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Used Car Pre-Purchase Inspection

The Importance Of Getting A Pre-Purchase Inspection For A Used Car In Dayton

Buying a used car can be a smart financial decision. It can save you money compared to buying a brand-new vehicle, and you may be able to get a reliable car that meets your needs at a lower price. However, before you hand over your hard-earned cash for a used car, it’s important to get a pre-purchase inspection.

What is a Pre-Purchase Inspection?

A pre-purchase inspection is a thorough examination of a used car by a qualified mechanic.  During the pre-purchase inspection, the mechanic will examine the car from top to bottom, checking for any signs of wear and tear, damage, or other issues. They may use specialized tools to test the car’s systems, such as the brakes, suspension, and transmission. They may also check the car’s history report to see if it has been in any accidents or has a salvage title.

After the inspection is complete, the mechanic will provide you with a detailed report outlining their findings. They may also provide you with a list of recommended repairs or maintenance that you should consider before buying the car. Use this information to make an informed decision about whether or not to buy the car and how much you should be willing to pay for it.

Here are some reasons why getting a pre-purchase inspection is important:

It Can Save You Money in the Long Run

One of the most significant benefits of getting a pre-purchase inspection is that it can save you money in the long run. A mechanic can identify any problems with the car, such as a faulty transmission or engine issues, that may not be immediately apparent during a test drive or visual inspection. Knowing about these issues before you buy the car can help you negotiate a lower price or avoid buying a car that will require expensive repairs down the road.

It Can Help You Make an Informed Decision

A pre-purchase inspection can give you a better idea of the overall condition of the car and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to buy it. If the mechanic identifies significant issues with the car, you may decide to walk away and keep looking for a different vehicle. Alternatively, if the issues are minor or can be repaired easily, you may still choose to buy the car, but with a better understanding of what you’re getting into.

It Can Provide Peace of Mind

Buying a used car can be stressful, especially if you’re not a car expert. A pre-purchase inspection can provide peace of mind by letting you know that a professional has examined the vehicle and given it the all-clear. Even if the mechanic identifies some issues with the car, at least you’ll know what you’re dealing with and can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the purchase.

It Can Help You Negotiate a Better Price

If the mechanic identifies issues with the car, you may be able to negotiate a better price. For example, if the car needs new brakes or tires, you could ask the seller to lower the price by the cost of those repairs. Alternatively, if the issues are more significant, you may decide to walk away altogether, or ask for a significantly lower price to compensate for the cost of repairs.

It Can Help You Avoid Buying a Lemon

A pre-purchase inspection can help you avoid buying a lemon – a car that looks good on the outside but has significant issues under the hood. Lemon laws vary by state, but in general, they provide legal protections for consumers who buy defective vehicles. However, pursuing a lemon law claim can be time-consuming and expensive, so it’s better to avoid buying a lemon in the first place by getting a pre-purchase inspection.

It Can Help You Plan for Future Repairs

Even if the mechanic doesn’t identify any significant issues with the car, a pre-purchase inspection can still be useful. The inspection can give you a better idea of when you’ll need to replace certain parts, such as the brakes or tires. This information can help you plan for future repairs and budget accordingly.

Used Car Purchase

Pre-Purchase Inspections at P3 Autokrafte

At P3 Autokrafte, we understand the importance of providing high-quality automotive repairs and services for drivers on the road. Our skilled technicians are dedicated to keeping your car in top condition, offering thorough pre-purchase inspections that give you peace of mind. Whether you drive a German vehicle in Centerville, Springboro, Bellbrook, Lebanon or Mason, we’ll put your safety and satisfaction first. Give us a call or visit us today – you won’t regret having our experienced team take care of all your auto needs.

Car Engine Oil

The Different Types Of Car Oil: Which One Is Best For Your Mercedes?

One of the essential maintenance tasks that every Mercedes owner needs to perform is regular oil changes. Choosing the right type of engine oil is crucial to keep the engine running smoothly and prolong its lifespan. In this article, we will explore the different types of engine oil available for your Mercedes and which one is the best for your car.

Manufacturer Recommendation

The first thing you need to know is that Mercedes recommends using synthetic engine oil in their vehicles. Synthetic oil is a type of oil that is artificially made by blending high-quality base oils with advanced chemical additives. Synthetic oil offers superior performance, protection, and fuel efficiency compared to conventional mineral-based oils.

Mercedes also recommends that you use only engine oils that meet the standards of MB 229.5 or MB 229.51. These standards ensure that the oil meets the specific requirements of Mercedes engines and provides optimum performance and protection.

Full Synthetic Oil

Full synthetic engine oil is the most advanced type of engine oil available in the market today. It offers superior performance, protection, and fuel efficiency compared to conventional mineral-based oils. Full synthetic oil is made by blending high-quality base oils with advanced chemical additives that provide better lubrication, reduced wear and tear, and improved engine performance.

Full synthetic oil also resists breakdown and oxidation at high temperatures, making it ideal for high-performance engines. Mercedes recommends using full synthetic oil in their vehicles as it provides optimum protection and performance.

Synthetic Blend Oil

Synthetic blend engine oil is a mixture of synthetic and conventional mineral-based oils. It offers better protection and performance compared to conventional oils but not as good as full synthetic oil.

Synthetic blend oil is suitable for vehicles that require extra protection and performance but cannot handle the cost of full synthetic oil. Mercedes also recommends using synthetic blend oil in their vehicles as it provides better protection than conventional oil but at a more affordable cost.

Conventional Mineral-Based Oil

Conventional mineral-based engine oil is the most basic type of engine oil available in the market today. It is made by refining crude oil and adding chemical additives to improve its performance. Conventional oil is suitable for older vehicles or those that do not require high-performance oils. However, conventional oil does not offer the same level of protection, performance, and fuel efficiency as synthetic oils. Mercedes does not recommend using conventional mineral-based engine oil in their vehicles as it may not provide adequate protection and performance.

Which oil is best for you?

Now that you know the different types of engine oils available for your Mercedes, let’s look at which one is the best for your car. As mentioned earlier, Mercedes recommends using synthetic engine oil that meets the standards of MB 229.5 or MB 229.51. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best engine oil for your Mercedes:

Engine Type

The type of engine in your Mercedes plays a significant role in determining the type of engine oil you should use. For instance, if your Mercedes has a high-performance engine, you should use full synthetic oil to ensure optimum protection and performance. However, if your car has an older engine or a low-performance engine, you can use synthetic blend oil or conventional oil.


The climate in which you drive your Mercedes also plays a crucial role in determining the type of engine oil you should use. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you should use a synthetic oil that resists breakdown and oxidation at high temperatures. On the other hand, if you live in an area with moderate temperatures, you can use synthetic blend oil or conventional oil.

Driving Conditions

The driving conditions also play a significant role in determining the type of engine oil you should use. If you drive your Mercedes in harsh conditions, such as heavy traffic, frequent stop-and-go driving, or dusty roads, you should use synthetic oil that offers better protection against wear and tear. Synthetic oil also resists sludge buildup, which can affect engine performance and fuel efficiency.

Manufacturer Recommendations

Mercedes-Benz is known for its strict maintenance requirements, and the company provides detailed recommendations on the type of engine oil you should use in your car. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations ensures that you use the right type of oil that meets the specific requirements of your engine.

Car Oil Change

Bring Your Mercedes to P3 Autokrafte

At P3 Autokrafte, we understand that your car is an important part of your life. That’s why we do everything in our power to keep your vehicle running flawlessly and provide you with the best experience when leaving our garage. We offer top-quality services and a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty that leaves nothing to chance. Whether you live in Centerville, Springboro, Bellbrook, Lebanon, or Mason – rest assured knowing that our team of highly trained specialists will make sure every issue gets resolved with finesse and care. Give us a call or come by today and let us show you how we can help keep your car in perfect condition!

BMW Clutch Pedal

Maintain Your BMW’s Clutch In Dayton For Maximum Performance

As a proud owner of a BMW, you know that the clutch is one of the most important components of your car’s performance. It’s the link between the engine and the transmission, allowing you to shift gears and control the power of your car. But to maintain its performance, you need to take good care of it. In this article, we’ll discuss how to maintain your BMW’s clutch for maximum performance.

Don’t Ride the Clutch

One of the most common causes of clutch wear is “riding the clutch.” This is when you keep the clutch pedal partially engaged for extended periods, such as when you’re stuck in traffic or waiting at a red light. The constant friction and pressure on the clutch plates can cause them to wear out quickly, reducing the performance of your clutch.

To avoid this, try to keep your foot off the clutch pedal when you’re not using it. Instead, put the car in neutral and take your foot off the pedal altogether. This will reduce the wear on the clutch and improve its performance.

Use the Clutch Correctly

When you’re shifting gears, make sure to use the clutch correctly. Don’t release it too quickly or too slowly, as this can cause the clutch to slip or wear out. Instead, release the clutch smoothly and at a steady rate, matching the engine speed to the speed of the transmission.

Also, don’t use the clutch as a brake or a way to slow down the car. This puts unnecessary stress on the clutch and can cause it to wear out quickly. Instead, use the brakes to slow down the car and the clutch only when shifting gears.

How To Maintain Your BMW's Clutch For Maximum Performance

Change Gears at the Right RPM

Another way to maintain your BMW’s clutch is to change gears at the right RPM. Shifting gears at too low an RPM can cause the engine to stall, while shifting gears at too high an RPM can cause unnecessary wear on the clutch plates.

To avoid this, make sure to shift gears at the recommended RPM for your BMW model. You can find this information in your owner’s manual or by doing a quick search online. By shifting gears at the right RPM, you’ll reduce wear on the clutch and maintain its performance over time.

Keep the Clutch Clean

Over time, the clutch plates can get dirty or contaminated with oil or grease. This can cause the clutch to slip or wear out quickly, reducing its performance. To keep your BMW’s clutch clean, you should:

  • Avoid driving through deep water or mud, as this can cause water or dirt to get into the clutch.
  • Keep the engine and transmission clean, as this will reduce the amount of dirt and debris that can get into the clutch.
  • Change the transmission fluid regularly, as dirty or contaminated fluid can cause the clutch to slip or wear out quickly.

Get Regular Maintenance

To maintain your BMW’s clutch for maximum performance, you should get regular maintenance from a qualified mechanic. This includes:

  • Checking the clutch for wear and tear.
  • Replacing the clutch if it’s worn out or damaged.
  • Adjusting the clutch pedal if it’s too loose or too tight.
  • Checking the hydraulic system for leaks or damage.
  • Bleeding the clutch system to remove air bubbles.
  • By getting regular maintenance, you’ll ensure that your BMW’s clutch is always in top condition and performing at its best.

Upgrade Your Clutch

If you’re looking to improve the performance of your BMW’s clutch even further, you may want to consider upgrading to a high-performance clutch. These clutches are designed to handle more power and torque than standard clutches, and they can improve the acceleration, shifting, and overall performance of your car.

When choosing a high-performance clutch, make sure to get one that’s designed specifically for your BMW model. You should also consider the type of driving you’ll be doing. If you’re using your BMW for everyday commuting, a standard upgrade may be sufficient. But if you plan on using your car for racing or other high-performance activities, you may want to invest in a more advanced upgrade.

BMW Clutch Maintenance

Clutch Upgrades at P3 Autokrafte

At P3 Autokrafte, we’ve got you covered. We understand your vehicle is a big investment, so for your peace of mind we provide one of the best warranties available today – a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty. That way you know you’re safe in our hands and will receive only the highest quality auto repairs and service. We love serving German vehicle drivers from all around Centerville, Springboro, Bellbrook, Lebanon and Mason and would welcome the opportunity to make your vehicle the best it can be. Don’t hesitate to callor stop by today – we look forward to helping you feel confident in your vehicle again.

Audi Transmission

Audi Transmission Troubles? How Regular Maintenance Can Save You Time And Money

Audi vehicles are known for their luxurious and sporty design, advanced technology, and powerful performance. The Audi transmission is one of the essential components that contribute to the smooth and efficient operation of the car. Regular maintenance of the transmission can ensure that it lasts longer, operates smoothly, and saves you time and money in the long run. In this article, we will explore how regular maintenance can save you time and money on your Audi transmission.

What is an Audi Transmission?

An Audi transmission is a system that transmits power from the engine to the wheels of the vehicle. It consists of multiple gears and parts that work together to regulate the speed and torque of the car. The transmission can be either manual or automatic, depending on the model of the car. While both types of transmissions have their advantages and disadvantages, they both require regular maintenance to ensure smooth operation and longevity.

Why Regular Maintenance is Important for Audi Transmissions

Regular maintenance is essential for Audi transmissions because it helps prevent costly repairs and replacements. When a transmission is not maintained properly, it can wear out and fail, which can be expensive to repair or replace. Regular maintenance can help identify potential problems early on and prevent them from becoming major issues that require expensive repairs.

Here are some of the benefits of regular maintenance for Audi transmissions:

Improves Performance

Regular maintenance of the transmission can improve the overall performance of the vehicle. A well-maintained transmission can shift gears smoothly, which can improve fuel efficiency, acceleration, and top speed. It can also reduce the wear and tear on other parts of the vehicle, such as the engine and tires.

Extends Lifespan

Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of the transmission. The transmission is a complex system that is subject to wear and tear over time. Regular maintenance, such as fluidchanges and inspections, can help prevent premature wear and tear and extend the lifespan of the transmission.

Prevents Costly Repairs

Regular maintenance can prevent costly repairs by identifying potential problems early on. When a problem is identified early, it can be fixed before it becomes a major issue that requires expensive repairs or even a complete transmission replacement.

Maintains Warranty

Regular maintenance can help maintain thewarranty on your Audi transmission. Most warranties require that you follow a maintenance schedule to ensure that the vehicle is properly maintained. Failure to follow the schedule can void the warranty and leave you responsible for any repairs or replacements.

What Maintenance is Required for Audi Transmissions?

The maintenance required for Audi transmissions depends on the model of the vehicle and the type of transmission. However, here are some of the common maintenance tasks that are required for most Audi transmissions:

  • Fluid Changes: Fluid changes are one of the most important maintenance tasks for Audi transmissions. The transmission fluid lubricates and cools the transmission, and over time it can become dirty and contaminated. Regular fluid changes can help prevent wear and tear on the transmission and prevent costly repairs.
  • Inspections: Regular inspections of the transmission can help identify potential problems early on. A qualified technician can inspect the transmission for signs of wear and tear, leaks, and other issues that can affect the performance of the vehicle.
  • Filter Replacement: The transmission filter helps prevent contaminants from entering the transmission and causing damage. Over time, the filter can become clogged and prevent fluid from flowing through the transmission. Regular filter replacement can help prevent wear and tear on the transmission and improve performance.
  • Software Updates: Some Audi transmissions require software updates to ensure optimal performance. These updates can fix bugs and glitches in the software and improve the overall performance of the transmission.
Audi Transmission Fluid Change

Audi Transmission Maintenance at P3 Autokrafte

In conclusion, if you own an Audi vehicle, regular maintenance of your transmission should be a priority. Regular maintenance can save you time and money by preventing costly repairs, improving performance, and extending the lifespan of your transmission. By following the recommended maintenance schedule for your specific Audi model, you can ensure that your vehicle operates smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

At P3 Autokrafte, we strive to ensure you always have the peace of mind when it comes to caring for your vehicle. We provide one of the best warranties available today – a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty – so you can rest easy knowing that only the highest quality auto repairs and service will be given to your car or SUV. We are happy to serve German vehicle drivers from Centerville, Springboro, Bellbrook, Lebanon and Mason with our specialized knowledge and experience in transmission maintenance for Audi vehicles. If you are looking for experienced automotive professionals who understand your investment in your Audi, don’t hesitate to give us a call or stop by today!

Single-owner 911, and the stories of Jack Dougherty

1972 911T 2.7L

Long time client and all-around great guy, Jack Doughtery, stopped by to tell us a little more about his ’72 911T, and we managed to pass a few hours soaking in stories of Iwo Jima, leased car adventures,  and his love of his 911… from day one.

Sitting in his relaxed , cross-legged  manner with a memorable, endearing smile, and donning his Marine Corp League – Dayton Detachment mesh hat, he clearly has a few years of experience. With his quick wit you’d never guess he’s surpassed the 90 year mark. We invited him in to talk about his car, and discuss what’s kept him in love with his car for the last 43 years, but we got way more than we bargained for with stories of all kinds.

His story starts in the years ago joining the Navy, being called up by the Marines, and going back to the Navy. He was a guy in demand for his specific skills, and that later translated into graduating from the military, and going to college, and become a very highly respected oral surgeon.

 Jack Doughtery


“Had I known that, I may not have come for you!”

Beyond being good at his craft, he was a lucky guy. As a Navy Corpsman he found himself right in the middle of the storm on Iwo Jima, and in one of the fiercest battles on the island near the southern tip by Mt. Suribachi. Young, vicarious, and driven to help those in need, Jack and his guys landed in a situation of one man left behind in a bunker under fire. Jack volunteered (more correctly insisted) he go and rescue his fallen comrade stuck in the trench. Asking for smoke grenade and heavy cover fire, he  made the battlefield dash to dive into the trench. Only to find the guy had a branded line on his back from a bullet that grazed him. “Had I known that, I may not have come for you!” Jack recalls yelling at the gent. From that moment, they proceeded to get pinned down under fire for the subsequent nine hours. Strategically, they fired and returned fire, then, waited, and managed to take out the last of their opponents. Making the dash back, he recalled, was nerve-racking, but finding all the foxholes that previously housed his company were all empty, was even more so. The field promoted Lieutenant, was not a the caliber of leader they were use to, and Jack insured he made it back to the group to give him a piece of his mind. Jack’s demeanor and laugh, gave great insight of how his likes things done… by the book and without fear.

Jack followed his passion, and frankly what his excelled at, graduating from college to become an oral surgeon, and jumped into his residency. During his time travelling back and forth at a practice in Northern Ohio, he realized that he wasn’t good at maintaining cars, and honestly it really wasn’t his thing. Leasing became his go to way to drive a bunch of new cars, and never have to really ‘take care of them’. A friend  turned him on to leasing, and $187 later he was driving a brand new Ford Convertible,… and that covered the first TWO months! He was hooked.

…eventually the sloshing of water in the floor boards got to him.

 Over the years, when the his cars needed something addressed with maintenance, he just got a new one to start all over again. Having owned Fords, Pontiacs, and a couple Thunderbirds he decided to make a change, and go after something that caught his eye years ago, and this time own it. His friends gave him a hard time when he’d leave the top down in the rain, but eventually the sloshing of water in the floor boards got to him in his last and final big iron lease.

In 1972, Jack broke down, and brought the Porsche 911T he still owns to this day. Originally purchased from Century Motors located on Dixie Drive in Moraine, the beautiful tangerine color struck his fancy. With rebates at the time, his total purchase price came to $10k. He drove it for many years, enjoyed it, and in many ways was his daily transportation. After a few mechanical engine issues with the early generation mechanical injection he decided to take it to Ray Thacker. Thacker was the man behind, Stuttgart Automotive, and the guy to perform the tuning. Once inside the project, Ray made a few recommendation, that Jack was apprehensive about, but trusted his judgement. With Jack, giving the ‘yes’ to proceed, the car became a 2.7L, Weber fed motor. “Seeing all the parts of my motor all over the place, on the bench and in buckets didn’t give me a lot of hope, but I had great trust in him, so I kept my mouth shut.” Having fits with the early mechanical injection was a thing of the past. Jack got his car back as promised and BETTER. “I was relieved to actually get it back all in one piece”, Jack recalls, and has never regretted it in the least.

“I was relieved to actually get it back all in one piece”

Many years that have passed since the 65k mile motor rebuild and repaint (in the original color), and Jack continues to keep his 911 in top mechanical condition. The odometer reads a youthful 95k miles and no signs of slowing down.

Jack also tossed in a number of stories of vacation, travel, National Porsche Parades, and a good 360 degree spin at Putnam years ago that got his blood pressure up. He’s no stranger to enjoying the Porsche lifestyle.

It was a pleasure to sit down with a gentleman that has graced our shop for years, and get (as they say) the full story. We are proud to service this time capsule 911T, and more so to call Jack a good friend of P3.


Also we want to extend a THANK YOU to Jack for his military service.


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Post/Pre Purchase Inspection

We love to see avid enthusiast and daily commuters alike get new cars. Being excited about the purchase, and having good knowledge their dream car is just that, not a nightmare.

For years, we have been doing PPIs (Pre-Purchase Inspections) to help buyer confidently put down healthy sums with confidence. With the desirability of some of the air-cooled Porsche makes we have see values climb at a staggering rate, and the number available shrink leaving the price to go up. With this elevation of desire and market value comes the wild claims of originality, and people trying to sell through dishonesty and misrepresentation. Recently, we had a vehicle come in to our shop that illustrates this very well.

We received a call from Texas to help a gentleman out who had found his dream Midnight Blue Porsche 993 Turbo here in the region. It really was a stunning car, and it’s no wonder why these beautiful cars continue to climb in value. At initial glance, it was a clean car that was not being sold as a salvage title or was sold as wrecked. No damage really to speak of, it was seemed to be an honest car. Clean Car Fax with no indication of collision.

With the PPI process we look over the vehicles with keen eye on the details, corners, any over-spray especially in the rocker panel regions or place where their are post-paint body plugs. These areas can tell many stories about the past of a car. The car was being listed at approximately $90,000 USD, and was high for the market. This was not being listed by a private owner, but a business.

This is what we found:

Rain Guards: Tack-welds the entire length when they should be smooth. This indicates that, at one point, the car had been split at the seam to allow a panel replacement.

Door/Door Sills: The sills had a bump/step in them likely from the replacement panel overlap. The door gap wasn’t uniform. Under the door sill was where shops will hide the welds… we found welds.

Back deck Rail: Where the rear quarter panel meets the trunk stamping it was not factory clean spot welds, but a smoothed over area with body filler to hide the repair. In addition, this area had paint cracking the entire length.

Tail Lights: The three lights that make up the rear didn’t align properly, and was a clear indicator that the angle of one panel in the replacement wan’t quite perfect. The passenger side rubber gasket wasn’t touching the body to seal this area. In stead the gap was too large, and not able to be rectified correctly.

Rocker Panels: The rockers revealed non-factory over-spray that had been sprayed over air-conditioning lines. These are installed after paint at the factory and should be clean, bare aluminum. There we found the primered replacement panel fresh edge that didn’t receive paint. This is a key indicator that this car was clearly wrecked.

After deliberation, we called the client to tell them the news. We advised to not perform a leak-down test on the engine after this gross misrepresentation. He was clearly disappointed with the findings, however, he saved money by not performing the leak-down test, and furthermore, tens of thousands of dollars in a car that is not worth the asking price.

The following day we performed a Post-Purchase Inspection for a young man that had purchased his first M3. The car was a great deal to begin with, and he needed and oil change. He had P3 Autokräfte inspect the car, and insure that he had a solid car to start with, and let him know if there was anything that needed addressing. He had found a quality car. Money well spend, and good peace-of-mind.

If you are looking at a used vehicle please let us know how we can help insure that you receiving the car of your dreams.

Call today 937.312.9950 to schedule an appointment for inspection of your newest love to insure that it was meant to be.

Mini Cooper – Chain Tensioner Troubles

P3 Autokrafte is primarily a Porsche and BMW facility which also services Audi and Volkswagen. We can’t forget the fantastic little brother under the BMW umbrella; Mini.  Without a Mini specific dealer in the Dayton Area, some Mini owners may feel a bit underserved. That’s where we come in to help.

If you are on the Mini forums, and are enthusiasts like we are, you know about the potential damage of a tensioner failure. With Mini Coopers, Clubmans, and Countrys on their second, third or even fourth owners, sometimes critical info doesn’t get passed down about the items in a recall or recommended dealer services. Not everyone in an enthusiast, so we want to spread the word. Preventative maintenance is key to trouble-free years of use, and ‘failure’ will not be in your future.

Depending on how you search or what part you believe to be the first to fail they are all interconnected; VANOS, cams, tensioner, vac pump, chain, pulleys, guides, etc. Each one of these can be affected with a catastrophic failure, and you can then throw in the valves, head, etc, etc. This is not a pretty picture to be painted, but we wanted to bring this to light before it’s the case for your Mini. There have been recalls on the chain and tensioner since the inception of the Mini, they have made a change to the tensioner and the chain to hopefully prevent this in the future. When it comes to Minis with the R56 motors we recommend changing the tensioner, and closer oil change intervals.

We see the chain, tensioner, and guides as a routine maintenance items that should be replaced (before 100k for the standard Mini and 60k for the S). Some recommend it sooner, but keeping a close ear to any rattling before these intervals; especially noises within the few seconds after start are good indicators that you should have it inspected. It’s a fairly inexpensive service, and should be considered like a water pump replacement or other long duration component in your service intervals. The Mini the tensioner, chain, and guides are relatively inexpensive parts. This can cost-effectively be added into your Inspection 2 services.

We recently received a Mini that had gone ‘a bit too long’ before addressing. The result was not pretty, and the service became a major overhaul. When the first component failed it caused the chain to break, the motor to skip timing, bend exhaust valves, fail the vac pump, etc, etc. It was a mess. After a re-machining on the head, full top-end re-build, new tensioner, VANOS actuator, vac pump, and a number of other affected items, and re-sync the cams, and VANOS sensors, it is back on the road like a champion.

We wanted to make this information as accessible as possible for Mini owners, so we can keep you on the road and out of the shop. Below is a breakdown for a widely accepted Mini Service descriptions  and intervals. Please feel free to call us to schedule and appointment, or discuss the details of your Mini.


Mini Maintenance Services

Mini Coopers have 3 types of service: Oil Change, Inspection 1, and Inspection 2. Service notifications are in displayed in the middle of the speedometer. Similar to a BMW this mileage will countdown to next service interval.

If display is flashing and mileage is negative you are in need of service. The applicable service should be performed. They are performed in the following order; Oil change (x3), Service 1, Oil Change (x3-x4), Service 2. Repeat.

Service 1 is also known as a Minor service and service 2 is also known as a Major Service.


Oil Change (5000 – 7500 mile increments)

Change oil and oil filter and reset the oil change indicator.

Inspection 1 (Minor Service) (25k miles)

Includes services in Oil Change (above) plus: change Interior Ventilation Filter, change Transmission fluid if CVT, add Windshield Washer fluid, check Wipers and Washers, lubricate doors and locks, check Battery condition, Suspension, CV boots, Exhaust System, Manual Transmission fluid level, pressure check Cooling System, and reset Service Indicator and road test for overall performance.

Inspection 2 (Major Service) (50k miles)

Includes services from Oil Change and Inspection 1 plus: change Air Filter, Engine Coolant, flush Brake fluid, and mileage. Model dependent add on’s include: Spark Plugs (100K), Belt change (100k cooper 60K S) and Oxygen Sensor (100K).  ADD tensioner to this list with the belts


If you have any questions, feel free to call, email, or send a PM on Facebook or Twitter.


P3 Autokräfte


The truth behind the Intermediate Shaft (IMS) Bearing?

Every so often we have someone ask about the intermediate Shaft (IMS) Bearing in the 996 and Boxsters, and what they should do, and how worried should they be.

In short, the Intermediate Shaft (IMS) Bearing in the M96/M97 engines are nothing to loose sleep or fret over. In all of our combined years working on Boxsters and 996 era cars that share the same engine, in total, we have personally heard of two cars in the area that had IMS failures. With a percentage of failures this low we acknowledge they happen, and we don’t disregard them. There are hours of in-depth reports, reviews, DIY how-to’s, and a number of other sources and forums discussing this issue. We have read at length, and know this issue very well, but can only clearly rely on our own years of experience as to ‘what you can expect’.

When changing the oil, we perform a full inspection of the oil filter to look for ‘glitter’ or metal flecks. This is a good indication that the IMS is starting to fatigue.

You can, but we don’t recommend performing an elective or preventative IMS Bearing fix as a single service due to the high cost of labor associated with this replacement. However, if you are having your clutch serviced or replaced or having other engine/transmission removal type services performed we highly recommend having your IMS bearing replaced with an upgraded unit.

The talk around the IMS bearing is no reason not buy a 996 or Boxster. They are fantastic cars, and are a blast to drive. Overall, we recommend oil changes at closer intervals, complete filter inspection, focus on enjoying your Porsche, and leave the extra internet noise behind.

Best Regards, P3 Autokräfte

Tech Q&A: Should I use a heavier engine oil in the summer and a lighter oil in the winter?

We usually recommend to adhere to manufacturer’s recommendations on oil viscosity.  With that said, I personally prefer to go to the heavy side of the recommended oil viscosity for a given climate range.  At the shop here in Dayton, Ohio we use Motul 5W-40 for all late model German cars (except BMW M series) for all four seasons.  5W-40 easily covers the viscosity needs for these cars in nearly any conceivable temperature we are likely to see in our part of the world.  For BMW M Series we use Lubro Moly 10W-60 year round because that is what BMW recommends.  The only oil related issue that I disagree with the manufacturers on is the extended change interval now used by all the German makes.  Porsche recommends 20,000 miles or once annually between changes, BMW and Mercedes are both using condition based intervals that result in between 15 and 18 thousand mile changes.  We recommend changing the oil in half the time the manufacturer recommends or at about 7500 miles.

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Tech Q&A: What should I do to my car when I get it out of storage, before I start enjoying it again?

Every man or woman should own this,  it’s the “Booster Pac ES5000″.  It’s the only one out of many of these devices on the market that should be considered in my opinion.

The reason is, even if you properly prepped your car for storage for a few months ago, and you either disconnected the battery during storage, or you had the battery on one of those maintainer gizmos (more than likely) the car will still need a jump to get started.  It seems like more often than not, no matter what preparations were made for storage, after three months of not being started/charged, the battery just doesn’t have enough power to turn the engine over.   That is why you need the ES5000.  It will start the car for sure.  It’s better than the best set of jumper cables money can buy, which is why you need to own one even if you don’t store a car.

The other thing you should be prepared for is low tire pressure.  Even if you didn’t have any slow leaks in any of your tires when you parked,  the tires will almost certainly have lost some pressure.  If they are just a little low, like 10 psi or less lower than specs, or lets say no less than 20 psi, then you will want to get straight to an air source after you get the car running.  If you have a tire that is lower than 20psi then I would suggest you bring something with you to fill the tires.  Either a portable air tank or a portable tire inflator (which you can operate off your ES5000 after you get the car started).

Personally, I prefer the portable air tank over the inflator because I can fill it up in my garage with my air compressor, then I don’t need to hassle with a power source for the portable inflator option.  The downside to the air tank option is that you can only fit so much air in the tank and you might run out before all your tires are filled.

Here is a nice aluminum portable air tank from JEGS.  Aluminum means light weight, which would make a difference when you’re lugging it around.41Y8c9Dn3IL._SL500_AA300_Before you set off,  give a quick glance under the car to see if any new leaks popped up over the winter that might alert you to and potential trouble.  Check  the fluid levels to be sure.

That’s about it.  GO DRIVE!  Enjoy the sun and the fresh spring air.  Don’t forget to give that car a good hand washing after accumulating dust for three months.  I would just call Asher’s (if you are in the Dayton area).

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