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BMW & MINI: What’s the Connection?

BMW & MINI: What’s the Connection? - Motorwerkes - BMW-certified technician

Our commitment to offering service for both BMWs and MINIs is made possible by the powerful relationship that the two brands have developed for over fifteen years. With so much stylistic distinction between them, what exactly unites them and why does it work so well?

How It Happened

From 1988 to the early nineties, MINI was the property of state-owned British car manufacturer Rover Group. In 1994, Rover Group was acquired by BMW before breaking up into several more properties acquired by other corporations. Most notable among these was Ford’s acquisition of Rover Group’s Land Rover property. Ultimately, the rights to produce the MINI stayed in BMW’s hands, and they relaunched the brand in 2000 with the MINI Hatch R50/53, also known as the MINI Hardtop or MINI One. It was the turn of the millennium, and drivers were up for something fresh and bold. The MINI relaunch met this need and exceeded expectations.

How It Works

Today’s MINIs exhibit classic design elements and philosophies that are hallmarks of the brand’s history while combining them with German engineering and powerful BMW-designed engines. Between the two brands, there is a mutual dedication to ensuring that the MINI maintains its identity as a distinct and independent vehicle. This is reflected in loyalty to MINI drivers as a specific buyer market with its own trends, quirks, and preferences. It’s also evident in the logistics of manufacturing. With the exception of the Austrian-made Paceman and Countryman, all MINIs are produced at the British MINI plant in Oxford.

Why It’s So Powerful

The seventeen-year union between MINI and BMW is a highly unique and inarguably successful one, as the British classic has enjoyed worldwide success and revitalization since the relaunch. Thanks to its compact design, the MINI’s famous go-kart-like handling and tight control pair well with the strength and sportiness of BMW’s approach to providing classy, powerful vehicles for the discerning driver. Its affordability and fun factor also allow BMW to access a buyer segment that serves to complement their historical focus on stately luxury. The combination has been and continues to be a formidable presence in today’s modern automotive world.

Whether you drive a BMW or a MINI, Motorwerkes has you covered with the highest-quality repairs, maintenance, and upgrades. Check out our homepage to see what’s new with us or give us a call at (403) 453-0269 to find out why we’re Calgary’s favourite one-stop shop!

Common Electrical Problems to Watch Out For

Common Electrical Problems to Watch Out For - Motorwerkes - BMW-certified technician

Your windshield wipers, lights, and even your BMW’s ability to start are just a few things that depend on the vehicle’s electrical system. Without that system functioning properly, a variety of issues can arise. As always, good care is a matter of knowing what to keep an eye on!

Battery and Ignition

Depending on the age of your BMW and how well you’ve taken care of it, some of the most common electrical problems that you may experience will be related to your alternator, starter, or your battery. Ignition failure, for instance, is perhaps most prominent among these. Pay close attention to whether any electrical components activate when you turn your key, including your interior lights. If they don’t, you could have a dead battery. On the other hand, active lights and indicators but no ignition could point to an alternator problem. Be sure to listen for a repeated clicking sound, which is a clear sign of an issue with your starter.

Interior and Exterior Lights

Light bulbs will inevitably fail, but problems with lights and indicators aren’t always caused by a simple expired bulb. Firstly, if a light goes out and stays that way even when you replace it, your problem could be with a fuse rather than the bulb itself, or even a faulty or disconnected wire. Some problems are a bit more subtle and easy to overlook, such as dim indicators throughout your dashboard. If they decrease in brightness once you start your car or move up to higher speeds, your voltage regulator may need attention or your battery could be near the end of its lifespan.

Other Signs and What to Do

Your battery is one part that you should be especially mindful of. Corrosion and leakage are not to be dismissed, so take good care of it to avoid further issues. If you experience bad acceleration or any lurching with your transmission, check your spark plugs. Everything we’ve mentioned may be common with vehicles on a general scale, but as always, you can easily prevent significant issues by following the maintenance recommendations of your BMW-certified technician and promptly treating the problems that do arise.

The number-one rule when it comes to vehicle maintenance is to never let a malfunction or suspicious symptom go ignored. The sooner you get an issue checked out, the sooner your BMW will be back to normal. Get in touch with us at (403) 453-0269 to make an appointment!

Listen to Your MINI: Knowing When It’s Time for Service

Listen to Your MINI: Knowing When It’s Time for Service - Motorwerkes - BMW Specialists Canada

Differences in maintenance scheduling between models are bound to arise, whether they’re big ones or subtle ones. Thankfully, many modern vehicles are good at telling their drivers what they need and when. Let’s take a look at MINI’s condition-based maintenance system.

How Does It All Work?

In last week’s blog you learned a bit about how pre-CBS BMWs are distinguished from more recent models, as well as how this contributes to differences in maintenance requirements. A similar dynamic exists with MINIs. While all models will come with a certain recommended factory maintenance schedule (which varies based on which MINI you have), newer ones also boast a sophisticated CBS system that will give you detailed information on what aspects of your MINI need service. It analyzes wear on components, factors in your mileage, and streamlines servicing for your local technician.

Indication Examples

As a basic example any MINI that is equipped with a CBS system will tell you when you are in need of oil service, or when your brake fluid needs to be replaced. Sensors near the front and rear axles also collect data on the wear that has accumulated on your front and rear brake pads. It can even evaluate more comprehensive factors so that you can determine when a full vehicle inspection is necessary. All these and more are carefully monitored by the system to make things easier for you so that you can be as diligent about maintenance as possible.

Following the Schedule

It’s important to bear in mind that factory scheduled maintenance and condition-based service are not the same and don’t address all the same aspects of your MINI. This means that it’s key to stay on top of both. It also means that, considering the differences that exist between models, it’s as important as ever to know your individual vehicle as well as you can and understand its needs. Even better, team up with a MINI specialist who knows your vehicle even better than you do! If you can get a good handle on the CBS indications and stay on top of scheduled maintenance, your MINI will always be in great shape.

BMWs may be the pride and joy of the Motorwerkes team, but the services we offer on MINIs carry the same signature mark of excellence we’re known for. From repairs and maintenance to upgrades and detailing, call (403) 768-3161 to find out what we can do for your MINI today!

Inspection 2 Service for Your Pre-CBS BMW

Inspection 2 Service for Your Pre-CBS BMW - Motorwerkes - BMW Specialists Canada

BMW has a long history of producing excellent vehicles. Maintenance practices can often differ depending on whether you own a sophisticated modern model or a prized classic. If you’re in the latter category, it’s wise to bear in mind the importance of BMW’s Inspection 2 service.

What Does “Pre-CBS” Mean?

When the 2002 7 Series was released in 2002, BMW introduced the Condition-Based Service system. This was a sophisticated new way of monitoring the condition of your model and knowing which services were needed at what time. Prior to the introduction of this feature was the service interval indicator system. While CBS isn’t a part of every BMW’s feature set, it is standard on all E60, E65, E90, and E70 models. BMWs manufactured before 2002, however, are considered to be pre-CBS. This means that their needs and scheduling requirements in terms of maintenance and repairs are a bit different from newer models.

Understanding Inspection 2

While Inspection 1 service satisfies a pretty thorough set of maintenance requirements for recent BMW models, one of the most important considerations for pre-CBS vehicles is Inspection 2 service. It provides you not only with what is included in Inspection 1, but with the addition of services that can make a big difference for the longevity of an older model. These include replacement of spark plugs and air filters, inspection of the body of your vehicle for rust, and more. It’s an excellent way to revitalize your pre-CBS BMW so that you can enjoy it for as long as possible.

Seeking Out the Best Service

For one thing, Inspection 2 should be performed every four years or every 100,000 kms, whichever comes first. You should also bear in mind that while the processes included in Inspection 2 are standardized, the value and quality of your service will vary depending on where you go. Dealer prices can be a bit intimidating, so taking your classic BMW to an independent specialist will give you high-quality results at the best possible value. Your BMW, no matter how old it is, is an investment worth caring for!

There’s nothing quite like driving a classic BMW whose exterior, interior, and mechanical functions are all in top working order. The Motorwerkes team is fully dedicated to caring for BMWs both new and old, so call us at (403) 768-3161 or an excellent Inspection 2 experience!

A Century of BMW: Looking Back

A Century of BMW: Looking Back - Motorwerkes - Certified BMW Technicians

2016 is the hundredth year in BMW’s history as a company. There are plenty of excellent concept vehicles being revealed as part of the centennial, but let’s take a moment to look back on some classic landmarks in BMW’s history.

The 328

Produced from 1936 to 1940, the 328 was BMW’s first serious effort in designing performance sports vehicles and one of the earliest models to display the company’s signature kidney grille. Its specs were quite impressive for the time, armed with a 2.0L straight-6 engine that offered 76 HP, not to mention a lightweight aluminum body. It garnered much acclaim and secured over 100 class wins, including the Alpine Rally and the formidable Mille Miglia.

The 507

This late-1950s roadster is often cited as the most beautiful BMW ever built, but its merits don’t rest on good looks alone. Its aluminum 3.2L V8 engine was nothing to sneeze at, yielding 140 HP and giving its competitor, the Mercedes Benz 300SL, a run for its money. Unfortunately, the manufacturing costs of the 507 nearly bankrupted the company, making this model a financial disaster. Still, its status as an icon of vehicle design is undeniable. Even Elvis had to have one.

BMW New Class

Due to rapidly declining profits and other factors, the end of the 1950s was a dark time for BMW. Enter the New Class, a line of sedans and coupes running between 1962 and 1977. Models like the 1500, 1800, and 2000 allowed BMW to enter the midsize sport sedan market with a vengeance. Excellent performance, smart design, and accessibility lead to a surge in financial success, allowing BMW to pay their stockholders for the first time in two decades.

3 Series

The impact of the New Class was significant in BMW’s engineering approach and culture. It led to the 02 Series, which housed such legends as the 2002 Turbo, one of the first turbocharged cars ever. After the success of the 2002, BMW’s carefully-executed approach to luxury performance sedans and coupes would culminate with the 3 Series, established by the E21 in 1975. This became BMW’s best-selling series to date and one of their flagship accomplishments.

Whether you’ve got one of the classics or you’re considering an eco-friendly i3, BMW always has something exciting to discover. To get the most out of yours, call (403) 768-3166 and a certified technician at Motorwerkes will be happy to help!