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.  

Mild Changes for New Volvo 90s

Why mess with success? Volvo is updating The 90 series of sedans and wagons with a minimal number of appearance and mechanical changes for 2021.  

The biggest change is the availability of a mild-hybrid system, a sort of hybrid-hybrid. It is a belt-driven motor-generator that recovers energy from braking that is then stored for later use. This energy aids the engine and is used during starting. Volvo says that it will increase energy savings by up to 15 percent.

Volvo is also changing the name of the plug-in hybrid models from Twin Engine to Recharge to make them consistent with its only fully electric model, the XC40 Recharge. 

The traditionally powered T6 will continue to pump out 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The T8 Twin Engine will remain a beefy 400 hp and 472 lb-ft. 

Not So Very Different

Changes inside and out are pretty minor. An improved audio system upgrades the amplifier and noise cancellation. The air purifier has a sensor so you can check out air quality on the infotainment screen. New USB charging ports supplant existing 12-volt outlets at the rear. Also available is wireless charging for mobile devices. Exterior modifications include newly-designed lower front facias on all the 90s and updated taillights on the V90 and V90 Cross Country. 

Staying Up-To-Date 

The dynamic, rocket-speed of change for European automakers demand that you find an expert you can trust with for your high performing car. 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 Volvo, VolkswagenAudi, BMW, Land Rover, MercedesMINI, SAAB, Smart car, or Fiat

Our high level of customer service is only exceeded by the training and experience of ASE Certified master mechanics. We are conveniently open Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 5:30 and will even provide free shuttle service and loaner cars for our Seattle customers. Schedule an appointment online or call 206-527-8828 today to join the EuroCar Service family!

Volvo Implements Blockchain Technology

Most people have images of anonymously owned bitcoin floating around in a vague virtual universe when they think of blockchain technology. But at the heart of this technology is the ability to establish transparent and reliable shared data that is unalterable. This makes it perfect for reliably tracing raw materials as they make their way through the supply chain.

In a bid to more responsibly source possibly harmful material, Volvo is implanting blockchain technology in the production and use of cobalt for the lithium-ion batteries in its first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge.

Volvo has reached an agreement with its two global battery suppliers, CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea. Leading global blockchain technology firms Ciculor and Oracle will begin tracing cobalt this year. The program was successfully piloted earlier this summer with CATL and Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), RCS Global, and IBM will work together to roll out the technology in LG Chem’s supply chain.

What Is Blockchain?

Essentially, blockchain is a digital ledger that contains a list of records linked to each other via cryptography. In supply chains, this technology creates records of transactions that can’t be changed. It also enforces a common set of rules for what data can be recorded, allowing participants to verify and audit transactions independently. For Volvo, data includes the cobalt’s origin, attributes such as weight and size, the chain of custody, and information establishing that participants’ behavior is consistent with supply chain guidelines.

This is part of Volvo’s broader, ambitious plan to address climate change, which includes radical reduction of carbon emissions by 40 percent per vehicle by 2025 and further commitment to ethical energy practices across its supply chain. Another way to ensure you are adding less carbon to the atmosphere is to make sure your car is operating at maximum efficiency. EuroCar Service, located in Seattle, WA, will make sure your European car runs like it just came off the production line. We also service Audi, Land Rover, Mercedes, MINI, Volkswagen, 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. 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!

Volvo Introduces the Highly Customizable XC40

Volvo Introduces the Highly Customizable XC40Volvo first hinted at the release of their XC40 in May 2016, with the unveiling of their 40.1 concept car. Now, the automaker says the XC40 will soon see its release, with a bevy of customizable options that will blow those of most competitors out of the water.

Volvo will be releasing a far-broader range of color options than normal for both the vehicle’s interior and exterior. In addition to solid color options, buyers will be able select two-tone options, customizing both the body and the roof. Monochromatic shades will also be available.

Interior options will also be wide-ranging. Drivers can select a lava orange carpet with red oxide trim, and from different colors for the door inserts and headliners. Volvo says it was inspired by pop-culture and street art, and it shows in the bright colors and bold design of the XC40.

The XC40 joins other compact car designs in Volvo’s current line. The line is built on the CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform developed in cooperation with parent company Geely, who uses the platform on their Lynk & Co brand. This modular design system allows designers to fit powertrains, electrical systems and technologies of varying complexity onto the same base, streamlining and simplifying both the design and manufacturing process. The CMA is already revolutionizing Volvo’s designs, and will enable them to replace every car in their line-up over the next four years and double their sales volume to around 800,000 cars a year. These vehicles will be sold globally, and will be manufactured in a plant in Belgium.

The XC40 will go on sale in 2018, as a 2019 model. It joins the S40 sedan and V40 hatchback. The XC40 is Volvo’s planned rival for the the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Cadillac XT4, Infiniti QX30, Lexus UX and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Volvo Introduces the EV, Its First All-Electric Vehicle

Following in the footsteps of Chevrolet with their Bolt EV, which offers a yet-unmatched 200 miles of range for $36,000, Volvo is releasing their own competitor to the electrical car market. Their EV will go on sale in 2019, joining Chevrolet, as well as Tesla (who plans to release the entry-level Model 3) and Nissan (who are planning a new Nissan Leaf). Volvo promises that their first all-electric vehicle will achieve a 250-mile range, and will retail for $35,000 and $40,000–threatening to eat into Chevrolet’s substantial market share.

Volvo’s Affordable Electric Vehicle

Volvo Introduces the EV, Its First All-Electric Vehicle

As of yet, no other auto manufacturers are planning to release an electrical vehicle in this price range. Jaguar and BMW are both busy with plans for the I-PACE and the i3, respectively, but the I-PACE will retail for $60,000, making it out of reach for many entry-level consumers, and the i3 is not expected to reach a competitive mile range, though it will retail in the low $40,000 price bracket.

Volvo Has The Fully Electric Car With Range

But Volvo CEO Lex Kressemakers sees the Volvo EV’s 250-mile range to be key to its future success.

“That’s what I put in as the prerequisite for the United States,” Kerssemakers said. “If I want to make a point in the United States, if I want to make volumes, that’s what I believe I need. Why are people reluctant to buy a full electric car? It’s between the ears. It’s that they believe there’s not sufficient range.”

The new Volvo EV will likely be modeled after the S40 sedan, as hinted by the 40.2 concept car they debuted last year. They may also release a compact crossover variant, as hinted by the 40.1 concept car. This would be modeled on the next generation XC40, and would allow the brand to be competitive with Tesla’s upcoming Model Y.

Volvo’s EV will be the brand’s attempt to cash in on the growing luxury EV market. These manufacturers seek to expand hybrid and all-electric models while keeping abreast of the complex legal regulations that surround alternative fuel vehicles.