I'm with you, Jsmith. Trust me, I want to keep the participating techs happy. Actually, I want them to be able to keep doing what it is that made them jump on board in the first place -- their love of MB cars and the enjoyment of problem solving.
I have received invaluable help from stevebfl, mbdoc, gillybenztech, benzmac, and many others. I could not have received that help anywhere else. I'm a tinkerer and a "perfectionist" of sorts and I just want to do it myself. 1) I'm not about to take parts to a tech and expect him to install them [I'll do it myself], and 2) I expect the techs here to tell me when to cut the DIY crap and take it to someone that knows what the heck they are doing.
If I had a Continental Motors or a MB Autowerks in my town I'd probably have them doing a larger percentage of my work -- but I don't so I use their resources that they graciously give out on this board.
Now, here is where I depart just a tad: I, like many others, have a few things on our "repair" list. I'd like to know the "book rate" for this job so I can know the general $ ballpark of the repair. That way, I can make a knowledgeable decision as to whether it fits my budget at the time. I'd much rather know that up front than to take it in, let them go over it and give me the estimate, and then have to decline because it doesn't fit the budget at the time. I feel like I am doing them a small favor by not wasting their time.
CONCLUSION: To the techs out there -- thanks! Thanks, bigtime. We appreciate it in a big way. Hopefully, we can repay your generosity another day in another way. Just a note -- since I bought my Benz in November 01, I have received much info and asked many questions (quit snickering;-) ) I have done about 40% myself, and then the other 60% I had the dealer and one independent shop do.
I love this board. Cheapest does not equal the best. If it did, we'd all be driving Yugos or Hyundais, and my guess is we wouldn't be so enthused at our participation on this forum.
Boy do I feel better!
1994 C280, dark green metallic
1991 190E 2.6, Black
(sold to another forum member)
2003 Chevy Tahoe LT, Redfire Metallic
1989 Mustang GT Cobra Convertible