Beach Benz

Servicing Mercedes Benz Exclusively for over 20 years

Huntington Beach Customer Detective Work

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Beach Benz in Huntington Beach California is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.

Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So it’s challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it’s not something obvious, it’s easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.

Let us introduce you to something we’ll call Customer Detective Work – that is helping your Huntington Beach California technician find clues to what’s wrong.

We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me. You come in to Beach Benz and your car is making a funny sound.

  • Q: Where’s the sound?
  • A: Around the right front wheel.
  • Q: What kind of sound?
  • A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
  • Q: When do you hear the sound?
  • A: When I turn and accelerate.
  • Q: Right and left? Forwards and back?…

Do you see where we’re going? You’re gathering additional information to help your Huntington Beach California technician know where to start. Based on your car and the tech’s experience, he’ll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.

You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says “making a funny noise”.

When you think you need to bring a vehicle in, make some notes about the problem. Rather than just saying “it’s leaking”, tell the tech the color of the fluid, and approximately where under the car you see the puddle.

Things like ‘the car is stalling or sputtering’ are often very hard to diagnose because they’re intermittent. They may not happen every time you drive and usually aren’t happening when you actually bring the car in. So, it is a big help for you to describe what’s happening in as much detail as possible.

Your Huntington Beach California technician at Beach Benz will need to be able to duplicate the problem if possible so he needs to know details, like ‘it stalls after it’s been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 miles an hour’.

If the tech can experience the problem personally, he’s better able to make a diagnosis and repair. And, then test to see if the repair solved the problem.

What Huntington Beach Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

There are some things Huntington Beach motorists should know about Huntington Beach car service and repair. First and foremost, Beach Benz cares about you and your family’s safety. And we really appreciate your business. Beach Benz in Huntington Beach wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.

Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The friendly service advisors that work for Beach Benz need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other technicians to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.

The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time in California and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. Average Huntington Beach or Garden Grove car owners may not realize the business and environmental regulations Beach Benz must comply with. Of course that costs money too. Like any California business, overhead is a big factor.

When you go into your favorite Fountain Valley restaurant you don’t value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you’ll come back and tell your friends.

It’s the same for Beach Benz. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, Huntington Beach customers are happy to see them succeed as a California automotive business.

Contact Beach Benz to learn more about our extensive auto service training.
You can find us at:
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
Or call us at 714 842-9816

At Beach Benz, we love to see our Huntington Beach customers whenever they come in, but we would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. We want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your Fountain Valley area friends and family to come in for their essential scheduled maintenance too. That lowers our marketing costs and helps keep its labor rates down. That’s good for everyone in Huntington Beach.

Beach Benz appreciates this great review of automotive service from AutoNetTV.

Questions To Ask Your Huntington Beach Service Advisor

We find that a lot of Huntington Beach service and repair at Beach Benz are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions, but don’t want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there’s more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it’s because cars have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn’t need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.

You know, your local hospital has a Patient’s Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our Huntington Beach automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.

It’s all about the communication. It’s a little harder when you’re trying to find the right service center in Huntington Beach. But once you’ve developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.

What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let’s go back to the medical example. When your doctor’s explaining something to you, it’s something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don’t understand or that you don’t have the education and training that’s foundational to understanding what she’s trying to explain.

So you fall behind and get frustrated.

It can be the same with your Huntington Beach automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.

Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you’re not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there’s a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what’s done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.

Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your Huntington Beach service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is real tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt part or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.

Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.

Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that’s done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.

Call Beach Benz to make an appointment.
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

Arrive Alive In Huntington Beach

We’ve all seen California motorists do crazy things while driving to or from Fountain Valley. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. It’s a wonder we even dare drive on California roads.

The truth is that all of us Huntington Beach motorists are distracted when we drive. Unfortunately, traffic, road construction and other external factors are beyond our control. The distractions inside our car, however, are things we can often control.

Here’s some things that’ll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around Fountain Valley, California.

  • Huntington Beach drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player.
  • Huntington Beach motorists who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children.
  • Those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle.

Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it harder to pay attention to driving – no matter what age we are. It is always better to pull over and take a quick nap than risk falling asleep at the wheel. Huntington Beach motorists are also distracted by thinking about relationships, family issues, money and bills. So what can we do to manage these distractions? Well, the first thing is to eliminate as many as we can.

When you get in your car, make sure you’re belted in; that the seats, steering wheel and mirrors are adjusted; and your radio or CD player is ready.

Secure any loose objects in the car that can fall on the floor and interfere with your driving.

If you have a drink, make sure it’s spill-proof and put in a cup holder. Pets should also be contained.

California motorists with kids in the car should make sure they’re clipped in their seat belts or safety seats. You may want to give them some distractions to help keep them quiet and sitting in their seats. Don’t get involved in their arguments while you’re driving. Pull over if you need to find a toy or break up a fight.

If you eat while driving, choose simple finger foods that aren’t messy.

Learning your car’s controls before you drive is another way to improve your safety. Learn how to work the radio by touch. Controls located on the steering wheel can help you keep your eyes on the road.  The same goes for heating and air conditioning controls.

If you have to use a cell phone, a hands-free system is best. But remember, the biggest cell phone distraction isn’t the phone itself – it’s the conversation. Keep conversations brief and light, or pull over if you can. Your reaction time is much slower when talking and driving, so allow more space between you and the car ahead of you. Know your local Fountain Valley laws – it may be illegal to be on the phone. Never text while driving! This has already caused many deaths and injuries over the last few years.

And if you really think you have to shave, change your clothes or put on make-up while driving – you’re wrong. Just start getting ready earlier so you have enough time to finish those things before you drive around Fountain Valley.

Beach Benz
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

Remember, driving is probably the most dangerous thing you’ll do all day – so don’t make it any worse. Use these tips to keep you and your loved ones safer behind the wheel.

Your Well Trained Technician At Beach Benz

When your sedan breaks down, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Garden Grove, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Beach Benz professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. Let me give you some perspective. Today there are four cylinder engines that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars twenty years ago. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.

Your Well Trained Technician At Beach Benz

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Garden Grove gas prices. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars driving around Garden Grove roads are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some cars have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Garden Grove motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for Beach Benz technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technician and the Garden Grove service center as well.

In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools. Beach Benz technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Beach Benz by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.

There are many independent certifications available at Beach Benz all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your sedan requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Garden Grove auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Beach Benz, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and cheap – but sometimes it just isn’t.

So try to be more relaxed next time you bring us your sedan. You’re in good hands.

On Board Diagnostics For Huntington Beach Motorists

Some Huntington Beach motorists are confused by Beach Benz charges for diagnostic services for a vehicle repair. Many services at Beach Benz and other Huntington Beach automotive repair shops include diagnostic fees.

When you take your laptop into a Fountain Valley computer repair shop for a problem you’ll likely have to leave a deposit for diagnostics. When we visit our Westminster doctor for a medical problem, we’re paying him to diagnose our ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

On Board Diagnostics For Huntington Beach Motorists

So receiving a diagnostic charge at Beach Benz for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Fountain Valley area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your sedan brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy California expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your sedan engine, Beach Benz diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Fountain Valley public’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Westminster, Garden Grove, and Costa Mesa drivers that the trouble code tells the Beach Benz technician exactly what’s wrong. Why then is there a diagnostic charge, the scanner just gave the diagnosis?

Reality is more involved than that. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The sedan computer’s trouble code just tells the Beach Benz technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the symptom.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Beach Benz Huntington Beach customers. The Beach Benz technician makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem.

Fountain Valley service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for a given trouble code. They outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented fix. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved and difficult. Of course Beach Benz wants to figure out what’s wrong with your sedan and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Service Center Standard and Procedures

All pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget important steps. It is also how you can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Westminster and Garden Grove automotive service centers have procedural standards for each service they perform. Technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and you are happy with how your car performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual service center operators to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how service technicians grade problems and communicate their recommendations. If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

The technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician’s informed experience

Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is required because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the technician may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the customer.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car’s handling, but his shocks haven’t failed. The technician may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer’s wishes.

Under these guidelines the service center must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition. Let’s say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician’s recommendations.

The automotive service industry and Beach Benz want the best for you and for you to keep coming back. AutoNetTV is committed to providing automotive maintenance information to help you be confident in your service decisions.