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Old 01-08-2008, 04:17 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27
Looking for a shop, SF Bay Area (Berkeley)

I have a 1985 300D Turbo with 393,000 miles on it, I posted a thread a while back describing the car. (here: Getting started, newbie looking for advice)

I'm looking for a shop in the San Francisco Bay Area (I'm in Berkeley) with experience working on these sorts of cars and who hopefully won't charge me an arm and a leg.

The only really immediate problem I have with the car is it has a tendency to pull to the right. I have no idea when the tires were last replaced/rotated, so it may simply be that. I realize this probably isn't something you need an expert on older Mercedes to deal with, but I'd like to have someone I can go to when I do have a problem unique to these cars.

I'm trying to figure out how I can keep driving this car. Without finding someone in the area who knows what they're doing, it may be more economical to find another car.

Last edited by DeadlyMuffin; 01-08-2008 at 05:45 PM. Reason: Wanted to add Berkeley in the title
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:49 PM
Jim B.'s Avatar
Who's flying this thing ?
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N. California./ N. Nevada
Posts: 3,611
You must feel like Diogenes with his lantern. I was there for 8 years looking, and it sure is hard. There is no shortage of overpriced, shoddy operations around the SF Bay area.. I promise you that.

Check the "good shops" (California) section on the site here, for a few leads.

Sal's Autohouse - San Jose Avenue might work for you. Very tough to find, just off the freeway going to Daly City, and tucked away in an obscure SF neighborhood, they have been around for a long time, and I went there just before I moved in 2004, but they are really good with the older ones, the Diesels and the W123 bodies.

They have a good reputation. Avoid the dealers - all of them, for your car.

In the East Bay (Oakland) I used International Motors at 40th and Telegraph, a big operation, a few times, pretty good but pretty expensive, with their own parts store adjacent, BART stop nearby to them.
1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Walnut Creek, CA & 1,150 miles S of Key West
Posts: 4,874
Medi in Concord has always been fair with me and will give you a reasonable assesement of what you should, or should not replace based on your pocketbook and the cars condition/intended useage. He knows MB diesels of your vintage inside out.

MBS Motor
2570 Cloverdale Ave
Concord, CA 94518
(925) 682-9174
Terry Allison
N. Calif. & S. of Key West

09' E320 Bluetec 77k
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 92
Deadlymuffin, did you ever end up finding a mechanic you were happy with? I just bought a 240D with a host of little problems (leaking coolant, vacuum issue, clacking noise at speed, but the body was soooo immaculate). i can probably fix most of the issues myself, but i'd rather a competent mechanic do it since i'm new to diesels and the whole concept of a vacuum system.
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27
I haven't had a chance to get by any of the places recommended yet. I'll post an update as soon as I do.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:18 PM
Da Nag's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Edge
Posts: 124
I do my own basic maintenance, but when something is beyond what I wish to undertake, I've been using Bill and his sons at Independent Mercedes in Walnut Creek for the last three years. He's worked on all three cars in my sig, and I've seen tons of older MBZ's there as well.

For me, he's been excellent, and his prices are very reasonable by Bay Area standards. The two largest jobs I had him do, were the main wiring harness and head gasket in my W124 - his price on both was within $100 of the lowest I've seen mentioned here.
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