Three Signs You Need to Replace Your Oil Pump

replace oil pump

You are probably familiar with the 3,000-mile oil change rule—you should actually go by the recommendation on your car’s user manual. Neglecting timely changes can damage the oil pump. In this article you’ll learn how to recognize the signs that you need to replace your vehicle’s oil pump.

1. Clanking Noise

A noise coming from the engine can be a sign of a number of problems. If you hear clanking, accompanied by the check engine light, schedule an appointment with us right away. A clanking sound is usually a sign the hydraulic lifters are experiencing metal friction. This is due to insufficient lubrication, which occurs when a faulty oil pump does not distribute oil adequately.

2. Drop in Oil Pressure

The temperature gauge on the dash might display a higher-than-average reading. The happens when oil is not freely flowing to the various engine parts. A mechanic will need to determine if this is the diagnosis. Low oil pressure can also be due to other issues, such as when a recent oil change uses incompatible oil. Low oil pressure will also result in the engine’s frequently stalling out.

3. Whirring and Whining Noise

Aside from the aforementioned clanking sound, you might also hear a whirring or whining noise. This is actually uncommon because oil pumps typically do not emit noises audible to the human ear. However, once the part goes bad, the sounds might occur, especially while the car is idling. This is a symptom of the deterioration of the pump’s internal gears.

We Repair and Replace Oil Pumps

Our German auto repair service checks the oil pump for most European models, including Mercedes, Audi, and more. Bring your vehicle to Northwest Imports if you notice any out of the ordinary signs. Your car may be in dire need of an oil pump replacement.

Oil Pump Diagnosis and Repairs

Serving Customers in Austin, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Wells Branch, Liberty Hill, Jollyville and Anderson Mill

Signs of Coil Pack Failure

coil pack

The coil pack is an essential component in Volkswagen and Audi vehicles. It’s also a part that car owners almost always overlook since most are unaware that such a component even exists. Learn to recognize the signs of coil pack failure.

What Is a Coil Pack?

A coil pack is also referred to as an engine coil. This is a bundle of spark coils that create the needed electric spark for igniting the fuel and firing the engine. Coil packs are especially common in modern German vehicles with a turbocharged direct injection engine. Coil packs eliminate the need for a distributor. The latter is prone to failure especially when exposed to water. Coil packs also have more longevity, up to 150,000 miles in some models.

Common Coil Pack Failure Symptoms

  • The engine idles roughly or stalls
  • The exhaust pipe emits smoke on an intermittent rather than steady basis
  • The gas warning light comes on despite having plenty of gasoline
  • The RPM drops significantly during acceleration
  • The engine roar sounds louder than usual
  • The check engine light blinks or randomly light on and off

Of course, many of these signs can also be symptoms of other issues. Engine stalling, for instance, is also a common sign of a worn fuel injector or pump. It might also be an indicator of a bad camshaft or be as simple as a dirty air filter. This is why you need to schedule an appointment with an auto service to pinpoint the issue. Even if not a coil pack issue, the symptoms indicate that some kind of problem exists.

We Repair Coil Packs

Bring your car to Northwest Imports if you notice any of the above symptoms. Coil pack problems are very difficult to diagnose for DIYers because the signs overlap with more commonplace problems. We can assess for coil pack failure and take immediate action.

Coil Pack Diagnosis

Serving Customers in Austin, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Wells Branch, Liberty Hill, Jollyville and Anderson Mill

Four Common Reported Problems with the Porsche Boxster

Porsche Boxster problems

The Porsche Boxster is a vehicle that definitely turns heads. Unfortunately, like any other car model, it’s not without its issues. We examine some of the common Porsche Boxster problems many owners have reported over the years. These are the same problems we notice ourselves when working on this particular model. 

1. Oil Seal Failure

Many of the Porsche Boxsters we inspected had premature leaks around the main oil seal. The oil seal itself is not expensive to replace. However, accessing the part is problematic, requiring removal of the exhaust, bumper, transmission, and flywheel. Replacement is not exactly a DIY process.

2. Intermediate Shaft Bearing Failure

Some pre-2005 Boxster models have a single-row bearing for the intermediate shaft. We suggest a checkup of the area during a clutch inspection. Early diagnosis is vital. If the intermediate shaft goes out, then you might need a costly engine rebuild. Some models have a dual-row shaft bearing, which is far sturdier and less prone to premature failure. 

3. Broken Suspension Springs

The 2nd-generation model from 2005–2011 commonly had a broken spring on one side. This is easily noticeable as one corner of the vehicle will sag. You might also notice an out-of-place noise while driving. Immediately schedule an appointment if you notice these oddities. Driving with a broken spring can harm the wheel bearing.

4. Cracked Cylinders

A cracked cylinder is a fairly common Porsche Boxster problem, as is a failed water pump. While commonplace, if you buy a pre-owned Porsche Boxster, then chances are that the previous owner already addressed these issues. As long as you maintain these parts, then they’re capable of handling high mileage. 

We Fix Porsche Boxster Problems

We address common problems for all Porsche models. In fact, Northwest Imports services most German and European brands. The Porsche Boxster problems require immediate attention in order to ensure continued reliable function.

Maintenance for all Porsche Models

Serving Customers in Austin, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Wells Branch, Liberty Hill, Jollyville and Anderson Mill

How to Prevent Carbon Buildup in a Direct Injection Engine

 carbon buildup, direct injection engineDirect injection engines are a mainstay in most modern BMW and Audi vehicles. This design feature results in increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions. However, such mechanisms are not without their flaws. Carbon buildup in direct injection engines is a common problem.

How Carbon Buildup Damages Direct Injection Engines

As suggested in its name, fuel is injected directly into the engine cylinder. As you rack up the miles, the fuel burns and carbon accumulates. The problem with direct injection is that it doesn’t allow for detergent additives in the fuel to clean the valve. Carbon buildup then results in engine misfires, which may cause the check engine light to come on.

Carbon accumulation is especially common once the vehicle reaches the 30,000 to 60,000 mile mark. Continue Reading →

Four Common Mercedes Problems to Watch Out For

Mercedes problemsThe Mercedes brand has a long history as a reliable luxury vehicle. However, this doesn’t mean the brand isn’t prone to certain issues. We’ll highlight some common Mercedes problems that our customers have reported over the years.

1. Engine Misfires

With most Mercedes models, the manufacturer recommends changing the spark plugs and ignition coil every 100,000 miles. However, some owners have reported problems with these components well before then. Driving with a misfiring engine can result in damage to the oxygen sensor or catalytic converter.

2. Worn Window Regulators

The window regulators make it possible to lower and close the windows with the press and hold of a button. We have noticed the regulator failing prematurely on Mercedes-Benz C-class and ML-class models. This problem is also fairly common in Audi and BMW models. Continue Reading →

Five Common BMW Problems to Watch Out For

common BMW problemsCertain car models are prone to unique problems; BMW vehicles are no exception. For all its durability, German automotive engineering does have a few recurring problems. We outline these common BMW problems so you can watch for them in your vehicle.

1. Engine Troubles

BMW cars may experience failure due to a specific faulty part. This includes a faulty clutch, fuel pump, injector, and ignition module. If you notice engine stalling or if the check engine light comes on, bring the car to a German auto repair service.

2. Tire Puncture

Several people have reported a flat tire despite relatively new tires. The problem lies in the alloy wheels, which can crack and puncture the tire. Regularly check the alloy wheel for cracks and corrosion. Continue Reading →

Five Popular European Cars in North America

popular European carsMany motorists favor European car models; the reasons range from robust performance to their sleek appearance. We’ll identify the most popular European cars in the North American market today.

1. Mini Cooper

Owners cite the go-kart-like feel of Mini vehicles as a primary reason for gravitating towards this British brand. The current Mini Cooper is now available in four-door and is more spacious than ever. Yet, it still feels compact enough to remind owners why they bought the car in the first place.

2. Audi A4

This car has been available in the U.S market since 1994. The model is renowned for its reliable handling and sporty look. Present-day models offer the latest in entertainment and safety technology. This is an ideal set of wheels for motorists who prefer a balance between sportiness and luxury. Continue Reading →

Northwest Imports Is Now Hiring

Northwest Imports hiringDo you relish in a little grease or oil on your hands? Can you spot a transmission problem or recognize the signs of a faulty radiator fan? If you emphatically answered “yes,” then we want to hear from you. Northwest Imports is hiring and wants someone who knows his/her way around a wrench.

Northwest Imports Is Hiring a Full-Time Mechanic

Previous employment at an auto repair service is highly preferred. However, we will consider anyone that can demonstrate a high degree of competency and proficiency. We will also provide some training to show you how we do repairs the Northwest Imports way.

If you feel more at home working with tools than sitting in an office, then schedule an appointment with us.


Our ideal candidate has experience working with various car models and years. This includes domestic and foreign brands. Are you familiar diagnosing, say, a turbocharged diesel engine from a German brand such as VW and Audi? How about working under the hood of a Mercedes or Porsche?

Furthermore, applicants should also have experience:

  • Working on off-road, muscle, and pony cars
  • Working on classic models with retrofitted parts
  • Working on cars with aftermarket enhancements

In other words, your skills need to go beyond the basic oil or filter change. You need to be able to perform repairs beyond the capability of an average DIYer.

Skills aside, we are looking for people who know how to interact with customers in a professional and courteous manner. A career at Northwest Imports is about more than just using your mechanical know-how. It’s also about providing satisfactory customer experience.

Become a Member of Our Team

If you reside in Austin, TX, and believe you have the skillset and enthusiasm, then give us a call. Northwest Imports is hiring this summer. We are looking for someone to become a long-term member of our dedicated team.

Come Work with Us

Serving Customers in Austin, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Wells Branch, Liberty Hill, Jollyville and Anderson Mill

Five Commonly Reported Mini Car Problems

Mini car problemsA Mini car is such a joy to own and drive. The car is renowned for its go-kart-like feel and handling. Nevertheless, owners have reported some common Mini car problems as their vehicle racks up the miles. We’ll go over the five most common issues.

1. Noisy Timing Chain

Owners have reported a rattling noise in the timing chain. The noise is especially apparent when the engine is idling. This issue often occurs when owners fail to regularly change the transmission fluid.

2. Transmission Problems

Mini has stated that its car transmissions are “sealed for life,” meaning they don’t require fluid changes ever. To prolong transmission life, we still believe transmission fluid replacement is necessary. This is especially true of Mini model years from 2008 and before. Fluid change intervals of about every 30,000 to 40,000 miles sounds about right. Continue Reading →

Keep Up With Minor and Major Scheduled Service on Your European Car

Minor Scheduled Services, Major Scheduled Services To keep your European car working at peak performance levels, you need to keep up with its regular maintenance schedule. The manufacturer will advise you to have work performed in two categories: minor scheduled services and major scheduled services. As a responsible owner, you’ll want to keep up with both levels of service.

Minor Scheduled Services for your European Car

When you buy a car, the owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to have the minor scheduled services performed, such as oil and filter changes. You will want to stick to this schedule; otherwise you run the risk of voiding your warranty.

Skipping your oil change can lead to other problems, too. For example, if the oil is unable to lubricate the engine and cool it properly, the engine will start running too hot. The engine will run less efficiently and its components will wear out more quickly than usual due to lack of lubrication. Continue Reading →