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Stop Your Car From Overheating

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If you’ve ever driven a car prone to overheating, constantly seems to be low on coolant, or has an unknown problem with the radiator, hoses, thermostat, or other components that help keep your engine cool, there’s rarely a happy ending. All too often, overheating happens when you’re on a road trip, a long way from a service station, or out of cell phone range. But with the right maintenance and a little diligence, keeping your car from overheating is easier than you think.

car overheating des moines iowaKeeping your car from overheating by keeping its radiator and cooling system in working order is important for engine performance and reliability. When your car’s cooling system is working properly, the thermostat gauge in your car should be about in the middle between hot and cold. Your car’s engine performs best when it runs at a moderate temperature. An engine that runs too hot or cold causes more wear and tear on plastic parts, decreases efficiency, and spits out more pollution in the exhaust.

Simple inspection and maintenance practices can keep your radiator and cooling system working properly and stop your car from overheating. Here are some things you can do to check on your cooling system:

  • Examine rubber hoses for cracks or missing rings where the hoses attach to the radiator or engine.
  • Make sure the rubber gasket on the radiator cap is creating a proper seal.
  • Monitor your thermostat while driving to make sure your engine is running at a moderate heat.
  • Inspect the coolant level in the reservoir.
  • Look for coolant leaks where you park your car.

If you take these preventive measures to monitor your car’s radiator and cooling system, you’ll be more likely to identify warning signs of a problem. Cracked hoses or a failed gasket need to be replaced. An engine running too hot or too cold, is an indicator of a radiator problem. And if coolant seems to be evaporating, you may have a leak or poorly performing radiator. Taking care of these kinds of problems you can identify on your own, can keep you from getting stranded and prevent your car from overheating.

Need help giving your radiator and cooling system a checkup? Give us a call at 515-423-8185 or click here to schedule an appointment.

Improve Fuel Economy With Proper Engine Maintenance

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improve fuel economy des moines iowaHow much highway driving do you do? Whether you’re planning to take a summer vacation, travel for work, or just have to get on the interstate to head across town, your engine performs best and achieves peak fuel economy during ideal highway driving conditions. In Iowa, that means traveling at 65 miles an hour or better. Cross state lines and the speed limit goes up. That can be good for getting to your destination faster, and it can improve fuel economy, but only if your car’s engine and supporting systems are working properly.

That’s where Beckley’s comes in. Through proper maintenance of your car’s engine, you can get the best fuel economy, drive safe and secure, as well as save a little money in the long run. Proper engine maintenance is simply a matter of discipline.  Some of the issues you need to pay attention to for the best fuel economy include:

  • intake and exhaust restrictions
  • timing and gearing,
  • mechanical resistance, and
  • tire performance

These can have a substantial impact on fuel economy and how well your car runs. Even driving conditions like temperature and wind resistance can have an impact.

Get the most out of every dollar you spend at the pump. Our team of expert technicians can give your can an inspection and recommend needed services to help your vehicle achieve optimal fuel economy for driving around town or when you’re cruising down the interstate. In many cases, a simple tune-up can make a big difference.

Have you been wondering how to go a little farther on a tank of gas, especially as prices at the pump begin to rise with peak travel season approaching? Bring your car in for an inspection and tune-up. We’ll get your engine ready for summer travel. Give us a call at 515-423-8185 or click here schedule an appointment.

Tailpipe Exhaust Color, Is It Bad?

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One of the telltale signs that a car has a problem is colored exhaust or smoke coming from the tailpipe. If there is smoke coming from the tailpipe, its color can often provide clues to help identify the problem.

exhaust smoke color repair des moines iowaOf course, we use high-tech diagnostic tools to troubleshoot all of your car problems, but any information you can provide (like the color of exhaust coming from the tailpipe) can help us identify the problem and get you back on the road faster. Here’s what some exhaust colors can indicate:

White: Your engine may put out white smoke if the fuel mixture has been compromised by water or antifreeze. It’s often caused by a faulty or failed rubber gasket designed to maintain a tight seal to keep antifreeze out. Sometimes a leak can develop if your car overheats and damages a head gasket.

Blue: All it takes to spew blue smoke from your exhaust is a tiny drop of oil leaking on to the engine’s cylinder. Only a mixture of gasoline and oxygen are meant to power your engine. If a gasket or seal has failed, there’s a chance that a small amount of oil may reach the engine’s cylinder and could potentially damage spark plugs. In addition to making any necessary repairs to prevent this, some older cars may also benefit from using thicker engine oil or an additive that can minimize the potential for an oil leak.

Black smoke: If too much fuel gets into the engine’s cylinder and you try to start your car, you may see black smoke coming from your exhaust. In many cases, a poorly-working carburetor is to blame. Black smoke may also be linked to a failing fuel pump, a fuel injector that needs to be cleaned or replaced, or a computer-related problem connected to your engine.

If you see odd colored smoke coming from your tailpipe, getting it checked out before other problems develop is the best idea.

Concerned about smoke coming from your car’s tailpipe? We can help. Give us a call at 515-423-8185 or click here schedule an appointment.

Timing Belt Replacement Can Save You Money

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If you’ve driven your car more than 70,000 miles, there’s a good chance a the timing belt is over-worn and a breakdown is imminent. If it breaks before being replaced, your engine could be lost and repair costs could be staggering, but if the timing belt is replaced in your vehicle before it breaks, it’s a relatively low-cost repair.

replace your timing belt des moinesJust about anyone can inspect a timing belt. It’s the thick-toothed rubber belt that helps power the engine and control the camshaft, crankshaft, valves, and pistons. Periodically checking the belt for wear can reveal small cracks in the rubber or missing teeth that can hinder engine performance.

Unfortunately, too many drivers fail to inspect the timing belt or have it replaced before it’s too late. If it snaps while you’re driving, you’ll be stranded and your car will need to be towed. If you’re lucky, replacing the timing belt will get you back on the road. But in many cases, a broken timing belt damages the engine too. And that can be expensive to repair.

Timing Belt Replacement Recommendation
Most car manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt every 70,000 to 110,000 miles. Remember, in most cars the timing belt is a wearable part made of rubber. It won’t last forever with all the friction it endures along with hot and cold temperatures. Inspecting your timing belt and having replaced before it breaks can save you thousands of dollars. When your timing belt is replaced as recommended, it typically only costs a few hundred dollars.

Warning Signs of a Bad Timing Belt
Sometimes a timing belt can reach the end of its life without warning. One minute you’re driving down the road, the next minute your engine is running but you’re not going anywhere. It’s a good reasons to have the timing belt replaced based on the recommended guidelines before it’s too late. However, there are a few warning signs to be aware of that are telltale signs of a timing belt about to break:

  • Trouble starting the car. If you can rule out the battery, starter, or lack of fuel, a bad timing belt may be the problem. A poorly functioning timing belt can interfere with the car’s ignition timing.
  • Thick smoke from the exhaust. If your car begins emitting thick smoke from the tail pipe and it progressively gets worse, it’s an indicator that fuel in the engine isn’t being used efficiently. Poorly functioning valves linked to a bad timing belt may be to blame.
  • Shaking or vibrating engine. When the timing belt in a car begins to age, gets stretched out over time, or has missing teeth, you may notice more shaking or vibrating from the engine.
  • Hot engine, leaking fluids. If you’re not taking care of your car, the engine could be running hotter than it should be or it could be leaking fluids. These conditions can further weaken and damage the timing belt.

Taking care of your car and avoiding costly repairs with routine maintenance can save you time and money in the long run. If your car is due for a timing belt replacement, or you just want to have it inspected, give us a call or click here to schedule service on your car today!

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!

Do You Drive an Audi or Volkswagen?

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We know Audi and Volkswagen inside and out. Our mechanics have the tools and skills to keep your vehicle running like new. We work specifically with European cars, so when you come to us, you’re sure to save time and money. If you own an Audi or a Volkswagen, we are here to answer any questions you may have. We have a commitment to our customers and want to see their vehicles last.

Built for Speed, The 2014 Audi RS 7

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audi beckey imports des moines iowa

If you’re a fan of Audi and speed, you will love the RS 7. This is the fastest RS offered in the United States. The Audi RS 7 features a turbocharged 4.0 TFSI V8 engine, giving it an impressive 560 hp. The RS 7 also has exclusive Singleframe grill, all-wheel drive and RS-specific air suspension. The interior features Valcona leather, rev-limit shift lights, boost pressure gauge and a lap timer. You can expect to see the Audi RS 7 this fall.

Bring your Audi RS 7 into the experts at Beckley Imports for all your service needs. We understand European cars!

Audi 2014 Model Year Vehicles

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Audi, beckley imports, des moines iowaIf you’re planning ahead and think it’s time to get a new Audi, here’s a complete list of Audi will release in 2014. If you are looking for some of what is new for Audi, you might look at the RS 7, SQ5, or the TDI (clean diesel line).

Apart from some additions to the Audi family, there have been updates to many current lines. If you’re thinking about updating your Audi, 2014 offers some great opportunities for you or your family. We would be happy to keep whatever line you choose running well and looking great!

Committed Experience From Beckley Imports

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BMW repair in des moines iowa

Beckley Imports has been providing Des Moines European Car Repair for over 30 years. You know that at Beckley’s Imports you can count on committed experience from every technician and employee!

Here, Steve Beckley speaks about his team, the concept of committed experience, and the trust he has in the knowledge and expertise of every one of his employees.

Des Moines European Car Repair Committed Experience

Beckley Imports – Committed Experience from Beckley Imports on Vimeo.