How To Talk To An Automobile Repair Technician

18258745-300x199If you own a BMW, Audi or Volkswagen, and you live in the Roseville area of Sacramento, we are always happy to answer your questions.

Performance Motor Works believes in providing our customer’s with the best possible service at an affordable price. To help educate our customers we have put together some ideas for when you need to have us work on your automobile.

  1. Take 5 – minutes to write down what your vehicle is doing (or not doing), before you call or go to a shop. Make notes of every detail. Is your car making a noise? Describe how it sounds. Where do you think it’s coming from? Is your car running sluggish? When and how often does the problem occur and under what conditions? Ask yourself a lot of detailed questions. Ideally, you would jot these down as they occur (except when driving :-) )
  2. 3 Most Important Points – that any shop should satisfy before leaving it to be repaired or serviced.
    – Make sure you have the complete attention of the person assisting you.
    – That you and the person helping you have agreed upon the course of action to solve your problem.
    – You have received a thorough and complete inspection and written estimate.
  3. Ask Questions – Once you’ve done your part in describing your vehicle’s problem as clearly as possible, ask questions. No good technician will simply listen to your description of a problem and say, “Ok, I’ll fix it.” Ask the technician or customer service rep for their recommendations as to what is “required” vs. “suggested” to be repaired or replaced. The shop may charge for a diagnosis, though at Performance Motor Works we provide all our customers with a FREE 21 Point Inspection. That’s money well spent, so the technician can pinpoint the problem(s).
    Ask questions like:
    • What would cause such a condition?
    • What industry standards guide service on that vehicle system?
    • Can the problem be “repaired” or will it require “replacement” of parts?
    • How is the repair performed, in general terms?
    • Could the repair process itself affect other vehicle components (for example, will belts or hoses have to be disconnected or replaced as part of the repair)?
    • How long will it take?Never be afraid to ask questions. As the saying goes, the only dumb question is the one that wasn’t asked!

Things You Should Know About Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)

What are some types of TPMS are in use today?

tpms2-300x122Indirect System: Uses the ABS wheel speed sensors to monitor the rolling radius of the wheel and tire assemblies. Rather than directly monitoring tire pressure, the ABS measures the rotational speed of each tire. If one tire starts to spin faster than the others, the ABS determines that a tire has become smaller and has likely lost air pressure. This is done by measuring tire rotations within a given distance. A tire that has a reduced rotation that meets a predetermined percentage is considered to be low on air pressure.


Direct Systems : This system monitors the air pressure in the tires with a wheel mounted sensor. The direct type of TPMS can detect actual pressure levels and transmit the information to the driver more quickly. Tires are monitored individually by sensors attached to a special tire valve, or strapped to the drop center of each wheel. Each sensor monitors and transmits tire pressure and temperature every few minutes. The temperature is monitored to compensate for cold and warm pressure variations. In order to reduce battery consumption, the sensors revert to a “sleep” mode when the vehicle is parked or not moving. During this “sleep mode,” sensors may only activate and transmit signals about every 45 minutes.


To avoid damaging sensors when mounting and demounting tires, it is beneficial to know where the sensors are located. Sensor assemblies are commonly attached to the valve stem, with the valve stem acting as an antenna to assist with transmitting RF signals. They may also be strapped to the drop center of the wheel. If this is the case, the sensor assembly should be located in-line with the valve stem valve stem acting as an antenna to assist with transmitting RF signals. They may also be strapped to the drop center of the wheel. If this is the case, the sensor assembly should be located in-line with the valve stem.

To avoid damaging sensors when demounting tires, do not break the bead within 45 of either side of sensor assembly locations. Be careful not to damage sensors when mounting tires as well. Sensors are not repairable and require replacement if damaged or when their

tpms3-297x300battery is completely drained. It is recommended that the sensor be carefully “dropped into the tire” prior to demounting to avoid damage. When reinstalling the sensor, it is suggested that the locknut, gasket and valve stem be replaced and torqued to the proper specification. It is also necessary to use the proper valve cap as it is also an integral part of the system. It may be necessary to reprogram the TPMS when the tires are rotated, when a new sensor is installed, or after the vehicle loses power. This usually requires a scan tool andmay involve the use of a special magnet. Refer to the vehicle service manual to

properly reprogram the TPMS.

GT-1 BMW Diagnosis Computer

If you own a BMW, the only way to obtain and analyze the onboard computer’s fault codes is with the GT-1. Performance Motor Works has invested significant resources to provide our technicians with the best test and diagnosis equipment available. We work on all BMW automobiles in a timely and efficient way to provide our customer’s with the highest quality at an affordable price. So, just in case you are wondering what the heck is a GT-1? BMW_GT-1
Self-contained diagnosis computer for the workshop, reception and final inspection. For reading out fault code memories of vehicle systems with self-diagnosis capabilities, for encoding/programming control units directly on the vehicle.
The new Group Tester One satisfies the more demanding customer requirements with regard to speed, integration in existing networks and reliability. The Group Tester One can be used in connection with all BMW model series, MINI and for all Rolls-Royce models as from 2003. It replaces the MoDiC III diagnosis tester introduced in 1998 (service data and new diagnosis data have been available for this tester since July 2002). Besides its introduction in the passenger vehicle dealership network, by 2005 the basic Group Tester One unit will also replace the MoDiTeC diagnosis tester used at BMW Motorrad (BMW Motorcycles).

Along with the DISplus, the GT1 is the second central module in the further successful expansion of information provision and technology systems. The diagnostic head known from the DISplus is also used unchanged on the GT1.

Added to this, the Interface Box (MIB) measuring system has been available since November 2003. It expands the basic measuring functions of the GT1 to the level of the DISplus measuring system.

Thanks to its flexible design, the workshop trolley decisively improves the mobility of the GT1 and MIB.