I am sure I am not alone when I say that we've all been burnt by a mechanic or two in our day. Whether it's a service advisor at a stealer or a local indy shop guy, it's hard to find good people whom you can depend on and who won't try to empty our pocket books. So, in order for you to protect your investment and avoid being f'ed with your money, you end up scowering the web for series of DYI's in hope that you can do some of the work your self. For those who are mechanically inclined, this is an alternative, but for many others, this will add more frustration to the problem already at hand.
Even a mechanically inclined person, I am extremely happy that I have Tim @ BMW PhD as a resource. I first found Tim before the days of PhD and was setting off to set up his own shop. Tim will tell you that I "baby" my car like no other. So when I took my "baby" into see him about a few minor problems, he took care of it the right way from day-1! Being a car guy, I can readily detect and call B*ll Sh*t when I hear it and there was absolutely none of that with him. He explained all the options and how to go about fixing problems the best way possible. I freakin' HATE service advisors at dealerships and all their BS!!! I dispise their scare/pressure tactics to get the customers to sign for services they really don't need and have to pay for.
Another thing that impressed me was how knowledgeable Tim was about BMWs (all through the years and various model ranges). He blew me away. I usually do a bit of homework before I talk to mechanics to ask intelligent questions and to guard against the "SUCKER" impression.
So, yesterday I take my car to see Tim because it was making a rather loud "thud" from the front suspension on certain bumps as the chasis flexed. Just for kicks, I took it in to the dealer too before going to see Tim to see what their prognosis would be. As I drove around with the SA, he was trying to scrare the me to thinking the noise came from all these different reasons. ALL VERY costly repairs of course! :) He said it would take them 2-3 hours just to look everything over under the front axle. That's $280-$420 just to find the problem folks. Anyway, I laughed and said no thanks. So, back to Tim @ PhD.
I text him the evening before and he's already given me a pronosis. I get to his shop the next morning and he takes my car for for a quick spin. Comes back and says "It's your sway bar bracket". He opens the hood undos a few panels that re-torques all the bolts that are securing the strut brace and finds the loose bolt!!! WOW!!! In 30 minutes he solves the problem and re-scans my car for fault codes and gets me outta there in an hour.And, he only charged me a fraction, I MEAN a fraction of, what it would have cost at the stealership. The amazing thing is that was the exact prognosis he gave me the night before without even looking at the car.
What more can I say? I currently own 2 late model Bimmers. My baby is out of warranty but my other car isn't. Can you guess where I will be brining my other car when it goes out of warranty?
You might get pastry and free coffee at the local BMW center but you won't get the honest, friendly, and personal care you get here. Not even close! Wait, Tim actually did offer me some fresh brewed coffee yesterday. So, only thing you got going for you is some cheap pastry at the dealership. LOL.