BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Feb 2013
Vehicle: 1995 s500, 1974 450sl
Location: Plainfield, IN
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I second the endorsement of Benz Unlimited
Took my '95 w140 s500 with 282k miles to John Keefe of Benz Unlimited after finding a positive review online of his work in Connecticut. Having dealt with Worldwide (never, ever, EVER, again) and some clowns in Fishers over the years, I was completely, and quite pleasantly, surprised at the high quality work John performed.
After the shop in Fishers told me I needed several thousand dollars of suspension work and a new transmission, I took the car to John, who wound up doing a much less invasive front and rear suspension rebuild than recommended by the other shop, installed new motor and transmission mounts, air bag service, and general inspection since the car was newly under his care. The transmission was fine; the mount was collapsed so vibration was being transmitted to the chassis. The other shop wanted to sell me a $3500 transmission replacement.
Here are my specific observations:
1). Very professional yet friendly demeanor. He *made* me come look under my car with him and he pointed out all the things that were NOT worn out or in need of replacement, showed me why the few things that he recommended be replaced were necessary, and what the implications to safety and handling would be of not replacing them. He also took the time to show me how overbuilt the w140 is; that after 282,000 miles, the original springs were barely worn yet the other shop said they needed replacing. John answered all my questions thoroughly without even the slightest hint of frustration at me. He displays an encyclopedic knowledge of the w140 despite being a young man. No one at Worldwide knows much about them and they don't like working on them --just throw parts at a problem.
2). He insisted on using genuine MB suspension components and could conclusively demonstrate the value in doing so. He showed me the invoices from the dealer where he had to get the parts and when Worldwide sent the wrong mounts, he went out of his way to get them exchanged, driving to the dealership himself and staying late to get the work done.
3). He has a complete DAS xsentry and used it to perform a complimentary diagnostic on every system. He also reset my SRS light (nagging holdover from replacing an airbag a while back that was past its expiration date) at no charge after ensuring there wasn't anything wrong.
4). His customer communication is exceptional. He called/texted me several times while my car was at the shop to let me know status and inform me of contingencies. I've abused the privilege by texting questions at all hours of the day/night and he always thoroughly and professionally responds to them. Honestly, I feel like my car has a private physician now. He even did some work on a Sunday to I could have it back in time for the work week without having to rent a car. Amazing dedication to his customers. The last time I saw anything like this was with the old Avanti Motor Corporation in South Bend back when my daddy was driving their cars in the 70s.
5). He stands behind his work 100%. After replacing my motor mounts, the vibration from the engine sitting right on the frame was completely gone. (the old mounts were original, were completely collapsed, and the rubber was dry rotted). After a few weeks, that vibration was becoming noticeable again. I called him about it, he immediately made time for me to run the car back by after-hours, at my convenience, to inspect and correct at no charge.
6). Regardless of what it says in the Mercedes shop manual, he charges for the actual amount of labor involved and he sticks by it. You get a detailed quote before he lifts a finger to work on your car, and what you're quoted is what you pay. If he's off, and it takes more time to fix something, he eats the labor cost.
Overall, I've been very impressed by John. He's earned my repeat business. Benz Unlimited will work on my MBs as long as I own them. He really knows his stuff; can work on old and new models, and he ONLY works on MB. Plus, and this is important too, he's a really likable guy and easy to talk to.
Last edited by Timepilot; 10-09-2013 at 10:27 AM.