Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use an independent repair shop while my car is under warranty?
Absolutely! An impartial periodic check of your vehicle protects your long term interests, particularly if you plan to keep your car for a long time. An unfortunate fact of life is that dealerships aren't paid as well for warranty work as they are for retail repairs. As a result, most dealer technicians seldom look for defects in your car while it's still under warranty. Even during your car's warranty period, we can prepare a list of items covered under the warranty that may need attention for you to present to your dealer.
My car is under warranty, and the dealership told me they must service the car.
Not so. You are perfectly within your rights to have your car serviced by any qualified independent repair facility. German Car Repair, Inc. meets all manufacturers’ requirements to keep your warranty current. Furthermore, we use only original equipment quality parts to maintain your vehicle. If you have a service contract with your dealer for free maintenance, by all means, get your money's worth out of it. Otherwise, you are welcome to service your car with us.
How often should I change my car's oil?
Have you noticed how oil change intervals suddenly stretched to 15,000 miles when manufacturers began to foot the bill for your maintenance? That’s a very long period of time and mileage without so much as a safety check (which dealers won’t do for free). We have seen vehicles subjected to the manufacturers’ "recommended" maintenance schedules at 70, 80, and 90,000 miles (and it's not a pretty sight). Owners then have to deal with the consequences of these extended intervals, such as failed valve lifters, frozen Vanos (variable valve timing) actuators, pieces of oil filter material clogging oil pump pickup tubes, and so on.
A more frequent maintenance schedule is not only important for safe operation of your vehicle, but will pay dividends in longevity for the long-term owner. German Car Repair recommends an interim oil change, depending on your type of driving, at 5,000 to 7,000 miles, even if your car requires synthetic oil. This maintenance interval also allows our technicians to inspect your vehicle for proper function and safe operation.
I’m purchasing a pre-owned car. Is a Carfax report enough?
No! CarFax only compiles information from the insurance industry and State DMVs. Carfax has no way of tracking a vehicle’s life other than these institutions; no maintenance history, no fender-benders in which an insurance claim wasn't filed, no record of abuse. Basically, Carfax can tell you if the car you’re looking at has been totaled and has a salvage title, how many previous owners it has had, if there is a record of odometer rollback, if it has been in an accident severe enough for an insurance company to get involved, or has had a police report filed. We have inspected cars in our shop with a "clean" Carfax report that have had frame rails replaced!
When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, always have it inspected by someone familiar with the marque. German Car Repair specializes in Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche, and Volkswagen automobiles. We know the products, and we know what to look for in terms of potential problems. The fee spent on a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) is often recouped many times over in negotiating leverage. It can also save a lot of heartache for the prospective purchaser who finds out before the sale that the car he was about to buy isn’t the deal he thought it was. Click here to schedule a Pre-Purchase Inspection.
My warranty is about to expire. Should I have the dealer check the car over?
That depends on who you are more comfortable with. It's always a good idea to have an impartial, qualified facility inspect your car. German Car Repair offers a Pre-Warranty Expiration Inspection that includes a complete inspection of your car, and a listing of any warrantable items that require repair. Why pay for something yourself that your dealer didn't detect under the warranty period? Click here to schedule a Pre-Warranty Expiration Inspection.
Are "extended warranties" worth it?
An extended warranty is essentially an insurance policy. Read the fine print, and do your homework on the warranty company. We cannot stress this enough. There are a few good aftermarket warranties out there, but there are also many very dissatisfied people who haven’t got the coverage they thought they were purchasing. Worse, some warranty companies have simply gone out of business, and left their former customers without coverage. Purchase a policy while your car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty; you’ll get more coverage for less money. Ensure that wear and tear items are covered and that you pay one deductible per visit, not per repair. German Car Repair honors most extended warranty policies, and will gladly handle filing the claim for you.