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.  

The Return of Land Rover’s Defender

Land Rover hasn’t made a Defender since 2016 and hasn’t sent one to the U.S. for more than 20 years. The much-anticipated relaunch is bold, boxy, and attempts to return the brand to its robust beginnings.

The first Land Rover models rolled off the line in 1948 and were decidedly uncivilized. There was only one model until 1989 when Land Rover manufactured the upscale Discovery and had to give its more rugged older sibling its own name.   

Off-Street Cred

While the Range Rover uses aluminum subframes, the new Defender incorporates forged steel units. Air suspension is all that is available now, though spring suspension should be ready to go in updated versions. The base price of $49,900 gets you all-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case, and adaptive damping. The First Edition upgrade for about an extra $10,000 includes LED lights, a panoramic roof, and Terrain Response which offers six settings to change steering, traction control, throttle response, and differential settings.

The turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder powertrain, the P400, churns out 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. When you combine that engine with the Explorer pack, the most deeply functional off-roading bundle which adds a snorkel, roof rack, gear carrier, and wheel arch protection for $4,800, you wind up with plenty of off-street cred.

Crawl, Dive, and Cross

The Defender can rock crawl, mud dive, and river cross with authority. Standing at six and a half feet tall, it’s air suspension handles every off-road obstacle, even at higher speeds. The wheelbase is about 119 inches, enough to feel comfortable in the cockpit but compact enough to be reliable on unstable terrain. The highly-trained staff at EuroCar Service, located in Seattle, is experienced and knowledgeable about all Land Rover vehicles and have worked on them since we began in 1981. We understand that you take great pride in owning high-performing, well-engineered vehicles from makers such as MercedesMINI, Volkswagen, Smart carSaabAudi, Fiat, and Volvo. When you want cutting edge procedures, top-rated customer service, and ASE-certified Master mechanics, contact us online or call 206-527-8828 today for the most dependable, accurate, and honest European vehicle service facility in Seattle!

Introducing the New Range Rover Velar

Land Rover Introducing the New Range Rover Velarhas finally rolled out the features list for the new Range Rover Velar. The 2018 model perfectly marries performance to luxurious design, creating a vehicle for the most discerning drivers.

The Velar continues the design strength started on the Range Rover line, bringing the traditional Range Rover floating roof and continuous waistline to the new model. Inside, luxurious seating, individual sliding arm rests, and adjustable mood lighting make it clear that this is a luxury vehicle. The Velar’s internal design features are supported by sleek technological upgrades, including a Sports Command Driving Position, Head-up Display, and two 10” high-definition touchscreens.

Some Other Velar Features

The Velar also features an interactive driving display, located behind the steering wheel in the driver’s side console. It’s the heart of the Velar’s infotainment system, featuring controls for entertainment, navigation, and driver’s assistance data. From here, the driver can control their phone, media, and driving aids. But the driver isn’t the only one given the royalty treatment; there is a console in each of the headrests, allowing rear seat passengers to have their own independently-controlled audio or media. Each passenger also gets a USB port, HDMI port, and mobile high-definition link for their phones, video game devices, or tablets.

Land Rover Going Above and Beyond

Land Rover has left nothing to chance with this new Velar, including safety of both drivers and passengers. Electronic air suspension, terrain response, advanced tow assist, and hill descent control are all standard. The 380hp V6 model also offers the option of active rear locking differential, helping drivers to navigate any terrain by controlling the slip between left and right wheels along the rear axle. Land Rover is also using the latest in autonomous driving technologies to increase safety, offering Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Parking Aid, and Cruise Control with Speed Limiter. Optional packages include a blind spot monitor, reverse traffic detection, and park assist.

The Velar is available now at your local Land Rover dealership, or you can build your own at landroverusa.com.

Land Rover Named Best in Total Quality

Land Rover Named Best in Total QualityLand Rover has scored a major win in the 2017 Strategic Vision Total Quality Impact report. Their Range Rover Evoque was awarded the highest Total Quality award in the Near-Luxury Utility segment.

The Range Rover Evoque’s interior styling, image, climate control system, and engineering were recognized. For the award, millennial buyers were surveyed on their reaction to the Evoque. They said that they loved the feeling of owning a Land Rover, and were proud of owning a Range Rover Evoque, specifically.

Over 42,000 vehicle owners were surveyed in 2016. The research was conducted over the first three months of vehicle ownership, resulting in a holistic measure of the experience of car buying, driving, and early ownership experience. The Total Quality award encompasses factors such as driving experience, reliability, quality control, and other emotional responses, both positive and negative.

The award comes hot on the tails of one of Land Rover’s most successful quarters. Jaguar Land Rover North America sales are up 19% this year, with the brand moving over 5,760 units in June alone.

The Range Rover Evoque model range includes the Range Rover Evoque Five-Door, Range Rover Evoque Coupe and Range Rover Evoque Convertible. All feature bold styling, spacious interiors, and all-terrain capabilities. Starting with the 2017 model year, innovative driver assistance features have been added, such as All-Terrain Progress Control, All-Terrain Info Center, InControl Touch Pro™ and InControl Apps. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $41,800.

President & CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC Joe Eberhardt remains committed to innovation.

“In a few short years, the Range Rover Evoque has become a highly regarded luxury vehicle, known for its dramatic design and luxury appointments,” he said. “To win the Total Quality award confirms that our customers also love it for its features, workmanship and the overall ownership experience.”

The Range Rover Sport Tour of Wales and Cotswolds

In order to showcase the performance and capability of the Range Rover Sport, the Land Rover team chose several of the areas nearby that could give them the views and the stage in which to express what this amazing SUV could do. As one of the most comfortable luxury brands on the road and on the trails, Range Rover offered a look to anyone in the areas it visited with the Sport model while also capturing the adventurous fun of the travels.range rover sport feature

Around the area the Range Rover Sport travelled to Eastnor Castle, Caban Coch Reservoir, Brecon Beacons, Cotswolds and Sezincote House. These five locations gave the Land Rover team a great way to showcase what this impressive SUV could do on an off the road. Some of these areas were high class luxury establishments where the Land Rover name carried clout and fit in perfectly. Of course, other areas were dense with trails and tested the wares of the 4WD system of the Range Rover Sport and what it could actually do in the wilderness.

Everywhere the Range Rover Sport went it was considered one of the most capable and impressive vehicles in the area to give the look and feel of dominance on and off the road. The team from Land Rover collected some amazing photos of their travels and came back with some new friends and an experience that’s unmatched by any other vehicle on the current market.

Land Rover Velar Officially Revealed

A couple weeks ago, we wrote about the potential for a new Land Rover vehicle being unveiled at this year’s Geneva Auto Show. That vehicle, the brand new Velar, has been officially released now, and it is more stunning, advanced, and supercharged than expected. The automaker has released a “teaser” of the 45 minute documentary dedicated to the design and build of the Velar.

The full length doc won’t be available until this summer, but you can watch the 15 minute condensed version below.

Check out the luxury ride yourself.