History of BMW

BMW, which stands for Bavarian Motoren Werke has a long and interesting history that involves more than just cars. In fact, they were in the business of building airplane engines long before they started making automobiles.   Here are a few things you should know about BMW’s history:

Origins of BMW

BMW originated in Germany in 1916 as BFw (Bayerische Flugzeugwerke). BFw primarily made aircraft engines. Rapp motors was one of Bfw’s constituents and also became part of the merge into BMW. After WW1 Germany was prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles from producing warplanes and engines for these planes for six months. As a result of the treaty, BMW began manufacturing automobile engines.

In 1923 BMW decided to manufacture its first motorbike, the R 32. In 1929 BMW became an automobile manufacturer (when they bought Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach). This resulted in their first car, the Dixi 3/15. BMW didn’t design this car though because it was actually an Austin, which originated in England. The design and chassis created by Austin was under license to be used around the world. Sales of the Dixi were good despite the fact that it was the Depression. However, Dixis were popular for racing at the time. In 1932 BMW designed and built its own car, the 3/20 PS being its first. The 3/19 sedan was produced between 1935 and 1937. It was a reliable family car. By 1940 BMWs were synonymous with affluent German lifestyle.

Impact of WWII

When WWII began, much of the company’s attention was diverted to the war effort. Though cars were still being manufactured during this time, the design and development resources were significantly cut. BMW played such a large part in the war effort that their factories were bombed. After the war, BMWs Munich factory would produce pots, pans, and once again, motorbikes. Their motorbikes would be popular for both on the road and for racing. BMW didn’t produce another car until 1952 with the 501. When the V8 engine became available, the 501 was replaced by the 502.

BMW Sports Cars

BMW’s first sports car was the 3/13 1. It was not only elegant, but also fast, reaching speeds of 75 mph. This car was built in 1935 and 1936. Only 242 of these sports cars was produced, but this car would lead the way for the BMWs that were to follow. In 1936 BMW released the 3/28. It reached speeds 90 mph. This model came with a choice of gearboxes: one for competition or one for the road. This car has become a classic and popular with collectors. In 1937 BMW set a record for the fastest motorcycle in the world.

Notable BMW Cars

In the 1950s BMW produced a bubble car called the Isetta, which was designed by an Italian refrigerator manufacturer. Despite their small size and interesting look, they were a popular seller, but didn’t produce much profit. In 1972 BMW debuted its first electric car, which contained 12 batteries and could drive 19 miles at a time. While innovative, only two prototypes were built. In 1999 BMW began to produce cars outside of Germany beginning with a factory in Russia.

Today, BMW is still known for its luxury cars and people all over world enjoy driving them.

How Does an Automatic Transmission Work?

An automatic transmission can seem like magic. Also known as auto or self-shifting, the automatic transmission doesn’t require you to shift gears manually in order for them to change. It happens as you drive. The automatic transmission uses a combination of fluid, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Here is an overview of how an automatic transmission works.

What is a transmission?

A transmission is what allows a car move into different gears. Without a transmission, your car would be stuck in one gear regardless of the speed and power required to move your vehicle. If you’re driving up a steep hill, your car’s needs are different from if you’re in rush-hour traffic in the city. Basically the automatic transmission helps your engine spin at an optimal rate for the driving conditions and all you have to do is press the brake or gas pedal.

Parts of the Automatic Transmission

Parts of the automatic transmission include: a torque converter, oil pump, band breaks, planetary gear set, clutch packs, valve body, output shaft, and hydraulic system.

The torque converter is what stops your car from moving when you turn on the engine. It connects and disconnects power from the engine and is found between the engine and the transmission. Once you put the transmission into drive and your car is moving, the rest is automatic.

The planetary gear set is the heart of the automatic transmission. It’s what allows you to reverse and achieve five levels of forward drive. This one set of gears produces all the gear ratios. The planetary gear set is made up of three components: the sun gear, the planet gear, and the ring gear.

The band breaks are responsible for gears in the planetary gear set to be tight or loose allowing them to spin at different speeds.

The valve body can be considered the brain of the automatic transmission. The different valve passages direct different pressures of transmission fluid to different areas. Depending on how much pressure you put on the gas pedal will determine where the transmission fluid goes in the valve body. The clutch pack is then activated and will smoothly shift the transmission into a different gear.

Transmission (or hydraulic) fluid acts as a coolant and lubricant within the transmission system and helps to prevent corrosion. It transmits power from the engine to the transmission. Its role is important in the automatic transmission.

How an Automatic Transmission Works

When you turn on your car, the engine is on, but the car doesn’t move. When you step on the gas, the torque converter pump spins faster, sending transmission fluid toward the turbine. This fluid force is what turns the wheels. The operation of automatic transmission is all about transmitting different rotation speeds into the ring and sun gears. By holding the planet carrier, sun, or ring steady, a different gear ratio is achieved.

As you can see, the automatic transmission involves a lot of parts and movements to work. As complicated as it all seems, it’s hard to deny that it’s an impressive system!

Summer Car Maintenance Checklist

Summer car maintenance might not seem important, but it’s just as important as the winter car maintenance you do to prepare for snow, ice, and rain. Summers are hot and dry and this can impact the running of your car and even your personal safety. Here is your summer car maintenance checklist.

Check Your Battery

The last thing you want during the summer heat is to be stranded somewhere because your battery died. You want your battery to be corrosion free. If you notice the battery and cables need to be cleaned, take the time to clean them. You also want to check your battery charge. If you need a new battery, don’t put it off and hope for the best. It’s better to spend the money on it now and avoid additional costs later if you do need a tow.

Test the Air Conditioner

Whether you’re staying close to home this summer or planning a road trip, you need to make sure the air conditioner in your car is working properly. Hot temperatures outside will heat up the interior of the car and make your summer drives uncomfortable. Make sure that all vents are working and blowing clear air. If they are dusty, you’ll want to clean them to prevent dust and dirt flying around the inside of your car.

Check Fluid Levels

Coolant is especially important during the summer. You radiator works extra hard during the warm summer months to keep your car from overheating, so make sure that’s topped off. Check to make sure levels of steering fluid, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and motor oil are at optimal levels. Make sure you top off the fluids before you begin driving and that you use the right products for your car’s make and model.

Test the Tires and Brakes

In addition to brake fluid, you’ll want to check the condition of your brakes, brake pads, and hoses. If they need replacing, take care of this immediately. Depending on where you live, the harsh winters can be hard on the brakes, especially in areas that need to use a lot of salt on the roads because salt can corrode the breaks. You should also check your tires to make sure the tread isn’t too worn or that here isn’t a leak originating from corrosion on your rims. Checking tire pressure should be done on a regular basis also as temperature fluctuations can cause pressure loss. Incorrect pressure can lead to poor performance and reduced gas mileage.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

It’s hopeful to think nothing bad will ever happen, especially if you’ve done all of your summer car maintenance, but sadly this isn’t the case. Unexpected things can and do happen. Your car should always be equipped with items you might need in an emergency. This includes, but isn’t limited to: a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, blankets, jumper cables, a spare tire, and a flashlight.

Preparing your car for summer is as important as preparing it for winter. Every season has a set of conditions that can impact your car. This list will have you prepared for driving in the summer!

Parting out 2013 Volvo C30 – Stock # 180194

Now Parting out a 2013 Volvo C30, Stock number 180194. This C30 parts car has lots of good used auto parts left on it. At Tom’s Foreign Auto parts, we part out hundreds of Volvo cars annually and sell the used car parts online. Every C30 part we sell comes with an industry leading money back guarantee. Shop our online car parts store to find great deals on Volvo C30 Parts. Finding a replacement OEM Volvo C30 part can be a real hassle but here at Tom’s Foreign we’ve made it easy for you to get the right OEM Volvo part when you need it. Shop online parts today and save big the next time you need to fix your 2013 Volvo C30!

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BMW 3 Series Used Buyer’s Guide

2012 BMW 328i
​The compact entry-level 3 Series reigns as ​BMW’s #1 volume-leading bestseller and is the most popular model in the marque’s lineup. It was introduced in 1975 as the successor to the New Class 02 Series and has remained in regular production ever since. With a base price that competes with many other contemporary midsize family sedans such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion, the 3 Series is arguably the most mainstream of all of BMW’s present-day crop. It’s far more than just a basic commuter car, though. The 3 Series, like its larger sibling, the elite ​7 Series high-end luxury saloon, epitomizes the BMW trademark amalgamation of style, luxury, and performance but unlike that premier flagship vehicle, the 3 Series is attainable and has attracted a broad array of new customers ranging from suburban families to urban millennials. What was once previously exclusive to only the more ​affluent of citizens is now one of the most commonly-seen vehicles on American roads today.

However, the widespread popularity of the BMW 3 Series also saddles it with one of the worst depreciation percentages on the market today: a painful 46.9%. That might not mean anything to someone who leases from a dealership every 3 years, but it really sucks for those who bought brand new from the showroom. But as the old saying goes: “One’s loss is another’s gain.” High depreciation for the 1st owner can be a bargain buy for the 2nd or 3rd in line.

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2018 North American International Auto Show Highlights

Man. Look at this mess.
The 2018 auto show circuit kicked off with the North American International Auto Show. From January 13th through to the 28th, the world’s top auto manufacturers gathered at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI to showcase the new model year cars and trucks, upcoming future production models, and bespoke one-off concept designs that vary from extravagant to just plain weird. It was a venerable ‘Who’s Who’ of journalists, press and media, industry insiders, product reps, brand ambassadors, company spokespeople, and corporate executives before doors were opened to the public on Saturday the 20th. And of course, let’s not forget the all-star cast of the event: the vehicles, themselves.

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The Ultimate Driving Machines: Top 5 BMW Cars From Past & Present

This magic badge lets the world know that you drive like a horse's ass.
One of the world’s top premier automotive marques is Germany’s Bayerische Motoren Werke or, for those ausländer die kein Deutsch sprechen, BMW. Whether it’s in terms of innovation, style, luxury, or performance, many automotive journalists and enthusiasts alike consider the BMW brand among the finest automobiles in production today. Even for people who aren’t necessarily into cars or don’t know the slightest thing about them, they tend to associate BMW with poise, refinement, and elegance. It’s a corporate brand identity with over a full century of history and legacy behind it, as well as one of the most imitated.

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Driver’s Cars for the Real World

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: one step closer to owning your own C7.R racecar.
On November 12th, General Motors broke the Internet with the official world premiere of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at the Dubai Auto Show. This fourth iteration of the iconic ZR1 nameplate (since 1970 with the C3 3rd generation Corvette) builds upon the monstrous Z06 supercharged C7 Corvette; a track-focused driver’s car that features the latest and greatest sport performance technology General Motors has to offer. In their relentless efforts to compete against—and overtake—the world’s top elite high-performance Sports Cars, General Motors’ Corvette Racing Team has engineered this new ZR1 to not only unseat the previous ZR1 (last seen in 2013) as the fastest production Corvette in history, but to also become the world’s greatest Sports Car ever made. At the time of this writing, not much is known about the exact solid number performance specs of the 2019 ZR1, but it brandishes an all-new supercharged 6.2L Generation 5 small block V8 capable of churning out a hellacious 745 horsepower and 715 lb. ft. of torque VIA a new Eaton supercharger that is 52% larger than the one currently utilized by the Corvette Z06, Cadillac CTS-V, and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 will also employ enhanced aero, cooling, handling and suspension modifications based on the Camaro ZL1 as well as a revised Z07 track option and a brand new ZTK performance pack that adds even greater handling capabilities on top of the already-impressive base setup.

The ultimate midlife crisis-mobile. More practical than plastic surgery, hairplugs, and ED treatment.
Pricing for the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is expected to start at $120,000. That’s quite a bit of coin, especially when the base Corvette Stingray—a powerful and capable performance car in its own right—begins at $55,000. That’s far less than what people spend for the typical full-size SUV. Of course, not everybody has an extra $120,000 in their back pockets or stuck underneath the couch cushions among the lost pens and long-forgotten, now-petrified Cheetos. However, when you consider the next comparable selections with this amount of power and these levels of performance capabilities, you’ve got to move all the way up to the Pagani Huayra, the Lamborghini Aventador SV, or the Ferrari F12berlinetta. If you have to ask how much these things cost, you definitely can’t afford them. That $120,000 price tag doesn’t sound so steep anymore, now does it?

Don’t want to spend $120,000? Check out these budget-friendly burners!