European Motor Works

86 W.Live Oak Ave,
Arcadia, CA 91007 US
1 Review
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European Motor Works is owned and operated by John Handal, a BMW certified master technician with over 15 years of BMW experience.

We are your dealer alternative in Arcadia, and we are a one stop repair facility for all your BMW and MINI needs, from routine services to the most complex repairs and diagnostic work. In addition to that, we also build high performance BMWs for those who want to explore the outer limits of their BMW.

We use BMW and MINI original diagnostic equipment the GT1 to accurately diagnose and repair your vehicle right the first time. We are also equipped with all the BMW and MINI special tools to efficiently perform the repairs. European Motor Works is dedicated in providing you the very best quality in workmanship and service at a very competitive prices.

We guarantee once you experience the service at European Motor Works you will never go anywhere else.

1 Review

  • Teresa T
    Teresa T10 years ago

    I had two auto repairs done at EMW, both were to replace BMW X5 Front CV boots. 1st repair, they misdiagnosed my vehicle and the technician replaced the wrong part “LEAVE THE BAD and REPLACE THE GOOD" . In other words, they SCREWED UP the repair. Sadly, I didn’t notice it until my 2nd repair was due. Below is the scoop:

    1st repair in April.2010, I asked EMW to replace the front RIGHT CVB as the dealer recommended this repair in writing. “Found Front RIGHT Outer CV Boot Destroyed. Grease is all over the surrounding area.” EMW decided to replace the front LEFT CVB instead.

    Nov. 2010, approx. 3,500 miles later, (my best guess), I noticed a thick coat of grease inside of the front RIGHT wheel and ignored it.

    Jan.2nd, 5,000 miles later, there was clunking sound while making Right Turn. I made an appt.with EMW.

    Jan. 4th,2011, my 2nd repair, EMW lifted my car up. John, the owner and me went under the car and he confirmed it the grease was from the torn Front RIGHT CVB. He then pointed a couple of spots and threw me some mechanics vocabulary to explain the condition. Of course, I have no idea what he was talking.

    I then questioned why didn’t they replace the Front RIGHT CVB like I requested (dealer recommended) in April ? “ It was good at that time and DEALER MADE MISTAKE”. Said John. ”Everyone make mistakes, right ? John.” I said. “WELL , I DON’T MAKE MISTAKE.” said John,the owner, insisted many times HE DOESN’T MAKE MISTAKE.

    Getting a glimpse of the pretty torn up CV boot , I was so worried of driving it with the clunking sound and knowing it might cause further damage to the steering and the axle (from my web research) Plus and my ride was arranged. I asked EMW to replace the torn front RIGHT CV boot.

    They charged Labor $200 + parts $65.70+ $10.00 Parts cleaner. I asked what it was for. Peter, the manager said they’ve to use special cleaner to clean the grease around it. I then questioned why this $10.00 cleaner wasn’t on my previous repair. Does it mean there was NO grease to clean=CV boot was not torn on my 1st repair?

    I paid my bill and they’re getting my car ready. I noticed a thick coat of grease inside of the front RIGHT wheel was still there. Didn’t you guys charge me extra $10 cleaner to clean the grease? Oh, they meant inside, the surrounding parts around the CV boots. John asked the assoc. to wipe some of grease off. Still, Black oil were all over the rim.

    EMW misdiagnosed my vehicle and the technician replaced the wrong part “Leave the bad and replace the good”. In other words, they SCREW UP the repair. A complaint was filed… to be followed.

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    John Handal10 years ago

    I want to start off by saying that I am not writing this to defend myself or my company from any wrong doing. I just want to state the facts and the physical evidence and let you be the judge of this situation.

    We did replace the correct side the first time. There is no reason for us to be replacing the good side axle boot while we can clearly see the other side axle boot is bad. This doesn't make sense and it's not logical. We did not screw up like the customer has stated.

    Also, we clearly stated on the invoice back in April 2010 that we changed the left/driver's side axle boot and after giving it to the customer, the customer never mentioned anything.

    I have been in business for over seven years, running a very clean operation. I take pride in what I do and I do it with passion which gives me no reason to remotely do anything like this. This would only tarnish my reputation. It's just not worth it and that's not who I am. I welcome any customers to get a second opinion about any repairs or services we recommend. As a matter of fact I always encourage customers to come over to the shop and physically look at any repairs or services we recommend. As they say, "Seeing is believing."

    The dealer advisor simply made a mistake by writing on the invoice that the right side axle boot is bad instead of the left side. Service advisors recommend repairs based on the dealer technician recommendations. He does not check the car himself, so there had to be some sort of miscommunication between the service advisor and the technician on which side was bad. I know this because I am talking from past experience of when I used to work for a BMW dealership.

    I physically showed and proved to the customer that we did replace the correct side the first time around. When an axle boot breaks, it spits around a lot of grease which gets on the suspension and brake parts that are around the boot. When the leaking grease comes in contact with rubber parts for a long period of time, it causes the rubber to swell. It then becomes soft due to the chemical reaction between the grease and the rubber. From looking at the customer car, I noticed that one of the left side brake caliper rubber bushing was a little swollen which proves that grease was in contact with the bushing on that side at one point. But according to the customer the left side axle boot was never replaced until we did. Another thing I noticed from my inspection of the current damage boot was that it had only a 1/2" tear. If an axle rubber boot have been torn since April 2010 and 5000 miles ago IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TORN ALL THE WAY AROUND THE CIRCUMFERENCE instead of a 1/2" tear. Also the caliper bushings would have been swollen and very soft. The brake caliper bushings on the right side showed no sign of swelling or softness at all which means the axle boot failed recently, not in April 2010 as the customer stated.

    The above statement can be corroborated by any BMW technician.

    We are only humans and we all make mistakes at one point or another in our lives. I am the first to admit when I make a mistake and I take full responsibility for my actions. In this case though, I am 110% sure that we performed the correct repairs the first time. I never said I don't make mistakes. All I said was that I didn't make a mistake with this particular repair.

    Lastly, I wanted to say how deeply sorry I am on the outcome of this situation. I tried my best to resolve the issue with the customer.

    From this incident, I have change certain procedures to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again in the future.

    Thank you for reading my response


    John H.

    European Motor Works