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View Full Version : Best Independant shop in San Diego


MarcusSDCA
05-29-2006, 08:26 PM
A client of mine is looking for a major service and alignment on an out-of-warranty E46. Any idea which is the best independant BMW shop in San Diego?? Thanks in advance.

kjb
05-30-2006, 09:17 AM
I haven't had any work done myself, but have talked to them and I like them. The shop is always busy, and the people I have spoken to have been positive about the service. Next door to my son's audio shop (Audio Plus) and Autobahn West.

Here. (http://www.dosebmw.com/)

A client of mine is looking for a major service and alignment on an out-of-warranty E46. Any idea which is the best independant BMW shop in San Diego?? Thanks in advance.

woody underwood
05-30-2006, 10:55 AM
I'll have to vote for my friends at LaJolla Independent. Nobody knows BMWs like they do and the lot is close to being a museum.

Speed
06-02-2006, 10:10 PM
Apex Motorsports. Period.

mick84
02-01-2007, 08:13 PM
How do prices of inde's compare to dealers?

Dose, are you recommending Autobahn West?

I need a brake job.

euroe28m5
02-02-2007, 09:22 AM
Definately La Jolla Independent! Carl Nelson is a great guy and knows his stuff.

ShogunRua
11-15-2009, 08:45 PM
Euro Auto Spot is awesome!

BrettInLJ
11-16-2009, 10:40 AM
Definately La Jolla Independent! Carl Nelson is a great guy and knows his stuff.

I third La Jolla Independent. It's been years but I used to take my E39 540i to him.

IDriveanAuto528
11-18-2009, 05:18 PM
New to the forums and saw this...and i'd have to say BMS Auto Parts. Sells parts and repairs. ****ing awesomenesssss

eflosd
11-20-2009, 01:38 PM
Euro Auto Spot is awesome!

+1000000 Shane is the man. go to euro auto spot you wont regret it

gosee
11-22-2009, 01:33 PM
All German Auto, escondido

pswirley
12-09-2009, 01:36 AM
EuroAutoSpot (Shane) was a BMW service technician and mechanic for 18 years prior to opening his own shop.

There is nobody that I trust more with my car than him.

6 Brit
12-09-2009, 11:14 AM
How do prices of inde's compare to dealers?

Dose, are you recommending Autobahn West?

I need a brake job.

do them yourself :thumbup:

Bartman619
12-10-2009, 06:29 PM
if you're in Point Loma, try AutoHaus Munich..its behind the Sports Arena.

Palantirion
12-12-2009, 05:27 PM
No one has brought up AGA yet? I'm in OC and even I know about AGA.

Guru
12-15-2009, 03:09 PM
Let me shed some light on this subject, I live in San Diego and have been to almost all the different independent bmw service centers. To me experience is the key, if your used to working on all makes of vehicles besides only BMW's, your expertise is broad but not specific to BMW's. You are more a general mechanic than a specialist at a specific make such as BMW. I noticed everyone is referring bmw repair shops in san diego without much research. Majority of these bmw mechanics are not certified by BMW North America. Meaning they did not get certification from BMW North America. When they speak about being certified they actually mean certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) which is like a 3rd party certification. The certification is for all general makes of cars and not specific to BMW cars. The only independent bmw service center that is indeed certified through by BMW North America is www.***************** (http://www.*****************/) Give your local bmw repair shops in San Diego a call and ask them if they are indeed BMW North America certified before making your decision whom to trust. When you speak to the master mechanic over at euroautospot you'll understand why he was certified by BMW North America. That is the shop I recommend, make sure you do your homework.

Palantirion
12-15-2009, 05:10 PM
Let me shed some light on this subject, I live in San Diego and have been to almost all the different independent bmw service centers. To me experience is the key, if your used to working on all makes of vehicles besides only BMW's, your expertise is broad but not specific to BMW's. You are more a general mechanic than a specialist at a specific make such as BMW. I noticed everyone is referring bmw repair shops in san diego without much research. Majority of these bmw mechanics are not certified by BMW North America. Meaning they did not get certification from BMW North America. When they speak about being certified they actually mean certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) which is like a 3rd party certification. The certification is for all general makes of cars and not specific to BMW cars. The only independent bmw service center that is indeed certified through by BMW North America is www.***************** (http://www.*****************/) Give your local bmw repair shops in San Diego a call and ask them if they are indeed BMW North America certified before making your decision whom to trust. When you speak to the master mechanic over at euroautospot you'll understand why he was certified by BMW North America. That is the shop I recommend, make sure you do your homework.
-Not to sound like I disagree with your point, but do remember that BMW NA certifies all BMW dealerships. And we are recommending non-dealerships because...

Guru
12-15-2009, 05:32 PM
-Not to sound like I disagree with your point, but do remember that BMW NA certifies all BMW dealerships. And we are recommending non-dealerships because...

I definately agree with you. From what I heard from Michael my Brecht BMW service advisor was the only way to get BMW North America Master Certification is to be sent to their training. You would have to be the lead mechanic to be offered this type of master certification training from BMW North America. The only local independent bmw repair shop that isnt affiliated to BMW and has this master certification from BMW North America is Euroautospot in Miramar of San Diego. I still take my 750 to Brecht but my other bmw's go to Euroautospot because its alot cheaper. My 750 is still covered under warranty so i'll wait till its out of warranty before I take it to Euroautospot. :thumbup:

Palantirion
12-15-2009, 05:38 PM
I definately agree with you. From what I heard from Michael my Brecht BMW service advisor was the only way to get BMW North America Master Certification is to be sent to their training. You would have to be the lead mechanic to be offered this type of master certification training from BMW North America. The only local independent bmw repair shop that isnt affiliated to BMW and has this master certification from BMW North America is Euroautospot in Miramar of San Diego. I still take my 750 to Brecht but my other bmw's go to Euroautospot because its alot cheaper. My 750 is still covered under warranty so i'll wait till its out of warranty before I take it to Euroautospot. :thumbup:
-AGA isn't BMW-certified? I'd be surprised, since they are certified by Steve Dinan - and he's a LOT pickier than BMW.

Guru
12-15-2009, 11:57 PM
No such thing as being Dinan Certified unless you purchased a used car from them. Dinan has 3 Factory Service Centers listed below. AGA is an Authorized Dinan Dealer which means they are authorized to install their line of Dinan aftermarket parts. Besides Dinan doesn't deal with BMW maintenance and service. Their experience is strictly BMW performance modifications.

Dinan - Morgan Hill
865 Jarvis Drive
Morgan Hill CA 95037
(408) 779-8584

Dinan - Mountain View
2232 Old Middlefield Way
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 962-9401

Dinan - Campbell
980 Camden Ave.
Campbell CA 95008
(408) 866-0606

Palantirion
12-17-2009, 02:03 PM
No such thing as being Dinan Certified unless you purchased a used car from them. Dinan has 3 Factory Service Centers listed below. AGA is an Authorized Dinan Dealer which means they are authorized to install their line of Dinan aftermarket parts. Besides Dinan doesn't deal with BMW maintenance and service. Their experience is strictly BMW performance modifications.
-Actually, Dinan certifies all Dinan-authorized facilities to do both installation and repairs. Independent Dinan shops are certified the same as BMW dealerships that Dinan allows to be autorized Dinan shops. Steve's standards, like his parts, are higher than BMW's (IMO). I'd prefer to have a Dinan-authorized facility work on my BMW than a BMW-authorized facility.

Guru
12-18-2009, 12:18 AM
Dinan certifies these facilities because they SELL their products, not because of their experience or skills. Independent Dinan Shops are no where certified in the same procedures as Master Technicians certified from BMW of North America. You can have a hole in the wall shop and if you sold alot of Dinan ECU's flashes than you could be "Certified from BMW". Im sure Steve makes great products because i've had a Dinan ECU flash that was perfect. But the point is that Steve doesnt even visit any of his "Certified Dinan Installers". If you need help your welcome to call Steve or his technicians for help when you install these products. Being Dinan certified doesn't mean Steve or anyone from Dinan came out to your facility and certified you. Dinan doesn't train you to install any of their products also, so where is the experience in these so called "Dinan Certified Shops"? A phone call away to Dinan? Performance parts that they sell include superchargers, ecu flashes, and air filters. Dinan was known for ECU flashes so it was common sense that he would get into forced induction. All forced induction BMW's relied on the ECU flashes to work flawless. The mechanical parts of forced induction kits are easy to fabricate. He focused on superchargers, which basically meant just a mounting plate for the charger, and mandrel bent tubing to connect the air plumbing. I don't see where maintenance of a BMW and his niche come into this. I know that when it comes to problems with ecu flashes and superchargers, he should be the man to call, but this is maintenance and repairs. You know water pumps, tranny rebuilds, electrical shorts, bad relays, etc. You have to have experience and have many cars come through your company to pick up on all the parts that go bad frequently in BMW's in order to save the customer money. Your talking about a shop thats certified by Dinan, and not even Dinan the company itself. At best this shops expertise is in supercharged installations and if he isn't certified by BMW North America, than he wouldn't have much experience with BMW repairs and services. Anyone can install a air filter and flash an ECU rom. Just like anyone that buys Dinan's products can be certified a phone call away.

Palantirion
12-18-2009, 03:18 PM
I don't know where you get your information "Guru" but it's wrong. Steve Dinan checks out every Dinan-authorized shop, either personally or via that area's Dinan rep (sometimes both), prior to certifying them. Dinan has a very close working relationship with their shops, and requires them to be highly skilled in general BMW repairs as these skills are directly related to proper installation of Dinan parts/kits - some of which go beyond the training required to become a BMW-Certified Master Technician.

Guru
12-18-2009, 06:22 PM
so your saying that dinan comes out and inspects your shop. I agree they send a SALES GUY out, sometimes he comes out himself also. The sales guy is used to evaluate your potential and thats about it. Does the guy they send out, come out and train you for ANYTHING? So what does a sales guy or even Steve teach you anything related to bmw installs during that visit. If you speak to any authorized Dinan shop, did they go to through any training from Dinan hands on? BMW of North America is all hands on training. Your speaking with no foundation and ruining your credibility for the shop your refering too. Your making up stuff to make it seem like Dinan even trains anyone in the aftermarket world. People that go through BMW North America for training go for weeks, so I dont know where you get this fake training from Dinan at, let me know. Really think about it man, Dinan aint a bmw training facility so how long can he train you for and what can he train you at? Flashing an ECU? Installing a Air Filter? Now if you have a problem with the Supercharger install he might send a tech or even himself out but wheres the training? There wasn't any training previously prior to being authorized, and the amount of time he does come out doesnt justify any certification. Your using Dinan's name because they have experience to try and build credibility for a shop. If you know so much how long is the training Dinan gives you? LOL 1 hour?

PPG4
12-18-2009, 09:44 PM
: popcorn:

It's been a while since I've poked around BF; I have to admit this thread is pretty amusing.

To the OP, there are plenty of good independent BMW shops in San Diego. For what you're looking for, La Jolla Independent is probably the best out there; Carl is a walking BMW Encyclopedia, from classics to modern. If you're in the North County/Inland area, All German Auto gets an honorable mention. If you start talking race oriented shops, I'd give you a different answer...

As far as the whole idea that only a BMW Master Certified Tech should touch a BMW thing, well, that's nonsense. Put an experienced and talented "general" mechanic in front of a BMW with a problem to diagnose, give him access to the TIS (which anyone can subscribe to if they pony up the money) and he will solve your problem; he just may have to do some more research on an issue and any honest mechanic wouldn't charge you for that kind of research time.

The flip-side is that I've had some really bad experiences with bone-headed moves pulled by BMW Certified Master Techs at the dealer, one of which almost killed me, others that have cost me countless wasted hours and trips back to have things re-fixed. I've even had issues escalated to BMW NA with no resolution.

You should also bear in mind that once a BMW Master Tech is no longer employed by the dealer, he misses the training programs for new models as they roll out. So they, like all the other 'general' mechanics, rely on the TIS for figuring out stuff for those new models. Put an N54B30 in front of a Master Tech at an Independent shop who's been independent for more than 2 years and they're researching just like the general tech.

In short, the only thing that being a BMW Certified Master Tech Means is that they worked at a dealership for at least 5 years (actually, only 3 if they were a Step Graduate).

As far as this whole Dinan thing goes... well, there are definitely products that Dinan won't let just any of their Authorized Dealers install because they do require a special skill set or a demonstrated level of competency. Would they let anyone drop an air filter? Probably. Flash an ECU? Assuming they could afford the hardware, most likely. Install an S3-R SC kit on an E46 M3? No chance. Is it a formalized Dinan Certification process? I couldn't tell you, but given Palantirion's history, I'd defer to him on this one.

Cheers.

QuoteWarz Insurance
01-01-2010, 01:25 PM
I have always heard good things about La Jolla Independent from several different people over the years.

aa240sx
01-22-2010, 08:27 AM
Just my opinion, but I like the guys at Charlie's Foreign Car in Encinitas. They're pretty straight shooters and respect those with a penchant for DIY. I bring my wife's W211 and my 02 E39 525I when I'm up against the wall on an issue I can't fix myself. Very knowledgeable!

UncleJ
01-22-2010, 10:32 AM
BTW, Dinan DOES do general and routine BMW (now Mercedes too) maintentance and repair work at their NoCal shops. I have been using them for years for out of warranty BMW M&R work.