RRTIt is not very often we can really recommend good car mechanic. But today I would like to do just that. I have almost always been taking my cars to Curry’s Auto Service in their Dulles, VA location until they decided to close that branch.
I have been looking for competent alternative in the area and I think I found one.

The place is called Road Race Technologies. I took one of my cars there for alignment and I am happy with the result so far. And it was just $110 which is also cheaper than I paid before to do the same in both Curry’s or BMW of Sterling. The guy on the phone told me that they usually take BMW’s to next door shop for alignment, but I did not mind since the price was right anyway. When I came to pick up my car that evening I saw that all they were working was BMW cars. Their regular hour cost is $95. Which I think is reasonable now.
Check them out if you are in the Dulles, VA area. I’d like to see more review of them. So far I have only found one on Yelp.

BTW, the way they specified their address on their web site does not work in Google map. So here is correct one with the like for you convenience.
23700 Overland Dr, Sterling, VA 20166

And one thing that I did not especially like is that they open at 8:30 am which is kind of late if you let’s say want to drop your car there in there morning and still get to work on time to some place like in DC.

A cutaway view of a car final drive unit which contains the differential
A cutaway view of a car final drive unit which contains the differential

I watched the funny scene the other day. My neighbor minivan fell off the jack. It fell hard on its belly when the guy removed the flat tire. It could ended up very bad if somebody got hurt. Luckily just van’s belly had  couple of scratches and that was it.

So guess why it fell off the jack?

You guessed it right – the human error. Or I’d call it stupidity in this case. The owner of the minivan did not engage the parking break nor he ensured by any other means that the car would not roll.

The guy was changing one of the front tires of  front wheel drive Toyota Sienna. Once the flat tire was off the ground, lugs were  removed and he shook the tire the minivan rolled back a little bit, just enough to fell off the jack.

The lesson there for owner was that the differential lets one wheel roll freely once another wheel is off the ground even if transmission is in “P” (Park).

[image credit: wikipedia]

BMW WeltDid you ever think how exciting it would be to fly out to Germany to personally pick up your own brand new car at famous BMW Welt?

BMW has European delivery program that gives you a chance to pick up your car in Germany, drive it around the Europe while having unforgettable experience of European vacation, also to enjoy lack of speed limits on autobahns .

By picking your car in Europe you usually are ably to get it for  around 7% less compared to what you’d pay if you picked it at your local dealer. But most people I talked to usually spend the difference on the trip.

BMWBLOG made series of videos about one of such trips to Europe. Enjoy.

Here are links to bmwblog posts so you can also read about it.

BMW 6 Series

BWDBLOG has posted couple of updates regarding new BMW 6 Series GT.

The new six is going to be four seater only. The car will also look different from other 6 series BMW. It will have wider grille, srong shoulder line typical for these kind of cars.

New car will receive the same 6 cylinder twin turbo and 8 cylinders engienes as others 6 series BMWs.

I just checked out that first post from a while ago when I purchased the Bentley’s BMW e39 manual because I had put eBay custom search over. What a difference. It looks like now everybody is selling those manuals on eBay for $124 or so.

I just checked few other obviouse places to get those books from and they are all cheaper than $124.

I just don’t understand how those other more expensive places  can make any money at all when somebody is selling for 20% less.

Anyway here is the one from Amazon selling this kit for $107 plus shipping.

And ofcourse the Bimmerzone has BMW E39 manual still for like $99

Woman & SafetyFREE lists of Car Recalls, Equipment, Tires, Child Restraint and technical service bulletins, Courtesy of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA).

Go to website and list year, make and model of your car.

Filing an Official Consumer Complaint about Your Car

The U.S. Department of Transportation encourages consumers to file an official complaint of record with them when the suspect safety issues with their model car. This information will be entered into National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) vehicle owner’s complaint database and used with other complaints to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists.

Your complaint is important in determining if further action is needed to investigate the possibility of a recall. Continue reading

Here is a little video demonstrating BMW’s later feature, the Comfort Access System.

The comfort access system puts an end to searching for car keys in your handbag or pockets. Simply approach your BMW, open the door and press the Start button. Your unique key is recognized remotely by the comfort access sensors as soon as you come within 1.5 meters of your BMW, wherever you happen to be carrying it – in your pocket, your handbag or briefcase. Touch the door handle and the door unlocks.
Continue reading

In case you missed it. There is some interesting article on WSJ web site, “Europeans Raise Pressure on Detroit”. According to the source US auto makers will face new stronger competition from European car manufacturers.

While US companies shorten production and facing cash flow troubles Volkswagen AG (further VW) and BMW AG are preparing the expansion of their US market share withing few years.

US small vehicle market historically is dominated by US and Asian auto makers. Autodata’s research from 2001 shows steady decline of US manufactures share and Asians and Europeans shares are steadily increasing.

VW is building their first US factory since they close their previous one in July of 1988 due to some quality problems and high cost of production with unionized labor.

This time VW is betting on non union workers. They plan to introduce several new models specifically designed for US market. VW get its optimism from other markets. For example VW has bigger market share in China than Toyota has. I would attributed that to centuries old tension between China and Japan so Chinese do not like to buy anything made in Japan in my opinion. New US factory is going to open in 2012 with production of 250000 cars a year. VW’s luxury unit Audi is also planning to increase its marketing spending. So we are going to see more Audi ads including on Super Bowl.

BMW is also planning to increase its market share by introducing more One  series cars and by selling more of their Mini cars. Although BWD has already increased prices for most of 2009 models. So unless hyperinflation really hits the US as most classic economics law suggests. It is going to a little harder for them to compete on price level  with other manufacturers when they start to clean up stock.