous symptoms caused by failing parts. When it comes to caring for your AirMatic system, we’ve listed some of the top maintenance tips below.
Check for Leaks
To keep an air-based suspension system working at top levels, you always need to be on the lookout for air leaks. Air leaks can put a strain on essential parts of the suspension system, such as the compressor. This can lead to premature part failure. There are kits available for purchase that can help you patch a minor leak at home, but for complete peace of mind, you should bring your Mercedes to a specialist for repairs.
Loose Air Lines
As part of your regular, ongoing maintenance, you should check the air lines or the AirMatic System. You should be inspecting these to see that the lines have a secure connection to other parts of the system. This will ensure the correct pressure is able to be maintained within the system. This will reduce the pressure on other parts to over-perform to compensate.
Check the Air Springs
The final crucial part of your ongoing AirMatic maintenance should be to check the air springs. The air springs are designed to expand and contract at a steady pressure, which helps to keep the driving experience smooth. These springs should ideally be kept at a pressure of 5psi, but check with your owner’s manual to make sure your springs are tuned to the specifics of your Mercedes model.
Cleaning and Maintaining the AirMatic System
As with most parts of your vehicle, proper maintenance involves ensuring that parts are clean of dirt and grime which can interfere with the correct operation of the system. Debris build up can be a leading and yet preventable cause of many types of part failure. Buildup can have you shelling out money for repairs that could have been avoided. So if you want to save money, spend a little time giving your Mercedes some proper TLC.
Spending some time checking and cleaning your car will also allow you to spot small changes or early stages of part failure, meaning you can respond much more quickly to any issue your Mercedes might face. Any repairs will remain straightforward, quick, and affordable.
Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
The number one way to ensure your Mercedes Benz remains operating at peak performance is to keep up with your servicing record. Having your Mercedes inspected by a professional repair shop will ensure that any issue is caught early on. Parts can be inspected, tested, and fine tuned, meaning your Mercedes will always be at its best.
All vehicles are incredibly complex machines, especially those which have been intelligently engineered and thoughtfully designed, such as BMW. Because of this, your car has a variety of systems in place to protect you and your car from the effects of severe part failure. One such system is the check engine warning light. Below, you can find out how the light works as well as the types of part failure which can cause it to illuminate.
What is the check engine light?
The Engine Management Light (EML) or check engine light is a warning indicator which is found on your BMW’s dashboard. It will illuminate when more severe issues are detected in your vehicle’s systems or parts which work with the engine and the connecting exhaust systems.
The engine management light connects directly to your BMW’s main computer, which is known as the ECU or Engine Control Unit. If the ECU detects an issue in one of the aforementioned systems, it will trigger the check engine light and send out an error code. This can be used to correctly diagnose and repair the problem.
How a driver should immediately respond to the EML depends on the severity of the issue. If the car still feels like its running fine, then lower your speed and drive it directly to a professional repair shop. However, if the EML lights up red or your car no longer feels safe, then pull over and call for a recovery vehicle to tow you to a repair shop.
Common Reasons Why the Check Engine Light may Illuminate
There are many reasons why this essential warning light may illuminate. Below, we have listed some of the most common reasons, how risky they are for your car, and how you should respond.
Vacuum Hose Leaks
Damage Level: Low Response: Lower your speed and locate the nearest auto shop.
Vacuum hoses are needed to channel both fresh air as well as emissions around the engine to allow it to run correctly. They’re made of rubber and can be exposed to high temperatures inside the engine which can lead to them cracking or deteriorating over time. When this happens, the precise balance of gases can be thrown off-kilter, leading to the engine’s sensors reporting issues to the ECU.
Loose Filler Cap
Damage Level: Low Response: Check the cap and replace as needed.
This issue is most commonly caused by drivers being distracted at the pumps and not correctly tightening their fuel cap. A loose cap allows extra air into the tank which distripts the pressure. This will cause one of the many sensors to detect an issue and inform the ECU. This is the most simple and most common cause for check engine light illumination and should always be ruled out first.
Fuel Pump Blockage
Damage Level: Medium Response: Lower your speed and locate the nearest auto shop.
The fuel pump is what provides pressurized fuel to the fuel injectors. If the pump isn’t working correctly, then the fuel will not be able to be properly delivered to the engine, causing rough running. The engine light will be illuminated by the ECU and your BMW will likely be at an increased risk of misfires.
Soot on the Particulate Filter
Damage Level: High What to do: Lower your speed and locate the nearest auto shop, or call for a tow.
The particulate filter is most commonly found in diesel models, but it is being introduced into gasoline cars too. The particulate filter is responsible for capturing the soot which is produced by the combustion process. If this filter becomes clogged, then this soot will settle inside the engine and start to contaminate the delicate parts inside. This issue needs to be resolved quickly as if the filter becomes damaged beyond repair, you are likely to be footing an expensive bill.
Turning Wrenches of Louisville, KY are experts in repairing, servicing, and maintaining European vehicles. We are open Monday through Friday to serve you. Our dedicated team will be able to diagnose and respond to your BMW’s issue quickly, efficiently, and affordably. Our friendly team is dedicated to making sure you drive away happy and safely. We are so confident in what we do that we offer a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty as a guarantee on our work. Call us today or stop by to speak to our technicians.