Why Minis Are Fabulous Road Trip Cars!

“It looks kind of small,” she said. “I think we’ll be cramped.”

“No, it’s not”, I replied. “Here, get in and I’ll show you.”

As my friend and I embarked on a recent road trip in my Mini Cooper Countryman, I showed her how MINIs are the ideal road trip car. I’m a firm believer that MINIs are the best cars for a road trip, and I have the Mini Cooper history to back me up.

Why are MINIs the best road trip cars? Here are seven reasons why, as explained on the MINI USA website:

  1. MINIs were first designed to be affordable, gas-sipping British automobiles that helped their owners endure the oil crisis.

  1. The two most important innovations that were built into the MINI were designed to give more room in the 4-person cockpit:  1) the wheels were pushed all the way out to the corners, and 2) the engine was turned sideways to give the car more stability in tight turns.

  1. The unique combination of classic British style in a low-cost, small size, fun and nimble package came to symbolize independence and spontaneity:  the very essence of youthful culture.

  1. MINI’s layout innovations also helped make it a standout performance car. Wheels at the corners meant a wide, go-kart stance and nimble handling. The transverse engine kept weight over the front tires, helping provide great balance and grip on the road.

  1. In 1961, British racing legend John Cooper turned the MINI into a rally demon by giving it a more powerful engine, bigger brakes, and a few tuning tweaks. People started recognizing  MINI for being a fun and efficient road rally vehicle.

  1. Before long, the nimble little Classic Mini was outracing and outlasting the larger, more powerful, but clumsier sedans of the day. Visits to the winner’s circle became a regular event as Mini chalked up numerous international race wins – including 3 at the prestigious Monte Carlo rally from 1964 to 1967.

  1. Today, Mini Coopers have evolved to keep up with 21st Century technology, but it stays true to its road rally, fun to drive, handles like a go-kart roots.

“No one ever forgets the first time they drove a MINI. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a test drive is worth 1,000 ‘Holy crap this thing is awesome!’s.” — MINI USA

If you are planning a road trip this summer, we hope you have the pleasure of doing it in a Mini Cooper. If not, we’re sure your road trip will be just a fun.

To prepare your vehicle for the road trip, bring it by Robert’s Auto Repair for a 20-point safety inspection. To schedule an appointment, call us at (831) 373-1535, or request your appointment online. We look forward to making sure your vehicle is road trip worthy.

Posted in Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair, Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

How Often Should I Maintain My BMW or Mini?

bmw logomini logo

 

Since BMW is the manufacturer of Mini Coopers, this advice is helpful for the owners of both vehicle brands. To help shed some light on how often BMW and Mini drivers should maintain their vehicles, our Master BMW Technician, David Robinson, offers some helpful advice:

As a rule of thumb, the following timeline/mileage is used for maintenance on BMWs & MINIs:

  • Engine oil & filter + cabin filter replacement = 15,000 miles/1 year (Personally, I tell my friends & family every 6 months to ensure oil is clean of grime & vapors, which can cause seals & gaskets to harden).

  • On MINI Coopers, I recommend replacing the oil drain plug with every oil service (about $5.00). The nylon seal is embedded into the oil drain plug and has a tendency to not seal as well if re-used.

  • Engine intake air filter replacement = 50,000 miles.

  • Transmission service, spark plug replacement, Oxygen sensor replacement at 100,000 miles.

  • Brake fluid flush every 2 years.

  • Be aware of possible “hidden” leaks.  Vehicle may have a leak although no trace of liquid dripping onto a driveway.  Splash guard panels below the car (used to prevent water & mud from splashing into engine & transmission area) may also prevent you from seeing evidence of a leak dripping.  Oil leaks can also cause additional damage by contaminating items such as hoses, belts, electrical connectors, etc.

  • Most of the items on a BMW “inspection sheet/vehicle check form” are included as part of Robert’s 20-point courtesy inspection.

  • Recommended oil = 5W-30 synthetic.

If it has been a while since your BMW or Mini has had service, we invite you to Robert’s Auto Repair for maintenance. You may contact us online to schedule an appointment, or call our main number at (831) 373-1535.

Robert’s Auto Repair is conveniently located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

Posted in Auto Body, Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

May Is The Month We’ll Celebrate BMWs

bmw logo

 

Robert’s Auto Repair is proud to announce that we have two Master BMW Technicians on our staff, and to commemorate our good fortune, we will be celebrating the esteemed automaker, Bavarian Motor Works, throughout the month of May.

To begin, here are some things you may or may not know about BMWs:

  • BMW stands for “Bayerische Motoren Werke”. However, according to the late, great Bob Marley, he was a longtime BMW fan and owner because in his mind, BMW stood for “Bob Marley and the Whalers”.

  • BMW is the parent company that owns the Rolls-Royce and Mini brands.

  • The roundel logo represents both their days making airplanes and looks like a spinning propeller, but also represents the Bavarian flag.

  • BMW began as an airplane manufacturer in 1917, but after the Versailles Treaty was signed in 1918, they diversified and began making motorcycles; then later, automobiles.

  • The kidney shaped grill that you see on all BMW automobiles was first used in 1934.

  • BMW is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Americans will often take advantage of BMW’s European Delivery Service. This service allows them to purchase their BMWs from the factory in Munich, use their new vehicle to tour the European continent, and have it shipped back to the United States, often for about the same price as they would if their BMW were directly delivered to their local dealership. Nice incentive to travel to Germany, huh?

  • BMW’s are “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and will remain so for years IF you take good care of them and properly maintain them.

If you drive a BMW that needs maintenance, auto body repair, or mechanical repair, we invite you to Robert’s Auto Repair. You may contact us online to schedule an appointment, or call our main number at (831) 373-1535.

Robert’s Auto Repair is conveniently located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

Posted in Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

What Auto Body Work Will My Insurance Cover?

This is a question asked often at Robert’s Auto Repair, and the answer depends on your insurance company and your specific auto insurance policy. When you come to Robert’s Auto Repair, here’s how we interact with your auto insurance company during the course of the auto body repair:

  1. Generally when you have a claim, you will contact the insurance company and they will issue you a claim number, and let you know what your deductible is.

  2. After you receive your claim number, you have the right to go to any auto body repair shop of your choice for estimates and/or repair.

  3. Once you choose your auto body shop, you may get started with the repair.

  4. If you were to come to us, our estimators will assess the car’s damage and take photos documenting what auto body work needs to take place.

  5. We will report to your insurance company our full estimates of the repair cost and will come to an agreement with them about what will be repaired.

  6. If your insurance company comes back to us saying that they disagree with what we plan to repair, our estimators will continue negotiating with your insurance company until the repair costs are mutually agreeable.

  7. If we discover that there is hidden damage found, we will continue negotiating with your insurance company until there is agreement to repair the damage.

  8. The Robert’s Auto Repair team and your insurance company always come to an agreement, and this process allows us stand behind our workmanship with a lifetime warranty.

What does this process mean for our auto body repair customers?

  1. We shield our customers from having to do all the legwork and negotiations with the insurance company.

  2. There is no “smoke and mirrors” about how the Robert’s Auto Repair team handles insurance repair.

  3. Our customers are only responsible for paying their deductible and not the bulk of the insurance covered repair.

  4. We streamline the entire auto body process for our customers from start to finish.

  5. Our customers end up with a repaired vehicle in a short amount of time, restored to pre-accident conditions.

  6. The entire auto body repair process is a win-win-win for everyone.

If your vehicle has been in an accident and requires auto body repair, contact us online to schedule an appointment. Got questions? Call our main number at (831) 373-1535. Robert’s Auto Repair is conveniently located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

 

Posted in Auto Body, Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair, Events, Tire Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

What You Should Know About Your Windshield

Your vehicle’s windshield is designed to provide you with a clear view of the road and surrounding elements. A windshield is designed to be very strong, made like a sandwich of two layers of glass with a vinyl layer in between. Sometimes the windshield will get damaged due to small pebbles cracking the glass or major auto collisions that destroy it. When your vehicle’s windshield is damaged, here is what you should know about windshield repair versus windshield replacement.

Windshield Repair:

If you have a small scratch, ding, or chip, your windshield can simply be repaired. The auto body technicians at Robert’s Auto Repair will use vacuums and resin to remove air from the damaged area and fill it with resin to seal the crack. The resin is clear and becomes invisible, allowing the windshield to be restored and roadworthy.

Windshield Replacement:

If you have a large crack or major breaks in your windshield, your vehicle will require a windshield replacement. A windshield replacement involves the removal of the current windshield and the fitting of a new windshield. After the Robert’s Auto Repair technician removes the damaged windshield, your vehicle’s frame will be cleaned and repaired. After that, we will install the new windshield by applying a bead of urethane on the frame to bond the new windshield to the vehicle.

At Robert’s Auto Repair, we handle the windshield repair and replacement in-house on our facility. Handling this task on location allows us to repair your windshield faster, which in turn, allows you to get back out on the road in a shorter timeframe.

If your vehicle’s windshield requires repair or replacement, contact us online to schedule an appointment. Got questions? Call our main number at (831) 373-1535. Robert’s Auto Repair is conveniently located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

 

Posted in Auto Body, Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Notable Monterey County Auto Accidents Caused By Texting

There have been some major automobile crashes that have occurred around the Monterey Bay and Monterey County in recent years. A lot of them are caused by texting. Here is a slideshow we found about some of the worst accidents that sadly, often ended with fatalities:

Major Crashes on the Central Coast

There is a major campaign to stop texting while driving. There are many statistics that support the fact that texting while driving kills, and here is an informative graphic that talks about it.

If you are in an auto accident, Robert’s Auto Repair is here to help rebuild your vehicle and restore it to like-new condition. To schedule an appointment with our auto body service representatives, call us at (831) 373-1535, or request your preferred time online. Robert’s Auto Repair is conveniently located at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

 

Posted in Auto Body, Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

How To Maintain Your Vehicle’s Airbag System

Your vehicle’s airbag system is one of the more important safety components of your automobile. Airbags are deployed upon impact and can protect you and your passengers from fatal blows during an accident. Airbags have saved thousands of lives, but in order to do so, they must be checked and maintained on a regular basis.

The most important parts of the success of the airbag system are the crash sensors, and these sensors need to be checked by a certified mechanic. There are two types of airbag sensors in cars:  electrical and mechanical. According to this article:

“Electrical sensors vary in design. Some use an electromechanical “ball and tube” mechanism, which basically consists of a small tube containing a circuit switch and ball that’s held together by a small magnet. If a collision occurs, the ball is dislodged from the magnet and rolls forward in the tube, hitting a switch that completes the electrical circuit. Other electrical designs are similar in principle, using a metal roller or spring loaded weight instead of a ball, or in newer cars, an accelerometer to trip the sensor. Mechanical sensors work independent of the electrical system and respond similarly to the electrical sensors, with a design that actuates a firing pin triggering a small explosion after a crash. Since a mechanical sensor does not require a power source, it cannot be deactivated like an electrical sensor can when the battery is disconnected.”

At Robert’s Auto Repair, our certified technicians can check your vehicle to make certain everything related to your vehicle’s airbag system is in order. From the airbags, to the sensors, to the inflators that deploy the system when triggered, we will check to make sure your airbag system meets factory specifications.

In addition to airbag system maintenance, our mechanical repair technicians can provide complete minor and major maintenance for your vehicle. To schedule an appointment online, click here. To contact us during business hours, call our main number at (831) 645-4712. Robert’s Auto Repair is located at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, close to the Highway 1 Del Monte Exit for Pacific Grove. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Posted in Auto Body, Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

How Bluetooth Technology Helps Auto Body Shops Lose Business

Bluetooth devices offer an additional level of safety to automobile drivers, and this is a wonderful thing! In fact, Robert’s Auto Repair is happy to say that we have seen fewer auto body repairs in our shop thanks to Bluetooth devices, and that is a win-win for everyone.

Bluetooth devices help improve safety by allowing drivers to talk on their cell phones and still keep both hands on the steering wheel. Bluetooth wireless technology not only keeps drivers and their passengers safer, but they also reduce fines from law enforcement agencies.

Bluetooth technology is becoming more common in new vehicles, and can be installed in older vehicles, too. Here are some of the ways you can use Bluetooth in your personal or work vehicle:

  • Visor speakerphone. These are often battery powered and automatically connect to your cellular phone when you enter the vehicle. No special installation is required.

  • Wireless Earpieces. These take just moments to set up. The devices also help drivers comply with hands-free laws.

  • GPS navigation devices. Drivers can communicate to the navigation device through a Bluetooth headset and make hands-free calls.

  • MP3 players that sync up to your sound system. This allows you to stream music and control your MP3 player from the stereo head unit.

  • Rear-view mirrors with caller ID and speaker phone.

  • Headsets for listening to music. Passengers can listen to music without plugging wires into the sound system or MP3 player.

For more information about how Bluetooth is reducing the number of fatal accidents, visit this link.

If your vehicle is in need of auto body repair, contact Robert’s Auto Repair at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. To schedule an appointment with our auto body service representatives, call us at (831) 373-1535, or request your preferred time online. We look forward to serving you and restoring your vehicle to its pre-loss condition.

Posted in Auto Body, Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

What Does a Multi Point Preventative Maintenance Inspection Include?

Did you know that when you bring your vehicle in for any type of service, including oil changes, we perform a complimentary Multi Point Preventative Maintenance Inspection? This is a courtesy we do every day at Robert’s Auto Repair, and we do it to make sure everything on your vehicle is operating properly. Here is a list of what the Multi Point Preventative Maintenance Inspection includes:

  1. Headlights / Taillights / Brake lights / Hazard lights / Turn signals

  2. Interior light

  3. Windshield washers and wipers

  4. Parking brake

  5. Horn

  6. Clutch

  7. Micron cabin filter

  8. Battery check

  9. Check fluid levels

  10. Air filter

  11. Belts and hoses

  12. Hydraulic clutch reservoir fluid

  13. Brake lines and hoses

  14. Shocks and struts / Suspension / Gears / Seals

  15. Exhaust system

  16. Engine oil / fluid leaks

  17. Boots and bands

  18. Tire wear

  19. Brake condition

With this inspection, we mark down if these various parts are working satisfactory, may require future attention, or require immediate attention. It’s just another way we communicate with our clients; making sure they are safe while operating their vehicles.

To get your Multi Point Preventative Maintenance Inspection, contact us at 831-373-1534 and schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you soon!

 

Posted in Auto Body, Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair, Tire Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

To Shampoo Or Not To Shampoo? What Do Your Car Seats Need?

Many people assume that when they wash their cars, a simple vacuum of the interior and a washing of the exterior is all that is required. While a quick vacuum and exterior wash is easy and fast, it is also important to occasionally deep clean with a seat and flooring shampoo.

On average, we spend 20% of our time inside cars and this is the reason why car seats go through constant wear and tear. Deep cleaning of car seats is a must on a regular basis, especially if you spend a lot of time eating and drinking if your vehicle. Additionally, if you have kids, pets, or both, a shampoo of the seats and floors will remove stains, pet hair, dirt, and other grime that gets tracked into your vehicle.

Robert’s Auto Repair offers two shampoo packages, and these packages are at a flat rate, regardless if your vehicle has cloth seats, leather seats, or vinyl seats. The first package is our Complete Carpet OR Seat Shampoo for just $50.00. The second package is the Complete Carpet AND Seat Shampoo for only $85.00. These packages are great deals — especially when you consider how much work goes into removing  the grime, food, and pet hair so your vehicle can look pristine again!

So, in the name of Spring Cleaning, consider a Complete Carpet and/or Seat Shampoo from Robert’s Auto Repair. Call today at 831-373-1534 to schedule your appointment. Our detailers look forward to making your vehicle’s interior look and smell clean again!

Posted in Auto Body, Auto Maintenance, auto repair, Car Repair | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off