European cars are known for their sleek engineering, incredible handling, and refined driveability. In NJ alone there are a high number of European manufacturers. From Audi and Volkswagen, to BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Porsche, and Bentley, the Garden State offers a bevy of European auto dealers as well as repair centers.
While Euro car fans aren’t lacking in enthusiasm for their vehicles, feeling confident in their maintenance and repair options isn’t always as easy. Determining what your vehicle needs and when, what parts are best, and the optimal maintenance schedule can quickly become overwhelming.
If you are a Euro car owner looking for a trusted repair center, use the 5 tips below to keep your Euro running at its best:
1. Look for a shop that offers a team of people who understand the needs of your vehicle, as well as your personal expectations for your car. This includes everything from an on-site multi-point inspection to a car returned to you clean with settings just as they were when the vehicle was dropped off. Your ideal repair center should share your enthusiasm for your car’s European engineering and provide you with the utmost in customer care.
2. Understand the importance of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and know that the selected repair center does, too. When maintaining European automobiles like Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche and the like, using the correct OEM parts is of the utmost importance. An experienced repair shop will only use these parts, and in some instances parts from a third-party manufacturer who has been able to offer a higher quality product than the OE manufacturer. A shop who deals in Euro vehicles on an every-day offers this expertise to their customers as an added value, while general repair shops may not have the car count or experience to source the best parts for your automobile.
3. Make sure the shop technicians know your vehicle make and model well enough to fix it properly the first time. The frequency in which a shop works on European vehicles should be a major deciding factor for any Euro car owner. If you arrive on-site and see more domestics than you do Audi, Mercedes, BMW, etc., it may not be the shop for you. For example, someone who does an A4 timing belt service once or twice a year isn’t able to compete with the skill set of a mechanic who does multiple Audi timing belts a week.
4. Know that your car is a computer and that a Euro Shop is your specialized IT provider. The technological advancements that exist in cars today means that a good mechanic is more like an IT expert for your vehicle. This means they need to have the tools and technology to diagnose your car properly the first time. From Vag Com Diagnostic Systems (VCDS) for Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche and Bentley, to advanced level diagnostic programs for specific vehicle makes and models, an expert technician will have the necessary resources on-hand to determine critical faults and issues with your vehicle. If your selected repair shop does not have factory-specific equipment and tools, the chances for misdiagnosis and overall cost of repair become much higher.
5. Understand the importance of fluids. This may seem like a minor piece of the repair puzzle, but experienced Euro technicians know which fluids, from coolant to engine oil, are compatible with your vehicle. For example, the wrong anti-freeze in a Volkswagen Passat can lead to obstructions in your cooling system, which results in overheating and possible engine damage. A quick oil change with the wrong engine oil and/or incorrect oil filter can lead to major engine damage within just a few hundred miles of the oil change.
When visiting a European Auto Repair Center, review this quick list with the shop owner or technician to ensure you feel confident in the team you are trusting with your vehicle. Then, all you have to do is enjoy the open road.