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Family Auto Service – Graham Cook – VIDEO TESTIMONIAL

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Graham Cook is a long-time Beckley Automotive service customer. Virtually since our doors opened, Graham and his family have used Beckley for all of their automotive service needs.

For over 3 decades, Beckley Automotive has been providing superior auto service, maintenance, and car care for the Des Moines area. We have some of the most loyal customers and best support a car repair shop could hope for, and when they step up and provide testimonials like this, we couldn’t be more proud.

If you’ve got questions about auto service or general car care, we can help. Bring your car in for an inspection or give us a call at 515-423-8185 or click here schedule an appointment.

Is Your Car’s Air Conditioning Ready For Summer in Des Moines?

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car air conditioning des moines iowaModerate springtime temperatures can deceptively make you forget about the dog days of summer in Des Moines not too far away. When you wake up in the morning and head to your car, it’s a cool 40 degrees outside. By mid-afternoon and a little sun, it’s in the upper 60s, which generally isn’t hot enough to make you think about turning on the air conditioning.

But if you’ve been around Des Moines, and the Midwest long enough, hotter days are ahead. Within a month, we’ll be approaching 80-degree-plus temperatures that will be here to stay for a few months. That’s hot enough to seriously heat up the interior of your car and feel the need to crank up the air conditioning.

You might not be thinking about hot summer weather yet, but you should. Driving a car on a hot and humid day in Des Moines without a properly working air conditioning can be a miserable sweat-soaked experience. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

We can give your car’s air conditioning system a check-up to see if it’s ready to handle the rigors of summer in Des Moines. We’ll inspect your car’s air conditioning compressor, motor, electronics, blower, and ducts. We’ll check to see if your car’s air conditioning is capable of keeping things cool, even on a hot day, and take a look at the refrigerant level of your air conditioning unit needed to help you chill out when you want to.

In many cases, a simple diagnostic evaluation and additional refrigerant is all you need to maximize your car’s air conditioning performance. Before you’re battling the next summer heat wave on a cross-country road trip or sitting in an overheated cabin on a hot day, stop in or schedule an appointment to have your car’s air conditioning inspected and serviced.

If you’ve got questions about your car’s air conditioning, we can help. Bring your car in for an inspection or give us a call at 515-423-8185 or click here schedule an appointment.

Car Care Tips to Make Life a Little Easier

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Car care isn’t always about oil changes and performance. That just seems to be what we like to talk about most. Sometimes the rewards of car ownership are about simple car care tips for the ease of ownership. With the number of years we’ve been handling car maintenance and services for European cars like BMWs, Mercedes, Volvos and domestics like Chevy, Fords, and Buicks, we’ve picked up a couple handy tricks along the way.

iParkedHere app - easy car ownership tips

The iParkedHere app will help you find your car in the craziest of parking lots!

Add these three simple car care tips to your “did-you-know” list and it will make ownership of that Honda or even that special summer Mazda all the more fun:

1. Clear faded headlights with toothpaste
If your headlights appear faded or don’t seem to illuminate the road as well as they once did, you can spend a chunk of money to replace the headlight assembly. But you might not have to. Try rubbing some whitening toothpaste on to the headlights, apply a little elbow grease, and rinse off. For many cars, this hack does the trick. If it doesn’t, ask us about headlight resurfacing.

2. Use wet newspaper to remove expired registration tag
When it’s time to renew your vehicle tags, the Iowa Department of Transportation gives you those ultra-sticky tags to put on your license plate. But removing the old one can be a problem. Do you chisel it off with a screwdriver or place the new sticker over the old one? You could. But wet newspaper can work wonders. Simply get some newspaper wet with warm water, press it against the sticker, and leave it there for about 10 minutes. It helps soften the sticker glue and makes removing it easy.

3. Use the iParkedHere app to find your car
If you’re shopping at the Des Moines Costco, picking up groceries at Wal-Mart, or enjoying some me-time at Valley West Mall or the Jordan Creek Town Center, you’re going to park your car in a massive parking lot. So when you’re done shopping and step outside, where’s your car?

If you’re not sure where you parked, you’re not the only one. And it can be frustrating if you’re in a hurry, you’re hauling a ton of packages, or trying to rustle kids back to the car like you’re herding sheep. But it doesn’t have to be. The iParkedHere app can keep track of where you parked your car and guide you back to it with a click and a swipe on your smartphone.

These simple car care tips can make driving, owning, and maintaining a car a little less of a headache at times. For everything else, bring your car in to Beckley’s for a free inspection, quote, and affordable service.  Schedule today by simply clicking here.

Winter Weather Driving Caused Most Accidents in Iowa History

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It’s that time of year when Mother Nature gives the Des Moines area the old one-two punch with bouts of bad weather and then tries to fake us out with sunshine and clear skies. Some winters are no doubt milder than others, but it doesn’t take much to turn winter weather driving conditions into a white-knuckled experience.

safe driving and car repairs in des moinesFor example, last winter snow storms began making their way across Iowa, turning highways, key arterials, and roadways into a wintery slip-and-slide. From Dec. 1, 2013 to Feb. 1, 2014, four major accidents blocked Iowa highways for hours, caused thousands of dollars in damage, and sent dozens of people to the hospital. In one of the biggest crashes in Iowa history, a single collision on icy roads on Interstate 80 during rush hour created a chain reaction that caused a 40-car pile-up and closed the freeway from more than three hours.

Spending the holidays in the hospital, hustling insurance quotes, getting car repairs, and wondering how you’re going to pay for it all isn’t exactly the definition of joy and cheer. And while you can’t control Mother Nature or other drivers, a few simple practices can keep your car running properly and help you avoid getting into an accident.

Slow down in bad weather
Investigators who questioned the drivers and passengers in the 40 car pile-up believe the weather and excessive speed were the major factors that led to the multi-car accident. If the roads are icy or wet, you’re driving in a blizzard or windy conditions, or fog impairs your view, slow down. You’ll be more likely to avoid an accident at a lower rate of speed with more distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Let Beckley’s help you prepare for winter weather driving conditions
Defensive driving practices can help you avoid an accident, but it’s only part of the solution. Your car needs to be working properly to help you steer clear of an accident. Inspect your tires, make sure you’ve got plenty of windshield washer fluid, and have your brakes tested and repaired if necessary. Regular maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs and keep you safer when you’re on the road this winter. If your car does need service, we can help.

Go to our Schedule Service page today and schedule time for us to look at your car to see if your winter driving ready.

Car-Trouble Clues Can Help With Diagnosis & Repair

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car repiar clues des moines iowa

Just because you’re not a mechanic doesn’t mean you can’t sleuth out some car-trouble clues. When you notice a problem with your vehicle, put your detective skills to work to find out more about what’s happening. When you bring your car into Beckley’s for service, let us know why you think your car needs repairs. Even the smallest detail can help us get your car back on the road faster.

car trouble repiar clues des moines iowaHere are a few things you can do before you bring your car in:

Read the Owner’s Manual for your vehicle
You might be surprised what kind of information the vehicle owner’s manual includes. In addition to basic maintenance recommendations, the owner’s manual includes information your car’s operating systems along with instructions on how to use all controls in your car. Most manual even include some basic trouble-shooting tips to solve simple problems.

Put Your Senses to Work
Your observational skills can identify important details that could be linked to the reason your car needs to be serviced. Put your senses to work and pay attention to things like:

  • Strange sounds from the engine, under the hood or inside the cabin
  • Trouble with acceleration, engine problems, changes in gas mileage or fluid levels
  • Poor tire tread, cracked or worn belts and hoses
  • Changes in steering performance and braking
  • In-dash warning lights and indicators

If you think your car has a problem, try to answer the following questions:

  • When did the problem first start?
  • Is the problem constant or intermittent?
  • Does the problem occur when the engine is cold, warm, or both?
  • Does the problem occur during acceleration, shifting, braking, driving slow, etc?

When You Bring Your Car in for Service
Do your best to describe the problem with your vehicle. Your observations will help our team of mechanics look for system failures that could be part of the problem.

If you’ve got a written record of when the problem started, along with notes about what you’ve observed, bring that along. Some people even provide an audio or video recording to demonstrate the problem with their vehicle.

Then let us do the rest. We’ll collect your information like evidence at a crime scene and use it to solve the problem. Our decades of experience and diagnostic tools will help us figure out what’s wrong and let you know what it will take to repair.

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

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!

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

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.

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.