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Old 05-18-2012, 11:15 PM   #226
Barnsdale
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There's quite a bit of questionable reviews regarding AutoTrend on here and other BMW sites. There's also a lot of good reviews...at the end of the day do your research and choose which shop you feel is best based on ALL information available.

That being said - I haven't seen any questionable reviews about Alphawerx anywhere and that says something about the quality of work.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:26 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by E30S54 View Post
Who was this? I think you are talking shit to promote alpha I never heard of a shop asking for extra $ to tell you what's wrong. I call bs on this one
Sir, I don't know you and you don't know me yet you think it is right to call me a liar. I am not going to tell which BMW shop it was because the goal of my post is not to make enemies or make a certain shop look bad or lose business. The purpose of my post was to inform BMW owners that there is a good mechanic named Darren that they should try if they are looking for better service.

Every place does business differently and if you are happy with paying $45 to be informed of the problem your car has then that's up to you, but I think it is unethical to be asked to pay extra money to be informed of the result of the inspection which you already paid for--regardless if I want to fix my car at their shop, take it somewhere else, or decide not to fix it for the time being.

All I can tell you is that the shop was one of the highest recommended shops on this site and it is one of the Platinum maXbimmer Sponsors.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:00 AM   #228
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Have you ever been to the shop that you say quoted you that? I just don't understand what the purpose of stating that a "sponsor" quoted you that and not mention which one? It really doesn't help us not get screwed by that sponser. I still find it odd that anyone would charge extra for results .
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:58 PM   #229
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Yea, it is official: I am never taking my car to Autotrend.

So my car has a vibration problem that Darren advised me to seek a second opinion because he is not 100% sure what's the cause of the problem. I decided to give Autotrend a second shot and called Don. First, he wouldn't tell me how much the inspection would cost. He said he can't give me an estimate but at most it would take 3-4hrs at $113/hr and he would need the car all day long because he gets 10-20 cars a day and he can't just give me an appointment because he will ask a mechanic to work on it whenever its turn comes next. So that's is about $340-$450 for inspection only! Darren charged me nothing for inspecting, test driving the car, and turning the wheels to check for bent wheels, imbalance, and misalignment! (I am not saying this so you can take advantage of Darren by asking for free service but he is that much of a nice guy--he gives mechanics a good reputation!)

Of course, Autotrend's offer did not suit me because RMP Motors would give me an appointment and they would charge $90 for the inspection and $45 for identifying the problem. That's $135 at max. Still, I don't understand why would they charge extra for identifying the problem, because what's the point of the inspection if they won't tell me what's wrong with the car?! But I've been to RMP Motors before and Rocco really knows his stuff. I still prefer Darren but for a second choice I don't have a problem with dealing with RMP Motors. Autotrend, however, just forget about it as I am never taking my car to them and don't recommend them at all.

Second, I did not like Don's attitude. When he told me that he can't give me an estimate of how much it would cost for the inspection/identifying the problem I told him that I will think about it then call him back because another shop gave me an estimate of how much it would cost. He laughed and said, "Have fun! Take care", and hung up! If that's how his attitude is by discussing things with him then how can I tell him if I don't like the work done on my car, or if he "fixed" a problem and then I found out it is not really fixed?

Darren's biggest strength is his attitude: he is very friendly, very approachable, and above all you can discuss things with him and he listens to you patiently and give you his time and attention.

I am only writing this to help BMW owners find the shop(s) that is right for them and their cars.
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:08 PM   #230
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I think you're worried Don is a rip off artist - he's not.
He does good honest work, you pay for his time - he fixes your car.

How do you quote for a mystery problem(s) over the phone without seeing the car, or knowing its history?

He may fine the problem immidiately, but he's not limiting himself to an hour....Don't assume he's going to charge you 4 hours to figure it out...he may find it right away, there may be more than one problem...

I had an issue with the car running rich, wide open injectors..worked in limp mode when I unplugged the MAF...so I bought a new $400 MAF...

...lesson one, it wasnt the MAF and my mechanic had to trace out the wiring to find the short.
...lesson two, I paid for his hour and half to find it, and then thanked him....
...lesson three...just sold that MAF for $100!


We are all here to help, I can understand your frustration with shops, but you have to experience the full service before you knock it!

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Old 05-24-2012, 11:53 PM   #231
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May be, but the customer experience is not only about getting the car fixed. It’s also about being able to communicate with the mechanic, having clear expectations, being respected and the mechanic appreciating your business, the mechanic being patient and giving you his attention. When I deal with a mechanic I give him the benefit of the doubt, so I expect the same. Why pay $340-$450 to Don to get a problem fixed with his uncertain cost estimate and mocking attitude, when I can pay much less and be respected by going to RMP Motors or Alphawerx and still get the problem fixed?

Let me tell you a story about the customer experience:

I went to a body shop with a budget of $3,000 to do the repairs on my E39 because it has few dents and one broken bumper moulding, a rusty door, and a loose bumper bracket. The body shop guy right away told me, “Go to ACA down the road because $3,000 is too low of a budget” without him even looking at the car or asking what I need to be done on the car. So with that attitude I, of course, did not want to deal with him anymore. What if I don’t like the way he fixes something, then what? He will start swearing at me or something!

So I went to ACA (it’s right beside Alphawerx) and two friendly men (the owners) came out looked at the car, wrote down in details what it needs to be done and showed me around the shop what they do and that the colour will match, and so on. They quoted me $3,700 for the repairs which was more than what I had in mind, then the most experience person in the body shop came and looked at the car and convinced the two owners that for $3,700 he can repair the whole car except the roof (which is in a good condition). And I liked that offer. See, with a little bit of being friendly, patient, respectful, explaining things, you can gain a customer for life. And this customer will be happy with the way he and his car was treated then recommend you to someone else, and this way you will gain more customers.

So I knocked Autotrend based on the customer experience and prices and not based on the quality of work done. But to me the customer experience and prices are essential parts for me to do business with someone.
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:55 AM   #232
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All fair points, and if other people are getting that uncomfortable experience with AutoTrend, perhaps he should take notice and address how he comes across....

I hope that the issue with the car is sorted out, please keep us updated...
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:43 AM   #233
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I got a call from Rocco at RMP Motors yesterday explaining to me that there was a misunderstanding, i.e.: they don’t charge $45 for identifying the problem but they charge $90/hr for the inspection so if they found what’s the problem within half an hour then they will only charge me $45. (They have a minimum half an hour charge which is very fair.)

I really appreciate the fact Rocco took the time to call me and explain this to me. I’ve always said that Rocco really knows his stuff. Couple his knowledge of BMWs and experience with his excellent customer service and reasonable prices and you got yourself a BMW shop that is hard to beat.

He even said that if I still haven’t find out why my car shakes at 120km/hr then I am welcome to bring it to them. I am glad he didn’t take it personal and stayed professional. Now I know why RMP Motors is the highest recommended BMW shop on this site.

+5 for RMP Motors!
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:17 AM   #234
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After a long week full of worries because my E39 was shutting down when braking and constantly losing power (which is so scary when you need the car to go when you are making a left turn but it wouldn’t go) I finally decided to seek a second opinion and go to RMP Motors. I am starting a new job on Monday so I wanted to solve the problem this week because I can’t take a day off on my first week of work! Also, I was spending way too many hours every day for the last week at the mechanic to find out what’s the problem. I was so worried it is a major problem like carbon build-up!

Anyway, I took the car to Rocco today and to be honest I’ve never been more impressed in my life! He scanned the car and 5 minutes later the problem was fixed! (It was a loose air intake hose.) I actually took the car to him because it shakes at 120km/hr but it shut down on him while he test drove it so he knew it had a problem with the engine running smoothly.

So all in all it took him 45 minutes which included balancing my tires, fixing the engine shutting down problem, and doing two test drives! When I drove the car home I remember thinking, “WHAT! This is not my car! This is AMAZING!” It’s like I got 50 extra horsepowers! The acceleration just went from “blah” to “wheee!” The charge was $90 but I wouldn’t have minded if he asked $200! (I am not rich but I really appreciate the peace of mind he gave me by fixing the problem, and the time he saved me from spending more time at the mechanic!) He also works so fast and focused on your car; he doesn’t waste your time (or his), he doesn’t fool around, and you feel that he deserves to get paid for every minute he spends on your car. You know what, if you got a problem with your BMW, just take it to RMP Motors.

Rocco is also a very nice guy and very professional. He showed me what was wrong with the car, and explained things to me. He was very approachable, and he gives you and your car his undivided attention. People always give RMP Motors +1, but I give him +100!

I am moving to Woodbridge, if it’s God’s will, and being close to RMP Motors is now another reason to be excited about the relocation!
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:01 AM   #235
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We told you LONG time ago to get a second opinion, now post what mechanic could NOT figure this out for god knows how long, before other people waste time going there! A professional shop would save you time and agravation, any day!
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:18 AM   #236
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We told you LONG time ago to get a second opinion, now post what mechanic could NOT figure this out for god knows how long, before other people waste time going there! A professional shop would save you time and agravation, any day!
Sorry, but I won't mention which mechanic. Posting things online go viral in no time and usually postings are blown out of proportions. I don't want to harm anybody's business especially if it's an honest mistake. I know, honest mistakes are costly--I know from personal experience--and I think the ethical thing for the mechanic to do is to wave the fee if he misdiagnoses something which makes the car owner pay for the part and labour which does not fix the problem. I don't know yet, but I might post my full experience with the first mechanic so BMW owners know if they should take their cars to him or not.

To be fair, however, it was the first mechanic who advised me to seek a second opinion. Also, he only charged me $30 for the 6+ hours of inspecting my car for both the shake and engine shutting down problem.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:31 AM   #237
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sigh.... this thread makes me laugh. Truth is, when one part fails, more fail at the same time related to that system when it comes to suspensions and "shakes"

bushings, rotors, wheel balancing, balljoints, links, tierods, AND caliper rebuild or at the very least inspection for seizing, shakes gone, and gone for another 60-100k depending on parts used, driving styles.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:52 AM   #238
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sigh.... this thread makes me laugh. Truth is, when one part fails, more fail at the same time related to that system when it comes to suspensions and "shakes"

bushings, rotors, wheel balancing, balljoints, links, tierods, AND caliper rebuild or at the very least inspection for seizing, shakes gone, and gone for another 60-100k depending on parts used, driving styles.
100% agree. I also bought the car 2 months ago with 150k on it. So it's 10 years old and the previous owner has completely neglected it. It looks like when he found out it needs so many repairs he just decided to get rid of it. I don't plan to get rid of it. I actually plan to be its last owner, or I might give it in the future to a younger cousin or something. But I like to take care of my cars and not abuse them and neglect them.

My next step is a complete body repair: dents+paint. I found a body shop that would do it for $2,500. Because they also have to buy some parts for my cars such as a new door, bumper mold and grid, then it would come to $3,000 for me.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:21 PM   #239
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:31 PM   #240
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Looking for a shop in Richmond Hill with decent BMW skills

All, looking for a shop in the Elgin Mills and Yonge area that can do decent maintenance on BMWs. I know Richmond Hill Fine Cars have Services but I never used them before.

I wanted to change the ATF on my 328xi and maybe a coolant flush.
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