Our Current Blog Articles
July 22, 2018
What A Turbocharger Does for the Engine
Do you know what a turbocharger does for the engine?
Here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we shed light on the subject. Did you know that the turbocharger is actually a big improvement on the internal combustion engine? Thanks to the turbocharger, turbo engines can go further faster and use less fuel.
Turbochargers, in a nutshell, are a pair of fans that use waste exhaust from the rear of an engine to force more air into the front of an engine. The result is more get up and go than you would get otherwise.
The turbocharger was originally developed by Alfred J. Büchi. He was an automotive engineer who worked for the Gebrüder Sulzer Engine Company in Switzerland. His invention was patented in 1905, and he worked on improving the turbocharger for the rest of his life. Büchi was fascinated with everything about turbochargers and how they work. He felt that they could improve combustion engines dramatically.
Everyone can tell that a tailpipe streaming exhaust is polluting the air. What isn’t as noticeable is that such tailpipes are also wasting energy at the same time. Exhaust is actually a mixture of different gases being pumped out. What a turbocharger does is harness the exhaust, using the heat, gases, and energy to actually help the vehicle travel faster. Turbochargers force more air into the vehicle’s cylinders, which in turn allows fuel to be burned faster. The faster fuel burns, the faster a vehicle can travel.
Turbochargers and Cylinders
Since cars go faster based directly on how much fuel they can burn, adding cylinders was the original way to get a car to go faster. This explains why sports cars typically have eight and twelve cylinders. Those extra cylinders will help burn more fuel quickly. Your conventional vehicle typically has just four or six cylinders. Owners of performance vehicles such as a BMW, Audio or Porsche may want to go faster. What a turbocharger does is allowing you to gain speed without more cylinders.
Turbochargers: Like a Small Jet Engine
When we talk about what a turbocharger does, we often compare them to how jet engines work. Based on the same principles as turbochargers, a jet engine sucks in air from the front, squeezes the air into a chamber where the fuel is burned, and the blasts hot air from the rear. As the hot air exits, it blasts past a turbine that drives the air pump (also called a compressor) which is at the front of the engine.
Turbochargers do much the same thing as jet engines. Turbochargers are basically two little air fans (called gas pumps or impellers) that sit on the same air shaft and both spin around together.
One fan is positioned in the exhaust stream coming from the cylinders. This fan is called the turbine. The cylinders blow hot gas towards the fan blades which then rotate. The second fan, which is sitting on the shaft with the turbine, spins at the same time. This fan is called the compressor. It is mounted so that it is inside the car’s intake and as it draws the air in, it forces it into the cylinders.
Disadvantages of Turbochargers
You may be wondering why turbochargers aren’t in every vehicle, everywhere. Well, in theory, more power means more energy output (and speed) and this is a great thing. At the same time, more energy output means more energy input is required. Ultimately, these engines need more fuel and expend it faster which isn’t the right fit for everyone.
If you’ve read up on everything about what a turbocharger does, you may already know that early turbochargers didn’t deliver quite the amazing results that manufacturers promised. While they were eager to lay claim to having better engines than the competition, the turbos sometimes turned out to be less impressive. Had there been less of a rush to get turbochargers to market and more time spent fine-tuning its capabilities, the turbocharger could certainly have gained wider acceptance.
Turbochargers are also a little different to drive. There is a slight delay between pressing the gas and having the car take off. There is even a term for it: turbo lag. This means turbos are a bit trickier to drive and not all drivers might appreciate the difference. But those who do, love what a turbocharger can offer on the street and track.
Finally, turbochargers make engines more complicated. It makes sense since you’re adding another component to an engine which is another part that requires proper maintenance. Additionally, turbochargers run hotter. This subjects engines to higher stress, which in turn, means that turbocharged engines don’t always last as long as conventional counterparts. It all really depends on the driver though. Even without a turbocharger, plenty of people with standard engines find countless ways to drive them into the ground prematurely.
Of course, if the turbo in your Audi, Porsche, BMW, or Volkswagen needs maintenance, repair or even a rebuild, you can contact us here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We’ll make sure your turbo delivers on its promises, delivering the performance you want from it.
Advantages of a Turbocharger
When it comes to understanding what a turbocharger does and how it works, their many advantages are the best part. Turbochargers can be used with either diesel or gas engines and, for the most part, can be used on cars, trucks, buses, and more. Basically, the primary advantage is that the same size engine can get a great deal more output. A turbocharged engine produces more energy with every stroke of each piston and in each cylinder.
Engineered and performing properly, a turbocharged engine can actually save up 10% of the fuel. These engines also tend to burn the fuel more cleanly because more oxygen is burned with the fuel. Manufacturers can now produce the same size engine, or sometimes even a smaller engine, and get faster and better results. What was once a V6 engine can now be a 4-cylinder with a turbocharger.
The advantages are what makes us the most excited about what a turbocharger does. If you need our specialists to take a look at your Porsche, Audi, BMW, or Volkswagen engine, contact us here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We can repair, maintain and even fully rebuild your turbocharged engine – all in less time and at less cost than other shops.
July 10, 2018
BMW Scheduled Maintenance
BMW tune-ups and maintenance can lengthen the life of your prized BMW. Here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we think maintenance and tune-ups are an excellent way to improve the performance of your vehicle and reduce your chances of major issues. Though “tune-ups” aren’t really used the same way as they did in the past, you can certainly tune-up your engine by taking care of the following areas of your BMW machine.
A spark plug can tell you a lot about the condition of your BMW’s condition. Inspecting your spark plugs during regular BMW tune-ups and maintenance can reveal early possible problems. We recommend getting them checked every 30,000 miles and replaced every 100,000 miles. Changing your spark plugs avoids them seizing in the block which can result in expensive repairs in the future. Be sure to track which cylinder the spark plug came out of so that you are aware of which cylinder may have a problem.
Spark Plug Wire Sets
Spark plug wire sets used to need to be replaced with regularity. There have been dramatic reductions in failures and problems due to the use of better materials and sizing. They also now have increased operating ranges. These wires should be tested for proper resistance but they no longer warrant routine replacement like other parts of your BMW.
Distributor Cap and Rotor
The rotor and the distributor cap are generally plastic and so they often deteriorate with use over time. Cracks can develop which can let in moisture. Both the distributor cap and rotor have metal contacts that can corrode. If the contacts become worn, your BMW engine can misfire as a result. Be sure to have these parts replaced when they are worn or at least checked for issues during BMW tune-ups and maintenance.
Air filters trap dirt and other particles as the air passes through the filter. In older BMWs, the air filter helps to protect the carburetor. In newer models, the air filter is helping to protect the fuel injector. Generally, you should replace your BMW air filters every 20,000 miles. If you live in a dusty area or drive dirt roads, your vehicle’s air filter will need to be replaced more frequently. Any air filter that looks really dirty or is damaged should be replaced regardless of how many miles it should last.
One of the basics of BMW tune-ups and maintenance is your oil filter which is simple to replace and doing do stops unnecessary wear on your engine. Oil filters remove rust, soot, and any other solid contaminants from your engine’s oil. They should be replaced every 3,000 miles at the same time that your engine’s oil is replaced.
PVC Breather Filter
Every 30,000 miles your PVC filter should be changed. Your PVC filter makes sure that only clean air is drawn through the PVC breather. If your PVC filter is clogged, your PVC is unable to siphon away the moisture and gases created by engine combustion. A clogged PVC filter will cause sludge buildup and can result in oil breaking down.
A BMW fuel filter stops various contaminants from getting into your fuel system. These contaminants can clog the injector inlet screens. The pintle valve and seat can also get clogged if dirt and contaminants get into the injector itself. In older cars, the fuel filter helps stop dirt from plugging up the carburetor’s fuel metering openings.
Clogged fuel filters can result in your vehicle stalling due to a restriction of fuel flow. They can also cause loss of speed power as well as hard starting. To avoid these problems, change your fuel filters every 30,000 miles, annually, or when other fuel system parts need to be replaced as well (whichever of these conditions happen to occur first).
Automatic Transmission Filter
Transmission filters help the transmission fluid stay clean enough to properly transmit energy as well as cool and lubricate the moving parts of your BMW transmission. If your transmission filter is clogged, your transmission may slip, have trouble engaging gears, and hesitate. To help your engine last longer, your transmission filter should be changed around every 12,000-15,000 miles during regular BMW tune-ups and maintenance.
Easiest Way to Extend Engine Life
If there is one thing that can easily and inexpensively help your engine last longer, it is changing your filters. If you need your BMW’s filters changed, contact us at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora.
Other BMW Maintenance Parts
There are other parts that are not technically BMW tune-ups and maintenance areas but they can help the “tune-up” work be more successful. Some of these may be viewed as not critical but that’s not really true. If your vehicle needs to pass emission tests, taking care of the parts are essential to keeping your BMW working properly and operating safely.
- Oxygen sensor: Also called your O2 sensor, this engine part should be replaced at recommended intervals. A worn down oxygen sensor can change your engine’s settings in a negative way.
- Vacuum hoses: Each vacuum hose needs to be checked and replaced as may be necessary. A number of your vehicle’s major systems rely on the manifold vacuum’s signals and functions. Even the smallest leak in your vacuum hoses can cause serious performance issues. In some cases, your BMW may not run with a vacuum leak and checking them can help keep you on the road.
- Temperature sensors: The sensors in your vehicle control your cooling system, the exhaust system, and the fuel injection system. If one of your temperature sensors is not functioning properly, your BMW will likely not perform well either.
Other Tips for Your BMW
Cleaning your engine is preventative maintenance. If your engine is clean, it runs better and cooler. Clean engines also last longer. So, make sure that you’re taking care of your vehicle’s needs on a regular basis.
Keeping up with your BMW tune-ups and maintenance will keep your BMW humming and will help your engine last much longer. Contact us here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora if you need some maintenance performed on your BMW.
June 8, 2018
Known Problems With Audi's
Here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we want to share some common issues if you own an Audi. Knowing what to look out for can help you spot symptoms early so you can get the issue repaired quickly. Early troubleshooting can help you avoid more costly repairs.
Of course, once you notice any of these common issues if you own an Audi, get in touch with our team, specializing in German auto repair for your elite vehicle.
Burning Oil Smell and Oil Leaks
Audi engines typically leak from the tensioner gasket seals or the valve covers. Leaking oil can be a potential fire hazard and if you can smell the oil burning, it is best to get the issue fixed quickly. The smell is created by oil hitting the exhaust and burning while you drive.
Leaking oil can also be a danger to the electronics in your Audi.
The electronics can also be affected by an Audi leaking oil. It can permeate the wiring and cause damage to the control modules and electrical connections. The longer your oil leaks, the higher the likelihood that your repair is going to become more expensive. Additionally, the longer it continues, the less oil you have running through your engine, so it is important to address this issue quickly.
Clicking or Clunking during a Sharp Turn
Usually, this issue is the result of overlooking a needed repair on your axle CV boot. When the CV boot tears, the grease is expelled and the joint begins to wear out as a result of the lack of lubrication. Eventually, the entire axle assembly may need to be replaced. If you have a torn CV boot, get it replaced quickly to avoid a more extensive problem and repair.
If your Audi sounds throaty when you accelerate, you may have an exhaust leak. A number of Audi models have a flexible joint between the catalytic converters and the downpipe in the exhaust. This joint is prone to leaking. While a deeper exhaust may sound cool, an extended leaking exhaust can become quite expensive.
If you suspect you have an exhaust leak, call us at Shaus Motorsport. We can determine the best next steps for fixing one of the common issues if you own an Audi.
Check Engine Light with a Rough Running Engine
If your engine is running rough and your check engine light has come on, you may have a cylinder that is misfiring. It is possible that your ignition coil is the source of this problem. In fact, your Audi may have been part of a recall for ignition coils. Your local repair shop can help you determine if your ignition coil needs to be replaced.
Check Engine Light is on, but Your Audi Sounds Great
If your check engine light stays on for multiple cycles and your Audi seems to be running fine, the trouble could be an emissions related issue. To figure out what’s causing your check engine light to come on, you need to bring your Audi in so we can provide a deeper analysis and locate the source of the problem. There are a number potential problem areas, all common issues if you own an Audi.
Low Coolant Light is on or Coolant Leaks
Your make frequently have trouble with the low coolant light coming on as Audis commonly have visible coolant leaks. The culprit could be a crack in the coolant reservoir. Sometimes, the leak can be difficult to find because the coolant will evaporate upon reaching the exhaust component. Thankfully, replacing the coolant reservoir is generally inexpensive when the repair is taken care of before the problem progresses.
Turn Signals Don’t Work or Stay On Continually
In older models, this is one of the common issues if you own an Audi. Frequently, the source of this problem is the hazard switch. Additionally, it could be related to a faulty switch in the steering column. This cause is not nearly as likely though.
During a cold start of your vehicle, you may hear a rattle or knocking noise. This can be caused by an Audi’s camshaft adjuster or the camshaft chain tensioner. If this is the case, the noise will last for a second or two after the car starts. This noise can be normal on a particularly cold day. If it lasts for more than a couple seconds, the problem will need a more detailed diagnosis to determine the nature of the issue.
Unpleasant Odors from Ventilation and Heating System
If a musty odor is coming from your heating system, you may have an issue with mold in the ducts. The mold and the odor can be removed, however, repeated, regular treatments will be necessary to keep the mold from returning.
Turbo Car Blowing Smoke
If your turbo vehicle is blowing smoke, you need to have an Audi-trained mechanic look at it right away. There are a number of simple reasons for the smoke, but getting it taken care of is a must to avoid a much more expensive repair. The worst-case scenario could be a failing or worn out turbo. Oil may be passing by the turbo and heading down the exhaust creating the smoke. If it is not taken care of quickly, the oil can destroy your catalytic converter and this will cause your repair to be much more costly.
You can remove the intercooler hose and if more than just a small amount of oil runs out of the hose, you have an issue that needs prompt attention.
Trunk Won’t Automatically Close
A voltage distribution module failure is another of the common issues if you own an Audi, and it’s one of those odd electrical issues like a truck that won’t close automatically or an MMI that opens or closes randomly. When the voltage distribution model is not working properly, various devices in your Audi will either exhibit strange behavior or fail to work. It is also possible that your vehicle’s battery needs to be replaced.
If you are experiencing any of these common issues if you own an Audi, contact us here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We can track down the source of your trouble, get your vehicle fixed and help you avoid further repairs. Call for an appointment today.
April 9, 2018
7 Signs Your Audi Needs Maintenance
Driving a luxury car like an Audi requires extreme attention to detail. These cars need a special type of maintenance to perform at their best.
As a car owner, you should be doing your due diligence to ensure your car is at optimal performance level. If not, you're gonna have to dish out cash for serious repairs.
We've created this guide to show you the signs that your Audi needs maintenance.
1. You See Signals Flashing on Your Dashboard
Nowadays, cars have an electronic computer system that alerts you to a number of vehicle maintenance issues.
However, not everyone reads their driver's manual. Some drivers have no idea what those flashing lights mean, and that proves to be very dangerous.
Especially when your Audi needs maintenance.
The first thing I suggest is to read the owner's manual. It will tell you everything you need to know about the make, model, and computer system.
Audi employs a mileage-based system that alerts you to maintenance needs after you've driven X amount of miles.
Your manual should also include a standard maintenance schedule to keep you up-to-date with repairs.
Every car goes through wear and tear, and experts suggest a standard maintenance check after one year or 5,000 miles. After 5,000 miles, you need to change your oil and filter, check the brake system, and check/rotate tires.
Smoke is always a bad sign. People usually panic when they see smoke and think the engine is on fire or the car might explode.
In truth, smoke usually signals a problem with the exhaust like a valve issue.
Believe it or not, smoke also ranges in color. Blue and gray smoke mean different things.
Smoke can also signal a bigger problem such as a blown gasket. Pay special attention to the color of the smoke.
Blue smoke means the engine is burning oil through the valve, piston rings, or spark plugs. If you have a turbocharged car, blue smoke means something is wrong with the turbocharger.
Gray smoke has a few different meanings. It could mean a transmission issue. The vacuum modulator could be malfunctioning and leaking fluid into the engine.
Gray smoke can also mean an issue with the PCV system. When the PCV valve isn't operating properly, oil starts to leak.
White smoke suggests a significant problem with the vehicle. It could mean any of the following:
- Coolant Leakage
- Blown Head Gasket
- Damaged Cylinder Head
- Cracked Engine Block
Black smoke always means an issue with the engine.Make sure your air filters, fuel injectors, and fuel-pressure regulators, and fuel return line is working properly.
3. Ignition Coil or Spark Plug Problems
Ignition coils and spark plugs are interconnected. The ignition coil powers the ignition which lights up your spark plugs. Ignition coil failure leads to an engine misfire.
Ignition coil failure is usually caused by excess heat, vibration, and voltage overload. Excess heat or vibration damage the windings and insulation in the coil.
Open spark plugs or plugs with an excessive resistance increase the coil's output voltage levels. High voltage levels burn through the coil's insulation and cause circuit shortages.
In extreme cases, the engine will not start or run.
4. Oil Leaks
An oil leak is a common car issue and your Audi needs maintenance if you notice oil puddles under your car.
The oil dipstick should tell you if the engine is in need of oil. Low levels mean your engine is leaking oil. You should also be on the lookout for blue smoke.
As we mentioned before, blue smoke is a sure sign of an engine issue.
If your engine is leaking oil, it's probably caused by one of these four things:
- Oil Seals
- Degraded engine gaskets
- Bad Connections
- Oil pan leaks
Visit your mechanic right away once you identify a leak. Leaks can lead to engine failure. Typically, an Audi leakage problem is linked to the valve cover gasket or the camshaft tensioner.
5. Fuel Caps
The vehicle information display system should alert you to a loose fuel cap. This could be as simple as checking your gas tank and screwing the cap in or getting a replacement.
In addition to the fuel cap warning, the display system will also ignite the "check engine" signal. That's because a loose fuel cap leads to low gas mileage.
6. Catalytic Converters
Although your catalytic converters are made to last for a decade, these problems can arise, causing you to need replacement converters for your Audi:
Converter contamination is caused by gas with high levels of lead, engine coolant, and oil. Once the converter is clogged, it's hard for exhaust gases to exit the vehicle.
When the exhaust system is compromised, oxygen can't enter the system and the engine becomes slow.
Overheated catalytic converters are the result of a faulty exhaust valve or spark plugs that misfire. The defective valve or spark plugs make it hard for the Audi to properly burn gas.
Excess amounts of unburned gas create overheated catalytic converters.
Be on the lookout for smoke. Black smoke can be a sign of catalytic converter issues.
Other signs include the following:
- Strong sulfur or egg smell coming from the exhaust
- Slow engine performance
- Overheated engine
- Acceleration issues
7. Exhaust Gas Re-Circulation (EGR)
Exhaust gas recirculation is a system that takes a portion of the engine's exhaust fumes and circulates it back into the intake air. By substituting burnt gas for oxygen, the system helps to reduce nitrogen oxide.
A valve is the mao component of the system that allows gas to flow through.
The system works within the combustion chamber to lower the cylinder temperature. Some cars are equipped with an EGR cooler, to cool the gas before it passes through the EGR system.
The biggest issue with EGR systems is carbon build-up.
When your EGR starts acting up, you'll notice problems with your engine. Engine problems are a sure sign that your Audi needs maintenance.
Fuel efficiency and acceleration problems could be a sign that it times to check the EGR valves.
Visit Us If Your Audi Needs Maintenance
Here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora, we are Audi experts. We can help you identify issues with your vehicle through a diagnostics test and a mechanic check-up.
Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.
March 15, 2018
Performance Upgrades for More Horsepower
If you are looking at performance upgrades for more horsepower, Shaus Motorsport in Aurora has you covered. We understand that you love your high-performance vehicle, but we also know that sometimes more horsepower and more torque can make a great car feel top of the line. There are a few ways to assist you in a quest for better vehicle performance and Shaus has all the parts and expertise needed to help you achieve your goals.
Cold Air Intake
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to maximize your horsepower is to upgrade your cold air intake. Upgrading your cold air intake allows the air coming into your engine to reach colder temperatures. Colder temperatures make the air denser and allow your vehicle to produce more power. This upgrade involves installing a different filter.
Some of the innovatively shaped filters offer 3x the surface area of your factory-installed filter. These parts are also designed to reduce unwanted turbulence and airflow resistance, both of which can cause a reduction in airflow to your engine. This is one of the easiest performance upgrades to achieve more horsepower for your Audi, BMW or Porsche vehicle.
Increase the Diameter of Your Throttle Body
The throttle body in your vehicle works together with your fuel injection system to regulate the airflow to the engine. Air is required to allow your engine to fire properly and so it is important to your engine’s function. A throttle body with a larger diameter and bigger flaps lets more air flow into your engine and in turn, maximizes and improves several aspects of your vehicle’s performance. With a larger diameter in your throttle body, you feel the faster acceleration and a surge in engine power. You can further enhance torque and improve your fuel economy by installing a throttle body spacer.
If you want to improve your horsepower and torque, contact our team at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora to discuss your needs and schedule an appointment. We can help you get the performance upgrades that you want from your high-performance vehicle.
Exhaust Headers and Manifolds
Many vehicle manufacturers must meet various emission requirements and maintain low production costs. This means that your stock manifold may not be moving air as efficiently as it has the potential to do. This means that aftermarket exhaust headers are an excellent possibility for obtaining extra horsepower and torque.
Additionally, changing your headers can also help. Both shorty and long-tube headers can help you achieve better performance. Both help move air faster and more effectively. Long-tube headers may be best for high-revving rides. These headers are great for building mid-range torque and horsepower to top end RPMs. Shorty headers are better for the lower RPM range and will still help with delivering torque and horsepower.
Your stock catalytic converter functions very similarly to a high-flow catalytic converter, but a high-flow can still be one of the more useful performance upgrades you can have done. A high-flow catalytic converter makes sure that emissions are reduced quicker. This is done because the high-flow converters have an increased volume surrounding the catalyst and a less dense cell count internally.
The increased flow capacity of your engine allows it to produce more power. This power increase is most noticeable in the lower RPM range, but a high-flow catalytic converter achieves a power increase in both torque and horsepower across the range.
Replace Your Stock Muffler and Exhaust Pipe
Your stock muffler and factory exhaust pipe can be surprisingly restrictive. You can replace them with a high-flow cat-back exhaust system. It is called this because is placed behind your catalytic converter. If you pair a high-flow cat-back exhaust system with a high-flow catalytic converter, the combination can be one of the more powerful performance upgrades.
For the most impressive gains in your torque and horsepower, use systems that have large-diameter, mandrel-bent pipes. Additionally, some cat-back systems have straight-flow mufflers. These mufflers can further enhance exhaust airflow and contribute further to more power.
If you are looking to exchange your factory muffler and exhaust pipe, contact us here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora. We can make sure your choices achieve the increase in power that you want for your high-performance engine.
Performance Programmers and Chips
You can utilize performance chips and power programmers to change the controls of your factory-programmed computer and enhance your vehicle’s performance capabilities. These types of programmers and chips can adjust your vehicle’s settings and easily maximize your horsepower and torque.
Performance upgrades in your turbo boost and engine timing, as well as your fuel-to-air ratio, can all have an impact on your engine’s ultimate performance. The best part is that such performance software is easy to use and install. They even often offer pre-made and pre-programmed selections, along with customizable options.
Superchargers and Turbos—Your Forced Induction System
The greatest performance upgrades can come from compressing the airflow into the engine of your vehicle. This is often done by using forced induction systems, like superchargers and turbochargers. Forced induction systems are capable of increasing both horsepower and torque 50% or more. Adding more air allows your engine to mix in additional fuel faster which increases the overall power that your engine can produce.
A supercharger is powered by a belt that directly connects to your vehicle’s engine. On the other hand, turbochargers are powered by using excess energy from the exhaust stream. This is the primary reason turbochargers are considered to be more efficient but there is a delay (also known as turbo lag) in the production of power. Superchargers are considered to be easier to install and offer instant power, but they are less energy efficient.
If you need performance upgrades for more horsepower and torque for your high-performance Porsche, Audi, BMW, or Volkswagen, we here at Shaus Motorsport in Aurora can help. We can make recommendations about which of these options would serve you best and help you determine whether all of them will help. Contact us for help getting the performance you want from your vehicle.