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Old 10-25-2000, 02:14 AM
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Ashman Ashman is offline
Service Advisor
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
Well I think that there are some bad apples out there, and when people start to hear about them, they start to look at their own mechanics differently.

Personally I go to a shop that is recommended by a happy customer whose car shows proof of the quality work.

The dealerships, just like some independent shops, can sometimes do repairs that are not necessary.

This doesn't help the problem any, it just adds to it. The best place to take your car to is usually someone that only works on that brand of automobile, like only mercedes or only bmw, etc. They are the ones who will know the most about your car because they know the manufacturer's methods well from experience. It can be the dealer or an independent shop it just depends on which one. Not every dealer is going to do good work, and not every independent shop is going to do good work, its a given, but you will find one that will do good work and you will use them over and over.

I remember when we had an 87 560 SEL, and at 72k miles, the mercedes dealer told us it needed a new transmission when the tranny was working fine, but was leaking a little. They wanted well over $3k for the repairs.

We took the car to the same guy I use now, and he looked at it and said, its just a small leak, and did the necessary work to repair the item. How much did he charge? Well I can tell you it was roughly 10 percent of what the dealer wanted to charge to replace something that needed a new gasket or hose. $300 to do the repair.

This is part of the reason people have trouble trusting mechanics or paying for repairs. You never know who is giving you the right answer most of the time. The best bet is to take it to an independent shop or another dealer to have the problem re diagnosed. You dont see people taking their doctors first word every time do you? People go get a second opinion from other doctors, and it can't hurt to have the same done for your car.

The smaller guys, the independent specialists, have a much smaller overhead, and can do the work for way less most of the time. They can also add a more personalized experience. When you are having a big company do the repair or work, they have to pay many people's salaries. This can drive their fees up and or the repairs needed. In the case of an independent shop, your payment only pays a few people's salaries, so the cost is not as high, and the work is either as good or better if the guy knows what he is doing.

This is the kind of service a good independent shop can give, and the independent shop will usually know you by name and your voice. I have always known my shop manager at dealers but never the techs who worked on the car. I like knowing that my tech owns his shop so he makes sure the work is done right so his shop will stay in business. I also like knowing that I can have a couple of beers with my tech as we discuss modfications that can be done to my car.

Don't lose trust in all mechanics because of a few bad apples. Do you think all Doctors or lawyers or policemen or contractors or others are all totally honest? Its interesting to see that no matter what the industry, there are always going to be bad apples, but the good apples usually outweigh the bad apples. You can't trust everyone, but you can trust people.

Finding the right mechanic can be hard, and expensive along the way, but your car and you will appreciate him that much more when you find him, and he will become a trusted friend who you pay to fix your car and fix it well.

When it doubt, give a shout out here, one of the many trustworthy souls in here will have a solution to your car problems, and some advice for finding a good shop to get your car fixed.

Its too bad everything cant be 100% reliable. I don't think anything is 100% reliable. the older things get the more they tend to fail.

Having to pay for car repairs can suck most of the time if it gets expensive, and sometimes you have to justify keeping it or getting rid of it. I personally see no harm in paying for necessary repairs to the car, and or preventative maintenance, as long as it is done properly and is not outrageously over priced for the job.

Thats why I come here for technical help, I know that with the information gathered, I can help my mechanic diagnose the problem more efficiently and will aid in the repair being done correctly the first time.

Having a mechanic consistantly replacing things with no success in repairing the problem can get expensive and can be very time consuming. Its best to arm yourself with as much knowledge about the problem before you take it in for repairs. You can never know to much about car symptoms and fixes, you'll find the information invaluable time and again.

'92 300CE
Metallic Black (Blue Flaked) on Creme
Clear Corners
Black Grille Insert
78k Miles

Future Upgrades:
Sportline Suspension
17" AMG Monoblocks or EVO II's
94-95 Tail Lights
Euro Headlights
AMG Exhaust

Click here to Go To My 300CE Page
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