The Foreign Service
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Foreign Car Repair Services

Air Conditioning
Alignments
Batteries
Brakes
Body Repairs
Clutches
Computer Diagnostics
Computer Repairs
Coolant Flushing
Diagnostics
Drive Shafts
Exhaust Systems
Fluid Flushes
Fleet Services
Glass repair
Hybrid cars
Inspections-Scheduled Maintenance

Inspections-Unscheduled and Pre-purchase
Lifetime Fluids
Loaner Cars
Mufflers
Oil changes
Pick-up and Drop off
Regular Check-ups
Scheduled Maintenance
Service Contracts
Shocks and Suspension
Tires-Sales and Repairs
Transmission Maintenance, Diagnostics, and Repairs
Used Car Inspections
Used Parts
Warranty Repairs
Wheel Alignments

Car Inspection Services

Whether you are looking to buy a used car or trying to decide whether to keep your current car, we have an inspection that will help you.

Our thorough Used Car Inspection will help you from inadvertently purchasing a flood car or one with major mechanical issues. We look for evidence of body repair work, failed or failing parts on any major system, and condition of the maintenance. We compile a list of estimated repairs that will help you bargain with the seller. Most customers report that the price of the inspection was more than paid for by the money saved in the bargaining process. We know how time-critical a purchase can be, so we always try to have our schedule flexible enough for you to make an appointment on short notice. The inspection typically takes about an hour.

If you have already purchased a used car without an inspection, are not sure whether your current vehicle is worth keeping, or just need to know if there are hidden safety or reliability problems, we can do a 30,000 Mile Assessment for you. This inspection takes about an hour, and is a thorough going-over of the vehicle, bumper to bumper. We then prioritize any problems according to safety, reliability, age of car, and your plans for the car.

This personalized process makes it easier for you to work within your car repair budget. For those of you who are caught up on maintenance but just want to be comfortable that your car is ready for the winter months or for a long trip, we offer customized check-outs to meet your needs. Just ask about a Winter Check or a Pre-Trip Check. Many customers schedule these services in conjunction with an oil change.

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Maintenance

Visitors to our repair shop in the bitter cold of winter are always surprised when they hear how few cold weather emergencies our customers have. The reason is simple. Our customers appreciate reliability and know that keeping up on regular maintenance is the key to a safe and reliable car.

Cars today function most reliably when they get a check-up every 15,000-30,000 miles. We can help you get on an alternating schedule of minor and major maintenance services.

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Diagnostics

We love diagnostics.  We have gained a reputation for fixing the unfixable, and replacing only the parts that need to be replaced.  If you get an assessment and you want a second opinion, give us a call.  We have a wide range of factory scan tools to "talk" to almost any make of car.

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Brake and Clutch Work

We do it right! We want you to have trouble-free brakes. So we add in extras such as thoroughly cleaning the rust off your hubs as well as cleaning and lubricating your calipers. In addition, our technicians have experience diagnosing and repairing brake hydraulics, ABS, and traction control systems. We are experts at diagnosing unusual brake problems and have solved problems that left other mechanics shrugging their shoulders. When doing clutch work, we will always include machining the flywheel in our estimates, and give you the option of replacing the rear main oil seal while we are in the area. We have a 100% success rate on giving you a smooth clutch experience. You could say we always come through in the clutch (sorry, I couldn't resist...)

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Electrical Systems

In depth electrical diagnostics and repair. Bosch and Nippondenso starters and alternators, Interstate batteries

Engine Repair

Timing belts Timing chains Oil seals and gaskets Cylinder head gaskets Complete engine rebuilding or replacement


Exhaust Work Few people know that most original equipment manufacturers (OEM) offer a lifetime part warranty on their mufflers. The quality of the OEM mufflers and pipes are also much better than the typical franchise exhaust parts. Best of all, OEM parts are competitively priced on most makes. Call us for an estimate whether you need a muffler, pipe, or catalytic converter.

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Fluid Flushes

Many people know they should flush their cars coolant system periodically, but often ignore other important fluids. We use chemical test strips to check the condition of your coolant and brake fluid. If they fail the test, it is time to flush. We will visually inspect your transmission fluid and power steering fluid condition. Clean fluid helps more expensive components last longer. Our shop has power flush machines available for coolant, automatic transmissions, brake systems, and power steering.

Lifetime Fluids

All automotive fluids are lifetime fluids, whether or not they are labeled as such.  It just depends on what you want the lifetime to be!!!  (Oh mercy, I love that joke...)  Fluids which don't get changed will cause a shortened lifetime of any part--engine, transmission, or whatever.  Experience has taught us that some of the supposed lifetime fluids should be changed. Contact us for a recommendation

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Heating and A/C Repair (including retrofits)

The Foreign Service is one of the premier air conditioning shops in the Twin Cities area. We have been retrofitting R12 (freon) systems to R134a since 1995. For more information on R134a read our newsletter article (link). If your AC system is feeling lukewarm, we can refill it for you, but we recommend checking for leaks first. If no leaks are large enough to detect, we add tracer dye to the system when we refill it so the leaks will be easier to locate at a later date. Winter brings its own set of problems. If you find your heat is not working properly, call us for help. We have repaired all types of failures from blower motors to electronic controls to sticking ventilation doors.

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Alignments

Doing a perfect alignment requires skill and experience. Owner and technician Stew Roberts has 25 years of experience and an extraordinary feel for alignment subtleties. We start with a test drive and a front-end check to look for loose parts, tire wear patterns, etc. If there are no loose parts, we hook up the alignment equipment to all four wheels and check front and rear measurements for toe, camber, and caster. From this information we will be able to recommend which adjustments are needed and their cost effectiveness.

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Steering and Suspension Repair

Steering and suspension components on modern cars last much longer than in the past. Most import cars have sealed ball joints and tie rods, so you don't need to have them greased regularly (some 4WD vehicles are the exception). However, these important parts can still wear out, loosen up, and fail. Winter, with its icy ruts and potholes, is the hardest on aging parts.

Our philosophy is that we are here to help you prioritize safety issues. We wont try to sell you front and rear shocks just because one shows signs of a little leakage (they can last for years with some leakage).

To keep your car safe and reliable, we recommend a thorough steering and suspension check every 30,000 miles even if you haven't noticed any clunks or poor handling. Of course, if you have noticed any change in the sound of your car over bumps or in how it handles on the road, have us check it out right away.

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Transmission Diagnosis and Repair

We provide everything from basic transmission maintenance service to complete rebuilding of your transmission. Whether you have noises, poor shifting, or slipping, we will diagnose the problem. If you need major transmission work, we will give you accurate estimates on various options: a dealer rebuilt transmission, a rebuild of your transmission by transmission experts, or a used transmission.

Hybrid cars

A strong interest in alternative transportation technologies led us into hybrids at a very early date.  Our electric truck was done at about the same time that the first hybrids began appearing in the USA.  We have the training, the experience, the tools, and, best of all, the positive attitude to do anything you need for your hybrid.


Used Parts

Used parts can be a cost effective solution or a fools game, depending upon the situation.  We believe in offering our clients a choice when possible.  We will recommend factory new, aftermarket new, used, or remanufactured parts depending on the situation.  We generally do not allow our clients to bring in or buy parts from outside.  


Warranty Repairs

We typically can not do manufacturer warrany work (for free).  This is usually only done at a dealer.  However, there are many cases of recalls and extended warrantys which will get reimbursed if done outside the dealer network.  We will help you with this on a case by case basis.  Extended warranty work we are authorized to perform.  If your warranty is about to expire, you might want to consider having us check the car for any incipient problems which, if fixed now, would be under warranty and therefore free.  Check out our newsletter write-up about warrantys and extended warrantys.  Newsletter Number 44-Warrantys











Sorry, we have no specific information written-up for this topic yet, call or e-mail us for more information.

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 The Foreign Service
1746 Terrace Drive
Roseville, MN 55113