Our Current Blog Articles
July 26, 2017
If You Drive a German Car, You Need a Higher Octane
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, 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 performance will 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.
July 12, 2017
Are You Using Your Car AC Correctly?
Are you using your car AC correctly? With the high heat of summer, Shaus Motorsport in Aurora helps a number of BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche owners with their car air conditioning issues. Fixing these issues can be pricey so if you take good care of your AC, you often can avoid a costly repair while easing the strain on your engine and increasing your overall fuel efficiency.
Check out the following guidelines to ensure that the efficiency of your AC is maximized while conserving fuel and saving your engine on your BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche.
Take Advantage of Shade
On hot and sunny days, park your vehicle in the shade. This will keep the inside of your car cooler. The cooler your car is when you start driving it again, the easier it will be to make the internal temperature more comfortable at a faster pace. All of this eases the strain on your AC.
Roll Down Your Windows
Take advantage of the sunny day by rolling all your windows down and letting the wind blow through your hair and your car. The internal temps of your car can get much hotter than it is outside. Letting the hot air out before running the air conditioner will help cool the inside of your car faster.
Use a Low Setting to Start
Cranking your air conditioner right away is a good way to wear out your air conditioner faster while straining your engine, and lowering your fuel mileage. Start your air conditioner on low and allow it to run on low for a while before blasting it on a hot day.
Re-circulating your air will help lighten the load on your vehicle’s air conditioning. When you don’t re-circulate, your air conditioner has to work extra to keep you cool. This increases the wear and tear and affects your car’s engine and mileage.
Turn Your AC Off First
When you arrive at your destination, turn your air conditioner off and leave your fan running at medium speed before turning off your car. By doing this, you will help keep your evaporator dry.
Using your air conditioner lowers the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. The higher you are running the air conditioner, the lower your fuel mileage will be. If you want to save fuel, limit your air conditioner use, lower the level of your air conditioner, and follow our other tips as well.
Get Your AC Serviced Annually
Having your air conditioner checked over regularly will help ensure that it works well on the hottest days of the year. Be sure that your refrigerant levels are checked as well because this is not always included in standard service checks. Use an auto center you trust to service your BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche, like Shaus Motorsport in Aurora.
Are you using your car AC correctly? Using the above tips will help you save your AC and your car. If you have a BMW, Audi, Porsche, or Volkswagen AC issue, call us at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora to get your AC working properly.
June 26, 2017
Getting More Mileage Out of Your BMW
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.
June 13, 2017
Tips for Proper Audi Maintenance
Today, our experts at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora want to provide you with helpful tips for proper Audi maintenance. Although much of what keeps your Audi running smooth has to do with the design and build of this great car, proper care and maintenance are required to keep it in tip-top shape so you can enjoy all the features it has to offer.
It Starts with the Engine
If you want to make sure that you don’t have any timing belt issues, have the necessary parts changed while the belt in your Audi is serviced. This makes it easier because the components are already being accessed, making them readily available. The items that you may want to consider replacing include o-rings, seals, the snub mount, and the Loctite thread locking components.
Another helpful item to check off your list is to determine if your water pump may be leaking. The easiest way to do this is to remove the splash pan. You will notice a coolant trail between the lowest spot on the engine and the pump if the water pump is leaking.
One of our most important tips for proper Audi maintenance is to make sure you're brakes are road ready. Brake fluids need to be changed every 3 years or 30,000 miles, whichever time frame occurs first. If you want to save yourself money, hassle, and time, change the fluids at the same time you are having the brake pads or rotor replaced.
Heed the Audi brake pad warning light. It will indicate that the front rotors and/or brakes should be replaced. The warning light illuminates when this maintenance needs to happen in the next 3,000 miles. There is no sensor for the rear brakes, but if you feel a vibration while braking or hear a metal on metal sound when using the brake, then the rear brakes are in need of repair.
Suspension and Steering
If you want to determine whether your wheel bearing is in need of replacement, listen for a change in the humming pitch while your Audi is running at different speeds. If you hear a low humming when driving between 25-35 mph which shifts to a higher pitch when traveling faster, then your wheel bearing may need to be replaced. The faster the speed, the higher the pitch.
If you are experiencing handling issues, you will want to check your ball joints. They may need to be replaced immediately. The ball joints should be checked yearly regardless of how your Audi is handling. Changing your power steering fluid every 30,000 miles, particularly in hot climates, will help prevent hydraulic issues and potential damage to the components.
Driveline and Transmission
If you experience difficulty shifting, have the transmission fluid and filter replaced. This may resolve the issue. Transmission fluid should be replaced every 30,000-60,000 miles. Instead of replacing the entire drive shaft as part of your maintenance routine or if you are experiencing issues, you may be able to have only the outer CV joints replaced. The inner CV joints typically don’t wear very much.
Now that you have some great tips for proper Audi maintenance, be sure to contact us at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora for your next maintenance or repair service. We would be happy to help you keep your Audi running smoothly.
May 26, 2017
Common Problems if You Own a Porsche
To help you be a better Porsche owner, here is a list of common problems if you own a Porsche from the experts Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. Because we specialize in servicing elite brands like Porsche and BMW, 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.
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 Porsches 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.