2013 BMW X3 Timing Chain Issue

Here is a perfect example of how to fix a serious problem with a little cleverness.

A 2013 BMW – X3  came in the shop today, with the usual timing chain issue. The engine stopped due to the timing chain literally jumping over as the guides shared off from the chain rattling around loose already.

Unfortunately the center guide rail got jammed between the loose chain and a broken guide piece breaking the upper support of the chain guide which is part of the camshaft journal and not sold separately.  In fact it is part of the cylinder head so replacing it would require a another cylinder head to resolve.

We decided it would be just as good of a solution to weld the broken piece by a professional welder and I made an additional stainless piece to give it extra strength so this would never break ever again.

We could have said to this client sorry not much we can do in here, other than replace the cylinder head.

However we found  a solution, this is what we are good at trying to find an affordable and reliable solution to the problem at hand.

The red arrow on the top, bigger photo is pointing to the broken camshaft journal end. On the other pictures it has been weld and reinforced.


Any questions how may we help? Call us. Telephone: 905.795.0419


The Famous N20 Engine Timing Chain Issue

Shop Closure Due to COVID-19

Dear Clients,

Due to Peel Region Health Department’s initiative, because of COVID-19 pandemic, we need to temporary close our shop, until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenience.

You can reach us by e mail at techmaxauto @ gmail.com or techmaxauto @ techmax.ca or techmaxauto @ hotmail.com. As an alternative, you can contact us via our Facebook.  We will try our best to answer your questions and concerns.

We will update you with the latest info, as soon as we know more.

Thank you for your support appreciate your business. We wish you and your family and friends all the best. Stay safe.  We are here to help as much as we possibly can to get thru the epidemic together.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

Attila Jaszai
Techmax Auto Repair Inc.
1011 Meyerside Dr.#9

Self driving cars bandwagon

For starters let me say, I love technology and progress in general. I lived thru some drastic changes since I started working on cars, officially since 1976.

We are on the verge of a major shift and change of the electrification of the automobile. Just to clarify things, I have been driving hybrids for over 8 years now and the progress is or has been amazing. There are a lots of incredible achievement in most cars, except we are reaching a disturbing trend by stuffing modern cars full of electronics, and high tech sensors for the sake of minor improvements. We have this gigantic hype called self driving cars in general.

We already have ADAS (automated driver assistance system) except it’s like a run away train. The cost of servicing or repairing this fragile systems is completely out of hand or reality.

Did you know, if your car has ADAS system, then in the event you have to remove your bumper or your mirrors or anything within the system it must go thru a costly system calibration? In the event you nudge the front of your car on a snow bank or anything else, the system must be calibrated again or you will have the annoying warning on your dash.

I have seen an invoice for a Porsche Macan after an accident, alignment with ADAS calibration at 900 dollars. So how much are you willing to sacrifice for your assisted driving, is the real question.

Mercedes S550 LED headlightClick on the thumbnail to view bigger photo.

Let’s start with the evolution of headlights for comparison sake. The halogen light bulb used to be say 10 dollars H4, then we went to high pressure H7 bulbs 15 dollars. Next step was the HID system, which uses a special high voltage bulb with mercury salt, has been say 140 dollars. Additionally there is a module which may cost 500 to 1200 dollars, plus in all the German made cars, there is a mandatory self levelling light system on top.

Now we progressed to LED headlights, which theoretically should need no parts, except when thinks go wrong. We just had a relatively late model Mercedes, S550, 2015 with the headlight on one side dropping out at randomly. It needed 2 modules, approximately 1200 dollars, but to get to the headlights, you need to remove the front bumper, the front grill, the inner fender linings, and a lot of components. Check the photos out at next.

Head Lights Replacement on Mercedes Benz S550

Mercedes headlight repair

Let say you damage any of those high tech headlights, you can buy them for 3450 dollars each + the modules for 1200 dollars on top plus installation that is per side.

Electrical work on BenzClick on the thumbnail to view bigger photo.

Let me elaborate a little further, in order to install those modules you must have the proper diagnostic equipment, so you can scan the QR code on the headlight and then you can download the proper coding for that particular headlight into the diagnostic equipment and run system calibration. Then the lights will finally light up and work again.

Today’s modern cars run a hundred million lines of codes to be able to interact with the driver behind the scenes. We are just about add a tenfold increase of electronics to this already super complex vehicles at what cost, may I ask?

Did anyone ever asked, how and whom is going to pay when things go wrong? I just thinking, when we went from a 15 dollar light bulb to the LED lights, what was the percentage of the real improvement? Like 40 or 50 percent better or say 80 percent better, at what cost?

I’m afraid, we are jumping on the self driving car bandwagon, what will it cost to have this fully automated sensor and specialty camera loaded cars to fix if things go wrong?

We should perhaps slow down and ask some serious questions.

Any questions, how may we help? Telephone: 905.795.0419


Information and the key features of our services and programs. Type of service that we offer to maintain, repair your European import car. Check it out.

My car’s engine burns a lot of oil

We often get the question why is my car burning so much oil? The answer lies in the details, for instance we have here 3 different pistons from 3 different era. They are about a decade apart from each other. Take a close look at the oil rings on the pistons. The first one is the thickest at 3.98 mm, this one is the oldest piston. The next at the middle from a MINI, it is a little thinner.  The last one is the dirty looking one, which is covered in carbon at 1.98 mm and appears to be super thin.

BMW pistonsInternal Combustion Engine Pistons

That dirty looking piston with the super thin piston rings on it  from a 2013 BMW 328xi with the N20 engine. Why is it so thin you may ask?

The #1 reason  is to reduce friction and increase the fuel economy which has been legislated and called the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy in short CAFE). The manufacturers must comply with a mandated fuel economy which is for stage 1 we already passed in 2016 and the next stage is set for 2025. Today ICE (internal combustion engines in short) must leave up to strict fuel and emission standards, doing so the manufacturers are looking to maximize the ICE fuel economy by the means of minimizing the energy required to move the internal components.

This a phenomenon on all late model modern engines, so what can be done about it?

You as a consumer must stay on top of things for instance follow a schedule for your oil service based on your driving habits. Choose a knowledgeable service facility to help you reduce your engines oil consumption by using the best possible high tech motor oil for the application, this should be determined by experience not by convenience.

You also need to remember, to make your engine last, you must have it running at least half an hour to 45 minutes to be able to get the oil circulation heat up and perform a self clean internally. The low tension skinny piston rings will allow more water to condense into the motor oil, which will be accelerating the internal engine wear prematurely.

Internal combustion engine pistonsClick on the thumbnail to view bigger photo or visit our Facebook for more photos and information on BMW N20 engine issue.

How does it work? This is the chemistry, which makes your engine tick HC, (hydrocarbon) fuel when burns in the combustion chamber with O/2 (oxygen). It will create a by product H2O (water) that water or steam is visible in cold start say in -10C or bellow. That steam or water vapour is always present at all the time so some will pass by the skinny rings and will condense into the motor oil.

This has 2 effects, one it will dilute the motor oil, 2 it will sink to the bottom of the oil pan if the engine runs extremely short distances. This acidic water will sink to the bottom of the oil sump and at next cold start the engine will get water pumped to it’s internal components instead of motor oil, as we all know water is a terrible lubricant. The only solution, especially on the German vehicles, the operator, driver must heat up the oil extensively so the crankcase ventilation system can handle the excess water which gets vaporized and get send back into the engine combustion chamber and will be expelled in the process.

So in short as the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you will loose it. Perhaps should rephrase it, if you don’t use it long enough you may loose it a lot earlier stage than you should be, is the ultimate motto for this.

Any questions how may we help? Give us a call to: 905.795.0419!


Recommended synthetics motor oils for BMW

The Famous N20 Engine Timing Chain Issue

The weakest link on the BMW N20 engine is a common timing chain failure, due to the guides breaking from the chain oscillations. The timing chain in most cases will rattle, oscillate wildly and in the process will break pieces off the chain guide, which will get picked up or sucked up by the oil pump which destroys the engine suddenly in the process.

The broken guide pieces may block the entire pick up screen for the engine oil pump which will seize or destroy the engine components, due to sudden lack of lubrication.

The real cause in my opinion is the ECO mode which is the default mode in the transmission after every single start of the vehicle. The chain oscillations are caused by the transmission selecting the highest possible gear with the lowest possible engine rpm to maximize the efficiency of the engine as it has been mandated by the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy in short). We had the first stage of the CAFE mandated for 2016 the next stage is proposed for 2025. The real issue at hand unfortunately is the 8 speed automatic transmission, which is programmed to provide the best possible gas mileage, which in this case is counterproductive as it will lag the engine at very low rpm to minimize fuel consumption and to maximize the efficiency of the engine.

BMW N20 engine repair because of timing chain failure.

BMW N20 engine repair

The N20 will fire at every half turn which is 180- degrees this will (two full turns equates to 720 degrees for all the 4 cylinders to be fired) which is problematic for the single row timing chain. I can tell you from the past, the last generation 4 cylinder sold in this part of the world was the M44 (before was the M42) which had a dual row chain to prevent this issue to happen.  So why did they switch to a single row timing chain system you may ask?

This is all done to maximize efficiency and to reduce the internal drag of the engine and it’s components.   Back then there was no CAFE standards, manufacturers were left to build whatever they deemed fit for the purpose.

This cars are equipped with a standard transmission in Germany, so they will get a work out when they are driven to the Autobahn. In North America every one of these cars are equipped with an 8 speed automatic transmission.

How can you prevent this problem? We recommend to flip your selector to sport mode after start and don’t be afraid to give your engine a work out, after all it was built for the Autobahn.  You can switch back to ECO mode to reduce the fuel consumption, when you drive on the highway at higher speed.

Click on the thumbnail to view bigger photo. Used your browser back button or the link under the photo to  return to this page.

This cars are meant to be driven spiritedly on the Autobahn. This doesn’t mean you have to drive it all the time as a maniac, it means keep the rpm at least medium or higher much as you can.  Naturally always use proper oil and filter, at more frequent intervals, than recommended by the manufacturer. You won’t believe how many inferior oil filters we find and replace on this cars where they got some cheap inferior filters installed elsewhere.

In case you are interested in a ECO car you may want to consider an i3 or other hybrids, perhaps a hybrid BMW and or a Prius.

You also should have your vehicle serviced by a specialist, a BMW technician, so we can give you an early warning which may prevent permanent engine damage. There are tell-tale signs of this issue for a trained seasoned BMW technician, this is what we are good at. We’re working on European cars since 1976.

Any questions, how may we help? Give us a call to: 905.795.0419!


A perfect example of a BMW N20 engine failure because of timing chain issue.


Today’s Modern European Cars Engine

Today we live in sensitive times, environmentally sensitive times, so modern engines from their respective manufacturers are rather complicated as they are squeezed from every direction.

The result of that the modern ICE (internal combustion engine) is shrinking in an alarming but progressive way over the years. We have seen the ploriferance of unusual and rather complicated systems as we are trying to squeeze every fuel molecule to burn more cleanly and provide more energy in the process.

The problem with all of this technological marvel’s of engineering, they are rather fragile and you need a plethora of special tools, plus dedicated and well-educated technicians whom are versed on this complex systems.

We at Techmax invest heavily on the technical know how and special tools to be able to fix some rather complex problems.

Here at down below are some pictures to attest to that. 2015 Mini Cooper Vanos (variable camshaft adjuster in German) issues which requires a jig to time the engine and some finesse to fix the problem at hand.

Then another complicated 2011 BMW N55 engine issue has been the valvetronic system failure, which in turn damaged the engine computer in the process by overloading the electrical system. Took some effort to correct the issue at hand but be assured it works as intended from here on.

I just wanted to show you a few examples why do you need a specialist in today’s complicated ICE engines and electronic systems.

The first photo is a  2011 BMW N55 damaged engine computer, the other tree is 2015 Mini Cooper three cylinder engine and its camshaft adjuster.

Click on any of the next images to view in bigger.

Mini B38 Vanos adjuster failure causing multiple cylinder misfires in all cylinders. The engine under “surgery” with special jigs to be timed up to secure the timing chain.

Any questions, how may we help? Call us at  905.795.0419!



The Dangers of Worn Tires

Every year we go through the change of the seasons, none of them more dramatic than fall to winter. There are a number of things to do, perhaps nothing more urgent than replacing your worn tires, weak battery and last but not least your wiper blades with some quality components.

Driving around on all season or worn winter tires at winter time has their consequences. In slippery snow or on an icy road the choices you make, might have more expensive, longer lasting and yes, sometimes fatal consequences.

I made the next pictures, after the recent snowstorm a few days ago where the driver tried to get around on worn tires, probably also going too fast as well.

Click on any of the next images to view in bigger.

worn all season tireDrive on worn all-season tire at winter time is suicide.

If you thought you can “fly” around town with worn out “all season ” tires here is the result of that. Pretty much a disaster so to say. The entire right front suspension is torn apart.

The cost of a set, new budget winter tires are $800.00,  the cost of destroying this car, which was a perfectly functioning car about $8 thousand. This car is a total write off, meaning the repair would exceed the value of the vehicle.  I think it’s not hard to decide which one makes more sense.

Broken Suspension AssemblyBroken suspension assembly from the same car as above.

On the photo at left is a broken suspension assembly, due to going way too fast and running over the curb which broke the suspension assembly entirely.

Worn winter tires are dangerous, worn all-season tires are lethal, when your car become a nearly 2 ton unwilling projectile in foul weather. So make wise choices your decisions will have long-lasting effects in either direction. Here are some more pictures to show you the effects of a wrong decision.

Click on any of the next images to view in bigger


How to keep your car’s battery in top working condition?

Time to Think About Winter Tires Again

Click on any of the next image to view bigger.

Car dore handleFrozen Door Knob

When your car’s temperature gauge shows  -12C outside, like at above, and your door’s knob looks deeply frozen, like the one at left, than just like in footwear you have to switch from flip flops to winter shoes, just makes sense.

When it comes to winter tires they are more less all black and round; So which will suit you your car and your driving habits the best?

Well, you need someone with decades of driving experience, who tried all and can provide you with an unbiased opinion.  Always pay close attention to  the details and the manufacturers recommend load and speed rating.   Alloys must be EH2 approved to support run flat specific tires.

The rubber compound on winter tires is designed to stay soft and provide more grip in freezing temperatures.

tire groovesWinter Tire Grooves

The grooves and channels on winter tires are designed to push water out of the way to help stop you from hydroplaning. They keep your vehicle stable, and help you to stay in control.

One more thing, don’t forget to check your car’s battery and the wiper blades.

Ask us about our heated  tire’s storage. For more information please visit us on facebook.

Give us a call to: (1) 905.795.0419.


All weather, all-season or winter tire?

BMW 328-I Cooling System Failure.

Winter Tire Replacement

When you are in the rush to get your wheels replaced in a hurry, and if you go to the wrong place, you may end up with all sorts of problems just like on the picture.

A gentleman wanted to have his car tires replaced in a hurry and took it to a tire shop.  Unfortunately he’s Mcguard anti theft wheel locks stripped by using the air gun to remove it. So the person trying to remove it, figured let’s hammer a long socket on to dislodge the stuck wheel lock.

Well as the picture can attest to it, that didn’t work out as intended. Indeed, the cheap Chinese socket shattered and got jammed between the alloy rim and the wheel lock bolt still remaining on the wheel.

Click on the image to view it bigger.

anti theft wheel lock

Looking at it, he probably tried to extract it but now the long socket firmly jammed on and dug into the alloy rim as well.

So what does he do? Instead of coming up with a solution, he decided to park the car outside and release the vehicle. Keep in mind this late in the day, so by the client went to pick his car up, it was pitch dark, so he was not aware of the problem.

Long behold owner drove home, and next day this problem ended up with us to be resolved. Needless to say this is completely unacceptable to release a vehicle with this socket protruding out of the wheel and spinning at high speed which could literally kill someone if it would have dislodged by the rotating bouncing wheel on the road.

Buyers beware, in your rush and effort trying to get the cheapest alternative, you may end up with something like this. Bargain hunting on essential safety items has its consequences. You get what you pay for. This is a perfect example for having unqualified persons working on your car to cut cost.

Naturally we took care of this problem.  I had to weld the socket together while it was stuck on the bolt and weld a nut to it and applied a puller to extract it.

We understand, everyone wants to get their car taken care of as fast as they can especially in the winter.

I share this with you so others learn from this drivers experience. Any questions, how may we help? Give us a call to: (1) 905.795.0419.


Replica Wheels and Tires for BMW & Mercedes

Get Your BMW and Mercedes Benz Winter Ready

Winter is a tad early this year, the common sense dictates that to have your car meticulously prepared for the harsh climate.

Number one is check your battery state of charge and age, anything older than 5 years is on borrowed time for a standard lead acid battery. For the best results we prefer genuine quality batteries from BMW and Mercedes Benz. Nothing is more annoying when your car won’t start due to cheap lousy quality battery.  Agreed? If your car won’t start when needed no other preparation would mean anything.

To prevent breakdown and keep you on the road safely, we use Midtronincs GR8-1200 Electrical System Tester – Analyzer to check, test your battery and your automobile electrical system. Read more about battery testing…

Tires would be the next item on the check list, preferably winter tires for the season. Just like you use the appropriate foot wear, same goes for your car. I assume you don’t wear flip-flops in the winter. Correct? Worn tires regardless of season are useless when the going gets tough.

The next item should be wiper blades, light bulbs for safety’s sake. Remember, you get out of your ride, what you put into it, just make sense.

Naturally any cooling system issues will have negative consequences as the interior heat is heavily dependent on proper system operations, same goes for the blower motor. If your blower motor makes funny noises chirping and so forth, now is the time to replace it, not when it failed completely and you can’t see out on your iced and fogged up windshield.

Do you have any questions, how may we help? Give us a call to: (1) 905.795.0419.


More information on our  winter service.