Our Current Blog Articles
April 14, 2017
When It Comes to the New BMW 5 Series, It’s All in the Details
BMW repair is a specialty at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, so we know when it comes to the new BMW 5 Series, it’s all in the details. It’s currently BMW’s second best-selling model, right after the 3 Series. This is impressive since passenger cars compose only 39 percent of the market last year, which was actually down from 43 percent in 2015 and 52 percent in 2012.
According to a Good Car Bad Car article, the BMW 5 Series comes in at number 52 in the 2016 year end rankings of all cars.
We can understand why so many people like them. According to a BMW article, the Series 5 is built with lightweight high-strength magnesium, aluminum, and steel, and can go from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds in the 540i xDrive Sedan. It has maximum stability, higher efficiency, and improved handling. The improved chassis optimizes the weight distribution. Improvements to the steering give you precise feedback.
The 5 Series is the seventh-generation version of this six-cylinder 335-horsepower sedan, codenamed G30, and has withstood the test of time.
According to a Bloomberg review, BMW a German luxury vehicle manufacturer has proven to offer superior chassis, suspension, and handling. The BMW article describes the available Adaptive Mode intuitively adjusts to your driving style and the road conditions. It can anticipate curves, crossroads, and street types.
This year's BMW 5 Series offers a surround view system with 3D view exterior cameras. The system uses four cameras that work together to create three-dimensional views of the space surrounding the vehicle. Standard versions of the 5 Series start near $56,000 but with upgrades go up t $82,000 or more. The BMW article says the Active Lane Keeping Assistant uses camera sensors to detect lane markings and keep your vehicle in the lane’s center.
The Bloomberg review says the cameras in the 5 Series are better thought-out in how they show the car and its surroundings. The screens are clearer. The angles of the camera shots are better and built with the driver in mind. The technology is displayed on a new, 10.3-inch display touchscreen that syncs with features that you can control with buttons on the steering wheel and center console. It's also sensitive to voice commands and hand gestures, and even the top of the iDrive knob, which has a touchpad on it. According to BMW, the Series 5 is the first BMW’s to have iDrive 6.0, which feeds you live content and understands natural speech patterns to answer your commands. It has Optional Gesture Control, which allows you to use simple hand gestures to control navigation, communication, and entertainment. This lets you stay focused on driving.
The 540i comes with adaptive LED headlights and LED fog lights, with chrome-lined exterior trim.
The Bloomberg review points out, “This is perhaps the best setup in the game, not because it’s revolutionary, but because it executes the little things well. (It’s the system BMW's Rolls-Royce subsidiary also uses.) BMW excels at painstaking attention to details that add up making this sedan striking in a sea of ho-hum contenders.”
Let’s take a look at the design of the 5 Series. According to the Bloomberg review, “the crenellations on the hood are slightly pinched compared with previous models, making it look just a bit leaner; the way the body is made of high-strength steel, magnesium, and aluminum, which means it’s lighter and stronger than products made from mere aluminum and steel.”
The car’s remote key fob is large but it can park the car into a spot remotely while the driver stands outside the car. This comes in handy when you have to park in tight spaces in garages or on city streets. It costs $750 and is offered just in the 5 Series cars.
More details include a new design this year which is an etch along the lower part of the sides. The Bloomberg review notices, “the door height and handles are positioned and weighted for perfect entry.”
The adaptive larger LED lights complement slightly larger kidney grilles that have automatic shutters for the first time, helping move air around the car for improved aerodynamics and therefore, improved efficiency. The Bloomberg review concludes, “the 5 Series as a whole, with its structured body and bulging hood, is the more chiseled option in the segment.”
The details of the interior should be mentioned. The 540i has an improved soft-close automatic doors. The Dakota leather trim is richer and softer. The rear-view mirror gently auto-dims when the car turns off. BMW describes the 5 Series exterior as sporty and the interior as elegant with Ambience Lighting and available premium Nappa Leather.
The new, optional, ergonomic seat can inflate to change from bucket-style racing seats to comfortable loungers. One option is 40/20/40 split-down rear seats and load-through capability to the trunk. The rear of the 540i is roomy and seats three adults.
The Bloomberg review says, the full-color, heads-up display is clearer and 75 percent larger than in previous generations. The controls on the center console, rest squarely around the center dial, which is big, easy to use, and clearly labeled. The 540i comes with rain-sensing wipers and a two-way glass moonroof. Connected to the cloud, BMW reports the Intelligent Voice Control gets smarter the more you use it by continually analyzing speech patterns for improved quality and reliability.
Drive: Every Little Improvement Helps
The Bloomberg review describes driving the 540i, saying it “provides a lesson in proper German engineering. As it picks up from the lower of its eight gears to topping out in sport mode, the balance of the car's lighter weight (BMW claims to have shaved 137 pounds from previous models) and renewed connection on its now-standard run-flat tires harmonize beautifully, better than in previous years. Why? We now have an upgraded dynamic handling package and an M Sport package ($2,600) that is lowered. We also have a newly stiffened suspension; adaptive drive mode, which automatically adjusts the electric power steering and automatic transmission to your driving style and road conditions; and optional integral active steering, which combines rear-wheel steering with variable-ratio steering up front. That means the steering becomes quicker the more you wind the wheel, even as it remains consistent in velocity. This all makes for a more predictable car. Predictable, yes. But not boring.”
It’s easy to see why BMW has been making the popular 5 Series since 1972 because when it comes to the new BMW 5 Series, it’s all in the details. BMW repairs and maintenance is one of our specialties, so for all of your BMW repairs and maintenance, bring your vehicle into our BMW auto experts at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora.
March 14, 2017
10 Things You Should Know About German Auto Repair
If you have a German-made vehicle, Shaus Motorsport in Aurora is here to share 10 things you should know about German auto repair and of course, why it’s important to only bring your car to our German car experts. We believe that customers need to see what goes into maintaining, repairing, and even upgrading their BMW, Volkswagen, Audi or Porsche. Because German cars are our only focus, we are uniquely poised to share our passion with you by providing both the information you need to know and the specialized services required for your German vehicle.
Now, here are 10 things you should know about German auto repair and why you need a shop that specializes in German-made cars for auto repair and maintenance.
- Special skill and experience
German manufactured vehicles are not like other cars. They are engineered for performance. To maintain and repair them takes special tools and expensive diagnostic equipment which are specific to your make, model, and brand. Most car repair shops do not have the expertise to properly service your German performance vehicle. They won’t be able to diagnose your car’s problems accurately and offer the correct repair. But Shaus Motorsport specializes in these cars and we can get you in and out with the right repairs and maintenance.
- Complex electronics and computers
German cars have very complex electronics and computers, with many having 30 or more on-board computers and control modules. Some models even have almost 90 electronic control units. The braking systems, steering, transmission, throttle, and engine management are all interconnected in your vehicle. These modules need to be checked and updated from time to time as suggested by the manufacturer service bulletins. To fix these highly sophisticated cars it takes very specialize diagnostic equipment and not too many shops have that capability.
- Clean drains
Some German-made vehicles have sunroofs with a series of drains running from the sunroof through the vehicle body and out underneath the car. You need to clean the drains because if they get clogged, they will back up and possibly flood the interior of your car. If it floods, besides the mess, the sensitive electronics under your seats could be damaged and that could lead to more expensive repairs.
- German-made parts
When your car needs parts you want to make sure you get original manufacturer parts. Not every shop has access to those and very few have them available. You need experts like our technicians at Shaus Motorsport who know what works the best for your vehicle and how to get the correct parts, whether for repairs or performance upgrades.
- A spare key
We recommend you get a spare key for your German-made car because when an electronic key stops working, it leaves the vehicle immobilized. The price of another key is well worth the security of knowing you will not be stranded with a car that you can’t drive. This is particularly true for later model BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche because they have security chips that connect the key to the car. So when you key dies your vehicle will not be able to move.
- Scheduled maintenance
BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles are programmed to let you know when services need to be done, like an oil change, air filters, brake fluid, and brake pads, among others.
But to read service codes and reset them after the service is done takes specialized factory diagnostic equipment.
Our technicians at Shaus Motorsport know the special requirements for German-made cars, like the recommendation to change the oil every 5,000 miles for turbo and supercharged engines like the 1.8T, 2.0T in VW and Audi and every 7,500 for all other late models.
Other than vehicles with mechanical lifter designs, like the BMW M-series which requires 60-weight oil, and TDI diesel engines, Mobil 1 0W/40 engine oil is best for most German-manufactured makes and later models.
We know that TDI diesel engines require specific engine oil that should not be mixed and older models that use mineral based oil should not use full synthetic oil. We always follow the manufacturer recommendation for oil viscosity.
Several German-made vehicles like BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche all use limited slip differentials. If you drive an Audi A6 Quattro or a Porsche 4S, your tires need to be matched in circumference. A 2/32 inch (2 cm) tread depth difference between tires on the same axle can create rotational speed variances that will cause trouble with the car’s drive train management systems.
You should never use mismatched tires on the same axle and on the 4-wheel drive systems such as the Audi Quattro. All four must be circumference matched within 2/32 inch (2cm). Remember tire wear will affect the circumference of a tire, so they should be of the same age. So that means tires on the same axle should be replaced at the same time and in the case of the Quattro systems, that means all four tires should be replaced together.
- Air filter
Shaus technicians recommend replacing your cabin micro air filter every 40,000 miles as the manufacturer suggests. Some people overlook the cabin air filter but it is important because in addition to keeping the air clean to breathe, sometimes a filter that is not working can cause the blower motor to work overtime and damage the motor and the blow motor resistor.
- Brake fluid
Your German-manufactured vehicle’s brake fluid attracts moisture, so you need to change your vehicle’s brake fluid at least every two years. Many late model German vehicles will give you a service code reminder.
- Use Shaun Motorsport as a resource
Our technicians are here to answer your questions and give you advice about your German-manufactured vehicle. We’ve given you the first 10 things you should know about German auto repair but we have lots of other suggestions. If you have a BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche bring it to our expert technicians at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We can give your German car the specialized maintenance and repairs that it needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
October 27, 2016
Why VW Diesel Buyback Pays Owners to Keep Their Cars for Two More Years
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we are Denver’s German auto repair professionals. There’s been some confusion lately regarding the VW emissions problem, so we want to explain why the VW diesel buyback pays owners to keep their cars for two more years.
Volkswagen plans to make buyback offers later this year. The buybacks will be available to more than 450,000 owners of Volkswagen and Audi sedans, wagons, and hatchbacks with 2.0-liter TDI diesel engines. This is for model years 2009 through 2015.
Many owners plan to take the buyout, but financially, it might be better to wait until the last possible moment to accept the buyback.
So when Volkswagen rolls out its anticipated offer to either correct the TDI emissions problem or buy back the car, many people already know what they want to do. Many plan to take the buyback as soon as they can. But all TDI owners should consider an interesting financial component in Volkswagen’s settlement with the EPA, CARB, and class-action attorneys.
Under the settlement, Volkswagen must buy or fix the affected TDIs by the end of 2018. According to a Green Car Reports article, this gives owners a two-year window of opportunity to end up with more money out of the deal.
Here’s how it works.
At year-end 2016, let’s say a 2012 TDI has accumulated 110,000 miles and a 2015 TDI has 30,000 miles. Under the settlement agreement, Volkswagen would buy back the 2012 TDI for a total of $18,287 and the 2015 TDI for $22,776.
But what would it look like for a buyback two years later at the end of 2018?
At that time the 2012 TDIs odometer has 154,000 miles and the 2015 shows 74,000 miles. At the end of 2018, Volkswagen would then buy back the 2012 for $17,417 and the 2015 for $21,636.
Although the 2018 buyback would pay $870 less for the 2012 TDI and $1,140 less for the 2015 TDI than the 2016 buyback, they would each be two years older and have 44,000 more miles on the cars.
Green Car Reports estimates that the cost of waiting two years to take the buyout would be $36.25 a month for the 2012, and $47.50 a month for the 2015.
This means it would benefit the owners to hold on to and drive their TDIs until the last possible moment and then take the buyback, because the buyback amount is frozen at the car’s clean trade-in value as of September 2015. It does not decrease with either time or miles unless mileage exceeds 12,500 per year.
Yes, you will still have to pay the interest, insurance, maintenance, and fuel, but you would have to pay those on a replacement vehicle, too.
This explains why the VW diesel buyback pays owners to keep their cars for two more years. As Denver’s German auto repair professionals, Shaus Motorsport in Aurora will not only provide professional repairs and maintenance but all the important news you need to know about your German vehicles. We’ll let you know if we hear any further updates about the VW buyback. Stay tuned.
October 7, 2016
What's Faster, an Ultralight Plane or a Porsche?
Have you ever wondered what’s faster, an ultralight plane or a Porsche? Yes, those are the types of things we talk about a Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. Why? Because we think it’s cool, and since we’re Denver’s German auto repair professionals, we, of course, want the Porsche to win.
So, plane or car? Which do you think would take the checkered flag?
According to a Popular Mechanics article, GRIP, the German motoring TV show, took a Zivko Edge 540 plane and raced it against a Porsche 918 Spyder. They filmed the ultimate speed test, pitting an ultra high-performance stunt plane against the super-fast Porsche.
You’ve got to see the video to witness this beast against beast contest. The show raced a Porsche 918 Spyder and a Zivko Edge 540 super plane head to head in two separate challenges. Both races required a high-speed chase down a runway followed by a tight pylon turn-back to where they started. Think about this image: a plane racing next to the open-top supercar on a tight course.
Anyone who loves cars or planes is going to love this crazy competition.
We already know the 918 Spyder is Porsche’s fastest car. Some have compared it to the Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1. All three of these cars are hybrid-electric precision driving machines pushing nearly 900 horses.
If you’re not familiar with this vehicle, the 918 Spyder has a big 608 horsepower V-8 in the rear with an internal combustion engine supplemented by two electric motors, one to drive the front and one the rear wheels. The setup brings 286 more horses and a lot more torque. Unbelievable.
But the question everyone wanted to know is could it outpace an ultra-light, Zivko Edge 540 Race plane?
The Zivko Edge plane has often been seen blasting through pylons during the Red Bull Air Race. But for this contest, the plane in the contest was piloted by Matthias Dolderer who, according to a Red Bull Air Race article, leads the master class in the high-stakes racing series.
Here’s what you need to know about this aircraft. The Zivko Edge 540 plane has a modified Lycoming aerobatic engine that cranks out 340 hp. That's about only one-third the power of the car in this race, but it’s one-third the weight so that evens things up a bit.
According to a Jalopnik article, the GRIP show host Matthias Malmedie used a 1.5-mile runway. The Porsche can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 2.6 seconds with a top speed of 210 mph. The airplane takes a little longer to turn around but gets up to 250 mph in no time and has a top speed of around 267 mph.
At Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we are Denver’s German auto repair professionals, so of course we’re rooting for the Porsche. So what’s faster, an ultralight plane or a Porsche? Spoiler alert: this time the airplane won. We want a rematch.
September 26, 2016
First an SUV, Now Porsche Will Make a Station Wagon
As experts in repairing Porsche vehicles, Shaus Motorsport in Aurora keeps up on new car news so that we’re ready to provide you with the highest quality repairs on all the latest vehicles, such as the Porsche Cayenne sport utility. Now, the company will make a station wagon version of the revamped Panamera four-door coupe. It is expected to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March and available to purchase sometime later in the year.
According to Bloomberg, the new Panamera station wagon would be in competition with the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, vehicles sought after by people who want luxury and practicality. It’s rumored that the new Porsche station wagon will be based partly on the Sport Turismo design that parent company, Volkswagen, showed at the Paris motor show in 2012. Broadening the Panamera’s appeal by adding a station wagon version is part of the company’s expansion strategy that also includes Porsche’s first all-electric sports car by 2020.
So, why add this new style? In the 1990's the Porsche car brand nearly went bust. However, it has recently been enjoying record demand. Bloomberg attributes this turnaround to their strategy of building off the success of the 911 with models geared to everyday driving. Driving profits is vital for Volkswagen as it retools to absorb the nearly 18 billion euros ($20 billion) in costs for the emissions-cheating scandal.
Bloomberg also reports that Porsche has sold more than 150,000 Panameras since the car’s debut in 2009, but deliveries declined as time went by. It’s questionable to what extent a wagon version will help. It will be interesting to see if the new wagon gains in popularity since the body style is big in Europe. However, Porsche’s biggest markets, the U.S. and China, usually choose the space and luxury in upscale sport utility vehicles, like Porsche’s Cayenne and Macan. But the gamble may work since Mercedes have enjoyed success with their CLS wagon version.
We remember when the first Panamera was made fun of for looking like a “humpback whale.” But in June a new version had a reworked rear, featuring design elements from the 911.
Porsche will also be unveiling a hybrid version of the Panamera at the Paris motor show. It’s interesting to note that the all-wheel-drive car has an electric range of 50 kilometers (30 miles) and can accelerate to 100 kilometers per hour in 4.6 seconds, according to Bloomberg. The model is reported to start in Germany at 107,553 euros, including value added tax.
Porsche invested 500 million euros in order to consolidate Panamera and Macan production at its factory in Leipzig, Germany. The Panamera is also important for Volkswagen because it serves as the basis for other models, like the Bentley Continental.
We will be watching to see how people react to the car maker’s decisions first, an SUV, now Porsche will make a station wagon. Whether you decide to purchase the new wagon when it comes out or stick with their SUV or sporty models, our technicians at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora will be here to support your repair needs for all Porsche vehicles.