As always and somewhat predictably, as this year again we have the fall in full swing, meaning the temperatures drop. With it naturally road temperatures and tire temperatures drop, together reducing the traction available for braking or turning.
When is the time right to install winter tires?
The magic number is 7 degrees of Celsius. The so called “all season” and all performance tires will become brittle as their compound will partially become nearly hard as solid plastic.
Tire friction requires warm road surface or pliable tire surface to generate any meaningful friction to slow down a moving vehicle at all times. Since the road temperature is given and cannot be influenced by the driver than we got no choice but choose the softest tire for the job, which are the winter tires.
Winter tires formulated to stay soft and pliable in extreme cold temperatures.
What we have learned is, winter tires are not only meant for snow or ice but for cold weather driving, which what they are really engineered for ultimately.
Maximum traction requires the best weather specific rubber to be put to the road for ultimate safety and optimal vehicle performance .
Most BMW 550, 650, 750 i engines did or will develop a common coolant leak which perhaps resembles a funny slightly stinky smell in the cabin, in turn could escalate to an electrical burning smell over time.
The burning electrical smell could be your alternator being damaged by coolant leaking into it.
Always check inspect the turbocharger cooling lines passing right above the alternator or you will be replacing the lines – hoses and plus the alternator as well, at the same time.
This is not an easy job, due to the dual turbo arrangement in the middle of the engine block V configuration.
Performing a pressure test after repairs is essential due to system complexity. Both after run electrical pumps should be also tested to prevent turbo charger premature early failure.
There are additional lines under the alternator which should be also inspected with a fiber optic camera to ensure system reliability and performance in the long term.
A picture is worth a thousand words they say, judge it by yourself.
A car engine that burns oil not only wastes oil, but can damage spark plugs, which will end up in ignition system problem (engine misfire). Sooner or later it will affect the catalytic converter. Oil burning can and will also cause higher emissions, resulting in failed emissions tests due to excess hydrocarbon production.
All cars consume oil, at different rates depending on the engine model, driving patterns, engine load, maintenance history, age of the engine, driven km, motor oil quality, etc.
But excessive engine oil consumption should be taken seriously. If you know your car engine burns too much oil, get the problem diagnosed, before it cause some serious and costly damage.
On occasion could be a simple fix to the problem perhaps a damaged, aged gasket. However there are a few things you should know as follows.
The modern engines of late went thru some serious diet to increase horsepower and to reduce fuel consumption.
The law of physics has not changed, skinny piston rings and valve stems has one thing in common they reduce friction and fail to seal properly in the internal combustion engines of late.
Take a look at to the next photos, to see the differences. Click on the thumbnail to view bigger images.
Today most of the engines are turbo charged for efficiency reasons, in particular to reduce pumping losses. Turbo charging will increase the thermal heat load on the internal components. Once you got thin parts with double the heat exerted on them, equates to baked valve seals, clogged oil scraping rings with clogged piston oil drain holes.
The efficiency war on the internal combustion engines has produced some remarkable output at the expense of engine life and longevity.
For comparison see when I started working as a mechanic a 1.5 liter engine produced 74 horsepower on average. Today they can make as much as 230 horsepower in a moderate automobile.
As I said earlier the law of physics has not changed, the internal parts has been reduced to the bare minimum, so efficiency is the new magic word, unfortunately comes at the expense of reliability.
Take a look at to the photos at next and you will see the differences. Click on the thumbnail to view bigger images.
Internal combustion engine valves:
– 15 years ago
– 10 years ago
– and today
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
Telephone: (1) 905.795.0419
Proper maintenance, oil change in timely manner, with good quality approved by the manufacturer motor oil will extend engine life.
We often talk about poor quality maintenance where most emphasis put on either on price or lack of time, or both at the same time .
Worn Porsche Tire. Click on the thumbnail for bigger photo.
You can judge it by yourself, this poor Porsche has been badly neglected has been driven in with bold tires and a completely sucked in distorted poor quality oil filter. Probably the oil was also inferior quality as well.
Note! Brand name tires, include factory installed tire on brand new Porsche have built in tire wear indicators. They are molded into the bottom of the tread grooves and will appear as approximately 1/2 in. (12 mm) bands when the tire tread depth is down to 1/16 of an in (1.6 mm).
When the indicators appear in two or more adjacent grooves, it is time to replace the tires. We recommend, however, that you do not let the tires wear down to the extent that you can see on the above photo at top left.
Driving a high performance sport car, like a Porsche with worn tires, can result in loss of control of the vehicle and could cause serious personal injuries or death.
Collapsed Porsche Oil filter. Click on the thumbnail for bigger photo.
Porsche engineers a magnificent car, engineering excellence is built into every Porsche model, with thousands of finely tuned and intricate parts working in harmony, but they need regular maintenance like most other cars. When you invest in a fine tuned high tech sports car wouldn’t make sense to give it the best care possible, ensuring your initial investment will last years to come reliably?
The answer is clear, give it proper care by providing the best fuel, the best lubricant and German filters. Perform essential services on proven time and distance based by established specialist with the proper know how, as they were designed and intended by the respective manufacturers and engineers.
Cutting corners will result in costly repairs and random brake downs inadvertently at will.
Any questions? Give us a call: Telephone: (1) 905.795.0419
Never mind it has been deflated severely, and it has been completely ignored as the picture shows. Complete carcass failure is the result of zero care of this tire.
Tires are one of the most essential purchases you ever going to make for your car. Choose carefully, price and brand name usually provides an expected quality in most cases, in some instances this theory may not hold that well.
Tire care is essential if you don’t want to get stranded or towed.
Conventional radial tires are resilient to a point, except if they are under inflated. That will destroy the flexible frame of the tire, which depending on the material, perhaps made from nylon or steel or high performance applications Kevlar or any combination of the above.
Run flat tires are less prone to sudden tire failure due to stiffer sidewall construction, this is why more and more manufacturers choosing them on modern late model high end automobiles.
Never rely on visual inflation check on run flat tires, since they will not reveal if they are under inflated as usually clearly visible on conventional radial tires.
Tires should be regularly inspected and inflated cared for especially before and during the summer as heat generated by the tires friction with the hot road surface will highlight any flaws in the short term.
We recommend the best product in our experience for your fine automobile based on decades of experience and know how.
The above Yokohama Parada tire next to an entry level “budget” tire are the same in size, same width by the numbers, but as you can see they are not the same. Which tire give you more rubber for your money? Take a look at to the above photo and you decide.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
There are many things could go wrong on a high performance automobile.
Click on the image to view bigger photo.
Here is a perfect example of a Mercedes SL65 AMG broken engine mount, which is quiet common on this vehicle due to the powerful engine and the compact size of the engine mounts.
The driver side mount has been broken into two pieces, became two halves as the twin turbo V12 engine tore it into two under load .
These mounts are hydraulic fluid filled when new and will fail predictably after 5 years of driving.
Worth to note! They also collapse as they are being compressed by the large engine sitting on them for 24/7.
Driving or owning a high performance Mercedes and or any other high performance car, has its cost associated with it. This is one of them and needles to say it’s very important to have this fine pieces of engineering being inspected and maintained by qualified senior technicians regularly.
Knowing what to look for on this special build cars is half of the battle as decades of experience working on this cars reveals the known issues with them.
This is ever more important to find a real specialist where the decades of expertise will pay off instantly.
Another view of broken SL65 AMG Mercedes engine mount at left .Click on the thumbnail to view bigger photo.
This is a perfect example of issues caught in time before the monster engine would tore into pricey components and in turn perhaps destroy the hood and everything in it’s way in the engine bay if driven spiritedly.
We also replaced the active body control hydraulic lines as well at the same time and naturally performed a 4 wheel alignment when all has been put back together.
Let’s not forget, the 2 front ABC struts has been renewed, the ABC filter and fluid has been refreshed, so it will be ready for the oncoming driving season.
The Achilles heel of the 911-996 engine in this case a Carrera work in progress.
How do you know if your Porsche needs an IMS bearing replacement?
When you hear weird noises on a 996 engine it may be the dreaded IMS bearing, which supports the intermediate shaft on the flywheel end of the motor, (IMS stands for intermediate shaft ). The noise is perhaps letting you know, the bearing should be replaced.
This is the right way to do it, placed on the engine table, all easily accessible kept tidy and clean to achieve the best results.
Click on the thumbnail to view bigger photo.
Naturally installed bearing is the new LN engineering, improved dual row ceramic bearing, which should be a lot more reliable than the original bearing from the manufacturer.
This could be a life saving procedure for this engine as the bearing is in a difficult place and hard to get access to. Following the proper procedure is essential to have the bearing last for years to come.
If you own a late model Mercedes ML-GL-R class, side detection warning malfunction might happen as a result of prematurely corroded sensors.
Random warnings going off and having a “ghost”in your Mercedes. You may have this sensors severely corroded, and the corroded sensor can cause all sorts of electrical issues.
For example random no start issue, this could be your car actual problem. The corroded sensors clearly visible on the photos at next. The sensors are literally rotten away. Hard to believe these sensors are only 2 years old.
Click on the thumbnail to view bigger photos.
I don’t think we need to say more, salt and salt brine will cause havoc with this radar sensors. It’s clearly a design flaw.
Perhaps plenty of car washes will help in the winter to reduce the radar sensors to be corroded prematurely.
A BMW 3 series became the home of the squirrels’ food stash, for one it is a fire hazard 2 it may destroy the belt and perhaps could cause permanent engine damage if not caught early enough .
Sometime it is worth to not to take our cars for granted and open the hood and take a quick peak under just to see if all is well.
The owner of this vehicle had no idea that he’s beloved BMW became a food stash for the local squirrels. We had to lower the lower engine cover to remove about half a bucket of pine cones. Lucky the little guy wasn’t there anymore.
As you can see, there was more pine cones also under the intake manifold. After there were no more room at the front of the engine, this little squirrel kept on going and stored more pine cones under the manifold. Piling them away wherever there was any void, in this case under the intake manifold.
Once again, its worth to open the hood every now and then and take a look at under it, just to see if all is well.
If you have any related question, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Attila Jasszai President of Techmax Auto Repair Inc
What can I do to ensure the longevity of my vehicle’s engine in my BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche?
Maintenance is a key factor in ensuring longevity of a vehicle and its engine. Let’s start with oil changes and what could possibly go wrong with going to a quick lube place.
By simply looking at the quality of oil filters used at some places, we can see a lot can go wrong. Oil filters have serious effects on the health and performance of most modern-day engines.
Most newer engines, take BMW for instance, use a variable oil pressure feed system. This essentially means the volume of oil pump output has been reduced to increase in efficiency which is dependent on the specific engine speed at all times.
Having the wrong oil filter will change the engineered output of the oil pump therefore shortening the lifespan of the engine because its mechanical components are exposed to friction and will degrade overtime.
After market Mercedes oil filter next to an original Mercedes oil filter.
Furthermore, we have found the oil filter cap has been reinstalled incorrectly and this can have a detrimental effect on the internal engine components. In particular, we have noticed the cage retaining the filter has been disposed off likely because it is quite difficult to remove the filter from this cage and will easily detach if it is pulled hard enough. This will cause numerous lubrication issues and essentially destroys the internal mechanical components of the engine.
Needless to say the type and quality of the motor oil is just as important as the oil filter. The oil is an important component of modern engines and many manufacturers will involve specific oil from leading oil companies that they have tested and chosen to optimize the life, performance, and efficiency of the engine.
It is worth noting that most manufacturers have specific numbers and grades issued by their engineers for the motor oils that should be used in their vehicles. These numbers and grades were chosen by the engineers to optimize the intended efficiency targets.
Each manufacturer will have their own grades and numbers, BMW for example, these numbers and grades can look like LL01, LL04, LL14FE, in Mercedes-Benz they look like this 229.31, 229.5, 229.51 and 229.52, and in Porsche they can appear like A040. According to ACEA, each standard has its own designation and composition certified by their manufacturers.
Modern-day engines are fragile but a marvel of engineering, requiring specific lubricants and filters best suited to the ideal performance of each individual vehicle.
With proper care and maintenance vehicles and their engines can last for considerable distances.
We hope this helps in the long run.
Continuing to look at examples of improper oil changes and use of oil filters, we can see in the photo below the difference between a generic BMW oil filter (left) and an original German Mann & Hummel filter (right).
The generic filter has collapsed, and the paper media has separated from the casing showing the subpar quality of this filter in comparison the original filters we use. The paper media in the generic filter is so thin that the light shines right through it.
This particular engine, 2014 N55 twin turbo, needed a replacement engine which only further substantiates the importance of using the correct oil filter.
Take a look at to the next oil filters. Click on the thumbnail to see bigger photo.
Clogged filter in the middle 1st picture.
On the 2nd picture, the filter with cage detached and cap with missing cage beside it to the left.
The 3rd is cheap aftermarket filter collection and a proper BMW oil filter cap intact beside to the left.
On the 4th photo is a BMW oil filter cap without its cage detached to the left and proper to the right.