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  #1  
Old 03-04-2001, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
I was just checked out the fastlane for brake discs (rear for 1986 420SEL) they have ATE, Balo and Brembo (prices increase in that order). Which should I use? Price is no concern as they are all pretty cheap and the rear rotors last a long time. I don't know what I have on the front, dealer put them on for me last summer. Will what I have on the front affect what I need on the back? Are the Brembos more high performance and if I don't also have Brembos up front will that create some kind of braking imbalance? What about ATE and Balo, which is better? Any other considerations (my mechanic will be putting them on, I'll buy them myself because they are cheaper here. Also, if the ATE and Balos are OE, do they come in the new MB box with holograph seal?



[Edited by 420SEL on 03-04-2001 at 07:58 AM]
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Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2001, 11:16 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Oh boy, I suppose you carry the eggs to the pancake house for breakfast too!

What the H kind of mechanic do YOU use, is he also located under a shade tree. How many other parts of the cost of auto repair does he by-pass for you. Does he pay taxes, buy insurance, workers comp, does he get HEALTH INSURANCE. Does he live in a shack because he lets people like you beat him out of a decent wage.

I presume he isn't going to do this in a real shop as it would not happen in a REAL shop. I say this because we are on the internet. If you called me with such a proposal I wouldn't waste my time with these obvious reasons as I have one reason for never doing such things: I ABSOLUTELY do nothing which isn't fully warranteed for the same interval the dealer would warrantee the job. Don't tell me you are going to accept the warrantee problem, B*llSh**. When your brakes are squeeling next week the best your tech is going to get out of it is a bad reputation.

I have spend a good part of my life helping "sometimes MB techs" and DIYers fix cars and I've loved every minute. But, it really rattles my cage when I see people butting in line or shortchanging the system at others expense. I will take it all back if you show me pictures of your house versus his house, your health insurance versus his insurance. Buy your parts, ask your questions, I am happy to help you do the job. If you want a professional to do it, pay the price and let his family have health insurance.

Thanks I needed that, I have to write another technical article today and I sometimes need a jump start (bg).
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Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2001, 11:28 AM
LarryBible
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Steve,

In the fifties, my Dad had a small but very well respected independent garage. It was a much different time in those days and the parts houses sold parts to off the street customers at list price. In the late fifties, the parts houses started selling to counter traffic at the same price as the garages. Then tne customers wanted a free diagnosis from the shops, so they could buy the part at jobber cost and find a shade tree.

It had a real effect on our family. The shop was in Killeen, Texas where Fort Hood is. At the same time this happened, which took some of the profit and all of the ability to stand behind the work away, about all of the troops at Fort Hood were shipped out to Lebanon. With the troops, the commerce in Killeen died.

This left us moving to a different city and my Dad taking on another career which worked well for us in the long run.

I'm not proposing that the shops get better prices, but it is important that they have control of the parts they use.

I'm sure that those people who tried to get free diagnosis and then find the shade tree, had no idea what they were doing to our family. But the result was the same, our family was disrupted and it took awhile to get back to normal.

Thanks for pointing these things out to everyone at Mshop.

Have a great day,
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2001, 11:42 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
So, are you saying that parts I would buy from the Mercedesshop fastlane parts store are garbage and have no warranties? I don't really see the problem here, if I buy good parts and have a qualified mechanic install them what is the problem. If they thought the parts I brought in were garbage they would tell me, but I try to be careful when buying parts. I'm not trying to put anyone out of business or cheat anyone, especially my mechanic. I've given him over $2000 so far this year. I always pay them exactly what they ask for. I have bought parts from an wholesale MB dealer in California (genuine parts) and my mechanic found he could save himself and his other clients money by buying from this dealer instead of the local ones. Everyone on this site is always talking up the partsshop, so I thought I would check it out. I guess I'll just stay away from the partsshop then.
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1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2001, 01:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
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Jason,

You are missing the point. The parts here (all three brands) are top quality. You buy them, ask me a question and I will spend my time helping YOU fix your car. I would leave this site in a day if I thought what you propose was the norm.

I realize that it is human nature to try and beat the system. Do you also butt in lines. Believe me that when driving and when going to Disney I do my best to intellectually Butt the line. When waiting at a bus stop I strategically position my waiting space with such in mind. Believe me, I would never go to Disney if they allowed a mob to wait outside a door. I might even go back now that they will allow you to pay a price to Butt in line.

Read Larry's good comments to see more of these results of what I am saying.

So you paid $2k when you should have paid 4. (most tickets have equal amounts of parts and labor). I call your mindset the HomeDepot effect. There is a current country western hit about Walmarts putting all the little guys out of business. You say such is life, I say do you really like what's left. Call up Donnie and Bill when they get their new shop open and see if they will make breakfast with your eggs!

Ask your tech if his shop pays for his health insurance!! Where the H do you think this comes from. I am looking to hire the lead tech from one of my competitors right now. He told me the other night that he is the Vice President of the firm so the owner can avoid paying workers comp. He gets no health benefits but his wife works for an insurance company. How many of the legal, health, environmental costs of repairing a car do you wish to bypass. I don't cut any corners and still produce a competative product. My health insurance costs are as great as my morgage on my million dollar facility. I paid $150k (5 years ago) for the house I live in. No boat. Two weeks vacation every year after 25.

And as to warrantee, when those brakes are squeeling next week, who is responsible; the parts or the installer. This is why I won't ever have this discussion in my shop. I FIX IT, I WARRANTEE it, no mumbo jumbo.
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Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2001, 01:32 PM
mamula
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CHILL OUT

I have been watching this forum for about a month and have
learned alot from this site on MB. I am also a private shop
owner and service all types of auto & truck. When a customer
ask if they can supply there own parts I explain to them that all garages make profit off parts they sell and i have
no problem installing there parts but i will have to add the
parts profit to installation labor and there will not be any
type of warranty on work performed. I also make notation of
this on invoice and have them sign off on it. I also explain
to them that i can get the same part slightly cheaper then
they can and it is cheaper in the end to let me supply parts. For some reason most people dont know this and act
suprised that we make a profit on parts as if it is some kind of secret and we are able to stay in business just off
of labor charges. But i find it easy to be upfront with customers and let them know how it really is and have them
sign off on invoice stating this was explained to them.
P.S.
I have alot of respect for steve, he is obviously a very
experienced tech and i have learned alot from his post.
But i have noticed over the past month that he has a very
short temper with people on this site and is probabley scaring some people away. At the same time i do realise he is posting every day to what probabley seems like really stupid questions but he should take it easy on some of these people.
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2001, 02:09 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
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I think I get the point now. The more I think about what Steve says the more it make sense that it would be just as cheap in the long run to let my mechanic get my parts for me and then if there are any problems he can take care of it. I was mainly keen on ordering from the partsshop because I've gotten alot of help from this forum and thought buying from the parts shop would be a good way to say thanks. Plus that free shipping for the next 50 people to order deal sounded too good to pass up. I never really thought I be putting my own mechanic slowly out of business. The reason I go there is because I get work done just as well as at the dealer, I don't have to wait for four weeks for an appointment, they use the same parts, and are much more friendly. I guess I prety much owe it to them to give them what they are worth, inclulding profits on parts. I also want to appologize to Steve, it wasn't my intention to tick you off, I just just wasn't thinking and I'm sorry to get your Sunday off to a rough start. I do appreciate all the help you given me on this forum over the past few years.

JP
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1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2001, 02:46 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
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Jason,

I almost enjoy social commentary as much as technical. I should be apologizing to you for using your comments as a base for my commentary. Every once in a while I take advantage to express a technician's point of view. I don't do this to be contrary. I feel what I have to say has value to this community. It's never personal with me and I hope it isn't for those who have been so used. There is often lots to learn from discord.

I also don't wish to interfere with partsshop ability to gain some compensation for maintaining this site. They surely deserve it. I would be interested to see how they will handle this issue when they have their own shop and have customers bringing in parts they bought through the site. I doubt that they will do retail work and sell parts at internet prices.
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Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2001, 01:04 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 576
When I first read Steve's reply, I thought, "man did he get up on the wrong side of the bed". Then I thought about it for a minute. Then I realized, he's right!

I run a pretty large retail furniture store located in an outlet mall. We sell Mercedes to Chevy quality furnishings at guaranteed best prices and offer top quality service to the customer.

But, every day I get a "customer" who has found someone on the internet who sells for a few bucks less. Now they have come in and used our store's beautiful showroom, taken up the time of a salesperson, drunk our free coffee and taken home a handful of color copies. Then they surf the net and find some guy they can't see who's probably working from his kitchen table who's only asset is price.

Too often, the consumer in their rabid quest for the cheapest price forgets the importance of service and a relationship with whom they are doing business. Worst of all is the total lack of understanding that the tech or salesperson is supporting a family and the establishment pays rent, taxes and benefits to their employees.

I love it when someone says "there's alot of markup in your products". Really? Does that mean that at the end of the year you have whatever your gross earnings are in the bank? The answer is, of course not, you have rent,food, utilities, taxes etc., well friends so does the business you are trading with.

If you doubt this is true, just go into a department store. If you're old enough to know what it was like in the 50', 60's and 70's, there is no service today. They have had to cut back on staff to remain competitive.

Getting a good deal is great. Just don't forget the importance of service and long term relationships.




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91 300E 120K
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2001, 01:18 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
For me it's simple. If I'm doing the work, I buy the parts at the best price I can (generally right here at PartsShop). If I have my Tech do a job, it's with his parts at his price. I've even brought him a 6er of Becks as a thanks (to repay all the info gleaned from his Stuttgart training plus odds and ends from the parts car).
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'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
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2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

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  #11  
Old 03-05-2001, 11:07 AM
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Ghoulardi Rules!
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 576
Amen Brother!
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91 300E 120K
90 300SE 275K (sold)
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90 BMW 525iA 175K
85 300D 175K (sold)
84 300SD 245K (sold)
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