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  #1  
Old 08-04-2000, 05:14 AM
cossie
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Ok, call me paranoid, but I get extremely paranoid whenever someone works on my car or drives my car, regardless of who the person is. The last time I took my car to the mechanic, this guy who works there test drove my 190E. I wanted to come along, but he drove off before I could ask him. Anyway, now I've been wondering what the heck he might have done during that 5 minutes or less in my car. I don't know, but I keep thinking the worst, like what if he revved my car in neutral and then shifted to drive just to peel out. Ugh,I know I'm just being paranoid, but I've heard crazy stories about routine test drives.

Yeah, I know, it's just a car, BUT it's MY car. I felt this way about my Suzuki Samurai (my first car) when I had it, so it's not just this car I'm talking about--it could be any car. Anyhow, I just needed to rant--sorry if I used up any space.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2000, 08:22 AM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
Posts: 8,777
Skreeeezzzzzch, rhuum-rhum, screech,screech, rhum, eek ..........

Runs fine.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2000, 08:30 AM
LarryBible
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Arthur,

GREAT REPLY!!!!!!!

I do understand very much the paranoia. There are so many people that just don't care. Even if it didn't hurt it(which it does) to do a bleach burn out, it's not their car to abuse.

This won't make you feel any better, but I went by the MB dealership where my X-brother-in-law works as a tech. He told me when I was leaving, to take note of how short the freeway entrance ramp was. He said that an SLK would hit 120 before the end of it. I didn't know the SLK's were that quick. I would love to have one, but if I ever needed service work, I'd make sure he didn't test drive it.

Good luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2000, 09:24 AM
CMCon98
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The above is why no shop will ever touch my BMW 2002 or my Triumph TR-6. I can fix them myself, anyway. A very competent and reliable shop takes care of my Volvo wagon (too complicatd for me) and it is not the sort of car anyone would want to tear around in, anyway. I think it all depends on the shop, and the good ones do not abuse customers' cars.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2000, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 82
Yeah, I'm the same way. I don't like others driving my cars. That's one reason why I hate vehicle inspections so much, other than I think they are just unnecessary. Some states don't have them and I wish we didn't. Also, sometimes it's hard for even a good, well intentioned driver to get in an unfamiliar stick shift car and drive it smoothly. So don't feel bad about it.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2000, 12:51 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: So. Burlington, VT
Posts: 78
A friend of mine used to work at an independent foreign auto repair shop. He had the pleasure one day of working on a Ferrari (not common in Vermont) and after a 45 minute test drive, another mechanic asked him what took so long?? He proceeded to tell how he had been pulled over for speeding. He had been doing 75 in a 35 MPH zone. When asked "why the heck he was doing going so fast on a curvy narrow road", he replied "shifting from first to second".
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2000, 01:13 PM
LarryBible
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I remembered something that applies perfectly here. In '91, while my 240D was a young pup that I was proud of and babied in every way, I bought a new 1Ton for use around the place. It was in a town about 45 miles away and I decided to drive my new truck home and leave the 240D there. They assured me they would lock it up and all that.

When I got back to pick it up, the shifter was messed up bad. Some gorilla tried HARD to get it in Reverse without lifting the stick. I would be willing to bet that if the car had belonged to him, he would have not forced anything, but found out a way to get it in reverse without ruining anything.

There is probably no one who will offer your car or any of your other posessions the same respect that you will.

It's ALL about attitude.

Have a great day,
Larry
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2000, 01:13 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: ajax, ontario, canada
Posts: 773
cossie,

you are not alone. Same thing with my manual 190e, when i took it in for emissions testing. HAD TO place a sticker on the stick shift indicating how to get into REVERSE (pull up, left then back, but this is not apparent from the indicated pattern on the shift knob). I know it is a challenge to shift smoothly in my car, and i can only imagine someone unfamiliar with it abusing the drivetrain.

when i got my car back from the scheduled lube service at benz, there was an additional whine coming from the driveline or wheels. Better not be the transmission ...

i never valet park my car, for the same reason.

i know a lot of people who unknowingly abuse their cars because they simply treat it as an appliance and are not enthusiasts. They have no understanding of, or compassion for the machinery ... And they don't worry or care ...

i guess this is a car guy's lot in life ...

on the other hand, being a nitpick with my car has paid me back in an unexpected way. When i needed to sell my previous car (non-benz) as soon as possible, my friend bought it with no quesitons because he knew what a nitpick i was ...
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2000, 01:43 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
I don't know that I can be of any assistance to you paranoid people, BUT, if I had so little trust I would find some new service people.

I guarantee that I know know more about how to handle most of your cars than you do. Do you absorb the release of the emergency brake with your left foot when pulling the knob, do you protect the door striker spot welds by always catching the door before the end stop, would you at 6'4" 270lbs sit in the seat the way you got it to avoid stressing worn seat motors/mechanisms (would you know when that might be useful), WOULD YOU KNOW HOW to stress a motor to solve a customer complaint without hurting the car. I am so gentle with a car that I change my hand position frequently on the steering wheel as to not wear it in one spot.

It is much more likely for a customer to tell me to fix a misfire at 90 (and for me to decline) than for me to drive a car more than 75. And with proper technique I will fix that car without going 90.

------------------
Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2000, 01:56 PM
makakio
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I don't know - I see it this way: if the tech breaks anything while driving it, I'M certainly not going to pay.

My local tech (name withheld) will let you ride along and his method includes full-throttle accelerations, neck-warping turns and repeated hard braking. I figure the car is built to take it and if there's going to be a failure (or potential one), he's more apt to notice it at 6000rpm, wailing through some tight esses, not at 2500 cruising the boulevard.

Let me say, though, that my first such ride (in the old 300SDT) was mind-blowing. I was waiting for pistons to fly through the hood, wheels to fall off and the tranny to drop out a la the old AAmco commercials...
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2000, 02:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 217
These are reasons why I dread valeting my car. A couple of my buddies work as valet attendants at some of the fancy catering halls here in NYC, and the stories they tell me, you wouldnt believe. Brand new S-classes, E-classes, GS400's, Porsches, these cars are totally abused. You could even sit by the valet parking lot and watch the attendants get into a new Lexus, start it up, and just peel out--scary.....



------------------
Agron
1989 300E
Monotoned Smoke Silver
97 Style Replica E420 Rims 205/55/16
Euro Headlights
Clear Corners
20% Tint
12" Sub-enclosure
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2000, 02:57 PM
Brian16V
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How many of us envision the Ferrari scene in "Ferris Buehler's Day Off"? Now THAT'S scary! Trust your mechanic (or find one that's trustworthy like Steve B.). I believe Matt (aka: Makakio) and I have the same tech. I think I speak for both of us when I say we trust him completely with our cars. My tech had to take my 16V out on a 20-mi drive the other day (to get the radio reset). I can honestly say I was GLAD he got to drive it and get more familiar with it. I'm sure if he noticed anything "odd" he would have told me. Nothing like having your tech experiencing first-hand the problem(s) you're describing.

Brian
*1986 2.3-16V
*Pearl Black AMG rims, yellow calipers
*Pearl Black grille and frame
*Euro headlights, clear blinkers
*Smoked taillights
*Zebrano wood kit
*White-faced gauges
*H&R springs/Bilstein shocks (yet to be installed)

[This message has been edited by Brian16V (edited 08-04-2000).]
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2000, 03:27 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
Forget mechanics, I have a hard enough time letting my wife drive my car!!!!


------------------
Jason Priest
1986 420SEL
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2000, 03:40 PM
LarryBible
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Steve Brotherton,

I've never had the pleasure of meeting you, and getting acquainted, but I have read many of your thoughtful posts. I think that from reading these posts, I and many others who feel that we are part of this online community, understand that you don't do what you do because it's a job. You do it because you love it. And I expect that you don't realize that you are, unfortunately, the exception rather than the rule. It's all about attitude, and someone who does what they like to do, operates much differently than people who do it just because it's their job.

I believe that, unfortunately, news of bad experiences, travels much faster than good ones. In my industry, you rarely hear about the good experiences, but the stories about bad ones travel like wildfire.

The problem is finding someone like yourself. There aren't many of you out there.

The stories we have recited here are the bad ones, you know, the ones that travel like wildfire. The good ones we don't here enough about.

So, please don't take any of our comments as being aimed toward you or your shop. None of the experiences we've heard here have come from anywhere near Georgia or Florida.

The saddest thing is that it's natural for people to generalize. We have a few bad experiences at shops, and human nature takes over, we get it in our minds that, all shops must be the same way. In reality, businesses have personalities like people do. Some businesses have good, understanding and honest personalities and others don't.

One more thing. Even the very best of shops have an incident from time to time. Adding to that is probably the fact that some of the customers come in after a bad experience somewhere else and expect the same thing at the good shop. After all, they haven't had time to get to know the new shop yet. I've been guilty of this one.

The key is for the good shops to continue to have patience, and for the rest of us to do our best to be fair, and dilligently search for one of those good, honest shops that are out there.

I think I speak for everyone in our community when I say that we thoroughly appreciate your ongoing contribution to all of us. Also, I don't want anyone reading this to think that you're the only one we appreciate. There are several MB professionals who are involved here, and who offer on their personal time, their massive experience and savvy in helping us to diagnose our problems and sometimes even to help us get our heads back on straight. All of you are appreciated greatly.

Have a great day,

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2000, 03:50 PM
Zoonhollis's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 551
Well said, Larry. <thundering applause>

------------------
Matt
------
Grey/black '84 300D, 194K
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