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Old 09-24-2012, 07:23 AM
420 posts, read 751,487 times
Reputation: 275


Anybody have good recommendations for mechanics for Infiniti-type cars? I've been taking my car to Infiniti of Tampa on Dale Mabry for routine and non-routine servicing. I'm starting to feel like they're taking my money and am seeking a more reputable mechanic that is still knowledgable. I don't want a guy with a tool-set; I'd like someone that works with quality cars and provides quality work. Any recommendations are appreciated.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:55 AM
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 1,951,347 times
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Autobahn Import Service - Automobile Service & Repair Center Tampa, FL - BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Porsche

Best recommendation I've been given and the only place I'll take my car if I can't fix it myself. I drive a Honda, though. A friend of mine told me about how he took his BMW there for a bunch of work the dealer said he needed to have, and ended up being told by autobahn that more than half the dealer's list was bogus (and why). And the work they did have to do ended up costing less than what the dealer quoted. I took my car there for its 30k service and had a similar experience.

Their site doesn't specify whether they'll work on Nissans/Infinitis but since they do work on Hondas/Toyotas/Mitsus I assume they'll accept any Japanese import. You can always call and ask.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:55 AM
420 posts, read 751,487 times
Reputation: 275
Thanks for the recommendation! I'll take a look at them the next time I need to get servicing done.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:12 AM
2,719 posts, read 4,408,570 times
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Here is what I do in general to cut cost..

Know before hand the scheduled maintenance. On major mileage like a 30k, 60K, and so on they try to bundle the price. Ask for break down of what is been done and the cost to do it. You will be surprised what a difference that makes. Once you have the break down, decide which one you can do yourself. Air filter, cabin filter, wipers and so on are easy to do or take it to parts supplier they will do it for you.

It is outrageous how much sometimes these people charge. If you want to take a risk, you will be surprised what you can get. Here is a little story, if it helps.

Few month ago the alternator of my wife's car got out, needed to be replaced. It was a great opportunity to learn all about it.

Dealer gave me a quote of over $500, IIRC. That included a brand new alternator and labor.

Neighborhood mechanic (a chain) quoted $350 using a rebuilt alternator and don't carry all brand new part. Turns out only dealer carry that. Now I am curious to find the difference between a rebuilt and brand new. Turns out the rebuilt (not to be confused with re-furbished where only a failed part of a used alternator is replaced new) has only the casing of the alternator used but everything else is new.

When I asked the neighborhood mechanic how much he is charging for the part, he said over $200 (210 or 220 or so) and the other is labor. Then I found out that if you return the old alternator, you can buy the part for about $120 at Advance auto-part or Auto Zone. They hold the money (the deposit) until you return the used alternator, hence the re-built and sell cheaper than all brand new. Good for the environment, good for pocket book.

Then I got another "in the corner mechanic" who said he would do this for $70 if I brought the part myself, in fact it was the part's shop sales guy that recommended me to use him. I am suspicious of such recommendation but then I said what is the risk of this unknown mechanic screwing things up?

Given the substantial cost difference, I decided to take the risk. The guy finished the job in about 30 minutes. Me watching him do his thing. The same job the dealer and chain mechanic said that it will take more than an hour (100/hr labor). I was so happy I even tip him $10 to make the whole cost $200. Now compare that to the neighborhood chain mechanic $350 and dealer $500.

For those wondering, ask how much it cost to change an alternator. I would bet none of the places will do it less than $300, amazing the over head of these places.

Last edited by Pragmaticus; 09-25-2012 at 11:23 AM..
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