Hydrogen Cleaning 101

Cars aren’t a throwaway purchase for most of us. Next to a house, for most people they’re the most expensive thing you’ll ever own (unless your significant other has a particular taste for diamond jewellery). But beyond the regular service intervals, topping up oil and checking tyre pressure before a roadtrip, most of us don’t think much further when it comes to what goes on in an engine. That’s where engine cleaning comes in.

Hydrogen Cleaning

For the month of July, the EuroSurgeon Performance Centre is offering a Hydrogen Cleaning service free of charge to every car that visits for a tune. It’s a quick and simple way to give your engine internals a spruce up. Think piston surfaces being shiny again, the combustion chamber getting a clear out and most of all think of the tangible results – less vibrations, restored torque and lower emissions.

To be absolutely clear, this isn’t a replacement for a Carbon Walnut Clean (another service we offer). The two things aren’t the same at all, despite what many webpages claim. It is an effective piece of good vehicle maintenance that we’ve seen deliver great benefits.

Think of it as a valet for your engine – courtesy of the team at EuroSurgeon Performance. To get your car booked in, contact us here or call 0800 DREURO.

 

 

The “Lifetime Transmission” Myth – by a BMW Owner

First thing’s first – full disclosure

This post is NOT written by a car expert. Heck, it’s not even written by a mechanic. This post is instead written from the very basic perspective of someone who knows less about how an engine works than Trump does about fighting a pandemic – sweet FA. So it was my great surprise when I learned this fun fact: the transmission in a car is not necessarily even made by the car manufacturer – in fact the same transmission can be found in an Aston Martin DBS V12 and a Kia Mohave! For today’s example, we will talk about this very same transmission that can be found in a host of BMW’s, made by a company called ZF.

BMW 335i
The source of so many ZF transmissions in New Zealand – the BMW 335i

BMW owners cop enough flak from the wider community as it is. We don’t know where our indicators are. We like to park across two – sometimes three – spaces while getting our morning lattes. But we’ve had a sneaky smile on our faces all along because we’ve known that unlike every other car out there on the market, our transmission fluids will never need replacing. Lifetime transmission fluids – it’s genius from BMW, and we are all geniuses for buying one.

Here’s the kicker though – it turns out, yet another cruel BMW trick has been played on us. There’s a catch to this promise of eternal life, and that is that the guarantee only applies to the lifetime of the transmission itself – remember, the lifetime of a component is not the lifetime of the car! And at the end of the day, that’s just another mechanical component that experiences wear and tear like everything else and will one day cease to work. Sad face. Even ZF themselves state that to ensure proper operation, you need to service their transmission at 100,000km.

 

When life doesn’t mean life

Why have they done this to us?! Why, why, why! It was explained to me like this: BMW know that transmission unit is good for 100,000km. After 100,000km though…? Well, all bets are off – and the bets get pricy too, since a full transmission replacement can start to chew the thick end of $10,000. Yikes. Conversely, going against the Bible of BMW and getting your transmission serviced every 60,000km is going to not only save you a fortune, but also save the life of that car that you love so dear.

So what’s the science behind all this? It all seems relatively straightforward, even to me. To make your transmission work and keep the moving parts from grinding the living daylights out of each other, there’s this nifty little lubricant that everything swims in called transmission fluid. Any wear the transmission experiences from daily driving is caught in this fluid as well and after a while it starts to get pretty dirty. Not to worry though – there’s a filter to catch all the nasty contaminants (some really tiny, miniscule bits of metal and other sludge). But after a while, even this starts to get clogged up, and it just kinda stops doing it’s basic job – filtering. Bit by bit, the transmission has to work harder and harder, and then one day – BANG! Goodbye trans. If only you’d known to get it serviced – if only you hadn’t believed the lifetime tale you’d been told.

What you DON’T want your transmission to do

The service solution

And when it comes to the service itself? Naturally there’s two ways of doing that too. EuroSurgeon fall squarely in the camp that you should NOT, under any circumstances, pressure flush the transmission at service. This washes out every bit of the gunk that’s in the transmission, yes, but some of that could well have been holding things together in there. With 20+ years of transmission rebuilding experience, they’ve learned the hard way that it is usually these customers who will experience a full failure within 12 months of having their transmission pressure flushed.

The technique they opt for is simple – drain the contaminated fluid, replace the used filter, and top up the fluid with brand spanking new Motul ATF VI. And hey presto, just like that, you’ve extended the lifetime on your transmission. It seemed like common sense to me – hopefully it does to you, too.

If you want to talk to the experts about YOUR transmission service needs, you can get in touch with a EuroSurgeon here.

VW’s All-purpose Transporter

VW T5 Facelift

 

Although the T5 was launched in 2002, production for the van didn’t begin until 2003. The van was available globally, excluding the United States due to the 25% extra chicken tax on importation costs.

T5 Transporters were available in various configurations such as the Van, Minibus, Single-cab, Double-cab, Drop side or Chassis Truck. It was also available as a people carrier with various seating options, which were also known as the Shuttle, Kombi, Caravelle, and Multivan.

Volkswagen released a new version of the T5 Transporter which is often referred to as the T5 Facelift (which this is one of), due to the cosmetic changes made to the front of the vehicle. It included small changes such as traction control and daytime running lights, but the most significant change was the addition of an upgraded engine. The easiest way to spot the difference between the T5 and T5 Facelift is to look at the front edge of the bonnet above the VW badge. The T5 has a small cutout whereas the T5 Facelift does not.

This particular vehicle came in to us to have suspension bushes replaced and to receive a Stage 1 ECU tune. This is a pretty basic and straight forward modification on the T5, requiring no additional hardware. It gives it that extra push of torque and horsepower that it was lacking from factory. Cool looking in black, it’s definitely our favourite people mover!

Hyping Up A Hot Hatch

VW Mk6 Golf R

This car came in to us 100% stock standard, and the customer wanted more power after seeing the results on previous R’s we had done. The Stage 2 option is probably our most popular option and really livens up the car with basic upgrades. Our Stage 2 cars with full weight on 98 pump gas average 1/4 mile times of 13 seconds – which makes for quite a fast little hatch! Even after more than half a year, the car was still making the same reliable power after we logged it for a health check on our in house Mainline dyno. The car will be back for more modifications yet – potentially a Stage 3 package which will require a bigger turbo with additional supporting mods!

The Shiny Yellow Mk5 Pirelli

It’s hard to miss this bright yellow VW Golf Mk5 GTI Pirelli Edition! It came in to us stock standard needing some love, and we set out to make it shine! It was booked in at our Service Centre for the maintenance side of things, and then the tuning at our dedicated Performance Centre utilising our in house Mainline dyno.
 
At first glance a visual inspection and scan was done for any fault codes. After this, it was on to the dyno and our first initial base run gave us a figure of 203WHP. Although not being as smooth of a graph, this was expected due to the fact that it needed some maintenance. Logging the vehicle we found no immediate areas of major concern, apart from a leaking PCV valve, so it was off the dyno and off to the Service Centre.
 
Some things on the to do list were: coolant, PCV valve, brake fluid, carbon clean (walnut blast), spark plugs, DSG service, oil service using Motul 300V 5W40, cam follower, dipstick tube, and lower control arm bushes.
 
Once back at the Performance Centre, we fitted a 3″ high-flow catted downpipe, cold air intake, and rolled it back onto the dyno to do a custom stage 2 ECU and DSG tune. The results were what we would expect from this platform, with the end result a massive 275WHP!
 
 
Mk5 Pirelli Dyno Graph
 
The next stage for this vehicle is Stage 2+, which requires upgraded fuel pump internals (already on order), and should push power up to the 300WHP mark safely. Some more add ons to this vehicle will be an intercooler upgrade, and upgraded charge pipe and throttle pipe.