2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test


2002 BMW M3: Indie Service Center Success!

September 02, 2008

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Within minutes of setting foot in Summit Automotive in Marina Del Rey, two things were apparent: The first is that these guys are real mechanics. From the dot-matrix printer to the yellowing CRT computer monitor to the desk-pad, covered in scribbles that, once examined, turned out to be fairly complex diagrams of automotive components, everything in the office was functional on a fundamental level. These guys are not salesmen and they certainly aren't showman. Nobody was wearing a suit and, even at the early hour we retrieved our M3, everyone had a little grease on their hands.

The second thing we realized was that, for the past two days, our M3 was in excellent hands and we wouldn't have to ban Desmolicious for his suggestion.

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Without question our M3 was the newest vehicle in their shop. By a decade. But our computers and fuel injection didn't scare them one bit. Our request that the car be back same-day also didn't bother them-- all of the parts and fluids were in stock and the day belonged to our M3.

If you'll remember from my previous post the list of things to be adressed in this service are are oil change, diff-fluid change, plugs, and a valve job.

The bad news came early: The shim set they thought they had for ann E46 M3 was no longer in stock. Like I said before, these guys aren't salesmen. It would take about a week to get their hands on a set and they could take care of that anytime in the future. The rest of the service would continue on as planned.

Our M3 was ready in the late afternoon that day. We opted to pick it up the following day to avoid the horrible rush hour traffic that defines Southern california.

The bill? $869.83 It's an M3 not a Camry, there has to be ONE downside to this car.

Parts came to $452.50. The highlights were $123 for spark plugs, $101 in specially formulated (83-22-2-282-583) gear oil, and $72 in engine oil. Filters and wipers made up the rest. Shop labor was a reasonable $380. The state of California made up the rest of the tab-- $37.33 in taxes.

We're still waiting on the valve job and we'll let you know how that goes. For now, though, we're happy with the service we recieved from Summit and wouldn't hesitate to recommend their shop.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 60,613 miles.

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