4 January 2016
Even with the most up-to-date BMW at your fingertips, a lot of care and responsibility is needed to look out for your passengers and other drivers. This is especially true during winter, so consider a few of our recommended safety tips for driving your BMW in cold and icy conditions.
Keeping Your Cool
First and foremost, it’s important to stay in the right state of mind when thinking generally about winter driving and when you’re on the road. Drivers will often fall into one of two mindsets: unreasonable tension or risky overconfidence. Before considering any of the technical stuff, don’t underestimate the importance of staying both relaxed and alert, not to mention avoiding assumptions about how good your driving is!
Vehicle Layout & Traction
With rear-wheel drive, less weight over the drive wheels sometimes means a disadvantage in traction, particularly when starting. This can be offset by keeping something heavy in the trunk such as tools or even sandbags. While your vehicle is likely equipped with traction or stability control, the weight distribution of that RWD layout and the possibility of fishtailing are things you should always take into consideration.
In the case of all-wheel drive, it’s common to see a bit of overconfidence when it comes to ice and snow performance. AWD may improve your acceleration, but you can’t rely on it to optimize the safety of your turns! At the end of the day, investing in a good set of winter tires will go a long way toward improving your traction for the season.
Smart Braking, Smart Acceleration
It’s critical to complement this knowledge with good habits in your operation of the vehicle itself. Never forget that your stopping distance can increase by about four to ten times in ice and snow. Go easy on your brakes and your acceleration, keeping all your input moderat and carefully calculated. Reserve your braking for straight lines and avoid it during turns. When accelerating from a dead stop, start in second gear so that your wheels don’t spin against the ice. Most of all, learn and understand the nuances of your vehicle and how it performs in different conditions!
From safety to maintenance and performance, Motorwerkes is a trusted team in Calgary for repairing BMW motor vehicles. If you want to be prepared for winter, call 403-768-3168 to schedule an inspection of your vehicle with our certified technicians!
2 November 2015
You may have read our blog recounting the history of the famous BMW roundel. There is, however, always more to a company than its logo. As experts on the work of such a time-tested brand, we’re always eager to dig into its past and find out more. Here’s how it all started.
For much of World War I, German mechanical engineer Karl Rapp operated Rapp Motorenwerke, one of the central military aircraft engine manufacturers in the German state of Bavaria. With the arrival of a new engineer named Max Friz, Rapp Motorenwerke designed the groundbreaking IVa engine that would radically change the shape and reputation of the company. Rapp resigned in 1916 and the manufacturer was eventually restructured and merged with two others to form Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works).
The end of World War I had a significant effect on the newly-formed BMW company. A clause in the Treaty of Versailles restricting German aircraft engineering meant that the design of other technologies was necessary. After further restructuring and a change of logo in the early ‘20s, BMW built its first complete vehicle: the R32 motorcycle, establishing the boxer-twin shaft-drive powertrain layout that BMW still uses today. In 1928, they produced their first automobile, the Dixi, and less than a decade later introduced the famous 328. This model redefined the sports car and made automotive history. BMW grew to become a global-scale company in the early ‘70s, founded its Research and Innovation Centre in 1990, and has remained at the forefront of vehicle design and engineering since.
Toward the Future
With nearly a century of production to their name, the future of automotive design holds interesting prospects for BMW. Demand for electric mobility and other sustainable technologies is creating a complex new chapter in the company’s history. Focus these days is on increased efficiency and decreased carbon footprint in the product lifecycle, including recycled materials, lightweight construction, and the continued development of bivalent hydrogen/gasoline engines. From the innovative IVa aircraft engine to the hydrogen-based car of the future, things have certainly come a long way.
Whether it’s a simple repair or an impressive performance upgrade, we at MotorWerkes believe your BMW should be in the hands of a team that loves it as much as you do! To find out what we can do for your vehicle, feel free to get in touch with us at (403) 453-0269.
19 October 2015
One of the most recognizable features on any BMW vehicle is its logo. This timeless insignia has come to represent one of the most respected names in vehicle design and manufacturing, but how did it come about? Let’s dig into the history of our favorite make and find out.
Out With the Old
The BMW logo — or “roundel” to be more precise — has its origins in the logo used for the Rapp Motorenwerke company, the aircraft manufacturer from which Bayerische Motorenwerke as we know it today would eventually evolve. This early logo consisted of a circle containing the figure of a black horse. The words “Rapp Motor” were curved along the top and bottom portions of the circle, not unlike the letters “BMW” on the current symbol. After the expansion and renaming of the company, it was decided to create a new logo based somewhat on the black horse design.
In With the New
Ultimately, it was decided to replace the black horse silhouette with four quadrants of alternating blue and white. This pattern and its colours were taken from the flag of Bavaria, the southeastern German state where Rapp Motorenwerke originated. This is characteristic of the sense of patriotism surrounding the company’s emblem and its historical context, as Rapp Motorenwerke was one of the most important German aircraft engine manufacturers during World War I. The fact that the logo is in the style of an aircraft roundel is in keeping with the company’s roots as a proud and significant contributor to the war effort.
The Propellor Myth
This origin is a bit different from the common myth. Many assume that the alternating blue and white pattern is meant to represent a rotating airplane propellor. This arose from a 1929 BMW technical magazine, the cover of which featured an illustration portraying the front ends of two airplanes. The features of the roundel were drawn into their rotating airscrews, including the BMW text. The illustration is therefore mistakenly credited for the genesis of the roundel, despite the fact that it was published long after the new logo had been established. Decades later, it represents a household name and unparalleled legacy in vehicle engineering and design.
We at Motorwerkes aren’t just experts in BMW trivia, we’re also fully certified and ticketed technicians with the latest hardware and software tools. For Calgary’s best service and performance centre specializing in BMW, give us a call at (403) 768-3167 today!
14 September 2015
The question of whether or not to warm up your car before driving is a hotly contested issue. This is particularly true in Canada or other places where ambient temperature can get pretty low. Arguments are often made against it, but many of these fail to take a number of important things into account. Let’s have a look at a few reasons why your vehicle should be at operating temperature before you get moving.
Most of the internal mechanics in your car rely on one common thing to run smoothly: fluids. Whether it’s your oil, brake fluid, or transmission, if your fluids aren’t flowing properly, the wear on their corresponding parts over time is far more significant. The viscosity of your oil is a particularly critical factor, so it’s imperative to avoid putting stress on all those moving parts by giving things a chance to get to normal operating temperature. And don’t forget: your oil is often a more useful indicator of proper operating temperature than your coolant.
Longevity & Safety
Ensuring a long life for your vehicle should be your top priority, especially if you make frequent brief trips in cold weather. With a little warm-up time, you could be improving the life of your battery by allowing it a healthy recharge or avoiding premature rusting of the exhaust system by letting that moisture evaporate. Driving cold can also become a safety concern. Stalling becomes more likely in older vehicles if you are forced to slow down or speed up suddenly in winter weather.
Understanding the Logic
Many arguments against warming up will mention fuel economy and environmental impact. While it’s true that idling for excessive periods of time does lead to both of these issues, keep in mind that your engine runs at its most efficient when at operating temperature. A vehicle that runs the way it was designed to will provide better fuel economy and will need fewer part replacements in the long term. The disposal and replacement of parts is a form of environmental impact that many fail to consider when thinking only in terms of fuel emissions!
At Motorwerkes, we combine our expertise with the latest tools and software to provide you with the highest standard of service for your BMW motor vehicle. To book an appointment with our repair services or performance centre, give us a call at (403) 768-3162 today!