Every time a customer visits we ask ourselves: what repair and service is mandatory in order to keep their import car in great shape, what's suggested but not immediately necessary, and how will this service benefit our customer?
For instance, we know that basic services like maintaining fluid levels, regular oil changes, windshield wiper blade replacements, and wheel alignment services are important for all import cars whether it's a reliable Honda Accord or an ultimate driving BMW.
If the engine temperature warning light is on and it needs to be diagnosed. That falls under "mandatory" because an overheating engine and the systems that monitor it failing can lead to major repairs down the road. Other examples of mandatory, even if there are no current symptoms to the driver, are suspenion components. Ball joints and tie rods with excess play that do not meet minimum specifications can be unsafe.
Waiting for the engine to melt down, or a ball joint to break are clearly NOT in the best interest of anyone.
But, what about those mid-level, non-acute, services and repairs like a constant velocity joint with a torn protective boot. Though the C.V. Joint is functioning within manufacturer specifications, the grease lubricating it can escape the torn rubber boot. Debris can also access the joint. The torn boot can lead to premature failure of the joint.
In those cases it's time to look at all the costs and benefits. Is this in our customer's budget right now? Can this wait until it is in the budget, or should we look at other options?
The most important part of the cost/benefit analysis when fixing import cars is, we think, having an open and honest conversation with our customers about the best option and the best way to make it happen.
We may know what options exist, but in order to know what's best for the customer we need to do what we do best-- speak with our customers. Our strategy is to be an advisor during the car repair & service process.