Monday, April 30, 2012

Maintenance of Your Manual Transmission

A manual transmission probably made your car less expensive to purchase, if you bought it new, and it will likely cost less to repair. But if you keep it working properly, you won't need to worry about a lot of repairs. Don't wait until it's getting more difficult to shift. Have routine maintenance work done on your transmission so that your mechanic can catch issues before they become bigger problems.

The problems that develop with manual transmissions may involve anything from a clutch going out to a pin missing, which allows the transmission to become misaligned. If your mechanic replaces your clutch, he will clean the pressure plate and flywheel to ensure that there is no oil on these surfaces.

Your mechanic should also check the pilot bearing and the throw-out bearing, to make sure that they haven't become too worn to operate effectively. The throw-out bearing's inside collar can also become scored.

When you have your transmission inspected and maintained, your mechanic will check the hardware to make sure there isn't any excessive wear. Parts that need to be replaced will be replaced with high-performance parts. Your mechanic may test drive your car if you believe you have transmission problems. He will check the transmission and related parts that might also give you signs like those of a transmission going out.

Any time you have your transmission serviced, your mechanic should enter into your vehicle's record any parts that were replaced, and any routine maintenance that is performed. Diagnostics are helpful, too, in determining if there are problems with your transmission.

Your mechanic may check different parts of your transmission, to make sure everything is working properly, even if you are not experiencing any problems. It's always a good idea to discover problems early, when they are less expensive to repair.

Your clutch uses friction changes to keep the torque transfer modulated, between your engine and your transmission. Because of this, they do develop wear, if you drive your car every day. A proper clutch, if the car is driven by a professional, may last over a hundred thousand miles. But downshifting abruptly, along with inherently weak clutches and drivers who are not experienced with manual transmissions, can lead to excess wear. The clutch may need to be replaced more often in these cars.

Your manual transmission is lubricated with engine or gear oil, and some cars will require this fluid to be changed as part of routine maintenance. It does not need to be replaced as often as the fluid in an automatic transmission, though. Some transmissions are advertised as never needing the gear oil changed, unless your mechanic has just fixed a leak or done some other work on the transmission.

Gear oil is treated with compounds that help to reduce wear on your transmission. These compounds can help in reducing the friction in the transmission, so that the parts will wear more evenly, and will not wear out as soon. Proper routine maintenance on your manual transmission will allow it to work without problems for a longer period of time, thus saving you repair dollars on your vehicle.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

MB-Reporter Matthew K. at the New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz Reporter Matthew K. reports from the New York Autoshow and presents some new models. The GL convinces with new assist systems and the GLK Facelift with a lot of novelties. Bigger, better, Mercedes-Benz - appropriate for the New York backdrop.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

4 Warning Signs That Your Clutch Needs Attention

Most drivers know how to operate the clutch on their vehicle, but it is surprising how many people do not understand how a clutch works. Sure, your mechanic knows everything there is to know about such as and having your car regularly serviced will generally avoid any problems.
But it does not hurt to know a little about the operation of your clutch so that you can be alerted to any warning signs and have your vehicle serviced before the damage becomes more severe.
A gearbox has two rotating shafts, one that is driven by a motor and the other that drives a separate device. The clutch connects the two shafts so they can spin at the same time and be coupled together. The clutch will also decouple the shafts and allow them to spin at different speeds.
In a motor vehicle, the clutch connects the shaft attached to your wheels and another which is connected to your engine. The faster your engine revs the more the adjustment needs to be made before it connects to your wheels as you engage a different gear.
Although the process is a little more complex than this simple explanation provides, you may now have a clearer picture of what is happening every time you change gears. It doesn't matter whether you drive a manual or an automatic car, the principle remains basically the same.
The clutch is therefore one of the most vital elements of your car's operation, so it is worthwhile learning what to look out for if your clutch needs attention. Here are four warning signs you should be aware of.
  • If you drive a manual car in a slowly moving traffic it is the temptation to write the clutch and only engage it to creep forward in small increments. Over a prolonged period of time this will wear the clutch plate and cause it to overheat. When this happens it will emit a burning smell similar to burnt toast, and occasionally smoke can be seen coming from beneath the car. This is a tell-tale sign that your clutch is being damaged and you will need to have it serviced as quickly as possible
  • A worn clutch will begin to slip. Slippage means that the gear will simply disengage when it is under a heavy load. If you find your vehicle slipping out of gear for no apparent reason, it means that your clutch is at the end of its life and will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
  • The slippage can also occur if oil leaks from the crankshaft onto the clutch plate. This will cause the clutch plate to slip and have a jerky operation or it can even slip out of gear completely. This may not indicate a clutch failure but it is certainly something that needs urgent attention.
  • Hydraulic linkages can also fail causing a loss of pressure that prevents the clutch from disengaging. Once again this may not be an indication of clutch failure but the leak will still need to be fixed.
As in most car maintenance matters, your mechanic is the one to turn to win clutch problems are indicated. These are simple tips will point you in the right direction.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

BMW M5. Airport test-drive.

This is just a short BMW M5 teaser to make you smile for this weekend.
We took these shots on an airport near the Nürburgring, Germany.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Acoustic Innovation: e-sound by Audi

Audi's future e-tron models will cover long distances powered by practically silent electric motors. To ensure that pedestrians in urban settings will hear them, the brand has developed a synthetic solution: Audi e-sound.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Preventative Maintenance - Get Your Car Ready for Summer

The start of summer is an exciting time, where you plan family vacations, and all sorts of great activities. Having to shell out a whole bunch of money at one time to get your car ready for summer can put a damper on this. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your pocketbook is practice preventative maintenance. The following are some preventative maintenance tips to help get your car ready for summer:

1. Keep the battery clean: changes in temperature can put a stress on many parts of your car, including your battery. If you want your car to be ready for summer, then make sure your battery is clean. Regularly clean the posts, and make sure the batter itself is clean, and not cracked or bulging anywhere.

2. Check tire pressure regularly: The change of temperature can cause your tires to be improperly inflated. If you want to keep your car in good condition, and have it ready for summer, without having to replace all of your tires due to uneven wear, make sure you check your tire pressure regularly. Buy a tire pressure gauge. They are not too expensive, and will help you see quickly if your tires are inflated to the owner's manual specifications for best use.

3. Change oil with the seasons: One thing many people do not realize is that they need different oil for the different seasons. Oil is used to lubricate the engine, and needs to be a certain viscosity or thickness, to be effective. As the engine gets hot, the oil thins out some. In the summer months, the engine is hotter than it is during the cooler months, so you need a thicker oil to keep the thickness where it should be to properly protect your engine. So, when summer hits, take your car in for an oil change, or change it yourself, but use a thicker oil.

4. Keep fluids full. Heat can do bad things to cars, so making sure your radiator is full, and your other fluid tanks are all topped off and with clean fluids, can be very beneficial to your car. Not only should you change your fluids regularly, but every couple of years, you should do things like a transmission flush, where you don't just top off the fluid, but get rid of all the fluid in it, clean it, and put new fluids in. This is preventative maintenance.

5. Regularly check belts and hoses. Changes in temperature can cause belts and hoses to bulge, crack, and have other problems. So, part of preventative maintenance to keep your car summer ready, is checking these often so that you can catch any problems, and correct them before they escalate.

The best way to have a summer ready car is through practicing preventative maintenance.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Auto Detailing Element - Why Keep Your Car Waxed

Any car owner will tell you that they know it is important to wash and wax their car. That they know it will keep the car looking good, prevent paint problems and keep the resale value high. However, for some reason, they only do the washing part. They go out and wash their car, taking care to wash the rims, tires, as well. However when they are done washing they clean up and go inside to cool down. It seems so weird. Here you set aside the time to wash your car so it will look good, but you don't take the extra 10-20 minutes it takes to wax your car so it will look good longer. Why? The reason is because most people don't realize what a good coat of wax from time to time will do.

First of all wax is important to protecting your vehicles paint. It is important to protect the paint since the paint is a protective coating for your cars metal body which prevents rust from occurring. It can also keep dirt from settling on your car, which makes washing it much easier.

Also you want your car to look shiny, which comes from having shiny paint. With no wax on your car a chemical process called oxidation can occur. This happens when oxygen interacts with different elements. The outcome can vary based on what it interacts with, but for your car it means dull paint! A coat of wax can prevent this from happening since the wax protects the elements on the car from reacting with oxygen. You want to prevent oxidation from happening to keep your car looking great for a long time.

Keeping your car waxed, keeps it looking shiny and new. Therefore, you will maintain a great resale for your vehicle if the time ever comes that you need to sell it or trade it in. when people buy a new car they want to know that even though it is used that is was well taken care of and is in great condition.

Waxing your car is simple enough that you can do it at home. The question most ask is how often you should wax it. How often you wax your car depends on how much it is exposed to the elements and what kind of wax you use. If you car is outside a lot it will need waxing more often. And if you use a cheap wax product it will most likely need waxing more often. Some will wax their car every time the wash and other every six months. Just take a look at your car and if you notice is it not shiny or is getting dull give it a wax.

If you do not have the time or drive to wax your own car a professional detailer can be of assistance. You can get your entire car cleaned inside and out with a great coat of wax from any auto detailer in your area. The important thing is that you get it done regularly.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Martin Brundle introduces the F-TYPE

To discover more about the F-TYPE, Jaguar's new sporting heart, visit

Thursday, April 5, 2012

High Mileage Maintenance Tips for Your BMW

If you have had your BMW for several years now, then it might be time to consider keeping a closer eye on it. It is a simple fact that as cars (or anything for that matter) age they start to require more maintenance and quality care to function properly. To help you make sure that your high mileage BMW continues to perform to its highest ability for years to come, here are some maintenance tips to consider:

• Spark Plugs: these are good indicators of engine condition. The removal and inspection of spark plugs can tell you a lot about engine performance and where any problems may be sourcing from. Spark plugs should be removed, checked, (and if necessary) replaced every 30,000 miles. This is especially important if you vehicle has over 100,000 miles on it.

• Distributor Cap & Rotator: both of these parts are typically plastic and and therefore they tend to wear down with age and use. This makes the regular maintenance of these parts important for a BMW with increased mileage.

• Spark Plug Wire Sets: these should be tested before being replaced. Resistance is key when testing.

• Oil Filter: these are easy to replace and keeping them fresh and in good working order will help to prevent unnecessary engine wear. As could be expected, this part filters out contaminants such as dirt and soot from the oil in your car.

• Air Filter: this part protects your fuel injectors and should be serviced frequently to ensure that your BMW operates properly.

• Fuel Filter: This protects the you fuel and keeps it clean, and thus preventing clogs and damage to the engine. This part should be replaced every 30,000 miles.

Those are just a few of the parts that should be checked frequently. Here is a complete list of all the important high milage BMW parts that should be checked: spark plugs, ignition wire sets, distributor cap, distributor rotor, oxygen sensor, oil filter, air filter, PCV breather filter, fuel filter, transmission filter, vacuum hoses, temperature sensors, lubricants, coolant hoses, and belts.

Besides part specific tips, there are some other things to consider when you own a high mileage vehicle. First you want to make sure that you maintain the overall cleanliness of your engine; this perhaps the best preventative measure that you can take for the overall health of your BMW. A clean engine is cooler and is much less likely to cause or aid to the failure of other parts or systems. Routine and regular replacement of all the parts, filters, and fluids mentioned here is also critical. And lastly, know your cars individual systems and requirements and make sure that you are letting professionals who are trained to work with BMWs work on your vehicle. The key to an extended life for your high mileage BMW is a good maintenance routine that is carried out by a professional service; so, find a high quality shop and keep these tips in mind.

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Star Tech European in Vacaville specializes in BMW service and repairs. The auto repair business doesn't have the best reputation, so we go the extra mile to build trust. That includes taking extra time to really explain what your car needs and why. Our goal is to give professional, friendly, honest service without the stress and hassle of going to the dealer. We will never sell you something you don't need.

Monday, April 2, 2012

BMW Museum

Take a glimpse into 90 years of history, design and rarities that can only be found in Munich at the BMW museum.