Recognizing Transmission Problems
Transmission Problems – The first step in solving transmission issues is diagnosing the actual issues. Luckily, transmissions are an extremely vital car component and will usually give clear indicators that there’s something wrong. Recognizing the earliest symptoms of transmission troubles can save you a lot of money and time. You can avoid an inconvenient breakdown or having to purchase an entire replacement transmission altogether. Here are the most common tell-tale signs that the transmission might be on its way out, as well as tips on what you should do.
Check Engine Light
Although it can be caused by a lot of things, the check engine light usually lights up only when something needs more urgent checking. Newer cars have a ton of sensors and it may be something as simple as a sensor malfunction, but it’s better to not risk it. If operational, sensors can tell you a component is on its way out long before you can even hear or see the issue.
Whether it’s an automatic or a manual, you’ll start noticing an erratic increase/decrease in rpms when shifting gears. This is known as hesitation. The car might be reluctant to enter a certain gear or will be extremely difficult to pull out of a gear. Automatics will experience more issues when in neutral or park.
The transmission needs fluid to operate correctly, just like the engine. Although it’s not regular maintenance, check your manufacturer’s recommended transmission service and perform it if it hasn’t been done in a long time. Checking the fluid pump, the filter and the actual trans fluid will ensure your transmission stays reliable if it’s properly operational. If you notice fluids dripping off the transmission case, it’s probably experiencing fairly major issues.
If you can hear strange noises like grinding, whining, buzzing, shaking and clunking, and are sure it’s not your fault, then it’s probably a transmission on its way out. Avoid driving the car and tow it to a mechanic as there is a chance that the transmission can be salvaged and rebuilt, saving you the effort and cost of buying a new one from a transmission shop.
If you can sense a burning smell it’s time to take immediate action. Differentiating between a burnt clutch and an overheated transmission is difficult, but a burnt clutch will be usually accompanied by white smoke. In the case of the transmission, there’s no smoke involved. If your transmission has overheated, it’s probably because it’s lacking fluid or the one that’s already in there is old and can’t do its job properly. Either way, sort it out right away or risk braking the transmission altogether.
What To Do Next
Take your car to a mechanic or a transmission shop who can perform a detailed transmission inspection for your transmission problems. He’ll tell you whether you need a new transmission or if the current one can be fixed. Remember to regularly flush and replace your transmission fluid (once every 35,000 miles), and be wary of the tell-tale signs to avoid complete transmission failure.
Advantages of buying a Porsche
Porsche is a company which doesn’t like to joke around. They approach every issue with a no-nonsense mindset. You either get it right, or don’t bother doing it at all. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. Following these simple ideas but hard to introduce concepts, Porsche became one of the best manufacturers the world has ever seen. There might be a few reasons why you should choose an Audi or a BMW, but there are a dozen more why a Porsche is the ideal vehicle.
When Porsche decides to do something, such as introduce a new model or facelift an aging one, they go all out on it. No expenses spared. They address the issues as per the community’s feedback, as well as countess miles upon miles of testing. Every model is a leader or at least a top 3 contented in its respective segment. Just stop and think about it for a moment. The 911 is the ultimate, everyday supercar which is a perfect track-day car if you go for the GT3 variant, the Cayenne and Macan cover the luxury SUV segment and you have the Panamera monstering every other luxury car. Audi and BMW may have invented the automotive niches, but Porsche dominates them entirely.
True to their roots
While most manufacturers went out of their way to change their morals and principles for the sake of profit, Porsche stayed true to theirs despite the fact that the start was a bit shaky to say the least. The first couple of 911 generations were hard to control, with many people having doubts the first-gen would even make it into production the moment they heard it would have an engine placed behind the rear axle. Porsche persevered with the idea and eventually gave us the most well-known sportscar of all time, the 911.
A brand like no other
Once you drive your first Porsche, there’s no going back. If you don’t own one, your first immediate thoughts revolve around acquiring said Porsche. There’s just no other feeling like it. The looks, the performance, the luxury, and the plain fact that it’s a Porsche, one of the most iconic brands the world has ever seen. You get totally hooked, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Then we get to the best part: the performance. Quite how Porsche manages to make the 911 work is beyond everyone’s scope. With a rear-mounted engine, it should be only good in a straight-line, but the truth couldn’t be further from that. It corners like it’son rails, despite fact that there should, in theory, be less weight over the front and the fact that the rear should act like a pendulum. But it doesn’t. It’s the same with the Cayenne, and the Panamera, and every other model. And don’t get us even started on the amazing flat-six “Boxer” engines it traditionally uses. All in all, the best cars you can buy, no matter which model you go for.
Mercedes Benz Buying Guide
There are many pros as to why you might choose a German-made vehicle over a Japanese one, or an American, or even a Korean. But there are even more advantages of choosing a Mercedes Benz, and that’s compared to its German rivals. We’ve compiled the top ones in this article, showcasing why they’re often considered the best car manufacturer in the world.
Right off the bat, there’s the matter of brand image and quality. Nothing wrong with owning a Hyundai for example, but if you say you own a Hyundai, you then have to follow it up with what model it is, why you chose it and so on. You’re basically explaining yourself. With a Mercedes, the company name alone speaks in volumes of its quality. Each of their models is the respective leader in their own segments when it comes to brand distinction and recognition. Mercedes’ rich history and heritage means their vehicles are the most recognizable ones on the road today. You don’t mistake that three-pointed star for anything else.
Pick a Mercedes from an era. Any era. Chances are it’s one of the most beautiful cars in its respective time period. We’re not talking aggressive, striking or even offensive. No, we’re talking about a handsome, elegant look which is as dignified as a car can get. It’s understated beauty mixed with an undefined aura and character unique to Mercedes Benz alone.
Luxury and Technology
You want to talk about luxury and comfort? Mercedes Benz speaks that language better than anyone else. They practically pioneered the luxury limo segment with the first S-Class, a car which is the benchmark in its class to this very day. Most of the technologies found on an S-Class eventually find their way into mainstream economy cars some 10 to 20 years later. The first S-Classes had cruise control, electric windows, heated seats, navigation, etc. All very common by today’s standards, but back then, most vehicles offered simple wind-up windows. Take a look at the new S-Class. It’s a spaceship on wheels, fitted with the latest advanced safety systems and the top of the line infotainment gadgets. It’s the most innovative, original modern-day luxury car on sale, paving the way of the future for most normal cars in the next 20 years or so.
Mercedes’ engines are known to be reliable and powerful, from their potent gasoline range to the torque but frugal CDI diesel lineups. If however, you desire more power, there’s always AMG, Mercedes’ mad and bonkers division in charge of the most ludicrous creations to wear a Mercedes badge. We’re not talking just twin-turbocharged engines with 500+ horsepower either. They specialize in creating the ultimate uber-saloons as Germans like to call them. Luxurious, fast cruise ships designed to tear down the Autobahn at 150+ mph with no fuss whatsoever. Because drive is sent to the rear wheels, they can be tail happy at a moment’s notice should the driver want to have a bit of fun.
It’s one thing for a car to be cheap, it’s an entirely different for it to offer great value. Yes, Mercedes’ models are slightly pricier than some of their rivals, but when you consider what you’re getting in return, the bang for buck factor is off the charts.
There are usually two types of car buyers in this world: those who stick with their favorite brand and those who go over all available options before making their purchase. Whether you’re the first or the second one, at one point or another, you’ve most probably considered to buy Audi. Audi cars are highly regarded as some of the most reliable, safe and practical vehicles on the road, with S and RS editions on offer as well if you want to go fast. There are many reasons, or should we say benefits, to choosing an Audi over other manufacturers, and we’ve included just a few in this article which will hopefully help your next purchase.
Whether you like the styling or not, you can’t deny they’re the latest in design language. Audi was one of the first manufacturers to use LED daytime running lights, in that by now traditional menacing sort of way. Every Audi, from the smallest A1 to the biggest A8, including the SUVs, offers something not present on any other rival model. Call it character if you will, an aura, a special presence. Audi has never been one to shy away from making drastic design changes, and we mean that in the best way possible. Their models are always up to date, leading their respective segments when it comes down to the styling. They’re somehow more fashionable than the rest of their bland looking German rivals.
If anyone’s ever had a chance to sit in a modern-day Audi, they’ll know what we’re talking about. It’s a feeling of luxury and quality, from the moment you step in one to the moment you get out. Everything about the cabin screams premium. The materials are high-end, even in the base trims, and the fit and finish is next to none. One of Audi’s strong points has always been their interiors, and they’re very much aware of that. If you’ve never been in one, we highly suggest you do before purchasing a vehicle. The Audi A4 in particular shines in this segment, outclassing both its Mercedes and BMW rivals.
State of the art technology and Audi are almost synonymous at this point. It’s an Audi, you expect it to have the latest, cutting-edge tech, and it does, but what you don’t expect is to find it in nearly every model and trim, regardless of price. From the sophisticated navigation to the intelligent infotainment system. Naturally, additional packages offering even more technology are available.
The words Quattro will forever be associated with Audi. The seven letters which changed the automotive world forever indicate two things today: an innovative four-wheel drive system Audi offers for its models, and a separate division of Audi in charge of the S and RS models, as well as the R8. Audi’s all-wheel drive is considered to be the best in the business, hence why Audis are so good in the snow. And don’t even get us started on the powerful engines, from the high-horsepower TSI units to the frugal and torquey TDIs.
This are some of the benefits to Buy Audi
Buying a vehicle is no easy task by any means. With so many different manufacturers, not to mention models, it can be a bit overwhelming. You want to make sure you’re getting the best car, as well as deal, possible. Quite often people talk about BMW being one of their first choices when it comes to cars. But just why is that? Well, here are a few compelling arguments supporting the claim for BMW Car.
It doesn’t matter if you’re after a smaller compact, a sedan or even an SUV. BMW makes some of the best vehicles in every respective segment, so picking the right BMW car is as easy as finding out what you want from your car. With the recent additions of the i3 and i8, you can even go full electric too.
The way a BMW drives is like nothing else on the road. Sure, you can compare it to its German rivals, but them head to head, and they stand no chance. Dynamically, BMW makes the greatest road cars in the world today. The front-engine rear-wheel drive platform gives most of their vehicles a near 50/50 weight distribution, giving neutral handling and predictable steering. Add sweet-sounding, powerful 4 and 6 cylinder engines into the mix and you have a real winner.
This goes without saying really: a BMW car is always one of the most luxurious cars in its segment. The thought, design and craftsmanship which go into each BMW cabin are simply on another level. The materials are top-notch, even on the base models, and the overall feel is that you’re driving a premium car. Couple that with a sporty feel thanks to aluminum or carbon fiber inserts and you get a really unique cabin, something few companies can match, let alone beat.
The technology found in most modern BMWs is amongst the most advanced currently on the market. A lot of the current features and gadgets found on nearly every car have been innovated and implemented in a BMW first. When it comes to high-end tech, BMW is king. The newest, latest pieces of hardware found on BMWs are expected to reach mainstream vehicles in a few years’ time, making them far ahead of their time.
If you judge a car based on its price alone, you’re not going to get very far. See, a BMW might not appear as good of a deal as some other, more affordable brands, but start comparing specs and you might be in for a surprise. A base BMW model is equipped with so much stuff that it can out-spec other manufacturers’ flagship models. And the sheer amount of optional extras BMW offers simply blows the competition out of the water. This just means that you can spec a car to your taste and liking, customizing it to perfection.
German vehicles are famous for their reliability, and BMW is at the top in this regard. The warranty, customer support and care they provide are unrivaled. And don’t think that this just applies to new cars too. A used BMW will be just as reliable as a new one because with proper maintenance, they will keep on going forever.
A lot of high-end, premium manufacturers struggle with depreciation. Their vehicles can lose as much as half of their value in the first few years. Not so with BMW. Because they’re in constant demand and have an amazing reputation of being virtually indestructible, BMWs will hold their price far better than other brands.
Brake Repair – The single most overlooked thing in car maintenance as well as car tuning is the brakes. Quite often people will spend thousands of dollars modifying their cars and doing major services but fail to check what is probably the most crucial thing on a car: its brakes. Not only do they have to operate at extreme conditions, but they have to do it all of the time. They can’t ever fail. Unlike the engine or the A/C which would render you too hot or the car undriveable, a brake failure could potentially be deadly. As such, you want to make sure your brakes are at their best at all times. Below you’ll find a few general tell-tale signs telling you that a component of the brakes is on its way out.
The easiest way to do a check on the brakes is to perform a quick visual inspection. Take a good look at the rotors as well as the pads. In most cases you can see the brake pads with a simple glimpse at them. Now, this isn’t really that accurate since you’re doing it by eye but as a general rule, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad. Any less and you might want to get the pads replaced or checked to make sure they can withstand a couple more miles.
Listen To Your Brakes
The second way to tell that your pads need replacing is to simply listen to your brakes. If you hear a high-pitched noise when breaking it means that you need new brake pads as the old ones are on their last leg. If you failed to notice the high-pitched sound (or there wasn’t any), you might hear a harsh grinding sound. This is usually indicative of a completely shot (worn off) brake pad. In this case you’ll want to immediately replace the brake pads as all that’s stopping you at this point is a thin metal pad with no braking material.
If you notice your car pulling to either side of the road and it’s not the wheel balance or the steering system, it might be a stuck caliper. The caliper is designed to last the entire lifetime of the car but sometimes certain wear and tear or mechanical defects might make it stuck. In this case, the pad on that particular wheel will be touching the rotor constantly, causing the pulling we mentioned. If this happens, you’ll want to take it to a mechanic and get it sorted out. It’s usually a reasonably easy fix and doesn’t require a new rotor.
Lastly, you have the pedal feel. If you feel vibrations when braking, you might have a warped rotor on your hands. Likewise, if the pedal feel is inconsistent or goes to the floor, you’ll want to check the braking fluid. It could have air in it or the fluid might be just old and ineffective. A mushy pedal is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to you, especially in emergency braking. You want to sort it out as soon as possible.
Find A Good Mechanic
As always, you want to find a good mechanic (service center) to take your car to for a brake repair. Certifications from the AAA or ASE indicate that the shop is reputable. A shop which offers vague description of what’s wrong with the car or what’s been done to it is probably best avoiding. Once the brake repair has been done, you might want to ask for your old parts back just to make sure that they indeed carried out the work they said they did. And always, always, ask friends or read reviews on a certain shop before visiting it.
Selling Cars in today’s economy – Surviving tough economic times can be well, tough; however with some initiative, common sense, and the will to survive your own particularly tough situation, you can of course start to buy and sell cars, and very profitably too. Nonetheless, before you rush out and perhaps lose money you cannot afford to lose, you need to read this guide on how to buy and sell cars without getting into even worse financial trouble. Here is how to sell cars successfully.
Get a license
While buying and selling cars per se is not illegal in any state, selling cars does become illegal when you sell more than about three to five in a period specified by each state. If you are going to be serious about supplementing your income selling cars, you need to do it right from the get-go, which means obtaining a dealer’s license. Having a dealer’s license does not only allow you to sell as many cars as you want- it also allows you to compete with dealers at dealer auctions.
Dealer auctions can be very productive hunting grounds, because dealers often use these auctions as dumps for what they see as unsalable vehicles, which means that you can often pick up once-in-a-lifetime bargains because you don’t have the high overheads dealers have. If you do all or much of the work of preparing a vehicle yourself, you can buy and sell cars from dealer auctions at much better prices than dealers can, simply because it doesn’t cost you as much to fix it as it would a dealer.
Don’t buy wrecks
There is no way you can make money selling cars if the cars you buy need a lot of work. As a minimum, the vehicle should be free of rust, accident damage, and major mechanical defects. If you are not mechanically inclined, partner up with an ASE certified mechanic to inspect all the cars on your radar. Alternatively, don’t buy a vehicle if you cannot drive it home.
As a rule of thumb, estimated repair costs should not exceed about 5% of what can you can get for the vehicle, and this amount should include the fee you pay the mechanic that inspected the vehicle. Bear in mind that you entered the business of selling cars to make money, not spend money on learning about car repairs.
Know the market
As with real estate that is all about location, selling cars is all about knowing what sells, for how much, and who is buying. This is easier said than done, so before you buy a vehicle you think might fetch you a good price, spend some time researching that particular vehicle. Many vehicles are notorious for faults, defects, and other issues such as recalls that affect their resell value, so consult the NHTSA database for information that could help you avoid making a bad business decision.
Manage your expectations
While there are many stories on the internet about how profitable selling cars can be, these stories should ideally be taken as cautionary tales. Of course, it is possible to occasionally make a huge profit on one sale, but the idea is really to make smaller profits all the time. Nobody can survive on one profitable sale for long, so what you need to do is sell cars all the time, but in such a way that you make profit on each sale.
Selling cars for profit is a tough business, and nobody gets rich from it overnight. You need to have clear goal in mind, meaning that you need to be sure by how much you need to supplement your income. Knowing how much you need to make every month helps you avoid making bad decisions; there is no point in just breaking even on a deal- if you need to make say $500 on a deal, take that amount as the minimum.
Every dollar above your minimum requirement is a bonus; know what you need and work towards it, but don’t expect to make unrealistically high profits all of the time, or even much of the time.
Consider sticking to one brand
The old adage that you should stick to what you know best applies to how you will sell cars as much as it applies to everything else in life. Thus, if you have some experience with one car brand, or even a single model, consider dealing only with that brand or model.
Doing this helps you in two ways; first, you will spend less time getting a vehicle to market, and second, it takes much, if not all of the guess work out of the equation. Selling cars is not so much a question of being good at selling as it is about being good at buying cars, which is another way of saying that you need to be sure that you can sell what you buy.
For instance, if you have experience of the mid-range models of a given brand, don’t buy a high-end model and hope to sell it. There may be faults and defects present that are beyond your abilities (and budget) to resolve, meaning that you will lose money, instead of making some.
At the risk of overstating the case, don’t buy and sell vehicles that you are not familiar with. People who do that are either experienced mechanics, or high-volume dealers who can afford to pay experienced mechanics to fix their purchases. You are likely neither.
Don’t sell cars, recycle them instead
Bear in mind that there are probably dozens of sellers of used cars in your immediate vicinity, and all of them are always looking for cheap parts, meaning that if you can’t buy and sell cars without spending rent and grocery money, you could always consider the business of recycling cars.
Chances are however that someone else has already cornered the market in that particular niche in your city, but there are ways and means of fighting back. One such way is to take weekend drives to outlying towns to see what people have parked in their backyards, covered up under tarpaulins, or stashed away in barns.
Nine times out of ten you will find what you’re looking for in any mid-sized town, and if you have a suitable trailer to move the vehicle, you are almost guaranteed to make several times your investment back by breaking it up and selling its parts. What remains can be sold as scrap metal, which could fetch you a perhaps another hundred dollars or so.
One more thing
If you want to sell cars, you must keep emotion out of the deal. Whatever you might think of a particular used vehicle, it is just that, a used vehicle, and nothing more than a tool with which to make some money. By focusing on the fact that you are in the business to sell cars, not to collect them, you can easily avoid all, or most of the pitfalls that have bankrupted many people.
Having to pay for a car battery replacement is a painful experience, but fortunately, there are many ways to make your car battery last for the entire warranty period, and even beyond the warranty. More good news is that none of the tips and tricks listed in this article will cost you anything, and by following them, you can save a ton of money by not having to fork out money for a premature and often unnecessary battery replacement. Here is how to make your car battery last as long as it should.
Use the right battery
Apart from anything else, using the right battery for your vehicle is the surest way to prevent a premature battery replacement. Diesel engines are particularly hard on batteries, and using a car battery that cannot produce the correct amount of cranking amps not only damages not only the battery, but the starter motor as well. So when you do have to pay for a battery replacement, make sure you replace the battery with one that conforms to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Keep the battery cool
Hot, humid weather kills more batteries than the coldest winter, so protect your battery by wrapping it in a purpose-made protective cover to protect it from both high ambient temperatures, and high under-hood temperatures.
Keep the battery clean
Batteries that live in hot, humid climates tend to collect a lot of grime mixed with moisture on the casing. At some point, the layer of grime becomes so saturated with moisture that it starts to conduct electricity between the poles. Premature battery replacement is a certain consequence of this, so make sure the top of the battery casing is clean, and kept clean to prevent a slow short circuit.
Ensure good contact
Acid buildup around the poles and terminals happen when acid escapes from the casing through microscopic cracks, so prevent a premature battery replacement by removing acid build-up as soon as it appears. In time, the acid build-up corrodes the terminals, which causes poor contact between the post and the terminal. Moreover, poor contact causes arcing and high resistance, which can kill a battery in very short order. When acid build-up occurs, neutralize it with a solution of bicarbonate and water, and apply a coating of battery sealer to prevent a recurrence.
Maintain the electrolyte level
There is no such thing as a completely “maintenance free” battery, no matter what battery manufacturer’s claim. All batteries that use a liquid electrolyte need to be checked regularly because the electrolyte boils off over time. When this happens, a premature battery replacement is a certainty, but if you are not comfortable with the idea of working with highly corrosive battery acid, you can have the battery checked by a specialist battery dealer at least four times a year.
Go easy on accessories
While automotive electronics have reached a ridiculous level of complexity, the power behind all of the gadgets, trinkets, and control modules that keep your car going still comes from a relatively primitive lead acid battery that needs to be in perfect condition to supply all the black boxes with sufficient power.
So, if you don’t want to pay for a premature battery replacement, go easy on the number of non-original accessories you fit to your vehicle. All gadgets and especially aftermarket audio systems draw amounts of power that the battery was not designed to deliver, so make sure that the total current draw does not exceed the batteries’ capacity.
Secure the battery properly
Batteries that are not secured properly are subjected to vibrations that they were not designed to withstand. Undue vibration can cause internal connections to fail, and while this might take some time to happen, you will almost certainly get no advance warning that it is about to happen. Therefore, the wise thing to do is to make sure that the battery is secured properly, and that nothing can rub against it or collide with it repeatedly. Your battery is supposed to last for up to five years, but it won’t if its internal connections are not protected against impacts and vibrations.
Auto repairs in Miami, FL, is no different than auto repairs anywhere else; you can get ripped off as easily as you would in New York, San Francisco, or Denver, but since you need auto repairs done in Miami, here is how to protect yourself against getting ripped off.
Auto Repairs – Shop around
No matter what type of auto repair services you need, the best way to protect yourself against rip off artists is to compare prices. The auto repair industry in Miami is huge, and there are hundreds of independent repair shops that would love to have your business. However, there is no standardized price list for auto repairs, so before you leave your pride and joy to the sometimes not-so-tender mercies of some repair shops, get price estimates for the job from several establishments.
Bear in mind though that the location of a repair shop often determines that shop’s labor charges and other rates, so you are likely to pay more at a repair shop in a well-off area than you would at a downtown establishment. Nevertheless, compare charges and services from several shops for the same work. Estimates should not differ by more than about 10% or so, but price alone should not be the determining factor when it comes to auto repairs in Miami, or anywhere else for that matter. Cheaper is not always better, but by shopping around, you can eliminate the obvious sharks right from the get-go.
Only use a repair shop with certified technicians
Miami has one of the highest concentrations of luxury vehicles in the country- vehicles that generally require technicians with above average skills and knowledge to diagnose and repair. Therefore, if your vehicle falls into this class, you want to be sure that the technicians that are going to be working on are able to do so without causing additional damage or problems.
Moreover, you need to be sure that the technicians at any given repair shop have proven experience of your particular vehicle: certifications mean nothing if they are not relevant to your vehicle and its often very specific problems and issues. This is especially true of imported European vehicles that are programmed and set up differently from domestic vehicles.
Insist on a written estimate
Once you have shortlist of possible candidate shops to perform your auto repairs based on labor charges and the abilities of the technicians at each, ask for a written estimate at each establishment. This document is more important than anything else, and it must include the following information – A detailed description of the auto repairs required, as well as details of the repair procedure. Note that some auto repairs are very technical in nature, but the estimate should at least include a broad description of the intended diagnostic/repair procedure.
- Estimated cost of the repair.
- Estimated duration of the repair work.
- List of parts required for the repair.
- Justification for all parts required.
- Details of warranties on parts and labor.
- An undertaking not to perform any additional work without your written permission.
Without a written estimate that clearly spells out the details of the auto repair, you leave yourself open to being ripped off, whether you are in Miami or not.
Check with the Better Business Bureau
Auto repair is a life-and-limb affair, so before you make your final decision of which auto repair shop in Miami to use, do yourself a favor and check with the BBB to see if there are any serous complaints against the shops on your list. Typical complains would be about poor customer service, long turnaround times, poorly executed repairs and shoddy workmanship, warranties that were not honored, and overcharging.
However, no repair shop is perfect, and some people make it their life’s mission to complain about trivialities, but be sure to check for complaints that form a pattern. For instance, if there are several recent complaints about shoddy workmanship against a particular shop, simply scratch it off your list and keep on looking for a shop that is right for you.
Check the premises
Before you make a final decision, visit each shop in turn and check for the following things-
- Check that there are no abandoned cars in the parking lot. If there are, chances are good that yours might end up the same way. Abandoned vehicles, or vehicles that have clearly not been worked on for a long time is a sure sign of poor customer service and general incompetence.
- Check that at least some of the vehicles being worked on are of the same brand and model as yours. This proves that the technicians have experience of the brand/model, and chances are therefore excellent that you will enjoy a superior auto repair experience.
- Check that the reception area is clean, tidy, and well ordered. The auto repair business in Miami is as competitive as anywhere else, so if you are not received in a friendly and professional manner, chances are very good that the establishment is not interested in yours, or anybody else’s business, and you will almost certainly be ripped off in the worst possible way if you use them.
Stick with the same shop
The points outlined above will go a long way toward helping you find reliable auto repair services in Miami. However, once you have found a shop that is right for you and your car, stick with them. When you build a relationship of trust with the staff at a repair shop, you remove almost all opportunity for them to rip you off, because they want your return business.
Repeat business is the life blood of any auto repair shop, and in time, you will almost certainly be rewarded for your loyalty with preferential treatment and discounted rates, which is not a bad thing, given the cost of auto repairs in Miami.
Collectively, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, and BMW cars represent the pinnacle of automotive design and engineering, but to keep these cars performing at their peak can cost an arm and a leg at the dealers. Fortunately though, there is an alternative, so whatever you needs, whether it is Porsche repair, BMW repair, Mercedes-Benz repair or perhaps Audi repair, why not consider an independent repair shop to take care of your pride and joy?
You may well ask what independent repair shops in the Miami, Florida, area know about imported high performance European cars, but the truth is that independent shops know as much as the dealers do, and oftentimes more. Dealers may tell you otherwise, but the fact is that if you need for instance, Audi repair services, you’ll almost always get it cheaper and faster from an independent shop than from the dealer.
Nonetheless, before rushing out to the nearest independent shop to put this to the test, you need to know why European cars are different from American-made cars. The differences are sometimes profound, and Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche repair requires a thorough knowledge of these differences. Let us look at some of the main differences between American and European cars that make say, Porsche repair a little different.
American vs. European Cars
Listing all of the differences between American and European cars falls outside the scope of this article, but we can (briefly) talk about two of the important differences that require a different approach when it comes to repairing these vehicles, such as-
European motor oils are all made to standards that exceed those of American oils by a large margin, and in many, if not most cases, European-made engines can be severely damaged by using non-European standard lubricating oil. The reason for this are the facts that European car makers are allowed to develop special oil formulations that are designed for their special needs, and to insist that all oil manufacturers in Europe incorporate these formulations into their products.
The result is that if you need say, Porsche repair or lubrication services, you need to find an independent repair shop that is aware of the fact that your car requires oil that was formulated specifically for it. There are many such independent repair shops in the Miami area; in fact, some independents work on Porsche/BMW/Mercedes-Benz/Audi products exclusively, which means that they know exactly what your car needs. Moreover, since independent repair shops usually have lower overheads, they can give you an oil change on your Porsche or other European car at a substantially lower rate than any dealer can.
Because of the nature of European roads that are mostly narrow and twisting, most European cars have stiffer suspensions than American cars do, and this feature is most noticeable on high performance cars like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche models.
Moreover, to make the stiffer suspensions work properly, European cars almost always have brakes and steering systems that are matched to their suspension setups, meaning that the control modules of these systems are programmed differently from comparable American units.
Therefore, problems on the brakes, steering, or suspension systems of high performance European cars can only be diagnosed with software that is compatible with the design parameters of these vehicles, and this is where a competent independent repair shop can save you a ton of money.
Independent repair shops that specialize in say, BMW repair services, are fully aware of the fact that BMW suspensions are set up differently from comparable American vehicles, which why a competent independent repair shop will always have access to the latest model-specific diagnostic software, which is not always the case with dealers- despite their claims to the contrary.
In addition, independent repair shops are often not as busy as the dealers, meaning that you will almost always get your car back on the road much sooner than if you had left it with a dealer. Nonetheless, there are other equally compelling reasons why you should consider using an independent repair shop if for instance, you need Mercedes-Benz repair services, such as the facts that-
Independents need your business
Unlike dealers that have an almost guaranteed client base regardless of the quality of their customer care, independent repair shops need to consistently perform well in all areas of their businesses to retain their current clients, as well as to attract new business.
In practice, this need translates into excellent customer service that is designed to make you return to them for future repair work. No independent repair shop can afford shoddy customer service and hope to remain in business, meaning that you will almost always receive superior customer service and care from an independent repair shop.
Independent repair shop are as knowledgeable as dealers
Well, mostly; in many cases, the technicians at independent repair shops are more knowledgeable than their counterparts at dealerships, since they often see say, Audi repair issues more often than the dealers do, and they almost always resolve issues quicker than the dealers do, too.
To remain in business, an independent shop needs to be aware of all the latest technical repair information as it becomes available, which does not always happen at dealerships. This goes for all European cars, and since all repair information is now freely available, it is a rare event to find an independent repair shop that does not now about a particular issue.
However, to be fair to the dealers, it sometimes happens that car makers do not release some repair information to the independent repair industry, but recent changes to several pieces of legislation has forced car makers that sell their products in the USA to make all Technical Service Bulletins, Recall Notices, and other information relating to the safety of their products available to the public.
Of course, this makes all of the latest technical information available to anybody anywhere in the world via the internet, meaning that any competent independent repair shop owner that deals in Audi repair, or for that matter in BMW repair, Mercedes-Benz repair, or even Porsche repair, has access to the same technical information that the dealers have access to.
One more thing
In practical terms, all of the above means that should you need say, specialized Mercedes-Benz repair services, or repairs to any other high performance European car, there will be an independent repair shop in the Miami, Florida, area that can provide it faster, cheaper, and with a bigger smile on their faces than any dealer can.