Can I use Regular Oil in My Audi or BMW?

audi engine

If you’ve never owned a German car before, you might not be familiar with this strange rule regarding regular and synthetic oil in your engine. There are quite a few reasons that you cannot use regular oil in an Audi or BMW, one of the most important being that you will void the warranty of the vehicle if you do so.

Synthetic Oil Flows Better Through Your Engine

This rule was set in place in order to enforce the use of synthetic oil, and there’s good reason too. Conventional oil and synthetic oil have different weights and densities to them, which changes how the oil flows through the engine. The thicker viscosity of natural oil doesn’t flow properly, which causes the engine to wear out faster.

Synthetic Oil is Cleaner Than Regular Oil

While commonly used natural motor oil is refined from crude oil, it can still contain unwanted elements that make it through this process. These small minerals can gradually cause unwanted buildup in an engine which can hurt the performance and the lifespan of the engine. Alternatively, synthetic oil doesn’t have this issue because it’s synthesized with chemical compounds in a controlled process, which eliminates the possibility of contamination. 

Synthetic Oil Performs Better in Extreme Temperatures

In addition to being cleaner and lower viscosity, synthetic oil is also designed to better regulate the temperature of your engine. Not only does it perform better in extreme heat and extreme cold, but it keeps your engine from overheating and prevents unnecessary wear and tear. This not only improves performance but increases the lifespan of your engine.

Synthetic Oil Provides More Mileage Per Change

Although Synthetic oil is more expensive than natural options, it is designed to be changed less often, therefore giving you more miles in between each oil change. While this factor probably won’t save you money it will gradually even out to be about the same cost as regular oil. In other words, don’t sweat spending a little more for an oil change, it will save you trouble in the long run.

Have Your Vehicle Serviced by An Expert

BMW and Audi each have very similar lists of oil brands and types that are safe to use in their vehicles. Depending on what year your vehicle was made, and even what climates you’re driving in, the type of oil that is most efficient could be different. For best results, have your vehicle serviced with a shop that specializes in BMW and Audi care. Feel free to give us a call at 617-489-0291 or contact us here.

What Should I Do if My Transmission is Slipping?

vintage shifter on a manual transmission

What Should I Do if My Transmission is Slipping?

Your car’s transmission is one of its most complex systems. There’s a lot that needs to happen in order for it to function and shift gears properly. While regular maintenance is always a good idea, it could also be the beginning of a more serious problem, especially if it isn’t given attention immediately. You should definitely know the early warning signs that your transmission needs to be serviced. 

The Signs That Your Transmission is Slipping

There are many possible indicators that your transmission might be having trouble, the most notable is a slow or delayed shift when accelerating. You can usually tell that your car is shifting gears by the change in pitch and a drop in your RPM. If your car is changing gears suddenly without acceleration or deceleration from you, get your car serviced immediately as it could be dangerous to drive. Other warning signs include grinding noises, revving or “chugging” sounds, issues with driving in reverse, or If you smell burning or other unexpected smells. Don’t wait until you see all of these signs, the sooner you get help, the better chances you have. 

The Causes Behind Your Transmission Issues

Because automatic transmissions especially are such complex machines, there’s a quite a few possible reasons for your troubles that range from more common to more serious.

Lack of Fresh Transmission Fluid Can Cause Slipping

The majority of transmission issues stem from low or burnt out transmission fluid. Luckily this is the easiest and least expensive way to regularly maintain your transmission. Depending on the manufacturer, you will want to change the fluid every so often. A well taken care of transmission is bound to last you many more years than one that hasn’t been given enough attention. Take your car to your mechanic to get a fluid flush if the transmission fluid is low, burned out, or old.

Worn Out Transmission Gears Can Begin to Slip

Failure to regularly maintain your transmission fluid can begin to wear on your gears. The excess heat that is usually dispersed by fresh fluid builds up and causes the gears on your transmission to slip. If they cannot engage properly they will slip out of synch. There could also be a malfunctioning set of gears, which could be caused by an error in the car’s production.

Your Transmission Has A Defective Solenoid

The solenoid is the part of your transmission that controls the flow of transmission fluid using electromagnetic fields. When you shift gears, the solenoid pushes transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the next gear. A defective solenoid could be causing a lack of transmission fluid to enter the transmission, which could cause overheating and slipping. If you’ve been regularly servicing your transmission fluid, replacing the solenoid could be the next step to solving your issues.

Worn Out Transmission Bands Can Cause Slipping

Bands are the elements of the transmission that link the gears of an automatic transmission together. In order for the transmission to reach optimal performance, bands and clutches must engage and release the different gears with precision. Broken or worn out transmission bands can cause slipping and need to be either adjusted or completely replaced. Clutch plates in both the transmission and torque converter might also be worn out and require a replacement. These issues most commonly stem from a lack of clean transmission fluid.

Your Clutch Needs to Be Replaced

Rather than a main clutch in a standard or manual transmission, automatic transmissions employ the use of a torque converter. These converters connect to the engine through the bell housing. Both torque converters and manual clutches rely heavily on clean transmission delivery from the solenoid. Over time, clutches are worn out from normal use and commonly need to be replaced at some point after the midpoint of the car’s life.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing any of the above issues, or if your transmission needs a thorough diagnosis, we are happy to provide you with top quality transmission services, give us a call at 617-489-0291 or contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

mechanic holding a car air filter over an engine

We spend a lot of our time in our car, more than 293 hours a year according to a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, so it’s important that we make it as comfortable as possible, wouldn’t you agree? Clean air is essential for not only our comfort but also for our health- therefore it is crucial to consider getting your car’s air filter changed this spring.
The air filter in your car should be changed about every 20,000 miles or so, this can be translated to spring car maintenance must. Take a look at these 3 reasons you should have an air filter change this spring:

Your BMW Will Thank You

Well, not all of us have a Mercedes or Porsche but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t baby our vehicles. A clean car is a happy car-plus you might be happy with the dust-free environment as well.
Think of the inside of your car like a fish tank when you don’t change the filter the water gets grimy as dirt start to build up inside. It’s about the same concept as your vehicle, as you should be trying to keep the dust from settling on the dash, seats, and compartments.

Keep Out the Pollen!

If your vents are not working properly, you may end up with debris from outside coming through your vents, including pollen. If you are like many people in the spring, pollen can be a major issue-so deciding on air filter services is a very good idea.

Think of your car as a sanctuary spot from the pollen outside-you won’t be able to always avoid it, but you can certainly make it much easier on yourself by keeping up with a working air filter.

It’s Just Good Maintenance

Routine vehicle maintenance is crucial for the longevity and smooth operation of your car. Though air-filters have improved over time, they still need to be serviced to keep problems from arising in your engine. Changing your air filter will prevent spoiled spark plugs that can affect performance or have negative effects on the engine.
All things considered, this is a quick and cheap service that will be worth spending a little time and money on. If you have additional question or concerns, don’t hesitate to call Boston Motor Werks, we’ll be happy to get you taken care of!

Spring Car Maintenance Tips

car driving down a road in spring

As Spring approaches there is a lot to look forward to driving your car. With the roads cleared of salt and snow, and the days getting longer, spring is a great time to drive around. However, winter can add a lot of strain to your car, and it may need repairs or at least a checkup. Make sure to follow these spring car maintenance tips to keep your car healthy and ready for the summer months.


Engine Checks

Early spring is the best time to bring your car in to see a licensed technician. The winter months can do the most damage to your engine and seeing a professional is the best way to ensure your car is ready for the next twenty thousand miles. Every car owner should consider getting an oil change, rotating their tires, and having an inspection with a mechanic licensed for their car model this spring. Spring is also a good time to check your fluid levels, air conditioning, and air filters.



Tire pressure should always be checked at the beginning of spring. Cold weather can change your tire pressure so every driver should make sure that your tires are properly filled this spring. You should also do a visual inspection of your tires and rims to check for any debris that could puncture your tires, snow often pulls debris into the roads in later winter. Another good habit is to have your suspension checked professionally at a good repair shop before driving this spring.



When it comes to your car’s body, there are a few things you should do after every winter. Make sure to have your car washed and waxed. Washing your car, especially your wheel wells, is necessary to remove the dirt, salt, and silt from driving in the winter. Having your car waxed will protect your car from the sun this spring and summer. Consider replacing your windshield wipers if they were damaged during the winter and apply an anti-rain product to your windows to keep your windshield clean during the rainier months coming up.


If you are looking to have your BMWMercedes, or your Porsche serviced this spring consider coming down to Boston Motor Werks. At Boston Motor Werks we are experts at getting your car spring and summer ready this year. From rotating your tires to performing your A or B service your car will be ready to handle the seasonal transition from winter to spring.

Just like with regular cars, BMW’s, Porsche’s and Mercedes’s need to have regular inspections for optimal performance. This goes especially well with fuel systems as internal combustion engines will not run without them. There are parts in a fuel system that are meant to stand up to years of use, but some parts tend to out last longer than other parts of the system. The system as a whole should be inspected regularly to see what parts of the system need to be check on.  As some parts of a fuel system need to be inspected more often than a others as well as different parts needing different levels of maintenance.

Fuel System Parts To Be Inspected

  • Fuel Filter – The fuel filter needs to be inspected or replaced the most often out of the other parts of the fuel system. Regular inspection is good to keep track of its usage so you know when to get it replace. Filters of a fuel system should be replaced every 10,000-15,000 miles.
  • Hoses – The hoses in which the fuel running to components of the engine bay should be checked regularly. Whenever you have your car serviced, ask your mechanic to check these tubes for breaks, blockage or anything else that would cause concern.
  • Fuel Injectors – Injectors should be inspected annually for performance issues. However, they should be replaced if there are issues with fuel delivery within your engine.
  • Fuel Lines – As with any line in your car, if you see that fuel is leaking under your car then you should have your hard fuel lines inspected. Any leakage should result in replacing those faulty lines for new ones that will not leak.
  • Fuel Pump – Pumps usually last around 100,000 miles but there could be signs that inspection is needed. This happens when the pumps begin surging fuel towards the engine or not delivering enough fuel. You will want to get an inspection regardless of the mileage if any surging begins.
  • Fuel Tanks – Fuel tanks necessarily don’t need to be inspected as they tend to last around 10 years. However, to extend the life of your fuel tank, avoid water and excess moisture at all cost to extend the life of your tank past 10 years.

Performing regular inspections and maintenance will increase the life span of your fuel system as well as providing your vehicle with consistent performance. To schedule a fuel system inspection for your BMW, Porsche or Mercedes call our office today!



The Boston Motor Werks Guide to Complete BMW Winterization

The weather is about to start cooling down, and soon it will be winter. Sub-zero temperatures, ice, and snow will all combine to create dangerous driving conditions. Some of these factors will also negatively impact your BMW’s performance. And then there’s the salt. Boston uses an enormous amount of salt on the roads in order to keep them driveable. But salt is corrosive, and can damage your BMW’s paint and finish, as well as the exposed parts and metal beneath the car.

“Out of sight, out of mind” can create serious headaches when it comes to driving during a Boston winter. Here are the most important items to check on your BMW if you plan to do so, and want to minimize the toll it takes on you and your vehicle.


Cold temperatures do bad things to batteries. Cold batteries lose starting power, and cold engines take more power to turn over. As a result, starting your car may become impossible. Your trip will end before it even gets started.

Have your battery load tested to ensure it’s capable of starting your car during the well-below-freezing temperatures we’re sure to see this winter.


Keep your tire pressure at its recommended level. Too much or too little air in the tires will reduce the amount of rubber making contact with the road. Cold weather reduces air pressure in your tires (around 1 psi per 10 degrees), so be prepared to put more air in (or let a bit out) depending on the weather.

Depending on where you’re driving, snow tires may be a good idea. Snow tires are made of softer rubber, with tread patterns designed for increased grip in snowy conditions. They won’t stop you from sliding out, but they will help.

Check with a quality area mechanic to determine whether investing in snow tires is a good value for you.


Whether or not you plan to change tire types, you need brakes that function properly in winter more than any other season. Inspect your braking system to ensure you have all of your stopping power available when you need it.


Antifreeze will help keep your engine from icing over, and protects it from corrosion. But antifreeze loses its effectiveness over time. If it’s been a while since you’ve changed it (not just added more, but put a full volume of new fluid in), plan to do so before the temperatures drop too much.

Keep in mind that engines require a mix of antifreeze and water, which may be adjusted for cold weather climates. If you’re not confident in adjusting the ratio, your mechanic should be able to take care of it for you.


Oil thickens as temperatures drop. Thick oil doesn’t lubricate or move through a cold engine as efficiently as it is meant to. It used to be the case that switching to a lighter weight oil was recommended for any model of vehicle. However, this may not be appropriate for your BMW.

Consult your owner’s manual for winter oil recommendations. If a change of oil is required, the proper weight will be listed.

Washer Fluid & Wipers

Rain & snowfall do not concern themselves with your schedule. They can and will show up during your commute, adding decreased visibility to the hazards you have to deal with. Don’t crash because you can’t see out of your windshield!

Water may do the job during the warmer months, but it’s a horrible solution to winter windshield woes. Frozen water in your reservoir and hoses is bad; frozen water on your windshield is worse. Replace it with a winter-ready solution so you don’t get caught out with no way to see what’s in front of you.

In the same vein, check your wiper blades. Many wiper blades aren’t meant to last over a year, and they will take extra punishment during the winter. If they’re showing signs of wear and tear, or you notice they’re not performing as they should, replace them with new blades.


Speaking of visibility: functioning lightbulbs are a must-have for road safety. If your BMW is sporting traditional head/tail lamps (not LED lamps), check to ensure all of your bulbs are working properly.

Interior Protection

Snow and ice that stick to your boots, clothes, and belongings will melt in your car. Water isn’t great for your interior; and salt is worse. Protect your car’s interior with appropriate accessories. Rubber floor mats can keep salt from your carpets, and seat covers will do the same for your leather.

Emergency Kit

A responsible driver will always have some emergency supplies in their vehicle. In the cold Boston winter, consider adding seasonal items such as heavy/insulating blankets, spare snow boots and jackets. If not already part of your emergency kit, also consider adding flares, a radio, engine oil, washer fluid, coolant/antifreeze, and an LED flashlight.

Salt damage prevention

Salt damage is a real concern for Boston auto owners. The winters are already rough, but the salt corrosion can do significant damage to the paint and the exposed metal parts of your vehicle. The best way to keep your BMW in its best condition is to avoid as much of this salt damage as possible. If you will be driving your vehicle this winter, it will be exposed to salt; here’s how you can minimize its effects on your car.

Preventative wash, wax & sealing

Waxing and sealing is what will protect your car from salt corrosion; but the car has to be cleaned first.

Right before temperatures begin to drop, have your car’s exterior thoroughly cleaned with water and a car washing detergent. Don’t skimp out and use dish soap, as it will strip your paint’s finish. Be sure to have the undercarriage cleaned as well.

Once the car is cleaned, have the paint waxed and sealed, and have the undercarriage sealed. Pay close attention to the brake and fuel lines, as they are the most vulnerable to salt damage.

Maintenance wash, wax & seal

Unfortunately, the initial wash and wax may not last you the whole winter. This will depend upon how much you drive and how often the roads you use are salted. If the salting is heavy, return trips may be necessary.

Some car washes will provide steam cleaning and undercarriage cleaning in addition to standard washes. Once clean, have the car re-waxed and re-sealed to restore the protective coatings.

Thaw wash & wax

Finally, when the winter has run its course, the snow starts melting, and the DOT stops salting the roads, give your car one more wash to remove whatever salt you haven’t previously removed. A nice wash and wax will keep your paint and components protected, and have your BMW ready to enjoy the Spring.

How To Diagnose BMW Engine Noise

Most noises from your BMW are the harmless notes of a fully functioning vehicle. Plastic and metal bits from your BMW’s body bump and squeak as they rub together, tires hum against asphalt, wind whooshes past windows, and your engine creates an endless buzz that grows barely noticeable over time.

Most BMW owners know, however, that all sounds coming from your car – especially from the engine – aren’t so harmless. Any noticeable thumping, banging, clicking, squealing or other odd sounds from your engine could indicate a serious problem. If ignored, these underlying problems could lead to major engine damage or failure – both of which pose a threat to your safety and can result in a breakdown. Prevent costly engine repairs and replacement by bringing your BMW to a certified BMW technician at the first sign of these common noises:

Grinding/Screeching: If you hear these noises when turning on your engine it could point to a worn drive belt or pulley.

Hissing or Sizzling: Usually heard after the engine is turned off, these sounds could indicate coolant or oil leaking into the heated part of the engine, a crack in the vacuum line, or an overheating engine.

Knocking/Rough Running: This is one of the most common engine sounds that indicates an issue with ignition coils, spark plugs, and valve gear, or even piston rings and connecting rods.

Whirring: Heard deep within the engine, these sounds indicate an issue with water pump, power steering pump or alternator. If you hear this noise start by checking power steering fluid levels and fill if needed. If the problem still persists, visit a BMW technician for further inspection.

Boston Motor Werks is the local independent BMW specialist you can count on for dealership quality service, maintenance, and repair for all models of BMW. Our certified master technicians are experienced in diagnosing a wide variety of engine sounds and offer complete repair at affordable prices. At the first sign of any strange engine noises, call us at 617-489-0291 or fill out our online form to make an appointment.