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Old 04-16-2010, 12:01 PM   #26
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they charge 96 an hour i think. dealer charges 120.

blitzkrieg is another one that comes to mind. their rate is 85
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:18 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by reamemiya View Post
So I searched up CG Motorsports and found out that they also service VW, so I assume that they'll also service Audi.

Should my brother wait till his car (2007 A3)'s warranty expires, or it doesn't matter at all?
they do service non bmw, but they're a bmw speciality shop. if you go inside, you'll quickly see what i mean. or even just by checking out their website it becomes very obvious.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:53 PM   #28
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get all the parts from autopartsway tho. U dun wanna pay $20 for a spark plug from the dealer
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:51 AM   #29
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I've used CG for my past E36's with no complaints. Maybe one - Chris (owner) is fastidious and will detail and point out any and everything your car will need. He knows BMWs (well, the shop in general) like anyone you'll find and their shop is top notch. The rates split the difference between the dealers and the bottom rung Euro-shops, but you will get exceptional service and Chris is a straight shooter.

Another viable but less known (except VW guys) is Blitzkreig just off hastings and Commercial. I've brought my 328 in there and a Corrado and 2 Porsches (968 and 911) and they handled them all with ease. It's a small shop and there's only 2 or 3 guys (Shayne and Bob - a coupla good ol' south Carolina boys!) - but Shayne (owner, I think) has a 964 series 911 and he has ripped apart many an Audi/Porsche/VW and Beemer top down - and of course, reassembled! lol They're a lot more laid back than any shop I've dealt with and VERY straight up guys. Plus, they have - as far as I know - the city's only in shop dyno!

Either shop is great....depends on your preference of attitude and location I suppose!

Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #30
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I used our revscene sponser, The Speed Syndicate.

I trust them with my car and so do the various exotic owners that Alex and Curtis have worked on in the past.

Both of them along with their great partnerships in the automotive world have been able to tackle just about anything. My car's been really reliable so no major engine work has been done but they've worked on engine tuning, my aftermarket wheels/tires/suspension, fluid changes, and other components of my car without any problem. Still trucking totally fine at over 200,000kms with a 2003 model car.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:33 PM   #31
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From my experiences talking with the owners or people who have serviced there:
MB euro

314,000km on my '99 e39 - still running strong! LOL.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:14 PM   #32
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I actually see this mechanic who my uncle recommended me to. They used to build cars together.

He is off of an alley on the east side but he is a straight shooter. He doesn't ask for more money, doesn't mess around at all.

He gives you a quote and sticks to it.

A BMW specialty place in richmond (not even dealership) had quoted $1700 for stuff I needed done to my car.

My guy did all of it for $700

No joke, he is excellent. PM me if any of you are interested. He specializes in German cars
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:01 PM   #33
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I used to bring my M5 to CG.

They are really good -- but it's in Steveston which is quite a drive
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:18 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Amaru View Post
Can't recommend a particular shop since I live on the Island, but I've never really understood why people take their car to the dealership. Frankly, all the stories I've heard about the dealership are way worse than at Indy shops.

A good independent BMW mechanic cares about your business, and therefore will not fuck up your car or do a piss-poor job because it may prevent you from returning in the future. They'll also try to save you money on parts, since they don't make a penny when they order OEM parts from BMW. The dealership may "care" about your business but they also know as a general rule if you're going to pay their rates for service once, you're probably not the type of person that will switch to an independent mechanic in the future. Once a sucker, always a sucker.

Example: on e46's, the failure of the VANOS piston seals is very common. They basically disintegrate after long periods of time because they're made of a material that can't handle the ultra high engine temperatures, and this results in performance issues (often unknown to the owner). BMW's solution is to replace the *entire* VANOS unit with a new one, which costs an arm and a leg... and it's not a solution at all, because the new unit has the same faulty piston seals that'll fail in another 80,000-100,000 km's. (BUT... BMW makes a lot of money because the markups on parts is so high, so they love this "solution"). It's also unlikely that the dealership will inform you of the actual cause of the problem, and thus you will assume this is the only solution.

If you have a head on your shoulders and a willingness to do some research, you'll quickly Google the problem and discover there are aftermarket seals available that are made out of a different material (viton, I believe) that can withstand the engine temperatures. They cost $60, and once they've been replaced they'll never fail again. Compare that to a $600 VANOS unit that you'll have to end up replacing again in a few years...

Moral of the story: the dealership has a vested interest in high-cost solutions to your problems. Their mechanics may have "special training," but more often than not their troubleshooting (cost to you: $120/hour or more, including time to diagnose problems) usually consists of an email conversation with a BMW North America rep. In case you are unaware, BMW service manuals are often so secretive that they will not even give them to service reps... the mechanics have to email off-site specialists to facilitate step-by-step troubleshooting procedures. In fairness to dealerships, this means that often their overpriced diagnoses is not their "fault," they're simply following protocol... ie, BMW service manual says to fix the VANOS piston seals problem by replacing the entire unit, so the mechanics and service rep perhaps dont even know there's another solution available.

An indy shop is less likely to try and charge you unnecessarily, at least for parts. The key, as I mentioned, is to find a good shop and build a reputation with the owner or manager. Usually it only takes a 30-second conversation to tell whether or not they value your business.

Sure, as with anything, there's still a chance you'll get hosed by an indy shop. But if you check their reputation and do a bit of research about your car first, you should be able to avoid serious problems and save a lot of money.

As for the crap about BMW dealerships being "experts" and having "special diagnostic tools"... that's true for the latest generation of each model, probably, because they haven't been around long enough for servicing info to reach all the indy shops. But your car will usually be under warranty for the first five years anyway, so you might as well go to the dealership for warranty servicing...

BMW's reputation for being extremely costly to maintain is partly undeserved because too many people go to the dealership or allow themselves to be ripped off at indy shops, imo... the key is research and finding a decent shop that values your business.

(I guess it's a lot like five-star hotels. They know you can afford to spend $500 a night for a room, so they know you'll pay $6 for a bottle of water without complaining. Similarly, BMW knows people keep going back to the dealership because customers want their "expertise" and they can usually afford it, so they can easily charge $120 an hour without losing much business.)

ugh... almost like car manufacturers designed/engineering critical parts to fail so get ready to bend over
"The guy in the CR-V meanwhile, he'll give you a haughty glare. He's responsibly trying to lessen his impact, but there you go lumbering past him with your loud V8, flouting the new reality. You may as well go do some donuts in a strawberry patch and slalom through a litter of kittens." Dan Frio, Automotive Editor, Edmunds
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