Bavarian Motors Denver German car repair shop

303-656-9268

8484 South Valley Highway

Englewood, CO 80112
Open Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm

The highest quality German auto repair center in Denver.

Say Yes to Safety, By Saying No to “Pad Slaps”

German car brake repair Bavarian Motors DenverA “pad slap” brake job is one where new brake pads are installed, but the rotors or discs are not replaced or resurfaced. NOT acceptable. It’s a hot topic on repair threads online, and a much debated topic between techs and DIY gearheads. You will hear heated debates arguing for and against “pad slaps.” The “pro” side touting the money saved, the “against” side valuing safety over expense.

At Bavarian Motors, we are against “pad slap” brake jobs. When we replace front or rear brakes for one of our customers, we replace the pads, rotors and the sensor. Yes it is more expensive than simply changing out the pads, but doing so provides the highest level of safety, and that is more important.  Replacing the rotors will give the pads a fresh surface to seat. Doing a complete brake job can also greatly reduce brake noise, and the risk of a part or system failure.

Some people argue for a compromise between a “pad slap” and a complete brake service. It used to be that you could stretch the life of your brakes and save some money by re-surfacing the rotors, and installing new pads, and this would be considered an acceptable brake job. In some cases, depending on the quality and specs of the rotor, and with the right equipment and experience to cut the discs, it still is.

On European cars though, the metal used now is softer than before, which translates to better stopping power, but also faster wear.  As a result, the rotors wear down almost as fast as the brake pads and they get glazed very quickly.

In pairing new brake pads with old rotors, you run the risk of those rotors (re-surfaced or not) dropping below spec, while the new pads are still “meaty.” The potential for warping increases, and the ability for those discs to dissipate heat drops. You could end up with hot spots on your rotors, which translates to brake failure. The strain of driving up and down steep grades, like through the foothills and Rocky Mountains, is a prime situation for the latter to happen.

If you question the necessity of replacing the rotors, as well as the pads, we are more than happy to send you photos of the discs or show them to you when you come back to pick up your car.

Incidently, asking to see the old parts is one way to ensure that a complete brake job was done at say, one of those shops that offers a  rock-bottom price on brake jobs. Is itreally a bargain?

Brake jobs are a safety service, first and foremost. As a Bavarian Motors’ customer, you can rest assured that you will get a complete brake job every time – never just a “pad slap.”

 

SNOW TIRES? Good idea!

winter tires Bavarian Motors DenverIf you came into my shop in the past month, and asked me about tires, my recommendation was “Snow Tires, Snow Tires, Snow Tires!.”  In fact, I think it’s been longer than a month now that I have been saying you should have winter tires on your vehicle – especially if you travel to the mountains. But did I have snow tires?  Nope.  A mechanics car goes “barefoot” in the snow.

I am a skier, and I’m teaching my daughter to ski as well. We have been up in the mountains quite a bit this season already.  Let me say, even with the X5 and all wheel drive, Loveland Pass has been sketchy a few times.  I went around one of the hair pin turns at about 30 degrees off – basically drifted through, and recovered.  I just hadn’t gotten around to following my own advice, and was running summer tires still.

New Year’s Eve day, I finally put the winter “shoes” on the X5.  It made such a huge difference! I should heed my own advice more often. The X5, which is pretty sure-footed on a regular basis, and can just barely get by without winter treads, turned into a nimble mountain goat.

I drove up to Keystone to ski New Year’s Day, and it was snowing all the way up and back.  My traction control didn’t come on once.  I even tried a few times to goose the gas and get it to light up.  The tires just stuck like glue.  Not only did the X5 hold better on acceleration, but it was stopping like it would on dry roads. The difference that the snow tires made, gave me so much more confidence in making it up and back and getting around.

So it boils down to this.  Do you think you are going to be driving in the snow a bit this year?  More then a few times? Get some winter tires.  Seriously.  Are you a skier?  Get some winter tires.  No really.  Get winter tiers.

I will even help.  Go shopping for them now:

http://www.tirerack.com/winter/index.jsp

By the way, for you BMW fans, check out the video comparing Winter vs All Season use on an E90 3 series.

‘Tis the Season to Be Grateful

I  hope you all have had a wonderful holiday – relaxing and celebrating with family and friends.

VW repair Bavarian Motors Denver

I am coming up on my first year at my new location, and I would like to thank all of the people who have entrusted their BMW’s, Audi’s, and VW’s  to me for diagnostics and repairs – I am grateful for your business!

After years of working for other people in their shops, it’s been nice to have a garage of my own.  What do I like the best about it? I know the work is done the way I want it to be done. I stand behind every job that I do. There is more to a sense of ownership than a piece of paper and a “shingle” above your door. It’s  about understanding German and other European cars, doing the repairs right, and connecting with the people behind the cars.

And I’ve had the opportunity to meet many interesting people before and since I opened the doors to Bavarian Motors. In the year ahead, I look forward to seeing familiar customers return and to meeting new folks too.

We are also growing! In addition to Shannon, the Shop Manager, who started in September,  I have plans to hire another tech in the first half of 2014, to help us balance out a steady and increasing workload.  New lifts will be added. More tools will be bought. We might even get a fancy coffee machine and a cooling system in place – look out!

It’s exciting to look towards the new year and think of all the possibilities.

Thanks again to all the Bavarian Motors customers for making 2013 a great starting year!

Chris Bruun

 

 

Buying a New-to-You Car?

SmartShopper Bavarian Motors DenverThat new car smell.  We all love it.  Even when the car isn’t new, just new to us.  I can get a bit carried away checking out a new set of wheels, myself.  We all can.  That’s why I always recommend getting a PRE-purchase inspection done on the vehicle you want to buy.  I pay for someone else to do an inspection for me when I am shopping for a new ride, because in my “new toy” euphoria, I can’t be objective. It’s just too easy, and potentially too costly, to see what you want to see and to believe what you hear from the sales person or owner.

Getting the inspection done before you sign any paperwork is the way to go.  A post-purchase inspection 9 times out of 10 reveals a list of repair work that must be done, and usually a big, unexpected bill.  I know.  I’ve broken the bad news to customers a few times. Once you’ve bought the vehicle, you own it, problems and all, and not every seller is honest about the true condition of the car. Now it’s your problem, and it’s a painful realization to face.

My pre-purchase inspection is a comprehensive, bumper to bumper, press every button I can find, open every compartment, put it up in the air, look for anything out of the norm inspection.  I take a look at the car from the top down and the bottom up – check for any leaks, check the brakes, look for any indication the vehicle has been in a wreck, and test drive the car to make sure the engine, transmission, steering, suspension – all operate correctly.

I discuss my findings with you, write up estimates for the repairs that the vehicle needs, and give you a copy of them. The cost is $90.00, and it buys you bargaining power, or the information  you need to convince you to keep looking. Either way,  it’s worth it.

 

BRAKES: Winterize Tip #4 – Stop. Think about this…

brake service Bavarian Motors DenverJust as your gas mileage will vary depending on where and how you drive, so it goes with the life of your brakes.

If you’re a city driver, lots of stop and go traffic will wear your brakes out faster than if the majority of your driving is done on relatively flat, fast-moving highways.

In European cars, brake pad sensors will give you a dashboard warning when the brakes need to be serviced, but you can also rely on the advice of an experienced, trustworthy auto tech (like, eh-hem, myself), to inspect your brakes and give you an honest assessment ahead of the warning.

At Bavarian Motors, we use top of the line parts, and always replace the pads and rotors when doing a brake job. In the last 25 years, most European, especially German, automakers – BMW, Audi, Volkswagen – have switched to rotors that are made of softer metal. While the softer metal on OEM rotors gives you excellent stopping capability, it also means that when the pads are done, the rotors are done too, which is why we always replace both.

Call us today to have your winter tires put on, and ask us to inspect your front and rear brakes while we have your car on the lift.

Inspecting your pads, rotors, calipers and brake lines once a year for wear and damage can protect you and your passengers, while also saving you money, by catching any issues before they become too costly.

 

TIRES! TIRES! TIRES! Winterize TIP #5

Folksy forecasters, like Caleb Weatherbee, of the infamous Farmer’s Almanac, are predicting a “piercing cold winter” this year in Colorado. While we have plenty of sunny days all through the year, frosty temperatures and snowfall are ahead of us. Now is the time to get your car ready for the season.

TIRES! Good tread provides good traction and will see you through some ugly road conditions during stormy and cold weather.

Tires are your car’s only contact with the road – we hope!  Braking, acceleration and handling are all impacted while driving on wet and/or icy roads. Having good winter tires on your car is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your safety. Have your tires inspected and replaced as necessary.

If you need new all seasons or winter treads, we recommend going to Tire Rack.com. You can type in your vehicle information, and compare different brands of tires, based on specs and price. I am a certified Tire Rack Installer. Once you make a choice, place your order and have the tires drop-shipped to Bavarian Motors. We’ll set up an appointment to mount and balance your new tires and put you back on the Colorado winter roads with confidence!