The Latest Word on the BMW 8 Series: Our Mechanics Take on Motor Authority’s Review

Posted 7/13/20

We’re not going to lie. As BMW technicians, we live and breathe BMWs. We don’t just repair them. We love to own them, drive them, even race them. What’s our favorite BMW? If money’s no object, it’s easily the 8-series, which happens to cost about 6 figures. (That adds up to at least a couple yearly salaries for this car mechanic!)

But you can easily understand why BMW uses the 8-series to set standards, why the 8-series is its flagship racing car, and why owning one will cost you a serious chunk of change.

Motor Authority recently did a write up on the 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe and a 2020 BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe. We were excited to read about it. We can’t wait for someone to bring either one of these cars into our auto repair shop in Cincinnati for a tune-up. We’d love to take a look under the hood at one of these beauties.

Sounds like Motor Authority had some fun writing this review:

“The rich Teutonic rumble of BMW’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 in both models is a delight. No V-8 sounds as melodious and menacing, and the pops and crackles in the sporty modes make me giggle. Both the M850i and the M8 produce more power than anyone needs and do it in a wonderful way. BMW quotes a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds for the 600-horsepower M8 and 3.7 seconds for the 523-hp M850i. Both will pin you back into your seat and thank the power gods for the thrust they provide. For those who don’t need the track capability of the M8, the M850i provides all the street muscle you could want.”

Maybe Too Much of a Good Thing

Not that the review was overly gushing for BMW. The publication did have some complaints about the complicated options available for the M850i:

“However, the M8 makes choosing modes more complicated than assembling Ikea furniture. The two most obvious ways are the M1 and M2 toggles on the steering wheel. These can be programmed through the Car submenu in the iDrive system and each has to be hit not once, but twice to engage its settings. Drivers can also hold down the M buttons for several seconds to program these based on the car’s current system settings, which can be chosen via the Setup button (more on that below). The parameters that change include the engine (throttle response), transmission, suspension, steering effort, brake response and effort, stability control, all-wheel-drive system, start/stop system, and exhaust sound. Each has a variety of settings that range from bulldog relaxed to rat-terrier aggressive.”

The complex options of choices available could lead to a situation Motor Authority dubbed as overcomplicationitis.”

“Give me Eco, Sport, Sport+, Track/Race, and Individual settings and call it a day. Let the M1 and M2 toggles store two Individual modes,” Motor Authority stated. “I wonder how many owners will actually figure out this complex system.”

For these mechanics, that’s splitting hairs. We know BMWs are wonderful cars. They work well with minimal need for repair. But if your BMW should ever need repair, bring it by our auto repair garage in Cincinnati. We’d be happy to take a look!

Ask a Car Mechanic: Do I Really Need to Replace the Timing Belt?

As car repair technicians, we get asked about timing belts a lot. Does it really need to be replaced? We can tell you that if a timing belt breaks, it could easily cost you at least $1,000 — the cost to replace an engine. That’s why it is so critical to be proactive about replacing a timing belt. This is a repair you absolutely need to do before it breaks. Because if your timing belt fails, so does your engine. And if you are driving fairly fast on the highway when it breaks, this can be a serious safety issue. Depending on the type of car you drive, we recommend replacing your timing belt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual to see the recommendations. It should be part of your regularly scheduled performance maintenance routine. If it’s a preowned car, look into the history of the repairs to see if the timing belt has been replaced.