Boston’s Local Independent Mechanic

Specializing in BMW, Porsche, and Mini.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to repair my car?
Do I need an appointment for an estimate? How long will it take? Is there a cost?
How can I rent a car and how much does it cost for a day?
How frequently does my car have to be serviced?
What kind of equipment do you have?
What forms of payment do you accept?
What does OE and OEM mean?

Car Care

How to safely jump start a car
When should I have my vehicle serviced?
How to make a car suitable for different seasons, winterizing etc.
What should I be checking for in my car to make sure there won’t be any problems?

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How long will it take to repair my car?

We can usually estimate the time of repair at the time you make an appointment.  We try hard to finish repairs within a day. 
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Question: Do I need an appointment for an estimate? How long will it take? Is there a cost?

You do need to make an appointment for a proper estimate.  We can estimate the cost to do repair work, but the items in question may not be the only problems with your car.  It is better to let us know the symptoms and do the diagnostic work on our end.
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Question: How can I rent a car and how much does it cost for a day?

We don’t offer loaner or rental cars, but work with Enterprise Rental Car in Brighton, 617-783-2240. They offer rental cars and pickup at our facility.
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Question: How frequently does my car have to be serviced?

We recommend the factory maintenance schedules, with the exception being an oil service which we encourage at a more frequent interval, maximum 7500 miles, or once a year at least. 
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Question: What kind of equipment do you have?

We have a many specialty diagnostic computers for BMW’s made by Autologic.  This computer has 100% of the functionality of the factory BMW ISIS tool, but the support network is better suited for people outside the dealer network. We have the Porsche PST2 system tester for all Porsche up to 2005 and for newer Porsche, the PIWIS .  We also have a full selection of regular hand tools, specialty tools for vehicle specific jobs, as well as a machine shop in-house that allows us to manufacture or repair difficult to find components. We have both TIG and MIG welding capabilities in-house as well. Many of our special tools are featured in our gallery. We invite you to have a look!
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Question: What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards, and cash.  We no longer accept checks without prior approval.
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Question: What do OE and OEM Mean?

OE means-Original equipment.  Parts from the dealer,  that are made for your car manufacturer.

OEM means-Original equipment manufacturer. Parts from the aftermarket, but made by the same company who makes the parts for your car manufacturer.

Many times an OEM part comes to us in a plain box with the BMW or Porsche logo absent, these parts can save you money, and are the same part as sold through the dealer.

We see no benefit to using cheap parts that aren’t in either of the above two categories.
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Car Care

 

How to safely jump start a car

Every vehicle is different, please consult your owners manual before jump starting your car.  Many cars have a jump point which allows you to jump start without directly accessing the battery. Using your jumper cables attach your leads to the dead battery and then to the corresponding poles of the good battery. Be sure not to cross the polarities!! + goes to +! Grounds can be placed on the chassis or another clean, bare metal spot on the car however that is not necessary.
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When should I have my vehicle serviced?

The most simple thing to say, is read your owners manual, it will tell most of what you need to know.  Here is our take on this.

BMW and Mini have made it easy to keep up with your service.  On older cars there are a series of lights on the dash(green bars) that get reset after a service.  Once these lights go out, a red light illuminates letting you know that it’s time for a service.  We recommend doing oil services more often than these lights indicate.  Usually when 2 of the 5 are still green.  Based on these lights, every other service is an inspection which is like a tune up.  On newer BMW and MINI they have either a mileage counter, or something called adaptive service.  The cars with a mileage counter just show numbers instead of the lights, but the same principals apply.

The newest cars have adaptive service, where they will actually tell you when to replace certain parts. The car will tell you when you bring it in for service with the following exceptions. X-Drive cars need to be checked regularly to see if the transfer case fluid is in need of a change(A quick scan of the transfer case computer with the Autologic tells us that)   Automatic transmission fluid is now due to be changed at 100k mile intervals, and engine air filters are due every 3rd engine oil service(about 45k miles).

We recommend Porsches be serviced every 7500 miles for engine oil, and the remainder of the service as per the factory recommendations.
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How to make a car suitable for different seasons, winterizing etc.

As long as your vehicle is maintained as recommended by your manufacturer, you wont have any issues with winterizing.  This includes fluid changes at their recommended intervals, etc.  However,  New England winters are unpredictable.  Without proper tires on your car, you can easily be stranded by just a few inches of snow.  We recommend Nokian or Bridgestone winter tires for optimum performance in freezing temperatures, snow, and ice.  Once you drive a car with proper winter tires, you’ll never want to drive without them again.
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What should I be checking for in my car to make sure there won’t be any problems?

You should follow your cars recommended maintenance schedule, check the tire pressure at least once a month, and pay attention to any warning lights on your dashboard.  If any warning lights illuminate, you should bring your vehicle in for service as soon as possible.
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TWITTER

GALLERY

Single butterfly plenum with larger capacity and larger throttle body fitted to the Cayman. This requires minor cutting of the sheetmetal.