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Thread: Looking for a shop which does regular repairs using my parts

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Capitol Hill

    Looking for a shop which does regular repairs using my parts

    For the last two years I drive 2009 E90 328i which now has 104K miles on it. The car still has original shocks and it shows. I got a quote from a dealership for front struts/shocks replacement ($1,800) and from two reputable indi shops in the area ($1,400-$1,500). This seems unjustifiably expensive. If parts are bought from Bavarian Autosport (or FCP, ...) they would cost around $350. According to Pelical Parts, their replacement is a four hour job. BMW indi shops charge $75-90 per hour so we arrive at $700 max (w/o alignment). I understand that dedicated BMW shops use OE parts and provide warranty but there is still a feeling that they charge too much for ordinary repairs of fairly modern cars (which does not require much of their technical ingenuity). The question is where to find a shop which will use parts provided by the client and do the job cheaper then local BMW gurus. (Same goes for front rotors/pads replacement - $650 at a BMW indi shop while high quality parts cost around $175).

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Fairplay, MD
    Can't offer any suggestions. I don't know of independents that charge less than $100/hr in DC area. Consider that a repair shop is in business for the proprietor and employees to make a living. In addition to the labor charge, they earn money with a markup from wholesale on parts they use. They have overhead for the facility they occupy and the training and tools they use. They also use parts they know from experience will not fail or will offer them a warranty. So you are asking a lot to expect a quality shop to use your parts for their work. You would be taking a good bit of their income. Have you tried one of our DIY sessions?

  3. #3
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Yep - it's time for you to learn to do these jobs yourself, or work some overtime to pay someone else to do it. The work is not hard, but suspension change requires a spring compressor (which you can rent at the local big box auto parts places) and perhaps some other special tools (air gun) to make the job go swiftly. You might find a mechanic that will do the job "on the side," but most shops will not use owner-supplied parts.
    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
    '85 535i
    '86 535i
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  4. #4
    Senior Member pseto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Columbia, MD
    ^^I like saving money like everyone else, but I don't blame a shop for not installing parts they have no idea where it came from. DIY for those jobs are the way to go (brakes are pretty easy and the suspension isn't too complicated) or keep looking for a someone that can do a side job. good luck
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  5. #5
    Junior Member Turbohugh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Well, I go to BimmerWerksShop in Beltsville MD. Amr will use your parts if you want him too, but if you get a funky result, you will be paying him to do it over with factory parts.
    My experience was that way with some transmission mounts. I had the 'un-named' after market 'with limiter cups' .. Totally caused crazy vibration. He had some spare factory mounts [new] - put them in and vibration went away. Mind you this was during a driveshaft replacement. My rear ujoint had frozen [and I was getting clutch done at the same time] so my 'genuis' thought 'get these 'upgrade mounts'' put in. Ya that was a bad idea.
    I just had some coilovers installed there, and got an alignment with that [part of the job].. UNfortunately they do not do corner balancing so ...

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