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'04 E55 AMG
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone know a good repair shop(s) they can recommend near Baltimore, MD? Saw a few good ones near DC metro area but that's >1hr away! Any help much appreciated!
 

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1990 Mercedes 560SEL
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578 Posts
The best I can recommend is the dealer:

R&H Motor Cars,
9727 Reisterstown Road,
Owings Mills, MD 21117.

But they are very very expensive and will be very meticulous. They will try to keep your car in perfect condition. I go there regularly for oil change and use their repair services once in a while. And their diagnostics are accurate. Unlike Hunt Valley Mercedes, who are way off the mark.

The other place that I have known, is

Atlantic Auto,
1701 N Charles Street, (Entrance on Lanvale St - Fall Rd)
Baltimore, MD 21201.

He has a lot of old W126 cars with him. So he can pick some old parts and put them in your car for cheap, if you want to. Last time he put an old steering box only for $125. While a rebuilt steering box cost $500 and a new one $2K at the dealer's. He is very understanding and you can tell him what you want.

Ramesh.
 

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1985 300D Turbo 123.133 & 82 300TD
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179 Posts
Front End issues 300td

The best I can recommend is the dealer:

R&H Motor Cars,
9727 Reisterstown Road,
Owings Mills, MD 21117.

But they are very very expensive and will be very meticulous. They will try to keep your car in perfect condition. I go there regularly for oil change and use their repair services once in a while. And their diagnostics are accurate. Unlike Hunt Valley Mercedes, who are way off the mark.

The other place that I have known, is

Atlantic Auto,
1701 N Charles Street, (Entrance on Lanvale St - Fall Rd)
Baltimore, MD 21201.

He has a lot of old W126 cars with him. So he can pick some old parts and put them in your car for cheap, if you want to. Last time he put an old steering box only for $125. While a rebuilt steering box cost $500 and a new one $2K at the dealer's. He is very understanding and you can tell him what you want.

Ramesh.
Just bought a 82 300td.

I haven't picked the car up yet however, the owner says that the front ends steering linkage is in need of attention. Driving it is not an option for long distances until you fix the linkage. We think the issues may be tie rods or ball joints.

Looking for a good reasonable shop in the MD/DC area that I can bring it by for repair, when I pick the car up.

Any Suggestions/recommendation?
Bryan
 

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1982 240D
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43 Posts
I went to a Benz guru today. He is amazing. http://fredsforeigncars.org/

His name is Fred Sinton and he works out of his Kennett Square shop (about 45mins from Philly / 90minutes from Baltimore). He is also a proud owner of a few of these 123 chassis vehicles. He is also an expert on vegetable oil kit installations, he's been installing them for the past 5 years. I highly recommend this guy to anyone with a Benz (or any foreign car really). He's VERY friendly & extremely knowledgeable on these machines. I drove two and a half hours today to see him about an electrical issue, took him about 10 minutes to diagnose & repair. It was well worth the drive.

Figured I'd let you all know about him. Give him a call he knows his stuff and LOVES working on these cars.

-JB240D
 

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1981 380SL
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66 Posts
The other place that I have known, is

Atlantic Auto,
1701 N Charles Street, (Entrance on Lanvale St - Fall Rd)
Baltimore, MD 21201.

He has a lot of old W126 cars with him. So he can pick some old parts and put them in your car for cheap, if you want to. Last time he put an old steering box only for $125. While a rebuilt steering box cost $500 and a new one $2K at the dealer's. He is very understanding and you can tell him what you want.

Ramesh.
Cannot recommend this place enough! Great service both to me and my car. I will never go to another place again but here.
 

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2003 C240
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46 Posts
R & H Mercedes

The best I can recommend is the dealer:

R&H Motor Cars,
9727 Reisterstown Road,
Owings Mills, MD 21117.

But they are very very expensive and will be very meticulous. They will try to keep your car in perfect condition. I go there regularly for oil change and use their repair services once in a while. And their diagnostics are accurate. Unlike Hunt Valley Mercedes, who are way off the mark.
I have to agree with you 200% They are meticulous. I like that they have free shuttle service and they wash and vaccum your car on every visit.

I was in R & H to day with a multi point inspection discount coupon. Man, they found about 2 grand in work that was covered under my extended warranty. The warranty expires next month and I was grateful that they were honest and didn't rip me off.

I don't mind paying a little more if I know I am getting superior work. So far I have not found an Indy that I know and trust. :thumbsup:
 

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1988 300CE Midnight Blue/Palomino; 1984 300D Orient Red/Palomino; 1994 E500 Black/Gray
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247 Posts
Baltimore, MD

I have been very happy with Hunt Valley Imports on York Road, near Warren Road, in Cockeysville. Note, this is not the dealer with a similar name. This is a small shop run by a fellow named Chris who charges $50 an hour and does the work, too.

I have also found that German Auto Service on Dorsey Run Road in Jessup does very good work, but they are considerably more expensive than Chris and charge by the book instead of by the hour.
 

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2000 and 2003 W220 S500
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930 Posts
Hi all,

I know you guys are always looking for good people, so here is my $.02.
I've had service with these guys since 2006 and I gotta tell you, they are great.

Padonia Auto
9712 York Rd
Cockeysville, MD 21030



N.B.
These guys are not Mercedes specialists, but they do have the equipment to test and figure out what's wrong with the car. I started out bringing my Camry there and when I got my second S500, I brought it here and they have been taking care of it ever since.

You'll be surprised at how amazingly fast these guys work. I needed ball joints replaced; in by 9am, out by 11am. Ridiculous. I had to tell them I can't leave until lunch break. The price is right and they don't make unnecessary repairs. They will, however, alert you to potential problems, and if you ask, give you an estimate. That way you know how much to save up. Stand up guys are hard to find for the right price and these guys make the cut. If you have any reservations, PM me, I'll vouch for them.


PS
If you're looking for someone in North New Jersey, Felipe Cuadra of Precision Motors is your guy. He is a Mercedes Specialist, but also works on other cars. He takes care of my other baby.
 

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2000 and 2003 W220 S500
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930 Posts
Ok, this is my review of R&H Motor Cars in Reisterstown.

I've taken my W220 there twice, once for an EIS issue and second for a what I thought was a failing instrument cluster.

For the EIS issue, I showed them that when the car is warm, it starts right up. I also showed them that when you heat the EIS with a hair dryer, it works. The only issue is that the EIS did not throw any fault codes. R&H kept trying and finally they came up with the Gear Select Module was bad. I strongly disagreed and said no, it is definitely the EIS, please change that. They didn't want to proceed with the repair until they changed the Gear Select Module since that was the component showing error codes.

Of course, I scoured the W220 Forums and the Gear Select Module isn't something that fails often. I asked them if it was the Transmission Control Module (TCM), a part that fails often enough, and they said ,"No, it is definitely the not the TCM or EIS. It's the Gear Select Module. It's the only component throwing codes."

Finally, I gave in and had the part replaced. This was a dealer only part, so I had to pay dealer prices and would have been happy, but that didn't fix the problem. Finally, after much insistence, they changed the EIS and all is well.

That whole ordeal took a month.

Early this month, I was driving and suddenly my car lights up like an ambulance. The center console was blinking display error, my radio lost sound, my seats didn't work, the car wouldn't respond to lock and unlock key commands, turn signals were shot, my A/C stopped working and my headlights blinked at random as well as my tail lights and turn signal lights. Needless to say, this was a shock.

I drive the car to R&H and show them my suddenly very blinky car and we have a good chuckle. They diagnose the car and tell me the A/C control module is faulty and needs to be replaced. I said that doesn't make any sense. What does the A/C module have to do with anything with the Center Console, the lights or the radio? I mean it explained the A/C not working, but that's it. I told them that they reinspect and please give me a better explanation.

They reinspected and removed the A/C control module and while it didn't bring everything to normal, the car stopped blinking and I can lock it again. The radio/satellite/phone still didn't work and neither did the A/C. The center dash worked sort of, but the date and time were off and all the error lights were lit SRS, etc. I still wasn't convinced that a faulty A/C control module was the culprit and asked the tech to explain himself. Long story short, he basically said if we replaced the A/C module, everything would be hunky dory. I told them that it just doesn't make sense, what other explanations could it be. The tech told me that he was absolutely sure that it was the A/C module and that if it got replaced, my problems would go away.

I got incensed and left the dealership. I had a huge gut feeling that it was the wrong diagnosis. I again scoured the Forums and it really showed nothing that would lead me to believe that the A/C control module is capable of doing anything like this to my car.

Regardless, I bought a new A/C control module (thankfully this wasn't a dealer only part) and installed it in the car. Once again, my car lights up crazy and anything electronic doesn't work. I plug in the old and the new A/C control modules and they do the same thing. The 2 conclusions would be that either both are defective or none were defective. I was willing to bet that none were defective.

Just for my sanity, I opened up the A/C control module down to circuit boards, screws and plastic. I smelled it for any signs of electric damage and it was perfectly fine. I put it back together and put it on the car again; the same effect.

I now take the car back to R&H for them to just clear the codes and install my new A/C Control Module. They clear the codes and the car is still malfunctioning. They now call me and ask if I "really installed" a new A/C control module. I told them if they want, they can check the old one in the trunk, but they'll both do the same thing. Figure out something else that's wrong. Clear the codes from the center console or give me another one, I don't care, but don't tell me its the A/C module.

They finally listened and looked for something other than the A/C that might be wrong and 4 days later they said that there was some after market stuff attached to the cigarette lighter and that was causing problems. I told them that I attached those things myself months ago and there had been no issues, so please try again. A day later, they tell me that the car was wired wrong but they resolved it and now everything was working except for the radio.

I told them to do me a favor and just unplug the battery for a few minutes and then tell me if the radio resets itself. They told me that they would need to diagnose the radio to see if it was shorted due to the incorrect wiring. I asked them to humor me and just unplug the battery to see if that resolves the issue. The radio still turns on, but no sound comes out of it, please just unplug the battery to reset it. The radio didn't short due to any incorrect wiring. Again they insisted that it should be diagnosed first and then see if it needs other service - for an extra charge.

I told them to don't touch anything else and please pick me up; I'll be taking my car back. They picked me up, I paid them for the diagnostic fee and then even more for clearing the codes. I told them all goodbye and checked if they unplugged the battery. My windows and sunroof were still synced, so no. I unplugged the battery and suddenly everything works as it should. I cleared the ESP codes by turning my steering wheel, re-synced my sunroof and windows and went on my way.

For my sanity, I plugged in the old A/C control module and it works perfectly fine. My only conclusion is that the Center Console went crazy and threw a whole mess of codes, that got cleared and the system works as it should again after everything got reset.

Here's my rub with R&H. They have excellent service, but they have a poor understanding of the W220. Couple that with completely ignoring a customer's request and you have a recipe for very expensive frustration.

Had they changed the EIS first, I MAY have not needed to replace the Gear Select Module. That was thousands of dollars worth of not listening, but I can't prove if the old Gear Select Module was not defective, so that point is moot. What it did raise was a red flag on the diagnostic expertise of R&H. When they diagnosed my car for a faulty A/C, I immediately called their bluff and bought one myself. They both worked and now they were scrambling for explanations. The lamest one they could come up with was incorrect wiring. They simply would not replace the center console, even if the part is known to fail and is covered under warranty.

While the loaner car is great, the free bottle of water, coffee and car wash are all dandy and gives a good customer front end experience; the actual "Mercedes Expertise" is lacking.

I can imagine going there, not knowing anything about my car, get my loaner and just go along with whatever repairs, pay them whatever money they want and have a "great experience."

However, the internet exists, I have their own service manuals and this forum has over a decade's worth of knowledge of what can go wrong with this car. There isn't much of any new issues that haven't really been covered. That the techs completely ignore a customer is not only arrogant, but ignorant if the information that can be pulled up at will through any mobile device at any time. While that doesn't make everyone an expert on their cars; it does make the wrong diagnosis glaringly obvious.

This is a long read, but the final thought is that if you're going to R&H, check to see if the diagnosis makes sense. If it doesn't, check elsewhere as I will from now on.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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11,212 Posts
I bought my '05 W220 from R&H, but I had always heard bad things about their diagnostic capabilities. I always had my W220s serviced at Valley Motors Mercedes in Cockeysville when living in Baltimore, and at American Service Center after moving to DC. ASC's techs were good; their cashiers were snotty, unless you were an NFL or MLB player. Valley Motors mechanical techs were good (but they were weak in telematics through '05 - I can't say how they have been more recently).

Even buying a car from R&H was a royal pain. I can't tell you how many times I left the showroom wondering how anyone could survive with their approach. When I finally bought from them, I told them I was trading my '00, I would pay X amount differential, I already had my financing arranged, and if they wanted the deal, let me know. It would be a yes or no, straight up or down deal, and no, I did not want to meet the sales manager. That cut through the usual BS.

Glad the forum armed you up a bit; the R&H diagnoses sounded off to me, too.
 

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2012 S550 Bi-Turbo 4Matic
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303 Posts
Drive an extra hour and go to Sun Motor Cars in PA.

None of this mumbo jumbo from the big city dealers who don't know how to value a client and make their money on volume.
 

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K&S in Baltimore - 2525 Falls Rd are wonderful. I have been going to them since 1988 - they are quick, thorough, honest, and (comparatively) inexpensive. I moved to Dallas in 2006 and still call them if I have a vexing question or need advice (410.235.6660). Have always done most of my own work and they always take time to advise. That's why they get (got) the work I don't have the tools/facilities to do. Amir is the owner. Ken Williams is the customer service manager and a funny, great dude (ex-Vietnam Marine and more full of sh#t than a Christmas Turkey). As an independent shop, most of the mechs/techs have been there over 10 years - speaks volumes for Amir's fairness to employees and customers alike
 

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1999 Cl500, 1991 300ce
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128 Posts
Best Baltimore Mercedes shop is ATLANTIC MOTORS at 3605 Wilkens Ave. Majid and Sajid are absolute knowledgeable and very very reasonable
 

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2002 SL500
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26 Posts
At Speed Motors - Elkridge, MD

They know cars and will always fix only what needs fixing and at a reasonable cost. I took my car there after R&H quoted $2k to replace my cats. At Speed Motors scoped the cats and said they were fine and a $.50 bolt was the cause of the rattle. They treat your car like it was one of their own.
 

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1989 420 SEL
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1 Posts
Indy repair in Bel Air, MD

I have used Ron at Dietz Auto Repair for years and he is great. They are on Rt. 1 between Baltimore and Bel Air, MD. He specializes in MB and is VERY reasonable with his pricing. He is a second generation MB technician so his knowledge base goes way back!
 

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E320 Coupe
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209 Posts
A long read but a good read

Ok, this is my review of R&H Motor Cars in Reisterstown.

I've taken my W220 there twice, once for an EIS issue and second for a what I thought was a failing instrument cluster.

For the EIS issue, I showed them that when the car is warm, it starts right up. I also showed them that when you heat the EIS with a hair dryer, it works. The only issue is that the EIS did not throw any fault codes. R&H kept trying and finally they came up with the Gear Select Module was bad. I strongly disagreed and said no, it is definitely the EIS, please change that. They didn't want to proceed with the repair until they changed the Gear Select Module since that was the component showing error codes.

Of course, I scoured the W220 Forums and the Gear Select Module isn't something that fails often. I asked them if it was the Transmission Control Module (TCM), a part that fails often enough, and they said ,"No, it is definitely the not the TCM or EIS. It's the Gear Select Module. It's the only component throwing codes."

Finally, I gave in and had the part replaced. This was a dealer only part, so I had to pay dealer prices and would have been happy, but that didn't fix the problem. Finally, after much insistence, they changed the EIS and all is well.

That whole ordeal took a month.

Early this month, I was driving and suddenly my car lights up like an ambulance. The center console was blinking display error, my radio lost sound, my seats didn't work, the car wouldn't respond to lock and unlock key commands, turn signals were shot, my A/C stopped working and my headlights blinked at random as well as my tail lights and turn signal lights. Needless to say, this was a shock.

I drive the car to R&H and show them my suddenly very blinky car and we have a good chuckle. They diagnose the car and tell me the A/C control module is faulty and needs to be replaced. I said that doesn't make any sense. What does the A/C module have to do with anything with the Center Console, the lights or the radio? I mean it explained the A/C not working, but that's it. I told them that they reinspect and please give me a better explanation.

They reinspected and removed the A/C control module and while it didn't bring everything to normal, the car stopped blinking and I can lock it again. The radio/satellite/phone still didn't work and neither did the A/C. The center dash worked sort of, but the date and time were off and all the error lights were lit SRS, etc. I still wasn't convinced that a faulty A/C control module was the culprit and asked the tech to explain himself. Long story short, he basically said if we replaced the A/C module, everything would be hunky dory. I told them that it just doesn't make sense, what other explanations could it be. The tech told me that he was absolutely sure that it was the A/C module and that if it got replaced, my problems would go away.

I got incensed and left the dealership. I had a huge gut feeling that it was the wrong diagnosis. I again scoured the Forums and it really showed nothing that would lead me to believe that the A/C control module is capable of doing anything like this to my car.

Regardless, I bought a new A/C control module (thankfully this wasn't a dealer only part) and installed it in the car. Once again, my car lights up crazy and anything electronic doesn't work. I plug in the old and the new A/C control modules and they do the same thing. The 2 conclusions would be that either both are defective or none were defective. I was willing to bet that none were defective.

Just for my sanity, I opened up the A/C control module down to circuit boards, screws and plastic. I smelled it for any signs of electric damage and it was perfectly fine. I put it back together and put it on the car again; the same effect.

I now take the car back to R&H for them to just clear the codes and install my new A/C Control Module. They clear the codes and the car is still malfunctioning. They now call me and ask if I "really installed" a new A/C control module. I told them if they want, they can check the old one in the trunk, but they'll both do the same thing. Figure out something else that's wrong. Clear the codes from the center console or give me another one, I don't care, but don't tell me its the A/C module.

They finally listened and looked for something other than the A/C that might be wrong and 4 days later they said that there was some after market stuff attached to the cigarette lighter and that was causing problems. I told them that I attached those things myself months ago and there had been no issues, so please try again. A day later, they tell me that the car was wired wrong but they resolved it and now everything was working except for the radio.

I told them to do me a favor and just unplug the battery for a few minutes and then tell me if the radio resets itself. They told me that they would need to diagnose the radio to see if it was shorted due to the incorrect wiring. I asked them to humor me and just unplug the battery to see if that resolves the issue. The radio still turns on, but no sound comes out of it, please just unplug the battery to reset it. The radio didn't short due to any incorrect wiring. Again they insisted that it should be diagnosed first and then see if it needs other service - for an extra charge.

I told them to don't touch anything else and please pick me up; I'll be taking my car back. They picked me up, I paid them for the diagnostic fee and then even more for clearing the codes. I told them all goodbye and checked if they unplugged the battery. My windows and sunroof were still synced, so no. I unplugged the battery and suddenly everything works as it should. I cleared the ESP codes by turning my steering wheel, re-synced my sunroof and windows and went on my way.

For my sanity, I plugged in the old A/C control module and it works perfectly fine. My only conclusion is that the Center Console went crazy and threw a whole mess of codes, that got cleared and the system works as it should again after everything got reset.

Here's my rub with R&H. They have excellent service, but they have a poor understanding of the W220. Couple that with completely ignoring a customer's request and you have a recipe for very expensive frustration.

Had they changed the EIS first, I MAY have not needed to replace the Gear Select Module. That was thousands of dollars worth of not listening, but I can't prove if the old Gear Select Module was not defective, so that point is moot. What it did raise was a red flag on the diagnostic expertise of R&H. When they diagnosed my car for a faulty A/C, I immediately called their bluff and bought one myself. They both worked and now they were scrambling for explanations. The lamest one they could come up with was incorrect wiring. They simply would not replace the center console, even if the part is known to fail and is covered under warranty.

While the loaner car is great, the free bottle of water, coffee and car wash are all dandy and gives a good customer front end experience; the actual "Mercedes Expertise" is lacking.

I can imagine going there, not knowing anything about my car, get my loaner and just go along with whatever repairs, pay them whatever money they want and have a "great experience."

However, the internet exists, I have their own service manuals and this forum has over a decade's worth of knowledge of what can go wrong with this car. There isn't much of any new issues that haven't really been covered. That the techs completely ignore a customer is not only arrogant, but ignorant if the information that can be pulled up at will through any mobile device at any time. While that doesn't make everyone an expert on their cars; it does make the wrong diagnosis glaringly obvious.

This is a long read, but the final thought is that if you're going to R&H, check to see if the diagnosis makes sense. If it doesn't, check elsewhere as I will from now on.
THIS is what we need to see here. What people did with their cars and where these experiences happened. "They are great!" doesn't cut it. Thanks for detailing what happened with R & H. I know that they are definitely focused on a great "experience" however that doesn't mean that the car is going to be fixed properly-- or even more importantly-- correct the FIRST time.

Have gone there for AC work on my W124 and it hasn't been that great of an experience. May detail later, however to be succinct, tons of extra repairs found that weren't necessary/needed. Also a coupon dispute, they ended up giving me a $150 credit that can only be used at the parts dept. Not going back any time ever.
 

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E320 Coupe
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209 Posts
German Auto Service = nono / Benchmark Motors = yesyes

I have also found that German Auto Service on Dorsey Run Road in Jessup does very good work, but they are considerably more expensive than Chris and charge by the book instead of by the hour.
German Auto Service is a BIG nono. I originally went there because of the quick and cheap ($25 I think it was) oil changes. Then they started diagnosing work. It was all "needed" and having just bought my first E320 coupe I was like, alright, if you say so.

I liked the owners. A man and his wife. German.

There was one day-- shortly after they had just completed some work, $500 or so. I took it in because of one thing and the wife calls me frantically on the phone. And I am *not* kidding about the frantic part. "Your water pump is leaking BADLY!!!! We have to change it NOW!!!" I was actually physically tired while on the phone, and financially tired from the money *just* spent. Sounding exhausted and calm I just sighed "I can't do that right now, close it up and I'll come get it."

Got the car and everything seemed/felt a-ok. And remember at this point I knew absolutely NOTHING about this forum or specific W124 issues. On a whim, I thought up a way to get an un-biased second opinion.

Took it to Benchmark Motors in Columbia. Asked them to do an oil change. "Oh, by the way, can you look at the water pump to see how it is? Just look, nothing big."

Pick up the car and the folks say that the water pump is a-ok. To quote "bone dry". I told them why I asked and told them German Auto Service told me it was "leaking badly". Again, the tech says "bone dry". That was the day I stuck with Benchmark, 7 years ago.

They haven't always been perfect (I think Stuart broke my light once and tried to fix it with some weird putty, he never confessed to it, but when you're in the car 6,7,8 hours a day you get to know it like the back of your hand) but they have always been honest with me. They even helped me above and beyond on several occasions, one time with Maryland's crazy emissions requirements.

I appreciate them and can highly recommend them.
 
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