Winterize Your Car: Don’t Fall Victim to Cold Weather

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Cold Weather months can be detrimental to the performance and functionality of your vehicle. There are several components that you will want to have inspected to protect you from large repair bills in the winter months. Some of these components you can inspect yourself while Bavarian Imports will be more than happy to assist with those components you can not properly inspect. Below you will find a list of components that need to be “winterized.”

 

  • Belts and Hoses: the belts and hoses on your vehicle are made of rubber. When exposed to cold weather conditions, your belts and hoses can become very dry and brittle causing them to break or crack. Damaged belts can cause electrical as well as engine timing issues. Damaged hoses can cause coolant system issues.
  • Tires: Just like the belts and hoses, your vehicle’s tires are made of rubber and can become very dry and brittle. A damaged tire increases the chances of blowouts, which put the driver’s safety at risk and increases the chances of large repair bills.
  • Battery and Alternator: The cold weather can also put a strain on the battery and alternator. A defective battery will cause starting issues, and we all know cold weather is not the weather you want to be stranded in. A defective alternator will put a strain on the electrical components of the vehicle including the heating system. You definitely do not want to ride around in a cold vehicle.
  • Wipers: The colder months usually come accompanied with watery and icy mixtures. Defective wiper blades can be very hazardous. Replacement of the wipers is relatively cheap compared to the value of your life.
  • Fluids: Cold weather can cause your vehicles fluids to thicken and sometimes leak. All fluids of your vehicle play a vital role is the life of the vehicle as well as its functionality.

Proper Lubrication: Everything You Need to Know About Motor Oil

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Oil changes are one of the more inexpensive services when it comes to routine maintenance. Oil changes are definitely cheaper compared to a repair bill for repairs related to maintenance neglect.

Engine oil plays three vital roles in a modern internal combustion engine. First off it helps keep engine components lubricated and working smoothly together. Secondly, motor oil helps draw heat away from the combustion chamber where thousands of detonations are happening every minute. Lastly, engine oil helps prevent carbon and varnish from building up in the engine.

In today’s world, there are several different options when it comes to oil types. There are conventional oils, part synthetic oils, and full synthetic oils. While the majority of German vehicles require full synthetic oil, your owner’s manual will tell you what the correct type of oil is to be used in your vehicle.

The most confusing part of buying oil for a customer is usually the weight of the oil. All oil containers will present a weight in the form of something along the lines of “5w30”. The “w” stands for winter, not weight or watt. The first number, in this case the “5w” simply means that the oil has a certain viscosity or flow at low temperatures. The second number “30” simply means that the oil has a certain viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius. In both cases the lower the number the thinner the oil. The viscosity of oil is the measure of how much resistance a fluid has to flowing. Your owner’s manual will tell you the correct viscosity of oil to put in the vehicle. Also the viscosity is often stamped on the oil reservoir cap.

Customers are also sometimes confused by certification marks on the oil bottle. The American Petroleum Institute certifies oils based on performance criteria determined by automakers, engine builders, and oil producers. Oil that meets these criteria will possess an API certification mark.

The repercussions of not changing your oil or checking your oil levels correctly are very expensive. Old or low oil can cause several issues. The first problem is that oil will buildup in the cooler parts of the engine such as the crankcase and around the camshafts. This could result in an expensive bill for engine cleaning or replacement of worn out piston rings. An even worse situation is that the engine’s pistons could eventually seize or the camshafts could be damaged. These repairs easily exceed $1,500.00.

Bavarian’s technician would be more than happy to provide you with quick oil change services but you can also measure and monitor your oil on your own. First, pull out the dipstick and clean the dipstick off using a lint free rag. Next, insert the dip stick back into the dip stick pipe. Sometimes you have to turn the dipstick and apply a little pressure; the dipstick pipe is curved and the dipstick will bend so do not fear breaking the dipstick. Next, pull the dipstick out again and look at the film of oil on the end of the stick. The film should lie in the middle of the add and full lines. If it is below the add line add small amounts of oil at a time and check after you add each amount. Once the correct level is achieved, put the dipstick back into the pipe and you are done

Don’t Crack! How to Properly Defrost Your Windshield

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During the colder months of the year, we often find ourselves running late for appointments or for work. Nothing is more frustrating then getting ready to leave in your vehicle and find that your windshield is frozen solid. Driving with a frozen windshield is not only aggravating but it is also very dangerous. In this article we will be providing you with several tips on how to quickly and safely defrost your windshield.

Method 1: Water

Using luke-warm water to defrost your windshield is one of the most common methods. Do not make the mistake of using scalding hot water, as this could cause your glass to crack or shatter. Just your windshield alone will require a few cups of water, where as defrosting all windows on your car will take close to a gallon of water. As you pour the water on the glass, you will notice that it turns translucent and either completely dissolves or turns to slush. Using a soft cloth or towel wipe away any slush that remains. If the glass is still frozen repeat the process several times.

 

Method 2: Deicer

Deicer products are available at most auto parts stores. It is also possible to make your own deicing solution. To create your own deicer, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol and a small amount of dishwashing soap into a clean spray bottle. Spray the deicer product or your deicer solution onto the icy portions of the glass. Allow the deicer to soak for one to two minutes. Using a scraper, a gloved hand, or a cloth scrape/wipe the icy portions to remove the ice. Repeat this process if ice remains.

 

Method 3: Credit Card

This is a last resort method. It is more time consuming and requires a little more work but it will still deice your auto glass. Give yourself a head start by turning on the defroster and allow the defroster to continue running throughout the entire process. After the defroster has began doing its job, find a non important credit card to scrape ice away. Apply moderate pressure when scraping. After the majority of the ice has been removed you may use your windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid to remove the remaining ice.

Method 4: Preventing Ice

Parking your vehicle in a covered parking space or utilizing a car cover to cover auto glass is the best way to prevent ice. Using this method will prevent large amounts of ice build up, however you may still be required to scrape minimal amounts of ice from the glass.

 

 

DIY: How to visually inspect your brakes

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Experts suggest that your brakes be checked every 10,000 miles or as soon as they begin to squeal or pull to one side. When brakes are worn the brake pedal will also flutter – this is not to be confused with the normal pulsing of ABS brakes when the brakes are applied in an emergency stop. Bavarian Imports will be more than happy to assist you in professionally inspecting your braking system, but in this article we will share with you a few tips at diagnosing worn brakes yourself.

 

Step 1: Wheel Removal

Locate the jack points on your vehicle, which are metal plates underneath the vehicle. Using a floor jack, lift the car until the wheels are off of the ground. For safety purposes we recommend you use wheel chocks behind or in front (depending on the grade of the ground or surface you are working on) of the tires not lifted from the ground. Using an impact gun or a tire iron, remove the lug nuts off of the wheel. Remove the tire from the vehicle.

 

Step 2: Inspect the Brake Disc

Please do not attempt to remove the brake disc, better known as a rotor. Check the visible part of the disc for heavy rust, scoring, or uneven wear. Rust is usually harmless unless the rust has built up over several years. Scoring and uneven wear can become a safety hazard. If you notice scoring and uneven wear allow our technician to inspect them and we will inform you whether they need to be replaced or can be reconditioned.

Step 3: Inspect the Caliper

The brake caliper is the component that sits around the disc and holds the brake pads. This component will be very hot if the vehicle was recently driven. Grasp and gently shake the caliper to check for secured mounting of this component.

Step 4: Inspect Brake Pads

Look through the inspection hole in the dust shield on the caliper and look at the brake pads inside. If the linings of the pad are very thin compared to a new set, it is most likely time to replace them. If the pads are worn down to the metal backing plate, they definitely need to be replaced in addition to the brake discs needing to be resurfaced or replaced as well.

Step 5: Reinstall the Tire

Place the tire back on the hub and reattach the lug nuts. Lower the jack to return the vehicle to the ground. Based off of your personal inspection you can now decide if your brakes need to be replaced or not.