Bringing yer own parts to a dealer & finding a good technician.
Because my former car was in the shop a lot, I had the opportunity to get to know folks at the service department of the dealership pretty well. A couple of things I found out are applicable to any interaction with a service department. First, simply ask the service department manager who the best technicians are. They will usually be happy to tell you. Next ask to meet one of these people for a few moments. Once you meet him (probably a him, anyway), ask him how long he’s been working for the dealership, how well he likes it, and generally try to develop a relationship with the person.
Providing you feel good about the person, tell him you’ve encountered some problems with service at this dealership in the past, and that you’d like him to work on your car, if he can do that. He probably will. On subsequent trips, check in with him before and after work is done. You will probably be delighted. This has worked very well for me. It has also afforded me the opportunity to spend many hours hanging out in the service end of the service department, and learn a lot about the care and feeding of MBs, and to make some new friends. One thing I’ve heard repeatedly from service technicians is that so many MB owners are “self-important a** holes that insult their way through life.” As an aside, it always amazes me how many people are hurtful toward those that are literally there to help them.
Regarding bringing in yer own parts, recently I started asking them if they mind if I supply the parts, and tell them it’s so I can support this site (which I do). Not only are they okay with it, but will generally quote me labor before I schedule the appointment. I only do this for small projects, however because.…
Here’s the downside: Every now and again a part will fail. If they supplied both the parts and labor, they’ll spend the time to fix it without further bill to you. However, if you supply the parts, the likelihood of this happening is pretty slim. And no one would blame them. The likelihood of a part failure and the implied cost is of course the gamble you take.
Lastly, remember these folks at Xmas time. A $100 tip or gift certificate for someone who takes care of your $50K car is thoughtful, and even in the worst possible light, cheap insurance that they will continue to take good care of yer baby.
Hope this helps…