2890 Jackson Ave.  |  Ann Arbor, MI 48103  |  M-F 8 AM - 4 PM


European Auto Repair and Maintenance Myths Debunked

Riddle us this about European auto repair.

Question: What do the owners of Volkswagen (VW), Mercedes Benz, Audi, Land Rover, Mini Cooper have in common with Complete Auto Service?

Answer: A love of vehicles. 

Americans have long had a love-hate relationship with foreign cars. On one hand, we like the durability. On the other hand, much of our economy relies on the automobile industry. Remember the crisis of 2009 when General Motors filed for bankruptcy, citing internal conflict as the culprit? Ask any veteran of the Greatest Generation and they are likely to tell you to buy American-made automobiles.

Even so, if good things come in small packages, then so do good cars. 

It’s almost common knowledge that European cars offer more amenities than their American counterparts. Not only do they last longer, but they also have a better resale value, and when it comes to hitting the wallet at the pump, people are more than fond of not spending their last dime on gas. By the same token, they don’t want to break the bank on repairs, which makes finding the right repair service a bit tricky.

While American and European cars differ in quality and cost, one thing they do have in common is that it doesn’t matter if a car is domestic or foreign – it’s a car and it travels the same roads as other cars, even those that are duct-taped together. All are accessible to standard roadway construction and potholes, weather effects, and accidents, among other things. 

Just as there are common vulnerabilities, there are some common myths when it comes to maintenance and repairs. While there are several to consider, here are a few to get you started.

European Auto Repair Myth #1A repair shop is a repair shop – and a car is a car. Any repair shop can fix my car.  

Well, yes and no. This is America – you can take it to anyone you want. But whether or not they have the capability to execute the job competently is a whole other thing. 

If any repair shop could fix your European car, we would allow mechanics to do the job. But we don’t – we employ ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) certified technicians, which means they have the knowledge, training, and expertise in up-to-date best practices and trends.

Just what do these technicians do? Our technicians:

-Inspect vehicles for damage.

-Test and adjust repaired systems to meet manufacturers’ performance specifications. Yes, we did say specifications, which means we don’t make up the standards – we abide by the ones set forth by the industry.

-Estimate costs of vehicle repair. This is a biggie. Ask anyone needing car repair and they are likely to tell you that they worry about the cost. After all, repair shops always overcharge, right? Wrong – not at Louie and John’s. We charge for our services, but we sure don’t steal from you in the process.

-Troubleshoot fuel, ignition, and emission control systems, using electronic testing equipment.

-Perform routine and scheduled maintenance services, such as oil changes, lubrications, and tune-ups.

Don’t see what you’re looking for on this list? Feel free to ask – if it can be done, we can do it.

Because your business is invaluable, we make it our business to be fully outfitted with the most current computer-aided diagnostic equipment, and all of our mechanics are well-trained to use it. We take pride in our services, which is why our technicians are required to recertify their credentials every 5 years. At Louie and John’s, your vehicle will not be handed over to just anyone.

European Auto Repair Myth #2 – Dealerships have the best mechanics.

True, dealerships should have higher-quality tools, service, and mechanics to repair the vehicle they sold you. We’re not saying that’s never the case, but it’s not always the case. This isn’t to say that dealerships routinely deliver shoddy work or that they don’t care about their customers. They absolutely should. So let’s not compare here; let’s just say that premium prices don’t always mean premium results. The best practice would be to confer with other customers and ask questions. How were they treated? Did they receive same-day service? Were they happy with the results? And perhaps the most important: would they return?

European Auto Repair Myth #3 – Customer service is pretty much the same wherever you go. 

Wrong! There are car repair places, and then there’s us. From the moment you enter our doors, you’ll find yourself looking around, thinking “Professional auto service personnel in dress shirts?” Don’t check the GPS, you’re in the right place. We offer you clean, well-thought-out accommodations in our lounge.

In addition, we are the go-to get-it-done people, so you can go on with your life. Also, we make every effort to get your repairs completed on the same day. You’re not going to find yourself standing in line, shifting from foot to foot, wishing we’d get to you already. Not here, not ever. We know it’s a monumental inconvenience to be without your wheels, which is why we offer free loaner cars so your life doesn’t have to be interrupted. And our pick-up/drop-off service is just one of our many personal touches that sets us apart from other automotive services in Ann Arbor.

Don’t even think of being ripped off at Louie and John’s – because we treat you like you could call our mothers to tell on us. Just one visit to our shop, and you’ll see why we have long-standing relationships with our customers. The bottom line is, we don’t want a one-time thing. We want you for life – and for the life of your car – and your next car.

There’s no doubt about it: European cars are the coveted toy of grown men (and women). It’s the shiny wings on wheels – the reason you do a double-take on the highway, and why not? It is a force to be reckoned with – as if the Batmobile just whizzed by. 

It’s like that photo you took with your new phone only to realize your spouse photo-bombed you, thinking you were taking his or her picture and is blocking the view of the car, and that’s a cringe-worthy offense. You will have to educate your better half on the dos and don’ts of owning a European dream machine.

It’s fun to fathom something like that parked in the driveway that makes you think a celebrity might just open the door – if it just so happens to be Matthew McConaughey, then so be it. Sleek, exquisite, expertly-designed. (We’re talking about the car.) The one with the buttons that do everything but peel your grapes.

Fortunately, if you are looking for impeccable standards of maintenance and repair, you’ve come to the right place. At Complete Auto Service, we don’t trust our workmanship to just anyone, and neither should you. Call us today. Fixing your European car may be foreign to you, but it won’t be foreign to us.