There’s Nothing Routine About a Routine Oil Change

It’s Just an Oil Change, Right? Think again!

So, the shop down the street tells you to change the oil and filter every 3,000 miles or three months. Another shop might suggest switching to synthetic oil to lengthen out that process. A friend might point you to newly-developed synthetic products that promise up to 20,000 miles or 12 months of engine lubrication and protection.

Who do you trust?

Two Reasons Engine Oil Can’t Last Forever, Yet

Though engineers are working on a “lifetime” motor oil, it hasn’t been figured out yet—unlike transmission and brake fluids, which now often don’t have to be changed out.

For now, there are two reasons why your oil needs regular flushing and replacement. First, the additive package that resists the factors that break down oil becomes depleted after time. This depletion oxidizes the oil and increases acidity, leading to component corrosion. Second, contaminants build up and need to be flushed. Without changing it out, the filter clogs, a bypass opens, and unfiltered oil circulates in the engine, rapidly wearing down the internal parts of the engine.

Back in the Day

Low-quality mineral-based motor oils demand constant attention, making the 3,000-mile 3-month rule sensible. But manufacturers now list intervals as high as 15,000 miles. These shifts are due to improved engine design, computer-controlled engine management, and improvements in oil chemistry. Your 70s gas guzzler was not tightly-sealed—fuel washed down the cylinder walls, and combustion forced fuel, air, and moisture past the rings and into the crankcase. Today’s vehicles much more efficiently manage these processes, which means your oil no longer has to be changed every few months.

Condition-based Service

Newer AudisBMWsMercedes, and MINIs keep track of, not just of mileage and time between oil changes, but also the type of driving you are doing. It notes stop-and-go driving, frequent short trips, extreme heat or cold, and dozens of other factors. Onboard computer systems then notify you that, based on these conditions, your car requires service.

What does all of this mean for you? That there’s nothing routine about routine service. The complexity of today’s European vehicles demands repair and maintenance experts. A shop that services every make and model doesn’t have the equipment and experience to deal with today’s highly sophisticated vehicles. Dealerships, on the other hand, have the expertise, but the prices are sky-high. What’s a high-performance car owner in Seattle supposed to do?

The pros at EuroCar Service understand how important an extraordinarily-engineered car is to you. We provide cutting edge procedures for the service and maintenance of your Audi, BMW, FiatLand RoverJaguar, Mercedes, MINI, SaabSmart CarVolkswagenVolvo, and others. Open Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 5:30, our highly-trained ASE-certified master mechanics and knowledgeable service advisors repair and maintain cars just like your at our state-of-the-art facility. Are you ready for the most dependable, accurate, and honest European car care in Seattle? Contact us online or call 206-527-8828 today!

German Car Repair Tips

Don’t Go to a Generic Shop If You’re Car is German

German carmakers, such as AudiBMWMercedes, and MINI, design cars to give you the performance you demand. A generic automotive shop won’t have equipment and expertise to work on these specialized vehicles. At EuroCar Service, we have decades of experience working with German-made vehicles that we would like to share with you.

Equipment and Experience  

All of that performance you’ve come to know and love requires specialty tools and diagnostic equipment specific to each make and model. The corner repair shop, even a good one, won’t have the necessary equipment to do the right work on your vehicle.

Shops that work on every kind of car will only occasionally see a high-end German-made automobile. We also work on these cars all day, every day and can accurately diagnose your vehicle and won’t just throw parts at the trouble until it goes away. You need a shop that has the equipment and experience to fully diagnose your car, pinpoint the issues, and make the correct repairs.

As Cars Get Smarter, Your Repair Shop Should Too  

Did you know that your vehicle has up to 90 computers? From braking, steering, and throttle control to transmission and engine management, everything is interconnected. You need experts to check these modules for issues and periodically update programs. Again, this requires specialized equipment and training.

Original or Better Parts

Does your professional have access to all the same parts as a dealer? Not only that, do they know which OEM parts are better? We can get you all the parts the dealer can, but also offer significant savings by using non-original replacement parts that are proven to perform better than parts from the manufacturer.

Regular Maintenance

Late-model Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, and MINIs notify you when their computers determine that conditional service is required. Unlike most cars, conditional service is not based on preset mileage or time benchmarks alone, but also on the kind of driving and environments you are driving in.

Depending on your specific make and model, this includes engine oil service, cabin micro air filter, engine air filter, brake fluid, brake pads, and even your annual state emissions test. We have the specialized factory diagnostic equipment to read conditional service intervals and reset them after performing the service. You should schedule a basic oil service every 5,000 miles for turbo and supercharged engines like the Audi and every 7,500 for all other late models. Does your generic shop know that older models using mineral-based oil should not use full synthetic oil?

These are just a few of the reasons you should bring your car to a shop that specializes in high-performance from across the pond. EuroCar Service has been your dependable, accurate, and honest European vehicle service facility since 1981. We are committed to state-of-the-art procedures for your Audi, BMWFiatLand RoverJaguar, Mercedes, MINISaabSmart CarVolkswagen, or Volvo. With a reputation for customer service and craftsmanship, we are proud to be included on Expertise’s exclusive list of Best Auto Shops in Seattle. Conveniently open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 to 5:30, we even provide free shuttle service and loaner cars. Join the EuroCar Service family by scheduling an appointment online or calling 206-527-8828 right now!

Make Your Summer Carefree and Hassle-Free

Summer is all about fun in the sun, right?

Unfortunately, you are not the only one who can’t wait to get out on the road. That extra traffic makes accidents more likely. Nearly one-third of all collisions occur in June, July, and August. Extra heat and traffic also mean cars have to work harder, leading to mechanical issues, overheated engines, and tire blowouts.

Nothing could ruin your fun faster than being stranded on the side of the road, watching your summer sail past you. We have some tips to keep on the road while it is warm:

Tune It Up 

Check your fluid levels and windshield wipers. Be sure to keep up with vehicle maintenance. Extra driving, stop-and-go, and long, hot trips can take their toll. We provide factory services for European cars and trucks, including scheduled maintenance. This includes oil changestune-ups, brake repair, tire rotations, filter checks, and more. Maintaining and protecting your car at regular intervals will keep everything in tip-top shape, preventing minor issues from getting bigger and messing with your travel plans.

Want to See an Accident? Look Down at Your Phone

With more cars on the road, you need to pay attention. Keep your hands on the steering wheel in proper driving position, at 10 and 2, and stay alert. Even hands-free phone calls, texts, and internet searches can be distracting. If the temptation is too much, tuck your phone away in a place you can’t reach while driving.

Also, avoid eating, adjusting the air conditioner and stereo, or arguing with passengers. If it’s that important, pull off to the curb or the exit. So far, you might have gotten lucky every time you have looked away from the road, but that next distraction might be your last. Or, worse yet, someone else’s.

Walkers and Joggers and Bikes, Oh My!

Summer means there are more people out and about. Runners, walkers, cyclists are out in force. Washington requires you to give cyclists 3 feet of space, which is way more than you think it is. Barely hitting a rider with your mirror could cause serious injury or even death. Kids are out of school, too. Use caution at crosswalks and intersections. Always use your turn signals before changing lanes or merging so everyone knows your intention and can adjust accordingly.

Have That Talk With Your Teen

The golden freedom of summer can be a beautiful thing, but it is also the most dangerous time of year for teenage drivers. With less maturity and driving experience, speed and distractions can be deadly. Talk to your teen about how important it is for them to be safe, not only for their welfare but for the well-being of others.

Have a Plan

Know where you’re going and have an alternative route. Attempting to navigate while driving is one of the most common ways to rear-end someone. If traffic stops the moment you look at a map or directions, you will have to brake hard or even swerve, and neither is likely to end well.

To make sure your car is running great all summer long, bring it into EuroCar Service. We know you love high-performance, well-engineered automobiles, which is why we provide cutting edge procedures for the service and maintenance of your vehicle. Our highly-trained ASE Certified Master mechanics and knowledgeable service advisors service AudiBMWFiatLand RoverJaguarMercedesMINISaabSmart CarVolkswagenVolvo, and more at our up-to-date facility. Conveniently open Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 5:30, we’ll make your visit hassle-free with complimentary shuttle service and loaner cars. To schedule an appointment with the most dependable, accurate, and honest European car repair shop in Seattle, contact us online or call 206-527-8828 today!

The Man Who Bought Last Piece of Saab Automotive History

Claus Spanggaard of Denmark just purchased the final “new” Saab—a 2014 9-3 Aero Turbo 4. Thought to be one of the final cars to roll off a line in Trollhattan, Sweden, the Aero—with about 41 miles on it—went for $48,200. This was about $1,500 over the predicted price.

Last of the Saabs

Powered by EcoTec 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the last of the Saabs produces 220 HP. A six-speed automatic gearbox sends that energy to the front wheels. Stately and dignified to the end, the interior has full leather.  

Saab was facing final bankruptcy in 2012 when National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) bought the assets. Unfortunately, NEVS soon ran into financial difficulty. A Chinese energy vehicle leasing firm, Panda New Energy, bailed NEVS out. They started pumping out 9-3s in Tianjin, China. NEVS and Panda New Energy lost rights to the Saab name so the 9-3s are being will be sold under the NEVS brand.

Not History Yet

Svenska Aeroplan AB (SAAB) opened in 1937 as an airplane manufacturer for the Swedish Air Force, which was gearing up to defend itself from German military aggression. Though it no longer makes cars, it still employs more than 16,500 people with annual sales of more than $3 billion. Some of its most well-known products include the Gripen fighter plane, the Saab Kockums Gotland Class submarine, the C41 tank, and the Carl-Gustaf weapon system. 

The final Saab vehicles weren’t military weapons, but fans still think they’re the bomb. Fun and sporty, but comfortable and practical, the Aero continues to have a firm hold in the hearts of a small, dedicated cadre of American owners.

We Appreciate Your Devotion

At EuroCar Service, we appreciate your devotion to Saab vehicles. We know that you take great pride in owning high-performing, well-engineered cars. That’s why you demand and deserve cutting edge procedures for the service and maintenance of your vehicle. Located in Seattle, WA, we also service Audi, FiatLand Rover, Mercedes, MINIVolvo, and more in our up-to-date facility. We have highly-trained ASE Certified Master mechanics and top-rated customer service, which is why we’re included on Expertise’s list of Best Auto Shops in Seattle. 

Conveniently open Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 5:30, we’ll make your visit hassle-free with complimentary shuttle service and loaner cars for Seattle customers. To schedule an appointment with the most dependable, accurate, and honest European vehicle service facility in Seattle, contact online or call 206-527-8828 today!

So, What’s Up with Saab?

Are Saab cars still sold in the U.S.? Where did Saab go?

The answers are no and nowhere.

As we’ve discussed before in outlining the auction of the last unsold production Saab, a 2013 9-3 Aero, Saab faced final bankruptcy in 2012. National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) bought the assets but soon ran into their own financial trouble. They were bailed out by a Chinese energy vehicle leasing firm, Panda New Energy, that began building 9-3s in Tianjin, China. Along the way though, rights to the Saab name were lost and those vehicles will be sold as NEVS cars.

So, no, there are no new Saab cars being sold.

But, Saab is certainly rolling along just fine, thank you very much. The company remains closely tied to its defense and security roots. Saab began in 1937 as an airplane manufacturer for the Swedish Air Force in response to German aggression in the run-up to WWII.  The full name of the fledgling firm was Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, forming the acronym SAAB. Cars didn’t start rolling off Saab production lines until after the war.

What Does That Mean For Saab?

Despite the end of production of Saab automobiles, Saab employs more than 16,500 people with annual sales equal to well over $3 billion. Some of its most well-known current products include the Gripen fighter plane, the Saab Kockums Gotland Class submarine, the C41 tank, and the weapon system Carl-Gustaf.  Though Saab is out of the car business, they are certainly not out of business! While there are no Saab dealerships to take your car to, EuroCar Service in Seattle has decades of experience working on your vehicle. In fact, your high-performing vehicle deserves our highly trained ASE Certified Master mechanics and top-rated customer service. Bring your MercedesMINI, Volkswagen, Smart carSaab, or other European vehicles to our state-of-the-art facility.  To schedule an appointment with the most dependable, accurate, and honest European vehicle service in Seattle, contact us online or call 206-527-8828 today! 

The Final Brand-New Saab 9-3 To Be Auctioned

Before bankruptcy, Saab was known for producing quirky, safe vehicles. There is none safer than a 2013 silver 9-3 Aero sedan that will be going up for auction later this year. It was supposed to be crash-tested but somehow avoided the concrete wall that it was built to collide with. Instead, it was forgotten amidst the final 9-3s that came off the line in 2014. Those 420 vehicles were sold. But this silver sedan, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, only has 3.1 miles. It is the last brand-new Saab production car that will ever be sold.

Bankruptcy and Bailouts

This Saab 9-3 isn’t the last production Saab or final Saab built. It is definitely not the final 9-3. National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) acquired the assets of SAAB while it was in bankruptcy in 2012.  They attempted to continue production, but the factory quickly ran into cash trouble. Panda New Energy, a Chinese energy vehicle leasing company focused on limiting emissions, signed a collaboration agreement in 2015.  The final production Saabs were the 2014 9-3s, and the last SAAB built was actually a 9-3 concept car NEVS built in 2017 to mark the anniversary of the 99 Turbo. Right now, electric 9-3s are rolling off a production line in Tianjin, China. Along the way, the conglomerate lost the rights to the Saab name and logo. A quarter-million of these new 9-3s are being sold under the NEVS brand.

This last, lonely Saab has 217 horsepower, 259 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed manual transmission. It will be on display at the annual Saab Car Museum Festival in Trollhattan, Sweden.

There are plenty of SAABs still on the road and the Aero, in particular, has a loyal following. If you own a SAAB, EuroCar Service, located in Seattle, WA, will make sure it runs like it just came off the production line. We also service Audi, Land Rover, Mercedes, MINI, Volkswagen, Volvo, Smart car, and Fiat vehicles in our state-of-the-art facility. We are included on Expertise’s list of Best Auto Shops in Seattle because of our highly trained ASE Certified Master mechanics and top-rated customer service.

Conveniently open Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 5:30, we will make your visit hassle-free with complimentary shuttle service and loaner cars for Seattle customers. We understand that you demand and deserve cutting edge procedures for the service and maintenance of the world’s most high-performing vehicles. To schedule an appointment with the most dependable, accurate, and honest European vehicle service facility in Seattle, contact online or call 206-527-8828 or today!

Nevs Will Auction Off Final Production Saab

Are you tiring of SAAB stories? If you are a fan of this iconic brand, this one is actually pretty sad. Nevs, the Swedish holding company that acquired the assets of SAAB while it was in bankruptcy in 2012, is auctioning off its last remaining SAAB production car, a silver 9-3 Aero. Though the vehicle is not the last SAAB ever built, or even the last 9-3 Aero—bankruptcy, sale, cash trouble and a bailout by a Chinese energy vehicle leasing company make this a long and complicated story with this silver SAAB the last to come off a Swedish production line in 2014.

What / Who Is SAAB?

SAAB began as a hardware manufacturer for the Swedish Air Force protecting their neutrality during World War II. They moved to the bursting automobile industry after the war, quickly becoming known for motorsports, especially after winning the 1959 24 hours of LeMans. With a reputation for innovation, SAAB was known as much for engineering misses as well as hits and eventually sought cash from a long line of suitors, including General Motors in the 1990s. Some see the acquisition of a plucky innovator by a behemoth to be the beginning of the end for SAAB—though they continued producing vehicles even after the initial Nevs buyout in 2012. Nevs planned to keep producing SAAB vehicles in Sweden and China, but unfortunately, they almost immediately ran into cash trouble and had to be bailed out by a Chinese firm—not before eventually losing the rights to the SAAB name and logo.

The 2014 SAAB 9-3 began production with much fanfare, but the factory quickly stopped production. The final SAAB was actually a 9-3 concept car Nevs built in 2017 to mark the anniversary of the 99 Turbo. Additionally, electric 9-3’s are rolling off a production line in Tianjin, China, but they are sold under the Nevs brand and will supply partner Panda New Energy with a quarter million cars.

What Does It All Mean?

All of this leaves this single, lonely, silver SAAB with 3 miles on the odometer as the final unsold production car in existence—details of the sale will be announced by Nevs at a later date. There are still plenty of SAABs on the road, and the Aero, in particular, has many fans. If you own a SAAB and are looking for reliable, professional European car repair and maintenance in or near Seattle, WA, EuroCar Service is dedicated to making your service appointment as stress-free as possible, offering free shuttle service and free loaner cars to all our Seattle clients. Our up-to-date specialty tools, equipment, technology, and ASE master mechanics will get you back on the road quickly and efficiently. We also service Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, MINI, Volkswagen, Volvo, Smart car, and Fiat. For high-quality, customer service oriented repair or maintenance of your European car,  schedule an appointment online or call today!

Faraday Future investor buys EV startup that took over Saab

If you haven’t heard of the company, Faraday Future is an American start-up technology company focused on the development of intelligent electric vehicles. China’s Evergrande Group are big investors of Faraday Future, holding a 32% stake in the company, and acquired a controlling stake in NEVS, which is the startup that took over Saab. NEVS bought the assets of bankrupt Saab and attempted to revive the company being an electric exclusive car company. NEVS lost the right to use the Saab name, and essentially all plans went downhill from here.

The new funds from Evergrande will help the company NEVS stick out its mission to develop a wide range of electric cars. From sedans to crossovers to self-driving cars, they have big plans. These vehicles will be introduced in Chine and Sweden to start but will hopefully venture its way to Europe and the U.S. as they grow. The first model has been completed, titled the FF91 crossover, and should be starting deliveries any day now. This new crossover is exciting. Its sleek design and whopping 1,050- horsepower make us wish it was already available in the U.S. The FF91 posts a 2.39 second 0-60 mph time. On top of the great speeds, the FF91 is powered by a multi-motor electric power-train to give it all-wheel drive.  The electric motors draw their power from a 130-kwh battery pack, which will be the largest by 30 kwh when it hits the market. The company says the home charger provided with the vehicle will achieve a 50 percent charge in 4.5 hours on a 240-volt outlet. Maybe someday our very own shop, EuroCar Service, will get the opportunity to repair and service NEVS vehicles.

EuroCar Service is located in Seattle, WA and has been your trusted European vehicle service facility since 1981. Our office is open during the convenient hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are happy to repair all makes and models of Saab. We understand that Saab is no longer being manufactured, but firmly believe that with continued repair and maintenance, your Saab can live happily on the road for years to come. As always, we are able to assist with any questions about your vehicle. Your European automobile deserves the absolute best. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment. Or, conveniently use our online booking form by clicking here. We look forward to meeting you and servicing your vehicle.

How To Prevent LSPI

What is LSPI? Defined by motor.com, “LSPI is an unexpected consequence of downsizing and boosting engines. Also known as stochastic pre-ignition (SPI), megaknock, superknock or deto-knock. LSPI most commonly occurs at low speeds during a period of rapid acceleration. LSPI is believed to be caused by droplets or particles in the combustion chamber—combinations of fuel and oil—that ignite prior to spark, resulting in uncontrolled, abnormal combustion. This creates spikes in engine pressure, ultimately causing internal engine damage. In some cases, researchers reported that just a single LSPI event was sufficient to cause severe engine damage”. LSPI is ultimately caused by installing engine oil that is not high quality nor treated to prevent LSPI from occurring.

LSPI is common in modern engines, and those that are turbocharged, or are equipped with gasoline direct injection engines. There are multiple steps you can take to prevent LSPI from occurring in your vehicle. The first is choosing a high-quality motor oil that combats abnormal combustion. At EuroCar Service we only use high-quality oil with all of our oil change & filter services. Another way to prevent LSPI is to ensure you’re using the proper fuel for your vehicle. If you’re driving a European vehicle, it is likely your manufacturer calls for premium gasoline. This is one of the reasons you would want to opt for the recommended premium instead of regular gas.

Following your routine maintenance is the most important component of all. At most ASE certified automotive repair shops in the U.S. you can bring your vehicle in for an oil change, and they’ll perform a complimentary safety inspection. Though the range of what this inspection includes varies between shops, what stays consistent is your service advisor informing you of any services due by time or mileage. They’ll also recommend repairs that need to happen, and if they’re a good shop, they’ll help you work within your budget by informing you of what needs to be repaired or serviced now and what can wait.

At EuroCar Service, we take all these actions and then some. It is always important to us for our customers to avoid any possible repairs and to be safe on the road. We never want you to have to deal with sudden major engine damage repair, so make sure you make it in for your oil changes to help prevent the issue from occurring. As always give us a call with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

SAAB Maintenance

With SAAB not being manufactured anymore it is more important than ever to pay attention to the recommended SAAB maintenance. This will help keep your SAAB on the road for 200,000 miles and beyond! Here are some basic tips for maintaining your gorgeous vehicle.

Saab Maintenance I

Saab Maintenance I is performed when the change engine oil light comes on, within 10 months of the vehicle purchase, or 10 months from when Saab Maintenance II was performed. This service consists of the following:

·         Change engine oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles.

·         Visually check for SAAB leaks or damage that needs to be assessed

·         Rotate tires and check tire pressure, as well as tire wear to make sure it is spread evenly

·         Check engine coolant

·         Regularly inspect brake system

·         Check windshield washer fluid levels and top off

Saab Maintenance II

Saab Maintenance II is performed if the previous service was Maintenance I. Always use SAAB Maintenance II whenever the light comes on 10 months or more since your last service, or if the light has not come on at all for a year. This service consists of the following:

·         Everything Saab Maintenance I consists of

·         Inspect suspension and steering components

·         Inspect engine cooling system

·         Inspect wiper blades

·         Inspect restraint system components

·         Lubricate body components

·         Check/add transmission fluid level

Additional Saab Services for 2005-2009 Saab 9-7 Models

 25,000, 75,000 & 125,000 miles

·         Inspect fuel system for damage/leaks

·         Inspect exhaust system for loose or damaged components

50,000 & 150,000 miles

·         Everything included in the 25,000 miles additional services

·         Replace engine air filter

·         Change automatic transmission fluid and filter

·         Change transfer case fluid (automatic transfer case only)

100,000 miles

·         Everything included in the 50,000 miles additional services

·         Change automatic transmission fluid and filter

·         Replace spark plugs

·         Inspect spark plug wires (V8 engines only)

For pre-2005 models, ask our service advisor to assist you with a maintenance plan. We will do a thorough inspection of the vehicle, checking to see if it is up to date with its necessary services. If it is not, we will recommend which services are taken care of now, and which can wait if need be. This helps you budget while keeping your vehicle on the road avoiding surprise repairs. The maintenance plan will be similar to the one shown above. At EuroCar, you can rest assured that your SAAB is getting the best care possible. Our shop is equipped with specialized SAAB technicians, Automotive Service Excellence Master Technicians, and an industry leading warranty at 2 year/24,000 miles.