What is Fuel Injector Cleaning?

What is Fuel Injector Cleaning?

Are you looking for ways to save money at the gas pump? One of the most common issues we see with fuel economy is clogged fuel injectors. When the fuel injectors get blocked by carbon deposits and debris, it can cause your vehicle to use more fuel than it used to. Fortunately, fuel injector cleaning is generally all that’s needed to get your vehicle’s mileage back on track. 

What Are Fuel Injectors, and What Does Fuel Injection Cleaning Entail?

Fuel injectors are components that send fuel from the gas tank into the engine. The injectors atomize the fuel and then force it directly into the combustion chamber at the precise time in the combustion cycle. This process happens thousands of times a minute. Over time, high temperatures under the hood and variations in fuel quality can cause the injectors to collect wax, dirt, water, additives, and carbon. This can cause them to become partially clogged, which prevents them from being able to deliver the right amount of fuel at the proper pressure. 

When your vehicle’s fuel injectors are dirty, it causes the fuel to burn less efficiently, leading to a loss of power and poor fuel economy. Some other signs that can indicate when it’s time to have your fuel injectors serviced include:

  • Rough idling
  • Engine misfires
  • Engine vibration
  • The check engine light is on
  • Fuel leaks
  • A smell
  • Engine surges

If your fuel injectors are completely clogged, there’s a chance your engine won’t start at all. 

During your fuel injection service, our technicians will inspect the various components associated with the fuel injection system, including the system’s connections, vacuum lines, pressure regulator, and fuel rail. We’ll also clean the fuel injectors, so they operate perfectly and deliver the ideal amount of fuel for your engine. Although it can vary based on your make and model, fuel injector cleaning is typically recommended every 36-48 months or around every 45,000 miles. 

Keep Your Engine Performing its Best with Fuel Injection Cleaning 

For an engine to perform well, it needs a carefully balanced mix of fuel and air. If the injectors become clogged, it can disrupt the ratio of the mixture and affect the combustion process, resulting in issues with starting your engine, drivability, performance, and gas mileage. At EuroCar Service, we use state-of-the-art equipment and cleaners during our fuel injection services to restore your engine’s performance and fuel economy. We specialize in all European vehicles, including BMWAudiLand RoverMercedesMini-CooperSaabJaguarVolkswagenVolvoSmart Car, and Fiat! Call us today at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online. 

What is Differential Service—And Do You Need It?

What is Differential Service – And Do You Need It?

When you drive around a corner in your car, the outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to travel than the inside wheels. Because of this, the outer wheels need to spin at a faster speed to keep pace with the inner wheels. The component that makes this possible is called the differential. The differential essentially allows your wheels to travel at different speeds without binding or hopping while transferring power from the engine

If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is on the rear axle; for front-wheel drive vehicles, the differential function is handled by the transaxle. All-wheel drive vehicles have differentials on both axles, as well as a center differential or a transfer case. This allows compensation between the front and the rear axles. 

Why Differential Service is Important

Since all the power of the engine is transferred through the differential(s), they’re very strong and built to last a long time. However, like other components in your vehicle, your differential needs to be serviced in order to perform its best.   

Like engines, differentials use oil to keep the internal gears lubricated and reduce friction that can cause excessive wear or heat. However, differential oil is much thicker than engine oil. It needs to be changed at regular intervals because the oil will become thin and contaminated over time. If the oil isn’t changed, the differential will start to have metal-on-metal contact, which will wear out its gears. 

What’s Involved in a Differential Service?

During a differential service, your technician will drain the old differential fluid and replace it with new fluid. They’ll also inspect the u-joints, which connect your drive shaft to the differential. In some cases, we may recommend servicing these as well. 

The interval for differential service can vary based on your vehicle, its mileage, and your typical driving conditions, but it’s generally around every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. However, if you frequently drive on dirt roads or other dusty conditions, it may need to be changed more frequently. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations on your car, or ask your service advisor. 

Differential Replacement

Although differentials last a long time, they’ll eventually wear out and need to be replaced. A failing differential isn’t something you want to ignore—it can freeze up while you’re driving and cause you to lose control or damage other parts of your vehicle, like the axle, driveshaft, or transmission. Some common signs your differential needs to be repaired or replaced include:

  • Excessive engine oil consumption
  • Reduce handling around corners 
  • Difficulty steering
  • Noises like grinding gears, clunking, whining, or howling
  • Sidewall or out tire damage
  • Vibrations that increase as you speed up

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs or you’re due for a differential service, contact the pros at EuroCar Service. We specialize in all European makes, including BMWAudiLand RoverMercedesMini-CooperSaabJaguarVolkswagenVolvoSmart Car, and Fiat! Call us today at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online. 

What is a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin)?

You probably know what a USB is, but have you ever heard of a TSB?

“TSB” stands for “Technical Service Bulletin”. After a new vehicle has been introduced and driven in the real world by actual consumers, certain design flaws or weaknesses that weren’t discovered during the design and engineering process are revealed. When this happens, automakers send out TSBs. Although they’re generally released when a vehicle is in its first model year, TSBs can be issued at any time as issues are discovered.

While these can be used to alert consumers, their main purpose is to let auto technicians know about problems to watch for. TSBs can be issued for a variety of flaws, including loud noises while the vehicle is turning or a power door that doesn’t close properly.

TSBs vs. Recalls

One important distinction about TSBs is that they’re not the same as a recall. Recalls are made when it’s discovered that a vehicle has some sort of defect that produces illegal emissions or could injure drivers and their passengers. With a recall, the manufacturer has to pay for the safety-related defect to be repaired, usually at a dealership.

When a TSB is issued, however, it’s essentially an acknowledgment that the vehicle’s manufacturer has noticed a pattern of something not working the way it should on a particular model. In a TSB, manufacturers will also suggest the proper way to repair these known issues. The cost for a repair listed in a TSB will usually only be covered by the manufacturer if the car is still under warranty.

If a problem with a vehicle is particularly widespread, the manufacturer may also send out an “Owner Notification” letter. When this happens, they generally have a good idea of the VIN numbers that are affected by the defects. Owner notifications will have time and mileage restrictions, and in some cases, these may extend beyond the warranty period. If your car isn’t covered by a warranty anymore, but a TSB has been issued for it, you can bring your vehicle to any service facility to have the problem repaired.

How to Find Out if Your Car Has a TSB

You can find out whether your car has had a TSB issued for free by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Institute’s Safety Issues & Recalls page. There, you can look up general safety issues and recalls by entering your car’s year, make, and model or searching your VIN. Or, feel free to ask your service advisor about any TSBs that may have been issued for your vehicle.

Although the issue that led to the release of a TSB may not pose any safety risks, it’s still a good idea to have it repaired, especially if your car is still under warranty. If you wait, it could affect the functionality of your vehicle, or lead to a more expensive repair. TSBs guide our technicians on the best repair procedure to get everything in your car working as it should.

At EuroCar Service, we’re committed to maintaining your car’s performance, safety, and fuel economy. We specialize in all European makes, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Fiat, Mini-Cooper, Smart Car, Volvo, Volkswagen, Jaguar, and Saab. To find out if a TSB has been issued for your vehicle, or schedule an appointment, call us today at 206-527-8828 or contact us online.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair a BMW?

If you’ve landed on this page, then you likely already own a BMW, or you’re considering buying one and want to know how much money this luxury, German vehicle could actually cost you. You came to the right place. 

As with any type of automobile, a BMW will require you to change the car’s oil, timing belts, air filters, brakes, and possibly the transmission and engine over time. Of course, the make and model of the BMW, as well as the year, will better determine the specific amount of money you’re spending on repairs. 

However, in general, you can expect to spend between $135 and $175 per oil change for your BMW. When you pay a professional to replace the vehicle’s timing belts, expect to spend between $400 and $900. Again, because we’re talking about a luxury vehicle, parts and labor tend to run more. A cabin air filter change generally runs between $30 and $70, while new brakes cost anywhere between $150 and $300 per axle. 

What About More Significant Repairs

Bigger repairs and replacements, such as those involving the transmission or engine will put a much bigger dent in your wallet or purse. 

For example, the cost of a new BMW transmission could be over $3500, again, depending on the particular type of automobile you own. Engines are typically priced between $3000 and $5000. 

Depending on the repair or repairs that you may need done on your BMW, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a new car. By the time you pay for parts and labor, as well as a rental car while you’re waiting for your vehicle to get out of the shop, it may make more sense to simply buy new. 

Contact EuroCar Service Now! 

If you need BMW repair, contact EuroCar Service now by calling (206) 527-8828. With decades of experience, you can trust us to provide convenient, affordable, and fast service. Our team looks forward to hearing from you. We’ll have you back on the road in no time!

Are BMWs Expensive to Repair? 

If you’ve landed on this page, then you likely own a BMW or are considering purchasing one. Either way, you’re curious to know whether or not it’s expensive to repair the luxurious, German vehicle—and you came to the right place to get this information. We are a leading European auto repair facility in Seattle. 

Simply put, at EuroCar Service, we are here for you! 

In a word, yes, it can be quite expensive to repair a BMW. Of course, myriad factors go into just how expensive the BMW repair can be, including the year, make, and model of the car, as well as the specific type of repair that is needed. 

As mentioned, BMWs are luxurious, high-performance vehicles, but that’s not the only reason as to why parts, repair, and maintenance can add up, putting a dent in your wallet or purse. For starters, the automobile is designed for driving enthusiasts, not just a method to get around town. BMWs are known for having sophisticated parts and technology that require specialized certification to repair properly. 

For example, a simple task like changing the battery can cost upward of $400, as the mechanic has to register the battery to the engine control module. If this doesn’t occur, the car won’t understand how to charge the battery, leading to it dying prematurely.  

Additionally, Genuine Parts, parts that were originally installed during the production of the vehicle, are pricey. You may have the option of using different parts, however, Genuine Parts will allow you to keep the car original. Further, these parts are always guaranteed to be compatible. 

OEM Parts and Aftermarket Parts are available at a cheaper price but are less reliable. 

To give you more of an accurate estimate of how much a BMW repair can cost, we want to know what particular issues you’re experiencing with your car.

So, do you have a BMW that requires repairing? At your convenience, reach out to our team and tell us what we can do for you. 

Contact EuroCar Service Today! 

With more than 20 years of experience, our ASE- and emission-certified professional technicians are here to handle all of your BMW repair needs. Contact us today by calling (206) 527-8828. We look forward to servicing your automobile.

Do You Have a Bad Battery—or a Failing Alternator?

If your vehicle doesn’t start or only stays on for a few minutes at a time, you might think you have a problem with the battery. Although that could be the issue, it’s also possible that the culprit could be the alternator.

The alternator sends power to your vehicle’s electrical systems and accessories, like the entertainment system and charging ports. Any extra energy that’s left over goes to re-charging the battery. Think of it this way: the battery is what starts the engine and the alternator is what provides the power. If your alternator is failing, though, it may not be able to keep the battery charged.

Common Signs of a Failing Alternator

When an alternator starts to fail, it can cause a number of electrical issues. Here are seven common signs to look for:

  1. Dim or overly bright lights. Failing alternators aren’t able to provide consistent voltage to electronic features, so it’s very common for the headlights to look too dim or too bright. You might also notice flickering lights or lights that switch from dim to bright (or vice-versa) erratically.
  1. Dead battery. A dead battery isn’t necessarily a sign of alternator issues; the battery could be nearing the end of its life, especially if it’s older. Or, you may have accidentally left your headlights on overnight. Other times, though, a dead battery can be a sign that your alternator is failing or malfunctioning.

A faulty alternator won’t be able to fully charge the battery while the engine is running, so the battery’s charge will run out faster than it normally would. To test whether it’s the battery or an alternator issue, try jumpstarting the car. If it starts up and continues to run, you’ll likely need to replace the battery soon. If the car dies soon after jumpstarting it, your battery likely isn’t getting enough power from the alternator.

  1. Trouble starting your car or frequent stalling. These are very common signs that the alternator is failing to charge the battery. If you try to start your engine, you may find that all you hear is some clicking. However, if your car stalls frequently when you’re out on the road, your spark plugs may not be getting enough power to keep the engine running.
  1. Malfunctioning accessories. If the alternator isn’t able to supply enough power to the electrical components, you may notice a number of them working slowly or malfunctioning. For example, it may take longer than usual for your windows to roll up or down. Many modern vehicles will cut off power to non-essential accessories if the alternator isn’t supplying enough electricity; this ensures things like the radio will go out before the brake lights or headlights will.
  1. Growling or whining sounds. If you hear a growling or whining noise coming from under the hood, the alternator could have a misaligned belt, or the belt could be rubbing on the side of the alternator’s pulley. This sound can also indicate that the rotor shaft bearings are going bad.
  1. Burning smells. The alternator’s drive belt is under constant tension and friction; it’s also located close to the heat of the engine. When this part starts to become worn and broken down, it can cause an unpleasant burning smell. Likewise, if the alternator is overworked or has damaged wiring, it can smell like an electrical fire.
  1. An illuminated battery warning light. The dashboard battery warning light can indicate a problem with the electrical system, including the alternator. If the alternator’s voltage is below or above what it needs to function correctly (generally between 13-14.5 volts), it can cause the battery warning light to come on. When this happens, you may see the battery warning light flicker on and off as the electrical load on your vehicle changes.

Don’t Get Stranded on the Side of the Road! Visit EuroCar Service for Quality Alternator Repair

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, it’s best to have your vehicle checked as soon as possible. Alternator—and battery—issues can leave you stranded on the side of the road. If your alternator needs to be replaced, you should also replace the serpentine belt that turns it, and the belt tensioner as well. If the alternator isn’t rotating as it should, the belt that turns it won’t move freely—and that can cause excessive belt wear.

EuroCar Service offers comprehensive repairs and maintenance for all European vehicles, including Land Rover, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mini-Cooper, Saab, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Volvo, Smart Car, and Fiat. Call us today at 206-527-8828 or request an appointment online.

Do You Need to Follow the Severe Service Schedule?

Did you know your vehicle has two service schedules? There’s the regular service schedule (which most drivers are familiar with) and a severe service schedule. The severe service schedule has lower distance and time intervals than the regular service schedule.

Many drivers don’t think the severe service schedule applies to them because they don’t consider their driving conditions to be severe or extreme—but rather just normal, everyday driving. However, the guidelines for severe driving conditions might surprise you! Here are some of the conditions that classify as severe:

  • Most of your trips are four miles or less
  • Frequent idling for long periods of time, like during stop-and-go driving in heavy traffic
  • Driving at low speeds most of the time (under 55 mph)
  • Sustained highway driving in hot weather
  • Operating your vehicle in dusty conditions, such as gravel or dirt roads
  • Prolonged operation at sub-zero temperatures
  • Regularly driving on steep hills or mountains
  • Towing a trailer, regularly carrying heavy loads, or carrying a car-top carrier

Surprisingly, most of us drive under severe conditions at least some of the time!

How Do I Know Which Service Schedule to Follow?

If you drive under severe conditions regularly, it’s best to follow the severe service schedule. But for most drivers, it’s a little harder to know which service schedule to follow.

One way to help you decide is to consider both the ideal driving conditions (moderate temperatures, all trips are longer than 4 miles, freeway miles only) and the severe driving conditions. Now, think about how you drive, how much you drive, and where you go. Do your driving habits and conditions fit closer to ideal or severe?

If the regular maintenance schedule recommends an oil change every 5,000 miles, the severe schedule recommends 3,000 miles, and you fall in the center of the driving conditions, then getting an oil change at the 4,000-mile mark may be a good compromise. Talk to our service advisors about your driving conditions—they’d be happy to help you figure out the best service schedule for your vehicle!

Learning why a vehicle may need more frequent service can also help determine a maintenance schedule. For example, your vehicle’s fluids deplete more rapidly from high temperatures. This can include heat from the air temperature, but also the extra heat generated by the transmission during stop-and-go driving. Towing a trailer or carrying heavy loads also generates more heat. So, if you’re regularly driving under these conditions, the fluids must be replaced more often to retain their efficacy.

The Best Service Schedule for Your Vehicle

Whether you drive under regular conditions or severe, the skilled ASE-certified technicians here at EuroCar Service will work with you to determine the best service schedule for your car. We see all European makes and models, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Fiat, Smart Car, Mini-Cooper, Saab, Jaguar, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Give us a call today at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online.

Another Mystery Solved at EuroCar Service

A day in the life of a EuroCar Service mechanic in Seattle may not seem like the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. After all, we have more rain than fog. We use different tools. No one wears a deerstalker cap. But there are some similarities.

First off, most times folks bring their car to us, they have a mystery on their hands. They don’t what’s happened, they only know that something is wrong. Maybe a warning light popped on. Or, it’s running poorly or making a funny sound. Because a car is made up of many complex systems, it’s challenging to figure out why a particular symptom or set of symptoms are happening.

Once you bring your car in, each case begins the same – with an interview. You tell us what’s going on, and we narrow it down based on clues. A typical interview might begin with a complaint about an odd sound coming from the front right wheel.

“What kind of sound?”

“A clunk, clunk sound”

“When do you hear it?”

“When I turn and accelerate.”

Right and left turns? When you’re going forward? How about in reverse? On and on until we have the information we need to dive in like Sherlock and track down the culprit.

The more specific you are, the more quickly we can find out what’s wrong. If there’s a leak, for example, tell us the color of the fluid and where the puddle is forming under the vehicle. Rather than telling us your car’s been “sputtering,” give us detailed information. For example, “It stalls after it’s been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 mph.”

Because we’re Seattle’s experts on Audis, BMWs, Fiats, Land Rovers, Jaguars, Mercedes, MINIs, Saabs, Smart Cars, Volkswagens, Volvos, and more, we will be able to sift through these clues and narrow down the list of suspects.

Then we can get to work fixing the problem so we can get you back on the road and back to your life. For us, it’s another mystery solved, and we’re on to the next case. The Feverish Fiat. The Misaligned Mercedes. You get the idea.

Getting to the bottom of what’s wrong with your car and giving you high-quality repairs is hard work. But it’s also satisfying. That’s why we’ve remained committed to cutting edge automobile service for over 40 years. In addition to the latest in specialty tools and electronic test equipment, we also provide free shuttle service and loaner cars to all our Seattle clients. For dependable, accurate, and honest automobile service, call EuroCar Service at 206-527-8828 or schedule your appointment online today!

FCA discontinues the Fiat 500 in North America

FCA Discontinues The Fiat 500

The Fiat 500, the diminutive Italian hatch that showed up in North America in 2011 (signaling the return of Fiat to the U.S.) will no longer be sold here. Citing flagging sales, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced it is ending production of the car that brought Fiat back to American shores less than a decade ago.

Though Fiat will continue to offer the 500X crossover, the five-passenger 500L, and the Spider 124, built at its North American plant in Toluca, Mexico, the move leaves the future of Fiat in uncertainty.

The 500 saw declining sales in each of the last five years. Last year, sales were down a whopping 25%, though it remained Fiat’s top-selling vehicle.

The Reasoning

The main trouble that Fiat is running into is one that all makers of small cars face in North America right now. Buyers just don’t want them. In a separate announcement, FCA stated that it would end production of the compact Dodge Dart and mid-size Chrysler 200. It will instead put its resources into SUVs and trucks, vehicles that are in the highest demand in the U.S. market. Ford and General Motors have followed with cuts to their small and mid-size sedans as well.

Fiat pulled out of the American market in the 1990s due to limited demand. The 2008 recession inspired buyers to rethink their habits, giving Fiat a market opening that gave them solid early returns on their investment. They sold 43,772 vehicles their first full year after returning in 2011. But improved economic conditions have once again made small cars unappealing to U.S. consumers, and sales declined every year after. Fiat sold just 15,521 cars in 2018. Despite dynamic market factors, we are still committed to providing you with cutting edge procedures for the service and maintenance of your Fiat, Mercedes, VolvoAudi, BMW, Land Rover, MINI, SAAB, or Smart car that you demand and deserve. We know you take great pride in owning a high-performing, well-engineered vehicle. That’s why you should bring your car to the shop that Expertise has called one of the Best Auto Shops in Seattle. For dependable, accurate, honest car repair, contact EuroCar Service online or call 206-527-8828 or today! 

Volkswagen Arteon: Nearly Safe and Stylish Enough

Long, lean, and lithe, the 2019 Arteon earns high marks on style and safety—though not the highest on either. While Car and Driver calls the new Arteon “gorgeous,” Motor Trend says it’s “more pleasing” than sedans produced by Toyota or Nissan, but does not have the performance and styling of the high-end makers that the $36,840 to $47,705 price tag will have to compete with.

The Arteon, which is replacing Volkswagen’s struggling CC, just missed being named a Top Safety Pick. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage from motor vehicle crashes. IIHS gave the Arteon a “good” rating on frontal crash, side crash, roof strength, head restraints, front crash prevention, and latch evaluation. That is excellent news for the manufacturer and anyone riding in the vehicle!

The Drawbacks

Unfortunately, all three of the Arteon’s headlight configurations received poor ratings. These LED projector headlights offered on the SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trim were rated as poor for different reasons. On the SE trim, the lights didn’t project far enough forward or well enough on the right. On the SEL and SEL Premium, the low beams were penalized for excessive glare. 

Maybe that sounds unfair since the car is structurally safe, but cars must earn good ratings in all areas to be a Top Safety Pick. There is a good reason for this. IIHS reports that nearly half of all fatal crashes occur in the dark—so, Volkswagen needs to work a little hard to be considered safe and stylish! We can’t do much about the stylishness of your Volkswagen Arteon or other European automobiles, but we can make sure it is as safe and efficient as possible. EuroCar Service has been your dependable, accurate and honest state-of-the-art service facility in Seattle since 1981.  We are committed to high-quality workmanship for your MercedesVolvoAudi, BMW, Land RoverMINI, SAAB, Smart car, or Fiat. Our high level of customer service is only exceeded by the training and experience of our ASE Certified master mechanics. We provide free shuttle service and loaner cars for our Seattle customers and are conveniently open Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 5:30. Join the EuroCar Service family by scheduling an appointment online or calling 206-527-8828 today!