Category Archives: BMW

BMW car care tips & ideas from European Service Center. Certified mechanics 24×7 EMERGENCY SERVICE. $25 off for new clients! CALL: Texas: Dallas area: (469) 453-5800 | Georgia: Greater Atlanta area: (770) 664-9222

BMW Repair Services – Vibrations While Braking

Brake pic with car body

If you own a BMW, especially a 3 series BMW, you may observe that your steering wheel vibrates or shakes each time you hit the brakes. Sometimes, you may feel the pulsations in the brake pads too. As the driver, each time your car shakes when your brake, it may not only be annoying, it can make you nervous as well. A vibrating vehicle can interfere with the performance of your car and it is recommended you get it fixed once you begin to notice the vibrations.

How do the Braking and Steering Systems Work?

The braking and steering systems are two very vital systems in a car. While the brakes are designed to slow down the car to bring it to a controlled stop, the components of the steering system are designed to give the driver control over the direction they want to move the car in. Major components of the braking system include the brake rotors and the brake pads. For the steering and suspension system, the main components include the steering wheel, steering column, gearbox and wheel bearings.

The brakes are connected to the steering system via the brake rotors and the wheel bearings. Thus, if any of these components fail, it could affect other components of both systems. Braking is supposed to be smooth, so if you feel vibrations in your car when you brake, that is a warning sign that there is something wrong with your vehicle. Sometimes, the vibrations may also come with a squealing or scraping noise. The braking and steering systems are vital to the safety of your vehicle and you should get your car to an auto repair shop if you begin to feel any vibrations in your car.

What Causes the Car to Vibrate When Braking?

There are a number of reasons why your BMW may shake each time you apply the brakes. If the brake rotors of your car are wobbly, they may not be perfectly aligned with the brake pads. Thus, each time you step on the brake, the brake pads which are supposed to parallel to the now wobbly rotors will slip. You will feel this as vibrations in your brake pads and steering wheel.

The wheel bearings allow the wheels to support the weight of the car while it is turning. So if you are experiencing vibrations while braking, it could be because the wheel bearings are worn out or damaged. A faulty component in the steering and suspension system such as a bent axle shaft or a loose arm control could also be responsible for vibrations. Basically,  vibrations in the car can be caused by various factors and it is best you get a professional technician to look at your car for accurate diagnosis and repairs.

How to Fix Vibrations While Braking

You should not drive around with your car if you suspect a faulty braking system. It is dangerous for you as the driver and other road users as well. When you bring your car in, we will inspect and check the various systems to pinpoint the root cause of the vibrations to determine which components will need to be repaired or replaced.

If the brake rotors are distorted and no longer meet the manufacturer’s requirements for minimum thickness, they will need to be replaced. In a case where the wheel bearings are damaged, replacing the entire wheel bearing hub assembly is recommended. If the tests point to a fault in the steering and suspension system, we will have to replace the failing components of the system as well. Your BMW may also need a wheel alignment depending on the severity of the damage done.

It goes without saying that it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and service to ensure that both the braking and steering systems of your car are in good condition. A failure in either system could compromise the safe operation of your vehicle and if any car problem can be prevented, regular maintenance and servicing will prevent it.

European Service Center has been servicing European vehicles for over 35 years. If you are experiencing any brake issues or vibrations while braking, schedule a visit with one of our ASE certified service mechanics for any brake services that you might need. We are so confident of our work, that we offer a 3 years / 36,000-mile warranty on all of our services. 

BMW Repair services – Fixing a Faulty Water Pump

bmw water pumpBMW remains to date, one of the top brands in the automobile industry. The German automakers have been around for quite some time, and they have become popular for manufacturing sleek and compact luxury sports cars. However, if you own a BMW 325i, 330i or 335i then you need to be aware of the fact that the water pump of your BMW car could develop a problem capable of ruining your driving experience.

How Does The BMW Water Pump Work?

BMWs were one of the first brands of automobiles to feature an electric water pump. The job of the water pump is to circulate engine coolant around the cooling system in the engine compartment. The coolant, in turn, keeps the engine cool and prevents it from overheating. If the water pump fails or develops a fault, the coolant will not be circulated, and consequently, the cooling system will malfunction. A malfunctioning water pump is terrible for the engine of your BMW.

What Are The Signs Of A Faulty Water Pump?

While running, the engine of your car generates a substantial amount of heat, and the engine’s cooling system is responsible for cooling the engine to keep it running an optimum temperature. If your water pump fails, the cooling system may not be able to efficiently reduce the heat expelled during engine combustion. As such, the first and most obvious sign of a failing or failed water pump is overheating characterized by smoke emanating from the engine compartment.

If you notice a coolant (a greenish or reddish sweet-smelling fluid) leak beneath your engine, there is most likely a leak in the cooling system allowing the coolant to flow out. Insufficient coolant to absorb the heat generated by the engine could also cause the engine to overheat. You may also experience engine stalling, and in some severe cases, your car may refuse to start altogether. If you observe any of these signs, you most likely have a failed water pump in your hands, and it’s best you take your car in for repairs.

What Causes the BMW Water Pump to Fail?

The water pump is just one component of the engine’s cooling system which is composed of other components including the head gasket, thermostat, and radiator. If any of these components malfunction, it could affect the normal operation of the water pump subsequently leading to its malfunction. Coolant leaks can also cause the water pump to fail. Air can go into the cooling system through the cracks to create hot spots which can damage not just the water pump but other components of the cooling system as well. Furthermore, water pumps, like other components of your BMW are liable to wear and tear. Thus, if your car has up to 60,000 miles on it, your water pump may be worn out and due for a replacement.

How Do You Fix a Water Pump Problem?

If you suspect the water pump of your BMW is faulty, especially in a situation where the engine is overheating, it is not recommended that you drive your car in that condition. The first thing you should do is to open the hood of your car to let out the smoke, then get your vehicle towed to the nearest automobile repair shop for diagnosis and repairs.
Here, in repairing a water pump, we will first carry out diagnostic tests to confirm that the water pump is the faulty component. A technician will inspect the area around the water pump and the entire cooling system for any signs of wetness and leaks. We will also run codes on the engine’s computer to check if it is an electrical problem to determine the mode of repairs. Once we have concluded that the water pump is faulty, we will then proceed with the repairs.

The best way of fixing a faulty water pump is to replace it with a new one. Depending on the extent of damage to the cooling system, replacing the thermostat, radiator cap, and gasket together with the water pump is usually recommended. This will help prevent problems that may arise from faulty components in the cooling system. We will also top up the coolant levels to ensure that there is enough coolant in the system to be circulated by the water pump. Once repairs are finished, your engine cooling system will be as good as new.

Finally, you do not have to wait for your water pump to malfunction before you replace it. Regular maintenance and servicing will help arrest any faulty component before it causes severe damage to ensure that your car is operating at an optimum level.

European Service Center has been servicing European cars for over 35 years. If you are experiencing a water pump issue with your BMW, schedule your service today to experience our water pump service and repair. Our highly rated reviews speak volumes to the seriousness we put into serving our customers. You can contact us here, and we look forward to serving your needs.

BMW Repair Services – Fixing the Ignition Coil

ignition coil, ignition coil problems, bmw ignition coil, bmwOnce you have had the experience of driving a BMW, there is a chance you may not be interested in any other brand. This is mainly because BMWs are very reliable cars – something every BMW owner can attest to. However, like every other  brand, some models are less reliable than others due to  certain components that are prone to malfunction. In the BMW 318i, M3 (e90) and X5, that component is the ignition coil.

How Does The Ignition Coil Work?

The ignition coil is responsible for turning low voltage to high-voltage electrical power which is then sent to the spark plugs. This high voltage current sent to the spark plugs ignites the fuel in the engine to power up the car. If the ignition coil of your car is malfunctioning, you may be unable to start your car and/or keep it running smoothly.

How to Tell if Your Ignition Coil is Malfunctioning

A bad ignition coil will give off several warning signs. As the ignition coil is an engine component, one of the first signs of a possibly failing coil is an illuminated check engine light. You may also experience engine misfiring and stalling accompanied by a snapping sound from the engine compartment. Sometimes your car may not start at all.

The spark generated by the ignition coil lights the mixture of fuel and air in the engine causing it to start. If the ignition coil is not working properly, you may experience poor fuel economy as a lot of unburned fuel will be wasted. A malfunctioning ignition coil is capable of damaging the engine of your car and leaving you stranded on the road. Take your car to an auto repair facility immediately you begin to experience any of the above-mentioned signs.

What are the Causes of Bad Ignition Coils?

The ignition coil, ignition wires, and spark plugs work hand in hand to fire up the engine, thus if the spark plugs or ignition wires are not working properly, the work output of the coil will definitely be affected. The ignition coil in your engine could also be damaged by oils that leak onto the coils. As such, if there is an oil leak in the engine compartment, especially if the leaking fluid is hot and it is getting to the ignition coils, it wouldn’t take much longer before the coils begin to malfunction.

Also, if there is too much resistance in the wires of the spark plugs, the ignition coil may experience premature failure. Bad ignition coils could, in turn, cause severe damages to your catalytic converter and engine. You should have a mechanic look at your BMW once you suspect a problem before it escalates to a more serious issue that could incur more bills.

How to Fix a Bad Ignition Coil

Try not to drive your car with a bad ignition system, not only is it dangerous, you could damage other components of your car engine in the process. When you bring in your car suspecting an ignition coil problem, we will first examine and test the components of the ignition system to determine the root cause of the problem.

If the coil is faulty, we will extract and replace the failing ignition coil. Considering the fact that the coils and spark plugs work together, it is always best to change both components at once. However, depending on the system of your BMW, replacing the spark plugs may not be necessary.

All the same, the manufacturers recommend replacing your ignition coils and spark plugs regularly at scheduled intervals. Not only does this greatly reduce the chances of a breakdown, but it will also keep the ignition system of your BMW in superb condition so you can enjoy a smooth drive.

If your BMW is having issues starting or running smoothly, bring it in for an inspection. We have been servicing European vehicles for over 35 years and are proud of our highly rated service by members of the community. To experience our Ignition Service and Repair, schedule your appointment here or contact us here.

BMW Air Conditioning Service And Repair

Owning a car can be likened to being responsible for a person. You must love, care and listen to truly understand any problems they may have and find an immediate solution to it. One essential aspect of your BMW that requires close attention is its air-conditioning system. Primarily the function of the heating or air-conditioning system is to keep you comfortable when the outside weather condition of Alpharetta and Texas is less than favorable.

When you hit the road in the summer in those blazing at high temperatures, you should have fresh air inside your BMW. Anything short of that and you may need BMW service and repair. The BMW mechanics for heating or air-conditioning system are generic. This makes it easier to decide on your next line of action which is either you take it to a repairer or do it yourself. Let’s delve into the BMW air conditioning system and some common issues that you might encounter.

Essential Components of The BMW Air Conditioning System

The primary components that make up a vehicle air-conditioning system are a refrigerant, compressor, receiver, drier, orifice tube or expansion valve, evaporator, lines, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning). They are the basic makeup of your car’s cooling system. Their mode of operation is that the air-conditioning takes surrounding or use up the air in your car’s cabin. It takes the air to R134a – a conditioning fluid. The air will be cooled while the fluid gets warm and evaporation occurs to the liquid. At this point, the compressor of your car does the final job of cooling the temperature of the refrigerant permitting your system to blow cool air. Let’s us discuss some of the problems these components can encounter that might serve as a deterrent to its operation and how you can repair it.

Check for Leaks

Fluids play a vital role in the cooling system of your BMW. In fact, the fluid is a primary function when it comes to the functionality of the cooling system of your car. An ordinary leak will prevent your car’s air-conditioning system from working. In some model, you will be able to spot a leakage easily when you see a black oil on the ground of your parking lot. Getting it fixed is through refill which you can DIY. Another option is to visit your nearest foreign automotive service and repair shop for a quick fix.

BMW Air Conditioning Components Damage

The air-conditioning system can become damaged from the internal parts of your car. This can occur due to a process called black death. The refrigerant gets damaged inside the compressor and creates a mess inside the compressor which degenerates the effectiveness of the compressor and needs a repair. The only viable option is to regularly take your car on an occasional inspection to check the cooling system at any service station in Duluth.

Other Related Causes

You might encounter cases that will be difficult to diagnose, making it a challenge to locate the cause of its problem. If your heating or air-conditioning system, doesn’t move air or its slow at moving air, you should check out your HVAC on your car dashboard or the fan in your car’s cabin to ascertain if they are working. Issue such as, air that is cool but not cold, can be related to compressor clutch or trouble with A/c plumbing.


Having the luxury to cruise in a BMW should come with comfort, but when summer comes, and the weather is hot, a BMW with an inadequate cooling system is torture. Take out time to learn how to spot red flags in your cooling system and let our team of BMW mechanics you get your BMW Air Conditioning system back to its coolest level.  We have repair shops in Texas and Alpharetta!

BMW Catalytic Converter Problems

What is a Catalytic Converter?

A Catalytic Converter is a metal device that is installed on the muffler of a vehicle. Its purpose is to decrease pollutants released into the atmosphere while running an internal combustion engine. They are constructed from precious metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Although initially introduced for the United States market in the 1970s because of EPA requirements. However, others countries are beginning to mandate its installation by law. It’s because catalytic converters have done an excellent job at decreasing pollution in cities like Los Angeles, which had a severe “smog” problem.

BMW Catalytic Converter Problems

BMW Catalytic Converter Problems

The catalytic converter on your BMW can last up to 10 years without any problems. However, there is a possibility of damage to occur from contaminants, overheating, clogging or an accident. But how do you know that there is something wrong?

  1. Engine performance decreased. If you feel that the performance of your engine is not what it used to be, it could be the catalytic converter. Since it is connected directly to the exhaust, if it is clogged or cracked, it would seriously affect your vehicle’s performance.
  2. Rattling sound. You might only hear this sound when starting the car, but it will get worse over time. Rattling happens because old age and use causing the mesh inside to collapse. Watch out for any rattling noises, and get your vehicle’s catalytic converter inspected.
  3. Check engine light is on. Although the check engine light may turn on for any reason, there are tools you can use to find out why. You can learn more about using a scanning tool to check for error codes here. But there are multiple sensors that help make the catalytic converter work correctly, so it’s best to have a diagnosis done.

Since catalytic converters are made from precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, they are susceptible to theft. There was a 25% increase in the number of thefts reported in 2015 compared to 2008. To reduce the risk of this type of theft park in well-lit areas, and attempt some additional welding.

The Catalytic Converter is one of the most important aspects of the exhaust & emissions system. At European Service Center, we have 35 years of experience with exhaust & emissions services. Our highly trained ASE certified service technicians have the tools to properly inspect, diagnose and repair any exhaust & emissions issues you may have –especially the catalytic converter. Schedule your appointment today.

 BMW Engine Cooling System Failure

BMW Engine Cooling System

One thing all BMW owners can agree to is the fact that BMWs are wonderful cars. Another thing they will also agree with, although grudgingly is the fact that BMWs require proper and frequent maintenance of the engine cooling system if the car is to maintain its efficiency. Albeit a wonder product of the German automaker, BMWs are regularly plagued with the problems of a failed cooling system leaving the engine in serious jeopardy.

The essence of an engine cooling system is to keep your engine running at an optimum and consistent temperature. There is no one part of the engine that is called the ‘cooling system’, it is essentially a collection of components each performing its own unique task towards maintaining an optimal engine temperature. These parts include; the coolant, radiator, thermostat, water pump, radiator cool fan, cooling hose and cooling system pressure cap.

How to detect engine cooling system failure

The most common sign of a failed cooling system is overheating. If you notice a rise in the temperature gauge of your car, especially when the increased level is in the red zone or smoke emitting from underneath the bonnet, then there is a good chance your engine is overheating. Emission of thick fumes from your exhaust pipe could also mean that your cooling system is faulty. The coolant is a sweet smelling greenish liquid designed to keep the engine cool, lubricated and rust free. Now, a coolant leak which would be noticed under the car is also a warning sign of a faulty cooling system.

What causes the engine cooling system to fail?

Every component of your BMW engine cooling system is relevant and the slightest malfunction of any part could bring the entire system down. A leak in the coolant hose, a malfunctioning thermostat, a blown head gasket allowing the coolant to flow into the combustion chamber, a clogged radiator preventing dissipation of heat, failure of the water pump to circulate the coolant and low coolant levels are all some of the problems which could cause your BMW engine to overheat, an apparent sign of an engine cooling system failure.

How do we repair a faulty cooling system?

It is pertinent to address cooling system issues as soon as they happen to avoid further damage to the engine. When you bring your BMW to us suspecting a failed cooling system, the first thing we do is to open the hood of your car and allow the engine to cool. Then one after the other, we begin to check all the components of the cooling system to determine the root cause of the problem. For the radiator, we will check both the outside and inside for debris and clog which could prevent the flow of heat. An internal clog may mean replacing the radiator, however, external debris can just be cleaned off. To check the radiator cooling fan, we simply turn on the engine and wait for it to warm up. Then we inspect the fans for movement, how fast the fans are rotating or if they are rotating at all. If the fans are faulty, then the fan clutch will have to be changed.

If the thermostat is bad, we can usually tell from checking the temperature of the lower and upper radiator hoses while the engine is running. In this case, the hoses are meant to be hot and if one or both hoses are cold, then we will replace the thermostat, and in some cases, the radiator hoses as well. To detect a faulty water pump, we leave the engine running and open the cooling system pressure cap. If the coolant is not moving around in the system like it should, then the water pump is failing and the engine needs a new one. No engine cooling system check is complete without checking for coolant leakages. We may add coolant dye to the system for easier spotting of a leakage if nothing is immediately detected.

In most cases, the fault can be detected from these tests, however, we can carry out further testing using unique diagnostic tools if we suspect an internal engine problem. Nevertheless, it is always in your best interest to perform regular servicing on your BMW. Sometimes the problem could just be from age and distance covered. These components have an expected lifespan and if you want to lengthen the lifespan of your BMW, you should try not to outwear the parts before replacing them.