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  #1  
Old 02-01-2005, 02:06 PM
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What should i tell my mechanic?

I am now living in tallahassee, where as before I lived in Miami and had a very reliable mechanic to handle the odds and ends i didnt know how to care of or was too lazy for. Here in Tallahassee i have been referred to a place by the name of furrin auto to handle my needs and ive taken my car (82 300 sd) to them twice since being here. The first time was to replace my brake booster and to put in 3 glow plugs that went out. After i got it back from them I noticed that the glow plug light would either stay on for a split second or not turn on at all. Now im back there after two months because my car wouldnt start and i need a new ignition switch and they are telling me that all my glow plugs are bad and they dont know whether its the plugs or the relay and consequently wont unless im willing to pay them to fix it. Is something fishy going on here or am i just being paranoid? Why would my glowplug light go out so quickly after they replaced 3 of them, and would this have any effect on my current problem? Could the relay fuse or something of that nature have gone out and be causing me these problems? Any advice would be greatfully appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2005, 02:14 PM
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use the search, buy yourself a basic test meter and empower yourself with knowledge.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2005, 02:18 PM
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If they can't tell whether your glow plugs or your gp relay is bad w/o doing a very simple test then they are trying to snooker you into a very costly repair. This sounds like they are trying to get you to pay for a f/up on their part in instaling the gp in the first place and then give then a blank check to repalce what ever else they want.

I have stopped other MB owners on the street or in parking lots and asked them where they get their work done. Ask enough owners and after a while you will start hearing the same name come up for either a place to go to or one to stay away from.

Good luck
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2005, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Burton
use the search, buy yourself a basic test meter and empower yourself with knowledge.
Knowledge is power.

The only thing I can think of to tell your mechanic will get you removed from his christmas card list.

He is either too dumb to know proper testing procedures, too lazy to perform them, or he is trying to screw you. In any case>>>>>>> you lose.

I once heard a man, who owned fifteen car dealerships, say this:

"When the customer comes in, screw him. If he comes back you can screw him again."

His philosophy has earned him over $100M.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2005, 02:59 PM
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Odd. When I first got my 300D Furrin auto told me they don't work on Diesels. That might be the problem right there. My fav Indy had a shop called Eddie's German car repair. (He drives an '83 300DT). Unfortunately he closed his shop and is now working for Auto Super Service Center. I'll see if I can dig up the letter he sent me so I can tell you which one he works at.
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I'm not a certified mechanic, but I did stay at a HolidayInn Express last night.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2005, 03:11 PM
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No ethics whatsoever

Unfortunatly I too have heard a large new dealership owner say that people seem to enjoy being taken. He obviously used this to justify what he was doing and to mitigate his concience if he had any. If you took your car to a mechanic that could not easily diagnose glow plugs versus relay problem it's time to move along. This is not new or great technology to put it mildly.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2005, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMan300sd
I am now living in tallahassee, where as before I lived in Miami and had a very reliable mechanic to handle the odds and ends i didnt know how to care of or was too lazy for. Here in Tallahassee i have been referred to a place by the name of furrin auto to handle my needs and ive taken my car (82 300 sd) to them twice since being here.
I've only had my 300D since about August of last year, and have yet to take it in to a mechanic here. In addition to the fellow JamesStein mentioned, I have had two people recommend Autoworks International as a place to take a diesel M-B. Again, I have no first-hand experience with them.

I also agree with the "empower yourself" approach, at least to the fullest extent that it can be compatible with you and your situation. There's loads of information here on the site; when that doesn't cut it, there are lots of folks ready and able to address specific questions.

Unless there's some sort of communication problem here, I'm seriously unimpressed with Furrin's approach to the glow plug / g.p. relay issue.

BTW, welcome to Tally...
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2005, 05:00 PM
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When they do glow plugs, why not do them all? That is unless they were just replaced less than a couple thousand miles ago. Sounds like an effort to drum up more work in the future.

Big deal about the dealerships. I have had the same things happen with independent shops. I don't know why everyone worships them as if they were a god. It takes 3 things to work on cars besides a good mechanic. Tools, information, experience. All things being equal, can the independent say that they have all of them? When you are a "Jack of all Trades" you are a "Master of None". An indie is by defination a master of none for the most part. They have to work on whatever that come thru the door, irrespective.

Soooo, if you have knowledge, you will be fine where you choose to go. If not, an indie will ride you every mile just as well. Even if they don't, I have seen the tools that a MB dealership has to carry and it is quite a bit. I have yet to see too many indies have that many tools. That begs the question of what they do when they need a tool they don't have. Borrow it from an MB dealership? Possible but not probable. Buy it for the 5 cars that need it? doubtful. Probably have to rig up a work around. Is that what I want them to do? Not me. Will they have the latest bulletins? Doubtful. So, what makes them soo good?
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2005, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklim

Big deal about the dealerships. I have had the same things happen with independent shops. I don't know why everyone worships them as if they were a god. It takes 3 things to work on cars besides a good mechanic. Tools, information, experience. All things being equal, can the independent say that they have all of them? When you are a "Jack of all Trades" you are a "Master of None". An indie is by defination a master of none for the most part. They have to work on whatever that come thru the door, irrespective.
You are generalizing a bit too much here. There are independent shops that specialize in M/B. I visit one down in Raleigh when I am there. Do they have the tools? Definitely. Do they have the information? Probably not to the degree that a M/B dealer has, but, for 90% of the problems, they have the data they need. Do they have the experience? The same two fellows have been doing M/B vehicles for 10 years. Can a dealer beat that? Maybe yes, maybe not. Depends on the technician assigned to the work.

The reason that people perfer independent mechanics is that there are some that do not have a condescending attitude toward the customer with their almighty knowledge about what is wrong with the vehicle. Of course, you probably can find a dealer who fits this bill, as well, but, if I can generalize, it's going to be much more difficult.

The second reason is the price. If I can use a good, honest indy for $79. per hour, why would I hand over $110. to a dealer for the same work?

Fixing these things is not rocket science, by and large.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2005, 05:40 PM
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is that really the name?

Furrin? is that a play on words...furrin=foreign? or is that the guys real name?
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2005, 05:55 PM
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Glo plugs are tested by putting 12v accross them. If they light up they are good.
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2005, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton
You are generalizing a bit too much here. There are independent shops that specialize in M/B. I visit one down in Raleigh when I am there. Do they have the tools? Definitely. Do they have the information? Probably not to the degree that a M/B dealer has, but, for 90% of the problems, they have the data they need. Do they have the experience? The same two fellows have been doing M/B vehicles for 10 years. Can a dealer beat that? Maybe yes, maybe not. Depends on the technician assigned to the work.

The reason that people perfer independent mechanics is that there are some that do not have a condescending attitude toward the customer with their almighty knowledge about what is wrong with the vehicle. Of course, you probably can find a dealer who fits this bill, as well, but, if I can generalize, it's going to be much more difficult.

The second reason is the price. If I can use a good, honest indy for $79. per hour, why would I hand over $110. to a dealer for the same work?

Fixing these things is not rocket science, by and large.
It depends on the technician YOU assign to work on it. I bring my car there and I tell them WHO I want to work on it, WHAT needs to be done and to take the parts needed from my trunk. You are the customer and YOU decide WHO works on it and WHAT needs to be done. When I bought my E399, I found a leak in the hoses to the Shutoff Valve. I bought all the necessary parts and had them pay the parts department for the parts so I would have them all on hand. Also I stand by to make sure that they use the parts and assemble them to spec. The tech was surprised by me because all his customers have been of the "leave and drive" variety. He never had a customer that brought the parts and stood by to watch him. Ask Gilly how it was when he worked at the dealership in Madison and he did work for me. The one time I didn't do that and it was assigned to another tech, I had to come back 4 months later because the coolant still had oil in it.

I have found that they use ALLDATA quite often which AFAIK, is a cut and paste of parts of a service manual. Also they have Haynes or Chilton books which I don't find particularly reliable. Not sure about the MB indies but that was who I brought my Ford to sometimes. I usually use the service advisor as a scheduler. I tell him what I need done and we negotiate a time when it can be done. Nothing else. I try establish a personal relationship with the techs working on my car. If possible, I would pay them on the side for work done at my place or their's. That way, I pay about $30 an hour for the work and use my own parts. The last time I went to the dealership to do a fuel tank level sensor, I elected to use my parts discount at their store because I wanted the warranty and I didn't want to haul that gas tank sensor out and drain the fuel. Unluckily for them, it was their part that screwed up so they had to pay for the fix. My experience was that it was about $85 an hour for them to fix and the indie wants about $80. Not much difference there.

My problem with the indies is that they are more reluctant to use customer supplied parts. My dealerships (Ford, GM and MB) only stipulate that if I use my own parts, they only warranty they give is on their labor. If my part screws up, I'm on my own. The indie wants to make money on the parts too so they don't want me to bring my own in or they get MB parts at retail price. I can get MB parts at 10% discount but they won't go for that.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2005, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engatwork
Glo plugs are tested by putting 12v accross them. If they light up they are good.
That would mean removal to see it glow. If you are going that far, why not just replace ALL of them instead of SOME of them? They all have the same wear and tear. In my car, if I had to redo glow plugs, I would have to pay for the removal of the intake manifold and the gasket. That would eat up any savings from not doing the remaining ones.
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2005, 08:05 PM
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Aklim, you are baseing the whole industry on your personal experience. In my experience, the Dealer tries harder to push their own parts (which usually costs more anyway) than indies do. The tech working on your car at a GM dealer might be the same tech who was working at a Ford dealer a few months ago, and a different dealer or independent shop before that. The quality of techs at dealerships around here is not all that great. The only thing the dealers have going for them in their advantage is information on newer vehicles. Usually by the time a vehicle is out of warranty, the indies have the same info available to them.
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2005, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantoms
Aklim, you are baseing the whole industry on your personal experience. In my experience, the Dealer tries harder to push their own parts (which usually costs more anyway) than indies do.

The tech working on your car at a GM dealer might be the same tech who was working at a Ford dealer a few months ago, and a different dealer or independent shop before that. The quality of techs at dealerships around here is not all that great.

The only thing the dealers have going for them in their advantage is information on newer vehicles. Usually by the time a vehicle is out of warranty, the indies have the same info available to them.
You might be right about the parts issue. My experience was that indies were more reluctant to use my parts. My dealerships just let me use their parts or my own with the stipulation that if my part fails I have no warranty whatsoever. Their warranty only covers the workmanship. I'm not sure the tech gets anything one way or the other. I have walked from indies because they refuse to use my own parts. Or if they did, they wanted to chage me more per hour to make up for the loss in the parts department or words to that effect.

Hence I said to establish a personal relationship with the tech. I would THINK (danger!!) that with all the training they have to go thru, a Ford tech would be starting from the bottom of the learning ladder if they were to switch to GM and vice versa. I have known only of a few techs that switched lines. Within GM (Pontiac, Chevy, GMC, etc, etc) yes but GM to Ford is more scarce. At my dealership, most of the techs there are trained by MB and then they work at the dealership and stay there or move to other dealerships that are also MB in nature. My experience is that the techs are techs. I have gone either way and never noticed much of a difference. Some good ones exist and some bad ones exist. I just find the good ones and use them. I use indies for my Vette which is so modified that it is mostly aftermarket and GM probably doesn't want to nor knows how to work on them.

Also they do keep more MB parts on hand. An indie might have to go scout around and get it tomorrow. That means I have to be back tomorrow to supervise the repair.
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99 E300 Turbodiesel
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03 SeaDoo GTX SC Red
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11 Harley Davidson 883 SuperLow
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