A common conversation we have with our customers is the importance of frequent oil changes, especially on the 2nd generation MInis. It is our opinion that the factory specified interval of 1 year or 15,000 miles is way too long! From 2007-2011 the interval was 1 year or 15,000 miles, but then suddenly in 2012 they went back down to 1 year or 10,000 miles. Given the number of oil related troubles the 2nd gen. Minis have had, it is no wonder that MINI/BMW would reconsider the longer interval. We have no knowledge as to why MINI dropped the interval back down to 1 year or 10,000 miles, which was the original service interval for the R50/R53 models, but we suspect that the high cost of repairing engines under warranty finally prompted MINI to re-think their longer service intervals. This may also be due to consumer behavior, as in the consumer not bothering to check the oil unless a warning light appeared or it was time for their scheduled service. We don’t feel like MINI will ever acknowledge there is a problem with their longer service intervals because it would obviously open them (MINI & BMW) up to future litigation.
What MINI considers “normal” oil consumption is 1 quart every 800 miles, so you can see how waiting 10,000-15,000 miles to change the oil could damage the engine. These engines only hold 4.4 quarts of oil, so even being just 1 quart low on oil can be detrimental to the engine. When the engine gets to be even 2 quarts low they can jump timing and cause all sorts of other damage. Low engine oil can cause the timing chain and/or guides to break from lack of proper lubrication. Low oil can also cause the check engine light to come on because of engine knock or vanos (engine timing) codes related to low oil flow. The majority of the problems these vehicles have is directly related to the long service interval and not checking the oil regularly.
These cars are not equipped with “low oil level” warning lights only a “low oil pressure” warning light and there is a big difference between the two even though they are related. When most cars have a “low oil level” light come on it just means to add oil to prevent damage. When you have a “low oil pressure light” come on it means that NO oil is circulating through the engine which can cause catastrophic damage. Oil is the life blood of your engine and when you starve it of this vital fluid it can cause not only immediate damage, but long term engine damage from lack of lubrication. Your engine spins at thousands of revolutions per minute (RPM’s) so you can imagine what would happen if all of these metal parts are making contact with each other, and there is no oil to cool and lubricate them. If you are ever driving your MINI and the “low oil pressure” light comes on, pull over and add oil as soon as it it safely possible.
Whatever the reasons, it’s a good thing to see the interval shortened. At Haus of Mnis & BMW we recommend changing your oil every 6 months or 5,000 miles whichever comes first. If you follow our recommended interval you will save yourself thousands of $$$ in repair costs and a lot of heartache. We also recommend checking your oil in between oil changes to be safe and we are happy to check it for you FREE of charge. These are great little cars when they are maintained properly. The maintenance interval you see in your owner’s manual is the bare minimum that the factory recommends to keep your vehicle covered under warranty, but if you plan on keeping the vehicle past the warranty you will save yourself a lot of money in the long run by changing the oil more frequently than what the factory recommends.
An oil change for your MINI at The Haus is $59.95 so doing 2 oil changes a year would cost you approximately $120.00. To replace an engine on one of these cars costs between $7,000-$10,000 depending on whether you went new or used, so it would take roughly 58-83 years worth of oil changes to equal the cost of an engine replacement. Oil changes are an inexpensive and effective way to keep your MINI on the road and your ownership costs way down.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to get your MINI’s oil changed please give us a call at 855-572-MINI (6464)
From everyone at The Haus we wish you a joyous holiday season. Thank you for your endless support! We look forward to seeing you in 2016. Have a safe and happy New Years!
Holiday Hours 12/24 8AM-12PM 12/25 Closed 01/1/16-CLOSED
Checking Your Vital Fluids
To ensure your car is running smoothly in between maintenance intervals, the easiest thing you can do is check your vital fluids to make sure everything under the hood is healthy and at the proper level. The top fluids you should check in your BMW or MINI are; Engine Oil, Transmission Fluid, Coolant/Antifreeze, Brake Fluid, and Power Steering Fluid. You can always stop by The Haus to have one of our certified technicians check, and top off your fluids FREE of charge.
Checking Engine Oil
In most vehicles, you need to open your hood, find the dipstick pull it out and wipe it down. Repeat that process again and you will know if the engine oil level is correct. Some vehicles tend to burn oil faster (turbo charged engines especially) than normally aspirated engines. Some BMW cars do not have a dipstick and require connecting to the car computer, which may require you stop by The Haus and have one of our certified technicians check it for you. We recommend that you replace the engine oil every 6 months or 5,000 miles whichever comes first, this will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in long term repair costs and a lot of heartache.
You should check your transmission fluid on your BMW or MINI (if possible) on a monthly basis, because it is was keeps the gears on your vehicle moving smoothly. You can check your transmission fluid the same way as your engine oil. On older vehicles there will be a dipstick for the transmission fluid, make sure the vehicle is running so you can get an accurate reading. Transmission fluid should be red and should not smell burnt. If the transmission fluid is low, dark, or smells burnt please contact us for a free inspection. As with the engine oil some vehicles are not equipped with a transmission fluid dipstick, and require help from a technician.
This fluid is also extremely important because it’s what keeps your BMW or MINI from overheating. Coolant is also known as Antifreeze, without this fluid your car will over heat and in cold climates the cooling system would freeze. You can check this fluid by opening the cap on the radiator or expansion tank. NEVER check if the car is running or is still warm. Once open you should see fluid go up to certain line that you can see inside. If it is low make sure you fill up with the same exact type of fluid. If you are not sure what type of coolant is right for your vehicle, or it is not available, just add water so you do not intermix fluids and contaminate your cooling system. You should check this fluid twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. It is recommended that you replace coolant/anti-freeze every 2-3 years (see your owners’ manual).
Checking your brake fluid to make sure the fluid is clean is very important. The fluid should never be low. If you ever feel like the brakes are not working properly checking your brake fluid should be the first priority. You can locate where the brake fluid reservoir is in the manual, typically it is on the driver’s side near the firewall. The fluid should be a golden-honey color, if it is turning brown or black it is time to change the brake fluid. It is recommended by the BMW factory to replace brake fluid every 2 years.
Power Steering Fluid
When you start to hear some creaking noises coming from the steering wheel area you may be low on power steering fluid. Open the hood of your BMW and locate the reservoir. If you happen to notice that the power steering fluid is low there could be a possible leak. You should check this fluid monthly and should be replaced every 50,000 miles a preventive maintenance.
Please schedule an appointment at The Haus for a free fluid level check-up and 32 point inspection by one of our factory trained technicians.
Call (855) 572-MINI (6464)
Check Tire Pressure
It’s time of the year when the temperature in the air is rapidly changing from hot to cold, temperatures in cities across the United States can drastically drop 40-50 degrees from day to night time. When temperatures are consistently changing the molecules inside your tires are expanding and decreasing, and may causing your “Check Tire Pressure” light to show on your dashboard. The “Check Tire Pressure” light usually is 2 parenthesis with an explanation point in the middle, typically is an orange/yellow symbol. If this is the case, please come to Haus of Minis & BMW to have your tires inspected for free.
Nail or Object in Tire
Another reason for your “Check Tire Pressure” light to come on, is if there is a nail or screw in your tire causing a small air leak. The tire may not necessarily be flat however there is definitely air seeping from an obstruction. The Haus will do visual inspection on all 4 tires to make sure your tires are within manufacturers specifications. Please see the picture below to understand how a nail or screw can cause a leak in your tire.
If you live in cold weather climates please do yourself a favor and check your tire tread frequently. It is starting to rain & snow in some parts of the United States, and it would only be reckless to you and other drivers on the road if you have below the required tread depth. Tread depth is measured in inches. Good tires are measured at 6/32” or greater, okay or medium wear tires are measured between 4-32”-5/32” and tires that need to be replaced measure below 3/32” or below (winter tires need to be replaced at 4/32”). Please take a look at the diagram below to get an idea of bad vs good tires.
We would like to welcome Kyle L. to the Haus of Minis & BMW team. Kyle is a recent transplant to California having just moved here from North Carolina. He worked for Flow MINI in Raleigh before moving out West. He graduated from Wake Technical College with an Associate in Applied Science for Automotive Systems Technology and he also attended MINI Technical Training at BMW University to become a MINI Certified Technician and is also A.S.E. and EPA certified to perform air conditioning repairs. Kyle brings a wealth of knowledge from his time at the dealership and we are happy to have him on board.
To schedule and appointment please call 855-572-6464 (MINI)
Haus of Minis is a full service, collision, auto body repair, detailing, and automotive repair facility located in Sherman Oaks, CA. Bring your Mini Cooper or BMW in today to receive a FREE estimate. We work with every major insurance company and we ensure that your vehicle is repaired to back to factory specifications.
Our services include:
Automotive Paint & Body
Bumper Repair & Re-paint
Paintless Dent Removal
Please see any of our professional staff at Haus of Minis & BMW to assist you with your insurance company.
We service all of Los Angeles County, including Culver City, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Burbank, North Hollywood, Los Feliz, Downtown Los Angeles, West LA.
Please give us a call today (855) 572-6464 (MINI) if you have any questions or to book an appointment for estimate.
At Haus of Minis & BMW we get 5-10 calls per month from current and future clients that are interested in purchasing a pre-owned BMW or MINI. They always ask us what some of the common issues are that we see from the specific model they are interested in buying.
We are happy to assist the customer with clarifying any unforeseen issue that could arise at a later date. It is always beneficial to the person purchasing the vehicle to have it inspected before making the decision to buy it. The number one reason for getting a pre-purchase inspection is that the car may look good cosmetically, but under the hood may need expensive mechanical repairs that are not visible to the untrained eye. During the pre-purchase inspection our certified technicians will raise the vehicle in the air and perform a rigorous 32 point visual inspection so there are no surprises. Another benefit of the inspection is that if deficiencies are found the repairs can be negotiated in to the sale price.There is nothing worse than purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, only to find out later it needs thousands of dollars in repairs that the previous owner did not disclose.
We offer this inspection FREE of charge and it can be done in about 30 minutes while you wait in our comfortable waiting room.
The general inspection includes the following:
Interior (Rips and tears and that all components function properly)
Exterior (Inspect for previous collision damage & corrosion)
Lights (Interior & exterior)
Engine & Cabin Air Filters
Engine Oil Level
Power steering Fluid
Transfer Case Fluid
If you or someone you know is considering purchasing a used Mini Cooper or BMW please feel free to give us a call to have your vehicle inspected today by one of our master certified technicians. No appointment is necessary but it is advised, Call 855-572-6464 (MINI) to schedule.
Offer expires 01/31/2016
Front Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor Mat RECALL 15V-205
This post is in regards to service campaign 15V-205. BMW North America LLC submitted this recall on April 3, 2015 in that the manufacturer claims a total of 91,800 vehicles are/may be affected by this recall. The model vehicles that are affected by this recall are roughly (59,270) 2005-2006 MINI Cooper, Cooper S, as well as an additional (32,530) 2005 – 2008 MINI Cooper Convertibles, and MINI Cooper Convertible S models.
These specific vehicles may have been equipped with a front passenger seat occupant detection sensor that may or may not be functioning correctly in the event you are in a collision. The mat sensor may not be operating correctly due to faulty manufacturer installation as well as field exposure. The function of this sensor is to detect whether or not a human being or object weighing over a certain weight is sitting in the front seat. If the sensor is not functioning correctly and a human being or object is sitting in that seat, there is a high risk that the airbag for that passenger side will not go off, increasing the risk of injury.
Johnson Controls is the supplier of these specific sensor components. Johnson Controls specializes in automotive seats with a portfolio that includes foams, trims, and metals for many different automotive manufacturers. If you happen to own any of the MINI Coopers that were listed above you do not need to contact Haus of Minis to have the sensor repaired or replaced (although we would be happy to answer any questions you may have), you are advised to contact your local MINI dealer. We spoke to several MINI dealers and were told the parts will not be available until some time next month (November 2015). You should check with your local dealer as to when parts will be available before making an appointment.
The Haus is pleased to announce an oil change service special for MINI Cooper and BMW vehicle owners. For all MINI vehicles we are offering a $39.95 oil change service, and on all 4 & 6 cylinder BMW vehicles (excluding M versions) a $79.95 oil change using Valvoline Premium Full Synthetic Motor Oil which exceeds all manufacturers’ standards – Provides ultimate performance, with extra long-drain intervals and a factory oil filter.
The oil change service special includes the following:
We also offer a FREE shuttle service within the San Fernando Valley & West Los Angeles!
So if you live live in the Los Angeles area and need your MINI Cooper or BMW Oil Change performed please give us a call at 855-572-6464