Noises are the worst. From squeaks that drive you crazy all the way through to clunks that make you question the safety of your vehicle. This week we saw a long time customer concerned about a BMW making noise over bumps. His main concern was that the vehicle just didn’t feel safe to him anymore. It’s a good thing that he brought it in… Allow me to explain a little more about this BMW Repair.
The first step was to have one of our Master Technicians drive the vehicle. During a short road test it was obvious that the noise was coming from the rear of the vehicle. The next step was to physically inspect for any defects in the suspension that would cause this. We inspected the entire suspension system in the front and rear for any potential issues and eventually saw that both rear BMW springs were broken at the bottom of the coil.
This wasn’t particularly hard to figure out, especially since both springs sit in a a cup-like seat and the broken pieces were rattling around in there.
The BMW repair process was actually pretty straight forward. The vehicle is in great shape with minimal rust on any of the bolts so it was just a matter of removing some suspension components to access the springs and then install the new ones. The springs sit on little rubber cushions that insulate the spring from rubbing on anything metal that could cause a squeak. These pads are on the top and bottom of both springs. The old ones some cracks where they were showing signs of age, so we went ahead and replaced them.
When we remove suspension components, some have adjusters on them. Even tough we carefully mark everything and put everything back as we found it, sometimes the vehicle will still end up out of adjustment. That being said, if the vehicle was out of alignment just a little prior to service and we put everything back perfectly then the vehicle would still leave out of alignment. So to ensure that the vehicle drives down the road perfectly without any pulling or irregular tire wear, we performed a 4 Wheel Alignment.
Once the repair was finished we took it for another road test to verify that the noise was gone and we’re happy to say that this BMW noise over bumps is fixed.
I’ve been coming to Precision for about 8 years now. I first found them by doing a simple search online and asking around to see if anyone else had used them. Based on overwhelming positive feedback I decided to give them a shot. I’m happy to say that after 8 years I now have all of our family cars serviced there. Not to mention most of my friends and co workers use them. They are easily The best BMW repair shop anywhere in the area. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for top quality work and service.
BMW makes some of the most well engineered vehicles on the road today. From having ample amounts of power right through to the finely tuned suspension, these vehicles truly are a pleasure to drive no matter what type of driving you’re used to. This week we had a customer concerned about their BMW Check Engine Light coming on and when he would slow down the car would begin to “chug” and sometimes even stall. Naturally he thought the worst but this was actually a very simple repair that only took a few hours.
BMW Check Engine Light Diagnosis
This customer used to take his vehicle to a local BMW dealer but after exploring his options and talking with a few other BMW owners that trust us he decided to give us a shot. We’re happy that he did and from what he tells us, he’s happy that he made the switch as well. He’s actually been using our service for about 6 years now.
When he brought his car in this week he was really in a tough spot. His main vehicle was having issues and was actually in our shop being repaired when he called with a concern about his BMW Check Engine Light. Since his other vehicle was here for only a minor repair and some needed maintenance and his BMW was having trouble running he felt that he was in a tough spot because he would end up with no transportation. Going from 2 cars to 0 cars can make for a stressful day.
We got him right in and began diagnosing his BMW Check Engine Light. The first step in this process is always to drive the car. Our Technicians are trying to do a few things.
They want to verify the customer’s immediate concern. In this case the Check Engine Light is on and the car is stalling when coming to a stop. Simple enough…
The Technician then gets a feel for anything else that may be wrong with the vehicle that the customer may not be noticing. The point here is to get a better idea of the overall health of the vehicle so that when we inspect the vehicle on the lift in the shop, we can get a better idea of areas in the vehicle that may require more attention. We do this because our customer’s trust us to tell them 100% of what’s wrong (or right) with their vehicle 100% of the time. We want them to be able to make an informed decision when deciding to repair their car. It wouldn’t be ethical to sell them an immediate repair without telling them that there is another issue with the vehicle that they didn’t know about. We want them to make an informed decision and give them options every single time.
Then the vehicle comes into the shop to continue the diagnostic process so we can find out what’s causing this BMW Check Engine Light to come on
Once the vehicle is on the lift the Technician scans for “codes”. The easiest way to explain this is that a “code” is a sequence of numbers stored in the vehicle’s computer. This sequence of numbers leads us to a troubled area in that vehicle so we can start testing that area. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such tool that can be plugged into your vehicle and tell the Technician exactly what went wrong and what is wrong without some form of testing. A tool like that is literally a Unicorn.
This vehicle had a BMW P0171 (Bank 1 is running lean, too much air). If you’re a Technician yourself you know that this can be one of the hardest codes to diagnose on a vehicle. Fortunately we got lucky with this one. A vehicle needs 3 things to run. Air, fuel, and spark. Since this engine was running lean and pulling in too much air the first place we wanted to look was for large air or vacuum leaks. This one was very obvious.
The air comes into the engine through the air filter, passes through the air intake tubes, and into the engine. One of these intake tubes had a huge hole in it! What was happening was this engine was pulling air through the air filter while also pulling air through the hole in the side of the boot. Too much air, causing it to run lean. On this particular car we actually see this specific part fail quite regularly. The boot is rubber and over time it develops a small crack that eventually splits. The Technician also performed a Free 55 Point Inspection (done on all vehicles that enter our shop unless the customer specifically says not to) and gave the vehicle a clean bill of health other than the BMW Check Engine Light repair.
BMW Check Engine Light Fix
From here the repair process was pretty simple. Since this is a part that fails somewhat frequently, we already had it in stock. It was as simple as removing the old one and installing the new one. After the failed part(s) is replaced we need to then clear the fault code and drive the vehicle. We want to make sure that the repair fixed the customers concerns. We also want to set readiness. Readiness is a code that generates behind the scenes when you drive. You’ll never get any indicator that it’s set unless you were able to access the computer with a factory scan tool. This readiness is in place to monitor all systems in the engine, once all of the tests pass then readiness is set. This is a semi-fool-proof way to verify that our repair took care of this BMW Check Engine Light. After a little bit of a road test we had Readiness, no stalling, and no more BMW Check Engine Light. Success!!
A lot of people fear that when their BMW Check Engine Light comes on that it’s going to cost them an arm and a leg. While that is the reality in some cases, it’s VERY rare if you have your BMW Service performed regularly. These services are designed to spot failures before they become major ones. Since this customer always follows our e mail and text reminders, he really didn’t have much to worry about. His Check Engine Light Repair was only a few bucks and it didn’t take much time at all. We also backed out repair with our 2 year 24,000 mile Nationwide Warranty and 12 months of roadside assistance and since this customer was having both of his vehicle’s repaired he chose to use one of our Auto Repair Payment Plans to pay for the work.
If your BMW Check Engine Light is on, give us a call today or you can schedule below. Our Technicians have the training, experience, and tools to get your BMW back on the road in no time.
I’ve been using these guys for a while. Back when it was just James and Tai. You have always taken care of me. I generally have no worries about my cars and I can’t thank you enough for helping me through this random issue. I recommend you to everyone and anyone looking for the best BMW repair shop around. Thanks again
It’s very common to receive phone calls from individuals asking for quotes to repair certain issues on their vehicle. The majority of the people ask this question because they simply just don’t know the right questions to ask. From here we try to get some more information about what’s going on with their vehicle and book an appointment to properly diagnose their concern so that we can provide an accurate quote and ultimately fix the issue. Then there are some that are only shopping for the Cheapest Auto Repair they can find. With almost 20 years of experience in this field I assure you that if you’re making your decisions based solely on price, you’ll end up paying much more to fix the issue in the long run. Allow me to explain.
Here are 3 separate stories from the past few months where the customer was ONLY concerned with getting the Cheapest Auto Repair they could find.
Pre Purchase Inspection
The first customer was buying a new vehicle for his wife. Apparently his friend that’s a “Mechanic” has owned the car since it was new. He wanted us to look the car over prior to him purchasing it but insisted that “any shop will do it for free”. Then got upset when we informed him that there would be a charge. Well he found someone to check it over for free…… and he was back to our shop 1 week after purchase with a very loud noise when driving over bumps;
Unfortunately this story didn’t have a silver lining. The rest of the underneath of this vehicle was just as rotted out as this mount. The person that checked the vehicle over for him for “free” was the previous owner of the vehicle and the guy that sold it to him (this has to be a conflict of interest). He paid $4,000 for the vehicle, just to fix the immediate rot damage would be about $1,500, and he still has a myriad of other issues. If he had us perform a Pre Purchase Inspection we would have caught all of this prior to him purchasing the vehicle. At the end of the day we ended up choosing not to repair the issues on this vehicle because the repairs would far exceed the value of the vehicle.
BMW Check Engine Light
This customer came in with a BMW for a Check Engine Light issue. We quickly diagnosed the concern but the customer had a “friend of a friend” that could fix the issue cheaper (read more about this one here). The customer wasn’t even remotely concerned with the quality of parts or that Trained Technicians would be working on the vehicle. She just wanted the absolute Lowest Price Auto Repair she could find. Well the “friend of the friend” not only failed miserably at fixing the one basic issue but he successfully created many more issues.
The issue with the hoses was just one of many problems. The “Cheaper Shop” had her car for 7.5 weeks and wanted to charge her 2.5x what they initially quoted her. She was able to get her BMW back over to us in pieces and we had the car running like new within a few days for what we initially quoted her even with some additional repairs that were needed to fix what the “Cheaper Shop” messed up and hacked.
Subaru Brake Job
Brake jobs are very common. Every car is going to need it done at some point. When you drive the vehicle and step on the brake pedal, the brakes wear. This customer brought his Subaru in to have us look over the brakes. They were making a very loud grinding noise and it was pretty simple for one of our Master Technicians to quickly spot that the pads were just about completely worn out and the brake rotors were rusted too badly to be machined. So we recommended replacing the brake pads and rotors. The customer insisted that the rotors were fine and to just replace the brake pads. Then he informed us that the most he would pay was $20 because that’s what his “Mechanic” would charge.
Just so we’re clear, to perform this job properly it takes a Trained Technician about 1.5 hours and the parts alone are almost $180. Then we back the repairs with our Warranty. There’s no possible way we could have done the job for $20. So the customer took the vehicle to his “mechanic”…. and the vehicle came back to us about 2 days later making the same noise.
His “Mechanic” replaced just the brake pads with the lowest quality part available. They weren’t even the right pads for the car and he put them over these rotted rotors. That’s not even remotely taking into consideration the safety of the customer or anyone else on the road. We fixed the brakes, properly, in about 1.5 hours, and for the price we initially quoted. The customer was happy that his noise was gone.
We can all agree that price is one of the deciding factors for all of us when purchasing goods and services, but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. With that said, we’re not the cheapest. We don’t want to be, we want to be the best and make sure that you’re safe. But we’re also not even close to the most expensive…. If you’re only concerned with finding the cheapest repair possible, I assure you that we’re not the right shop for you.
A few months ago we saw a new customer come in. She drives a 2004 BMW 325i and was looking for help diagnosing his Check Engine Light.
We quickly diagnosed the issue as being related to a vacuum leak (simply put is an air leak) in her intake system and the intake would need to be removed and resealed to clear up the issue. Unfortunately the customer declined the repairs because she found that he could get the “same” BMW Repair performed somewhere else cheaper……. (wait for it…)
The car came back in this week overheating and in pieces…… Literally in pieces and what was put back on the car wasn’t even close to anything that would be considered a “BMW Repair“. Take a look at some of what we found;
While we would like to say that was the worst issue we found, it wasn’t. We understand that price is important and we also understand that sometimes BMW Service is costly. But these vehicles are built to very specific specifications that require a great deal of training, equipment, and technical information to be able to properly repair them. Improper repairs like this not only create a major inconvenience for the customer but now she has to pay for the work to be done by someone that blatantly lied to her about their abilities and then she has to pay for us to fix all of their mistakes.
Fortunately for the customer we ironed out all of her issues in about 2 days. The overheating concern was fixed when we repaired the leaking hoses and filled the cooling system properly. Then we just removed and reinstalled the intake the right way while fixing any other “new” issues caused by the previously inferior quality repair. The car is now running the way it did when she bought it at the BMW Dealer in West Springfield MA and she was able to take advantage of our payment options for her repair that allowed her to pay over time for a proper BMW repair that’s warrantied for 2 years or 24,000 miles nationwide and comes with free 12 month roadside assistance. We gave her peace of mind!
There’s no added cost to having your BMW Service performed correctly, just added value.
James and his staff are the best! I feel like at first I was more concerned with having the job done cheaply and that’s what I got. The other shop I went to not only tied up the car for 7.5 weeks while this was my only form of transportation but when they gave me the bill the price they wanted me to pay was 2x what they initially quoted me to get me in the door and hundreds more than Precision wanted to charge a few months ago. When I went back to precision with my tail between my legs practically begging for help they were very welcoming and considerate. They got my car right in and I had it back within a couple of days. Since I had to pay the other shop I didn’t have much money and Dave set me up with financing for the job so I didn’t have to worry. I love my car and I won’t trust it with anyone but the staff at Precision. Thank you all so much for all that you have done.
Noises can be a tough issue to diagnose. I always tell the staff “90% of diagnosing any issue correctly is verifying the customer’s concern”.
In this case this customer had an issue with a loud banging noise from under the vehicle when turning and braking. They had an initial BMW Repair performed at another local shop that ultimately just replaced all 4 wheel brakes and performed an alignment. None of which fixed the customer’s issue and cost him somewhere around $2,000. He went back to them again and the shop suggested replacing shocks and struts for another $2,000 (sounds fair INSANE).
The customer ended up bringing his BMW Service to us based on some positive reviews that he had read and a recommendation from a co worker (spoiler alert, we didn’t disappoint). We took a ride with the customer to actually verify the noise. Then one of our Master Technicians pulled the car in for inspection. This is what we saw in about 1 minute:
That’s a picture of the portion of the frame that supports the entire transmission. When the customer would step on the brakes and slow down the car would downshift and the entire transmission would bang against the body of the car. We replaced the support and mount within 1 day and had the customer back on the road with the problem resolved.
Fortunately for this customer the story ended well. Our only regret for them is that they spent $2,000 prior to coming to Precision Auto Repair to replace things that were perfectly fine and almost paid another $2,000 to replace shocks and struts on their BMW 335 for no reason whatsoever. Yet another reason we don’t trust diagnosis done by anyone except for our skilled and trained Technicians.
“It’s all true, they took me right in, took care of the problem, and it only cost a few hundred bucks. The staff was really friendly and everyone seemed to know what they were talking about at all times. It put me right at ease and it’s not a bad feeling when you actually get what you’re paying for. I’ll never go anywhere else. Thanks for all of your efforts.