Why No Two Repairs Are Alike: Understanding the Differences in Repair Costs

Why No Two Repairs Are Alike:
Understanding the Differences in Repair Costs

It’s a warm summer day, so you turn on your car’s air conditioning only to discover it isn’t working. So, you make an appointment and find out the evaporator needs to be replaced. Your friend recently just had the same repair on their car—so why is the estimate so different?

The fact is, no two vehicles—or their repairs—are alike. 

Different Cars, Differences in Repairs

To understand why the same types of repairs can have widely varying costs, let’s take a closer look at the evaporator example. In one vehicle, the evaporator might be easy to access and replace. In another vehicle, the entire dashboard may need to be removed. Depending on how the unit itself is designed, we may also need to use specialized tools during the repair. This all adds to the cost of labor and the amount of time it takes to complete the repair. 

In addition, the part itself may cost more or less than the evaporator for your friend’s car. Parts for newer vehicles and foreign makes can cost considerably more than parts for an older car or domestic make. The more technologically complex a car is, the more the repairs are likely to cost. So, even though an evaporator replacement is essentially the same repair in any vehicle, the process required for the repair and the cost of the part can vary quite a bit. 

How Can You Be Sure You’re Getting a Fair Price?

If all vehicles and repairs were the same, it would be easy to do comparisons to ensure you’re being charged a fair price—but since repair costs vary, how can you know for sure you’re not being taken advantage of?

This is why it’s helpful to establish a lasting relationship with a reputable repair shop. The shop will know you and your vehicle, but more importantly, they’ll value keeping you as a long-term customer. Repair shops that are only interested in money don’t really care about customer retention, and because of that, they often suggest unnecessary services and inflate their prices. 

When you have a regular shop that’s worked on your vehicle for years, you have experience with them; you pretty much know what to expect when it comes to things like labor costs, parts prices, and warranty policies. 

No one enjoys paying a lot of money for auto repairs; fortunately, automakers have made significant strides in things like corrosion prevention and engine and powertrain technology. Newer vehicles can last longer than older models. One study in a major consumer magazine found that if you can keep your vehicle running for 200,000 miles (an average of 15 years), it can save you up to $30,000 or more on the cost of a new vehicle. When you look at it that way, investing in repairs makes a lot of sense!

Keep Your Car on the Road with EuroCar Service

At EuroCar Service, our goal is always to help you maximize the value and road life of your vehicle. Whether you need diagnostics, maintenance, or repairs, you can rely on our skilled team for quality auto care and honest recommendations. We see all European makes, including AudiBMWLand RoverMercedesMini CooperSaabVolkswagenVolvoSmart CarFiat, and Jaguar. Call us today at 206-527-8828 or request an appointment online.

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. 

The History of the Dashboard & Important Warning Lights to Watch For

The History of the Dashboard & Important Warning Lights to Watch For

Have you ever wondered why they call the part of your vehicle that sits behind the steering wheel the “dashboard?” It might surprise you to learn that the name comes from a time before cars were even invented. 

When people traveled by horse and buggy, the streets weren’t what they are today. Instead of smooth concrete or asphalt, the roads were rough and unpaved. It wasn’t unusual for mud and stones to get “dashed” (meaning knocked, thrown, or hurled) in the direction of the buggy. Because of this, carriage makers began installing a board to protect them—which became known as the dashboard. 

Eventually, the word carriage got shortened to car, and the dashboard was sometimes referred to as the “dash.” Today’s dashboards sit behind and below the windshield and are used to house a variety of controls and instruments. 

Modern Dashboards Have Become Essential

In addition to the speedometer, tachometer, and gas gauge, your instrument panel has warning lights that can alert you to a variety of issues. These are very important to pay attention to, as they can help you prevent breakdowns, damage to the various systems, and costly repairs. Here are a few of the most important dashboard warning lights to watch for:

Oil Pressure: Oil is essential; it keeps the moving parts of your engine well-lubricated, reduces friction on these parts that can lead to excessive wear and tear, and pulls heat away from the engine. When the oil pressure light comes on, it means there’s been a drop in oil pressure in the engine—so the parts aren’t getting the lubrication they need. Left too long, this can cause serious damage. Call your service advisor immediately and avoid driving until the issue has been resolved. 

Check Engine Light: If your check engine light is on, it means one or more sensors in your vehicle have detected an abnormal situation. This could be anything from a loose or faulty gas cap to a clogged sensor or severe engine misfires. Again, this should be checked out as soon as possible. Our technician will read the code stored in your vehicle to diagnose the issue. If the check engine light is flashing, this means the problem could cause serious damage—so don’t wait! Get it checked out right away. 

Brake Light: If this light is on, it could mean that you left your parking brake on, or there could be a more serious problem, like low brake fluid or hydraulic system issues. Check your parking brake first; if this isn’t on, and the light is on, make sure to get it diagnosed ASAP. 

Tire Pressure: Newer vehicles have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) built in that will tell you if any of your tires are under or overinflated. Both conditions are a problem. Underinflated tires can affect your ability to handle the vehicle and brake safely, while overinflated tires are more prone to damage from debris, potholes, and other road conditions. If the light is flashing, it means the tire pressure monitoring system itself needs attention. 

Of course, there are many more warning lights in your vehicle. If you see any of the following, it’s best to have your vehicle towed to our shop:

  • Oil light
  • Temperature light
  • Charging (Batt) light
  • Brake light

These warning lights indicate issues that could cause serious engine damage, or leave you stranded or with unsafe brakes. 

Visit EuroCar Service for Reliable Car Diagnostics

Although things were simpler back in the horse and buggy days, today’s dashboard warning lights can tell you many things about the complexities of modern vehicles. At EuroCar Service, we want to make sure your driving experience is trouble- and worry-free! We offer reliable diagnostics services for all European makes, including BMWAudiLand RoverMercedesMini-CooperSaabJaguarVolkswagenVolvoSmart Car, and Fiat! Call us today at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online.  

Trouble Accelerating? It May Be the Throttle Position Sensor

Trouble Accelerating? It May Be the Throttle Position Sensor

When you step on the accelerator pedal, you expect your vehicle to speed up—not slow down. If it doesn’t, you may have a problem with the throttle position sensor (TPS). 

What is the Throttle Position Sensor?

The TPS is a sensor that helps determine the right mixture of fuel and air in the engine. When the engine needs more air to accelerate, the throttle opens; it closes when you need less. The sensor is responsible for sensing the position of the throttle. It sends that information, along with airflow measurements, to your vehicle’s onboard computer. 

The computer takes a variety of factors, such as the airflow and how fast the engine is turning over to determine how much fuel the engine needs. When everything is working properly, you’ll have good fuel economy and the acceleration you’d expect. If the TPS fails, you might notice the following symptoms:

  • Poor acceleration
  • Reduced engine power 
  • Your vehicle accelerates on its own
  • The check engine light is on
  • Stalling
  • A rough or slow idle
  • Your vehicle won’t shift up

If you notice any of the above signs, it’s best to schedule an appointment soon. A faulty or failing TPS can be a serious safety issue. 

In the case of total TPS failure, most vehicles have what’s known as a “limp home” or “limp-in” mode. This is a security feature that’s activated when your vehicle’s computer detects an issue that could damage the engine. The less important features of your car will be switched off, and you’ll have reduced engine power and speed, but it’s enough to get you home or to the repair shop. 

Get Your TPS Repaired at EuroCar Service

Computers are an essential part of today’s vehicles, so it’s important to keep them—and the sensors that provide vital information—working properly. Our qualified technicians will diagnose and install the correct TPS replacement part. In some cases, it may also need to be reprogrammed, so it can work harmoniously with the other software in your vehicle. 

Whether you’re having acceleration issues or just need some general maintenance, EuroCar Service is here to keep your vehicle safe and reliable. We see all European makes, including AudiBMWMercedesLand RoverMini-CooperSmart CarVolvoSaabJaguarVolkswagen, and Fiat. Schedule an appointment today by calling (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online.  

Costs for BMW X3 Repairs & Maintenance 

At EuroCar Service, we are a leading European auto repair facility in Seattle. If you’ve come to this page, then you likely have a BMW X3, and you’re interested in learning more about how much it cost to repair and maintain this luxurious, German vehicle. Good news: You’re at the right place! 

BMWs are high-performance vehicles, designed for driving enthusiasts, and known for having sophisticated parts and technology that require specialized certification to repair properly. As such, BMW repair and maintenance can be quite pricey. 

In fact, it’s estimated that the annual cost to maintain a BMW X3 is around $630. Of course, this number could change depending on the specific repair and/or maintenance requirement. Additionally, the year of the car can alter both the part(s) and service fees. 

For example, a brake master cylinder replacement on a 2013 BMW X3 can average around $1217, while an oil pressure sensor replacement on a 2017 BMW X3 often runs $145. 

When it comes to BMW X3 service, repair, and maintenance, our ASE- and emission-certified professional technicians offer the following: 

  • Oil Pan Gasket Replacement 
  • Brake Caliper Replacement 
  • Engine or Transmission Mount Replacement 
  • Exterior Car Door Handle Replacement 
  • Ball Joint Replacement 
  • Headlight Bulb Replacement 
  • Oxygen Sensor Replacement 
  • Control Arm Assembly Replacement 
  • Oil Change
  • And More! 

If you’re not well versed in automobiles, especially luxurious German vehicles, then the list above may not mean too much to you. However, you can rely on our team to take good care of you. We guarantee your complete satisfaction. 

Are you currently experiencing an issue with your BMW X3? The best thing you can do for your vehicle is to give us a call. We’ll schedule a time to assess your car and determine the proper course of action to take. Remember, you can count on us! 

Contact EuroCar Service Now! 

At EuroCar Service, we have more than 20 years of experience in car maintenance and auto repair under one roof. Not only do we attend annual training sessions, allowing us to stay up to date on every make and model of European vehicles, but we also use the latest in specialty tools and equipment, ensuring you get the best service possible. So, contact us today by calling (206) 527-8828. We look forward to working with you.

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.

Can I take my BMW to any repair shop vs. a dealership?

Have you ever wondered where you should be taking your BMW for service and repair? If you’ve been confused as to whether you should go to a repair shop or a dealership, you’re not alone. Why not skip the high price of the dealership – you can trust that the Washington auto repair shop that will give you top-quality, personalized attention to detail is EuroCar Service!

As the owner, you have the right to take your vehicle anywhere you choose for BMW repairs. While you can take it to any repair shop, what’s most important is that you choose a reputable facility that has a track record of honest work. Choosing an independent repair shop over a dealership will save you money, but not if the repair isn’t completed properly! That’s why our customers consistently choose EuroCar Service.

For over three decades, we’ve been providing top-tier auto repair for the best auto brands, including Volvo, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, VW Volkswagen, Mini Cooper, and Saab. Our expert auto technicians are ASE- and emission-certified and our employees have over 20 years of total experience in the auto maintenance and repair industries. Can I take my BMW to any repair shop vs. a dealership?

We work hard to remain current and up-to-date on the constantly changing field of European vehicles, in order to consistently provide our customers and their vehicles with the most current technologies. By having the latest specialty tools, gas analyzers, electronic test equipment, in addition to an extensive online data library, we can perform any necessary type of European auto repair.

We also offer free shuttle services and loaner cars, affordable prices, and consistently friendly, efficient customer service. We’re typically done with our repairs in a single day, and we can even stamp your service manual to extend the validity of your warranty.

Contact us today! Our service advisors are always ready to answer your questions and provide you with an accurate repair quote.

What does the service engine light mean on a BMW? 

Have you ever been driving home in your trusty BMW, only to have your “Service Engine Soon” light ding and turn on? If you’ve wondered what exactly that light means and what you need to do about it, don’t worry! You’re not alone in this stressful situation.

To start with, there’s no need to panic! Basically, the car runs tests on itself all the time. You just have to take a look at what the problem is in order to figure out whether or not you can fix it yourself (and if you can’t, EuroCar Service is here to help with professional BMW repair!)

Check Engine Light
Fortunately, your BMW will provide you with cues and warning messages, depending on the situation. An amber-colored check engine light indicates a minor problem that might not even be affecting the way the car drives. A red-colored check engine light is far more serious and might indicate that driving your car in its current state could be dangerous or damaging. Lastly, if the check engine light is only half filled in, it means that the engine has put itself into “limp mode” in order to protect both you and the engine. This type of light can indicate a severe problem with your car and you should be sure to get it looked at right away.

Since we first opened in 1981, EuroCar Service has been providing top-tier auto repair to quality auto brands including Audi, Volvo, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, VW Volkswagen, Saab, and Mini Cooper. All of our technicians are ASE- and emission-certified and we have over 20 years of total experience in the auto maintenance and repair industries between all of our employees. If your service engine light is on, feel free to call upon our experienced service advisors for help. You can drop by the auto shop, call (206) 527-8828, or contact us online to schedule an appointment!

BMW Adds Alexa Assistant to their Line

BMW Adds Alexa Assistant to their LineBavarian Motor Works has announced that it is adding Alexa Voice Assistant to its 2018 line of BMW and MINI cars. Alexa, a cloud-based service that is voice activated, is powered by Amazon, the online retail giant who has recently expanded their scope of services to include Alexa voice-activated modules inside the homes of consumers. Meanwhile, auto manufacturers have been attempting to perfect voice-activated services for years. These previous voice activated assistants could be finicky and narrow in scope, but Alexa has a dazzling array of potential uses, from creating playlists to giving traffic updates. Amazon calls these uses “skills.” Alexa is said to have tens of thousands of existing skills already, with more added with each passing day.

Voice assistant modules like Alexa are increasing in popularity, and Alexa is one of the more popular services available. Others, like Google Home, have already been added to competing manufacturer’s models, including Mercedes Benz’s line of cars, which will also feature an Amazon Alexa module.

A Special Bond Between Alexa and BMW

But the Alexa features on the BMW line will be a class apart, with car-specific skills integrated. Drivers can use the app to check on the car’s tire pressure, fuel, or battery levels with a simple voice command. There’s also no need for drivers to use their phones while driving; Alexa features are integrated into BMW’s infotainment system, which was announced last year.

This system, which was first featured on the 5 series in 2017, features gesture activation, voice activation, and an iDrive knob, so that drivers can operate the system safely and without distraction. On the 5 series, the infotainment console features a 10.5” display with impressive responsiveness. By adding Amazon Alexa to their arsenal, the BMW group has created an infotainment package that is unmatched in its category, and it will be featured as a standard component in all 2018 BMW and MINI cars.