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Why Trust Diamond Certified European Auto Repair Specialists Rated Highest in Quality?

A foreign auto specialist repairs a European vehicle.

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a European auto repair shop that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified European auto repair center. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated European vehicle repair shop and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

 

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE San Mateo County – Auto Repair – European Specialist CATEGORY

Ralph Kirberg is a 39-year veteran of the automotive industry and president of Kirberg Motors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2009. He can be reached at (650) 469-3987 or by email.

Ralph Kirberg

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Ralph Kirberg: Second Generation

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

BELMONT – While many people inherit their family’s businesses, few can call themselves “second generation” both as business owners and U.S. citizens, but that’s exactly the case for Ralph Kirberg. “My father, Juergen, was working for Porsche in Germany when the company offered him an opportunity to immigrate to the United States,” he relates. “Later, when they decided to relocate their operations base to Los Angeles, he decided to stay in the Bay Area and open his own repair shop.” As a young man, Ralph’s aptitude for his father’s trade became quickly apparent. “I used to spend a lot of time hanging out at the shop, and I really took a shine to mechanical work, which led me to join the family business and eventually take it over.”

Today, as president of Kirberg Motors, Ralph says one of his favorite aspects of his job is keeping up with industry innovations. “The automotive business is never dull because the technology just keeps evolving. It’s a new game every day, which is why staying up-to-date with training and equipment is such a top priority.”

Ralph was born in Chicago, but he grew up in Belmont and eventually settled in Redwood Shores, where he still lives with his wife, Lisa. Outside of work, he says he can usually be found either on a lake or on the slopes, depending on the time of year. “I’m an avid sailor and skier. My wife and I actually have a place in South Lake Tahoe where we spend most weekends during the winter and summer.”

After 35 years in the auto repair industry, Ralph says the one thing he’d like to convey to consumers is the importance of finding a trustworthy mechanic. “Unfortunately, our industry is known for being driven by money rather than quality workmanship, but what it really comes down to is finding a shop that has your best interests in mind. A lot of times, people choose a shop because it’s cheaply priced or conveniently located, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to get good service. Considering the cost of auto repair, it’s worthwhile to do some research and find a shop you can trust.”

When asked what his future retirement might look like, Ralph says he’ll continue to keep himself occupied one way or another. “I’d definitely take advantage of the extra time to pursue some of the sports I enjoy, but I’d also like to get involved in some type of business venture, if only for brain stimulation. I may go into retail, just because I enjoy interacting with customers so much.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first car?
A: A 1970 Volkswagen Beetle. I bought it for $200, rebuilt the engine and made it look as good as new.

Q: Reality TV or documentaries?
A: Documentaries.

Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: Over easy.

Q: What’s the most memorable thing a customer has ever said to you?
A: Someone left an online review that referred to me by saying, “He’s truly a God.” I had to laugh when I read that one.

Q: Who’s your favorite movie monster?
A: The title character from “Alien.”

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Understanding Dashboard Warning Lights

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BELMONT — There are a lot of warning lights on a vehicle’s dashboard, all of which help ensure safety on the road. While some are self-explanatory, others aren’t as obvious, so it’s important for drivers to acquaint themselves with the… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Dashboard Light Safety

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Complete Video Transcription:

BELMONT — Host, Sarah Rutan: Ever wonder what all of those warning lights on your dashboard mean? Today we’re in Belmont with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor,… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

  • Mercedes-Benz

  • Porsche

  • Audi

  • Lexus

  • Volkswagen

  • Infiniti

  • Jaguar

  • Range Rover

  • Land Rover

  • Mini

AC
Mercedes-Benz
Aston Martin
Audi
Bentley
Jaguar
Lamborghini
Lancia
DeTomaso
Ferrari
Fiat
Alfa Romeo
MG
Mini
Land Rover
Lotus
Maserati
Maybach
Volvo
Rover
Saab
Morgan
Opel
Peugeot
Porsche
Renault
Volkswagen (VW)
Rolls Royce
Zastava
SEAT

European auto repair
auto brake repair
auto electrical repair
auto repair estimates
European auto engine repairs
auto smog repairs
rough idling
fuel injection repair
full engine overhauls
air conditioner repair
Euroepean car tire repair
muffler repairs
auto tune-up
auto diagnostics
clutch repairs
automobile oil change
auto ignition repairs
car problem diagnostic
mechanical auto repairs
car exhaust repair
foreign auto repair
European car suspension repair
engine diagnostics
engine rebuilding
carburetor service
European auto timing problems
hose replacement
European car bumper repair
auto repair troubleshooting
mobile auto repair

Atherton
Belmont
Brisbane
Broadmoor Village
Burlingame
Colma
Daly City
East Palo Alto
El Granada
Emerald Hills
Foster City
Half Moon Bay
Hillsborough
La Honda
Loma Mar
Menlo Park
Millbrae
Montara
Moss Beach
Pacifica
Palomar Park
Pescadero
Portola Valley
Princeton by the Sea
Redwood City
San Bruno
San Carlos
San Gregorio
San Mateo
Sharp Park
South SF
West Menlo Park
Woodside

94002
94005
94010
94011
94014
94015
94016
94017
94018
94019
94020
94021
94025
94026
94027
94028
94030
94037
94038
94044
94060
94061
94062
94063
94064
94065
94066
94070
94074
94080
94083
94096
94098
94128
94401
94402
94403
94404

The following agencies and associations may have more information about European auto repairs in your area:

American Automobile Association (AAA) (http://www.aaa.com/)
American Window and Door Institute (AWDI) (www.awdi.com/)
Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) (http://www.carcrash.org/)
Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) (http://www.aftermarket.org/)
Alliance Of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) (http://www.autoserviceproviders.com/)
Automotive Composites Alliance (ACA) (http://www.autocomposites.org/)
Association of Diesel Specialists (ADS) (http://www.diesel.org/)

Engine Builders Association (AERA) (www.aera.org)
Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) (http://www.aiag.org/)
Automotive Service Association (ASA) (http://www.asashop.org/)
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) (http://www.asecert.org/)
American Salvage Pool Association (ASPA) (http://www.aspa.com/)
American Society for Quality (ASQ) (http://www.asq.org/)
Automotive Warehouse Distributor Association (AWDA) (http://www.awda.org/)
California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) (http://www.autorepair.ca.gov/)
California Service Station and Automotive Repair Association (CSSARA) (http://www.cssara.org/)
Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) (http://www.i-car.com/)
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) (http://www.mema.org/)
National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) (http://www.natef.org/)
Society for the Advancement of Autodynamics (SAA) (http://www.autodynamics.org/)
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) (http://www.sema.org)

Know What You Want
What to Consider Before Interviewing European Auto Services in San Mateo County

You’ll make a more informed choice if you start by thinking about your expectations and needs before you visit local European car repair shops.

Perhaps you have a new vehicle and are looking for a shop to maintain it for the long-term, are looking for a new shop after having been disappointed by previous repair centers, or have decided it’s best for you and your vehicle to find a local European auto repair shop in Daly City, Redwood City, San Mateo, South San Francisco, San Bruno, East Palo Alto or your area.

Whatever your reason for needing to find a new European auto repair center, the questions below will help you define what it is you need and want from your new mechanic.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified European auto repair center that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Do I want to hire an auto repair shop that specializes in my make and model, or is a general European auto repair center good enough for my needs?
  • What problems am I currently experiencing with my vehicle? (These may include problems with the clutch, gear slider transmission, tire/wheel trouble, routine maintenance, transmission problems, need diagnostics, ignition problems, etc.)
  • How long has your British car/European vehicle been experiencing this problem?
  • When do you notice the problems? (For example, during certain types of weather, certain road conditions, driving maneuvers, when first starting the car, etc.)
  • Does your car make strange sounds? Can you locate the source of the sounds?
  • Have you noticed diminished performance in your vehicle over time?
  • Do you need to add more fluids to the car more frequently than in the past?
  • When you drive, does the car experience odd vibrations? Or does it lean to one side in particular?
  • What personal and professional attributes are you looking for in a European auto repair technician?(This may include honesty, reliability, location, ability to work on BMW/Mercedes-Benz/Jaguar/Volvo/Land Rover vehicles, etc.)
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What To Ask In Person
Interview European Auto Repair Mechanics in Person

Make sure that any European car repair shop you visit, whether in Foster City, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, South San Francisco, Menlo Park or beyond, has successfully answered all of the questions you posed to them over the phone.
This will help you narrow the list to only those European vehicle repair services in San Mateo County or your area that offer the services you require and service your make and model.

Once you are sure of this, decide which car repair center or centers best meet your needs. Then, visit each of those shops to interview the mechanic or talk with the service writer in person. You may need an appointment to do this, as many of the best European auto repair services in San Mateo County are very busy, and you will want a few minutes of their undivided attention.

Here are a few questions you can use to continue your conversation with a European auto specialist in San Mateo County or near you:

  • How will you evaluate what is wrong with my vehicle?
  • Once you know what repairs need to be made, will you call me with details?
  • How long I can expect my vehicle to be in the shop?
  • What if my car needs repairs that you are not be equipped to handle? (This can include warranty-only work, electric repairs, body repairs, upholstery repairs, etc.) Do you work with other San Mateo County shops to finish the repair job, or will I need to arrange for those third-party repairs?
  • Will those repairs performed by other San Mateo County shops be given a warranty by your shop, or will they provide me with a separate warranty?
  • Do you have my contact information on hand? What’s the best way to reach me for news on my vehicle’s repairs?
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  • What To Ask References
    Learn From Previous Customers of European Car Repair Shops

    If you demand quality from a European auto repair specialist in San Mateo County, you can trust in the Diamond Certified designation. Diamond Certified reports are available online for every certified company. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews because all research is carried out by live telephone interviews of a large, random sample of actual customers.

    If you can’t locate a Diamond Certified European auto specialist in San Mateo County for you in Burlingame, Foster City, Daly City, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Redwood City or your area, begin to research on your own.

    Start by contacting some references provided by your prospective European auto repair specialist. At the same time, remember that these references are not equal to the large random selection of customers who participate in the Diamond Certified ratings process.

    That’s because many local European auto mechanics cherry-pick the most sympathetic references to give to potential customers.

    When calling references on your own, always ask for a list of the shop’s ten most recent clients. This move helps you sidestep being given only the names of the most satisfied customers.

    Once you have names in hand, use the following sample questions and some of your own specific questions to learn as much as you can about the shop you’re considering and the European auto repair services they offer.

    • What type of vehicle do you drive (Lexus, Lotus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, VW, Audi, Porsche, Saab, etc.)? This may be important if you’re looking for a European car repair shop that specializes in your make or model.
    • Were you happy with the repairs to your vehicle?
    • What repairs did [insert San Mateo County British auto repair shop name here] do for your car?
    • Was the shop willing to tow your car to their shop’s garage and/or provide a courtesy vehicle if you required those services?
    • How would you rate the turnaround time on repair work?
    • How well did the shop’s mechanic and staff communicate with and listen to you?
    • Was the price fair for the European auto repair work completed?
    • What most pleased you about your experience with this San Mateo County British car repair shop?
    • Would you ever return to this European auto shop if your car needed more work?
    • Would you recommend this shop to others?
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  • Review Your Options
    Hire a Good European Auto Repair Specialist in San Mateo County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Resist the temptation to choose whichever San Mateo County European auto repair shop is closest to you. Picking the first European vehicle repair specialist you see may not get you the results and quality you want.

    To avoid this, spend some time researching which European auto repair shop is the best one for you before you face car trouble or a breakdown. Developing an ongoing relationship with a shop now will help you feel secure and confident when you do face car trouble or need more costly auto maintenance.

    Research and interview European auto specialists in San Mateo County when your car needs simple repairs or annual preventative maintenance. Talk with the mechanics and build a rapport with them so you can count on them when your car requires more extensive (or expensive) work.

    Visit the same European car repair shop for all of your car’s maintenance needs if you can. This will enable the shop develop a record of your particular car and its previous services, and help you save money on repairs in the long run.

    To pick the best European auto repair garage for your needs, review the notes you took during the phone and in-person meetings with the auto shop staff. Look for the one shop that stands out from the rest.

    Consider these questions, too:

    • Can a European auto repair specialist in San Mateo County accommodate your needs for scheduling the repairs your vehicle needs?
    • Will the British car repair services in San Mateo County and beyond honor your requirements of OEM parts and top-tier customer service?
    • Does the shop’s service writer communicate well with you?
    • Is this auto repair specialist focused on returning your car to the road as safely and quickly as possible?
    • Which European auto repair shop makes you feel most comfortable?
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  • How To Work With
    Get Complete Estimates from Local European Auto Specialists

    Maintaining your European vehicle can be costly, but not nearly as expensive as buying a new vehicle or paying for avoidable repairs. So it makes sense that you’d want to take responsibility to keep your car running safely and well for as many years as possible.

    Once you’ve found a good European car repair specialist with whom you have a comfortable rapport, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting a fair estimate your car repairs.

    Begin with talking to the service writer about the car trouble or routine maintenance your vehicle needs. The notes you’ve taken throughout the process will help you pinpoint the exact trouble you are experiencing with your vehicle. Give as many details as you can, and don’t rush the process. Every bit of information you can share may save time and effort on your mechanic’s part and may result in you paying less for more accurate repairs.

    Next, give the service writer a chance to share his or her opinion or thoughts. Listen closely and clearly answer any questions. You deserve a clear explanation of the car trouble and the ways it can be fixed. If you don’t understand what the European auto repair service staff is explaining to you, ask for clarification until you completely understand the problem and all of your options.

    By law, it is your right to see and sign a written estimate before the European auto repair shop begins work on your vehicle. This estimate must present the entire cost of all labor and parts, including an itemized list of every required part and the repair method. Never sign a blank estimate or work order.

    Good repair shops may need take a closer look at your car before offering a diagnosis. In this situation, the estimate they present to you may only include the cost of diagnostics and the estimate of the cost of repair. However, the repair staff must contact you before they can proceed with their work if the actual repair is more expensive than the original estimate. In most cases, you can authorize the additional work over the phone.

    Sign a Contract with European Auto Services in San Mateo County
    To make the repair services official, you’ll need to sign your estimate along with a service agreement. Ensure that the European car repair shop has a cell phone number or other contact number where you can be reached while your car is in the garage.

    They will need to contact you for any additional work or with questions, so it is imperative they can reach you at all times. The repairs can stall and may take longer than expected if there is a lag in communication or the repair shop can’t reach you for needed authorizations.

    You are legally entitled to have the old car auto parts returned to you, but you must request this before work begins. If it is important to you to see the old parts or to take them with you after they’ve been replaced, write this into the service agreement you sign and remind your service writer and mechanic that you expect to have the old parts returned.

    However, this may not be possible if the European auto repair shop is performing repairs that are covered under warranty. Instead, they may need to return the parts to the manufacturer or dealer. You still have the right to see the old parts, though, and they should be made available to you if you’ve requested that.

    You may also want to ask to have the odometer reading taken at drop-off and pick-up. This will verify a test drive has been done (if promised) and that the car has been driven the appropriate distance while in the shop’s care.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    Benefit By Playing the Part of a Good Customer

    Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a San Mateo County specialist in European auto repair:

    • Be clear and upfront with your European auto repair mechanic. Let them know what you want from your experience with them, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way in fostering and maintaining a good working relationship.
    • Before you hire a European auto specialist in San Mateo County, restate your expectations and goals, and clarify to the service representative your understanding of the agreement. Most issues with European auto repair happen due to a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your service writer or garage staff if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re at work on your vehicle. The work will move along more smoothly if your service writer can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your San Mateo County European auto repair center contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the repairs on schedule.
    • Pay for the completed repair work promptly or as scheduled.

    It’s your mechanic’s job to install quality parts in your vehicle using the best possible installation techniques. But you also play a big part in the success of your European car’s repair. And chances are that you will be much happier with the results if you take an active role in your vehicle repairs.

    Being a good customer benefits both you and your San Mateo County European vehicle repair service. European auto repair specialists appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with.

    Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Your experience may very well go more smoothly, and any trouble may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Compare the Work with Your Invoice

Once the auto repair work on your European vehicle is completed, your mechanic must provide you with a written invoice.
Make sure that it includes the following items:

  • The San Mateo County European vehicle repair shop’s name, physical address, and their auto repair registration number.
  • An itemized list of every replaced part, including the nature of each part (new, salvaged, used, reconditioned, etc.).
  • The total cost of the repair, including an itemized amount charged for labor.
  • All relevant fees for hazardous waste disposal, plus the repair shop’s EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) registration number.
  • Your vehicle’s odometer reading when dropped off and when picked up, if you had requested this reading before signing the service agreement.

Before you leave the shop, you may want to ask your mechanic to show you the repairs that were done. Feel free to use your invoice like a check list and compare the services rendered to those billed.

Again, it’s your right to have the original parts returned to you—but only if you had previously requested them before signing the service agreement. Mechanics may not be allowed to return to your possession car parts under warranty, as they may need to return them to the manufacturer, but you should still be allowed to see them and inspect the wear or damage.

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Written Warranties
Request Written Guarantees from San Mateo County British Auto Repair Services

Never leave a repair shop without first confirming any warranties provided from the shop or parts manufacturer. If you leave the shop without written proof of warranties, you may lose out on the chance to request warranty coverage that is due to you, or you may unknowingly violate warranty terms.

Not every European auto repair shop in Daly City, San Mateo, Redwood City, South San Francisco, San Bruno, Pacifica District, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Foster City, Burlingame or other San Mateo County cities offers warranties on auto parts and their work. However, those that do should offer a written warranty that includes:

  • The physical address and name of the San Mateo County European auto repair shop.
  • An explanation of the warranty coverage; all stipulations and exclusions must be clarified. (i.e. Will the shop replace or repair broken parts? What about a refund? How should you handle it if you need to make a warranty claim?)
  • Your responsibility in the event of a failed repair job.
  • The steps you must take to redeem any warranty coverage.
  • The length of the warranty’s validity. (Is it prorated? Does it expire on a certain day?)
  • Can you transfer the warranty to a new owner if you sell the car?
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Top 10 Requests
Services From European Vehicle Repair Centers in San Mateo County

European auto repair specialists in San Mateo County are equipped to handle an array of vehicle maintenance needs and repairs for popular British cars and European autos.

The following is a list of the types of European car repair jobs with which San Mateo County mechanics are most familiar:

Complete Brake Replacement for British and European Vehicles
Changing the brake pads, though simple enough, may not ultimately be enough to correct trouble with car’s braking system. An expert in European auto repair can indeed let you know when a full scale replacement of the brakes is necessary. Such a replacement will often involve replacing the brake discs, drum, and rotor — expensive yet essential parts to address.

Auto Fuel System Repair
Cars frequently driven with less than a quarter-tank of fuel may sometimes suffer from clogged fuel tanks. Fuel filters can also back up; the engine can overflow and produce choked noises. Well-trained European auto repair specialists are best equipped to address the particular needs of European cars in these situations.

European Auto Engine Repair
Problems regarding a car’s engine often begin with the illumination of the Check Engine warning light. If that light goes ignored for too long, a car’s owner may experience more aggravated symptoms of a problem, from a sudden drop in the vehicle’s performance to sputtering noises and a failure to start the car’s ignition. Engine issues can arise from so many sources, making it essential that a vetted expert check out the problem.

Mobile Auto Repairs for British Cars and European Vehicles
Mobile mechanic services are growing in demand in San Mateo County and the rest of the Bay Area. These car experts travel to your home or business to repair your vehicle, saving you the time and hassle of driving to the local repair shop. Keep in mind, minor repairs and maintenance services are those most easily offered by mobile repair services, and major repairs or diagnostic work will still probably need to be done at a mechanic’s shop.

Auto Belt / Hose Repair and Replacement
The inner workings of a car include several belts and hoses, including the drive belt, serpentine belt, heater hose and fuel hose. These components help to maintain the smooth operation of your vehicle. Warning lights, an overheated engine, leaks, and odd squeaks can all signal trouble with these car parts.

European Car Clutch Repair
One of the distinguishing features of European cars, and their stick shift driving modes, is the unique structure of the clutch on their transmission. Problems with the clutch can result in screeches, clutch slippage, and even engine trouble. Many models of Volkswagen, Saab, Mini, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles all require regular clutch care. If driven hard, Land Rover, BMW, Audi, and Jaguar models may also require an eventual full-scale clutch replacement from a European car specialist.

New Car Windows and Windshields for European Makes and Models
Replacing car windows is yet another common request made of European auto mechanics in San Mateo County. European cars can sometimes attract unwanted attention and accidents due to their value and appearance. Window and windshield repairs for European cars may be covered by auto insurance plans. Vehicle owners should specifically request that only OEM parts be used for the repairs and replacement, as European vehicle windows and windshields may fit differently than standard domestic vehicle glass.

Routine Vehicle Maintenance for European Vehicles
This type of service is better known as the regular checkup or tuneup that a vehicle’s manufacturer will advise for the car’s care. Typically, such routine maintenance will take place at intervals of 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles on the odometer. Checkups and tuneups for European vehicles usually include inspection and replacement of air and fuel filters, spark plugs, and cabin filters. The oil should also be replaced as needed. San Mateo County European car mechanics should also examine auto fluid levels, the engine, and the exhaust and electrical systems to ensure proper wear. Investing in routine vehicle maintenance can prevent the need for more serious and costly repairs down the road.

European Vehicle Electrical Repairs
European vehicles have always been noted for the sophistication of their electrical systems. This can sometimes translate into the need for repairs to a car’s electrical features. For the best performance, European car repair specialists advise that electrical wiring should be checked every two years and whenever driving problems surface that relate to wiring or the vehicle’s electrical system.

European Vehicle Brake Repair
Throughout East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Burlingame, Foster City, and the entirety of San Mateo County, brake repairs are a frequent demand. Brakes erode over time, even those brakes on European cars that are constructed so well. The majority of brake issues are fixed with an inexpensive replacement of the brake pads. Always check your brakes often, especially if: the brake pedal feels hard when stepped on; the brake pedal feels spongy or loose; the brake warning light is always on; or if you ever hear squeaking or grinding when you brake the car.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of European Auto Repair Terms

Here are some of the more important words for you to know in order to successfully manage your car’s automotive repair. You are more likely to get the repairs you need and be happy with the results if you understand the terms used by your European auto repair service in describing the problems and solutions.

air filter
Auto air filters are thin paper or synthetic filters that collect dirt and debris as air circulates in the engine. Air filters for European vehicles should be changed before they become clogged and restrict air flow. How often you need to do this varies depending on how you drive and the places your vehicle is driven. For example, cars driven mainly in cities and on freeways may only need to have their air filters changed every year, or every 15,000 miles. Vehicles driven in the country or on dirt roads may require much more frequent changes.

aftermarket car parts
Any car parts not produced by the original manufacturer. They are made to function like OEM parts, but often cost less. Beware of cheap aftermarket car parts, as these may not wear as well or fit as tightly as original parts. Most European auto repair services recommend OEM parts rather than aftermarket parts whenever possible to maintain the quality and value of the vehicle.

European auto repair shop
A car repair service that is hired maintain and repair clients’ vehicles. European auto repair shops maintain and repair European vehicle brands, including Volvo, Smart, BMW, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Mini, MG, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Audi, Saab, Aston Martin, Fiat, Porsche and Rolls Royce.

classic automobile
A vehicle between 20 and 40 years in age, according to the standards of the Classic Car Club of America. Some popular classic European cars include Alfa Romeo GTZ, Ferrari 308 GTB, Porsche 911T, Mercedes 300SL, Mercedes 300 W 186, BMW 635 CSI, Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato, Austin Healy 3000 MkII and Jaguar XKE.

Also known as: classic car, vintage car, old car, antique car

clutch
The transmission device which transfers the engine’s power between its components. Clutches are a characteristic feature of European cars, such as the Porsche and Alfa Romeo.

chassis
The vehicle’s undercarriage, where all the powertrain and suspension components are located.

crankshaft
Sometimes just called the crank, this part of a car’s engine ensures that the pistons are rotating properly.

European cars
Any car which is manufactured in Europe. Commonly known European cars include Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volvo, Audi, Ferrari, Porsche, Volkswagen (VW), Mini, and Jaguar.

exhaust
The gases ejected from a car’s engine in the form of waste.

foreign auto repair shop
An auto repair shop that specifically concentrates on maintenance and repairs for cars not built in the United States.

Also known as: mechanic, auto service, auto repair service, auto body repair, auto garage

front wheel drive
Driving system that focuses on the car’s front two wheels, in either automatic or manual shift.

fluid change
This is a standard practice for auto maintenance, in which a car’s oil is changed, and the fluids of the engine, transmission, radiator / cooling system, battery, brakes, window washer, and air conditioning system are also assessed.

Also known as: oil change, transmission fluid

horsepower
The amount of energy that a car’s engine can produce.

Also known as: supercharger, car performance, car motor performance

luxury car
Any car that provides desirable yet not entirely necessary features at a higher cost than other vehicles. Well known luxury car brands frequently come from Europe and include Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Jaguar, and Volvo, among others.

make
The name of the car’s brand or manufacturer, i.e. Audi, Jaguar, Porsche, Citroen, Seat or Volkswagen.

model
The name of the specific type of car. Examples include Volkswagen Jetta, BMW 3-Series, BMW 5-Series, Mini Cooper, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A5.

OEM
OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. OEM means that auto parts used for a repair job were made by the car’s actual manufacturer. They are pricier than aftermarket parts, but they are a better fit for the car, more durable, and usually include warranty coverage. Most European auto repair sources recommend OEM parts to keep vehicles running as the manufacturer intended.

power train
A term that refers to the car’s engine and transmission, which power the car.

RPM
“Revolutions per minute.” The speed at which the crankshaft of the engine turns.

salvaged part
This is an auto part recycled from another car. Frequently cheap, these parts rarely have warranties and can’t be guaranteed. For rare or older European cars, salvaged parts can sometimes be a last option for hard-to-find parts.

serpentine belt
A long belt that helps several components of an engine to work, including the air pump, water pump, power steering pump, and alternator.

shocks
Better known as shock absorbers.” These parts work with the brakes in order to soften how a car rides. Experts recommend replacing shocks once every 50,000 miles.

stick shift
Manually operated transmission, with the shift lever set on the steering column or the floor; a common fixture in European vehicles.

struts
An integral part of any vehicle, especially for those with front wheel drive. Located near the front of a car’s undercarriage, struts feature coil springs, spring seats, a strut bearing, and the steering knuckles, in addition to the shocks.

timing belt
The belt is covered in teeth, operated by the crankshaft. Timing belt problems typically include improperly open valves, which can be bent out of shape by the engine’s pistons.

transmission
The complex of gears, shafts, and the like that transmit a car’s power from its engine to its driving wheels.

Also known as: automatic transmission, manual transmission, transmission repair

undercarriage
A car’s underside that provides a supportive framework for the vehicle’s parts.

upholstery
The interior features and design of a car’s interior, particularly its seats and flooring.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about European Auto Repair Services

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified specialist in European auto repair services?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a European auto repair specialist with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only European auto specialists rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified specialist.

Q. Aren’t repairs to European cars expensive to maintain? Why shouldn’t I just go for the cheapest mechanic to fix my car?
A. European cars are notoriously pricey when it comes to auto repair and even auto maintenance. This is primarily due to the sophisticated nature of the parts required for these cars, in addition to the tools required to work on them. Cutting corners on the quality of your car’s parts or the mechanic you choose may seem an attractive money-saving option—at first. But remember that the long-term value of your vehicle can take a hit if you fail to properly maintain your vehicle or rely on a cut-rate auto repair shop for repairs or maintenance. Take the time to research and locate the best trained and equipped mechanic you can for your car, and take your vehicle in regularly for tuneups and maintenance. This simple action can help stave off more expensive car repair needs. And if indeed such a repair job becomes necessary, a well-qualified mechanic can ensure that the job is done right, so that your car won’t have to come into the garage for additional work, and saving you money in the long run.

Q: What are my rights as a consumer in California when it comes to European auto repairs?
A: The Automotive Repair Act of 1974 gives all customers the right to a written estimate for all repair work, detailed invoices that itemize work done and parts supplied, and the return of the old auto parts if customers so request their return during the work order. For more information, visit the Bureau of Auto Repair website.

Q. Is there a difference between independent European auto repair shops and dealership repair shops?
A. Yes, there is. Independent mechanic garages can choose any types of parts they like for repair jobs. These shops also have lower hourly charges for labor, which could translate into savings for owners of European autos. Some local for European car dealership repair shops are known for having well-trained, experienced repair specialists. These professionals are vetted over years to perfect their skills in maintenance and repairs in specific European car makes and models. If your car is new or recently purchased, still under its warranty, some repairs may be done either for free or at low cost at a dealership. Be aware that work on a warrantied car done by an independent repair shop could actually void your car’s warranty.

Q: Is it a wise to pick an auto repair shop that has certifications?
A: Certifications don’t ensure you’ll get receive repairs or higher quality service at local British car repair centers. But they can indicate how serious an auto repair shop is about pleasing customers and executing trustworthy repair jobs. Certifications like ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) and memberships in automotive service organizations prove that car mechanics have sought and attained a higher level of professionalism.

Q: What are OEM auto parts?
A: OEM parts are created by the same manufacturer that produced the original auto parts in your car. Most automobile manufacturers do not manufacture auto parts. They depend on outside companies to design and produce these parts. After a certain time, these OEM parts are available for resale through wholesale distributors. Once available through auto part wholesalers, OEM parts are often much less pricey than those sold through the dealer.

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