Auto Repair, Maintenance and Ownership

If you drive a car that’s European, auto repair is a bit different for you than for someone who owns an American vehicle. Some of the most popular cars driven in the U.S. are of European origin. Many of these foreign brands are well-made, elegant and sporty. Some examples are the BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Volvo and Mercedes. Some popular American manufacturers are Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge. Japanese manufacturers also produce quality vehicles such as Nissan, Toyota and Honda. There is a variety of different factors that go into the decision of what kind of car to purchase.
Some of the features sought by consumers around the globe include gas mileage, reliability, performance, safety and resale value. It is also important to learn which makes and models break down more often and what it costs to repair them.
Gas mileage: With the planet’s dwindling resources and rising costs of gasoline, many consumers are intent on driving a vehicle that gets as many miles per gallon as possible. Hybrids and smart cars have been developed for just this reason. Many of the large gas hogs of yesteryear are being traded in for greener models that go further on less. Some European cars, such as Volvo, have much stricter emissions standards than those made in the US.
Reliability: Everyone wants a vehicle that is reliable on the road. A car that is low-maintenance and durable enough to bump along dirt roads or travel uphill in the snow. It’s also desirable to have a vehicle that starts up with minimal fuss and takes off down the street on a dime.
Performance: A vehicle with high performance capabilities is a must have. No one wants to drive an old bomb that barely makes it up inclines. High performance is a good thing, but it can come at the cost of increased gas consumption and emissions.
Safety: All cars have safety features built in, no matter how tiny and vulnerable they may appear externally. Sturdy externals that will hold up in a crash, air bags, strong metallic surfaces, tough bumpers and shatter proof windshields are all important safety features. Be sure to check out the specific features of the car you are considering, as these requirements vary by country.
Resale value: Some cars depreciate in value faster than others. That’s because they will likely need to be repaired more often or wear out more quickly. An online perusal of used car prices on a site such as Kelly Blue Book will give a person the stats they are looking for in terms of resale value. Owning a car that holds its value is like saving money in the bank, even if the initial cost outlay is a little higher.
Repair costs: The pricier the vehicle, the more it will probably cost to repair it. That’s because the parts needed for replacement are more expensive, just like the car, and many foreign parts are difficult to obtain in the US. Before purchasing a European, Japanese, or American car, it’s a wise idea to check out repair costs, records and probabilities.
If a person is looking for a mechanic to restore, replace or perform maintenance on their automobile, it is important to shop around. Word-of-mouth referrals are one way to find someone competent and skilled. If a person owns a foreign car, he or she may want to take it to a shop that specializes in the make and model of their vehicle. Some shops only work on imports or American cars, while others cover the spectrum. Find out by asking around, looking on the Internet and calling the shops directly. A bit of research will turn up the appropriate American, Japanese, or European car repair shop and get you back on your way in style.

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