Tag Archives: car care

Your BMW Could Be Recalled Due To A Fire Risk

BMW recently announced that it is recalling 1.6 million diesel vehicles worldwide because of potential fluid leaks that could cause fires.

The automaker said that in some diesel vehicles, the coolant glycol could leak out of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler, which is part of the emissions reduction system. When combined with typical deposits of soot at the high temperatures that occur in the EGR module, the leaks could result in smoldering particles that could cause the intake manifold to melt “in very rare cases,” the BMW Group said in a statement. This could cause a fire “in extremely rare cases,” the company said.

BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe

The company previously recalled 480,000 vehicles in Asia and Europe in mid-August after fires were reported in South Korea. In August, the South Korean government banned owners of affected vehicles from driving them until they could be inspected after videos of BMW vehicles on fire went viral in the country. The company also faced a class-action lawsuit from customers that alleged that BMW did not respond promptly to the fires, which led to an investigation by the government. Police raided the automaker’s office in Seoul. In response, BMW said it would pick up the cars banned from being driven, provide rental cars to customers and conduct the necessary inspections. No injuries were reported related to the incidents.

Following the driving ban in South Korea, the BMW Group conducted further examinations of vehicles with engines with similar setups. The company then announced the ban for Asia and Europe. On October 23, BMW said it would expand its recall to cover a total of 1.6 million vehicles worldwide, including around 54,700 vehicles in the U.S and Canada. The announcement includes some vehicles made between August 2010 and August 2017. As part of the technical campaign, the company said it would check the EGR modules and replace any faulty components in all potentially affected vehicles.

The global recall is voluntary. The BMW Group said that it did not find any significant risks to customers in its recent examinations.

“Nonetheless the BMW Group decided to further reduce even this minor risk by expanding the country-specific technical campaigns. It is the goal of BMW Group to support the trust and confidence of our customers in our products,” the BMW Group said.

BMW said that it would contact customers with affected cars. Customers can also check for recalls that apply to their vehicle by entering the last seven numbers of their vehicle identification number (VIN) on the BMW website. Additionally, customers can contact BMW or their local dealer with questions and concerns.

BMW also recently recalled approximately 2,600 2016-17 BMW M3 sedans, 2016-17 M4 and M4 GTS coupes and 2017 M4 convertibles because of a potentially faulty connection between the flange and driveshaft. A failed connection could result in a loss of propulsion and increased crash risk. BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driveshaft at no cost to the customer.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Weird Noises in Your Bimmer

Most of us drive our cars so much that they become an extension of ourselves — and when they start making a weird noise, we notice almost immediately. The trick with these weird noises is that they can be difficult to locate, especially if you’re trying to figure out where they’re coming from while you’re behind the wheel.

It can also end up being really expensive to take your Bimmer to the shop to have the mechanics there troubleshoot it. Here are some tips and tricks to help you figure out where those weird noises are coming from and fix them without emptying your wallet in the process.

1. Locate the Sound

Between engine noise, road noise, etc., you’re going to hear a variety of sounds when your car is running. Since some engine noises are fairly unavoidable, you may not have a problem at all. If this becomes a nuisance, using heat-resistant barriers for engines is an option for soundproofing those persistent noises.

However, you can usually tell immediately when a sound is not just routine. When that happens, the first thing you need to do is figure out where the sound is coming from.

One tool that can be helpful for locating strange sounds under the hood is a mechanic’s stethoscope. It looks like a doctor’s tool of the same name, only instead of having a flat plate at the end for hearing heartbeats, it has a long thin piece of metal that can easily be threaded into tight spaces to help you identify sounds.

Once you determine what exactly the noise is, take a look online. You can find resources to help you locate and identify it.

Once you’ve located the sound, now it’s time to troubleshoot!

2. Figure out What the Problem Is

There are so many moving parts in your car that nearly any one of them could start making strange noises when it starts to fail. The trick is figuring out what is causing the sound before the part quits completely. Knowing where the sound is coming from helps you narrow down the possible causes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common sounds and their causes.

  • Clunking or Thumping When you Turn the Wheel – This could be a sign that your CV axle, which transfers the drive train power from the transmission to your wheels, is starting to fail. This is an expensive fix – new CVs are pricey – but is a fairly simple one. Simply jack up the car, pull out the old axle and install a new one.
  • Whining Under the Hood – This is usually a sign that a bearing is going bad. Use that mechanic’s stethoscope to locate the whine and replace the offending bearing.
  • Whirring That Changes with Engine RPM – This could be a number of different things. Start by checking your power steering fluid levels and making sure they’re correct. If you’ve got enough fluid, you may need to replace the power steering pump. It could, depending on where the sound is coming from, be a sign of a bad compressor which you will need to take to a mechanic if you don’t have the right tools.
  • Popping from Under the Hood – This is another sound that could indicate a number of problems. It could be as simple as a dirty air filter, or as complicated as an internal engine problem. Start by changing your air filter, and checking your car’s ignition system – plugs, wires, ignition module or distributor depending on how old your Bimmer is.

There are some noises you might hear under the hood that mean you should stop driving your car until it is repaired. Knocking or pinging sounds mean there are moving parts in your engine hitting each other that shouldn’t be, and continuing to drive the car could damage the inner workings of the engine.

3. Repair the Problem

This step is hard to outline without knowing exactly what sounds your car is making, but we do have one tip to offer. Purchase a Haynes manual for your vehicle. These repair manuals will walk you, step by step, through everything you need to do to complete most repairs on your own. They’re available for most cars, regardless of the age of the car, and they cost about $25.

There may be some things you can’t fix on your own, either because you don’t have the knowledge or the tools necessary to complete the job. For these problems, you should definitely take your car to your favorite mechanic. It might be more expensive, but you’ll be sure the job is done right.

You don’t have to run to the shop every time your Bimmer starts making strange noises, though. A couple of troubleshooting steps might point you to a very easy-to-fix problem you can handle in the comfort of your own garage.

7 Ways to Winterproof Your BMW

Cold, winter weather doesn’t have to stop you from driving your BMW, but you should take certain steps to get it ready for winter. With a few preparations, such as the following, your BMW will be ready to face the cold.

Checks and Maintenance

Winter can be tough on certain aspects of your vehicle, so before the winter weather arrives, do some basic maintenance and check that everything is in optimal condition. Check the following things:

  • Check your brakes: Checking your brakes should be a top concern. In wet weather, bad brakes are more likely to slide and squeak. Many dealerships offer brake checks for free.
  • Check your battery: Cold weather reduces battery capacity. Have your battery life, cables and fluid checked.
  • Check your tires: Have your tires checked and rotated. Replace them if they’re too worn down because worn tires offer little traction. If you live somewhere snowy, you should get snow tires.
  • Check your wiper blades: If your wiper blades are dull, replace them before the first snow arrives.

Protect Your Interior

You may also want to protect your interior from any mud or snow that could get tracked inside. Putting in some rubber floor mats can help. While it might not look especially slick, you’ll be happy when you take them out at winter’s end, and your floor is pristine. You may also want to get a bag for your trunk to put ice scrapers and other winter tools to prevent them from getting the inside of your trunk wet and muddy.

Top Off or Change Fluids

You should also take the time to check your car fluids and top them off or change them for a winter fluid if necessary. Check your oil, brake fluid, window washer fluid and coolant.

Make sure you use the right mixture of antifreeze and water for your coolant so that fluid does not freeze in your radiator. You should also use a wiper fluid formulated for winter use so that it does not freeze. Right before winter is also an ideal time to change your oil. You might also opt for a lighter oil, which works better for winter.

Cover It Up

The best way to prevent damage from snow, ice and road salt is to stow your car away during and after storms. The ideal way to do this is to park it in your garage. You may want to make some upgrades to your garage, such as improving insulation to help protect your car from cold temperatures as well as snow. Garage door improvements are also cost-effective and have an average of an 85 percent return on investment.

If you don’t have a garage you can use, consider getting a winter car cover made for your car’s make and model so that it fits snugly and protects the car fully.

Protect Your Paint

To protect your paint, consider doing some detailing right before winter so that you have a fresh coat of sealant. You can use a wax or polymer to help protect your car’s finish. If you might have to drive on snow or salted roads, consider investing in mud flaps for your front and rear tires to prevent salts from eroding your paint.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Create an emergency kit and keep in your trunk in case you get stuck during a winter storm. In your emergency kit, place some road salt, a first aid kit, snacks, a change of clothes, a blanket, an extra coat, a flashlight and anything else you might need. You should also have jumper cables, car jacks and other tools as well as an ice scraper and a shovel.

Protect your car and help ensure that you can get around safely by preparing your BMW for winter. When you follow the above tips, you’ll be able to drive your BMW during the winter months worry-free!