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Old 08-10-2009, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 3
pre-purchase inspection, Van Nuys, CA

Looking for a recommended shop for a pre-purchase inspection in or very near Van Nuys, CA. I'm looking at a 2001 w210 wagon.
Found this place
Wondering if there are any other recommendations.

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Old 08-22-2009, 10:33 PM
PC Dave's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Higher than You
Posts: 732
MR MB Motors is in Reseda, a few minutes away. Highly, highly recommended by me and a bunch of other people. Enrique has done a PPI for me in the past, didn't charge much, saved me from buying a 300D that would have been problematic, to say the least. Not that I've drunk the Kool-Aid or anything, but I drive my car from Utah for him to work on. And yes, he does know the newer cars quite well, a friend of mine has his W210 E420 maintained there.

MR MB Motors Tarzana, CA
81 300SD
08 MDX Tech
93 525i

05 F650GS
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
I drive 50 miles from Diamond Bar to Reseda to have my cars worked on at Mr. MB Motors.

He comes highly recommended from many members on this forum.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 3

Well, long story... I ended up going to both Mr. MB in Tarzana (on Reseda blvd) and Boulevard Auto Repair in Van Nuys.

FYI, the inspected car was a 2002 e320 wagon with ~91.5k miles.

It was an interesting comparison. I went to Blvd. first on Friday, because they said they could get it done during my lunch break. Pedro helped me out, and he was great. He was meticulous, and seemed to go over every inch of the car with a check list. The only thing he missed that I had to point out was that the passenger seat didn't move all the way aft. But then few people under 6' tall would notice that, eh? I'm 6'7" and require the seats to move ALL the way to the back stops. He also built up a quote for every item that was of concern to him. He also hooked up the car to the diagnostic computer and ran a full diagnostic & gave me a copy of the print out with all the error codes & code explanations. I also got a copy of the 28-point check list he used as he went over the car.

Blvd. charged me $110 for an hour of inspection, but Pedro actually spent nearly 2 hours going over the car, so a good value IMO.

One of the issues was dead pixels in the clock and the outside temp LCDs. Pedro pointed these out, (I had noticed them) but he wasn't sure what it would cost to fix them as he'd never done this particular job and I didn't have time for him to research it. He also said that one valve cover was leaking, but that it wasn't that bad & so I didn't have him quote me a price.

Well, we decided we wanted to include both of those items in our justified discounted offer to the seller, & I was interested in meeting Enrique at Mr. MB anyway, & he has Saturday morning hours & said it would only be 45 minutes & $60 to do the inspection, so I decided to do have another inspection. We were really serious about buying this car, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to have it looked at by more than one expert.

What a completely different (but still good) experience Enrique was. He and Carlos definitely are great guys, and definitely come across as "old sage" experts with these cars. Their inspection was much less structured than Pedro's. No checklist, they just looked the car over, and pointed things out to me as they saw them. Enrique also took the car for a drive around the block with me, which Pedro didn't do. Also, Carlos tightened up a loose cat.converter bracket which Pedro pointed out but didn't bother to fix. Also, Carlos removed one of the plastic engine under-covers to get a better look at things (which Pedro did not remove) and found the missing cap for the washer fluid, which had been missing for a couple months I think (car had been stored in the garage while on sale).

Neither Enrique nor Carlos ran a full diagnostic scan. In fact, even after driving the car with me, Enrique had missed the #1 problem, that the SRS light was lit on the dashboard. When I pointed this out, he went and got a hand-held code reader and read the code for the SRS (control module was out, as Pedro had determined). He didn't seem to look for any other codes, even though Pedro's print-out showed several minor ones ("under voltage errors" that he said would go away once cleared), and one other major one with the CD player.

After they were done, there was no report, no check list, no repair quote. When I asked how much it would cost to do various repairs, Enrique just gave me off the cuff guesses. For example, to fix the SRS, he said I should allow "at least $1000, could be more, maybe a little less."

Pedro quoted me $620 for the control module, and $110 for labor.

Overall, both mechanics (should I say all three, since Carlos helped Enrique) were very good, and offered different value. Had I to choose just one for an inspection, I think I'd recommend Pedro at Boulevard over Enrique. However, if I were to buy this car, I'd probably take it to Enrique for more stuff than I would Pedro. Enrique came across as having more knowledge of these cars than Pedro, but Pedro came across as being more throrough... if he didn't know something he'd find it out.

Kind of a toss-up. Enrique seems to charge less for labor ($60 for 45 minutes = $80/hour) although Pedro spent twice the time he charged for. Enrique spent about an hour total, charged for 45 minutes, Pedro spent 2 hours, charged for one.


Last edited by Kieran28; 08-28-2009 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:19 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: N. California./ N. Nevada
Posts: 3,611
Arrow MR MB in Tarzana -- still the tops!!!

From having found Enrique on this forum section, over 3 years ago, I have become a die hard regular long distance customer (from over 500 miles away!) of his.

Usually involves an overnight stay, but he even provided me a loaner (A 1988 420SEL) when I asked.

But he does appreciate his long distance customers like me, and his philosophy has not changed - he only likes to fix what is wrong, and not "build" the bill - he told me that would be cheating his customers.

Latest problem was HUGE oil consumption; about a quart of oil each 300-400 miles and a huge blast of smoke taking off from every stoplight.

He knows the car and said that he thoought maybe valve guide seals would fix it "because your car runs so good"

Whereas, taking off the heads, doing the valves or a top rebuild could cost $3,300 and up.....waaaaay up.

So he did it and the bill came in at only $700 ----- but he told me he actually spent more time on the car than he had charged me, in deference to my coming to him from so far away.

Came back to him 1,300 miles later, on another LA visit, and we checked the oil: Hadn't burned a single drop of oil!!

VOILA!!! Problem fixed. (I finally put in a half a quart of oil at over 2,000 miles, but I am well satisfied.)


Best mechanic I have ever found for me car, Enrique Rodriguez of MR MB, who has worked on Mercedes Benzes since 1961.

Highest recommendation! Hope to convince him not to retire soon, as he has been talking about it.
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 09-13-2009, 07:53 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 37
My great MB mechanic is located near Van Nuys in Winnetka- MBZ Motors. Ask for George. This guy is a master mechanic and he knows what he is doing. Iv seen all MB cars from 1965 230s' to brand new cars that are subcontracted to him by dealerships!!!

The only thing about MBZ Motors is that he is so damn good at what he does that he is often with his hands full. There are times I have gone there and he said he cant help me today. So, moral of the story- Call and make an appointment to be sure. There was one day in the middle of the week i was there for a period of about 3 hrs waiting and I counted 15 vehicles roll in and out. Great price on parts too.

I have heard many great reviews about MR. MB motors in Reseda. Im a young college kid, 21 years old. I had a problem, took it to MBZ motors but he would not see the car today so I decided to see what Mr. MB is all about and when I dropped by in my 85 SD trying to get a second opinion on a tranny problem Enrique completely blew me off. His assistant took the car for a spin, and Enrique said I needed a new tranny. Needless to say, 25K miles later, my original tranny (vacuum issue) was repaired and still going strong.

I dont mean to offend any of Enriques good customers, just giving my experience. George at MBZ Motors is the man plain and simple. Hell Jay Leno has got his car serviced here in the past (among many other celebrities). As far as I know, he charges 100/hr for labor and if you buy the part through him he cuts you an even sweeter deal. He changed my water pump $80 for parts and labor.
1985 300SD- 212K and running
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:35 PM
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Was that $80 total for the WP and labor, bnzpwr?
'89 300E - 153k miles - California car - Black/Palomino
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Old 09-18-2009, 03:46 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 37
yeah $80 total for parts and labor. Im sure of the sheer number of customers that roll through that lot he has a pretty nice hookup on parts. I have also been going there a while and I know he doesnt forget his regular customers. So if I buy the part through him he usually cuts me a deal on the labor. Not everything he does is cheap though. Im not a big DIY, but I try to use info from the Diesel Forums to help diagnose problems and seek solutions on my own before I take them in. I remember the window regulator was a very pretty penny for example. I go to him because I know he will do the right job the first time. As knowledgeable as he is, I wish George was my doctor instead of my mechanic.
1985 300SD- 212K and running
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