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Premium Member
Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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6,242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Unfortunately this review was considered "Inappropriate" for the Recommended Shops Forum and was deleted twice by the forum Administrator despite a negative review only two posts prior. So I thought I would share my experience with you here and hope that someone else might benefit.

Antelope Valley Mercedes

Do yourself a favor and avoid these guys.

Per a recommendation I decided to give them some work despite the 1 hour drive north as they were desperate for business.

Simple oil change and some deferred maintenance, specifically oil leaks from the steering box, transmission and rear differential. Chased them down for four days just to get an estimate for the work.

When our sedan was finally completed another four days later, I was called to pick up the car. The car was left on the rack so they could point out what had been done, completed or replaced. The steering box seals, all transmission seals and differentials seals. The CV boots were left untouched despite being completely torn on both inners. The shop owner suggested that I knew of the defective boots and that I tried to pull a fast one. ??? Not sure what the fast one was. Needless to say that was a wasted trip and had to return several days later.

Well this past weekend I moved our sunday driver out of the garage for the first time since the repairs nearly a month ago. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered new pools of power steering, transmission and rear differential oil on the car floor. What a waste of time, money and gasoline.
 

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Registered
1978 Euro 350SL Lorisner, 73 450SL AMG Clone
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1,152 Posts
Unfortunately this review was considered "Inappropriate" for the Recommended Shops Forum and was deleted twice by the forum Administrator despite a negative review only two posts prior. So I thought I would share my experience with you here and hope that someone else might benefit.

Antelope Valley Mercedes

Do yourself a favor and avoid these guys.

Per a recommendation I decided to give them some work despite the 1 hour drive north as they were desperate for business.

Simple oil change and some deferred maintenance, specifically oil leaks from the steering box, transmission and rear differential. Chased them down for four days just to get an estimate for the work.

When our sedan was finally completed another four days later, I was called to pick up the car. The car was left on the rack so they could point out what had been done, completed or replaced. The steering box seals, all transmission seals and differentials seals. The CV boots were left untouched despite being completely torn on both inners. The shop owner suggested that I knew of the defective boots and that I tried to pull a fast one. ??? Not sure what the fast one was. Needless to say that was a wasted trip and had to return several days later.

Well this past weekend I moved our sunday driver out of the garage for the first time since the repairs nearly a month ago. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered new pools of power steering, transmission and rear differential oil on the car floor. What a waste of time, money and gasoline.
Sorry to hear about that, but here is my dealings with them. My 86 560SEC ran perfect until they worked on it, that is when my problems started and have been ongoing from electrical problems from areas they were working on to the repair work they have done once again does not work.

I had them give me a quote on pulling the dash and replacing the vacuum pods, and I supplied the parts new. When they gave me the quote they also said my heater core was leaking from what they could tell and it would take a week to do, and I also gave them a new dash to replace the old cracked one. I also made a cash under the table deal for labor with them so they could have clear $$$.

7 weeks later I got the car back. 1. when I picked up the car the window switches were all hooked up wrong so I had to pull the wood and put them in the right switches. 2. the electric drivers side seat motors did not work. 3 the dash gauge cluster all the gauges were erratic, forgot to hook up grounds for it. 4. my car had starting and running problems as you have seen from my other posts, which I have got most of that sorted out, they had more grounds not rehooked up. They had old hot wires from the phone system hooked into ground wires that were back feeding into the ECU, EHA and other places, I fixed that. 5. The car leaked coolant when I got it back but it was the rubber hoses between the firewalls they put back on with tears in them, I replaced. 6. my vacuum pods once again do not close off the defrost vents on top of the dash which is the main reason I had the dash pulled. I had the old heater core checked out by another mechnic and was found to be fine.

I belive that it is a lack of quality control by the owners and the low quality of non certified mercedes mechanics they have working for them. This could be quality mercedes shop they took the time to get things straight.
 

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1978 Euro 350SL Lorisner, 73 450SL AMG Clone
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1,152 Posts
Dragi/Antelope Valley 0 , Benzworld 2

I guess Mr. MB in Tarzana is the man of the hour.
yes he is, I sent my wifes aunt to him, she has a 2005 C230 kompressor and something went wrong with it. She had 2 inde shops in the La Crescenta and Tujunga CA area tell her that her motor blew and she needed a new one and that they could relpace it with a used low mile motor for around 6 to 7grand total.

I had her tow the car to Mr B, and he looked at it and replaced a sensor and reset the car and it runs perfect, and he only charged her nothing. If I can not sort out the last few problems with my SEC I will take it there also.
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1991 560SEC AMG
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10,146 Posts
Mike are you there?

I await mclare's opinion on Dragi and Antelope Valley Mercedes.

His experiences there date from August two years ago when he purchased his coupe from them and began its total restoration.

At first he praised him to the sky, and based on that, I had some simple LOF work done there a couple of times.


Sometime later he excoriated the place and said how bad they were.

Now from what I have heard, he says it is good again. It could be the help, there.

To me his opinion is what counts the most.

I believe at some point Chadahar had a bout with the place that was short of optimal, but don't remember the particulars.


All of that said, I think MR MB in Tarzana is without question, the place to go in So Cal for the W126. For the really difficult jobs to be done right the first time, this is the place.

For me the 1,000 mile round trip has been well worth it every single time.:bowdown:
 

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0 Posts
If any of you have been monitoring my Stalling Again thread in the W201 forum will realize my distrust of dealership and even independents. Our cars are old and need special care that those bozos are not willing to do at any price. If you can't do the work yourself then these cars are not for you because you will end up with more aggravation than pleasure in driving or dealing with those thieves. Heck I wouldn't even trust them on warranty work on newer models but then again, if I have a new model and they did all the work, I assure you I will be trading to a new one again at the end of the warranty. It a vicious cycle that can only be broken if you do most of the work yourself and that's becoming harder to do on newer cars that require tools that mere mortals have no access to.
 

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1989 560SEC
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2,057 Posts
All,

Might be too far a distance for LA group but I have an excellent indy that I have been using and refered many board members to. Look at the "Orange County" thread of the recommended service centers. He has been in the same location for over 30 years.

Maurice's Mercedes Benz Autos
947 West 18th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949)645-4623
 

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Registered
1988 560SEC Euro Clone Lorinser Clone
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1,572 Posts
or on the westside in so cal try...

herbert at
german motor car service
1714 15th street
santa monica, CA 90404
310-828-0068
not cheap but i've been very pleased with his work (center drive shaft mount, other odds & ends) and ... "there's nothing more expensive than a cheap mercedes mechanic"

i'm now trying george at
G&N motors in westwood (close to my job, i can drop the car off on the way in)
310-441-1956

both george and herbert have been in their respective shops forever. (i believe george's shop is going on 41 years, it was his dad's before he took it over...)
 

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Premium Member
Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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6,242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I await mclare's opinion on Dragi and Antelope Valley Mercedes.

His experiences there date from August two years ago when he purchased his coupe from them and began its total restoration.

At first he praised him to the sky, and based on that, I had some simple LOF work done there a couple of times.


Sometime later he excoriated the place and said how bad they were.

Now from what I have heard, he says it is good again. It could be the help, there.

To me his opinion is what counts the most.

I believe at some point Chadahar had a bout with the place that was short of optimal, but don't remember the particulars.


All of that said, I think MR MB in Tarzana is without question, the place to go in So Cal for the W126. For the really difficult jobs to be done right the first time, this is the place.

For me the 1,000 mile round trip has been well worth it every single time.:bowdown:
Thank you for your wonderfully dismissive reply.

Mr MB is my regular mechanic and hold the utmost respect for his experience, talent and genuine honesty there are a number of stellar shops in the Bay Area. Driving a 1000 mile round trip is just plain silly.

The purpose of posting my ACTUAL experience was not intended to provoke a pissing contest. As always, when sharing an experience I attempt to maintain and distinguish fact from emotion and at times it's challenging.

Once again thank you for chiming in and sharing. I really look forward to your informative and personal experience based facts and postings.:thumbsup:
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1991 560SEC AMG
Joined
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10,146 Posts
Thank you for your wonderfully dismissive reply.

Mr MB is my regular mechanic and hold the utmost respect for his experience, talent and genuine honesty there are a number of stellar shops in the Bay Area. Driving a 1000 mile round trip is just plain silly.

The purpose of posting my ACTUAL experience was not intended to provoke a pissing contest. As always, when sharing an experience I attempt to maintain and distinguish fact from emotion and at times it's challenging.

Once again thank you for chiming in and sharing. I really look forward to your informative and personal experience based facts and postings.:thumbsup:
If your purpose on here is only to trash people, you have been on here long enough to know you should take it offline to pm

Thank you
 

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Registered
1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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6,121 Posts
any good places in sherman oaks area. i will be moving there in the summer for one year... i might end up doing my tranny service there (the over revving issue) if i knwo of a good place
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe - RIP
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10,016 Posts
First of all, I have not been around because I have had a major catastrophic computer crash and I have to spend the better part of two weeks and three grand recovering my data and rebuilding my work computer, so that is why I have not been around.

Secondly, this has just not been a fun place to be in much. My blood pressure and weight have both been way up and I have have been having more Angina and chest pains and I really don't need this crap in my life right now. So upon my first time backj I see all of this crap, well it just reinforces my desire to stay away. I have had several calls from my friends here that have noticed that i have been away and they know my feelings.

Thirdly, It was me that recommended AVM and Dragi to several members here and he has let me and them down on all occasions. I formally apologize to Henric, Kurt and Charlie for any troubles that they have had to deal with because of Dragi and AVM. It was never my intent to cause them any distress or expense at their hands and I have never had any financial interest in that business, nor have I profited any from any referrals that I give them. AVM has showed me some "Love" in the past as they let me pretty much roam the halls ther at will. If I need a special tool, I know I can walk in there and borrow it whenever. I am certain that will end soon though as I am sure they will read this thread and what I have to say and all of that will end and i will probably have bullshit to deal with over my engine.

Here is a complete record of my dealing with them and yes, i should have known better but I always try to see the good in people and give people more chances then they deserve.

I first met Dragi and Vicky when I went to Mauricio's to get my Caddy mirrors painted when a guy took one off at another mechanics shop. My roommate had taken the other side off the year before and both had been replaced. So I dropped the car to Mauricio's and on the way out I had noticed that the center had changed owners and that it was all cleaned up and that there were all these Benz's there. The shop had told me that they wanted 3500.00 to fix my A/C and that was insane so I was going to get another car. Two months before I had lost my Grandmother whom had raised me ON MY BIRTHDAY quite suddenly so I was still in shock and still mostly walking around in a daze.

So I saw the Blue Euro '86 Coupe that was smashed in the front end (I didn't even know the difference in US and Euro at that point) and I went inside and asked to speak to the owner. Out came this little man with a Euro accent and Said his name was "Don" I said "That's not really your name, what your real name" (I hate when foreigners take US name.. Just tell me your real name. I don't go to Russia and say my name is 'Misha', It's Michael). He said "Dragi" and we got to talking. I told him that I had always wanted a SEC and that I wanted something I would work on bit by bit and fix up, but that I didn't want that blue car because it had been hit and my Caddy had been hit and not disclosed so I didn't want that again...

Well he said that he had a car but that it was Black.. I said I wanted black.. He said it was black inside too. I said ok.. He said it was Metallic black and I said okay.. So then he takes me over to see my car and that is the first pic in my VLOG... It was covered in years of dirst and dust but he said it ran fine and "Watch, it will start first crank" He got the booster box and sure enough it started first crank! He said take ot for a drive and I did. I said "Holy Shit, this Suckers FAST!" (Replace the S with a F) And I fell in love with it... I came back and asked him how much.. He said 8 grand.. Now I had lusted after this car for decades and knew they were 90 grand new so I didn't know the depreciation schedule on it. I told him to clean it up and I would be back in a day or two to see it clean.

I came back a couple of days later and it was all polised but still dirty on the inside.. (Those are the next series of pics.) I said "well he's just an Indy and clearly not a real sales dealership so he doesn't know presentation) But I saw the potential and I had run the KBB numbers and 6700 was high book and 4 grand low so I offered him 4 grand.. He balked and held at 8.. I told him he was nuts and I started to walk. Like I have said I was Sales Manager at several dealerships here in the AV and I should have been more shark-like, but again, I was in lust with this car and my head was clouded...

We settled on 6 grand and I told him I would do him a small website. We shook on it and he gave me all this BS about MY word being good. Now when I had driven it all of the lights were on on the dash and so as we were shaking on the deal I held his hand and said 6 grand and the site for the car and you make those lights go out.. He said "I'll make the lights go out.. By taking out the bulbs..." And I said "NO, you will properly fix those effected systems" and I held his hand and looked into his eyes. He said "Yes, I will fix the systems" "And I want to scavenge parts from the other cars" He said I could out of the '86 and I said okay. He said "You better keep your word" and I said "You better because you are new in this town and I have lived here 20 years and the Mayor is my personal friend and so is Code enforcement and if you screw me I will have them descend down on you like locusts..." And they are, however I have not pulled that arrow... Yet...

So all went well, I paid him and I wanted Mauricio to paint the car... He gave me a quote of $750.00 to spot it out and then he said "Mike that won't look like I know you want it to look" He had painted my Ex's 211 chassis for us the year before and also my GMC pickup. So he knew my standards...

So he said "$1500.00 for the whole car" I asked him of that was masked or stripped? He said Masked. I told him I didn't want mask lines and that I wanted it stripped... He said he could not do it for that. I told him that if he would strip the parts off, I would re-install them. At that he said okay and we shook and I gave him $750.00 down payment.

So work started and as soon as it did Dragi got in the middle of it. He wanted to make sure that Mauricio wouldn't mask it and I told him no, he was going to strip it. So Dragi started interjecting his BS into it telling me what to go and ask Mauricio to do it his way... Mauricio of course knew it was Dragi I was parroting and got really pissed whereby my car sat for three weeks with nothing getting done to it. I had my Caddy for sale so I could finish paying for stuff so I started to freak out. All the while I did my research and was finding more stuff to mount on the car and finding the parts I needed to replace. He came up with a bunch of parts and wanted retail money. I bought a few but then said pass on the rest when I saw what he was trying to do. Sell me a stripped car for retail and then the parts he took off of it for retail too. At that point I should have ran, but in for a penny....

So I was freaking out after a month of it sitting there and I was there everyday going "When is it going to be ready? It's been sitting untouched for a month" So at that point it was nearing the 15th of the month and Mauricio was late on his rent. So we went over there with the plan that I was to be the good cop and Dragi the bad, but when we got there I was so mad that I told Mauricio that he was lucky to be in this country, "Because if were in your country, Mauricio, I would have just grabbed you by the throat and used you as sandpaper and finished my car myself. But as luck would have it, we're in my country and they call that Felony assault, so FINISH MY FREAKING CAR BEFORE I DO IT" and I stormed off... Okay, so plan change.. Dragi is the good cop... He tells Mauricio that if my car is not done \by Monday that he will be locked out for lack of rent... I didn't know this at that time as I left and went back to Dragi's bays.. So the next day I call Vicky and she tells me that 5 guys are working on my car.. I say "Really? I'll stay away.." I call back in a few hours and same thing. Furious work on the car.. Call back at 4PM (This is on a Saturday mind you) and same thing.. She says it looks like it's ready for paint, Dragi has checked it at Mauricio's request and all is a go... I am floored and go down there.. He came up to me and apologized to me and I to him and he took me into the booth to see it and I started to help him finish masking it and I watched him paint her...

So then Monday he Color sanded it and gave it back to me looking beautiful on Wednesday... Here is another mistake I made. During the three weeks it say, I should have taken the interior out myself and then had him shoot the jams totally. My bad...

So then I rolled it into Bay 4 that Dragi said I could use to re-assemble my car. And that began the 4 month long process of learning how to put everything back on and ordering parts to replace the AFU ones that were bad or worn. I ordered new carpets and seat belts that had to come from Germany and that took 6-8 weeks. I would take something apart on the '86 and then re-assemble it on the '86 and then do my car. I didn't even know about the junk yards at that point and I REALLY wish I had as it would have saved me THOUSANDS!

So then the car is just about roadworthy and ready to go and I tell Dragi to get the title transferred and get the tags... So he does and hands me the "Pink Slip" and by that I do not mean the title. He hands me a temp reg tag that goes in the window with a big "11" on it which stands for November (it was September then I started in June). I say "What's this?" and he tries to tell me some bullshit and I say "Look, I was 10 years in the car business, I know exactly what this is, where's my title and reg?" So he says he has to tweak the engine to get the lights off and then he will take it to smog, blah blah...

So for 2 months I kept bugging him to do it and as the deadline approached I told him I was tired of driving around like that and I wanted my tags.. He said "Well you are not driving like a Mexican.." I said that's exactly how I was and just then this old beat up car came chugging by with a pink "11" slip in the window (Okay maybe it was a "12") and I said "See? There!" And he got all pissed.. I and I had to put the smack down.. So he said leave it Monday all day and I said okay... Again, I should have known better...

So Monday rolls around and I leave the car and pick it up that night.. All the lights are on, but he hands me my Reg in my name and current tags so I'm okay with that. I tell him "What about the lights" and he just shrugs it off..

So A month goes by and it's New Years. My GF at the time Edie comes down and we are watching the Rose Parade and I say to her "Hey, wanna drive down to Pasadena and see the floats there, they line them up for display" She says sure, sounds great and we head down there... This is where the leaves catch fire because I thought I got them all and he never bothered to do a proper PDI. So I have a relay that burns up and the wiring is fried and he wants me to put it on my insurance. Now I have full and total coverage because of the money and 5 months of my life I had just gone through, but I knew they would probably total it because the wiring harness was burned up and NLA from Benz. So I told him we had to fix this ourselves and that I was not going to file a claim. As soon as I did that, he no longer had interest and pushed my car outside whereby I had to fix it myself. Which took me two weeks out in the cold and wind of the high desert.

At the end he presented me with two printouts for the parts with the retail prices on them and I had discovered the Junk yards by then so I knew what they had cost there. He wanted like $200.00 for them. I laughed and told him that they were $5.00 at the JY... So I snapped at him and said he should have given me the parts for free and that "How much do you want" He said I should write it for what I felt it was worth to me. So I wrote it for $150.00 for everything and that included re-priming my brakes cuz I had to remove the Master Cylinder to get to the wires to repair them... He started bitching about that.. I said "You told me to write it for what I thought was fair Dragi and I did and not you bitch? How much do you want" So I took the check out and said that it was the last money he would ever get from me.

So then a week later I saw the posting for the sedan that 560Truck posted and I called him and negotiated the deal to buy the sedan and the parts. This is a whole 'nother story in of itself...

So then in May I replaced the Water Pump because of course the motor was not as he had promised me... And also the steering gear was gone... So I went back to him and threatened to raise hell with the DMV and the city if he did not make it right. After hours of arguing he finally realized I would be a major nightmare so he fixed my steering gear and installed my AMG suspension for like $400.00 as I recall. Then he fixed the freeze plug and motor mounts for cheap too and he started to be more reasonable... They did my fuel pumps, but there is still a small leak which need to be fixed... In all fairness I started that job using their lift right after my Heart Attack, but did not have the strength to finish it...

I still have many problems with my car and this car should NEVER have been put back on the road. It was a junk car from the junk yard and he saw a sucker and took full advantage of me... I have done nothing but bleed money into this car. All of you make very generous comments about her and I appreciate that, but it is just a testament to my stupidity taken to it's illogical extreme... I am so far into this car that it's sick and pathetic.
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe - RIP
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10,016 Posts
Yes Dragi and Vicky have been good to me at times. An example of that was letting me drop the Widebody there for a while for no charge and they let me store my sedan there and some other parts. But I guess it's because he thinks I am going to buy more over priced parts from him. Well that is over... I am going to offer him a grand for the balance I owe on the motor and if he takes it cool, if not, I got the Euro bumpers and the Tri Wyes from him for a grand and that's a deal all day so we're even AFAIC.

I still have some problems in my car that are still lingering from the initial purchase, but I will get them sorted.

So I take full responsibility and I am sorry for any cost, pain, aggravation or inconvenience that this has caused any members here. I did not mean for this to happen. Again, I try to believe in the good in people and anyone that really knows me, knows that and that is why I am sure that Henric did not post that it was me to try and spare me any humiliation and any further stress, but I, unlike others here, have no problem admitting when I make a mistake, buy something and get ripped off, don't know something, whatever.

I do not feel I have to hide behind silence, or petty and snide snipes. I have always been the first to admit my mistakes and lack of knowledge in something. If I posted something and it was wrong and I verified it was wrong, i admitted such. Not ran off in silence or taken a swipe back.. I just thanked the person for correcting me. No one knows everything and least of all me.

I have received a lot from this board and I have tried to give back more. However, I am at a point where I don't receive that much that I need and that I give far too much and get little back... The people I have received from are my friends and I usually talk to them via IM, Email or on the phone and I always will. But if you see me here less and less, you will know why. I may continue to lurk and post once in a while, but for the most part I will be elsewhere. If you have a question for me, Ii will as always try to answer it. But I have to play catchup from the crash and I have a couple of big paying jobs that will fund the new motor and interior and maybe a trip back east that I put off from last year. I will be busy with other things though...

But, I am REALLY tired of the BS here...

So that is my part of the AVM and Dragi BS... Again Caveat Emptor. Especially where AVM are concerned.

Take care all...
 

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Registered
1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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6,121 Posts
did someone just delete a post by a mercedes klan blasitnig 48hp and mclare....
crazy....i cant wait to move back to southern cali and get involved in so much s class drama...lol...yeah right
 

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Registered
1988 560SEC Euro Clone Lorinser Clone
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1,572 Posts
I have lived here 20 years and the Mayor is my personal friend and so is Code enforcement and if you screw me I will have them descend down on you like locusts...
Let me just say this. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, gives better post than mclare.

mclare, no worries, we know your motives were and are 100% honest here. don't sweat it, we all know that you recommend something or someone, or post a DIY, or share a story about what went right / wrong with your car, or go rescue the Phoenix, because you are trying to help.

as for AVM, well, i don't think they will see much business from any of us here
 
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