Our Current Blog Articles
November 8, 2018
Is Premium Fuel Really Required For My Car
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we know it's sometimes difficult to hit that 91 Octane button on the gas tank. We caution our customers that if you drive a German car, you need a higher octane. This is not just a guideline or suggestion, but it really is the way your high-end engine is designed to run. If you ignore this rule, you run the risk of expensive damage to your engine and your bank account.
Premium Octane is a Necessity
Why does your German car need a 91 or higher octane? Simply put, German vehicles are built for high performance and use a higher horse power than your average engine. German engines are considered to be high compression engines. These engines, when running on lower octane fuels, produce uncontrolled combustion called a ping or a knock. Over time, knocking can cause serious damage to your engine. The higher the octane of your fuel, the better the fuel’s ability to resist knocking.
Saving Money in the Short Term can Cost
High-octane fuel can be pricey, particularly in summer when fuel prices rise. It can be quite tempting to reach for lower octane fuel to save money. Initially, you will not notice much difference. It may even seem like your engine is adjusting to the lower octane fuel. In reality, your vehicle engine is suffering a slow and steady beating.
It is important to understand exactly what the higher octane does. Higher octane does not have more energy capacity than regular fuel. It has a much higher resistance to knock. Knowing this advantage, German car manufacturers design engines with maximized performance, using the higher octane as protection from the premature fuel combustion (also known as pinging or knocking) that comes with maximized performance. The engines can pull out more power from the gasoline and still remain protected. The maximized engines require the premium octane because they were built knowing the higher octane would protect the engine.
If you have a newer German car, you may be thinking that you can simply rely on your knock sensor while using a lower octane and all will be well. The knock sensor does help. If the sensor detects knocking, it detunes your German car engine until the knocking ceases. This protects your engine to some extent. Your engine has still taken a beating until the sensor has completed the level of detuning needed. Once the detuning has occurred, your car’s fuel mileage will take a nosedive and your engine performancewill suffer as well. In essence, this will negate any savings you may have obtained at the pump.
Ultimately, if you drive a German car, you need a higher octane. Saving a few cents at the pump can cost thousands in engine repair. Avoid the long term cost by using the correct octane for your German car. If your Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, or BMW needs some TLC or has developed a knocking issue, contact us at Shaus Motorsport and we will take good care of your vehicle.
October 18, 2018
Helpful BMW Maintenance Tips
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we want to help you with getting more mileage out of your BMW. These vehicles have some of the best performance engines in the world, but it is easy enough to skip some simple steps and not get the most out of your BMW engine. Here are some tips to extend the life of your BMW engine and increase its overall performance.
One of the simplest steps is also the one that often gets skipped. Change your engine oil and engine oil filter regularly. For older engines, changing every 5,000 miles is an excellent schedule to keep. Newer models that use a full synthetic oil can go 7,000 miles between engine oil services. If you are not sure about the oil your engine requires, check your owner’s manual or visit us at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. If you have an M-Series engine, it is important to only use single weight oil. Do not use variable weight oil as a substitute.
When it comes to getting more mileage out of your BMW, your vehicle’s oil is crucial. It is important to know that not all oil filters are created equally. A lot of fast lube shops use cheaper paper oil filters. These types of filters can have issues with air restriction and frequent clogging. These cheap filters should be avoided to extend the mileage on your BMW engine.
Pay Attention to Your Cooling System
Make sure that your engine has the coolant it needs and that it has enough of it. Getting more mileage out of your BMW requires proper care and attention to such an important but easily overlooked part of your high-performance vehicle.
Use a Specialty Shop
Shops that cater to higher end cars and engines, such as Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, are your best bet in keeping you satisfied and your engine running in top shape for a long time. A trained BMW specialist has a much deeper level of understanding and a visual inspection of your engine will give them the opportunity to catch issues early, long before the issue becomes a costly repair or leaves you in a tough spot with a car that won’t start.
Pay Attention to Your Check Engine Light
Though there are many, many reasons that your check engine light comes on while driving, do not be the driver who ignores it. There are three main reasons that prompt the light to come on: fuel distribution and flow, air distribution and flow, and spark delivery to the combustion chamber. Some reasons can be quite simple like your gas cap isn’t sealing properly, but some can be an indicator of a much more serious problem. Ignoring the light can cause your engine serious damage and can put a serious dent in your wallet.
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we want you to know whether you are getting more miles out of your BMW. These simple steps are a good start to extending the life of your engine. If you want more help and tips to keep your engine in top shape, contact us a Shaus Motorsport in Aurora.
September 18, 2018
Porsche Service...Keeping Them Fun to Drive
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora we know how much fun a Porsche is to drive and look at. To help you be a better Porsche owner, here is a list of common problems if you own a Porsche. Because we specialize in servicing elite brands like Porsche we know how important it is for an owner of such refined machinery to be familiar with their vehicles, both the good and the not so good. Luckily, if you experience any of these issues, you can certainly bring your vehicle to the shop for VIP repairs.
No or Low Battery Power
When a car, like a Porsche, is not driven as much as it could be, no or low battery power can become an issue. Vehicles continue to use some battery power during storage and some, such as the Porsche, use more than expected. Losing battery power completely can cause additional annoyance and headaches because it resets multiple systems. You can avoid this issue by using a battery maintainer any time you will not be driving the car for two or more weeks.
Burning Oil/Oil Leaks
On Porsche vehicles oil leaks can stem from a number of common sources. Valve cover gaskets are common sources, as are spark plug seals. The most frequent sources is also the most potentially destructive one: the rear main seal. In the center of the engine trans area a leaking main seal will be apparent. If a leak is occurring there, it will destroy the clutch in a manual vehicle very quickly.
Vehicles that are often stored away, such as Porsche's will develop the leak during storage or during the initial start-up following a storage period. The heat of driving maintains the efficiency of the seal and in some instances, the leak will slow but still can do major damage. The downside is that the transmission must be removed to replace the seal when you bring your Porsche in for repair. It’s a tricky task.
Heavy Clutch Pedal on Your Turbo 911
In 911 Turbo Porsches, the clutch pedal can become heavy. If this is the case, it is likely that the cause may be the pressure accumulator. This device is designed to maintain the necessary hydraulic pressure to operate the clutch after the engine stops. Often, the device will not function prior to startup because it is leaking pressure back into the system. If the accumulator has failed, the slave cylinder is also frequently harmed and may also need to be replaced. If the slave cylinder is fine, expect that its lifespan has probably been shortened by this problem.
Check Engine Light
There can be a number of different reasons that the check engine light goes on in a Porsche. One of the most commons issues for a 6-cylinder is a problem in the MAF and O2 systems. Often the front O2 sensors fail and will cause the MAF to endeavor to compensate for the failure. Frequently, only the O2 sensors will be replaced but within a couple hundred miles or so, the check engine light will be back on. The reason will be that the MAF is now failing as well. We, at Shaus Motorsports, will generally recommend replacing both the O2 sensors and the MAF at the same time to avoid this issue.
Recognizing some of the common problems if you own a Porsche will allow you to spot them earlier and in some cases prevent them. If you end up experiencing one of the above issues or if you have a different problem with your Porsche, contact us at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora and we can get your Porsche issue fixed quickly and to our high standards.
July 22, 2018
What A Turbocharger Does for the Engine
Do you know what a turbocharger does for the engine?
Here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we shed light on the subject. 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. What a turbocharger does is 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. What a turbocharger does is allowing you to gain speed without more cylinders.
Turbochargers: Like a Small Jet Engine
When we talk about what a turbocharger does, 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 what a turbocharger does, 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 what a turbocharger does and how it works, 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 makes us the most excited about what a turbocharger does. 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.
July 10, 2018
BMW Scheduled Maintenance
BMW tune-ups and maintenance can lengthen the life of your prized BMW. Here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we think maintenance and tune-ups are an excellent way to improve the performance of your vehicle and reduce your chances of major issues. Though “tune-ups” aren’t really used the same way as they did in the past, you can certainly tune-up your engine by taking care of the following areas of your BMW machine.
A spark plug can tell you a lot about the condition of your BMW’s condition. Inspecting your spark plugs during regular BMW tune-ups and maintenance can reveal early possible problems. We recommend getting them checked every 30,000 miles and replaced every 100,000 miles. Changing your spark plugs avoids them seizing in the block which can result in expensive repairs in the future. Be sure to track which cylinder the spark plug came out of so that you are aware of which cylinder may have a problem.
Spark Plug Wire Sets
Spark plug wire sets used to need to be replaced with regularity. There have been dramatic reductions in failures and problems due to the use of better materials and sizing. They also now have increased operating ranges. These wires should be tested for proper resistance but they no longer warrant routine replacement like other parts of your BMW.
Distributor Cap and Rotor
The rotor and the distributor cap are generally plastic and so they often deteriorate with use over time. Cracks can develop which can let in moisture. Both the distributor cap and rotor have metal contacts that can corrode. If the contacts become worn, your BMW engine can misfire as a result. Be sure to have these parts replaced when they are worn or at least checked for issues during BMW tune-ups and maintenance.
Air filters trap dirt and other particles as the air passes through the filter. In older BMWs, the air filter helps to protect the carburetor. In newer models, the air filter is helping to protect the fuel injector. Generally, you should replace your BMW air filters every 20,000 miles. If you live in a dusty area or drive dirt roads, your vehicle’s air filter will need to be replaced more frequently. Any air filter that looks really dirty or is damaged should be replaced regardless of how many miles it should last.
One of the basics of BMW tune-ups and maintenance is your oil filter which is simple to replace and doing do stops unnecessary wear on your engine. Oil filters remove rust, soot, and any other solid contaminants from your engine’s oil. They should be replaced every 3,000 miles at the same time that your engine’s oil is replaced.
PVC Breather Filter
Every 30,000 miles your PVC filter should be changed. Your PVC filter makes sure that only clean air is drawn through the PVC breather. If your PVC filter is clogged, your PVC is unable to siphon away the moisture and gases created by engine combustion. A clogged PVC filter will cause sludge buildup and can result in oil breaking down.
A BMW fuel filter stops various contaminants from getting into your fuel system. These contaminants can clog the injector inlet screens. The pintle valve and seat can also get clogged if dirt and contaminants get into the injector itself. In older cars, the fuel filter helps stop dirt from plugging up the carburetor’s fuel metering openings.
Clogged fuel filters can result in your vehicle stalling due to a restriction of fuel flow. They can also cause loss of speed power as well as hard starting. To avoid these problems, change your fuel filters every 30,000 miles, annually, or when other fuel system parts need to be replaced as well (whichever of these conditions happen to occur first).
Automatic Transmission Filter
Transmission filters help the transmission fluid stay clean enough to properly transmit energy as well as cool and lubricate the moving parts of your BMW transmission. If your transmission filter is clogged, your transmission may slip, have trouble engaging gears, and hesitate. To help your engine last longer, your transmission filter should be changed around every 12,000-15,000 miles during regular BMW tune-ups and maintenance.
Easiest Way to Extend Engine Life
If there is one thing that can easily and inexpensively help your engine last longer, it is changing your filters. If you need your BMW’s filters changed, contact us at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora.
Other BMW Maintenance Parts
There are other parts that are not technically BMW tune-ups and maintenance areas but they can help the “tune-up” work be more successful. Some of these may be viewed as not critical but that’s not really true. If your vehicle needs to pass emission tests, taking care of the parts are essential to keeping your BMW working properly and operating safely.
- Oxygen sensor: Also called your O2 sensor, this engine part should be replaced at recommended intervals. A worn down oxygen sensor can change your engine’s settings in a negative way.
- Vacuum hoses: Each vacuum hose needs to be checked and replaced as may be necessary. A number of your vehicle’s major systems rely on the manifold vacuum’s signals and functions. Even the smallest leak in your vacuum hoses can cause serious performance issues. In some cases, your BMW may not run with a vacuum leak and checking them can help keep you on the road.
- Temperature sensors: The sensors in your vehicle control your cooling system, the exhaust system, and the fuel injection system. If one of your temperature sensors is not functioning properly, your BMW will likely not perform well either.
Other Tips for Your BMW
Cleaning your engine is preventative maintenance. If your engine is clean, it runs better and cooler. Clean engines also last longer. So, make sure that you’re taking care of your vehicle’s needs on a regular basis.
Keeping up with your BMW tune-ups and maintenance will keep your BMW humming and will help your engine last much longer. Contact us here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora if you need some maintenance performed on your BMW.