Thread: Brake Job Price
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Old 06-03-2002, 11:28 PM
jkazzoun jkazzoun is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Austin, TX (OWA)
Posts: 154
Reply to Chuck

I thought we put a bullet in this thread a long time ago...Can't we give it a rest.

Okay, here's the deal. I live in NYC (borough of Manhattan). I work 32 miles away in Parsippany NJ. I have a job and have to be there everyday.

It is not a good option for me to get my car fixed by a dealer (or independent if i knew of one) here in Manhattan. I have not heard good things about them, they charge $100 plus per hour and if I have to leave my car there it will cost me $60-$100 a day to rent a car to get to work while it is there. Plus, I have to beat it uptown into Midtown to get the car there, a fate worse than death right there! I may live right by the WTC, but I I don't have to deal with that mess up there.

There is a dealer 10 minutes from my work. They charge $90 an hour, which I could live with, but they have a lead time of 2-3 weeks for any work whatsoever. I have been buying parts there (that I install myself) because it is convenient.

There is a great independent 'near' my work. I had some work done there last week. I put near in apostrophes around near becuase it is about 10 miles away (each way). but, it took me almost an hour and a half to get there and back in the morning and almost an hour round trip after work all due to regular traffic. I had to rent a car and I had to schedule the work over a month in advance. At one point, I had to cancel my original appoinment due to business travel. I was then rescheduled 2 weeks later. So, it really tooka bout 6 weeks to get it in. Oh, and I almost did not get there before they and the rental car company closed because I was held up in a meeting. If I had not made it I would have had to keep the rental car another week because I would have had no way to get home, they do not take night drops and I was leaving the next a.m. on business again. This was all to have a shift linkage bushing replaced ($190 parts and labor big deal) and have the underside rubber (flex disk, control arms bushings, sub-frame bushings etc.) looked at just as a maintenance item - nothing wrong. Why did I go through all that? Because I don't trust anyone but a trained and experienced MB mechanic to anything but the simplest diagnostic or repair work.

Why do I have "a guy who works on cabs" change my oil or relace my brake pads? See all of the above...Yes, conveninece. As I stated so long ago in this thread, it is not just about saving money although I do save some. Somehow some of you can't seem to let go of that idea...It is about not making myself crazy for a little maintenance work. I get the parts mail ordered and he is open Saturday and Sunday so I can have the work done then. He was a mechanic at the big shop across the street for ten years. He is nice, he tries hard, he explains things to me, he saves the old parts and shows me wear (or lack thereof), he's honest, has kids to feed and is trying hard to make a living. I don't mind taking a little chance that for the convenience and opportunity to support a little guy that is working his butt off.

I've explained all this a few times in this long-long thread but it seems to keep coming back to money. I'm sorry I don't schlep all the way out to NJ, rent a car and bow the friggin' alter of the holy independent MB garage to get my oil changed, okay? It is not the end of the world. Sheesh....LET IT GO PEOPLE. There are more important things in life (ask the 2600 + people that died about 10 blocks from my house). I know you all have your opinions. This is mine.

Now that all that is off my chest...

Chuck, first, I really appreciate the fact that you appreciate that we all have options (and sometimes have to be creative, not just out of want, but sometimes real need). I whole hearteldy agree. This is America. Choice is one of the big reasons I live here. After having lived outside the US (no, I don't mean Mnahattan, but it's 'kinda similar) and not having choice, I greatly appreciate it...even if it is something stupid like being able to choose between 437 different breakfast cereals in the cereal ilse (I don't really eat much cereal but I love that example).

Second, I appreciate the fact that you appreciate the 560sl. I do do...

Third, to those of you who beleive that taking a car an expericenced Mercedes mechanic is the only "right" thing to do, I'll ask you one more time to try and understand things are not so simple or black and white in this sometimes complicated world. Given my circumstances, I think I try pretty hard to take care of my car. I spent 2.5 hours and $50 bucks renting a car just to get it to the shop of my choice just to get one bushing replaced. Please don't tell me I'm just trying to save 10% when I go to someone else. I've explained why that is not true about 10 times in this thread (okay, maybe just a couple of times but it feels like 20). This i making me quite tired...

Fourth have some pity on the poor souls on this board who just can't afford to get the job 100% done at a shop. They have a right to own an MB too, don't they? America? Freedom? Ring a bell anyone? It's not like these guys are the devil or something? really now...

C'mon guys, let's give it a rest...please?


'88 560SL Pearl Black/Java 152K
'94 E320 Anthracite/Grey 89K

'94 E420 Black/Bamboo
'90 300E
'71 280SEL 4.5
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