“People pay a lot of money for their (luxury) cars and they count on them running, and they work hard to keep them that way,” said Armando Bermudez, owner of Bermudez’s Auto Service & Repair in Brentwood. “Maintenance is very important, especially the basics such as oil changes and fluid checks.”
And Bermudez should know. Since opening his business five years ago, the Costa Rican native has taken his love for luxury cars – especially the German models such as BMW and Mercedes Benz – and turned it into a family-run enterprise with a reputation for high-quality work and affordable, fair prices.
“All of my life I have loved cars,” said Bermudez. “When I lived in Costa Rica I worked on them every day, and I learned that if you keep the cars in good shape, they will last a long, long time.”
Especially the high-end cars. And although some of the maintenance items such as oil changes (most luxury cars use synthetic oils, which are more expensive) and brakes and rotors cost a bit more (they need replacement more often because they can’t be refurbished), the end result is a car you can rely on for years to come.
Bermudez utilizes a checklist of maintenance items designed to keep cars in tip-top shape. “What I recommend to my customers is an oil change every seven thousand miles for German cars; three thousand for the others,” said Bermudez. “Also, critical to me is a brake fluid flush every two years and a transmission flush every 60,000 miles or so.”
Brake checkups are a little more subjective and depend upon how much the customer drives the vehicle and where. “Someone who drives on a flat surface most of the time will be able to go longer without replacing their brakes than someone who drives in, say, San Francisco up and down the hills all day,” said Bermudez. “But the best thing to do is have your brakes checked when you have the oil changed. That should be something you do every time.”
And the good news, said Bermudez, is that even for customers feeling the economic pinch, tune-ups and maintenance work don’t need to be done all at once. Items such as oil-changes, spark plugs, transmission work and even brakes can be done a little at a time.
“That’s what’s good about choosing a mechanic to do all the work and service on your car,” said Bermudez. “I always recommend that people keep their car in one shop so that they can get to know and understand the car and be able to see whatever is wrong and let them know before they need a major repair. If you go to different places all the time, no one gets to know your car.”
So if you’re shopping for a new service shop or mechanic, Bermudez recommends choosing someone with a solid reputation and a history of experience working on your particular model. Bermudez is a certified technician, as is his staff, and has experience working on domestic and Japanese cars as well as the high-end luxury cars.
But in the end, you should feel comfortable with the auto shop you choose and confidence in your mechanic. “If a customer doesn’t have a good experience, then they won’t come back,” said Bermudez. “Once my customers come to me, they stay, and that’s because we are equipped to handle whatever they need. We do all our work here in the shop so we don’t have to send it out to other stores.
“I love what I do and I believe it shows. When I fix a car and see the face of the customer and I know they’re happy and I can send them on the road safe and sound, then I know I’ve done a good job.”
Bermudez’s Auto Service & Repair, located at 415 Beatrice Court in Brentwood, is open Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, call 925-240-5466.