Interesting Facts About Bentley You Probably Don’t Know – Common Problems – and PDF Manuals for Download…
Bentley is one of the world’s leading ultra-luxury car manufacturers, and has undoubtedly become a status symbol.
But as popular as this brand is today. Though as popular as the brand is today, its history goes long back, and the brand has managed to maintain the status of a premium brand throughout much of its existence.
The company was founded as Bentley Motors Limited by the founder Walter Owen Bentley, commonly known as W.O., in Cricklewood, North London. Before founding the company, W.O. and his brother used to sell French cars made by DFP.
But W.O always wanted to design and build his own cars.
He first came up with the idea of using aluminium instead of cast iron for making pistons. Engines incorporating his idea were manufactured and installed on Royal Flying Core aircrafts.
Later, in 1919, W.O. founded Bentley Motors Limited and started designing a car based on the engine.
The development of the first car took long, and it was finally ready for production in 1921.
It was a very rugged and durable car, properties which came to be often associated with Bentley cars.
Bentley started participating in motor racing very early on. There were many wealthy car racing enthusiasts who participated in motor races and preferred to use Bentley cars.
They came to be known as the ‘Bentley Boys’.
Though W.O. made it clear that the main purpose of racing was building up a brand reputation and gaining more sales.
The 1923 Le Mans race was personally attended by W.O., who later revealed that this experience drove him more towards racing.
Bentley went on to win the first 24 hour Le Mans race in 1924, and it kept winning constantly until 1930.
After 1930, Bentley withdrew from racing, citing the reason that they had learnt enough about automobile performance and reliability through racing.
The company faced some financial troubles pretty early on.
But impressed by the 1923 Le Mans win, Woolf Barnato, one of the aforementioned ‘Bentley Boys’, saved Bentley by acquiring it and investing in it.
In addition, the company underwent financial restructuring and a few more investors were roped in, which gave the company enough capital to continue working on the next generation of cars.
The Great Depression hit Bentley pretty hard due to low demand. It defaulted on loan repayments had to be liquidated. It so happened that it was bought by Rolls Royce using a front company in order to prevent competition. Rolls Royce sold the Cricklewood factory and continued to produce Bentley cars at their Derby facility.
During the Second World War, the British government allotted a piece of land in Crewe for production of aircraft engines, where Bentley’s production facilities remain till date.
After the war, most Bentley models used repurposed Rolls Royce engines and platforms.
Until the late 1950s, it was standard practice for luxury cars to offer only rolling chassis, which were incomplete cars, in the sense that they were sold with incomplete cabins.
The buyers took them to the coach builders of their choice to have the cabin built to their taste.
Bentley started offering a standard fully built car, with the coach, to quickly satisfy the demand of the British government to provide cars for officials.
By 1970, Rolls Royce had misallocated significant resources on developing the RB211 jet engine.
This almost led to the downfall of the company, but the British government stepped in and nationalised the company to save the critical jet engine company.
The cars division was broken apart and sold off to Vickers. Again, after complicated transfer of assets, intellectual property and trademark rights, eventually, Rolls Royce was split from Bentley.
Bentley was acquired by the Volkswagen Group and Rolls Royce went to BMW group.
This clear distinction of brands, along with independence from using each other’s parts came into full effect from 2003.
After that, VW Group invested about $2 billion into Bentley, upgraded the Crewe factory and updated the line-up, with new designs based on VW’s platforms and the W12 engine.
Today the cars are assembled in Crewe factory based on fully fabricated and painted parts shipped from Germany.
The company showed healthy profits for several years, except for 2008-09 due to the global financial crisis.
Common Bentley Car Problems
While Bentley pride themselves on the durability of their cars, they have been known to have some reliability issues.
A detailed maintenance manual for your car model will help you perform appropriate maintenance of your car at regular intervals.
Maintenance manual also mentions what are the early signs of some of the known issues and how to identify them.
Having the right knowledge of how to maintain your car and early warning signs can greatly alleviate any reliability issues with the car.
If you are buying some older Bentley models, here are some specific issues that you must take into consideration:
- If you are buying any pre-2004 models made before VW assumed full control, check for spare part availability. Earlier cars shared components with Rolls Royce cars.
- Some models, such as Continental GT have been known to have issues with transmission leading to jerks during gear shifts. In such cases, the transmission system needs to be recalibrated. Recalibration of the transmission can be performed by following the instructions in a related technical manual, or you have to take the car to the dealer.
- The Continental GT and the Flying Spur is also known to have problems with the air suspension. A good technical manual will describe the early warning signs to look for in order to identify the issue and get it fixed early on. Noticing the issue too late can require complete replacement of the air suspension, which can cost a lot.
- Many Bentley models, particularly older ones, have outdated navigation and entertainment systems. You can check for the technical specifications of those systems in a technical manual to consider any possible upgrade options if you desire.
While owning a Bentley can be a truly rewarding experience, a car like a Bentley requires special care and attention to keep it running in the best possible condition.
A detailed technical manual and maintenance manual are essential tools that enable you to better take care of your car, greatly enhancing your car ownership experience.
Purpose of this is to catalog and include one of most comprehensive, useful and accessible “automotive repair PDF manual” database on the web for all Bentley models.
It’s your go-to source for learning all about Bentley – when you can’t find it elsewhere.
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