If you drive an import car and you need to have service done or repairs made to the vehicle, there are some things that you need to consider. Often import cars require the use of different tools and may even need to have computer diagnostics completed on a machine that is specific to the make of the vehicle, so finding a shop that can service it is essential.
For many people, having auto service completed on their car is a simple matter of taking the car back to the dealer, but if you no longer live close to the dealer you purchased your car from, you may need to find one closer to work with. Since dealerships are tied to the manufacturer, the service and auto repair techniques will be very similar.
For your import car, the service standard should follow the same process and use the same parts at any dealer across the country. For owners that are concerned about factory replacement parts, the dealership is the best option for import service, but keep in mind that the dealer is also often higher priced than other service centers or auto repair businesses.
Some auto repair businesses specialize in import cars. If the garage works only on imports, they will have all the right tools and diagnostic equipment to do the job for you, and they often hire techs who are trained specifically to work on these cars.
While the general systems in most cars are similar, sometimes an import car with have something special done to improve the performance or durability of the vehicle. If you are working with an auto repair shop that understands the differences, it can save some time and ensure that the auto repairs or service work is done correctly. A shop specializing in imports or specific brands of import cars will often advertise that on their building or sign, making them a little easier to find when you are looking.
Many import cars use specific software and engine computers that require the right diagnostic machines to communicate with them. Often an auto repair shop specializing in these vehicles will have the proper diagnostic computers to work with these cars. The equipment can be expensive, so a repair shop that only sees one or two import cars a year is likely not going to spend the money for this specialty software.
If your car has a warning light or check engine light that needs to be diagnosed, call some shops in your area to find out if they can read the codes for your imported car or if you need to find a dealer to get the information.
Contact an option like a BMW service center in your area to learn more.