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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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Comments

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    So the best choice is to have someone who specializes in the component repair to do that, while we make sure that the rest of the car is operating correctly.

    For something like an instrument cluster, the economics of repair sort of works since the new parts are expensive, but even so, there's only a few online places that do that work and I bet most broken clusters get replaced with new ones (assuming parts are available).

    But for something like a blower resistor on my van, it wouldn't be worth turning on the soldering station at a dedicated shop, much less having a general repair shop try to fix a broken trace on it (yeah, mine is solid state).
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    Great article ......bmw owner having the same kind of problem I am having at 12k miles (19K kms). He says BMW is telling him not to rotate tires and Bridgestone says to the tires.

    This guy has the same problem I am having, noise and vibration fo=rom premature wear. I would prefer not to have these run flat tires.

    Wheels.ca ; bmw - to rotate tires or not to rotate tires?

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    In my line of work, things like instrument clusters and ECUs are considered assemblies, or units. Components are the individual things that go into making up those assemblies, and include capacitors, resistors, transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits.

    But, that distinction is really not germane to what I was poking at, and that is the fact that it is the interconnects between components or assemblies that are the major cause of failures. The interconnects are the weak link.

    Your experience closely follows that of my industry. We see very few actual failures of components, unless there has been an over voltage or short circuit condition that was unanticipated and so not protected against. Most of our failures are with the interconnects, either on assemblies (solder joints, PWB traces), or in the wiring/cabling/connectors that interconnect those assemblies.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,015
    edited June 2013
    If you don't have a staggered wheel tire set you should rotate them. The following article is courtesy of my friend Mike Miller(Techical Editor for Bimmer and Roundel magazine):

    Tire Rotation Examined
    By Mike Miller

    Initially, if your BMW has staggered tire and wheel sizing, meaning the rear tires are bigger than the front tires, click the little box in the upper right hand corner of your screen. You can’t rotate your tires anyway.

    BMW presently recommends against rotating tires. Here’s why: In the US, it's normal to bend wheels occasionally, to one extent or another. And not all tires anywhere in the world are perfectly round. When a technician mounts and balances new tires, during the balancing process he will typically note which tire and wheel assembly is the "roundest", i.e., which has the least runout and requires the least weight to achieve 000 on the balancer. These two "roundest" assemblies he will mount at the front owing to BMW's incredible sensitivity to wheel balancing issues.

    Then, down the road, the owner or another well-meaning tech rotates the tires front-to-rear. Next thing you know Old Jed's a millionaire -- you've got a vibration in the steering wheel. The reason is that one of the tire and wheel assemblies formerly at the rear and now at the front are not entirely round. If a technician rotated the tires, the customer then brings the car back to the shop complaining of a vibration, requiring a road test, dismounting, balancing, more road testing, etc. Often the customer will balk at paying for the additional work.

    Moreover, at BMW dealerships, the customer satisfaction index (CSI) is hugely important in dealer relations with BMW of North America. When NA does a random CSI call on a service customer, scenarios like the foregoing result in comments like, "Well, I had my car at Big Mega Dealer and now I have a front-end vibration! So, I guess I can’t give them a high score now can I?" The system is not set up for further explanation, and without that further explanation, the customer input impacts negatively on the dealer’s CSI score. Eventually dealers complained to BMW of North America, and the end result is the no-rotation policy.

    The thinking is, when you have a BMW that doesn't shake, leave it alone.

    Now, armed with this knowledge, if you want to rotate your tires front-to-rear, there's no doubt that you'll get longer tire life. Just be aware of the possible balancing ramifications.

    The presumption that the customer is incapable of understanding, or unwilling to understand, these issues is, unfortunately, often correct. However, Roundel Tech Talk takes the approach that it is better to at least attempt to educate people rather than throw out the baby with the bath water.

    © 2002 Mike Miller

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    This guy has the same problem I am having, noise and vibration from premature wear. I would prefer not to have these run flat tires.

    Fixed it for ya....

    To get the performance out of the tires as if you want to drive it like your always racing someone, you unfortunately have to give something else up. The author is correct, and side to side rotation will help a lot. The staggered sizes of course force that to be the only option. At least if they aren't full directional tires you have that option because that allows for the reversal of rotation. If you have full directional, now you actually have to dismount and re-mount and balance the tires to "rotate" them, and that is a waste of time IMO. Being run-flats, I can't even do that for my customers. I don't sell enough tires to justify a $4000 upgrade to my tire machine. (Let alone drop $10,000+ for a new first class version)
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    Tire Rotation Examined
    By Mike Miller


    Thanks for the article...interesting. What do you think about RFTs? It isn't a deal killer for me, but if I like an Audi, MB or Jag, next time around, that could tip the balance.

    I don't think the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. I like the fact you don't have to change a tire on a busy highway or in the middle of nowhere, but, you could be stuck waiting to get new tires if one goes, and if one goes you will probably need 4.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,015
    I run RFTs on my wife's 3er; I have a winter and summer set of tires/wheels. If I get a car with RFTs they will be replacet with conventional tires ASAP; I'll just buy one of BMW's M Mobility kits(or its Continental Tires equivalent) and throw it in the trunk.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Then, down the road, the owner or another well-meaning tech rotates the tires front-to-rear. Next thing you know Old Jed's a millionaire -- you've got a vibration in the steering wheel. The reason is that one of the tire and wheel assemblies formerly at the rear and now at the front are not entirely round. If a technician rotated the tires, the customer then brings the car back to the shop complaining of a vibration, requiring a road test, dismounting, balancing, more road testing, etc. Often the customer will balk at paying for the additional work.

    Moreover, at BMW dealerships, the customer satisfaction index (CSI) is hugely important in dealer relations with BMW of North America. When NA does a random CSI call on a service customer, scenarios like the foregoing result in comments like, "Well, I had my car at Big Mega Dealer and now I have a front-end vibration! So, I guess I can’t give them a high score now can I?" The system is not set up for further explanation, and without that further explanation, the customer input impacts negatively on the dealer’s CSI score. Eventually dealers complained to BMW of North America, and the end result is the no-rotation policy.


    Let's see if I have the rules of this game correct. If I had written the above paragraphs, I would be making excuses but when someone else writes them its acceptable. Check...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,015
    edited June 2013
    Let's see if I have the rules of this game correct. If I had written the above paragraphs, I would be making excuses but when someone else writes them its acceptable. Check...

    Life is hard...
    In Mike's example the tech isn't doing anything wrong- and Mike isn't attempting to justify lazy, sloppy, or incompetent work. There are no "wrong numbers". Also, I've never attempted to justify the flawed CSI metric that BMW(and most all other manufacturers ) utilize.

    Perhaps later I'll post one of Mike's comments that addresses poor service...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Also, I've never attempted to justify the flawed CSI metric that BMW(and most all other manufacturers ) utilize.

    Well what do you know, There's something we agree on!
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    I thought I felt a little ground tremor this morning. :shades:

    My wife took the van an hour up the road this morning. First real drive she's had in it since the timing belt adjustment and throttle body cleaning. I'm hoping she has a good drive. If not, that 200k goal of mine may fade away.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,637
    You guys should spend a few days in the Edmunds' ANSWERS section and just see some of the "diagnoses" people receive from...ahem..."technicians". Doc would choke on his sandwich.

    Things like (paraphrase)--"he put a screwdriver on the valve cover and said I needed new camshafts"

    OR

    "the mechanic replaced the throttle body, the MAF sensor, the 02 sensors, the coils, the crankshaft sensor, new fuel pump and filter, and the car still stalls.."
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,015
    I am contemplating returning to my roots(I came from a "Ford family") and picking up a Focus ST. What is your opinion of the EcoBoost motor installed in that car? I'd probably drive it for several years before I flipped it to my son.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Don't know that much about them as far as if there are any issues with them to be concerned about. Plus with the free pre-paid maintenance and longer warranties, it will be at least two years before I'm likely to see one in the shop and five years or more before I get to diagnose and fix anything on one of them.

    Ford has done some things a little different from the other manufacturers. There are more fuel system components that can be reused if they must be removed during servicing. Ford has elected to reduce the reversion tendencies which should tend to keep the intake valves cleaner than other manufacturers.

    If you have specifics as to what you are interested in knowing I can do some research, but otherwise have to leave them at no-news is good news.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,015
    edited June 2013
    If you have specifics as to what you are interested in knowing I can do some research, but otherwise have to leave them at no-news is good news.

    Thank you for your help; the only complaint I've run across on the ST forums is an issue with the rear motor mount allowing too much engine movement- but Ford already has a TSB which addresses the issue.
    Thanks again.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,015
    So far the engine used in the ST appears to be relatively problem free, but-like any new car purchase-you can get a bad one or a good one.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,637
    That's good to hear. I haven't heard all that much about the car other than that it is way fun. I bet, too, that it would remind me of my MINI, because I hear it has some serious torque steer. But gee, 252 HP, that's a "hot hatch" all right! :)
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    Not only are Escapes and Fusions selling well despite the recalls, but Ford also is adding a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that it makes elsewhere to the lineup because it canÕt make enough 1.6-liter EcoBoost engines to keep up.

    Does this statement from that article make sense to anyone?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    I'll add more to this a little later but scanning through the recall TSB I found the labor time that it will pay the tech to be .3 hrs. A little further down as the reflash process was being detailed as to how the the steps were to be performed was the line, "This process can take up to one hour"....... :sick:
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