A Few Ways to Upgrade Your MINI

A Few Ways to Upgrade Your MINI - Motorwerkes - BMW Maintenance Experts

Last week we talked about driving gloves as a great way to enhance your driving experience. However, many of us know that the real fun begins when it’s time to upgrade your vehicle. Luckily, there’s a wide range of performance-focused work you can have done on your MINI!

Enhance Your Engine

So much of the performance of your MINI comes down to the engine, and this type of upgrade can address many different components. The right performance exhaust kit, for instance, can considerably optimize the power, speed, and efficiency of flow from your combustion chambers and out through the exhaust. A turbocharger can really pump up the strength of combustion, providing an upgrade to your horsepower and overall engine efficiency. If you want a more substantial flow of air into your MINI’s engine, an intake upgrade is a great way to go. Even the engine’s software can benefit from a performance treatment.

Soup Up Your Suspension

Of course, upgrades can cover a lot more ground than just the engine. MINIs are well known for their tight handling and excellent control, but what if you could take it even further? Upgrades to your suspension can make it happen. For a more neutral turn and a higher cornering speed, getting a larger rear sway bar is something to consider. You could also bring the centre of gravity on your MINI a bit lower for flatter cornering by getting set up with some performance-oriented springs. Factory shocks are designed to offer a smoother ride, but if you really want to feel the road and enhance your performance, these can also be upgraded.

Deck Out Your Drivetrain

One thing to keep in mind is that if you upgrade one aspect of your MINI, you’ll need to upgrade others that are affected by it. Certain components of your drivetrain are good examples. If you turbocharge your engine, you’ll need a clutch that can manage that horsepower, and your factory clutch won’t be able to avoid slipping. When choosing a performance clutch upgrade, you may want to go with one that also has an integrated flywheel upgrade. Any upgrade you seek out for your MINI, regardless of the part, depends a lot on your individual needs and driving habits. It’s always wise to get personalized upgrade advice from your local technician!

When it comes to classy performance, a factory-fresh MINI has all the fundamentals covered. If you want to go beyond the fundamentals and take things to the next level, a certified technician is all you need to get started. Call Motorwerkes at (403) 453-0269 to meet one of ours today!

What’s up with Driving Gloves?

What’s up with Driving Gloves? - Motorwerkes - BMW Maintenance Experts

It’s difficult for any car lover to resist the urge to accessorize, but this is especially true for any devoted BMW owner. Not all accessories are for your vehicle, however. Driving gloves stand out as an example, but are they merely a stylistic choice or do they have some utility? Let’s find out.

A Bit of Background

Driving gloves have been around for about as long as driving has. Early automobiles in the late 1800s didn’t have internal heating systems, so wool and fur-lined gloves were pretty much essential in areas that had cold winters. During that time, the primitive steering mechanisms in the average car wouldn’t have benefitted from glove-improved grip on the steering wheel. This didn’t become a factor until car heating became widespread. This gave way to thin, tight-fit materials with perforations, strategically designed padding, and other features we see today.

Key Benefits

Modern driving gloves offer plenty of advantages to the serious motorist. A high-quality leather pair designed with utility in mind will provide optimized grip on the wheel. This can make for a more satisfying tactile experience and significantly improve your sense of handling. Most Calgarians know the unpleasant feeling of an ice-cold steering wheel during a winter commute. A lined pair of driving gloves are perfect for addressing this problem without compromising grip like a pair of mittens would. Finally, of course, you can’t deny that they look pretty darn cool.  

Should You Get a Pair?

For some, driving gloves are a great-looking and practical accessory that adds to the overall driving experience, while others may find them unnecessary. However, if you do choose to pick up a pair, don’t forget the importance of quality. There’s not much sense in acquiring any type of driving accessory unless you’re willing to go all in and invest in something that will really pay off. In this regard, it’s just like parts and maintenance. The last thing you want to do is be spotted by a fellow BMW aficionado who can tell that you’ve skimped out and gone for the cheap stuff!

Whether it’s a matter of safety, essential car care, or just a bit of fun, BMW offers a truly formidable range of options to elevate your driving experience. The Motorwerkes team is proud to provide all of it to BMW and MINI owners across Calgary, so call us at (403) 453-0269 today!

Does Your BMW Need a New Battery?

Does Your BMW Need a New Battery? - Motorwerkes - BMW Maintenance Experts

All car parts have a lifespan, and when replacement is necessary, it should happen as soon as possible. When it comes to your battery, you can’t have a fully functioning BMW unless this critical component is fully functioning as well. So how can you tell if it’s time for a new one?

Average Lifespan

The first question that most drivers ask when it comes to their batteries is how long they can go without replacing it. This, of course, depends on how well you take care of it, your driving habits, and whether or not you’ve entrusted your vehicle to a local BMW certified technician. However, when assuming that your usage has been normal and your maintenance has been good, a common average to consider is between two and five years. Still, if you’ve gotten into the habit of taking frequent and brief trips or haven’t paid much attention to common warning signs, especially during the winter, this could be quite a bit shorter.

Winter Worries

All car parts do their job best within a certain temperature range. Your battery is no exception. It will have trouble facilitating the necessary current for healthy ignition in winter conditions, and the acid-water mixture inside will also struggle to do its job when the temperature falls too low. However, battery failure in winter is actually more likely to happen if the battery has been worn down by the high temperatures of summer. For a battery that is on its last legs, the cold months often end up being the final straw, and this is why timing your replacement wisely is so important. The last thing you want is to be stranded on a cold day.

Symptoms to Look For

Fortunately, if your battery needs servicing or replacement, the signs are easy to recognize. For instance, when you turn the ignition, do you get a good start right away or do you get a slow and difficult crank? If there’s a part of your battery that allows view of its fluid level, check this to see whether or not it’s been depleted. Leakage can also cause corrosion where the posts are, which appears as a white residue. Keep an eye out for your check engine light as well. Lastly, always know the age of your battery. If you’re seeing signs and it’s about four or five years old, give your technician a call!

Repairs and replacements tend to sneak up on you during winter. That is, unless you’re diligent about your car care. The team of BMW specialists at Motorwerkes can address any maintenance or repair need you can think of, so call (403) 453-0269 to see what we can do!

New BMWs to Look for in 2018

New BMWs to Look for in 2018 - Motorwerkes - BMW Maintenance Experts

Now that 2018 has gotten a chance to pick up some speed, you’ve hopefully put together a few resolutions for your car care. Once you get all that responsible stuff out of the way, it’s time to have a bit of fun and get excited about BMW’s newest vehicles. Here are some highlights.

X3 Redesign

Rolled out in late 2017 for the 2018 model year, BMW’s iconic luxury crossover is being taken to new heights with a full redesign. Exterior additions include LED headlights and fog lamps, an acoustic windscreen, and more. On the inside, storage capacity has increased by 34 cubic feet. Engine-wise, it’s available as the 248hp xDrive30i and the 355hp M40i, each of these with an 8-speed sport automatic transmission. Last but not least, it’s been decked out with great tech improvements including a bigger head-up display, a gesture-controlled iDrive display, and the semi-autonomous Driving Assistant Plus system.

6 Series Gran Turismo

Ever since its launch in 2009, the 5 Series Gran Turismo line has been dubbed “ungainly” by a number of critics, but its replacement offers a number of improvements. Released late last year, the 2018 6 Series GT is based on the 5 series sedan platform and features subtle changes in exterior design, removal of a partition between the trunk and back seats, and a change from the old liftgate to a single-piece hatch. Its body is even lighter than the 5 Series GT by over 300 lbs. The 6 Series GT is offered as a 640i xDrive, boasting all-wheel drive and a 6-cylinder turbocharged engine accompanied by an 8-speed automatic transmission.

New 8 Series Coupe

Last summer, BMW revealed the 8 Series Coupe concept, branding it as their foremost achievement to date in combining high performance with total luxury. Its slender roofline and assertive, aerodynamic hoodline harken back to the 8 Series of old while updating its look with contemporary geometric flare. It’s even got leather-upholstered sport seats with carbon fibre shells. Most likely, it will offer drivers straight six and V8 engine options, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and optional all-wheel drive. Chances are good that it will be unveiled as a production model at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March.

What BMW are you most excited about this year? Don’t forget that no matter how cool the new ones are, the vehicle you own needs to be taken care of. From routine maintenance to repairs and upgrades, the Motorwerkes team has you covered. Give us a call at (403) 453-0269 today!

A Few Myths About the MINI

A Few Myths About the MINI - Motorwerkes - BMW Maintenance Experts

MINI may be one of the most fun and distinctive auto marques out there, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Few drivers realize how much versatility and variety MINI can offer, but this isn’t the only area where misconceptions are found. Here are three important myths to rethink.

They’re Too Small

Some drivers seem to see compactness as a weakness of the MINI, anticipating low storage capacity, a cramped interior, and an uncomfortable feel to its drivetrain. While you may need more room for cargo or passengers than most MINIs can provide, the assumption that they’re uncomfortable often comes from those who haven’t driven them. Not only have they been carefully designed over decades to balance modest size with roomy comfort, they even offer crossover and supermini models like the Countryman and Clubman. These provide a great amount of space for families or SUV lovers who don’t want to purchase a massive road hog!

They’re Not Safe

Sizable cars like full-size SUVs seem to offer the best safety specs and resistance to accident damage. After all, greater size means greater strength, right? Not exactly. Someone who is unfamiliar with the safety ratings of MINI vehicles could be quick to jump to conclusions and see them as inferior to their larger competition in this department. However, with features such as forward collision warning and auto-braking, as well as a recent significant improvements in side crash ratings, MINI has developed as good a track record as any. The 2016 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door racked up the highest IIHS ratings in all crash tests, so this is certainly a myth to be cast aside.

They’re Expensive to Maintain

This could be the most common myth that pops up out there, particularly among those considering a MINI but leaning towards deciding against it. A similar myth gets around regarding BMWs as well. The truth is that MINI offers a level of care with prepaid service and warranty, not to mention benefits in gas mileage and resale value, that place it ahead of the curve in terms of overall investment power. A high-quality car requires high-quality parts, fluids, and maintenance, but that means that you’re benefiting from some of the finest automotive engineering out there, and that’s worth the price of admission!

It’s important to set the record straight on automotive myths, especially with regards to taking care of your vehicle. The technicians at Motorwerkes have all the facts when it comes to BMW and MINI, and we can’t wait to help you with whatever you need. Call (403) 453-0269 today!