COVID 19 PRACTICES AND UPDATES

CHICAGO (312) 432.9492  

NORTHBROOK (847) 849.1898      

   

Nurses and Doctors Need our Support

Here at Midwest Performance Cars, we want to help our local medical community through this difficult time, while keeping your vehicle in top operating condition. We will donate 5% of our entire month of April sales to the local medical community via Project C.U.R.E.

Due to COVID-19, Project C.U.R.E. is actively donating and distributing masks and protective equipment to our Chicagoland local healthcare facilities, first responders and government agencies. If you’d like to make a contribution directly, please visit projectcure.org for further information.

In addition, if you or someone you know is on the front lines as a nurse in the vicinity of our West Loop location —1385 West Lake St.– please accept our free oil service for the month of April.

We offer free pickup, sanitizing, and return delivery of your vehicle for any service appointment. We abide by CDC guidelines for handling of vehicles, steam-sanitize all control surfaces and keys, and offer no-touch service as well as pay-by-phone.

Please call or visit our website to schedule your appointment, and stay safe.

How our Shop is dealing with COVID-19

As an essential service provider, we are continuing to operate our regular Monday through Friday business hours. We employ all of the CDC-recommended guidelines for safely conducting business including, but not limited to:

  • Steam sanitizing disinfection of control surfaces, door handles and keys
  • All personnel using protective gloves and eliminating interpersonal contact
  • Vehicle pickup and delivery from home or office (subject to availability)
  • Communication through text, email, or phone..no need to be physically present
  • Ability to collect remote payment
  • Digital inspection of your vehicle with online report

Please watch the brief video at the link below for additional detail on our vehicle service procedures.

Regarding Forums

Here at MPC, we love cars. We love working on them, talking and reading about them, and just being surrounded by great automotive work every day. In fact, we are in continuously in learning mode, it would be foolish not to be. So it naturally follows that in addition to our many professional sources of technical information, we also read, refer to, and occasionally contribute to several of the specialized forums that are aimed at the German auto enthusiast. We’ve gained and given valuable knowledge through the forum venue, and we have gained many new customers through forum-user generated referrals.

Having said that, forum-derived material has its limitations, which is the subject of this post. About half a dozen times per year, we will have a customer come to us who has spent a lot of time reading forum posts pertaining to their particular vehicle, and with that homework comes everything from “suggestions” to outright demands as to how their repair, service, or modification should be performed.  Since we do always want to be gaining new knowledge and information, we will go ahead and review the link or thread that the customer references, and a majority of the time, there is a substantial difference between what the forum is referring to and what is actually going on with the customer’s vehicle, which we will proceed to explain in detail.

Occasionally, we will come across a truly unique, ingenious, or otherwise novel procedure to address a repair that might either save us time, or actually solve some Gordian-knot-type riddle we had been wrestling with. The latest example of this is the replacement of captured nuts in the no-access windshield channel of Porsche Boxsters. When even our trusted body shop couldn’t come up with a solution, we found a great procedure using steel nut-serts that will clearly last the lifetime of the vehicle.

Other times, there will be anywhere from one to a few posters who will detail how they changed out an alternator, installed a new cat-back system, or replaced, refurbished, or otherwise performed some fix or mod, all in a fraction of the time that “the shop” said it would take to do “the exact same thing”. It is this particular situation that I call attention to, because it puts us as professionals, behind the proverbial eight ball. As a business, rather than a friend’s garage or enthusiast’s backyard, we warranty the work that we do on customer cars. If something doesn’t function correctly, or worse yet, causes follow-on problems in other areas of the vehicle, we have to, and we will make it right. Also, we have seen many multiple numbers of vehicles over what an individual sees, and as such, we’re closer to having “seen it all” with regards to what can trip up, slow down, or otherwise complicate a procedure. For example, there is a popular manufacturers of beautiful aftermarket exhaust systems, (who we really like working with BTW), who routinely understates installation times for its systems. Their product is top-quality, and they are a great company to deal with, but the installs never go in as smoothly as they claim, there is always tweaking needed to ensure that the system doesn’t interfere with suspension or other underbody areas, even on brand new vehicles. If the vehicle is a few years old and particularly corroded, install time can double, as we need torch-time to loosen fittings and fasteners.

Here’s the point: While we belong and contribute to several forums, and recognize their value in the experience of an auto enthusiast’s pursuit of that passion, we have a repair process that has been developed through experience, training, and ingenuity. That process cannot be sidelined due to a forum article. The writer or hobbyist has no skin in the game when it comes to our customer’s ownership experience and enjoyment of their vehicle, but we do.

Vote for Midwest Performance Cars

Midwest Performance Cars was selected as one of ten finalists in the AT&T Agility Challenge. Please visit the link below where you can view our brief presentation and vote once per day, every day until July 26th.

Help us in getting the highest vote tally! We are very proud to be the only business in Chicago to have made the final cut.

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Cost Comparison: Should I keep my existing BMW or should I buy new?

We have more than the occasional customer who, when faced with a significant repair bill, will ask us if they should keep their current, paid-off car or just trade in and go with a new vehicle – and all of the car payments that come with it. This question comes up so often, in fact, that we decided to run the numbers ourselves and produce a fact-based comparison so that people could make a rational decision rather than an emotional one.

We perform vehicle repairs and maintenance every day, and the results are still surprising. Going the new-car-route in pursuit of that factory warranty coverage is much more expensive than you might think. Take a look at the following video and see for yourself, and please feel free to contact us with any questions or to set up an appointment for your vehicle.

Click on this YouTube video link

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Toyota Camry Battery Reconditioning

A very astute hybrid owner brought his 2007, 80,000 mile Toyota Camry Hybrid to our shop after seeing his check engine light. Computerized analysis of the hybrid battery pack found 2 severely compromised V-blocks in the pack. Replacement of the 2 V-blocks, followed by 2 power-cycling operations, resulted in this pristinely clean hybrid pack coming out factory-fresh. See for yourself in these before, during, and after graphs reflecting energy capacity of the pack. He picked up his Camry, ready for another 80,000 miles, and completed at a price thousands less than the dealer offers!

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Toyota Camry hybrid battery pack BEFORE reconditioning
Toyota Camry hybrid battery pack BEFORE reconditioning
Toyota Camry hybrid battery pack DURING reconditioning
Toyota Camry hybrid battery pack DURING reconditioning
Toyota Camry battery pack AFTER reconditioning
Toyota Camry battery pack AFTER reconditioning

Takata Airbag Recall Update

We are posting this as part of the continuing awareness campaign regarding Honda and Acura airbag recalls. This information was provided to us today by American Honda Motor Company, to be forwarded to anyone that we believe may have a defective Takata airbag in their vehicle. The following information has been provided by American Honda Motor Company and they are responsible for its content:

The Takata Corporation is a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems such as seat belts, air bags and child seats. The company has 46 plants in 17 countries around the world. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
The Takata Corporation is a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems such as seat belts, air bags and child seats. The company has 46 plants in 17 countries around the world. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Attention
Important Safety Information for Your Customer:

 American Honda is providing crucial information that may help keep your customer safe. Everyone knows someone who drives a Honda – or Acura – and with your help, we can ensure our friends and loved ones are driving a vehicle that is safe.  Please check VINs at www.recalls.honda.com for Honda vehicles and www.recalls.acura.com for Acura vehicles or call 1(888) 234-2138 for open recalls.  If a vehicle is found to need a recall performed, please arrange to address it immediately.

Google 360° Photo Shoot Day!

In addition to a busy week of maintenance & repair on some of the most fun and interesting cars in the Chicago area, we all pulled double duty in getting the shop ready for our first ever Google 360° photo shoot. The end result can be seen by clicking on the photo below. Take a digital “walk” on our shop floor, with an immersive, panoramic photo tour. We very much enjoy sharing the eye candy that we get to see in our normal workday, with the many regular visitors to our website and our Google+ and facebook pages.

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1978 Porsche 911 Engine Rebuild – UPDATE

Our ongoing rebuild of this 1978 Porsche 911 SC engine deserves an update, if for nothing more than the beautiful new pictures of the sandblasted, repainted engine!

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Extensive tinwork needed to be modified, as the original pieces had already been removed, discarded, or otherwise altered from their stock configuration.

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The fan was replaced as well, and the housing altered to accommodate new pieces. Everything was then coated in hi-heat red or black paint.

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The engine has now been fully assembled, and was re-installed this morning.

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Startup, tweaking, road testing, and more tweaking await!

One-of-a-kind Porsche 912 Engine Rebuild

Seeing the finish line on an extensive engine rebuild job, along with a laundry list of other issues on this one-of-a-kind 1969 Porsche 912!

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This car rolled into Midwest Performance Cars with a Frankenstein-like engine. Sourced with many aftermarket parts – very little stock – all of the internal tolerances were one-offs. As beautiful as it looked, the engine had never run correctly and could not build oil pressure, and we were charged with figuring out what the heck was going on. After performing a complete tear-down, deleting a second, added oil cooler and the oil lines running to it, we sent the crank out for polishing, and replaced the camshaft with a new piece from Webcams.

Replacement of nearly all internal fasteners with factory-spec Porsche and other high quality hardware was necessary, as the suspect, previous engine rebuilder had used inferior hardware. Finally, after replacing a non-spec, broken oil cooler valve, reassembly followed.

Once the 912 had been buttoned up, it went through extended road testing and fine tuning, as it also has a programmable fuel-air mixture and engine timing black box that requires quite a bit of fiddling to get just so. But tune it we did, and the result is a 912 that is just a blast to drive! Here are a few pictures of it at our friend’s detailing “lab”, Simon’s Shine Shop in Lincoln Park. They hand-washed it and performed a thorough cosmetic inspection, recommending a minor paint correction procedure that would have this car ready for even the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance!

Final Cosmetic Inspection on the Porsche 912
Final Cosmetic Inspection on the Porsche 912
Inspecting for Scratches on the Finish
Inspecting for Scratches on the Finish
Porsche 912 Detailing at Simon’s Shine Shop
Porsche 912 Detailing at Simon’s Shine Shop
Inspecting for Swirls on the 912
Inspecting for Swirls on the 912