Frequently Asked Questions:
Does it make sense to repair my car or just buy a new one?
This is one of the most common questions we get from customers. It is less expensive to maintain almost any car than to replace it with a new one. Whether purchased outright or financed, all new vehicles depreciate most in the first 5 years. So it makes the most sense to keep a new car for as long as you enjoy driving it. German cars are built to last and to be enjoyed. When properly maintained, your German car will continue to perform well after 200,000 miles.
How often should I change my oil?
Although fully synthetic oils are much better and newer engines make less pollution than older ones, it is still wise to service your oil regularly. We suggest every to 5,000 - 7,500 miles. It is proven that regular trips to the mechanic will help to avoid a costly breakdown due to preventative maintenance. It also is known that having regular maintenance records greatly improves the resale value of your vehicle.
Why do my rotors need to be replaced?
Rotors are either below minimum or there is a lip on the rotor, which causes excessive noise or squeaking and will wear down brake pads at a faster pace. Worn brake pads can result in a loud squeaking or grinding noise while driving, especially at low speeds. Replacing your brake pads early may prevent the brake rotors from being worn or damaged beyond repair. The brake rotor is a metal disc that is mounted to the hub of each equipped wheel. When the brakes are applied, the brake pads are forced against the brake rotor.
Do you accept extended warranty or service contracts?
Yes, we will be glad to perform work covered by your extended service contract or warranty. We will review your coverage; obtain the necessary approvals and process required.
What about the maintenance extension?
Since the late 90s, BMW has been offering free scheduled maintenance after the purchase of their vehicles. More recently, BMW has been selling an extension to this free indicated service.
Some problems arise with this due to the conflicting interests between BMW Corporate and the Authorized U.S. Dealers. Often the dealer sells the maintenance extension at a price well over the manufacturer's suggested price. Just like during the initial maintenance period, the manufacturer is trying to minimize its costs and your costs and will only do maintenance that is indicated or scheduled. The dealer, not wanting to miss an opportunity to generate revenue and meet their quotas, will be looking to sell you services or repairs not covered by the extension.
This maintenance extension should not be confused with a warranty; unlike the initial warranty, it simply extends the "free scheduled maintenance" period. It covers only front and rear brake pads, front and rear brake rotors, brake wear sensors, external drive belts, oil service, air filter, micro filter, wiper blade inserts, and brake fluid flush. Depending on the vehicle and program, what will be performed during that period varies, however. In most cases, the vehicle will get two oil changes, an inspection service, a brake fluid flush, and a brake job. Add this up at the dealer and it sounds like a wash. It does not cover wear items such as bushings, gaskets, seals, motor mounts, window regulators, water pumps, spark plugs, fuel filters, radiators, hoses, and everything else in the car.
An example could go like this: Your 2004 325i indicates it is time for an oil change, so you schedule your appointment expecting to wait for it. You get to the dealer right on time and settle into a chair, and after an hour or so the service advisor tells you about a leaking valve cover gasket and cracked control arm bushings (no, these are not covered!) Sure, he will provide a loaner - if you bought your car from them, otherwise it's another $50. You pick up your car at least a day later and this takes another half hour or more. Want to see the old parts? Sorry, those have been thrown out already. Want to see your car being worked on? Sorry! It's been taken in the back where you can't see it, but hey, you can have all the coffee you want while you wait!
Now let's look at the same situation at A & R German Motors. You call or schedule an appointment online and come on the same day if needed. You arrive and in 45 minutes your oil service is completed. The leaking valve cover gasket and control arm bushings are noted, an estimate with your vehicle's recommendations are prepared. You will have the opportunity to see and discuss the failures noted by the technician working on your vehicle. If convenient, the repairs can be done the same day, and the whole job will cost less than the dealer! Your parts will be available for you to inspect or keep if you wish.
Keep in mind we are purchasing the same parts from the same dealer, and they even make a profit on the parts we purchase! Even if you rent a car at Enterprise for $30, you're still paying less than half if you factor in the cost of the extension. And let's compare the time factor. At the dealer, you would have probably spent 2-3 hours before driving away. At A & R German Motors you would be driving away 45 minutes later with an estimate, or leaving a half an hour later with work in progress on your vehicle (and you in a rental or getting a ride to your home or office). Most likely you'll be picking up your car at 5 pm the same day. Regardless, the time spent will probably be at half as well, if not less.
How long do repairs take?
Most repairs are completed the same day. Sometimes bigger repairs can take longer, but you will be notified in time to make arrangements.
How much does the diagnosis cost? Usually Free...
The question is, "What kind of diagnosis do you get for your zero dollars?" Let's take a look at some of the components critical to a successful diagnosis and repair:
The diagnostic process used
The technician's knowledge
The equipment available
The quality of the repair parts
Most of the time, a "free diagnosis" will include no more than pulling trouble codes. Which means a scanner is connected with your vehicle and self-diagnostic results, known as trouble codes, are retrieved. This only takes a few moments, and we frequently do this for customers with no charge.
However, we never represent pulling codes as a diagnosis! We might check codes for a customer if the check engine light comes on just before they leave for a trip to assuage their fears, or if a customer thinks he may have left the gas cap loose.
A trouble code DOES NOT indicate what is wrong with the car -- it's just one clue to point the technician in the right direction. A trouble code may point to a sensor, but that does not always mean the sensor is bad! In fact, depending on the year, model, and trouble code, there may be very little chance the trouble code is telling the mechanic to change the right part.
If you want all of the information the car has to offer (and you do if you want to accurately diagnose cars quickly), you must buy the OE scanner for that make. OE scanners range in price quite a bit. Some of the scanners we own cost as much as $7000 plus yearly software subscriptions. Is it worth it? Absolutely! for us, and our customers. Having the right equipment saves a lot of time and increased accuracy which means lower bills and fewer repeat visits.
Should you have any questions, Please feel free to contact us:
Email: [email protected]
725 5th Street #3, Hermosa Beach, CA. 90254
(easily accessible, 1/2 block West of PCH)
Open: Monday - Thursday: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, Friday: 7:30 am to 5:00 pm