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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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Alignment

How Regular Oil Changes Can Improve The Performance Of Your Mini Cooper

What Owners Need to Know To Get the Most Out of Their Car

Known for their unique look, great gas mileage, and cool customization options, Mini Coopers are a true joy to own and drive. Once you’ve driven one of these amazing vehicles, you’ll never want to switch loyalties to any other model.
While you do not need to do a whole lot of tinkering around to keep your Mini Cooper performing as efficiently as it should, there is one thing that you should not overlook and that is the importance of a regular oil change.

Changing the oil at the recommended intervals is the best way to maximize the life of your vehicle and keep it running at peak performance. Failure to do this can have serious consequences on your Mini Cooper. If you think your Mini needs an oil change or just a general inspection, call our automotive shop—The Haus—today!

A Look At The Role Of Motor Oil
Motor oil lubricates all of the moving parts in the engine. This lubrication prevents the friction that would otherwise result from the engine parts grinding against each other. It also reduces wear and tear of the components.

As the oil filters through the engine block, it collects combustion contaminants, metal fragments and grime and begins to get thick and sludgy. As the oil becomes less viscous and more gunked up, it starts getting increasingly less efficient and does not provide the engine with the lubrication it needs.
As the oil collects more deposits and gets thicker, it will start to build up around the crankshafts, valves and pistons, resulting in a lot of damage that may require an expensive overhaul.

Changing the oil regularly as recommended can prevent this disastrous scenario. New oil is contaminant-free and will improve the performance of your Mini Cooper tremendously. It will also extend the life of its engine, which is something you definitely want if you own one of these cool little vehicles.

How Often Do You Need To Change The Oil In A Mini Cooper?

MINI recommends oil maintenance every 12,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first, however we recommend oil & filter change every 6 months or 5,000 miles to keep your MINI running properly and keep repair costs down. The conditions under which you drive your vehicle will ultimately determine how often the oil change service needs to be done. For the best advice and service, get the oil checked and changed at an automotive repair shop that specializes in dealing with Mini Coopers. The Haus is the best option for an oil check and change for a Mini Cooper in the Los Angeles area, conveniently located in Sherman Oaks.

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

 

 

 

Seasonal Car Care Checklist for MINI and BMW Vehicles

Follow these handy guidelines to make sure your car is ready for the season!

Now that the new season is on the horizon, it is time to make sure your MINI or BMW automobile is ready. These maintenance tips are important for all car owners to be aware of and could make the difference in keeping you and your vehicle safe as the weather changes. If you find you need any of the following services done after self-inspection, please give The Haus a call to schedule an appointment.

Deal with any critical problems, check your mileage and get any regular service done: These should always be top of mind for all vehicle owners, regardless of the season. Any major difficulties—such as warning lights, problematic starts and concerning engine noises—should be dealt with immediately by bringing your vehicle in to the automotive shop. If there are no serious issues, take a peek at your owner’s manual and make sure you have had your oil and filters changed most recently within the factory’s recommended amount of time or miles. Ignoring these regular services can be the cause of bigger troubles down the road. With that out of the way, here’s some seasonal items to be aware of:

Refresh the coolant: Take a look at your coolant level and see if your engine has enough to get through the upcoming warm season. It’s critical to also check the condition of the existing coolant, as poor quality or low levels of coolant can lead to breakdowns as temperatures rise.

Take a look at tires: The two things to test here are tire pressure and tread condition. During changes of the season, there are often wide variations in pressure between the tires. Under inflated tires are a risk and negatively impact performance of your vehicle. Worn tread is also dangerous, especially during the hazardous wet conditions of a rainstorm. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need a tire replacement, or just need trained technicians to take a look and make the call for you.

Adjust hoses and belts: Take a look under your hood and see if your vehicle’s serpentine belt needs to be replaced. If there are any cracks, fraying or visible damage to this belt, you’ll want to immediately give The Haus (or your local automotive shop) a call to get it changed.

Replace old wiper blades: Sometimes nothing is better than adding a set of fresh wiper blades to your vehicle. The difference in visibility will be noticeable right away, as chilly temperatures cause rubber blades to lose their effectiveness over time. New wiper blades make driving your car more enjoyable and—more importantly—they can keep you safe during heavy rains and other difficult conditions.

 

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R56 ERA MINIS 2006-2014 OIL CHANGE INTERVALS

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)

MINI Cooper & BMW Tire Pressure Explained

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.

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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.

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Tire Wear

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.

To schedule an appointment to have your tries checked out for free by one of our Certfied BMW or MINI Technicians, please call The Haus at (855)572-6464 (MINI).

 

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New Certified MINI Technician

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)

Our newest MINI Technician
Our newest MINI Technician Kyle

MINI Cooper Front Seat Occupancy Sensor Recall

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.

BMW Conditioned Based Service “CBS” Maintenance

To give you an understanding of how your BMW CBS “Condition Based Service” with the iDrive system
functions. The CBS system checks several maintenance items and will also alert ahead of time when the
vehicle needs servicing. The CBS specifically monitors the engine oil (most newer BMW vehicles do not
have a dip stick, they use and oil level sensor inside the oil pan), cabin air filters, brake fluid, front and
rear brakes, as well as spark plugs. The indicator lights for each of these service items are viewed
through the display screen and are also color coded. The green indicator light means ok, yellow/amber
indicator light means it is due (roughly about 20% remaining life) and the red service indicator means
service is past due.
BMW manufacturer recommends oil changes to be done every 15,000 miles using a high performance
5W-30 synthetic oil, most BMW engines hold 7 to 9 quarts of oil. It is not known why BMW does not
take into consideration traffic jams, stop and go driving, idling at stop lights, and just the normal wear
and tear on these cars. All these factors take a toll on the engine, pistons, and cylinders that going
15,000 miles without fresh oil can damage these parts, especially on a vehicle with higher mileage. Haus
of Minis & BMW would recommend servicing your BMW every 6 months or 5,000 miles.
The cabin air filters are monitored by the climate control module and clean the air that comes into the
interior of the vehicle though the heating and air conditioning system. The filters catch pollen, dust, and
other particles in the air. If you drive in an urban area that is highly polluted, The Haus
would recommend to replace the cabin filters every 12-15,000 miles. However, BMW recommends to
replace the filters every 32,000 miles. BMW estimates this based off of the ambient air temperature
sensor, heater usage, driving speeds, fan speed, rain sensor, time and distance since the last oil change.
The brake fluid is a time based service that needs to be performed every 24 months regardless of
mileage.
Spark plugs are a mileage based service and need to be replaced every 100,000 miles.
Front and rear brakes are a wear item, meaning that there is no specific time or miles that the vehicle
would need to get them replaced. Average life for brake pads is anywhere from 20,000-30,000 miles,
some can last even longer, Haus of Minis & BMW have seen customers who’s brake pads have lasted
upwards of 80,000 miles! Brake wear is based solely upon the habits of the driver and driving conditions,
so no two cars brakes will wear the same. There is a common flaw with the CBS system that will cause
the brake light to come on prematurely (with 50-60%) remaining still. If you take it to the BMW dealer
they will sell you brakes even if your vehicle does not need them yet simply because the light is on. We
always perform a visual inspection before replacing any brakes, if the brake pads are still good the light
can be reset, then wait until the brakes actually need to be replaced.

Please call 855-572-6464 (MINI) to schedule an appointment

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