Magna Flow Exhaust

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The New Age of Car Repair : Programming Vs. Replacement

Henceforth, technology is on a rise. This is just an example of the future of technology for cars today. This is one of the many examples I can present. What manufacturers are doing now is implementing control units that are up-datable with software upgrade capabilities. The reasons why this is being done is for option upgrades. So lets use an example of a transmission control unit that was produced in 1000 BMW’s  in 2010. A year passes by and 300 of these cars develop a shifting issue as the transmission breaks in. Now instead of developing a component to repair the transmission in these 300 cars, a software can be developed and implemented in all 1000 affected vehicles . The benefit to this is not only cost saving to manufacturers, but it also benefits consumers in cost and repair time as
BMW, Mercedes and Audi are one of the many pioneers in introducing this ground breaking technology since the early 2000′s.

Again, a tip to consumers, when it comes to car servicing. its very important to know who you bring your car to. Not every independent garage has this type of capability so its very important to bring it to a car specific specialist.

The new age of car repair : programming Vs replacement
Nowadays with new age technology in cars there is lots of gadgets such as ecu’s radios air bag control units and dozens of other devices that i can can go on and on about.  It takes a lot more than turning wrenches to fix cars . For instance a car could be throwing off a check engine light for oxygen sensors reading improperly . Performing a simple software update could fix a parameter error in an ecu

Choosing The Right Tires

Most people know very little about their tires. Many people think one tire is like another and purchase the least expensive tire available. There’s certainly nothing wrong with purchasing the least expensive tire available, but you’ll get more satisfaction from your driving experience by choosing tires appropriate for your car and your driving habits. More importantly, choosing the right tire will increase the safety of your vehicle. With tires there are speed ratings, load ratings and tread-wear rating.

I will break it down to a better analogy compared to choosing sneakers. In reality, it comes down to compound. Lets compare a 100lb vs a 200 lb runner and they both can run the same ideal speed. Both runners run with a pair of sneakers soles made with a composite material of 50% rubber 50% other  material. Taking a fast run across the track,  the 100lb runner breezes through the track and the 200lb runner begins to slip around the corners due to weight. Now with the same runners, both runners changes into sneaker made of 100% rubber compound material. This time the 100lb runner slows down a bit because these rubber sneakers weight a bit more so a bit more energy is needed and the 200lb runner is ideally stronger but now with more composition, breezes through the track.

This is the same with cars now. Every manufacturer engineers a tire a bit differently: Tread patterns, speed ratings, rubber compound, etc.  The composition of tires will vary due to weight . Nowadays, not all tires are made of rubber, some tires have synthetic compounds built in it. Some tires are good in dry roads, wet roads and snow. Not all tires are equal.  So it is very important to choose the right tires. You would not want to put tires that are designed for a 3000lb car and install them on a 5000lb car. It will most likely pop a sidewall when you hit a pothole. It may not handle properly on that sharp curve when you need it to. It may not stop quick enough in the rain.

That $99.00 tire you purchased performs half the life of the $150.00 it suppose to. Remember an average tire usually last about 2-3 years.

So please choose professional advice when it comes to choosing the right tire. Cost savings and good advise pays off in the long run.

-Alvin

BMW Lifetime Transmission Fluid

We get lots of calls on automatic transmission fluid replacement on BMW’s.

I think it is finally time to get it straight. The fluid BMW uses is also known as lifetime fluid. First let me explain why: In general, transmission Manufacturer’s for BMW’s are better built. Its either a zf or gm transmission depending on what model u have. 3 series commonly uses gm and 5 and 7 series uses the zf . I believe the lifetime fluid was introduced back in 1999 as I can remember a synthetic formula of transmission fluid was used . This  fluid is less prone to chemical and viscosity break down compared to conventional oil. It was 3 to 4 times more expensive and it was suitable for up to 100,000 miles. This is why it was called lifetime but I think it should be called “long-life”. When working at the dealership we always had requests to change out the transmission fluid. It was recommended as a no-no because due to liability reasons, if the transmission had shifting issues in the future, the dealership would be responsible for it.

Well my take on the fluid change is still a 50/50. Being an independent shop, we only see cars out of warranty especially over 100k miles. In my opinion, automatic transmissions are never meant to last forever because the inside of the transmission has many paper thin wafers known as clutch plates that will wear out eventually, resulting in hard shifts or slips. It really depends on the transmission and your luck. When new fluid is introduced in the transmission, the old material / fluid viscosity gets wiped out and drained out. As the new fluid settles in the transmission, it may become too slippery for the broken in clutch plates and seals, causing low fluid pressure resulting in slip. This is why it becomes such a liability.

The other 50% reason why to change it, is if the old fluid stays in the transmission too long, it may lead to transmission shifting issues and failure as well . As viscosity of fluid breaks down it does not have the chemical properties to lubricate vital trasmission components and also keep the transmission cooled down. Temperature overheating is the numer #1 cause of transmission failure!

My personal tought on transmission fluid change is: recommended every 50k miles. If you do not know when the last time it has been changed or you have over 100k miles, be prepared. If you are not prepared to invest in a transmission whether its 6 months down the road or a year, dont do it. Unless the car already has a shifting issue, there is nothing to lose.  This is always how I would advise my customers when it comes to this decision. It is no different as a human performing a blood transfusion. The choice is yours! I hope this blogs helps in your decision making

-Alvin

BMW transmission leaks e65 , e66 , e60 , e53 , e90, e92, Zf transmission mechatronic sleeve

Working as an independent for the past 3 years in Braintree, MA, I have  been seeing a host of common issues with the zf transmissions starting to leak.  With cars with 60k or less, the adapter sleeve does commonly leak from the double o-ring area. However, we have been experiencing comebacks with these leaks as well once the car hits over 100k .

During the harsh New England weather, these plastic transmission pans are susceptible to major temperature changes . Over the period, the pan itself tends to develop microscopic cracks . Becuase the transmission is a sealed unit, fluid levels may not be easily accessible to the owner of the car. Symptoms of a leaky pan may include harsh shifting issues or maybe some wet spot on your driveway floor . So it is recommend to just have the pan inspected every oil change.  The pan is rather expensive, the pan is aprox $300.00, which includes a bulit in filter and the adapter sleeve, which  is approximately $30.00. Transmission fluid is around $30.00 per liter using the orginal factory zf fluid. takes aprox 5 liters.

In order to fill the transmisison fluid or when checking the levels, the car is recommended to be filled when cold.

Import AutoWerks – Quincy, MA

Welcome to Import AutoWerks blog! We have been proudly serving the Quincy, MA area for 3 years. We specialize in BMW’s but also work with Mercesdes Benz, Lexus and other brands.

Review by bosoxgt420 from Yahoo on 09/17/2009

The water pump cracked on my BMW during the weekend. I brought my car in to fix on Monday and it was ready by Tuesday. Alvin was really helpful and compromising. I would highly recommend this place. Great customer service!!

Original from Yahoo

Reviews by 2002 325xi from Yahoo on 09/15/2009

Alvin is competent, knowledgeable and most of all, trustworthy.

I have had bad experiences with dishonest mechanics and dealerships that try to take advantage of me because I am female, so I am leery of most mechanics. When I first met Alvin, I peppered him with a lot of questions. He listened to my concerns and answered all my questions without getting offended, or sounding condescending or patronizing.

My window regulator broke this past Sunday, and Alvin was able to fix my window on Monday despite his full schedule. The lot was full of BMW vehicles, and it was reassuring to see that other BMW owners would bring their cars to Import Auto Werks for Alvin’s expertise and workmanship. It was a testament to Alvin’s integrity and quality of service to his customers.

I know that if he works on my bimmer, my bimmer is in good hands.

Also, if you want to drop your car off for the day, he will drive you to the Red Line T station in Braintree.

Prices are comparable to other shops that specialize in European imports, and much less than BMW dealerships, of course.

Original link from Yahoo

Review by Ryan from Yahoo on 07/30/2009

I had my 97 M3 serviced there recently. I went in alittle nervous because I had never been there before. I went out with a shop and mechanic that I plan to stick with. Customer service was top notch and Alvin the master tech knew exactly what was needed to keep my vehicle running like a champ. Everything was done in a timely manner, the prices are fair and there are no curveballs thrown. Overall, very happy with my experience.

Original link from Yahoo

Review by 323CI-Boston from Yahoo on 07/15/2009

The owner of Import Auto Werks, his wife, and all other employees are extremely helpful and very friendly. They treat their clients as their family members, and answers all questions clearly. They are very hard workers, and get their job done on timely, and correctly. Whenever you need them, they are there for you. I highly recommend them to everybody.

Original link from Yahoo