Independent BMW repair service center in Beaverton, OR.
asked for a quote to reset brake lining light and air bag light with no diagnosis if they did not clear. which should take less the 10 minutes. They Charge 1/2 hour shop rate per code, Glad I tried having them do something simple before having them do any major work on my Beemer!
Normal cooling system repair hoses and res. Everything went well and car was ready when promised.
I have always found that I get good service and recommendations at Autohaus Bayern. Darby has always been straight forward with me on quotes. I have taken my car there for about two years. No complaints.
I'll never go back to Autohaus Bayern.
I took my M3 in last December for a new radiator. Shortly after the service, the car started severely overheating. I immediately took it back to Autohaus to see what was going on.
I got the car back with a diagnosis of a cracked head - like the last posting, they suggested something like $5,000 in repairs and sent me home with a "do not drive" warning. As an aside, the car was delivered with a check engine light on and significantly low on coolant (took three fills of the overflow tank to fill). Very sloppy work!
I did some of my own diagnosis and convinced myself that the overheating was due to poor circulation of coolant through the radiator. The top radiator hose would get hot when the thermostat opened, but the bottom hose would barely warm up, even when the car began to overheat. I also looked for the classic signs of a cracked head - water in the oil, grimy coolant, or lots of steam, and found nothing.
I started asking questions of Autohaus and was assured that the original radiator failure and the overheating were both explained by the cracked head, which was confirmed by the "absolutely reliable" test for exhaust gas in the coolant.
I had a long conversation with the service advisor about the timing of such a significant failure. While I didn't want to accuse them of blowing my engine during the radiator repair, I simply could not come to grips with the idea that my car, which had never previously experienced overheating, was suddenly and massively overheating after their repair and that the overheating was caused by a blown head on a M3 with only 43,000 miles. At the very least, I wanted to allow for the idea that the overheating had another underlying cause. If we could eliminate it, I felt that I could believe that the cracked head was a pre-existing condition, even though it seemed like an unlikely failure.
The service advisor would not listen to my concerns, and clearly felt that I was just trying to get them to pay for the expensive repairs. He angrily said that he would "throw in a water pump" to see if it would help the overheating problem and offered me the "club discount" on labor for the major repairs.
I decided that I should get a second opinion and took the car to another independent shop. When I described the overheating problem, they immediately asked if I had the thermostat replaced when the radiator was replaced. They said that the BMW thermostats commonly fail in a way that causes them to not open fully, which reduces coolant circulation through the radiator and causes overheating.
I asked about the cracked head diagnosis and was told:
* BMW heads and head gaskets are very robust and almost never fail.
* A head or head gasket failure will essentially always be accompanied by water in the oil, sludge in the coolant, or massive amounts of steam in the exhaust. As noted above, none of these symptoms were present in my car.
* The chemical test for exhaust gas in the coolant is a notoriously unreliable test and should never be used as a diagnosis for a head failure.
I had the mechanic replace the thermostat for around $100 and the overheating was immediately fixed. I have had no other problems with the car since.
I would strongly recommend that you do not take your car to Autohaus Bayern. If you do, and you get a diagnosis of head problems, based on a chemical test on the coolant, RUN to another mechanic for a second opinion.
I've had nothing but positive outcomes from the folks at Autohaus, be it the top-end rebuild of my 6-er or the front grill/headlight work. One job cost thousands, one less than $100, both were treated with the same level of attention to detail that one would expect from professionals, and I appreciate that. They do a fine job with the details of cost, time, ect. as well. I am sure I could find no better with regards to the maintenence of my favorite ride.
autohaus rocks my socks! GO DARBY!
These guys are good. They're honest and don't try to "upsell" services. On more than one occasion (and with both vehicles I have taken in) they have reduced labor charges when it was more than they had estimated.
Note that they do get busy and will sometimes push to get you to pick up your car (they have a tiny lot).
Also note that the Google map above shows them in the WRONG location. The shop is further south and east, on Beaverton-Hillsdale highway just east of 217.
I took my wife's Audi A6 to them a couple of months ago with a bad oil leak.
From my own internet diagnosis, I was sure I needed new valve cover gaskets
and cam tensioner seals. Darby told me to try the valve cover gasket first
(from his experience they were the main culprit), and if that didn't work
they would refund the labor on the valve cover (1.5 hours) to do the cam
tensioner seals (8 hours). No leaks since, and I saved $700+ on something I
was absolutely sure I needed. They did the service in the time expected (one day) and didn't try to jack me around on other stuff.
I had a great experience with darby but had to return several times due to technician failure. Also found out owner used my tires and wheels on his car to race while my car was in for service. The head technician they had left for unknown reasons and he was the only one with ASE certs. No experience with current techs.