Q) What parts are used for repairs?
A) We use either original parts from the manufactures or parts used by the manufactures during the assembly of your car. Many companies supply parts and products to the manufactures which we are able to purchase for the maintenance and repair of your vehicle. These parts are often labeled as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or OES (Original Equipment Supplier) on repair orders. The only difference in the parts is the packaging they come in and the price. The “dealership” parts come in the car manufacturer labeled box and carry a hefty price tag yet the part itself is made by the individual suppliers from which we buy the parts. We only use the highest quality parts to ensure the best value and longevity to the customer.
Q) Why do I need to replace the entire valve cover on my BMW/Mini Cooper instead of just the gasket?
A) BMW valve covers that are used on both the Mini Coopers and BMW vehicles are made of a type of fiber reinforced plastic. This becomes brittle with heat cycles and age. The resulting fatigue causes the valve covers to crack even prior to being removed. The process of removing and reinstalling a valve cover places stress on the valve cover which causes the plastic to crack as well. In our experience the valve covers tend to be cracked before we remove them and if they are not, they tend to crack either during reinstallation or during the next drive you take. We have seen BMWs with as little as 60,000 miles and as new as 4 years old arrive with cracked valve covers. Therefore, we recommend that the entire valve cover be replaced to fix the oil leak associated with the part. This prevents you from having to return to the shop and lose another day of work. It also prevents multiple instances of labor on a job that is relatively labor intensive.
Q) Can I bring my own parts?
A) Short answer is no. Due to warranty issues and quality control we do not allow customer supplied parts. As mentioned above we have established relationships with trusted suppliers to provide us with genuine parts with warranties that cover the parts for 12 or 24 months. Customer supplied parts are often bought online with questionable origins even with some of the larger online retailers counterfeit parts are prevalent. Another large consideration for purchasing parts is the complexity of modern European cars. Many parts require supporting components to be replaced and a very specific knowledge of the procedure to ensure all parts are present for the repair. As a consumer you are paying us for that knowledge and quality control.
Q) Can I get an estimate over the phone?
A) We avoid giving any estimate over the phone before seeing the car and looking into the issue to be resolved. Often the requested repair quoted over the phone does not end up being the correct repair to resolve the problem. As company policy we inspect the issue and create a plan to correct the problem before estimating any repair. This allows the customer to adequately plan for the financial outlay and time required to complete the repair. Thankfully, very often the correct fix is much less costly and much simpler than expected.
Q) I have never had to worry about flushing my brake fluid before, why are you saying that I need to do it on my relatively new BMW?
A) Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning that it attracts and absorbs moisture. Water in you brake fluid diminishes brake performance by lowering its boiling temperature, reducing the hydraulic properties, and causes corrosion inside the brake components. Within 18-24 months you can have up to 8% water content in your brake fluid even if you don’t drive the car that often. Furthermore, in newer BMWs the brake fluid mixed with moisture causes deposits of a waxy build up that can damage the ABS Module which will prevent the brakes from releasing after being applied creating a very expensive repair.
Q) My BMW has a coolant leak and it has been recommended that I replace a majority of the cooling system. Why do I need to replace so much just for a simple leak?
A) Unfortunately, BMW uses a type of fiber reinforced plastic for most of the hose connections, cross over pipes, water pump pulley, thermostat housing, radiator end-tanks, and reservoir. This plastic is like the valve cover in the fact that heat and age greatly affect the performance. The cooling systems in most BMWs built during the 2000’s and into the early 2010’s are prone to the plastic components failing. When inspecting a leaking cooling system, we look at every part and inspect for discoloration and cracking which indicate either failure or imminent failure. Along with the plastic parts rubber o-rings are used to seal the connections. Once the o-rings have been disturbed they frequently leak. It is highly recommended to replace the cooling system components as a complete system to prevent multiple visits to the shop and wasted money.
Q) What kind of performance upgrades do you do?
A) We can assist owners with suspension upgrades to enhance the look and handling of their vehicle. We also partner with a tuning company to provide that extra power that your car has locked away from the manufacturer. Brake upgrades are another common job that we do to enhance your track experience and spirited mountain drives. More in depth performance work is available after consultation with the shop management where goals will be established, and a plan put in place.
Q) Are you open on Saturday?
A) We are not. We value quality family time and mental health at Koppinger Performance. Having a reasonable amount of time to focus on life outside of work is incredibly important to us and reflects in the service you are provided Monday through Friday. Thank you for understanding.