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CVT Transmission Failure

MINI Cooper CVT Transmission Failure
 
A common problem that a lot of 2002-2006 MINI Cooper owners have experienced is a failed CVT transmission, even with considerably low mileage. CVT transmission stands for Continuous Variable Transmission which is an automatic transmission that can seamlessly change through different gear ratios. Owners may experience a slipping transmission, a transmission that will only shift in to the following gear at extremely high rpm’s, or the transmission will not engage at all.. These are just a few examples that a driver would experience when a CVT transmission is starting to fail.
 
Several years ago there was a class action law suit brought against BMW (MINI parent company) for these notoriously bad transmissions, and MINI was forced to repair or replace these transmissions under warranty. The recall to replace these transmissions under warranty expired in 2014, so unfortunately for owner’s of older Mini Coopers who are on the hook for the repair cost if they fail.
 
There are many problems that the CVT can have including the belt breaking, the seals going bad internally, or the Pulse-Width Modulated solenoids on the valve body can go bad. The transmission needs to inspected and diagnosed by one of our professional technicians at Haus Of Minis & BMW to determine if the transmission is actually bad and needs to be replaced. CVT transmissions are very hard to rebuild, and there are very few shops that even attempt to rebuild them, and the ones that do have a very low success rate. The best long term option is to replace it with a new one from the dealer, but this is costly and can exceed the value of the car.
 
It is very important to change transmission fluid exchange every 30,000 miles as MINI recommends to help prevent these issues.                      
It does not hurt to do them even more frequently than the 30,000 mile interval just to be safe
 
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or would like a free inspection on your vehicle please call your MINI experts at Haus Of Minis & BMW at (855)572-6464 (MINI). 
 

CVT Transmission

Checking Your Vital Fluids

Checking Your Vital Fluids

To ensure your car is running smoothly in between maintenance intervals, the easiest thing you can do is check your vital fluids to make sure everything under the hood is healthy and at the proper level. The top fluids you should check in your BMW or MINI are; Engine Oil, Transmission Fluid, Coolant/Antifreeze, Brake Fluid, and Power Steering Fluid. You can always stop by The Haus to have one of our certified technicians check, and top off your fluids FREE of charge.

Checking Engine Oil

In most vehicles, you need to open your hood, find the dipstick pull it out and wipe it down. Repeat that process again and you will know if the engine oil level is correct. Some vehicles tend to burn oil faster (turbo charged engines especially) than normally aspirated engines. Some BMW cars do not have a dipstick and require connecting to the car computer, which may require you stop by The Haus and have one of our certified technicians check it for you. We recommend that you replace the engine oil every 6 months or 5,000 miles whichever comes first, this will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in long term repair costs and a lot of heartache.

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Transmission Fluid

You should check your transmission fluid on your BMW or MINI (if possible) on a monthly basis, because it is was keeps the gears on your vehicle moving smoothly. You can check your transmission fluid the same way as your engine oil. On older vehicles there will be a dipstick for the transmission fluid, make sure the vehicle is running so you can get an accurate reading. Transmission fluid should be red and should not smell burnt. If the transmission fluid is low, dark, or smells burnt please contact us for a free inspection. As with the engine oil some vehicles are not equipped with a transmission fluid dipstick, and require help from a technician.

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Coolant Level

This fluid is also extremely important because it’s what keeps your BMW or MINI from overheating. Coolant is also known as Antifreeze, without this fluid your car will over heat and in cold climates the cooling system would freeze. You can check this fluid by opening the cap on the radiator or expansion tank. NEVER check if the car is running or is still warm. Once open you should see fluid go up to certain line that you can see inside. If it is low make sure you fill up with the same exact type of fluid. If you are not sure what type of coolant is right for your vehicle, or it is not available, just add water so you do not intermix fluids and contaminate your cooling system. You should check this fluid twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. It is recommended that you replace coolant/anti-freeze every 2-3 years (see your owners’ manual).

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Brake Fluid

Checking your brake fluid to make sure the fluid is clean is very important. The fluid should never be low. If you ever feel like the brakes are not working properly checking your brake fluid should be the first priority. You can locate where the brake fluid reservoir is in the manual, typically it is on the driver’s side near the firewall. The fluid should be a golden-honey color, if it is turning brown or black it is time to change the brake fluid. It is recommended by the BMW factory to replace brake fluid every 2 years.

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Power Steering Fluid

When you start to hear some creaking noises coming from the steering wheel area you may be low on power steering fluid. Open the hood of your BMW and locate the reservoir. If you happen to notice that the power steering fluid is low there could be a possible leak. You should check this fluid monthly and should be replaced every 50,000 miles a preventive maintenance.

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Please schedule an appointment at The Haus for a free fluid level check-up and 32 point inspection by one of our factory trained technicians.

Call (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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BMW Brake Systems

Brakes are one of the most vital systems in any vehicle that we rely on again and again. When your foot applies pressure on the brake pedal, the brake pads make contact with the brake disc as it makes the vehicle come to a complete stop. The goal is to optimize the balance of deceleration behavior, wear and comfort, while maximizing safe operation of the vehicle.

There are various causes that can trigger brake noise in any BMW vehicle such as; driving style, environmental condition (hot/cold weather climates), and prior wear to the brake pads. Extreme temperature (IE summer in Phoenix, AZ or winter in New York) can change the material properties of the brake pads and any lubricant materials, causing noise that will usually go away when temperatures return to normal. The noise is produced by a vibration of brake components. The vibration can build up a resonance which becomes an audible brake squeal. Noise and vibration may occur with increasing wear.

Grooves on the brake disc can occur over a period of time due to material deposits, road debris, contamination and corrosion. The grooves will not affect the brakes functionality. Having your vehicle checked by a BMW certified technician will help to determine if action is required due to groove depth. Average aging and mileage related wear to brakes and discs results in material and dimension changes.

Another key factor in brake noise can come from suspension components and wheel bearings can cause noise when braking and should be check by a certified BMW technician. Corrosion and discoloration on brake discs may happen in moderation during the life of the discs. Slight to moderate corrosion is normal and will not affect the reliability of the brake system. Light surface corrosion on the brake discs may occur with normal brake usage. Extremely strong corrosion can take significantly longer to be cleaned off, usually leads to significant noise when braking and should be replaced.

For new vehicles the break in period for brake pads to get optimal performance is usually within 125-150 miles, but this all depends on the individual driving style.  Applying the brakes gently is a key process within the first 150 miles of use.

If your looking to service your BMW Brakes in Los Angeles, Call us today to schedule a free inspection: (855) 572-6464

Brake

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

Auto Body & Collision Repair

Haus of Minis is a full service, collision, auto body repair, detailing, and automotive repair facility located in Sherman Oaks, CA. Bring your Mini Cooper or BMW in today to receive a FREE estimate. We work with every major insurance company and we ensure that your vehicle is repaired to back to factory specifications.

 

Our services include:

Mechanical Repair

Automotive Paint & Body

Bumper Repair & Re-paint

Paintless Dent Removal

Headlight Restoration

Wheel Repair

 

Please see any of our professional staff at Haus of Minis & BMW to assist you with your insurance company.

We service all of  Los Angeles County, including Culver City, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Burbank, North Hollywood, Los Feliz, Downtown Los Angeles, West LA.

Please give us a call today (855) 572-6464 (MINI) if you have any questions or to book an appointment for estimate.

Pre-Purchase Inspections For Used Vehicles

At Haus of Minis & BMW we get 5-10 calls per month from current and future clients that are interested in purchasing a pre-owned BMW or MINI. They always ask us what some of the common issues are that we see from the specific model they are interested in buying.

We are happy to assist the customer with clarifying any unforeseen issue that could arise at a later date. It is always beneficial to the person purchasing the vehicle to have it inspected before making the decision to buy it. The number one reason for getting a pre-purchase inspection is that the car may look good cosmetically, but under the hood may need expensive mechanical repairs that are not visible to the untrained eye. During the pre-purchase inspection our certified technicians will raise the vehicle in the air and perform a rigorous 32 point visual inspection so there are no surprises. Another benefit of the inspection is that if deficiencies are found the repairs can be negotiated in to the sale price.There is nothing worse than purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, only to find out later it needs thousands of dollars in repairs that the previous owner did not disclose.

We offer this inspection FREE of charge and it can be done in about 30 minutes while you wait in our comfortable waiting room.

The general inspection includes the following:

Interior (Rips and tears and that all components function properly)

Exterior (Inspect for previous collision damage & corrosion)

Lights (Interior & exterior)

Wiper Blades

Drivability

Hoses

Belts

Battery

Water Pump

Engine & Cabin Air Filters

Air Conditioning

Engine Oil Level

Transmission Fluid

Coolant

Brake Fluid

Power steering Fluid

Washer Fluid

Differential Fluid

Transfer Case Fluid

Fluid Leaks

Tire Condition

Front Brakes

Rear Brakes

C.V. Boots

Exhaust System

Front Suspension

Rear Suspension

Clutch

 

If you or someone you know is considering purchasing a used Mini Cooper or BMW please feel free to give us a call to have your vehicle inspected today by one of our master certified technicians. No appointment is necessary but it is advised, Call 855-572-6464 (MINI) to schedule.

Performing vehicle inspection
Performing vehicle inspection

Offer expires 01/31/2016

Common repairs for 6 series BMW

Every car nut guy always has dreams of owning and driving the most exotic cars in the world, and then you have guys that simply are content driving whatever as long as it has 4 wheels. In the past several months I have avidly been looking into purchasing a 6 series BMW. There have been several 6 series that have come into Haus of Minis & BMW and the owners have been thrilled thus far with their purchase or simply want to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

After a lot of research on later model 6 series BMW’s we have come to the conclusion that purchasing a slightly newer 650i with an extended warranty is your best option. Reading quite a few articles on 2005-2007 645c and 650i there seems to be a few common issues with these vehicles. The problem areas on these vehicles can include replacing the timing cover gasket. This is a costly repair item due to the fact that there are three timing cover gaskets, one of which requires the engine to be removed in order to change.

The battery and alternator seem to be chronic issue as the vehicles electric system requires the battery and alternator to be in mint condition otherwise it can/will eventually create random error codes.

There is also the infamous alternator bracket oil leak. For some strange reason BMW thought is was a good idea to put a hole in the engine (for no reason) that literally requires a $5.00 gasket, but requires about 8-10 hours labor to replace due to the amount of components that need to be removed to access the gasket. If you purchased a 2004-2009 BMW with an 8 cylinder engine and just found out the dealership wants between $1800-$2200 to change this gasket you would not be very happy! This along with the valve stem seals (oil smoke) and carbon build up issue is part of the reason that a car that sold for nearly $100,000.00 a few years ago can now be purchased for under $20,000.00

Another common issue in the 6 series and almost every model V8 BMW is the expanding coolant pipe that is known to leak severely. This problem is very common on high mileage vehicles between 75,000 and 100,000 miles. There are aftermarket replacements that are made of different material than the stock part, which guarantees the repair will last longer than the original.

The 6 series vehicles that we have come across at Haus of Minis & BMW have either been problematic or no problems at all. These cars are hit or miss, you either got a good one or a bad one.

Other than the poor gas mileage and the constant buying of rear tires, these can still be enjoyable cars to own, but please get your future 6 series inspected by a certified BMW technician before committing to this beautiful vehicle.

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.

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