BMW WARNING LIGHTS, ESPECIALLY CHECK ENGINE LIGHTS
Chances are that if you are currently searching for a BMW mechanic, you have some sort of warning light in your car’s message center. Warning lights, especially check engine lights are the most common phone calls we receive. If your check engine light is on solid, this means you should schedule your car in to be diagnosed by a BMW mechanic as soon as time allows. Preferably in the next few days. If your check engine light is flashing, this means you should pull over as soon as it is safe to and turn your vehicle off. The check engine light flashing is a warning that there is a malfunction severe enough to possibly cause damage to emissions components on your vehicle. We would advise calling your BMW mechanic before continuing to drive your vehicle. They will likely recommend sending a tow truck to pick you up to avoid any further damage.
If your vehicle comes into our shop with the check engine light on, there is a regular process our mechanics will follow to diagnose the problem. Step one is to check vital fluids to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive. Step two is to perform a short test drive. During this test drive, the mechanic will be watching, listening and feeling any abnormal concerns. Loss of power, noises, other warning lights, vibrations, etc. Step three is to use our BMW factory scan tool to retrieve trouble codes. Whenever your check engine light comes on. Your vehicle’s computer system will store trouble codes that help us diagnose the source of the problem. These trouble codes typically consist of a combination of letters and numbers. The trouble codes do not tell the mechanic exactly what is wrong with your vehicle but it does give them good clues as to what areas they need to test. Step four is to visually check the most common causes for obvious wear or damage. Step five is to determine what tests need to be performed in order to be 100% confident in diagnosing the concern and how long it will take. This allows your service adviser to call and discuss costs for proper diagnostic procedures before moving forward. Step 6, once approved by you, your BMW mechanic begins very specific testing using factory equipment, diagrams, and technical data to test all components in the system causing your check engine light. Keep in mind that once repairs have been done to fix the check engine light concern, your BMW mechanic will then clear the codes out of the memory of your computer. Your vehicle will then need to be driven for a few drive cycles to ensure the problem is fixed and no other problems are found. The drive cycle typically takes a couple of days as it involves several cold starts and multiple different driving situations and speeds.
VIBRATIONS- STEERING AND SUSPENSION REPAIRS
One of the biggest things that make your BMW handle better than 90% of other vehicles is the design of the steering and suspension systems.
Once again, BMW’s are designed to deliver a positive driving experience and a good part of that experience is the way a vehicle handles at higher speeds and when turning. BMW designers put thought into the type of struts, shocks, coils, control arms, steering racks, and all other steering and suspension parts when designing your vehicle. Another common concern our BMW customers have is vibrations at certain speeds or suspension noises. Most of BMW’s utilize a fairly low profile tire. With the various road conditions here in Utah and especially here in our Layton, Kaysville and South Weber area, it is easy to have a tire become unbalanced. This is generally an easy repair. Remove all 4 wheels, spin on our tire balancing machine and adjust weights as needed. During the tire balance, your BMW will be closely checking the tire and wheel to ensure there is not any damage requiring tire or wheel replacement. Suspension noises can often be easily diagnosed and repaired but sometimes they can be a little more difficult to find. The most common suspension part to fail on BMW’s is the control arm bushings. A control arm is an integral part of the suspension that moves up and down when going over variations in the road. They have bushings in the ends that mount to the car’s subframe. As these bushings age and wear, they can allow excessive play in the suspension causing noises, tire wear or even a loose feel in the steering and suspension. Often times the control arm bushings can be replaced but in some cases, it is best to replace the complete control arm.