Carbon Buildup Busted in Kelowna Mercedes GL350

Carbon is essential to life. Without it we would not be alive. Not in the way that we know, anyway. In some forms, however, it can be incredibly destructive. For example, in the case of this 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec 4Matic, it has caused quite the problem.

Carbon is essential to life. Without it we would not be alive. Not in the way that we know, anyway. In some forms, however, carbon buildup can be incredibly destructive. For example, in the case of this 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec 4Matic, it has caused quite the problem. The owner of this Kelowna Mercedes GL350 came to us with concerns about rough-running and hard-starting. By use of a borescope (a small camera that allows internal viewing of engine components), it was discovered that there was a carbon buildup around the cylinder ports, intake and valves. This required the intake manifold and several other engine accessory components to be removed and disassembled.  We found that the carbon buildup was extensive.

Why Does This Happen?

Direct injection is to blame for excessive carbon buildup on both Gas and Diesel engines. In a direct injection engine, the fuel injector sprays directly into the combustion chamber at the exact moment combustion is needed, whereas in port fuel injection, the fuel injector is located at the intake port and fuel mixes with air and flows over the intake valve providing a cleaning effect.

The benefits of direct injection are more power, better fuel economy, and reduced emissions. This is because the fuel going directly into the combustion chamber has a cooling effect and the fuel can be atomized more efficiently, and therefore grants a higher compression ratio.

The downside to injecting directly into the chamber is that fuel, which has cleaning additives, never touches the intake valves. This results in carbon buildup forming eventually affect performance and can lead to premature engine issues.

How Can I Avoid This Happening to Me?

As with anything else, preventative measures are always preferable to repairing once broken. One way that you can avoid carbon buildup is to perform regular maintenance.

  • Frequent oil changes using factory approved engine oil will help protect the intake valves by ensuring the camshaft actuators and other oil pressure controlled parts are working properly.
  • Making sure that you change your spark plugs at recommended intervals.  A strong spark will reduce unburned fuel and therefore reduce combustion by-products sticking to a valve.
  • Schedule your car in for a regular fuel injector service. This will help injectors to maintain the correct amount of fuel sprayed into the combustion chamber.  Use top tier fuels (Chevron or Shell products only).

Another way to avoid carbon buildup is to update the engine management software. This adjusts valve and spark timing, which will limit the exposure of the valves to conditions that cause carbon.

What If I Already Have a Carbon Buildup?

If carbon buildup has already occurred, it will have to be cleaned out to avoid engine issues.

When we encounter a bad case of carbon buildup, we use a media blaster. Using compressed air, this machine sprays out crushed walnut shell at high speed, effectively separating the carbon buildup from whatever it is attached to. Media-blasting inside an engine is a very intricate and tedious undertaking. It is important that you seek out an experienced certified technician to complete this process. A lot of internal damage can be caused by using improper tools and blasting techniques.

Ciao, Carbon

It took 6 hours of media blasting to remove the deposits from this GL350. The intake manifolds, gaskets, and air distribution pipe all had to be replaced. The carbon buildup was considerable, and the labour time came in at over 20 hours for the completion of this repair. Not all carbon issues are this extensive, but if ignored, it will get out of hand like this one did!

If you are experiencing rough-running, misfiring, hard-starting, or poor fuel economy, especially in vehicles from the mid 2000’s and newer, contact us at Motor Werke today to check for carbon buildup. You can call us at 250 869 0269 or book an appointment!

Audi RS4 Brake & Suspension Upgrade 

Brakes aren’t always the most talked about upgrade, but if you want your car to go fast, you will most likely want it to stop effectively as well.
Our customer came in with concerns about squealing brakes and clunking in the suspension when driving his 2008 Audi RS4. We discovered worn brake discs and leaking struts/shocks.

Brakes aren’t always the most talked about upgrade, but if you want your car to go fast, you will most likely want it to stop effectively as well.
Our customer came in with concerns about squealing brakes and clunking in the suspension when driving his 2008 Audi RS4. We discovered worn brake discs and leaking struts/shocks so it’s brake and suspension upgrade time!

The RS4 is a power house of torque and fantastic speed. The agility and cornering capabilities are quite good for a sedan this size, and to perform while making every 420-horse power count, proper braking and suspension components are a must.

To our delight, our customer agreed, and the Motor Werke team got to work enhancing this beauty.

Metallic to Ceramic

Ceramic pads and rotors have come to be a popular choice with our customers when replacing and upgrading brake systems. Depending on the type of vehicle, what it is used for, and the budget being worked with, there are pros and cons when opting for this particular brake component material.

First, a Little History

Before the use of metallic and ceramic compounds, brake pads were made of asbestos fibers back in the day. The properties of asbestos made it a good candidate for absorption and dissipation of heat generated when stopping.
Of course, the use of asbestos was discontinued due to health risks during the early 1970’s. This lead to the use of organic and metallic compound brake pads.

Organic brake pads are made up of glass and rubber, bound together by a resin that is highly heat resistant. These brake pads tend to be quiet but wear quickly do to the softness of materials used. They also produce a lot of brake dust, which as we know, can lead to paint damage.

Metallic pads are composed of copper, graphite, and steel. They are much more durable than organic and are a better option for heavier vehicles. Their durability means a better resistance to brake fade and will not need to be replaced as often.

As time went on, organic and metallic compounds were combined to make hybrid brake pads that take the benefits of each to make a superior pad. This is what is commonly used on vehicles today.

Enter Ceramics

Ceramic brakes are specially designed to withstand intense heat and, because of their incredible cooling properties, are more resistant to warping or deforming. They tend to be less abrasive and therefore not as hard on rotors as their metallic counterparts. Because of their heat-dissipating capabilities and less-aggressive material, they last longer than traditional organic and metallic compound brakes.

Ceramic brakes are composed of stacked glass ceramic fibers, filler material, bonding agents, and small amounts of metal. They reduce black brake dust on wheels by as much as 80%!… this is the main factor for drivers knowing they can now keep their wheels much cleaner.  Ceramic materials do not corrode, which is beneficial when confronted with moisture and salt in the winter months.

Another great benefit to carbon brake pads and rotors is the obvious weight reduction. Ceramic materials are much lighter than metallic, especially when talking about ceramic rotors compared to cast-iron rotors. The less the brake components weigh, the more the vehicle’s unsprung weight is reduced, which means better handling and performance.

Our Audi RS4

We provided a few options for both pads and rotors.  Our customer opted for Akebono Euro Ultra-Premium ceramic brake pads paired with Brembo UV-coated rotors. These rotors are superior in resistance to corrosion, as well as aesthetically pleasing when admiring the brakes through the wheels. The combination of ceramic brake pads and UV-coated rotors will provide exceptional braking power and performance.

Put a Little (Less) Bounce in Your Step

A car’s suspension provides steering stability, handling, and balance while driving down the road. Shock absorbers use dampening to control unwanted spring motion. They reduce the vibratory motions by transforming kinetic energy of suspension movement into heat energy that is then dissipated through hydraulic fluid. Having the right shock assembly makes all the difference when it comes to your driving experience.

OE to Bilstein

The original equipment hydraulic dampening control shocks were removed and replaced with Bilstein B8 Performance shock assemblies. Though these are non-adjustable, it is an upgrade performance-wise, and much more cost-effective than replacement of all OEM Audi parts.

Bilstein’s high-performance gas-pressure struts and shock absorbers are manufactured with better dampening and stronger strut tube, using the heftier part of the shock to dissipate side loads. The advantages of this technology are better road handling, greater stability, and more accurate steering.

This brake and suspension upgrade came together nicely. If you’re experiencing the same issues, contact us today and book an appointment.

1999 Porsche 911 C2 Suspension & Wheel Upgrade

We had the absolute pleasure of modifying this 1999 Porsche 911 C2 for an overall better track experience. It is always exciting for us to take a customer’s passion and improve upon it for them. Upgrading is always an enjoyable venture, who doesn’t like to improve upon things and see the progress along the way?

We had the absolute pleasure of modifying this 1999 Porsche 911 C2 for an overall better track experience.

It is always exciting for us to take a customer’s passion and improve upon it for them. Upgrading is always an enjoyable venture. Who doesn’t like to improve upon things and see the progress along the way? But enhancing for a purpose is our favorite!

Suspension 

Suspension is everything when it comes to control. No matter how much horsepower or torque you have, it means nothing without proper suspension. Your tires meeting the pavement effectively is what makes better steering and handling possible, and the suspension system is responsible for maximizing that friction.

We installed Ohlin’s Road and Track height/dampening adjustable coil over suspension and added Tarett adjustable camber plates and GT3 Cup toe links to dial in alignment. The camber plates allow proper tuning of camber and holds the strut more precisely under high cornering loads. GT3 Cup adjustable toe-links and locking plates maintain toe setting better than factory toe arms.

The old rear upper shock mounts were getting soft, so they were replaced. Front and rear strut assemblies were replaced with Ohlin’s Road and Track package. Ohlin’s Dual Flow Valve technology makes it easy to quickly change stiffness of the shock absorbers. We set the height and spring preload to the recommended settings by the manufacturer and our customer has the freedom to alter for personal preference.

Braking

We took this opportunity to also upgrade the original rubber brake hoses, which were cracking and collapsing, to braided stainless steel/Teflon flex hoses. These new hoses increase pedal feel and deliver more pressure to the calipers. Because of their design and material, they will not swell when pressurized by the foot pedal and master cylinder. Installation was followed by an extensive hydraulic system flush and bleed using high-performance brake fluid.

Wheels

Finally, we mounted ultra-light OZ wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport low profile tires. Not only do they look super cool, the wheels also increase the effectiveness of the Ohlin’s kit. Each 18-inch wheel weighs only 8.75 kg, reducing the unsprung weight.

The car’s performance is enhanced when total weight is reduced because less weight needs to be controlled and therefore less energy is required to do so. Reducing unsprung weight allows the shock absorbers and struts to be more effective in controlling the suspension’s movement.The combinations of lighter wheels and tires allows for faster acceleration and shorter braking distances due to less rotational weight.

Final Lap

Once all suspension, brake, and wheel components were installed, it was time to fine tune. We loosened off front and rear control arm bushing pinch bolts and disconnected swaybars to dial in ride height, allowing suspension to articulate and settle while adjusting. An alignment was performed with our Hunter Hawkeye Elite alignment machine. Using four high-resolution cameras, it measures wheel position and orientation with absolute accuracy. All combined, these upgrades provide better handling, more precise feedback, enhanced braking, and overall consistency on lap times.

This 911 Porsche C2 is now ready for whatever the road or track has to throw at it! If you’re a Porsche owner, our experts would love to see your vehicle in our shop, located right here in Kelowna. Book your appointment today!

BMW 335i xDrive – Oh, Rats!

While addressing some maintenance items, this BMW owner was surprised to learn about a little community going on right under her hood. Everyone knows that mice are pests and sneaky ones, at that. When looking for a place to call home, your vehicle can look like a pretty inviting place.

While addressing some maintenance items, this BMW 335i owner was surprised to learn about a little community going on right under her hood.

Everyone knows that mice are pests and sneaky ones, at that. When looking for a place to call home, your vehicle can look like a pretty inviting place. A car has many dark places to hide, and lots of different materials to chew for making nests or keeping ever-growing teeth at bay. It is up to you to take necessary precautions to deter rodents.

Why Does It Matter?

As we know, mice can be very destructive. They will chew wires, hoses, pull out insulation and ruin upholstery to make comfortable beds. It may not seem like such a small creature could cause harm to such a big machine, but they can, and they do.

In the case of this BMW 335i, the repair cost came out to be just under $4,000. The infestation was caught in the early stages and there was not a lot of damage caused. Not compared to a report from 2017 of a Porsche Panamera in BC with damages totaling up to $15,000!

Luckily, in this and the case of the Porsche, the owner had comprehensive insurance and the bill was footed by ICBC.

Health is another reason to keep rodents away, as they can carry some nasty diseases such as salmonella, leptospirosis, and hantavirus. Hantavirus is particularly well known for being passed around by mice because of the severity of its symptoms. It is a respiratory disease that causes fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and a shortness of breath. The fatality rate for Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is 38%.

 

How Can I Deter Mice from My Car?

The best way to keep nests out of your car is to first keep mice out of your car. Since mice can fit through a hole smaller than a dime, you may have to get creative.

  • First, be aware of where you are parking. Stay away from long grass and shrubs. Parking in a garage or on pavement or gravel is the safest option.
  • Keep your car clean of clutter and garbage. Any sort of food source will draw the attention of rodents and clutter is a great place for them to hide. Throw away old food and beverage containers and vacuum up any crumbs left behind.
  • When parking your vehicle over night or for longer periods of time, open the hood. This will let light and space into what would otherwise be a cozy and inviting area for rodents to set up camp.
  • Use scented deterrents, such as moth balls, peppermint oil, and Bounce dryer sheets. Most people don’t like the smell of moth balls, and because it can linger in your car long after removing them, setting them in buckets underneath your car will also help deter mice.

 

Roommate (Un)Wanted

Hopefully dealing with unwanted house (or car) guests is not something you have had to experience and by following these simple suggestions we hope to help you avoid them for the foreseeable future!

We filed an insurance claim for the owner of the BMW 335i and repairs were underway. The intake manifold gaskets, ignition coil over, sound insulation, and rear engine cover were all replaced after a very thorough vacuum and engine shampoo.

Once the mouse house was dealt with by Motor Werke’s team, we were able to carry on with our usual BMW maintenance and the BMW 335i owner drove away without a worry about a stowaway!

If you think that you might have a mouse problem in your car, Motor Werke can take care of the insurance claim, necessary repairs, and clean up for you!

Wheel Upgrade: 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged

This month Motor Werke had a 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged get some fresh new 1221 Apex 2.0 wheels installed.
The owner of this Rover came to us due to a very flattering referral from our friends over at Davenport Motorsports in Calgary, Alberta. Thanks for the shout out, guys!

This month Motor Werke had a 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged get some fresh new 1221 Apex 2.0 wheels installed.

The owner of this Rover came to us due to a very flattering referral from our friends over at Davenport Motorsports in Calgary, Alberta. Thanks for the shout out, guys!

As honored as we most certainly are to receive this commendation from such a well-regarded, high-quality shop, we also know why.

When it comes to mounting, balancing, and aligning tires, our world-class equipment is second to none when it comes to a wheel upgrade.

Hunter Road Force Elite Tire Balancer

The Road Force Elite is the industry’s fastest diagnostic balancer with a diagnostic load roller that can solve vibration problems and identify vehicle pull. It detects weight imbalance and can diagnose other causes of vibration, such as improper mounting, bead seat problems, tire and rim runout, and radial-force related issues.

Miscentering during a wheel alignment is the #1 cause of improper balancing. The Road Force Elite has Automatic Centering Check, which monitors wheel centering and notifies the technician of set up errors, eliminating improper balance.

With the enhanced SmartWeight technology, the balancer scans wheels and determines where the technician placed wheel weights and scores accuracy of placement. A report card is printed illustrating placement errors which provides enhanced accuracy and improves balance results.

Hunter Auto34S Tire Changer

The Auto34S Tire Changer is the only tire changer to use when dealing with low profile and high-end rims. The quick clamp with cam plate safely secures the wheel through the hub, while the mounting rollers gently roll the bead from the rim with no contact to the face of the rim. This ensures that your wheels remain scratch-free.

The wheel support plate accommodates a wide variety of wheels and rim diameters, providing extra gripping force with three adjustable work heights. The wheel lift safely lifts large wheels with zero effort. An improved press head allows better grip on all tires, but especially when dealing with extremely low-profile tires.

The Auto34S is simply unmatched in its efficiency to harmlessly and effortlessly change the world’s most difficult tires and wheels.

Hunter Hawkeye Elite Alignment Machine

This machine is the industry’s most powerful wheel alignment equipment available. It uses four high-resolution cameras to measure position and orientation with absolute accuracy.

Targets are mounted to each wheel using Quick Grip technology, featuring spring loaded arms that grip the tire. Only the protective ring contacts the rim, meaning no metal-on-metal contact, leaving your rims free of scratches and scuffs.

In-ground construction means that the alignment ramps are completely flush with the floor. Even the lowest of the low can drive on with no chance of scraping a splitter or the undercarriage.

Ready to Roll

Having the right equipment makes all the difference in doing a job properly. The 1221 Apex 2.0 rims with custom brushed gloss red barrels were equipped with tires, balanced, fitted on the Rover, and aligned to perfection.

This customer can cruise down the road in style and with peace of mind, knowing that only the best and most innovative equipment and techniques were used!

Interested in getting your wheels upgraded, mounted and balanced using our top-of-the-line equipment? Contact the wheel upgrade specialists to schedule an appointment and see the Motor Werke difference in action.