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  #1  
Old 11-29-2001, 08:30 PM
raymond3
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Here's a good one in the Portland, OR area

MBI Motors, Inc
1309 SE Hawthorne
Portland, OR 97214

503-231-0444


Sig knows his stuff (and how to treat customers)

Ray
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2001, 01:51 AM
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I second this. MBI was a sponsor of the M-100 Group's Meet this past June. They are truly an excellent and honest operation.

Gerry
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2003, 08:13 PM
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The previous two owners of my '85 300D had much of their service done at MBI. They included all of the receipts for the service. I'm not sold on them, there were many repeat trips for many items and they are bit expensive. Example: they charged $50 for an air filter that I can get for $24. I can understand that shops need to add a mark up on parts, but over 100% is a bit greedy!
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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2003, 01:33 AM
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This is the first negative thing I've heard about MBI.

To my knowledge in over 5 years of going to MBI, they only charge list, and no more than list. If you are a regular customer or one that is having a large job done, they always discount parts where they can. I often get parts for their cost, or discounted to varying degrees between retail and wholesale. Certainly less than the local MB dealer would charge me.

Then again I am probably one of their top-five customers in the amount of money I spend there every year.

As far as being expensive, I have two comments to make. I'd rather pay well for high-quality work (I've only had to take one job back, and that was a leaking windshield seal on my 6.9 that had been replaced, and they fixed it no charge very quickly) that is done right the first time.

Secondly, whenever people ***** about money in relation to a Mercedes, I always say (or think, if I'm being polite) that if they have to think about money, they shouldn't own a Mercedes, and should buy a Honda or Toyota.

Cheers,
Gerry

1995 E320T
1994 E500
1989 560SEC
1969 300SEL 6.3
1977 450SEL 6.9
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2003, 10:59 PM
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If I could afford a new MB then I'm sure I wouldn't need to think about money...much. The car we're talking about here could easily rack up a bill that would exceed the value of the car if I did not carefully shop around for a reasonably priced reputable shop. It would be nice to find an honest shop that would charge the same amount for their labor whether the car is a Chevy or a Rolls Royce. Mechanic's labor is mechanic's labor. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work on a old W123 series diesel. I have been able to accomplish almost all of the repairs myself. I simply have no tolerance for a shop who feels they can justify charging exorbitant rates for simply working on a Mercedes Benz. My car is not much different from any other car. In many ways it is much easier to work on than most cars of today.
Gerryvz, please don't take any offense from my reply as there is none intended toward you personally. I just get a little defensive when my wallet is attacked.
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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2003, 11:35 PM
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To my knowledge, MBI charges a flat $75 (or thereabouts) per hour. This is pretty much the going rate for labor for most reputable & competent independents in the Portland area. Five years ago their rate was $65 per hour.

Last time I checked, the dealer (Rasmussen) was charging something around $120 an hour to work on older cars -- this is a markup whereby they just farm the work out to one of the local independents. I believe the dealer's normal rate to work on newer cars is over $75 per hour.

The going rate in the Bay Area for competent labor at a good MB-specific shop, Marin County, is $95 an hour and up.

Yesterday I picked up at MBI a set of brake pads for my wife's E320T wagon and a new neutral safety switch for my 6.3, both at MBI. I was charged about 10% above their cost for both. That's acceptable to me.

I realize I can't change your opinion; MBI has always treated me fairly. I have called up the owner at home on weekend mornings, stranded hundreds of miles away in my 6.3, and he has helped me out of a bind. I have driven my wife's former 300TE in with oil in the coolant and a burst hose at 6PM (they close at 5:30), and they patched me up free of charge on the spot to get me home (head gasket replacemend soon followed!). Lastly on one day's notice they helped me out of a bind by hosting part of the 2001 M-100 Meet that was rained out, on a Saturday for 6 hours!

No offense taken, and no offense intended with this post either.

Cheers,
Gerry
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2003, 11:13 AM
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I appreciate your understanding. I'm also impressed by the level of service MBI has provided you. I haven't had any personal experience with MBI other than the stack of service records the previous owner of my car gave me. I may have formed an unfounded opinion by simply only referencing the shop records. I guess the best thing would be to give them a try some time. The only thing is that they are about an hour's trip for me from where I live. I have a local independent shop that works on all makes and models that is about 15 minutes from me but I haven't taken my 300D to them yet. I have used them for some more technical issues with my GM's in the past. They are somewhat reasonable ($60/hr). I know the owner is knowledgeable on Mercedes cars since I asked him for some advice on buying my 300D. I haven't tested his level of "extra" service as you described MBI providing you. Maybe I'm just hoping that I would never need to find out. I have also located a "foreign" car shop nearby in another area. I stopped by there because I saw a 300D being parted out in their yard. They seemed to be very knowledgeable on Mercedes but I forgot to ask their rates at the time. I guess only time will tell where I will ultimately take my car in for repairs. I do the majority of the work myself but there are times when I don't feel its worth my time ( or have the time) to work on things or I don't have the necessary tools .
I didn't take any offense from your replies as well.

Best Regards & Happy Motoring,
DJ
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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2003, 03:51 AM
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Here's another couple of things, I had a suspension valve replaced on my 6.9, the front level control valve. These typically go bad because they get cooked by the heat from the large engine over time. The list price for this valve is $720. MBI charged me $575 for the part (new MB) plus one hour to install and re-level the car.

Also today, for my 1994 E500, I had the driver's side driving light lens (glass) cracked by a stone. This is the small rectangular lamps that are set very low in the bumper just ahead of the front wheels, looking forward.

I went to the MB dealer and asked if they had it in stock. They did, and charged me $114 for the part. I then proceeded to go into MBI immediately after that (this was at 2:45 PM today) for something else. I casually told parts dept about just getting bent over by the dealer for this part. Parts manager said, just a minute, stay there. Goes over to the computer and enters the part number. Says "I can have it here by 4PM and it will be $95, so go return that part at the dealer tomorrow." Sure enough one hour later it was in my hands. Bosch part, exact same as the dealer part except for the MB box, and the MB star had been "filed off" the factory Bosch part.

That's service.

Actual costs for the part 003 826 35 90:

MB suggested retail: $105
MB wholesale: $84
MB dealer cost: $64

The friggin' dealer MARKED UP THE PART almost 10% OVER MSRP !!!! MBI sold it to me for halfway between their cost and retail.

Cheers,
Gerry
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2003, 06:02 PM
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I've got an excellent source for genuine MB parts myself that saves me at least 60% from list. It may take a week to get them but I have other cars that I can drive if my daily driver MB should become undrivable. If you are interested I could share you the name of the person with whom I deal with if you send me a PM .
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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2003, 07:22 PM
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I too have my own sources for non-critical parts needs. The usual -- Rusty, Big Babbo, etc. Thanks for the offer.

Often I am very willing to may more for parts because I can get them NOW rather than having my car down for a week or two waiting for them to arrive from a mail order place. In these situations time is money, at least for me personally.

Cheers,
Gerry
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2003, 02:18 PM
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This is a little off the subject (MBI) but somewhat on as well (local dealer prices). I haven't used MBI (yet) but have done most work myself (my 73 280C is pretty simple, really).

The most recent experience I had with the dealer was I needed a small carb part (accelerator pump diapragm). This list was like $25.00. The local dealer (Rasmussen) wanted $30.00 and they would have to order it from New Jersey. They said they would call when it came in.

I went on line to the BenzBin, ordered the same part for $10.00 or so (plus a couple of bucks for shipping). Here's the whacky part: they also sent it from New Jersey. I had the part in my hand before the dealer even called back (which, by the way, they never did). It took 3 days to get here (small part, US Postal Service). So much for going to the dealer to "avoid" the mail-order delays!

By the way, since then I've been doing business with Import Parts Specialties in Boise. Their prices are EXCELLENT and because they ship most things from closer (than NJ), the delivery time is very fast. I highly recommend them if you're looking for DIY parts. www.ips-parts.com
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2003, 07:18 PM
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Thanks for the referral, I'll compare IPS with the prices of the parts suppliers I use the next time I need something.
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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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  #13  
Old 10-19-2003, 09:04 PM
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Well I recently compared prices between IPS and the guy I usually get all my MB parts from and he still wins the price battle. I needed new front brake pads and rotors for my 300D and he was able to beat IPS by about $10 for the exact same items including shipping.
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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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  #14  
Old 10-19-2003, 09:46 PM
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"Unhinged Troll" - Jim B.
 
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The discount parts dealers are GREAT for many things. The money that you can save is unbelieveable. I know that the dealer here in Portland, Don Rasmussen Mercedes-Benz, charges 10% _OVER_ list price on all walk-up parts at their parts counter.

MBI charges me anywhere from 60-90% of list for the same parts, and they just call in the order to Rasmussen and have it in the same time frame as the dealer would.

As an example, I recently had the front suspension valve for the hydropneumatic suspension on my 450SEL 6.9 replaced. I went with a new factory valve rather than a rebuilt unit. List price for this valve is $720.00 (part 126-320-06-58. MBI charged me $576.00 for it. The dealer would have charged me approximately $800 for this part.

For many things such as filters, rebuilt parts, major assemblies, etc. the discounters are great. But this is only for things that are available on the aftermarket. There are many MB parts that are ONLY available through the dealer, so you HAVE to get scalped or go through a shop like MBI or Caliber Motors so that you can get SOMEWHAT of a discount.

If you know the ins and outs of the game, you can actually do quite well with MB parts, even getting prices that are far less than many domestic and other import marques.

Cheers,
Gerry
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2003, 08:26 PM
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Fortunately I have not come across needing anything that I would have had to get from the dealer as I only have an '85 300D. This car doesn't appear to have anything that is too complex. Right now I am just waiting for the brake parts to arrive. Good thing for the indicator light which gave me a forewarning as to needing new brake pads and rotors with some time to spare.
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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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