How to select a shop
- February 25, 2015
- BMW, MINI, Porsche
- Posted by Charles Oehmke
- Comments Off on How to select a shop
When considering the idea of trusting your BMW, PORSCHE, or MINI to a repair shop there are many things to consider. Outlined below are a number of questions you might want to ask yourself before entrusting your BMW, PORSCHE or MINI to just any repair shop:
Does the repair facility specialize in your specific car?
There are many types of specialization in the automotive business. Technically speaking, the quick lube shop specializes in oil services. However, in almost all cases, they will not be able to reset your oil service lights, and will not stock the manufacturer approved oils or OEM filters. Likewise, many shops specialize in foreign cars or European cars. Today, it is extremely difficult and expensive for a shop to maintain technical information and diagnostic tools for all makes and models. When selecting a shop you will have to ask yourself, do you want a facility that claims to be able to do some service or repair on many types of cars OR do you want to deal with a facility that does all services and repairs on your type of car?
At Nikolas Motorsport Independent BMW-PORSCHE-MINI Service we are proud to say “We specialize to provide the customer with the best value and convenience, along with a long term service relationship”.
Does the facility complete a courtesy check of your car when it is in for service?
Any time a vehicle goes on a hoist at Nikolas Motorsport the technician completes a multi-point courtesy inspection of the car. This inspection includes a physical check of fluids, service intervals, suspension, brakes, lights, tires, etc. The purpose of the inspection is to identify issues with your car before they become a significant problem.
How does the facility handle prioritization of needed service and repairs on your vehicle?
After the technician inspects or diagnoses your car, our office staff is responsible for preparing estimates for any work that is required, or upcoming. It is also one of our duties to assist you with the prioritization of any work suggested. Generally, we will start with items we see as dangerous or likely to cause a breakdown. The next level would typically include services which will cause damage to other components if not addressed, or become more expensive to repair at a later date. Finally, we will review items which should be taken care of, but do not require immediate attention. In all cases, these priorities would include your input, and your goals for the vehicle. We pride ourselves on working with our customers to manage the ongoing maintenance of their fine automobiles.
Does the repair facility have the diagnostic capability to diagnose specific problems in all systems of your car?
Often time’s customers will ask us for a repair based on a “free” diagnosis from the corner auto parts store. We wish it was that simple. The federal government regulates the portion of a car’s diagnostic system that affects emissions and requires fault codes in those systems to be able to be read by any generic code reader. This is commonly referred to as OBD 2. However, there are literally 100’s of additional fault codes that must be read and interpreted to diagnose any given problem with today’s cars. Without the proper diagnostic tool, the most competent technician cannot properly diagnose and repair your car. Additionally, in the process of completing repairs on today’s car, the technician will often have to program or update programming in one of the many control modules utilized in your car. At Nikolas Motorsport, we are proud to utilize the state of the art Autologic diagnostic system. This system allows us to run diagnostic checks, run test procedures, evaluate real time data, program and code.
Does the repair facility have weights to properly load your BMW before performing a 4 wheel alignment?
BMW factory specifications require the car to be fully “weighted” (simulating a fully loaded car) prior to taking any alignment measurements or making any adjustments to the steering or suspension. If a tire store or repair shop is suggesting an alignment on your BMW, the first question you need to ask is…”Do you have the required weights to load into the car before doing the alignment?’. If the answer is “No” have the alignment done somewhere else, regardless of the price. Yes, Nikolas Motorsport has a state of the art alignment machine, the required weights for BMWs, and most importantly, the expertise to properly align your BMW, PORSCHE, or MINI.
Does the repair facility use original equipment parts?
It is a common occurrence for us to answer a telephone request for a price quote on a given service or repair. These days we all check prices. However, a key component to the question requires you to know if you are receiving a quote for like services, with like parts. At Nikolas Motorsport the general rule is that we use OEM parts only. There are exceptions in the area of performance parts and in the case where a repair with an aftermarket solution better suits the customer. When comparing repair facilities please understand that those great deals may often utilize inferior parts. In the long run, having the job done twice will always cost more.
What is the warranty on the service work performed?
At Nikolas Motorsport most repairs are warranted for 2 years, with unlimited miles. We can do this because we use the best OEM parts and have the best technicians.
Does the repair facility have access to technical information, training and support for your specific vehicle? Technical information, training and support is available from many sources today. When you utilize a repair facility like Nikolas Motorsport, the level of support for the cars we work on is in-depth. Our specialization increases our expertise. In addition to tech support from the manufacturers and Autologic Diagnostics, Nikolas Motorsport is a long term member of BIMRS. This association of independent BMW service professionals provides training, technical information, and a members only technical forum. For more information check bimrs.org.
Have you looked at the overall condition and appearance of the facility?
You have a special car. It doesn’t matter if it is a BMW, PORSCHE, or MINI. It is yours, and it is special to you. When you are looking for a relationship with a service facility check out the shop. Is it clean? Is it well lit? Is it organized? Please ask us for a tour.
Is the service facility easy to do business with?
After hours pick ups and drop offs, loaner cars, shuttle rides and quick turn around on service are part of the daily routine at Nikolas Motorsport. The personal relationships between our customers, their cars, and our staff is often cited as the reason people keep the car for an extended period. Try us, we think you will agree our staff tries hard to make us easy to do business with.
Do they like cars?
This sounds a bit trivial, but when you think about businesses that you trust and enjoy doing business with, often times it is the “passion” that separates a business from the competition. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about restaurants, sports teams, or car repair….when you find a business with passion you find a winner. Yes, we have the passion for cars. Stop by and see us, we think you will agree.