Is it necessary to have a specialist to repair a foreign car?
Domestic cars are vehicles that are made and manufactured right here in the United States of America. Foreign cars are made from any other country, and then imported to the US where they are sold by a certified dealer. You want to find the right auto repair shop to work on yours. Different countries prefer to make cars differently, and some that aren’t well-known domestically are used in other parts of the world. China, for instance, is the leading manufacturer of vehicles and produces 25% of cars in the world, but most people would be hard-pressed to name a specific model of a Great Wall, Beijing, or Guangzhou make. Different countries have different manufacturing priorities, meaning that for some cars, especially ones rare in a country, a specialist is the smart choice and will likely save you money because of their specific knowledge.
Many parts aren’t interchangeable
If China creates so many cars, how come so few are found on US roads? This is mostly due to quality control concerns, or at least the perception of low-quality. And while the parts are common in their home country, the fact that they aren’t any available elsewhere would require a massive shipment of parts along with the cars. This makes it difficult for China to get a foothold in the US auto market. The same concern applies to cars with fewer imports as well, such as the Swedish-made Saab. Finding specific parts can be difficult, which drives the cost up, and for rarer makes, often only specialists have the parts for auto repair jobs. Differences carry over to fluids like oil viscosity as well.
Can’t I just get something that’s “close enough?”
Combustion engines operate under the same principles regardless of country or origin. So then is it possible to get parts that work in a different model even if it’s not an exact fit?
- Domestic cars often have larger engines because they emphasize power. This means that parts tend to be a bit larger.
- In some countries, parts generally work across different makes. This is often true for US and Japanese cars, for instance.
- Some cars have slight adjustments for efficiency or to avoid copyright infringement, and not knowing these can cause a failed repair.
If in doubt, opt for the specialist
Most popular vehicle models, such as Honda, Kia, and Volkswagon, can be repaired by practically any mechanic. But as you get into more specialized or higher-end cars such as Maserati or BMW, taking it to a specialist is worth the research. Finding someone who knows what they are doing for these luxury cars will not only streamline the process, but will provide you with peace of mind and possibly save you money as well.