Rock Salt & Proper Winter Maintenance

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bmw rock salt damage winter

While we’re in the time of year when warm temperatures and “car wash” days are few and far between, you have to understand how Rock Salt and Winter damage the exterior (and interior) of your car. Opportunities for winter car washes need to be capitalized upon, and Beckley’s helps you do that!

bmw rock salt damage winterBeckley’s oil change service includes an oil change specialized to your vehicle, a 30 point written safety inspection by an ASE certified technician, and a hand wash (weather permitting) and vacuum.

The hand wash is our way of adding a special touch, because not only is it important to take care of the mechanical parts of your car; if you want to keep it looking great, and have the maximum resale value when you’re ready to sell, you need to take care of the exterior as well.

Rock salt used to melt snow and ice in the winter is great for what it’s used for, but can do a number on the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Rock salt can lead to rust and corrosion in the undercarriage of the vehicle, which can be costly and difficult to repair. It also can cause rust around your tires, fenders, and doors, causing paint to chip and your resale value to diminish. If possible, you should rinse your car every 10 days; bringing it in for an oil service and tune up on one of our nice days ahead will really take care of any built up salt on your car.

Rock salt can also cause damage to the inside of your car; it stains if left to sit, diminishing the attractiveness and resale value of your vehicle. Loose rock salt can also be dangerous to any children or pets that ride in your car. Our service technicians will completely vacuum the inside of your car to prevent staining or other damage from salt.

We want to do everything we can to help you keep your European car in great shape in the coming months. If you have any questions, or if you want to schedule a service, don’t hesitate to call us at (515) 243-8185.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

European Car Sales on the Rise in Des Moines & Around the Country!

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european car sales in des moines

Good news for European Car dealers and owners! European Car Sales rose for a third consecutive month in November, which is the largest growth in the industry in the past four years. It’s a great signal that the industry-wide decline in sales could be coming to an end in the next few years. In 2013, European Car registrations were up 0.9% from 2012, another indication that sales are on the rise.

european car sales in des moinesSo, which cars are contributing the most to this growth? Here are the top three:
Volkswagen Golf Hatchback
Volkswagen Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Renault Captur

Overall sales in the industry are still low, but do seem to have reached their very lowest point, which will hopefully lead to a recovery in the near future. One European Auto Maker, The Fiat Group, is said to have plans to invest up to 9 Million Euros (equal to 12.4 billion American dollars) on reviving its factories and developing new models. They are focusing more on the Fiat line, a subcompact, low-budget line of vehicles, while also trying to bolster sales for the Maserati and Alfa Romeo lines with new models.

If you’re considering purchasing a European car, the time to start looking is now. Prices are good, and the industry is back on rise. Beckley can help you care for and maintain whichever vehicle you decide on.

Want A European Vacation?

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european vacation and vehicle delivery packages

A new car…and a European vacation?

european vacation and vehicle delivery packagesIt can happen easier than you think! European Vehicle Delivery programs are becoming more and more popular among American buyers, and it’s easy to see why. European Vehicle Delivery is a program that allows the buyer to drive the car where it was made, wherever that may be, on the dealer’s dime (after you pay for the car, of course).

The trip usually includes a one-night stay in a 5 star hotel (which you can add on to with your own money if you want to stay longer), free airfare and travel, and a discounted purchase price on the vehicle. You and one guest of your choice get a chance to take a VIP tour of the factory your car was assembled in, and then take the car out for a spin. Want to drive your brand new BMW on the Autobahn? Go for it. After you’re done taking your new car for a drive, you return it to the factory, and they’ll ship it to your home overseas. Many purchasers even choose to extend their trip (sometimes the dealers will throw in a little extra for this) and tour the country in their new car.

Sound a little too good to be true? Visit some of these dealer sites to learn more about the European Vehicle Delivery program:
BMW Website – European Vehicle Delivery
Volvo Website – European Vehicle Delivery

When you get that new car (and get back from your vacation), bring it in to show us at Beckley Imports. While you’re here, we’ll look it over and get your information so that we can help you keep everything running smoothly.

Have you been on one of these trips, or heard about them before? We’d love to hear your stories!

No Such Thing as a “Maintenance-Free” Vehicle

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no care is "maintenance free", needs an oil change

Vehicle Maintenance Is Never Free

But it’s a matter of professionalism as to how much it’s worth…

If you’ve purchased a vehicle recently, you know that car salesmen like to go on and on about how this vehicle is “virtually maintenance-free”. Unfortunately, many of them are only half right (at best).

no care is "maintenance free"Many new cars now have extended service intervals. This is mainly to cut down on how much work is done during the warranty period (i.e., how much money the manufacturer has to cough up or lose out on). However, it’s common knowledge that all vehicles need maintenance at some point. Neglecting maintenance and upkeep on your car may seem okay in the moment, perhaps you’re short on cash or don’t have time, but ignoring it will lead to larger (and more expensive) problems down the road.

3,000 to 6,000 Miles is Key

Maintenance and upkeep is designed to keep your car running smoothly until your next service. It’s like preventative health for your vehicle; if you don’t do it, you’ll pay for it in the long run. Most car manufacturers recommend a major service for your vehicle every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. This includes replacing things that get worn out or consumed, like filters, fluids, belts, and spark plugs, and scanning the vehicle’s computers for any problems that aren’t evident at first glance. Technicians will notate the required repairs that are essential to keep your car running, and will make recommendations for future repairs and service the vehicle may need. This setup puts you in control of your car’s future, and provides you with accurate information to take the next steps in prolonging your vehicle’s life.

Trust Your Vehicle Maintenance to Beckley Imports and Beckley Auto

Not only will we run all of the tests and provide the services listed above, we will also take the time to explain any and all options for your vehicle, and answer all of your questions. We believe that our customers should be empowered to make the right decisions for their vehicle and situation. And, as European car lovers, we understand how important your vehicle is to you. Rest assured we will do everything in our power to keep it running smoothly for a long time.

Call to schedule your vehicle service check today! 515-243-8185 Or click here to go right to the schedule appointment page!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Don’t Get Left Out In The Cold

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car battery, winter driving bmw des moines iowa

Winter is upon us!  Have you heard enough of that warning lately?  While you’re stocking up on ice salt and making sure the old snow blower still starts up, we at Beckley Imports want to make sure you check out one other thing: your car battery and starter system.

winter driving bmw des moines iowaWith all the new features offered in cars today, like seat heaters and high end sound systems, battery drain happens more quickly than in the past.  Add on a couple of bitter Iowa winters, and your battery is tired.  The last thing you want on a cold January night after a long day of work is to walk out to your car only to find that it won’t start.

At Beckley Imports, we stock AC Delco and Interstate batteries that have the long life and power you need to start your engine every time.  Not only that, but these two battery brands are guaranteed to fit properly.  This is highly important, as many batteries are now set in the trunk or under the backseat; poorly fitted batteries can  lead to more costly problems like leaks and short circuits.  Beckley Imports is also an Authorized Bosch Service Center, meaning that we use only genuine Bosch starters and alternators on European vehicles; these parts come with a two year warranty, so if something goes wrong, you don’t have to worry.

If you’re concerned about your car’s battery making it through the winter months, bring it on by.  We’d be happy to test it out for you.  Beckley Imports has top of the line equipment to test the battery and other factors within the vehicle that could cause it to fail.

Don’t get left out in the cold this winter.  Call Beckley Imports at (515) 243-8185 and schedule your appointment today.

Before more ice and snow hit…

Fall is pretty, but any second it can turn to freezing temperatures and the dreaded snow fall, just like what happened last night. Although it may start to warm up in the next few days, make sure you bring in your vehicle to Beckley so we can do some maintenance checks on the following:

• Tire Checks (for every 18°F of temperature drop, tire pressure goes down by one pound – make sure your spare tire is fully as well)
• Battery check (batteries work harder when it’s cold and the colder temperatures can compromise its performance up to 60 percent. Having it tested to see if it needs replaced could save you from sitting outside in it during a blizzard)
• Cooling System Check
• Brake Inspection
• Headlight Check (this includes all the turn signals and hazard lights)
• Windshield Wipers (you never know when that blizzard will hit and you can’t have the wipers smashing snow about)
• Engine

At Beckley, we want you to be safe drivers, as well as be prepared of any situations. Having the following items in your car could help if there is an accident:

• Windshield scraper and snow brush
• Lightweight shovel
• Bag of sand, wire traction mat or abrasive substance
• Spare tire
• First aid kit
• Flashlight
• Flares
• Battery jumper cables
• Blankets
• Emergency drink or snack
• Extra coat or boots

Even though we have cell phones to call for help, it is still good to be prepared because you never know if your service will go down or your phone will be inoperable.  So stay prepared and let us help take care of your car so that your chances will be lesser in case.

Importance of Pre-Purchase Car Inspections

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bmw pre-purchase european luxury vehicles

bmw pre-purchase car inspection european luxury vehiclesAt Beckley Imports we take care of all your European car pre-purchase car inspection needs.

When you’re looking to spend a substantial amount of money on a pre-owned European vehicle like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo or any number of these beauties, you want to know that you’re getting the value you expect from a European Car – style, performance, reliability, and economical value!

Having your future vehicle inspected by someone you trust is also important. At Beckley Imports, our European car specialists give you the facts and verify the listing against the potential issues you may have after the vehicle purchase.

The Beckley Imports pre-purchase inspection includes:

  • An under the hood inspection, where we check the engine and any signs of leaks.
  • Body inspection, where we check out all the body panels to look for any signs of previous accidents or any damage the seller may have not reported.
  • Road test to see if the transmission is working properly, as well as the rest of the car.

As soon as you drive the car off the lot, the liability is all on you. So make sure that you have your vehicle inspected before you purchase. We’d love to help you make a good decision in your luxury ride!

Schedule an appointment today or call us at 515-243-8185

Synthetic Oil Changes are Best for your European Car

synthetic oil european car service des moines beckleyDid you know that Beckley specializes in using synthetic oils in your European car? Using synthetic oil is beneficial for your vehicle, especially as we get closer and closer to those cold temperatures. Synthetic oil can withstand the colder temperatures better than conventional motor oil and this helps when your engine is started in cold weather.

Synthetic oil is comprised of a base stock and performance additives. The performance additives are engineered to help fight off sludge and mineral deposits that are caused in combustion. The performance additives also provide excellent protection when driving in extreme weather conditions, like really cold or really hot temperatures.

Not only is the synthetic oil better for your vehicle in winter, but it also increases the life of your engine and allows for longer oil change intervals.

Schedule your appointment today or call our front desk at (515) 243-8185 and Aaron and Thomas will take care of you immediately.

5 “Did You Know” Answers for The Passionate BMW Owner

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bmw owners, BMW information des moines iowa

While Des Moines BMW owners have unmatched passion for their European autos, being the “Go-To” service location for European cars requires us to dig deep into the history and heritage of the cars we service so we can give the best maintenance and support to your European car as possible. Along the way, we pick up odd and somewhat amusing tidbits of European car information.

Check out these 5 “Did you knows” about our beloved BMW:

  1. passionate bmw ownerThe BMW Name – BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke. In English, that would be: Bavarian Motor Works
  2. The BMW Logo – The Roundel logo stems from the days of its aircraft heritage, and symbolizes a spinning propeller.
    A huge component of the BMW logo is the blue and white fields, and those come off the Bavarian flag. (Bavaria is a state in Germany. Yes. BMW’s come from Bavaria.)
  3. The BMW “LOOK” – The kidney Grille was first used in the BMW 303. The 303 was a mid-sized saloon produced in the early 1930’s. It was the first BMW to use the “kidney grille” which today is a hallmark if their model.
  4. The BMW Letter – BMW does not use automobile platforms like any other manufactures, instead, each generation has a development code (Entwicklungsnummeren ), E = Entwicklung = DevelopmentSo, why did they switch to “F code” with the new 7-series? Did they run out of E-numbers? We’ll have to look into this… 🙂
  5. The FIRST BMW – The first car made by BMW is: The BMW Dixi!!!
    BMW bought the Automobilwerk Eisenach in 1928 and, with it, the rights to build the Dixi car… Soon after that, they dropped the Dixi name.

European cars run in our blood (almost literally). From BMWs to Mercedes, Jaguars, Porsche and more, we love what we do as much as you, as owners, love the driving and performance.

Reach out to us if you have any questions concerning your vehicles service and performance. Beckley Imports and the entire Beckley Automotive Group can handle any question and help get you back on the road.

Prep Your European Auto For Harsh Des Moines Winter Driving

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car battery, winter driving bmw des moines iowa

It’s hard to imagine prepping your car for fall and winter driving with the 80+ degree temps we current enjoy.  But reality is that fall is technically here and that means turkey, presents, and bowl games and HARSH WINTER DRIVING are just around the corner.

TIP:  When you see the garden centers closing up and the patio furniture on clearance at the stores – it’s time to winterize.

winter driving bmw des moines iowaWinter puts an amazing strain on your car’s systems and fluids.  And if you leave your car outdoors overnight, it endures even more punishment.  Here’s what you should do now to avoid shivering on the roadside waiting for a tow

Get caught up on recommended maintenance

If the summer was just too busy, it’s a good idea to get caught up on the simple things.  We know that with other places you’ve been in the past, you might have felt “taken” a bit on add-ons and extras that don’t seem necessary.  We guarantee that Aaron and Thomas will recommend what’s necessary for your vehicle and give you clear guidance on additional maintenance items that you should consider.

TIP:  Sometimes you just feel like asking the question, “Is it OK if I wait on servicing say…my water pump…until the next time I visit?”  Don’t feel awkward about it! At Beckley, you’ll get an honest answer that does not contain a hidden agenda or innuendo.  We’ve built our business on honesty and good value…so ask any question you’d like and we’ll give you a straightforward answer.

Kick the tires

Possibly the most essential element in the winter equation is tires.  If you don’t do a summer/winter tire switch, make sure you have tread and lots of it.  Sometimes when you’re in that “in between” stage where there’s “probably just enough tread to get by til Spring,” this is a tough decision.  Safety should be your first consideration here.  Stopping distances go through the roof on snow and ice and tread is your friend.

Get the cooling system ready to be REALLY cool

It might seem like “cooling” systems are less relevant in the winter.  True you’re less likely to have overheating issues after running 10 minutes when it’s 20 degrees outside.  But a properly operating cooling system is essential to your engine’s life at all temperatures.  Freezing temps can really push an old water pump to the limit so if you’re approaching or over the max life for that part – consider a proactive replacement.

Put the scraper and winter emergency kit back in the vehicle

It’s a great idea to keep a plastic bin from Lowe’s or Menards with the following items in them.  By the way, check your items each year for expiration dates and be sure to change out batteries.

  • spare gloves
  • jackets
  • flashlights
  • first aid kit
  • small shovel
  • food
  • knife
  • chains
  • jumper cables

TIP:  Consider putting one or more of those 40 pound sandbags in the rear of your car.  This will help with traction in a rear wheel drive car of course.  But a side benefit is that if you get stuck, you can grab the knife from your winter safety kit, cut open the bag, and lay the sand down under and around your tires for extra traction.  You’d be surprised how much this helps when things get slick and you’re spinning those gorgeous wheels.

The Beckley team is available for convenient appointments from early morning to evening.  We’ll even take you to work and pick you up with our shuttle.  Give us a call and let’s see what we can do to take care of your investment.