Basic Maintenance and Driving Tips for Foreign Cars
The United States ranks as the second largest car manufacturer in the world. As such, you’d expect a higher population in the US to use local cars. But that’s not the case because a report by Insurify revealed that only 54.49% of the cars on US roads are manufactured by American automakers. The other 45.51% are foreign cars. Do these cars need foreign mechanics to remain on US roads? Below we discuss their basic maintenance, repairs, and driving tips.
1. Japanese Cars
Japanese car brands entered the US market mid to late 20th century. This was the period when gas and emissions were a bigger issue. So, the automakers came up with a solution of affordable, reliable, and fuel-efficient cars.
Toyota’s first model appeared in the US in 1957. Today, Toyota has several choices, like Corolla, Camry, Tundra, Rav4, and Tacoma. Moreover, luxurious brands like Lexus are available in sedans and crossovers.
In a study by CarEdge, Toyota ranks number one least expensive cars to maintain in the US. It was estimated that a Toyota car owner can spend an average of $5996 for 10 years to maintain their car. Toyota’s largest factory in Georgetown, Kentucky, makes the model more popular and makes it easier for US and foreign mechanics to familiarize themselves with the car systems.
Due to Toyota’s simplicity, you can do most DIY maintenance on their car models. Some of the basic maintenance you can do is the auto body detailing and wheel changing. However, nearly all US and foreign mechanics can do general Toyota car customization, repair, and maintenance.
Toyota cars have adorable features like ECO driving to save fuel, lane departure alerts, and cruise control. They also come in different designs, like auto leather and cloth interior. On the other hand, insuring a Toyota car in the US costs around $1226 annually. The premium is considered lower than the average if you compare Toyota to other cars.
Although Honda has been selling in the US since 1959, its market dominance was noticed a few decades ago. These reliable cars continue to rate highly with advanced technologies like i-VTEC and VTM-4. The best-selling Honda models in the US are the Civic, Accord, CR-V, Odyssey, and Pilot.
Honda is the least expensive car for maintenance and repairs since its average yearly maintenance cost is around $428. This is according to data from RepairPal. Honda has over 12 assembling plants in the US, making it popular and easier to familiarize with its parts and systems. As such, Honda cars can be customized and upgraded by local and foreign mechanics in the US.
Honda’s driving experience is excellent, especially with the VTM-4 on a muddy road. Also, the ECO assist gives the best driving experience with fuel economy. Honda cars, just like Toyota, are cheap to insure. The average cost of insuring Honda cars in the US is $1539, but rates vary depending on the make.
Nissan is one of the oldest imports to the US, with models like the Nissan Datsun getting into the market in 1958. The Nissan Versa and Nissan Titan pick-up are among the most liked car brands. RepairPal says the average Nissan repair cost is $500 per year. But considering Nissan is not as popular as car brands like Toyota, the auto repair and maintenance costs can rise after the manufacturer warranty coverage expires.
Since Nissan is more costly to maintain, customizing and interior upgrades can be expensive. Also, familiarity with its sensitive system can be hard. However, Nissan is a car brand sold worldwide, so foreign mechanics have basic knowledge about its systems. Nissan is also expensive to insure compared to Toyota and Honda. The insurance costs range from $2000 to $3000.
Subaru company started selling cars in the US back in 1968. It’s well known for its famous models like the WRX, Subaru Outback, and BRZ. Subaru models are a bit expensive in maintenance and repairs. On average, experts say you can spend $8798 in 10 years. This is more than the industry average for most foreign cars in the US. Subaru models are easily customized since most are sports models. However, the cost of customizing Subaru cars is higher, considering the high maintenance and repair costs.
Unlike Honda, Subaru has only one factory in Indiana. This makes it a bit unpopular in the US, with only 11% of the US cars on the roads. Most local and foreign mechanics can hardly deal with Subaru systems unless after detailed training. But since Subaru partnered with Toyota, we can see great improvements that an engine and transmission shop can familiarize with and offer maintenance services.
Finally, Subaru insurance rates differ with the make. Experts claim that the average insurance cost for most popular Subaru models in the US is $2408, which is higher than Toyota and Honda.
Mazda started selling in the US back in 1960 when Mazda Motor of America was established. Over the past few decades, Mazda has remained unbeatable in the US market with its convertible roadster segment and crossovers that combine reliability and comfort. Models like MX-5 continue to dominate the US market.
Mazda has a joint factory with Toyota in Huntsville, Alabama, US. You will be lucky to own a Mazda in the US because it scores high in reliability, comfort and lower charges on repair and maintenance. On average, you can spend $426 yearly on repair and maintenance, and local and foreign mechanics can easily maintain your Mazda car.
Mazda cars are the easiest models to customize and upgrade. You can do auto glass customization and other interior customizations. Mazda insurance rates vary with the make. Expect to pay around $1261 on minimum and $2995 on maximum for full coverage.
2. German Cars
We have known German automakers for their luxurious car brands over the years. Fortunately, these high-class vehicles are available in different makes for Americans. However, German cars don’t fall in that class if you love to customize or consider low maintenance costs. All they have are advanced features like remote locking to prevent auto lockout and other potential risks.
The first Audi to enter the US market was Audi 100LS in 1970. The automaker is best known for the A-series sedan and Q-series crossover. Audi is a car brand that offers luxury and comfort. Audi recommends owners do a minor maintenance service every 10000 miles. Moreover, you are required to do a standard maintenance service like windshield calibration after 20000 miles. The minor maintenance cost is around $113, while the standard maintenance is estimated to range between $460 to $612.
Audi is a luxury car that wouldn’t tolerate you being hard on the accelerator pedal at the start. Normally, these cars need gentle driving for a few miles to allow the engine to warn and the brakes to bed in. Moreover, Audis are the safest cars to give you the best driving experience. They have features like active lane assist, multi-collision brake assist, and pre-sense front. The Audi Q3 crossover is considered the most affordable car to insure. Its insurance costs around $2768 yearly. Most 2022 and 2023 models will cost around $3413 per year.
If you are looking for a luxurious experience with a stronger focus on performance, go for the BMW model. The first Beemer was sold in the US in 1956, and to date, BMW remains the most loved car in the States. BMW cars are serviced every 10000 miles. During the service time, expect to pay $150 to $400. A major service for the car can cost $1000 to $3000. And when it comes to maintenance and repair, expect to pay $1000 to $1700 yearly.
When driving a BMW, go easy on the accelerator and brake pedals especially on rough roads. Also, approaching turns at super speed may damage the suspension parts and the car will handle differently. Another important factor when driving a beemer is transmission automation. Shifting gears too fast or late can take a toll on the gearbox. Finally, you must be ready to dig deeper into your pocket when it comes to auto insurance for these German cars. The average insurance cost for BMW is $2443.
Mercedes is one of the most influential cars in the US. However, these are not the type of cars all local or foreign mechanics can repair. Mercedes Benz cars require specialized education to repair due to their advanced systems.
Experts advise owners to budget around $600 to $1200 annually for Mercedes Benz repairs. On the other hand, expect to spend $15,986 for maintenance and repairs within the first 10 years you own a Mercedes. Most Mercedes spares can last you for several years, and major services like car brake replacement can come after decades of enjoying the rides.
Driving a Mercedes requires training because this is one of the most complicated cars with technologies. Then, have a driving index you are comfortable with because these are performance cars. And finally, go easy on your vehicle when it comes to harsh driving conditions. Mercedes Benz insurance costs around $2166 on average per year. Some models will cost even more, considering this is a luxury car.
Porsche imports to America started in 1982 when Porsche North America was established. It’s one of the most loved sports cars in the United States. By owning a Porsche car, expect to spend more on maintenance. Regular maintenance is done every 10000 miles, and an intermediate service every 20000 miles. Moreover, you are required to do a major service like auto paint correction and major components change after 40000 miles.
Remember to handle Mercedes slowly when approaching corners due to the risks of locking brakes. Also, accelerate steadily and earlier instead of being harsh on the pedal. The car will eventually give you the best performance.
The cheapest Porsche model to insure is the Macan. Its insurance costs around $2063 per year. However, all Porsche models’ average insurance cost is $2739 per year. These luxury cars require professional mechanics because not all local and foreign mechanics can repair them.
3. British Cars
British cars were higher in terms of class and comfort. But today, almost all of their brands are owned by foreign companies like Ford and BMW. Although they lost some of the essences on the way, their quality makes them competitive in the market.
Land Rover Defender and Range Rover have been sold in the US since 1987. The company is one of the best SUV manufacturers. Currently, some models, like the Land Rover Defender, are off the market. Other models like Range Rover autobiography have complicated systems, therefore hard for most local and foreign mechanics to repair them.
The average maintenance cost of a Land Rover is around $1174 per year. Basically, a Land Rover Range Rover maintenance and repairs will cost around $18,228 in the first 10 years. The handling is very nice for these luxury cars, including the Jaguar, all owned by Tata Motors. On average, expect to pay around $2378 yearly for the motor insurance covering your Land Rover or Jaguar cars.
Rolls Royce is among the cars that entered the US market in 1906. Later, Rolls Royce of America would be established in 1921, and since then, these cars have been known for comfort, luxury, and aristocratic status. To maintain and repair Rolls Royce, expect to pay around $4000 annually. It’s recommendable to do full body service after every 12000 miles. Despite being in the US market for over a century, Rolls Royce is not a car that most local or foreign mechanics can repair or do maintenance services. The insurance costs range from $2735 to $7740.
South Korean cars like Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis have dominated the US market. Also, Italian cars like FIAT, Maserati, Ferrari, and Lamborghini highly sell in the States. Moreover, Volvo is a Swedish car brand that has also gained its place in the market. And considering the automotive industry’s growth, the federal government should consider training more foreign mechanics to repair these luxurious cars.