Posts

We Love Saab

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Steven Beckley, Beckley Automotive and Beckley Imports

Like many of our customers, we love Saab. If you wonder how you can keep your Saab alive and well, now that they are out of production, we can help. At Beckley Imports, we have the tools and training to maintain the health and vitality of your Saab for years to come. From general maintenance to repair work, we want to see your Saab on the road. Let us know how we can help make that happen. We welcome the opportunity to hear the story of your Saab. Please contact us if there are questions we can answer for you.

Environmentally Focused

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bmw repair des moines iowa

Beckley Imports takes great pride in maintaining an environmentally focused business, which they have done for the past 10 years.

Here, Steve Beckley talks about the steps taken by Beckley Imports to stay “green” in the import repair business.

Beckley Imports -Environmentally Focused from Beckley Imports on Vimeo.

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!

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

Sale of Saab Auto Could Save the Company-And the Planet

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National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has made arrangements to purchase the bankrupt Saab Automobile and convert it into a top manufacturer of electric cars.

Saab filed for bankruptcy in December 2011 after halting production last March.  The Chinese-Japanese investment group consisting of Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd. and Japanese investment firm Sun Investment hopes to turn Saab productivity into profitability in Sweden and Norway, where electric cars have become more popular.

Bloomberg.com talks in more detail about the purchase and hopeful future for Saab.

Welcome to Beckley Imports – Specialized European car service for Des Moines and Central Iowa

Good Des Moines European Car Repair shops are few and far between. The options available for BMW owners, Mercedes owners and the like are limited to chain shops that could do more damage than good to those elegant European motors and systems. Beckley Imports has been servicing the Des Moines, Iowa area since 1977. Their mechanics have been trained and certified on all European Import models – BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Porsche, Audi, LandRover, Volkswagen, and Saab.

When you’re looking for the right shop to take your European car for service, tune ups or even a simple oil change, trust that beauty only with the professionals at Beckley Imports!