Boston Motor Werks is a strong believer in Original BMW parts, fluids, and accessories. Through our years of experience at both the dealer and independent shops, nothing has provided better quality, reliability, and longevity than factory original parts. We stand behind our workmanship and parts because of this reason. Various aftermarket parts we find have shorter lifespans and poorer performance to match their lower costs.
First, we must define what an aftermarket part is. A lot of suppliers use the term ‘OEM’ or ‘OES’. However, the terms OEM and OES can cause a bit of confusion, as they refer to Original Equipment Manufacturer or Original Equipment Supplier. They do not mean ‘OE’, or Original Equipment. Yes, there is a difference, and sometimes a really big difference. Original Equipment is a factory BMW part, i.e. has the BMW stamp on the part and is the part that is installed at BMW’s assembly line. OEM or OES is that supplier’s part that they do NOT supply to BMW’s assembly line; it is that company’s part that they sell to the general public. Now, not all of these parts are bad or defective, but many of them are a far cry from the quality of the parts that carry the BMW stamp.
The old aged mantra ‘you get what you pay for’ definitely applies to parts. People tend to be attracted to aftermarket parts mainly for their lower costs. Those lower costs frequently bring with them lower or sub-par performance. When these parts fail pre-maturely, you will have to bring your car to the shop again and will be paying for labor to replace the item again, thus spending more money, time, and effort than if the job was done right the first time. And that is if that poor quality part did not leave you stranded on the side of the road. They are counter-intuitive. Ultimately you will end up spending more money to do the job again, which defeats the purpose of buying the cheaper part to begin with. We believe in doing the job right the first time.
Boston Motor Werks encourages and even amplifies regular factory maintenance for every BMW, regardless of year. We strongly believe that maintenance is the key for a reliable vehicle. Maintenance is not simply an act of keeping a car in good running shape. Maintenance and preventative maintenance is the single largest deterrent of large repair bills. So many issues on today’s modern cars are easily avoided by following the proper maintenance on the vehicle. Ignoring maintenance on your vehicle is like investing in future problems you will have. You are almost guaranteeing that those issues will happen. Such a wide variety of issues that we see on a daily basis could easily have been avoided with the proper maintenance. There is not enough that can be said about this topic. We encourage all our customers to take pre-emptive action towards their vehicle to avoid issues due to neglect. Spending a little money now can save you a fortune down the road.
From our experience at the dealer as well as independent repair shops, we have learned that despite advances in part and fluid technology that are supposed to extend service intervals, there is no replacement for the “old school” maintenance program. We highly recommend synthetic oil changes at no more than 5,000 miles regardless of the model year and mineral oil-era cars at no more than 3,000 mile intervals. The dealer-recommended 15,000 mile oil change leaves a large margin for potential engine wear and damage, especially with the high technology on BMW engines (Vanos, Valvetronic, semi-dry sump oil systems, etc.). Combined with New England traffic and weather conditions, we see pre-mature failures of everything from valvetronic eccentric shafts and levers to crankcase vent valves to standard engine seals simply due to not changing the oil enough. The effects worsen as the mileage builds, especially over 100,000 miles, but the vehicles are conveniently out of factory warranty and it is left up to the owner to pay the full repair costs. BMW engines are designed to easily see over 300,000 miles with simple maintenance complimenting the appropriate repairs. Visit any sizeable BMW car show and you will regularly see BMW vehicles with 300-400,000 miles on them and sometimes more without any major engine rebuilds. This is not only a testament to the ultimate driving machine but also to the importance of the proper maintenance for the vehicle, regardless of age or mileage.
We recommend spark plug replacement every 60,000 miles on non-M engines, which is usually done every Inspection II service. Inspection I service, usually every 30,000 miles, consists of an oil change, cabin filter, and if needed (usually recommended) an engine air filter. Inspection II service, usually every 60,000 miles, consists of spark plugs, oil change, engine air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter, and differential fluid flush. At Boston Motor Werks, an Inspection II consists of the above plus brake flush, coolant flush, transmission flush, and if applicable, a transfer case flush. BMW recommend a brake flush every 2 years and a coolant flush every 4 years. The Inspection II service is a perfect time to do that. To us, there is no replacement for changing all the necessary fluids in your vehicle.
Starting with the 2002 7 series, BMW started going way from the inspection I and II intervals and introduced CBS, or condition-based service, into its maintenance programs. Where previous service intervals were calculated only by mileage and fuel consumption, Condition-based service used more advanced sensors and algorithms to calculate service intervals on everything from brakes, spark plugs, and oil to cabin filters and brake fluid.
BMW transmissions are known for being very well built, requiring minimal maintenance for optimal performance. In recent years, BMW began using “lifetime” transmission fluid, which is supposed to be good for 100,000 miles– or the expected life of the transmission. This has reduced required transmission maintenance in late model BMWs. However, older models still require regular transmission service, and even newer models are not immune to transmission issues that require service. Even “lifetime” fluid wears down and can start to negatively influence performance starting around 80,000 miles.
A vehicle’s transmission is a complex assembly that takes power generated by the engine and transfers it to the
wheels. Higher and lower gears transfer that power differently, for more low-end torque or higher speed. Over time, routine use causes small particles of the transmission’s metal to wear off and integrate into the transmission fluid. Clean transmission fluid allows smooth shifting and overall transmission operation.
While the shifting action itself, and the role transmission fluid plays, differs between automatic and manual transmissions, the impact of dirty transmission fluid is the same: poor performance, and increased wear on the mechanical parts, contributing to earlier transmission failure.
We at Boston Motor Werks emphatically recommend regular transmission service at every Inspection 2 service appointment (no later than every 60,000 miles), or at any sign of transmission grinding, slippage, or fluid leak. The reasoning is simple: fluid is cheaper than metal. Replacing your transmission fluid, even “lifetime” fluid, is cheaper than replacing your transmission (or parts thereof). Proactive maintenance will keep your BMW’s transmission performing at its best, and protect against unexpected failure.
Routine transmission service involves
- Draining the current transmission fluid.
- (Automatic only) Install new pan gasket and filter (if replaceable).
- Add the proper type and quantity of oil/fluid for your transmission.
- Check for leaks.
- Test drive the vehicle.
Boston Motor Werks carries exclusively factory diagnostic and repair equipment. We have full BMW programming and coding capabilities to cover all programmable BMW vehicles, from ’96 models to current models. We have sampled many aftermarket diagnostic systems and repair equipment and recommend only factory tools, especially for programming. Our experience has shown us many issues involved with using non-factory tools. We carry and extensively use GT1, Progman, ISTA, and ISTA-P.
As auto manufacturers continue to use more and more technology in their vehicles, electrical systems become more and more complex and thus more difficult to diagnose issues or concerns. With the introduction of CAN-Bus systems running on a complicated electrical and fiber-optic network of modules and system, electrical diagnosis is not as straight forward as it once used to be. How does an passenger door handle cause a DSC light on a 2009 750li? How can a wheel speed sensor cause a Check Engine Light on a 2002 325xi? Without the appropriate factory BMW training and years of experience, these issues and many like them would be near impossible to diagnose, especially without using factory diagnostic software.
BMW, being a dynamic auto maker, offers many factory retro-fit kits from everything from an I-pod interface on a 3-series to a tow hitch on a BMW X5. These kits are factory tested and approved for the correct wiring, power requirements, and vehicle software updates. Being directly from BMW, you can trust that these systems are both tested and reliable and will only improve the ultimate driving machine and not cause new issues like many of the aftermarket equivalents. Boston Motor Werks supports and encourages use of these kits and can install any of them at our facility.
The evolution of modern BMWs as well as the environmental concerns for emissions has seen more precise and calculated fuel mixtures. Fuel systems thus there have become more complicated and increasingly sensitive, especially considering the poor quality of many of our fuels, both high in sulfur and ethanol. Direct fuel injection systems have been stressed the most from the combination of these factors, but we are seeing more and more standard non-direct systems experience fuel pump and fuel injector failure due to poor fuel quality. Carbon build up is one of the combustion engine’s worst enemies, causing poor running characteristics, decreased performance, and increased fuel consumption. While there are many fuel system treatments available to put in your fuel tank, often the cleaning of the fuel injectors is very limited by the time the diluted cleaner makes it to the fuel rail. BMW offers a fuel injection system that plugs directly in the fuel rail and cleans the fuel injectors right away. This is the most efficient and direct way to clean the injectors without removal. Very noticeable differences are made, especially on higher mileage automobiles. This service provides increased power and performance with improved fuel efficiency, and is available on almost any recent model.
BMW check engine lights come on for various reasons. Sometimes these reasons are not even engine related. Whatever the cause of them, they are the main culprit when trying to get an inspection sticker. Boston Motor Werks can not only diagnose and repair the issue, but can perform test plans for each individual OBD-test criteria in order to obtain the inspection sticker faster. Once the repair is complete and the test criteria has been run, obtaining the inspection sticker can usually be done at the same time, without driving the vehicle for a week to get it to pass.
Brakes are a vital part of the safety, function, and reliability of your BMW. They will literally save your life. Why compromise on such an important item with aftermarket parts? We strictly use BMW Original brake pads and rotors. There is no compromise when it comes to brakes. We have sampled scores of brake pads and have found nothing matches the reliability, bite, noise suppression, and performance of BMW Original pads and rotors for street use. BMW brake rotors are made with the highest quality steels and alloys and provide extra resistance to brake warping, scoring, and rust. Savings found with other aftermarket brands never legitimize the poorer braking and shorter functional lifespans of aftermarket rotors and pads. The safety of you and your loved ones depends greatly on this vital component.
Whatever the weather outside, you need to know that your air conditioning system works without fail. Whether blasting cold air into the cabin on warm summer day, or running the compressor to absorb humidity out of the cabin on a cold morning, you need to know that you’re A/C system is as reliable as the rest of your vehicle. Boston Motor Werks offers full A/C service, including charging, leak testing, and repair.
BMW suspension systems are designed and built for the perfect balance of performance, comfort, and safety over a wide variety of road surfaces and conditions. They are largely responsible for what makes BMW the ultimate driving machine. Therefore servicing your suspension is essential in the performance and safety of your BMW. New England roads are very taxing on vehicles in general, and your Bavarian machine is no exception. Pot holes, cold temperatures, and stop & go traffic provide extra strain on vehicles, especially the suspension. For this reason we use BMW Original parts for any bushings, control arms, springs, struts, and shocks as they provide the compromise of balanced handling, ride comfort, and grip while providing maximum longevity. For those looking for a non-factory performance suspension upgrade, we recommend and supply Bilstein sport shocks, H&R springs, Eibach springs, and several other performance suspension items. Please consult one our technicians before purchasing so we may best find components that suit your BMW and driving needs.