If you are a first time foreign car owner and your car has been giving you some trouble, then you want to get it in for an inspection and tune-up. You'll want to make sure that you find an auto shop that specializes in treating imports.
You don't have to go to the dealership and pay their high prices to get work done, but you do have to be choosy about who works on your vehicle. Here are a few things you'll want to consider when finding a shop and leaving your vehicle there.
Find a Licensed Mechanic for Your Specific Car
Foreign cars are different than domestic models, so it's important that you find a certified mechanic for your specific model of vehicle, instead of any repair shop that you can find. For instance, if you own a Mercedes, visit a Mercedes repair specialist. The mechanics that specialize in foreign cars won't just be able to fix the car properly, but they'll have sources and access to the different foreign components you need.
Avoid Aftermarket Parts
It can be tempting to purchase off brand or aftermarket parts to fix your important car and save money, but this won't help you maintain the value of your vehicle. Instead, you want to have manufacturer replacement parts put in your Mercedes. If you go to sell in the future and someone does an inspection of the vehicle, you don't want them to see aftermarket parts.
If you think that you are being overcharged for the parts or for the labor, it isn't difficult to call around. You don't want to get ripped off because you didn't question your costs. You can ask other foreign shops how much they charge for an hour of labor, and also what the parts would be if you ordered them through their shop. If the prices aren't similar, you may want to consider taking your vehicle somewhere else to be serviced.
If you are worried about trusting a mechanic with your foreign car, don't hesitate to verify that the business has enough insurance to cover the cost of your vehicle in case something goes wrong, and they need to replace the vehicle. Purchasing a high value car is a great financial investment and you want to make sure that you are maintaining it. Don't ignore any sounds or concerns that may indicate there is a problem with the vehicle, and only trust the professionals that have had the proper foreign training to work on the car when you take it in.