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European Car Owner Tips: Don’t Put Off Repairs

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mercedes heater repair des moines iowa

We’re all thinking it: someday this winter will end. And it has to be soon, right? So it’s not that big of a deal if we put off checking up on the heating system or the starter system til next fall when it gets cold again.

mercedes heater repair des moines iowaYou would be sorely mistaken if you thought you could put off these important checkups and repairs! Besides, it doesn’t look like it’ll be warming up anytime too soon.

Harsh Iowa winters (and I think we can all agree this one has been especially harsh) put a huge strain on your starter system and battery. It takes more gas and power to get it started in the extremely cold winters, and constantly starting it up without getting it checked or updated can lead to damage and battery failure; not something you want to be dealing with in negative temperatures.

Cold temperatures also put a strain on your heating system; if your car is heating up slower than usual, you may have a problem. The climate control system in your European car is more complex than other types of vehicles, and it’s important to have a certified European car technician work on it; they know what they’re doing and can save you time and money while avoiding expensive mistakes.

Finally, it’s important to make sure your brakes and anti-lock system are working, your oil is fresh and up to date, and your electrical system is up to speed. All of these factors are crucial in keeping a European car running smoothly and efficiently, and all of these services are provided by Beckley Imports.

If you would like to speak to one of our technicians, or schedule an appointment for your vehicle, we welcome you to give us a call at (515) 243-8185. We hope to hear from you soon!

The Proper Wheel Alignment for your European Car

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wheel alignment des moines iowa

European cars are extremely sensitive to proper wheel alignment; if it’s off, the tires wear off more quickly and adjustments are needed constantly. At Beckley, we stay up to date with latest alignment equipment and software to ensure perfect results for each and every car we service. Additionally, our experienced specialists are trained on specific makes of cars, so you’ll get the best service available.

At only $35 per car for a Wheel Alignment check, you’ll get excellent service and peace of mind at a great value. Call us today to schedule an appointment: (515) 243-8185.

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.

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.

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.

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!

 

What Does A B-Service For My Mercedes Include?

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Mercedes B service and maintenance in Des Moines, Iowa

While servicing of European imports should be done on a regular basis and at a certified European car service center, the routine service needs of each European car ranging from Mercedes-Benz to BMW, Audi and others varies greatly.

Mercedes service and maintenance in Des Moines, Iowa

The 2012-Mercedes-SLK-AMG-V8-Engine, A thing of beauty!

The Mercedes-Benz requires specific maintenance and check ups for their cars at different mileage dates. A Service B, for instance, should take place at approximately 20,000 miles or one year after previous service, but determined by Flexible Service System; then every 20,000 miles or 2 years.


A Mercedes-Benz B-Service Includes:

Interior
· Function check
· Check warning and indicator lamps, illumination and interior lighting
· Check windshield wiper, windshield washer system, headlamp cleaning system
· Reset maintenance service counter in instrument cluster
· Replace dust filter (not applicable to SL-Class)
· Replace combination filter (SL-Class)
· Check parking brake (function test only)

Wheels, brakes
· Check condition/thickness of front and rear brake discs
· Check front and rear brake pads for lining thickness
· Check tires for damage and condition
· Measure tread depth, record in mm
· Correct tire inflation pressure

Underside of Vehicle
· Check for major components leakage
· Check for chafe marks, line routing, damaged components
· Check condition of front axle ball joints and rubber boots
· Check condition of mechanical steering components and rubber boots

Engine Compartment
· Check for major components leakage
· Check for chafe marks, line routing, damaged components
· Check and replenish all fluid levels
· Change engine oil and filter
· Check engine cooling system, antifreeze and corrosion protection
· Check brake system
· Check power steering
· Check Active Body Control
· Check windshield washer system
· Check and correct battery fluid level
· Check battery condition
· Check catch, safety catch and hinges on engine hood for proper operation
· Check condition of poly V-belt

Trunk
· Check battery condition
· Correct tire inflation pressure in spare tire


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!