Our Current Blog Articles
October 16, 2017
About Turbochargers and How They Work
Here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we want to share more about turbochargers and how they work. Did you know that the turbocharger is actually a big improvement on the internal combustion engine? Thanks to the turbocharger, turbo engines can go further faster and use less fuel. Turbochargers, in a nutshell, are a pair of fans that use waste exhaust from the rear of an engine to force more air into the front of an engine. The result is more get up and go than you would get otherwise.
The turbocharger was originally developed by Alfred J. Büchi. He was an automotive engineer who worked for the Gebrüder Sulzer Engine Company in Switzerland. His invention was patented in 1905, and he worked on improving the turbocharger for the rest of his life. Büchi was fascinated with everything about turbochargers and how they work. He felt that they could improve combustion engines dramatically.
Everyone can tell that a tailpipe streaming exhaust is polluting the air. What isn’t as noticeable is that such tailpipes are also wasting energy at the same time. Exhaust is actually a mixture of different gases being pumped out. Turbochargers harness the exhaust, using the heat, gases, and energy to actually help the vehicle travel faster. Turbochargers force more air into the vehicle’s cylinders, which in turn allows fuel to be burned faster. The faster fuel burns, the faster a vehicle can travel.
Turbochargers and Cylinders
Since cars go faster based directly on how much fuel they can burn, adding cylinders was the original way to get a car to go faster. This explains why sports cars typically have eight and twelve cylinders. Those extra cylinders will help burn more fuel quickly. Your conventional vehicle typically has just four or six cylinders. Owners of performance vehicles such as a BMW, Audio or Porsche may want to go faster. Installing a turbocharger is a great way to gain speed without more cylinders.
Turbochargers: Like a Small Jet Engine
When we talk about turbochargers and how they work, we often compare them to how jet engines work. Based on the same principles as turbochargers, a jet engine sucks in air from the front, squeezes the air into a chamber where the fuel is burned, and the blasts hot air from the rear. As the hot air exits, it blasts past a turbine that drives the air pump (also called a compressor) which is at the front of the engine.
Turbochargers do much the same thing as jet engines. Turbochargers are basically two little air fans (called gas pumps or impellers) that sit on the same air shaft and both spin around together.
One fan is positioned in the exhaust stream coming from the cylinders. This fan is called the turbine. The cylinders blow hot gas towards the fan blades which then rotate. The second fan, which is sitting on the shaft with the turbine, spins at the same time. This fan is called the compressor. It is mounted so that it is inside the car’s intake and as it draws the air in, it forces it into the cylinders.
Disadvantages of Turbochargers
You may be wondering why turbochargers aren’t in every vehicle, everywhere. Well, in theory, more power means more energy output (and speed) and this is a great thing. At the same time, more energy output means more energy input is required. Ultimately, these engines need more fuel and expend it faster which isn’t the right fit for everyone.
If you’ve read up on everything about turbochargers and how they work, you may already know that early turbochargers didn’t deliver quite the amazing results that manufacturers promised. While they were eager to lay claim to having better engines than the competition, the turbos sometimes turned out to be less impressive. Had there been less of a rush to get turbochargers to market and more time spent fine-tuning its capabilities, the turbocharger could certainly have gained wider acceptance.
Turbochargers are also a little different to drive. There is a slight delay between pressing the gas and having the car take off. There is even a term for it: turbo lag. This means turbos are a bit trickier to drive and not all drivers might appreciate the difference. But those who do, love what a turbocharger can offer on the street and track.
Finally, turbochargers make engines more complicated. It makes sense since you’re adding another component to an engine which is another part that requires proper maintenance. Additionally, turbochargers run hotter. This subjects engines to higher stress, which in turn, means that turbocharged engines don’t always last as long as conventional counterparts. It all really depends on the driver though. Even without a turbocharger, plenty of people with standard engines find countless ways to drive them into the ground prematurely.
Of course, if the turbo in your Audi, Porsche, BMW, or Volkswagen needs maintenance, repair or even a rebuild, you can contact us here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We’ll make sure your turbo delivers on its promises, delivering the performance you want from it.
Advantages of a Turbocharger
When it comes to understanding all about turbochargers and how they work, their many advantages are the best part. Turbochargers can be used with either diesel or gas engines and, for the most part, can be used on cars, trucks, buses, and more. Basically, the primary advantage is that the same size engine can get a great deal more output. A turbocharged engine produces more energy with every stroke of each piston and in each cylinder.
Engineered and performing properly, a turbocharged engine can actually save up 10% of the fuel. These engines also tend to burn the fuel more cleanly because more oxygen is burned with the fuel. Manufacturers can now produce the same size engine, or sometimes even a smaller engine, and get faster and better results. What was once a V6 engine can now be a 4-cylinder with a turbocharger.
The advantages are what make us the most excited about turbochargers and how they work. If you need our specialists to take a look at your Porsche, Audi, BMW, or Volkswagen engine, contact us here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We can repair, maintain and even fully rebuild your turbocharged engine – all in less time and at less cost than other shops.
September 19, 2017
Brush Up on These Winter Driving Tips
At Shaus Motorsport, we know the days of winter driving will be here faster than you think, so brush up on these winter driving tips and get prepared. Driving in winter weather and snow in particular, can be a daunting task, even for those who have done it for many years. It can be especially challenging for those who have moved here from more temperate places.
If you have the option, staying home and off the road is one of the best ways to stay safe. Fewer cars on the road are a big help to people who have to be out there. So if it’s an option, take it. If not, read on and brush up on these winter driving tips.
Know You Car and Your Brakes
In snowy weather, knowing how your car operates under normal conditions is important, particularly your brakes. Brakes in winter are key to safe driving. It may be a great time to get your German vehicle’s brakes checked by a shop like Shaus Motorsport in Denver. It is a great time to be sure they are still in prime condition. If your car is new, you really want to be sure that you have an especially good understanding of your car and brakes prior to the first snowfall.
Increase Your Distance
In the snow, traction is greatly decreased and in some instances, it is compromised entirely. Because of this, you should put much larger distances between you and other cars. The additional distance will help by giving you more space to gather some traction and more room to maneuver if your car starts to skid or slide. Putting more space between your car and the cars around you also helps other drivers, which is great for people who are new to our cold, Colorado winters.
The most important thing to remember while driving in icy and snowy weather is to drive with patience and care. While slow drivers can be annoying, it is much safer and will help preserve the pristine condition of your Audi, BMW, VW or Porsche, not to mention your safety! You can brush up on these winter driving tips presented here, but ultimately, remaining calm, careful and patient will go a long way.
One of the hardest things to do in the snow is stopping and once you do stop, you can get stuck. Additionally, it can take a lot of power and potentially a bit of sliding to get going again. Stopping while driving can be a necessity, but if there is an opportunity to avoid it, it is good to try. This often involves driving much slower and in a very careful and calculating manner. When possible, take your foot off the gas and allow your car slow on its own instead of using the brakes.
Have Your Car Serviced
A great way to avoid trouble in winter is to get your car checked before the snow and ice arrive. If you need your German car serviced – tune-up to brake repairs and more – call us at Shaus Motorsport in Denver. We can help keep you safe when winter arrives.
September 5, 2017
The BMW X7 SUV Has Been Unveiled
The BMW X7 SUV has been unveiled and we at Shaus Motorsport in Denver want to share some of the details with you just in case you want to be one of the first people to enjoy this new SUV when it finally hits the market. BMW’s newest large edition is bigger and more luxurious and it is loaded with tech.
BMW unveiled its X7 SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this month. As with the rest of the BMW collection, the larger the number the larger the vehicle, so X7 is a fitting label for the BMW SUV. As with any concept, it is subject to change, so what you see may not be exactly what you get but it is always interesting to take a look at most of what will probably be headed your way.
According to BMW, this concept represents the pinnacle of the brand, and some have referred to it as BMW’s flagship SUV, so it’s been given a powerful look. This includes an imposing kidney grille, BMW badging, and slick LED headlamp units. It might be a too much for some, but others may enjoy the large front-end look.
Here’s more of what we know now that the BMW X7 SUV has been unveiled.
A Look Inside
Billed as a luxury model, this car lines up with much of what BMW is already doing. This concept SUV also includes a wide dash and an infotainment screen in the dash center. The vehicle includes BMW’s next generation I-Drive controls and the upholstery is plush leather to complete their luxury look. BMW went with sleek, clean, and high-tech cool in their interior design.
The middle row has a pair of screens, so passengers can watch what they want and share what they are browsing with other screens. The X7 concept includes the full services of BMW Connected like other BMWs. There is a great amount of focus on work-related items and productivity, which hints at BMW expecting that people will be driven rather than driving themselves. There is high-tech under the hood as well—a combination of electric motor and regular TwinPower turbo engine.
Some Concept Features May Be Simpler
In the final product, you can probably expect the steering wheel to be a bit simpler than the concept car. The headrests will probably also end up being a bit smaller once this concept hits production. The X7 SUV will probably also lose some of the flash like the backlit crystal glass, but it is billed as a luxury model so quite a bit of the flash will still remain.
Debut in Production
BMW expects to put this concept on sale sometime in 2018. So if you are looking to add this BMW to your garage or replace your existing BMW, you won’t have to wait very long. The BMW X7 SUV has been unveiled and we at Shaus Motorsport in Denver think you might enjoy seeing it when it is out on the market.
August 28, 2017
Thinking about Buying a Used Porsche Boxster?
Are you thinking about buying a used Porsche Boxster? At Shaus Motorsports in Aurora, we like the Boxster, because in all its generations, it has enough talent for the serious drivers and enough style for the Sunday fun crowd. Here are a few notes if you’re thinking of adding one. Boxsters can be quite affordable which makes them appealing. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you consider buying one.
First Generation (1996-2004)
There is a lot to appreciate about the first generation of Boxsters. It was a runaway success for Porsche. It had the style that Porsches were known for while keeping its racing engine and excellent handling. Though some Porsche enthusiasts of the time may not have viewed it favorably, the first generation Boxster was a big success.
If you are thinking of buying a first generation Boxster, check for oil leaks because the rear main seal is known to fail. Though the seal is inexpensive, the labor to get to it can be a bit pricey. Keep in mind too that the early first-generation engines had intermediate shaft issues, specifically the dual-row bearing. If and when it fails, the engine will need a rebuild, which is not a cheap endeavor.
Other areas to check include the main oil seal, the clutch and bearing, the cylinder heads, ignition, and water pump. While that may sound like too much, there is a high probability that a previous owner has already addressed many of these issues, so don’t let the list deter you.
Second Generation (2005-2011)
If you're thinking about buying a used Porsche Boxster, the second-generation model was considered evolutionary. These Boxsters had both increased horsepower and torque. They also included better technology, greater efficiency, and direct fuel injection.
Many of the first generation engine issues were solved so potential buyers need to check the usual suspects: accident repairs, uneven tire wear, and service history. The only issue that sticks out for the second generation is the suspension springs. A broken suspension spring should be pretty easy to notice—one corner of the car will be lower during the test drive or you will hear a noticeable noise.
Like many other cars, a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection is a worthwhile investment. Be sure that the inspection includes a laser wheel alignment check, which will potentially show you if the car has been in an accident and whether the repair was up to standard.
Be sure that the Boxster includes the windbreak between the headrests, the roll bar inserts, both sets of keys, and manuals. These items can be easily overlooked and are expensive to replace. Ensure the fabric roof works properly and is in good condition. Don’t skimp on doing your homework. There are a number of Boxsters on the used-car market and you want to make a wise choice.
Are you thinking about buying a used Porsche Boxster? We can perform a pre-purchase inspection or look over the one you already own, here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We can help you figure out if the Boxster is in need of some work or if it is ready for you to enjoy out on the road.
August 7, 2017
BMW is Working on Autonomous Cars
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we’ve been keeping up on the news that BMW is working on autonomous cars. As you may know, BMW is making big waves in the car world with their 2017 5 Series because it makes a significant advance towards driverless vehicles. Though there are enthusiastic supporters of these cars, some BMW drivers are not keen on giving up control behind the wheel. After all, these vehicles are exhilarating to drive which is why people buy them.
Now that BMW is working on autonomous cars, we’re getting more details and seeing a number of benefits that might sway the skeptics. Take a look.
The biggest advancement is the Car-to-X-app. Why? Because many proponents of autonomous driving believe that cars need to communicate with each other in order for driverless cars to work safely and accurately. The Car-to-X-app allows the 5 Series to share its information with other BMWs. It is the culmination of the work of the 5G Automotive Association which includes BMW and other car manufacturers as well some of the leading telecommunication companies.
Remote Control Parking
One of the fun features of the 2017 5 Series is that you can park your car much like you would park a remote control toy car from your childhood. This will help when a driver needs to fit into those spaces that just won’t let you open up the driver doors. Just step out of the car, guide it in, and when you need to leave, use the Remote Control Parking feature to guide the car back out again.
The semi-autonomous system is supposed to help avoid accidents. This system warns the driver of a potential on-coming collision so that they have an opportunity to maneuver away. Additionally, the system will pre-condition your brake system, as well as steer and accelerate up to 130 mph. The system is also designed to help avoid speeding tickets by automatically adjusting the speed to a max of 9 mph above the determined speed limit.
Driver Assistance Plus Package
All the new capabilities are part of the 5 Series Driver Assistance Plus Package. Basically, BMW took the Active Driver Assistant and put it together with the Driver Assistance Plus II to create the Driver Assistance Plus Package. In addition to all the features we already listed, this package will perform lane changes, keep the vehicle in its own lane, and avoid obstacles. It also assists with navigation. All these features make the 2017 BMW 5 Series a very exciting step forward in driverless cars.
Ultimately, driverless cars are something to be excited about and it is wrapped up in a classy car that offers a great deal more in terms of technology. Now that BMW is working on autonomous cars, we plan to keep an even closer eye on their next step too—we certainly want to see what will be next.
If your current BMW needs some work, come see us at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We are the German car care specialists you want for all of your BMW needs.