Mini Cooper

Automotive Engine Repair & Maintenance

Your vehicle will usually give you warning signs when something is not right, as in a rough engine idle, the engine pings or knocks when accelerating, poor gas mileage, hard engine starts, etc….

It is best not to ignore these symptoms as these are indications that it may be time for engine diagnostic, tune-up services, or repairs to your vehicle’s engine. Automotive engine repair services can encompass a wide range of things, from basic maintenance to complete engine replacement. Good preventative maintenance habits such as changing your oil regularly can help extend the life of your car’s engine and improve reliability. Your MINI or BMW is more than just transportation, each one is a grocery carrying, load hauling friend you just can’t live without.

When your MINI or BMW needs major engine repairs, it can be a tough decision whether to get the repairs done, or put the money towards a down payment on another vehicle. It is unfortunate that many auto repair shops quote a low price just to get you in the door, but once you actually take your vehicle there the estimate has changed or even doubled, this is where we can help you!

The Haus is different, our goal is to help you make the best decision for you and your family based on your needs, budget, age, and mileage of your vehicle. We often find that people that were told by other shops that their “engine needed replacement”, actually needed a much more minor repair, like a timing chain or bearing replacement.

If engine replacement is the best solution we have many options to choose from.

Used Engines: We source used engines from local MINI & BMW recycling yards and carefully inspect them before installation. When a used engine is the best option for you & your budget we offer a 6 month parts & labor warranty. We have had great success installing used engines in our customer’s cars over the years.

Rebuilt Engines or Re-manufactured Engines: Rebuilding means that the failed engine is removed from your vehicle and sent out to be rebuilt or is swapped with an engine that has already been rebuilt. When engines are rebuilt, only the failed parts are replaced and the engine is re-assembled. When an engine is re-manufactured, the entire engine is disassembled and every part is cleaned, machined, or replaced to meet the same specifications as the original engine. There is not a huge difference in price between a re-manufactured or rebuilt engine and both come with the same warranty of 2 years or 24,000 miles*, whichever comes first.

New Engine: We also install new engines direct from MINI or BMW. This is by far the most expensive option and we usually do not advise going this route. The new engine still only comes with a 2 year or 24,000 miles warranty from the manufacturer/dealer and is usually twice the cost of alternatives.

Let The Haus’s factory trained technicians provide you with the most accurate diagnosis for your MINI Cooper or BMW, so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Please call 855-572-MINI (6464) to schedule an appointment or to have any questions answered, even if your car is at another shop!

 

*Must maintain vehicle according to shop recommendations.

MC2 Magazine for the MINI Cooper Owner

 

 

 

If you are a MINI owner, old or new you should check this magazine out!
Each issue of MC2 Magazine features news and information on the new MINI (R50-R60, F56) and classic Minis, their owners, coverage of major Mini & MINI events, Mini history and heritage, DIY, how-to technical articles and information o  new products, product tests, profiles of MINI-related businesses, project MINIs, car features, and more!
If it concerns MINI, MC2 — The Independent American MINI Magazine for ALL Mini & MINI owners around the world — has it handled.

 
Happy Motoring from the The Haus Team!

Cover

Air Conditioning Service Special

 

 

We just purchased a brand new top of the line Snap-on  A/C machine so that we can provide you the best service possible. With so many things that can go wrong with your BMW or MINI Cooper’s air conditioning system it is important to get it checked annually. We are offering a service special to bring your A/C system back to peak performance. Our expert technicians will perform a thorough system evaluation that includes and in-depth assessment of your A/C system components, complete with recommendations if repairs are deemed necessary. This service ensures proper refrigerant levels through environmentally safe recovery and recharging to manufacturers specifications.

The A/C Recharge Service Package includes:

  • Quality service performed by certified technician
  • A/C system performance evaluation
  • Safe evacuation and recovery of old refrigerant and recharge to BMW/MINI specifications
  • Inspect air conditioning compressor drive belt
  • Clean dirt and debris from condenser fins
  • Outlet vent temperature analysis to determine system performance
  • Check for proper operation of HVAC system controls, blower motor, and engine cooling fan
  • Introduce ultraviolet dye and refrigerant into your A/C system to perform a black light inspection to verify system has no leaks
  • Cost of refrigerant is included (up to 1 pound)
  • This service is only offered for BMW & MINI Cooper vehicles

We are offering this service for the low price of $99.95

Please call The Haus @ 855-572-MINI (6464) to schedule an appointment.

 

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New Technician

 

 

 

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We would like to welcome Tino to the The Haus family, Tino has been an automotive technician for over 30 years. He received a degree in Mechanical Engineering back in the Philippines. He has held ASE certifications in Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering, Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, and Heating & Air Conditioning. Tino is also MACS certified in Air Conditioning repair. He started with BMW back in 2002 and became a BMW Master Certified Technician or Level 1 Technician back in 2008.

He is a welcome addition to our team, so come on down and say Hi to him!

Please call us if you have any questions or if would like to schedule your BMW or MINI for service @ 855-572-MINI (6464)

 

 

Collision & Body Repair

Please see us for any type of bodywork, from minor scratches to major collision damage on your BMW or Mini Cooper. We deal with the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that your vehicle is repaired back to factory specifications. We are here to answer your questions concerning estimates or our repair process. Our friendly and professional staff will assist you with your insurance company. Their training assures you of quality repairs, placing your satisfaction first. We serve all of Los Angeles including Culver City, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, Studio City, Burbank, North Hollywood, Los Feliz, and West LA. Please give us a call today 855-572-MINI (6464) if you have any questions or to book an appointment for estimate.

Turbo Charged Engines

At The Haus we continue our efforts to educate our clients on how certain parts of their engine work. The Turbo Charger was invented by Swiss engineer Alfred Buchi. The purpose was to take advantage of the exhaust gas produced by the engine. Even in today’s world, aircraft, boats, and automobiles are equipped with turbo engines. Airplanes have turbo charged engines to tolerate low air pressure and high altitudes. Cruise ships and boats also use turbo charged diesel engines. Engines that have turbos are known as turbo charged engines.

A standard turbo that is used in cars, planes, and boats is composed of a shaft with a turbine wheel on one end and a compressor wheel on the other end. The turbine wheel and the compressor wheel look identical and are covered by a housing. The exhaust gas that is produced by the engine, enters the turbine housing through the inlet port. At this point thermal energy is converted to kinetic energy because of the constriction inside the turbine, subsequently the turbine is driven by kinetic energy. As the compressor and turbine share the same shaft the compressor wheel spins at the same time as the turbine wheel, consequently the compressor wheel draws in air and compresses it. Then the air passes through the outer port of the turbine and supplies the engine with oxygen.

Turbo engines only work efficiently if other components are part of the entire system. Other components that are necessary for the turbo are a intercooler and a waste gate. The intercooler comes into play when the air heats up when it is compressed in the turbo. The intercooler will cool down the hot air coming from the compressor ensuring more oxygen reaches the engine. This helps the engine become more efficient. The waste gate is used to divert away excess gas away from the turbine when too much excess gas is produced by the engine. It limits the speed of the turbine wheel and the compressor wheel so that the so that the turbo charger will not get damaged.

There are many benefits to having a turbo charged engine. Comparing an engine with a turbo and to one without that produces the same amount of power, is that the engine with the turbo will use less fuel. With the engine being smaller than a naturally aspirated engine with the same power it produces less noise than the non-turbo charged engine. Turbo charged engines also perform much better at high altitude.
Gasoline engines require air pressure to burn fuel and generate power, at higher altitudes there is less air pressure, so non turbo charged engines will produce much less power. With a turbo charged engine the power generation actually improves, this is because there is a greater pressure difference between the air pressure ahead of the turbo and the lower air pressure at the exhaust. The turbo charger increases the density of air entering the engine which generates more power. Turbo charged engines are usually smaller than non-turbo charged engines which them lighter and more efficient. A turbo charged engine being smaller than a regular engine, burns less fuel and in doing so generates less environmentally unfriendly pollution.

If you have any questions regarding your turbo charger or any other part of your car please don’t hesitate to call us at (855) 572-6464

MINI Recalling 92k Vehicles Over Airbag Flaw

 

MINI Cooper

 An issue with the airbags on Mini Cooper hatchbacks and convertibles has prompted BMW of North America and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall for an estimated 91,800 vehicles.

The problem, according to the notice below, stems from the occupant detection mat for the front passenger seat, which may fail to detect a passenger present and therefor fail to deploy the airbag in the event of a crash.

The specific models affected by the recall are the Mini Cooper and Cooper S hardtops from the 2005 and 2006 model years and manufactured between January 5, 2005, and November 28, 2006, as well as the Mini Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible from the 2005 to 2008 model years, manufactured between January 5, 2005, and July 31, 2008.

To address the issue, Mini dealers will be replacing the front passenger seat occupant detection mat, with recalls set to commence on May 1.

Here is a copy of the recall letter:

RECALL Subject : Front Passenger Seat Occupant Detection Mat
Report Receipt Date: APR 06, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V205000
Component(s): AIR BAGS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 91,800
Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC

SUMMARY:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2005-2006 MINI Cooper and Cooper S vehicles manufactured January 5, 2005, to November 28, 2006, and 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible vehicles manufactured January 5, 2005, to July 31, 2008. Due to manufacturing, installation, and exposure issues, the front passenger seat occupant detection mat may not function properly and, as a result, the front passenger air bag may not deploy in a crash.

CONSEQUENCE:
An improperly functioning mat may cause the passenger frontal air bag to be inactive when the seat is occupied, and in the event of a crash, the air bag will not deploy, increasing the passenger’s risk of injury.

REMEDY:
MINI will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger seat occupant detection mat, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 1, 2015. Owners may contact MINI customer service at 1-866-825-1525.

NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

If you have any questions please call Haus of MINIS & BMW in Sherman Oaks, California and we would be happy to assist.

If you need MINI Cooper Repair, Service or Diagnostics in Los Angeles, please call to schedule an appointment: 855.572.MINI (6464)

Understanding Extended Warranties

In life there are situations that start out great, but sometimes end in an unfortunate, premature way. This does not have to be the case when it comes to the relationship between you and your car. There is a solution, and it’s called an extended warranty, and it can help keep your car a prized possession rather than a cumbersome money pit. In essence an extended warranty is an insurance policy for your vehicle that covers vehicle repairs, instead of collision or accident damage. An extended warranty can safeguard against expensive, unforeseen repairs. Extended warranties are really service contracts, since they cost extra and are sold separately. With all extended warranties it is important that you maintain your vehicle per the manufacturers recommended service intervals. In all the years I have been in the automotive business the only time I have seen extended warranty companies deny coverage it is because the vehicle was not maintained properly, abused, or modified in someway that was detrimental to the vehicle (such as raised or lowered suspension).

An extended warranty may purchased at the time you buy your vehicle or much further along in your ownership experience, but realize if you purchase after the vehicle is out of the manufacturers warranty the cost can be significantly higher.

If you are the type of person that likes to prepared for all eventualities, bearing in mind the ever increasing cost of vehicle repairs, then a service contract can make a lot of sense.

There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing an extended warranty, such as:

Average repair costs for vehicle repairs
Average repair costs for vehicle repairs

What is the reliability record of the vehicle you are buying? Take a look at the reliability history for the vehicle you are considering purchasing. Unfortunately MINI and BMW, according to Consumer Reports are not the most reliable vehicles on the road, so a service contract is highly recommended. As an example the cost of replacement for a new transmission on a MINI or BMW can range between $6000-$8000, so you can see how a service contract can be beneficial to you.

Ask who is behind the warranty that you are considering? According to Consumer Reports the top 5 warranty companies are: Endurance, Carchex, Warranty Direct, Easy Care, and AA Auto Protection If possible stick with one of these companies. From our experience we have found found that Fidelity and MaxCare are also good companies to purchase an extended warranty from.

Can repairs be performed at any repair shop? Some extended warranties stipulate that repairs must be performed at the dealership where the warranty was purchased, this can prove limiting and inconvenient. We recommend purchasing an extended warranty that allows repairs at any certified automotive repair facility. You will definitely appreciate this if your vehicle breaks down or needs repairs while you are on a road trip.

Is the warranty transferable? Some service contracts end when the person who bought the warranty sells the car. A contract that allows you to transfer the warranty to a new buyer is preferable, and it’s a great selling point.

What exactly is covered? Know what is covered, and more importantly what’s not covered.

Is a cash layout required for repairs? Some warranty companies  require that you pay the bill, send in the invoice or receipt and wait for reimbursement. It can take weeks, even months to get reimbursed by the warranty company. You will want a warranty company that pays the dealership or repair facility directly with a credit card.

Remember to compare all of your options before making a decision. Utilize the internet, many companies sell directly online, cutting out the middle man (i.e. the dealership). Shop around, once you have decided on the which brand of vehicle you want to purchase get some quotes from other dealers, it will at least give you an idea of what an extended warranty, with the coverage you want should cost. If you are a member of a credit union, check with them as most offer inexpensive extended warranties that can be purchased directly from them.

In warranty buying, as in many other aspects of life, it helps to educate yourself.

Feel free to contact us at The Haus in Los Angeles, California if you have any questions about the warranty you are considering purchasing, we would be happy to give you our opinion.

High Pressure Fuel Pump Problems on R56 MINI Cooper S Models

If you are the owner of a 2007-2009 Mini Cooper S model you need to be aware of the problems Mini & BMW are having with their High Pressure Fuel Pumps (HPFP). This was a well known issue on the BMW N54 turbo engine and it affected thousands of BMW vehicles between 2007-2010, so much so that BMW issued a recall. Well the Mini customers are not getting the same love from BMW, and there is no such recall to replace these under warranty. Mini did however extend the warranty to 10 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first on the 2007-2009 S models only. So if you have a 2010 or newer vehicle or a vehicle over 120,000 miles you are not covered. It is important that you take your Mini to a specialty shop only, because if they are reputable and know these cars they would refer you to the dealer for warranty repairs. A lot of shops, especially general automotive repair shops are unaware of the extended warranty and might try and sell you one instead.

mini-cooper-r56

So, how do you know if you are having the issue? Well that is a good question and it is not always easy one to answer. The HPFP does not always just die, it sometimes prolongs the issue making it confusing to diagnose unless the check engine light comes on. Some of the pumps have been reported to die all at once, with some even failing while driving at freeway speeds, causing the engine to die (very dangerous). The most common symptom that the HPFP is starting to fail is engine surging while driving. This is usually followed up by difficulty starting, and then when the engine finally does start, it runs poorly (feels like a diesel engine). When you get to this stage, usually the check engine light will come on and register misfire codes, thankfully making it easier to figure out.

Our recommendation is that if you are having any of these symptoms to get your vehicle to a certified Mini Cooper specialist and get your vehicle checked before it becomes dangerous, and so that possible warranty coverage may be verified.

Here is the text of the letter from MINI USA-

 

 

Checking for EVAP Leaks on BMW or MINI Cooper


The Evaporative Emission Control System or EVAP system as it is most often called, was designed to prevent gasoline vapors from escaping from the fuel tank and fuel system. When the computer detects a leak in the system it will trigger the check engine light to come on and warn you. A loose gas cap can cause the light to come on because the system detects that there is pressure loss. The system is designed to detect leaks as small a pin hole. BMW and Mini Cooper are equipped with a Leak Detection Pump (DMTL) for this purpose.

The most common fault codes for EVAP leaks are a PO442- Small leak detected, and PO455- Large leak detected. The PO455 code is most often caused by a gas cap that was left loose after refueling. The PO442 can be a much harder one to diagnose as it virtually impossible to diagnose visually. To diagnose the small leaks a smoke machine is used to find the leaks by feeding a mineral oil based smoke into the system under light pressure. The smoke may also have ultraviolet dye added to make it easier to spot under a UV light. These codes are most typically a result of intake system vacuum leaks, with the most common being cracked or otherwise leaking intake boots. The intake boots are an especially common problem on the 2nd gen Mini Cooper S model with turbos. On late model BMW’s that have a crankcase ventilation valve (most 6 and 8 cylinder models from the mid 1990’s to present day, equatable to a PCV valve) the common problem is the rubber check valve diaphragm ruptures, creating an internal vacuum leak.

Fixing small EVAP leaks can be a big problem even for professional technicians, and if you get a code for a small leak you will most likely have to take it to your mechanic for diagnosis as special equipment is required. The smoke machine diagnostic tool costs between $1000-$1500 depending on the manufacturer and requires some training to use properly. With EVAP leaks it is recommended that you always take your BMW or Mini Cooper to a certified repair facility as these can be nearly impossible to diagnose at home. Please watch our short 2 minute video as we demonstrate a smoke test on a 2007 BMW X3.

Looking for MINI Cooper Service in Sherman Oaks? Call House of Minis & BMW Today! (855) 572-6464

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