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Old 05-05-2002, 03:17 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 23
Did my Mechanic try to Rob me?

My 190E ran rough so I took it to a independent garage and they said it needed a fuel distributor because one of the injectors was glogged and not getting fuel. They quoted me 900.00, I didnt let them fix it. I finally took it to another shop and all my car needed was a injector, now my car runs just fine.

How could the first shop make a simple mistake like that? And has anyone else had something like that happen to them?
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Old 05-05-2002, 03:57 PM
GermanStar's Avatar
Annelid wrangler
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Posts: 4,932
Well, I can only say that common sense would dictate that you don't return to that shop. It doesn't really matter if it was evil intent or a misdiagnosis -- it hurts your pocket just the same.

German Star

Last edited by GermanStar; 05-05-2002 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-05-2002, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
I am not sure making a fuel distributor diagnosis is easy, but I can tell you that very few shops have the dedicated tool for evaluating one: a differential flow meter. picking a single cylinder out that is misfiring should be easy and eliminating the injector by replacing with new should be the diagnostic next step for those without proper testing equipment.

The real hard part is knowing what would have happened if the first shop had been given the go ahead. Getting the call right in the first place can be risky without expensive diagnostic time. If the calculated risk says the dist then if the call is made and if its wrong then it should be removed after the proper fix is finally discerned. Depending on how much was spent on the first diagnosis determines the value received. If the diagnosis was paid for then it was a poor value. If it wasn't paid for, you know what they say.

I'll guarantee that perfect diagnostics are hard to find. The real value is finding someone who will do whats necessary to find the problem and only charge for that which was truely necessary.

All you found out about that shop is that they made a mistake.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician

Last edited by stevebfl; 05-07-2002 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 05-05-2002, 10:33 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
I have found that "one-make" garages are usually the best to deal with. If you have an older car, find one that has "seasoned" mechanics that have experience working on those older models.

With our 'ol 88 Mazda 626, one of the local dealers has a bunch of mechanics with tons of "old" Mazda experience. Heck, they even keep good used parts around for people with older cars. They are one reason our 'ol gal still runs like a top after 15 years.

With a Mercedes, it's important to find someone like, well, Steve, that knows these cars inside and out. It might be an MB dealer, it might be an indie shop. Things I look for:

1. Knowledge and experience.

2. Tools. They need good diagnostic tools, and these cost money. I don't mind paying a higher labour rate to cover these costs, as it saves us all time and money in the long run.

3. Attitude. I only give my money to people that actually want it. Treat me with respect, and I'll give back the same. If you don't, I walk.

4. Shop organization. A cluttered, filthy, messy, unorganized shop is a red flag for me. Attention to detail is important.

Things I give to them:

1. Notice when I can. I don't rush in on a Monday morning and expect something non-critical to be looked at without an appointment.

2. Listening. I listen carefully to what the mechanic is telling me, so that I can provide the right information back.

3. Notes about problems. When it did it, what it did, what the speed, road conditions, etc were like.

4. Pay when the job is done, and don't gripe about the price on a job well done.

Excellent mechanics and shops are out there. It just takes time to find one. And when you do, help them to stay in business, as we all know what a treasure they can be.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 05-06-2002, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Thanks John, well writen post. I appreciate the sentiment.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 05-06-2002, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
I second the motion, John.

I appreciate excellent "one-make" garages / technicians for the expertise they have acquired over the years.

Perfect examples are techs that help out us "knuckleheads" on this site, like Stevebfl, Benzmaz, M.B.Doc, et. al.

I wish I could find a good technician like Stevebfl in my area. I would gladly pay a premium for the work he does.
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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