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Keeping Up With Import Innovation

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import innovation, Beckley Imports Des Moines, Porsche

Image Courtesy of Porsche.com

The last few years in the European Auto world has show huge improvements in fuel-efficiency and environmental friendliness.  Beckley Imports prides itself on keeping up with import innovation so you can benefit from everything new and exciting coming out of Europe.

Some exciting things are happening with European Import innovations, according to Popular Science Magazine’s 25th Annual Best of What’s New issue:

  • With stricter emissions laws start going into effect, BMW has led the way with downsizing engines while still keeping the power and performance they are known for.  Their new 328i boasts a four-cylinder engine that still produces 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque.  This smaller engine doesn’t skimp on fuel efficiency, either, offering a stunning 34 mpg on the highway.
  • Mercedes-Benz has developed a new, more efficient version of the windshield wiper.  Magic Vision Control, available on the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster, prevents ice-and-snow buildup in cold weather with electric heating elements, reduces the flow of wiper fluid, and sprays only during downward wiper strokes to keep you dry when the top is down.
  • In 2012, Porsche introduced their Cayenne Diesel to the U.S.  While it is comparable to hybrids when it comes to in-town fuel efficiency, it blows the competition away when it comes to longer highway trips.  The 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine holds an impressive 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.  According to the Popular Science test-drive, the Porsche Cayenne Diesel showed off with 33 mpg on the highway and an impressive 800 miles on a single tank of fuel.

Beckley Imports works hard to stay up-to-date on current and emerging technologies so that YOU can enjoy the benefits of European import innovation here in central Iowa.  We hold our technicians to rigorous standards, ensuring ongoing education so Beckley Imports can provide you with the BEST European auto care year after year.

Winter Isn’t Over Yet!

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BattJump_smThe days are getting longer and recent precipitation has been more rain than snow, causing most of us to get caught up in “Spring Fever.” But don’t get ahead of yourself – it is still winter and there’s still a good chance of snow, ice and frigid temperatures.

Is there a service you were putting off, thinking it would be spring soon enough and that repair or tune-up wouldn’t matter? Think again! Here are some services for your European Import you shouldn’t wait on:

  • Heating System: Does it take a while for your blower to warm up most days?  Are you to your destination before your car stops blowing freezing air?  Your European Import’s Climate Control system is one of the most complex systems on your car – but our technicians have the training and experience to save you frustration and money.
  • Brake and Anti-lock Systems:  With the quickly changing temperatures causing melting and re-freeze, this time of year is not the time to skimp on your brakes!  All of the brake pads, brake discs and hydraulic components we install meet or exceed NEW car specifications.  And, since Bosch was the originator of Anti-lock technology for today’s cars, our status as an Authorized Bosch Service Center means we have the training, tools and experience to keep this feature in tip-top shape!
  • Battery and Starter Systems:  These cold Iowa winters certainly put a strain on your Import’s battery, as do all of the other demands placed on your battery, such as sound systems, heated seats and high-powered headlights.  You don’t want to get caught with a dead battery, a short circuit or an underperforming alternator when the snow sets in or those wind chills drop below zero!  We use genuine Bosch starters and alternators on all European makes, and we include a two year parts and labor warranty to boot!

Iowa winters can last forever, as anyone who has been through an April blizzard can tell you.  Don’t take a chance on having serious issues with any of the systems in your European import car by waiting until spring.  Give Beckley Imports a call today to schedule your service appointment!

Replacing The Headlights In Your European Import

Slide6-des-moines-mini-cooperFor as long as there have been cars on the roads, they have needed headlights.  Headlights are necessary for safety – that of everyone on the road as well as the driver, himself.  They are essential for driving at night, in rainstorms, snowstorms and fog, and make your European import visible to drivers and pedestrians alike.

Did you know that there is more wear and tear to your headlights besides just the bulb burning out?  Over time, your headlights can suffer from a grime buildup – even on your European import! This buildup comes from things we encounter every day; bugs, tar, road dust and, of course, Iowa’s winter road treatments.

We at Beckley Imports know that your European auto is more than just a car, it’s an investment and a source of pride.  So why take the chance with poor visibility and risk damaging your “baby?”  Here are some tips to get the most safety out of your headlights:

  • When you stop at the gas station, give your headlights a quick scrub when you wash your windows.  Removing the dirt and dead bugs can make a big difference.
  • Always replace your headlights and bulbs in pairs, instead of one at a time to ensure that they illuminate evenly.
  • You don’t have to wait for your headlights to burn out to replace them.  Almost all headlights will dim over time, even if they don’t burn out completely.  Replacing them regularly will increase your road safety.
  • Grab a friend and make sure all of your lights are in good working order on a regular basis.  Check your headlights, brake lights and turn signals to keep yourself visible.
  • If your European import still has yellowish halogen bulbs, it’s a good idea to upgrade to the whiter high performance bulbs that are more visible at night and are closer to the color of natural daylight.

Not all headlights are created equal, and your European import won’t accept just any old headlight.  Here at Beckley’s, our experienced and knowledgeable technicians will find and correctly install the right headlight for your vehicle.

Please give Beckley Imports a call or visit our website to schedule your European import service appointment today.

 

 

Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold This Winter!

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replace battery before winter european cars des moines iowaShould I replace my battery now, or wait until it dies?

A few years ago that was an easier decision. Dead battery? Give it a jump, drive to the shop, replace the battery, problems over. Now it’s much more complicated.

  1. Batteries are fitted in trunks, under seats, behind multiple shields and covers making hooking up cables very difficult.
  2. One spark or wrong connection and your car’s computers can be toast.
  3. When a battery dies, it sets off fault codes and “check engine” lights in the computers that require special tools to reset and extinguish the lights.
  4. Towing is the only recommended solution by the manufacturers.

If you get 4 winters from your car’s battery you’ve done fine.

Some make it to a 5th winter, but having your battery fail these days is an expensive situation; so think of it like tires and replace it before it fails, especially with our harsh Iowa winters.

Additional considerations – I have heated seats in my cars, one has a heated steering wheel! You can laugh (I did at first) but I love it on cold mornings. Along with powerful stereos, headlights, and other accessories, batteries have a lot more work to do. Plus they come smaller and lighter for economy. Consequently, the size, shape and power required are unique to each make and model of car. In addition to poor starting, the wrong battery can cause short circuits, acid leaks and rattles.

Because we specialize on European cars at Beckley’s, we have the proper battery in stock for each of the makes we service including Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo. And, we have the expert staff and tools to replace your battery and reset any equipment and computers that power your car.

If your battery is 4 years or older Make your maintenance appointment today and we’ll make sure that your European car will perform as it should this winter.

“How Often Should I Change My Oil?”

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des moines oil change, european car service tips

Did you know oil never wears out? It’s the additives in oil that help keep your engine clean and protected that do. Plus, oil gets dirty and abrasive from combustion contaminants which leads to sludge* and premature wear.

*We see more engine failures from sludge than old age. Sludge occurs from using the wrong oil or not changing oil frequently enough. It becomes thick like tar then clogs the oil passages. Not unlike what happens to us with a bad diet.

des moines oil change, european car service tipsConventional wisdom was “change your oil every 3,000 miles”. Today, some new car manufacturers are recommending 10-15,000 miles between oil changes. How do you know what’s right for your car without spending TOO much? The answer depends on two considerations;

1.Conventional or Synthetic Oil?

Conventional petroleum based oils offer excellent protection for most circumstances and are recommended by many automobile manufacturers. They are also less expensive than synthetic oil.

Synthetic oils hold up better under extremes of temperature and extended drain intervals of 10,000 miles or more*. The only drawback is they can cost twice as much as conventional – about $8-$10 per quart.

If you go an extended drain interval you need a premium oil filter to last as long as your oil, not the discount filters sometimes used to keep the price down.

We always recommend using the type of oil the manufacturer recommends. Failure to do so can jeopardize any warranties and, as we’ve experienced, will hurt your engine if it’s not up to specification. We can tell you what your cars manufacturer recommends.

2.How Do You Drive Your Car?

Your owners manual typically has two maintenance schedules. One for “Ideal” driving conditions, one for “Severe” conditions. How do your driving habits stack up? Unless you primarily drive long distances, most of us operate our cars under “severe” conditions. Here, your manual says to cut the “ideal” service intervals in half.

[one_third]

Ideal Driving Conditions

  • Mostly highway miles
  • Moderate temperatures
  • Moderate loads
  • Dust free environment[/one_third]

Severe Driving Conditions

  • Frequent trips under 10 miles or stop & go (city) driving
  • Very hot or cold temps (below freezing)
  • Towing or heavy loads
  • Dusty, unpaved roads

And The Answer Is…

Based on the car and oil manufacturers recommendations and our long experience with all European car engines we recommend to change conventional oil every 5000 miles and synthetic oil every 7500 miles. This is based on the typical mix of temperatures and driving styles we experience in Central Iowa.

One Final Consideration

If you drive a particular car infrequently, say under 7500 annually, change your oil once a year. Just because your oil lasts 15,000 miles doesn’t mean everything else will. Our experts will report on your tires, brakes, steering, etc. so you know your car is safe for you and your family. Do this in the fall if you’re going to store it. It will last longer with clean fluids.

When we change your oil at Beckley Imports your car gets a 30 point written safety inspection performed by a certified technician with years of training and experience on European cars just like yours. They know what to look for and how to respond to prevent any problems while you’re on the road. We use Mobil oil and original equipment (or better!) filters to ensure the longest life for your car and protect any warranties you might have. Plus we have the proper equipment to reset your service lights. You get a free car wash with every service.

Call us the next time you need service. We’ll be glad to give you a price and explain all the benefits our European car care specialists will provide.

Schedule your service appointment today.

Thank you,
Steve Beckley

A Smooth-Running European Car or Hot New Pumps… Hard Choice?

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chosing between a beautiful new pair of shoes or getting you oil changed shouldnt be a hard decision
Steven Beckley, Beckley Automotive and Beckley Imports

Steve Beckley

My friend Barbara loves her (new to her) BMW. I asked her about keeping it serviced.

“I always remember my Dad’s advice,” she said, “Change your oil!”

I asked how she managed that.

“I usually look for whoever has a coupon. Every dollar I save on car repair I can spend on shoes.”

I thought about that and decided I can appreciate it, I really do. But there might be a different way to think about it.

Getting your oil changed is the one opportunity for someone to look under your hood and under your car to see if anything is going to be a problem and prevent you from driving safely wherever you want to go.

chosing between a beautiful new pair of shoes or getting you oil changed shouldnt be a hard decision

Doesn’t it make sense to have it looked at by an expert, someone who’s 100% familiar with your car? That way, when they inspect your brakes and tires and steering, they know exactly what to look for and what’s important. And, if they see something that needs attention, they can tell you clearly how soon you need to act and what your options are for fixing it. You’re not going to get this benefit at an ordinary oil change place, and new car dealers can’t give you the repair options we offer.

Plus it’s not expensive. Here at Beckley Imports, a conventional oil change starts at $40 and a full synthetic starts at $60 with European quality oil, not the budget oil many places use. And we reset your service lights, which ordinary shops can’t do.

It’s a VERY good deal that leaves PLENTY of money for … shoes.

Prices include up to 5 qts. of the oil specified by the manufacturer of your car.  Some high performance models extra.  Please call for an exact quote on your make and model.


Beckley Imports – Servicing European Import Cars Since 1977

Because Beckley Imports has solely focused our services on European Imports, we have the certified technicians, facilities and the right equipment to properly work on your European import car.

For more information or to schedule a service on your Mercedes, please call 515.243.8185, or go to the “Schedule Service” page on this website to make an appointment TODAY!