E46

BMW Wheel Alignment is Critical for a Smooth Ride

Why you may need to get your BMW wheels’ adjusted for an optimal experience

When was the last time you checked the wheel alignment of your BMW? It may not seem important, but getting your BMW wheels checked can have a major impact on the quality of your drive. The wheels may have been perfectly aligned when your European luxury vehicle was brand new, but even the most careful drivers can encounter situations that set the alignment off slightly. If you feel your car pulling to a particular side whilst you drive, it is time to take your vehicle into an authorized service center in order to get the wheel alignment checked out.

What causes the wheels to come out of alignment in a BMW?

If you have ever gotten into a fender bender or other minor accident on the road, there is a high chance that it threw your vehicle’s wheels out of alignment. Accidents are one of the most common ways to instigate a misalignment, but did you know that the wheels can also come out of alignment if your vehicle runs over a curb or hits a pothole?
Many drivers encounter numerous potholes, curbs and other small obstacles every single day. Each time one of these is hit, the alignment of the car gets thrown off slightly. All of this adds up and results in wheels that are considerably unaligned after an extended period of driving.

Why is wheel alignment so important?

Wheel alignment seems like a small nuisance, but it can be quite dangerous and costly to be on the road without having your wheels’ serviced at an automotive shop. There are several things to be wary of when the wheels of your BMW are misaligned.
Tires tend to wear out unevenly as you drive around lose tread at a rapid rate. Not only is this dangerous, but it also negatively impacts the overall performance of your BMW. When driving on tires that are unevenly worn, the vehicle will start to pull to a side and it will take more effort to properly operate. BMWs are known for being a great, smooth ride and that simply isn’t going to be the case if you are struggling to keep the car straight due to misaligned wheels.
Another reason to get the wheels checked out is because unevenly worn tires guzzle gas, increasing your expenses considerably over a period of time. It’s always wise to keep your BMW as fuel efficient as possible, and this is just another way to contribute to lowering your bill.

Regular wheel alignment saves you money over the long term

Speaking of saving money, getting your tires rotated and wheels aligned by a skilled technician is a small price to pay when comparing it to the price of buying new tires. Add in the unnecessary gas your vehicle utilizes when the wheels are unaligned and you are looking at a major savings over the long haul. Don’t wait for disaster to happen, take your BMW into a BMW service center such as Haus of Minis & BMW today to get this minor maintenance performed.
Even if there are no warning signs indicating that your wheels are out of alignment, it is a good idea to have them checked if it’s been over a year. Regularly having them looked at by a BMW specialist will go a long way towards keeping your vehicle in top shape.

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The Best Used BMWs Car Buyers Must Consider

These are the best used BMWs money can buy!

BMWs are a very popular used car for people to purchase. Because of the steep cost of a brand new vehicle from the German automaker, many potential owners turn to the second-hand market in order to acquire one of their cars or SUVs. While this is a great idea to save money, choosing a subpar used model could end up costing you a truckload of money while the vehicle is constantly in the shop for maintenance. If you are looking to avoid frequent trips to the repair shop, here are a few models you should keep an eye out for when looking around for a pre-owned BMW:

BMW 3 Series

This legendary vehicle has been around for over 30 years and remains one of BMWs most popular offerings. There are countless amounts of used M3s available, all with their own positives and drawbacks. While we wouldn’t have time to list every great model, we can recommend the E90 for those looking for a newer version of the classic car. Those who like a heavier ride will be especially happy with this choice, as it has a more substantial feel to it than previous editions.

This modern M3 was introduced in 2008 and changed the game. It features a 414-horsepower, 4.0-liter V8 engine and a bevy of other powerful features. These vehicles hold up extremely well over time, so try to find the lowest-mileage for your budget and you should be in good shape to avoid costly maintenance.

BMW 5 Series

This is an ideal choice for car buyers in the market for a luxurious, spacious vehicle that doesn’t break the bank to maintain. The 5 series is BMW’s large executive car that competes with makes such as the Lexus GS and Audi A6. Since these are often used as fleet cars, make sure you check the interior for heavy wear-and-tear.

You should be able to find a plethora of options when looking for a used 5 series model, including diesel models. One great choice for a 5 series would be the 520d, which features incredible fuel economy and strong performance with low emissions to boot. Don’t be afraid to shop around and see where the best value is in your area however, as most of the 5 series are standout vehicles.

BMW 1 Series

The 1 Series offers the most bang for the buck. While it is generally the cheapest BMW on the market, it is far from a weak vehicle. It can hold its own against the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and other small luxury cars and features rear-wheel drive when most competitors are front-wheel. There are five-door hatches and two-door coupes available, but you’ll most likely run into the five-door options when shopping for used 1 series.

The most cost-efficient model is arguably the 118i, which are generally priced a few-thousand dollars less than comparable diesel options. Unless you plan on driving great distances with your used 1 series, the petrol model should be just fine. This sleek, compact car is worth strong consideration for commuters and those seeking a smaller vehicle.

 

 

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BMW 118i

 

 

 

Understanding How BMW’s are Named

BMW has been around as a company since 1916 and making automobiles since 1928. Millions of cars have come off the German manufacturer’s assembly lines in those 80-plus years, which is why it can be quite helpful to understand exactly how they are named.

If you count yourself among those confused by the system that BMW uses for its luxury autos, don’t worry—you are not alone. A lot of people aren’t sure of the distinctions between a BMW 740iL and a 318ti, so The Haus is here to help you get a grasp on all the naming conventions that BMW employs.

 

Series and Models

There are 10 groupings that BMW utilizes for their vehicles. Here they are:

 

  • 1 series – small, convertibles, coupes, and hatchbacks
  • 2 Series – small, two-door convertibles and coupes
  • 3 Series – small, four-door sedans and sports wagons
  • 4 Series – small, two-door coupes and convertibles, also available as a 4-door Gran Coupe
  • 5 Series – mid-size, four-door sedans
  • 6 Series – mid-size, two-door coupes and convertibles, also available as a 4-door Gran Coupe
  • 7 Series – full-size, four-door sedan
  • BMW i – electric and plug-in hybrids
  • M Model – stands for “Motorsports”, BMW’s sports cars
  • X Model – SUVs and crossovers
  • Z4 Model – roadsters

 

Nomenclature

BMW vehicles follow a certain nomenclature, which is usually a 3 digit dumber followed by 1 or 2 letters. The 1st number represents the series number and the next 2 numbers traditionally represent the engine displacement in cubic centimeters divided by 100. This has changed in recent years though to use the 2 numbers as a performance index such as 116i, 118i, and 120i (all are 2.0 gas powered engines) that share the same engine block while adjusting engine power through turbo-charging and set up.

 

Fuel Lettering

As if the numbers weren’t tricky enough, BMW throws another wrinkle into their naming conventions with fuel letters. Fortunately there aren’t too many to keep track of and they represent which fuel the vehicle takes. You need to know the following:

 

  • i – fuel-injected, gasoline
  • d – diesel
  • There was a recent break to this trend, with BMW using ActiveHybrid to signify a hybrid engine

 

Other Lettering

Now that you know what BMW uses i and d for, it will be easier to note the remaining letters and what they stand for. Some are no longer in modern use, but here they are:

 

  • L – long wheelbase
  • C – coupe or convertible
  • ti – Touring International (hatchback)
  • T – Touring (station wagon)
  • e – eta/economy engine (smaller and less powerful, more fuel efficient)
  • x – all-wheel drive
  • g – biofuel
  • s – sport
  • es – eta sport

 

sDrive vs xDrive

This is fairly straightforward, with sDrive meaning that it is a 2-wheel drive vehicle and xDrive representing 4-wheel drive. xDrive and sDrive is fully spelled out to avoid confusion with the X model of SUVs and crossovers.   

 

Lines

BMW offers a number of lines that add further customization options for customers to choose on their vehicle. These include:

 

  • Sport – more powerful, upgraded wheels, steering, seats and more
    • M Sport – even more customization options and power to the sports line
  • xLine – enhanced wheels, rails on the roof, steering and more
  • Luxury – upgraded luxury wheels, steering, trim and more

 

Brand-Specific Vehicles

Within each series there are unique models, such as the below:

 

  • Gran Turismo – four-door sedans with wagon trunk and raised roofline
  • Gran Coupe – four-door coupe
  • ALPINA – a separate, BMW-owned company that makes upgraded versions of certain models

 

Still feel overwhelmed? Want to understand your BMW better or get advice before purchasing? Give The Haus a call today and speak with one of our expert technicians. Better yet, stop by the shop in Sherman Oaks, California with your luxury European auto for a free inspection.
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Regular Service

Regular Service
It’s critically important to have your BMW, Mini, or any other vehicle you may own serviced regularly. At The Haus, our highly-trained, expert technicians specialize in routine maintenance and always go the extra mile to provide outstanding service at a rate you can afford.


Establishing and scheduling your regular check-up is easy. Owners of imported European cars can contact us today in order to book an appointment or schedule a series of periodic check-ups. Consider coming by our shop in Sherman Oaks, California every 6,000 miles or 6 months–whichever comes first- for a variety of safety and oil services.


Don’t forget to check in with our Southern California BMW and Mini specialists every 30,000 to 60,000 miles for a more thorough inspection that includes a look at the tires and wheels, engine examination, body, interior, underneath the car, and more.


The Haus performs a rigorous 32 point inspection on your vehicle at every check up or at customer request, so that little problems do not become big problems later.
 
Brake Check
Safety should always be a top priority for drivers, so it should come as no surprise that regular brake checks and maintenance is key to keeping you protected while driving your domestic or imported vehicle. Brake fluid levels should always be tested, for having a low amount will cause soft brake pedals and delayed reactions. Brake fluid with high moisture content will boil at a much lower temperature than good brake fluid and this can cause brake fade- partial or total loss of braking power in a vehicle brake system. 
MINI & BMW both recommend brake fluid changes every 2 years, regardless of mileage.


The Haus is capable of servicing your European car’s front and rear brakes, installing new brake pads and anything else that may be necessary to upkeep quality performance and safety.
 
Engine Check
The heart and soul of your car is the engine, if something is wrong under the hood and goes unchecked, it could leave your vehicle catastrophically damaged. Should your check engine light come on for any reason- please contact us immediately in order to get an inspection and the service your vehicle needs before it becomes a serious issue.


Don’t let regular wear and tear bring your car down. A regular inspection at your local automotive shop, such as The Haus, is always a safe bet and worth the small investment.  

BMW Brake Systems

Brakes are one of the most vital systems in any vehicle that we rely on again and again. When your foot applies pressure on the brake pedal, the brake pads make contact with the brake disc as it makes the vehicle come to a complete stop. The goal is to optimize the balance of deceleration behavior, wear and comfort, while maximizing safe operation of the vehicle.

There are various causes that can trigger brake noise in any BMW vehicle such as; driving style, environmental condition (hot/cold weather climates), and prior wear to the brake pads. Extreme temperature (IE summer in Phoenix, AZ or winter in New York) can change the material properties of the brake pads and any lubricant materials, causing noise that will usually go away when temperatures return to normal. The noise is produced by a vibration of brake components. The vibration can build up a resonance which becomes an audible brake squeal. Noise and vibration may occur with increasing wear.

Grooves on the brake disc can occur over a period of time due to material deposits, road debris, contamination and corrosion. The grooves will not affect the brakes functionality. Having your vehicle checked by a BMW certified technician will help to determine if action is required due to groove depth. Average aging and mileage related wear to brakes and discs results in material and dimension changes.

Another key factor in brake noise can come from suspension components and wheel bearings can cause noise when braking and should be check by a certified BMW technician. Corrosion and discoloration on brake discs may happen in moderation during the life of the discs. Slight to moderate corrosion is normal and will not affect the reliability of the brake system. Light surface corrosion on the brake discs may occur with normal brake usage. Extremely strong corrosion can take significantly longer to be cleaned off, usually leads to significant noise when braking and should be replaced.

For new vehicles the break in period for brake pads to get optimal performance is usually within 125-150 miles, but this all depends on the individual driving style.  Applying the brakes gently is a key process within the first 150 miles of use.

If your looking to service your BMW Brakes in Los Angeles, Call us today to schedule a free inspection: (855) 572-6464

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6 Most Common Repairs on the BMW E46 3 Series

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If you own, or are thinking about buying an E46  3 series that were manufactured from 1999-2006 there are some things to look out for or keep an eye on. These cars are a favorite among BMW aficionados  and were consistently named to Car & Driver’s Top Ten list. These cars can be a long lasting vehicle if maintained properly.

Valve Cover Gasket Leaks
These leaks are common after about 60,000 miles. Symptoms will include oil drips under the car and/or a burning oil smell from the engine compartment. It is important after the leak is repaired to pressure wash the engine so the mechanic can verify there are no additional oil leaks.

Rear Window Regulator Failure
The rear window regulators can fail causing the window to stop working, and in some cases cause the window to fall into the door. The regulators are built with plastic pulleys and thin cables so even with diligent maintenance they can fail. Replacement of the regulator is required to correct this problem.

Coolant Expansion Tank Leaks
An engine coolant leak may develop from the expansion tank. These tanks are made of plastic and over time may leak causing the engine to overheat. When a component in the cooling system fails it is important to inspect the entire cooling system. It is not uncommon to find additional leaks. The radiator and water pumps are also common problems. It is important if your vehicle overheats that you pull over as soon as possible and have your vehicle towed to a qualified BMW repair shop. Overheating can cause severe engine damage!

Power Steering Pump Failure
This is a common concern on the E46, when the power steering pump starts to fail it may emit a growling noise and there may be increased steering effort. There a few reasons the pump can fail. The most common reason the pump fails is due to low fluid, caused by a leak somewhere in the power steering system. There is also a filter in the bottom of the power steering fluid reservoir that gets plugged over time and can restrict fluid flow to pump. The filter is not serviceable separately and will require the reservoir to be replaced if you have this problem. It is important to check the fluid regularly, if it is low you most likely have a leak somewhere in the system.

Rear Sub-frame Tearing
There was a class action lawsuit brought against BMW in 2009 for this problem. It was not uncommon for the rear sub-frame to tear of crack. Owners should be aware of any loud or abnormal noises coming from the rear of the vehicle when traveling on bumpy roads and contact your mechanic for inspection as soon as you hear the noise.

Faulty Tail Lamp Wiring
The tail lamp wiring was the subject of a recall a few years ago. The affected models were the 2002-2005 3 series sedans, model numbers 325i, 325Xi, 330i, and 330Xi. If you own or are thinking about purchasing one of these contact BMW and verify that the recall has been done, or if it applies to your vehicle.

These are just a few things to look out for on these models, but there are more. It is always advised you have a pre-purchase inspection done by a qualified BMW mechanic before buying a used vehicle. Having an inspection done will keep you from buying a vehicle that that may need thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

At The Haus we perform FREE pre-purchase inspections for all of our customers.

Call Us Now!

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