Low/Empty Fuel: Allowing your BMW to run out of fuel will probably result in failure of the pump. The fuel pump is in the fuel tank, and the electric motor is cooled by contact with the fuel. Running the pump without fuel in the tank frequently damages the pump, requiring replacement immediately, or in the near future.
- Damage From Overheating: BMWs have aluminum heads, which are susceptible to damage from overheating. If the temperature gauge rises rapidly, or the temperature warning illuminates, pull over as soon as safety allows, and have the vehicle towed to your repair shop. Driving a little further, to avoid being inconvenienced, can easily add $2,000 to your repair bill (for a 6 cylinder)!
- Brake Wear: Sure, it seem like your brakes don’t last as long as they should? Talking on a cell phone while driving is one cause of premature brake replacement. On the freeway, watch the vehicles ahead for brake lights repeatedly and without apparent reason, or sometimes continuously on. When you see one, you’ll also probably find the driver talking on the phone!
- Fog Lights Easily Broken: The low placement of the fog lights frequently results in breakage from flying debris. Several companies sell clear thick self-adhesive plastic to cover the lens, protecting it from damage.
- Earlier Engines (M10, M20, M30) Have More Service: The early 4 and 6 cylinder engines require a valve adjustment at each inspection service. The 1984 – 1991 325s, 1982 – 1986 528s and 1989 –1990 525s have a timing belt which must be replaced every 4 years or 60,000 miles. Ignoring belt replacement may result in a repair bill which exceeds the market value of these vehicles.
- “///M” in the Model stands for Money
- The “M” models are high performance and relatively low volume. The impact of this is that engineering costs are spread over fewer units and parts availability is more limited. The early “M” engines (S14, S88, S38) were hand built and very complex. A basic rebuild on a 4 cylinder S14 engine (M3 1988-1991) will run in the $7,500-$8,500 range.
- The big 6 cylinder motors are proportionally more. These vehicles also have some combination of unique suspension, brake, transmission, drive line, body and interior parts. They are very rewarding to drive, but are probably not a good choice if you’re on a budget.
- Cooling System Failures: Several of the components in BMW cooling systems are made wholly or partially of plastic. Over time, the plastic becomes brittle and fails due to vibration, system pressure, or a combination of these. The most notable components are the radiator and coolant tank. Also, many of the 6 cylinder engines (91-99) came with a plastic thermostat housing that is prone to failure & should be replaced with an aluminum component.
Light Bulbs & Failure Circuitry: BMWs have circuitry which monitors current flow through the light bulbs to tell you if a bulb has failed. The newer vehicles seem sensitive to the electrical resistance of the bulbs, sometimes giving erroneous failure warnings when non-German bulbs are installed!
Even before it was officially brought under the Mercedes-Benz umbrella, AMG has been making big Benzes faster since the late 1960s. The 1987 AMG Hammer recalibrated the notion of what a performance luxury car should be. To this day, no one does brutal luxury like AMG, and the new 630 hp S65 AMG is ample proof of that.
The engine warlocks at AMG have thrown just about every trick they know at the new S65’s 6.0 liter Biturbo V12. Remember, these are the same guys that build engines for Pagani. They’ve bolted up twin turbochargers, an aluminum crankcase, a forged alloy crankshaft, an air-to-water intercooler, and stop/start functionality. Though, in the case of that last one, it should be noted that any concessions towards fuel conservation in a motor like this is relative.
This is also the first S65 to be fitted with AMG’s seven-speed Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission. Previous versions were only available with the old five-speed auto box, due to concerns that, at the time, the seven-speed transmission wouldn’t be able to cope with the Biturbo V12’s electronically limited 736 lb-ft of torque.
The standard AMG sport suspension utilizes a camera that scans the road ahead and is able to recognize undulations to allow for suspension adjustments in advance. Carbon ceramic disk brakes with 420 mm rotors can be fitted on the front axle as an option. Considering the head of steam this car is capable of producing, these might not be a bad idea.
Outside, the S65 distinguishes itself from the S63 with chrome accents on the front fascia and unique high-gloss polish 20-inch wheels with three other wheel sets available as optional. The interior is fitted with every toy in the Mercedes-Benz catalog. Nappa leather, animated instrument cluster, head-up display, hand rest integrated touchpad and much more are all included.
The S65 AMG will make simultaneous official debuts at the Tokyo and Los Angeles auto shows.
Mercedes-Benz is hard at work on a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe to rival the likes of the Porsche 911, Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Based on the next-generation SL-Class architecture, the SLC will be smaller and lighter than the luxurious 2-seat roadster. Expect plenty of aluminum and, possibly, even carbon fiber to be used in the chassis and body of the SLC.
Slotted beneath the SLS AMG Coupe (and the new SLS Roadster), the SLC will likely be powered by an AMG-tuned 5.5-liter V-8 engine. That should give the SLC more than enough power to challenge the 911 Carrera, without treading on the toes of its bigger and more expensive sibling, the 571-bhp SLS AMG.
Based on the SLS’ starting price of $185,000—and the $80,000 you’d pay for a base Porsche 911—we expect the price of the SLC to fall somewhere around $120,000 when it arrives in 2014.
It has been a while since the SLC name graced a Mercedes-Benz. The last iteration was the long-lived C107 model, which lasted from 1971 to 1981. The top powerplant at the time was an aluminum 5.0-liter V-8 engine mated to a 3-speed automatic (though Mercedes-Benz eventually added one extra cog toward the end of the SLC’s lifetime). The new SLC will borrow some styling cues from the past, though the shape appears wholly modern and less retro in spirit than the SLS AMG.
Judging from this illustration, the shape of the SLC appears squat and aggressive. A large grille and oversized Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star dominate the front end. The headlamps sweep backward, giving a sense of speed. Those large side vents are likely functional and there to draw heat away from the engine. And admit it, they also look really cool.
Don’t expect any gullwing-style doors, such as the ones you’ll find on the SLS. A roadster version of the SLC is likely, though Mercedes will be eager not to have it overlap with the most potent versions of the next SL-Class. That means any SLC Roadster will likely place an emphasis on performance, rather than the luxury and tech goodies found in an SL.
With autumn’s shorter days, cooler temperatures and inclement weather drawing closer, now is a good time to get your car ready for the demands of the coming driving season.
Although some seasonal car maintenance will require the assistance of Laguna Motor Werks, here are five, simple do-it-yourself car maintenance projects to make your car better prepared for fall.
1. Change Your Wiper Blades
Wiper blades should be replaced annually every fall. You generally use your wipers more frequently in the fall and winter. They’ll also be taking a lot more abuse from road grime and windshield-washer solvent, so it’s best to have a fresh set then.
2. Check Your Spare Tire
Autumn is also a good time to check your spare tire to ensure that it is properly inflated. The typical space-saver spare tire found in most cars must be inflated to the inflation pressure listed on the side of the tire. A tire pressure gauge costs $7 to $20.
Tire pressure drops one PSI, or pound per square inch, for every 10-degree drop in temperature, so check your tires on a weekly basis. The proper inflation pressure will generally be listed in your vehicle’s owner manual and/or noted on a sticker located on the driver’s doorjamb.
3. Replace Windshield Washer Fluid
In fall, windshield-washer fluid needs to be replaced with a solvent that is suited for use in cold weather. The washer fluid costs $2 to $4 per gallon, depending on the brand and whether it has antifreeze mixed in.
Autumn is also a good time to check your level of antifreeze ($10 to $16 per gallon) in the coolant recovery reservoir. In this car maintenance move, if you find that you are below the required minimum stamped onto the side of that opaque container, add the appropriate quantity of properly diluted fluid to that reservoir and not to the radiator. Make sure that you use the correct fluid because green and orange antifreeze/coolant cannot be mixed.
Checking the braker-fluid reservoir is also a good idea. If the level is low, top it off with the appropriate type of brake fluid ($3.50 to $17 per container, depending on the type).
4. Replace Engine Air Filter
At a minimum, engine air filters ($11.50 to $53 per filter, depending on brand) should be replaced twice per year as part of car maintenance. When an air filter reaches the point where it causes enough of a pressure drop to restrict airflow, the car’s fuel economy, performance and emissions begin to deteriorate, getting progressively worse until the dirty filter is replaced.
5. Check For Electrical Issues
Many electrical issues and ignition problems stem from loose or corroded battery connections. If you notice corrosion on the posts or cable connectors, use an appropriate brush ($4 per brush.) This is a very inexpensive, yet handy tool that you can get at any auto parts store. And clean both (posts) completely, and then reconnect everything snuggly and securely.
As part of regular cars maintenance, and for safety, make sure all of the car’s lights are working; it’s important for you to see, as well as be seen, during autumn’s longer and darker nights. Replacement bulbs will typically cost a dollar or two, with the exception of headlight bulbs, of course. They’re considerably more expensive, but you can replace them all quite easily on your own without tools and save yourself a hefty labor charge in the process.
Headlight bulbs range in price from $14 to $27 for a single bulb to $25 to $50 for a dual pack.
1. BMW was formed in 1916.
2. The first BMW motorcycle was launched in 1923.
3. BMW owns Mini and Rolls-Royce
4. The BMW headquarters are located in Munich, Germany.
5. In the UK, BMW employs approximately 8000 people.
6. In 2009, BMW produced approximately 1.4 million vehicles.
7. Additionally, 82,000 motorcycles were produced by the company in 2009.
8. BMW owns Husqvarna, a prominent producer of motorcycles and chainsaws.
9. BMW has an estimated 106,000 employees worldwide.
10. BMW made approximately $4,279,000,000 in income in 2008.
11. BMW is ranked 78 in the Fortune Global 500 Business list.
12. BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke.
13. BMW is the only current motorcycle manufacturer to reject the use of telescopic forks on its motorbikes.
The 2013 BMW M6 is larger and heavier but more efficient and also quicker than its predecessor. With Sakhir orange metallic paint and a naked carbon-fiber roof, it also tends to attract attention. If you enjoy getting thumbs-ups from Slurpee-sipping Best Buy employees and having camera phone pictures taken by drivers of two-generation-old 3 Series with coffee-can exhaust tips, you’ve found the right color for your new M6. Color aside, the M6 is a fairly sleek-looking thing, long and low, hunched on its available 20-inch, five-spoke wheels.
While BMW’s new M6 is down two cylinders to the outgoing car, those looking for a brute of a sports coupe shouldn’t be disappointed. In place of those two cylinders are two turbochargers that force 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque from the front-mounted 4.4-liter V-8, and that’s enough power for our two-and-a-half ton tester to hit 60 mph in 4.0 sec. Torque is nearly instantaneous and the sound, while a little muted for our taste, is ferocious in tone at the 7200-rpm redline. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission works well, with fairly snappy manual shifts in the fastest setting. (Shift speed can be adjusted up and down with a proportional loss or gain in smoothness.) Power isn’t everything, though. While the M6 feels strong rocketing down the highway or blasting from a stoplight, it feels a little less in its element when you point the nose towards your favorite bit of winding road. It’s not that the M6 isn’t capable — it is. We got 0.99 g of lateral acceleration on our skidpad and the car rocketed through the figure eight in a competitive time for its class. But despite all that grip and all that power, the M6 doesn’t move or communicate as well as lighter, sportier cars in this price range. Initial understeer can transition through neutral to oversteer with a boot of throttle exiting tighter bends, but road feeling seems like it’s filtered through thousands of pounds of metal, leather, and rubber. By the time it reaches the driver, it’s been censored enough that the feeling of involvement is minimal. As with other BMW M models, the M6’s steering, throttle, shift response, and suspension can be set to varying modes from Comfort to Sport+, which is always a horrible choice for anything but a racetrack. Best to leave everything in Sport if you’re trying to play race-car driver.
But let’s face it: Anyone buying an M6 under the pretention that it’s a light, nimble sports car is woefully misguided and should have bought a Porsche 911. M6 buyers want a car that will look cool getting to the office in rush hour traffic, look cool sitting in a luxury condo parking garage, and look cool parked in front of the newest gastropub. The M6 will do all of these things very well, and it will even do them in relative comfort with the suspension set in the softest mode. The interior of the car is a very nice place to be, too. The seats are comfortable and the driving position is excellent, with a strong level of adjustment and a very comfortable steering wheel. The leather and carbon-fiber trim look expensive, and though you won’t fit anyone over 5 years old in the rear seats, they work well for storing duffle bags and could be used for emergency transport in a pinch. BMW’s current generation of i-Drive, which controls climate, audio and more, continues to work well. We experienced no issues getting our iPhones to pair up.
Though the car’s sheer size makes it a little ungainly in heavy city traffic, it’s easy to get used to after a few days of driving. There is one caveat: The M6 transmits far too much road noise to be a suitable grand tourer. The stock Michelins demand that stereo volume is raised to a high enough level to subdue the unrelenting groan of rubber against road. Frankly, it’s just a frustrating experience for anyone looking to cover hundreds of miles in relative quiet. That’s a shame, since the engine is happily muted at freeway speed, churning along at 2000 rpm or so in seventh gear. Since its 1986 inception, BMW’s M6 has always been a bit of a
compromise. Too bulky to play sports car on the best back roads and too high-strung to soak up the miles in comfort, the M6 tends to fall into an in-between space. Possibly the best thing about the M6 is cruising up next to a 650i at a stoplight, casting a sideways glance at its driver, and then leaving said 650i in a cloud of smoke and a spray of gravel as you exit your country club. But if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool enthusiast looking for an everyday supercar with soul, there are better options available.
It takes a lot of time and effort to keep a luxury car looking fantastic and running smoothly. You should look at a couple different areas when performing maintenance on your BMW. Make sure to take it into Laguna Motor Werks for your scheduled maintenance and take care with these extra tips to keep your BMW in tip-top condition.
- More than likely the carpet and flooring in your BMW is subjected to lots of water and salt throughout the winter; therefore, rust may be forming in places you can’t even see, such as below your car’s carpet. A high quality rug/carpeting shampoo will help you to remove any salt and/or grime from your BMW’s carpet fibers.
- Clean any vinyl in the car with a vinyl cleansing product to help fight against any drying, flaking, or cracking.
- Scrub and shine your BMW’s windows, both inside and out, to increase the driver’s visibility.
Under the Hood
- Switch out your BMW’s engine oil & filter if it is needed (you should do this around every 3 months). You can come into Laguna Motor Werks to help change the oil and filter when needed.
- Get a thorough tune-up from Laguna Motor Werks Mercedes and BMW maintenance shop (check your BMW owner’s manual to see the frequency at which you should get a tune up or give us a call).
- Look at and inspect the cooling system hoses for leaks, switch out engine coolant fluid if needed, and check drive belts for cracks or splits.
- Come in to test your antifreeze. This prevents your coolant from boiling in the summer.
Check Your Tires
- Check the pressure of your BMW’s tires. Changes in temperature can affect it. Having good pressure in your tires will give you the best gas mileage and save your tires from any wear & tear!
- Make sure your tires are in good condition. Over the winter season, did they sustain any damage? Do you see anything visibly wrong with the tires such as any cuts or places of over-inflation (bulges) in the side walls? If so, come into Laguna Motor Werks and have them checked.
Make sure to take care of your BMW and for any repairs or services call us at Laguna Motor Werks to schedule an appointment!
WIth improvements in technology, build quality and metallurgy mean that cars are living longer and longer, even in the Rust Belt. At Laguna Motor Werks, we can make sure your BMW or Mercedes Benz will last past 150,000 miles. In order to do that you will need to pay attention to these car tips and make sure to bring your car into the shop if you’re in the surrounding area of Orange County, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach or others.
With proper care and feeding, virtually any car can be kept running as long as the owner wants to keep it. Here are twelve guidelines to keeping your car alive well into six-figure territory with the help of maintenance and check ups at Laguna Motor Werks.
- Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. If your car has a “maintenance minder”, use that as a guideline for service, but be sure to double-check your owner’s manual as some items need to be replaced based on time rather than mileage.Don’t forget the timing belt! Most cars need to have the timing belt replaced every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. It’s not cheap, but it’s far less expensive than the damage it causes if it breaks.
- Keep a repair fund. Cars do break, and there’s nothing like a $1,500 repair bill to scare an old-car owner into the new-car showroom. Remember, your car would have to generate repair bills of around $5,000 per year for at least four years in a row to even approach the cost of a new car. In place of your payment, try putting $100 or $200 per month into an interest-bearing car-repair account. That way an unexpected repair or major maintenance won’t disrupt your normal cash flow.
- Do your homework. Many cars have known problems that tend to pop up under certain circumstances or after enough mileage/time. Most makes and models have Web sites and forums devoted to them; they can be a gold mine of information. Knowing your car is prone to a given problem isn’t necessarily cause to get rid of it; it just allows you to be prepared.
- Be aware. Be on the lookout for new noises, strange smells or anything that just doesn’t feel right. If something seems amiss, talk to your mechanic or dealership. Don’t let them tell you “that’s normal” — if you’ve been driving your car long enough, you know best what normal is.
- Ask a friend to drive. Every two or three months, ask a friend to take you for a drive in your own car. Some problems appear or increase so gradually that you may not even notice them, but they’ll stick out like a sore thumb to someone less familiar. And by riding along in the passenger’s seat, you may spot something you missed while preoccupied with driving.
- Fix everything as soon as it breaks. If you’re going to keep your car as long as possible, you have to wantto keep it as long as possible. Don’t ignore seemingly unimportant problems like broken trim bits, torn upholstery, or electrical glitches. Little annoyances tend to add up and can begin to erode your love affair with your old car.
- Use quality replacement parts. Whether or not to use genuine manufacturer parts is open to debate, but don’t just opt for the least expensive parts you can find. Discuss options with your mechanic or parts store. If a non-wearing part is damaged, consider buying a used replacement — you’ll get manufacturer quality at a more affordable price.
- Keep it clean. Paint does more than make your car look good; it protects the materials underneath. Wash your car regularly. When water no longer beads on the paint, wax it.
- Fight rust. If you live where it snows, be sure to wash the car regularly — but only if the temperature is above freezing. (Below freezing the salt stays in solution and won’t harm the car.) Don’t park in a heated garage; melting snow allows embedded salt to attack. Make sure your car wash does not recycle their water — otherwise they’re just spraying your car with salt from other people’s vehicles.
- Drive gently. There’s no need to baby your car; in fact, a little foot-to-the-floor acceleration every once in a while is a good thing, but driving like a wannabe Michael Schumaker in his Formula 1 Ferrari isn’t good for your car (or your nerves).
- Gloat! If you enjoy the surprised looks people give you when you tell them your car has 150,000 miles on it, wait until you see their faces at 200,000. If people chide you about your old wheels, chide them about their car payments and higher insurance rates. Keeping your car as long as possible saves you hundreds of dollars per month; keeping it in good repair minimizes the environmental impact by ensuring that it runs cleanly and efficiently as possible. Feel free to gloat — you and your car have earned it!
Mercedes-Benz is ramping up a small-car offensive with the introduction of a new compact crossover called the GLA-Class, set to debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September.
It looks very similar to the Concept GLA unveiled at the Shanghai auto show. Much of the 2015 GLA-Class’ underpinnings are shared with the all-new CLA-Class, which hits showrooms also in September.
The small crossover segment is booming, which makes the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA a lynchpin for growth. It will compete with the Audi A3, which goes on sale next year, and the BMW X1, which debuted as a 2013 model and was first to market in this segment. The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is another potential contender.
The 2015 GLA250 4Matic, set to go on sale in the United States in fall 2014, will use the same 208-horsepower four-cylinder engine and seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission as the CLA250. As the “4Matic” moniker in its name indicates, it will come with all-wheel drive. A front-wheel drive GLA250 will hit showrooms in early 2015.
Together new GLA-Class and its car counterpart, the CLA-Class, comprise the vanguard of a whole new breed of Mercedes, aimed at drivers younger than the brand’s typical buyers. The vehicles represent a paradigm shift in technology, from the company’s long-running rear-wheel drive architecture, to more fuel-efficient front-wheel drive systems, which help make the the vehicles smaller, lighter and less expensive.
Mercedes plays up the GLA-Class’ “light off-road” capabilities in press materials, citing special modes that help the vehicle crawl down steep inclines and negotiate loose surfaces like sand and gravel. But think of it like any other crossover in this segment, as a taller, heavier hatchback that will spend most, if not all of its life on pavement.
Interior photos show design elements such as the dashboard, with its iPad-like center screen and five prominent, round vents, to be identical to those of the CLA-Class. And just like with that car, designers and engineers paid particular attention to aerodynamics on the exterior of the GLA.
The way the hood and fenders flow into the front roof pillars, the position of the side mirrors, and lips along the edges of the taillights were all crafted for optimum aerodynamic efficiency. This is particularly important with crossovers, whose bulkier and taller bodies generally create more wind resistance than cars do. Better aerodynamics translates to better fuel economy.
Even though the 2015 Mercedes GLA250 will be one of the company’s most affordable models, it won’t skimp on advanced technology. For example, it will have truncated self-steering capability, such as being able to counter-steer on its own to help correct a skid or to maintain course when being buffeted by strong crosswinds.
It will also come standard with Mercedes’ drowsy-driver detection and warning system called Attention Assist, and radar-based Collision Prevention Assist, which helps apply the brakes more forcefully if a collision seems imminent. Systems that automatically throw on the brakes all by themselves and help steer you back into your lane will be optional.
Mercedes did not give pricing for the 2015 Mercedes GLA-Class. But based on its competitors and the company’s own model hierarchy, it will likely fall between that of the CLA-Class, which starts at $29,900, and the GLK-Class, formerly the smallest Mercedes sport utility, with a starting price of $37,480. By comparison, the BMW X1 starts at $30,800, while the Range Rover Evoque starts at $42,040.
That’s two in five people admit that they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel. What make these statistics even scarier is that these numbers are higher than expected, and that 16 to 24 year olds are “nearly twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driving crash as drivers age 40-59.”
Driving tired is like driving drunk. “Just like alcohol or drugs, sleepiness slows reaction time and impairs judgment, according to AAA Foundation president and CEO Peter Kissinger.” And drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence.
Most drivers don’t equate driving tired and driving under the influence because driving tired isn’t illegal. “Many of us tend to underestimate the negative effects associated with fatigue and sleep deprivation and, conversely, overestimate our abilities to overcome them while driving,” vice president of AAA Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso states. “This data underscores the importance of educating drivers on the simple, yet effective steps they can take to prevent a possible tragedy. Unfortunately, too many drivers have adopted the ‘I’m tired, but I can make it’ mentality, often to their own peril or to the peril of others.”
The New York Times explains that sleep-related crashes are more dangerous. “Thomas J. Balkin, a sleep researcher and chairman of the National Sleep Foundation, said sleep-related crashes were likely to be severe. People ‘tend to have worse crashes because they didn’t do anything to mitigate the crash,’ like hitting the brakes or steering away from a collision.”
Avoid driving tired. Bloomberg suggests, “Drivers should get at least six hours of sleep before a long trip, schedule a break every two hours and travel at times when they are normally awake… Drifting from a lane and tailgating may be signs of drowsiness.”
Another way is to just get more sleep in general. The New York Times says people get a lot less sleep than they did 30 or 40 years ago, “when the average amount of sleep was about eight hours a night.” Now people average seven hours a night.
Caffeine is another solution. The Los Angeles Times summarizes AAA’s advice: “If a driver drinks coffee or other caffeinated beverages to help stay alert, he or she should do so about 30 minutes before driving to give the caffeine time to enter the bloodstream and take effect.”
Driving is America’s primary mode of transportation, but when you drive tired, you’re putting yourself, your passengers and other drivers at risk. If you’re tired, just don’t drive. It could save your — or someone else’s — life.