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  #1  
Old 08-21-1999, 11:58 AM
Philipasmith
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I have read on this forum about the taboo of supplying one's own parts to a mechanic. Is there any instance where this is okay? In particular what if you purchase a set of Bilstein shocks and would like for you mechanic to install them. Would that be okay or taboo?

Phil
  #2  
Old 08-21-1999, 03:29 PM
Alain V.'s Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: KS.
Posts: 459
I'd say taboo. What most people don't think about is how much it costs to be in business these days. For example a small specialized shop,with 5 or less employees may need to generate about 20 grand a month in sales just to be able to open the doors. A shop can't make it on labor alone,profit on parts helps keep things going. You don't take a 1/4 pound of meat and two slices of bread to the local burger joint and expect them to cook it for you do you?
At our shop,we do sometimes install a customers part if it's something unique,like a stereo,or performance parts,for example, I have a 16valve 190 in the shop right now that the guy bought a "remus" sport muffler for it. I do not sell these types of mufflers but my customer wanted one so he bought one and I will gladly install it for him. Everyone is glad to know that there is a "specialist" in the area when there is a strange problem with their car, they just have to remember that in order for the specialist to be there for you when you need him for something tricky, he needs your support for the little jobs too.
  #3  
Old 08-21-1999, 03:30 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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Usually taboo unless your tech can't get the parts. Why not ask him/her?

------------------
Benzmac:
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN
SERVICE MANAGER FOR 14 BAY FACILITY
MERCEDES SPECIALIST 8 YRS
PARTNER IN MERCEDESSHOP.COM


  #4  
Old 08-21-1999, 03:59 PM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 239
It seems this is not a taboo issue but the policy of each shop. Most will say something about not being able to guarantee their work. There are others that don't have a parts purchasing network in-house and encourage you to bring your own parts, preferrably OEM.
One example is a major chassis/suspension shop in our area that does all the related work for the MB/Volvo dealership. (The dealer stopped providing all suspension related work.)
They had no problem with supplying my own suspension bushings, shocks, etc. It may be a problem, however, if the parts are "J.C. Whitney" type non OEM parts.

There is a very very reputable local independent shop for Volvo/Mercedes cars in our area, and the owner rarely has a problem with supplied parts. He's overbooked and too busy to deal with maintaining a large parts inventory or ordering stuff as needed for all the jobs that come through his shop.

This has no correlation to the quality of service, but one pattern I've noticed over the years is if the shop occupies a large shiny building with a dozen staff and receptionist with a waiting room with no direct view of the repair shop (and a Bosche sign somewhere outside), then they'll insist on their own parts. If it's a guy with only two other mechanics with the phone ringing off the hook and two dozen expensive cars parked outside (all from very very loyal customers), then supplying your own parts is not a problem and they'll deal with each case differently.

Only one way to find out is to ask, but I think it's probably not a bad idea if you refrain from wanting to supply your own tune up parts such as spark plugs, filters, and oil. That would be going overboard.
  #5  
Old 08-22-1999, 12:17 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Somers, CT
Posts: 73
I work with a very good indepedent who
is good at getting MB parts and pretty
good prices. Sometimes, as in the case
when I was replacing shocks, the original
price was outrageous so I worked with
him and did some research. He ended up
buying the shocks (Bilsteins) from another
source (once we confirmed the proper part
numbers, etc.) for almost $100, less - for
each shock.

My mechanic sends me to the dealer for the
electrical related repairs because he
cannot return incorrect or faulty electrical
part.

Although we have no obligation to keep
independent shops in business, it makes
good sense - provided they do good work.

I am happy to pay a little premium to have
my car serviced on the weekend, etc. and
to have things examined and checked during
a routine oil change.
  #6  
Old 08-22-1999, 12:51 PM
Chris Ecklund
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I have done this over the years with several different brands of cars, and dealers, and have never been refused.

You just have to work out the price, and make sure they do not charge you the book price, which I have seen worked in to some prices that included the parts from the dealer.



------------------
Chris Ecklund
98 300 DT
  #7  
Old 08-22-1999, 11:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
At my shop, we maintain over a half million dollars in parts inventory. I will not allow anyone to bring any parts for me to put on the car because what if the part fails? Who is going to warranty the part and the LABOR? I do not want to ruffle feathers I just think that I would be looked at strange if I brought sizzlean to waffle house and asked them to cook it up for me.

------------------
Benzmac:
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN
SERVICE MANAGER FOR 14 BAY FACILITY
MERCEDES SPECIALIST 8 YRS
PARTNER IN MERCEDESSHOP.COM


  #8  
Old 08-23-1999, 01:37 AM
Philipasmith
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I understand your point of view BENZMAC, but I think your restaurant analogy is besides the point. It is clear from some of the posts that some shops don't have a problem with a customers parts in CERTAIN cases, the one I cited in particular. That jives with my own experience, for example more tire shops than not will be happy to mount and balance a set of tires that you bring to them, for a price of course. Tires are their business, selling, mounting and repairing.

I have a question for you BENZMAC. I read on the forum that the parts shop was putting together a sport suspension package for sale. Will every purchaser do the installation him or her self or will they have a local mechanic do the work? Should the car owner have their mechanic order the parts for them? What's politically correct here?

Phil
  #9  
Old 08-23-1999, 01:59 AM
Bill Wood's Avatar
Retired Webmaster
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Johns Creek, GA, USA
Posts: 5,013
I see from your profile that your interests are Music, Motorcycles, Politics. You certainly jumped right into the middle of the politics here at good 'ole MercedesShop.

You are free to buy parts anywhere you wish and take them anywhere you like to have them installed. All we are saying in our PartsShop introduction is that we are catering to the Do-It-Yourselfer. We will sell you the part, sell you the Mercedes documentation (if applicable) and help you any way we can on this forum. That's it. We are trying to avoid the case where someone buys a part from us, takes it to their dealer to install and gets a wrench thrown at them. Benzmac gave good advice...ask your tech first. As you can see from this thread, many shops and techs have no problem installing owner supplied parts. We can't control who, where or how our PartsShop parts are installed. All we can do is try to educate and increase awareness.

I have included a copy below of the PartsShop intro on this subject:

PartsShop is intended for the Do-It-Yourselfer. Please don't buy parts from us with the intention of having your local technician or shop install the part. This is not fair to the shop and besides that, most shops will not install customer provided parts. The best rule is to know your capabilities and limitations. If the project is over your head then have a professional do the job and let the professional select and order the parts they need.

------------------
Bill Wood - Webmaster
MercedesShop.com, LLC




[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 08-23-1999).]
  #10  
Old 08-23-1999, 06:26 PM
Philipasmith
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Bill Wood,

I would like to first say that the reason why I wrote Benzmac's name in all caps was because I mistakenly thought that's how he used it, which is obviously wrong. I'm assumming you're responding with my name in all caps to alude to this. I apologize to Benzmac if using all caps gave him the impression that my message had a hostile intent, which wasn't the case at all.

I think I understand the mission of this forum and I think it's a wonderful idea and I also think you guys do an amazing job of providing information and timely reply to questions. Kudos to all involved.

Having said that, my original reason for asking the questions was to make sense out of the issue and to see if there were any hard and fast rules, which there seems to be none. I thank all that have responded to my post.

Phil
  #11  
Old 08-23-1999, 07:41 PM
Bill Wood's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Johns Creek, GA, USA
Posts: 5,013
I'm sorry that I misunderstood your intent. Hopefully, your question was answered.

Peace

------------------
Bill Wood - Webmaster
MercedesShop.com, LLC


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