Trusted Sprinter Service Mechanics Shop List

mk216v

Member
I thought that what was this whole Dealer Supply List/Regional Locations sub-forum was about - including the breakdown by state and province: https://sprinter-source.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=125
Seems moderators are moving threads around? One got moved from Oregon section to this section. I made a post there about posting to each State section vs Dealer Info, since Dealer section is regarding Dealerships, correct?;

MATRIX INTEGRATED--Bend OR and Portland OR locations
 

Kimball

Member
Here is my recent experience with Collie Autoworks.
My van wasn't building adequate fuel pressure to start properly. I'd already performed significant work/testing and narrowed the issue down to either being the high pressure fuel pump or the injectors leaking off too much fuel. This included an injector leak off test where each injector was putting out approximately 5 mL at 10 seconds of cranking time. Note that this test is done (so I've read) with the cam position sensor undone, and the MAF sensor unplugged since you've got to remove the air box. I recently had the DPF sensor die on me, and replaced it. The MAF sensor is also new. Collie did the teach in when I took the van to them previously.

I didn't want to blindly play parts darts when deciding whether I needed to replace injectors or the high pressure pump. Didn't have those kinds of dollars. I called Collie and asked if they had the diagnostic capabilities to discern which of the two needed replacement. They confirmed that they did. I told them everything I've done in relation to the fuel system to date, so they wouldn't needlessly replicate any work.

I drop the van off and am told that I'd get answers in a day or two. Roughly two weeks later they called me back.
After their diagnostics, they reported to me that it was indeed the fuel pump, but also that I needed a new cam position sensor, a new MAF sensor and probably a new DPF due to stored codes, as well as a new turbo resonator because the seal was bad.

I told them that those codes were due to the fact that I'd just been cranking on the van with the sensors unplugged (dpf sensor aside) and that those codes had not been present before that time, and was told that they cleared the codes, and they immediately returned.

I declined everything but the fuel pump and asked for a quote: Out the door, $2400.
I'd either understood this or assumed this to mean a new pump for $1800 plus labor, plus tax.
I searched on europarts and found that a bosch factory reman could be had for $1200 + a $300 refundable core deposit. I talked to Roger and told him that if he could charge me the $1200 for the part, I'd pay them for the install. Installing this part is within my capabilities, but I view a good relationship with a reputable shop as a a solid investment, so I'd rather not jerk them around, having them do diagnostics but not any repair work.
This proposal of using the specific part at the specific price turned out to be way more of a haggle session than anticipated. Roger wanted to charge me $1500 for the part, plus the labor, plus the diagnostic, plus tax. That's how he got to the $2400. Sure. Makes sense. He eventually agrees to the $1200 for the part and I tell him to proceed.
Roger said he hoped to have it done by the end of the week.
Roughly two weeks later he calls me back.
The good news: they got the pump in and the van starts.
The bad news: it doesn't start very well. Roger says that they installed it, and it wasn't great, so they went in and pinched off the leak off tubes after each injector, and injectors 5 and 6 built up a lot of pressure. So they contacted a supplier (I didn't ask, nor did he offer who) and bought two used injectors for $100 each, and charged me $100 for the install. That plus all of the other work that the van needed due to persistent codes means that it just really doesn't run very well. Again, I caused these codes myself. And the issue with the van was sort of a night and day scenario: running smoothly enough -at least without a single one of these codes- and then all of a sudden fueling problems, beginning with a seized lift pump and carrying on from there.
I was less than enthusiastic about negotiating a $300 price difference based on the known cost of the agreed upon part, in the agreed upon scope of work, only to be met with an identical increase in an unapproved scope increase.
By the time I drove the van from San Rafael to west Oakland, it's performance was identical to when I dropped it off and spent $2400 on it. None of the maf or cam position codes were present, though. Nor are they now, after putting about 500 miles on the van.

So I see two ways that this could happen:

I'm a mechanical engineer who has designed, fabricated, built, and tested all kinds of different products and equipment. I'm also a life long wrench, admittedly not with sprinters, but I have built plenty of motos and fixed plenty of cars. I also fully have adhd and can come across as a scatter-brained kook on my bad days. Maybe they just saw a scatter-brained kook and threw every possible code to fix at him. Maybe they then got the new fuel pump in, and made up the story about putting two used injectors in the most buried place in the van to get the profit they need to, because unless I wrote down the injector codes it'd be impossible to tell. Maybe the $1500 they quoted me was actually $1200 for the pump and then they were pocketing the $300 core charge. Seems to all add up.

Or.
The way it was communicated to Roger was that I really did need all that extra crap. To be fair, the resonator seal *was* garbage, and I did replace the whole resonator because some of the mounting threads were also garbage. Maybe they did replace the pump and found no real improvement, and then really did use a dubious diagnostic method to discover that injectors 5 and 6 were the worst offenders in the van, and decided that it was better to go ahead without my approval so I wouldn't have just spent all the money for none of the gain.
But if that's the case, why did they say that they would diagnose the problem between the injectors and the fuel pump in the first place and then seemingly just play code reader and parts darts with it? At the outset, I specifically communicated that the entire reason I was bringing it to them was because they said that they could accurately diagnose the problem. Maybe I needed both the pump *and* the injectors, but then why was the problem literally no different by the time I got home?

Some shops are thoroughly dishonest. Even good honest shops have their swings and misses. This shop absolutely knows sprinters, but since I can't say for certain which treatment I've gotten from them, I don't think that I will be going back. That was $2400 for literally no change. I took the van somewhere else for injectors, got a cheaper rate, faster service, and the van immediately sparks right up flawlessly.

Your mileage may vary, but since I'd seen other "buyer beware" posts about them, and since this thread has both good and bad reports of them, I figured I'd share all of the details here.
 

eranrund

Member
Kimball, do you have any shops in the bay area you would recommend? Who's their competition?
Thanks!
(For what its worth, my experience with them has generally been good even if a bit slow in some cases)
 

Kimball

Member
Kimball, do you have any shops in the bay area you would recommend? Who's their competition?
Thanks!
(For what its worth, my experience with them has generally been good even if a bit slow in some cases)
Unfortunately I don't have any recommendations. Replacing injectors is only marginally harder than replacing sparkplugs, and dang near anyone with the right pro level scan tool can get it done. There are fists full of heavy diesel shops in the east bay, and if you tell them that you just need injectors replaced and programmed, they'll probably be able to do it. If I had a xentry clone or whatever, I'd have just done it myself.

I also want to be careful to reiterate, in explicit terms, that I can make no definite assertions why I had a bad experience with Collie Autoworks. All I have is a gradient of unprovable suppositions between "one of those bad days" and outright "we just need to make X dollars for this job and we'll get it how we get it."
Darren and Roger are both conversationally friendly and seemingly very helpful people, who both seem to know their stuff inside and out. If they were constantly bilking people, I'm not sure if they would have a shop full of sprinters all the time, in addition to everything else they work on.
For a whole host of reasons, I find it very unfortunate that I've found myself in a position of lost trust.
Maybe they're great almost always, and I was just one of the unlucky ones, but I don't think that I can go back.
 
I did not have a good experience. They do service alot of Sprinters but also take shortcuts when I went for transmission fluid related work.
Let me introduce myself. My name is MAXIM and my partner VLAD. We are "Sprinter Service and Repair" in Vista, CA (N San Diego). We are dedicated to repair and fix Sprinter vans. Check us out- www.Sprinter.Repair We will do our best for you. We specialize ONLY in Sprinter Van/RV Service & Repair. Changing oil, fluids, filters, leaks, belts, pulley, brakes, DEF EGR. DPF etc.
Free diagnostics and inspection, free Brakes fluid test. This is our ADDRESS on Google Map https://maps.app.goo.gl/Avw76uWvjuHrGcRs9 (we are right in the front of Melrose Mini Storage). Pls check what customers are saying about us - Google reviews: https://g.co/kgs/Y4NRJU
Honesty and integrity are very important for us. We treat customers as our Sprinter family. Pls call me we will help you, 2538462171
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Here is my recent experience with Collie Autoworks.
My van wasn't building adequate fuel pressure to start properly. I'd already performed significant work/testing and narrowed the issue down to either being the high pressure fuel pump or the injectors leaking off too much fuel. This included an injector leak off test where each injector was putting out approximately 5 mL at 10 seconds of cranking time. Note that this test is done (so I've read) with the cam position sensor undone, and the MAF sensor unplugged since you've got to remove the air box. I recently had the DPF sensor die on me, and replaced it. The MAF sensor is also new. Collie did the teach in when I took the van to them previously.

I didn't want to blindly play parts darts when deciding whether I needed to replace injectors or the high pressure pump. Didn't have those kinds of dollars. I called Collie and asked if they had the diagnostic capabilities to discern which of the two needed replacement. They confirmed that they did. I told them everything I've done in relation to the fuel system to date, so they wouldn't needlessly replicate any work.

I drop the van off and am told that I'd get answers in a day or two. Roughly two weeks later they called me back.
After their diagnostics, they reported to me that it was indeed the fuel pump, but also that I needed a new cam position sensor, a new MAF sensor and probably a new DPF due to stored codes, as well as a new turbo resonator because the seal was bad.

I told them that those codes were due to the fact that I'd just been cranking on the van with the sensors unplugged (dpf sensor aside) and that those codes had not been present before that time, and was told that they cleared the codes, and they immediately returned.

I declined everything but the fuel pump and asked for a quote: Out the door, $2400.
I'd either understood this or assumed this to mean a new pump for $1800 plus labor, plus tax.
I searched on europarts and found that a bosch factory reman could be had for $1200 + a $300 refundable core deposit. I talked to Roger and told him that if he could charge me the $1200 for the part, I'd pay them for the install. Installing this part is within my capabilities, but I view a good relationship with a reputable shop as a a solid investment, so I'd rather not jerk them around, having them do diagnostics but not any repair work.
This proposal of using the specific part at the specific price turned out to be way more of a haggle session than anticipated. Roger wanted to charge me $1500 for the part, plus the labor, plus the diagnostic, plus tax. That's how he got to the $2400. Sure. Makes sense. He eventually agrees to the $1200 for the part and I tell him to proceed.
Roger said he hoped to have it done by the end of the week.
Roughly two weeks later he calls me back.
The good news: they got the pump in and the van starts.
The bad news: it doesn't start very well. Roger says that they installed it, and it wasn't great, so they went in and pinched off the leak off tubes after each injector, and injectors 5 and 6 built up a lot of pressure. So they contacted a supplier (I didn't ask, nor did he offer who) and bought two used injectors for $100 each, and charged me $100 for the install. That plus all of the other work that the van needed due to persistent codes means that it just really doesn't run very well. Again, I caused these codes myself. And the issue with the van was sort of a night and day scenario: running smoothly enough -at least without a single one of these codes- and then all of a sudden fueling problems, beginning with a seized lift pump and carrying on from there.
I was less than enthusiastic about negotiating a $300 price difference based on the known cost of the agreed upon part, in the agreed upon scope of work, only to be met with an identical increase in an unapproved scope increase.
By the time I drove the van from San Rafael to west Oakland, it's performance was identical to when I dropped it off and spent $2400 on it. None of the maf or cam position codes were present, though. Nor are they now, after putting about 500 miles on the van.

So I see two ways that this could happen:

I'm a mechanical engineer who has designed, fabricated, built, and tested all kinds of different products and equipment. I'm also a life long wrench, admittedly not with sprinters, but I have built plenty of motos and fixed plenty of cars. I also fully have adhd and can come across as a scatter-brained kook on my bad days. Maybe they just saw a scatter-brained kook and threw every possible code to fix at him. Maybe they then got the new fuel pump in, and made up the story about putting two used injectors in the most buried place in the van to get the profit they need to, because unless I wrote down the injector codes it'd be impossible to tell. Maybe the $1500 they quoted me was actually $1200 for the pump and then they were pocketing the $300 core charge. Seems to all add up.

Or.
The way it was communicated to Roger was that I really did need all that extra crap. To be fair, the resonator seal *was* garbage, and I did replace the whole resonator because some of the mounting threads were also garbage. Maybe they did replace the pump and found no real improvement, and then really did use a dubious diagnostic method to discover that injectors 5 and 6 were the worst offenders in the van, and decided that it was better to go ahead without my approval so I wouldn't have just spent all the money for none of the gain.
But if that's the case, why did they say that they would diagnose the problem between the injectors and the fuel pump in the first place and then seemingly just play code reader and parts darts with it? At the outset, I specifically communicated that the entire reason I was bringing it to them was because they said that they could accurately diagnose the problem. Maybe I needed both the pump *and* the injectors, but then why was the problem literally no different by the time I got home?

Some shops are thoroughly dishonest. Even good honest shops have their swings and misses. This shop absolutely knows sprinters, but since I can't say for certain which treatment I've gotten from them, I don't think that I will be going back. That was $2400 for literally no change. I took the van somewhere else for injectors, got a cheaper rate, faster service, and the van immediately sparks right up flawlessly.

Your mileage may vary, but since I'd seen other "buyer beware" posts about them, and since this thread has both good and bad reports of them, I figured I'd share all of the details here.
Kimbal
With respect I have read your lengthy post and from your narrative I would state you are an Independent's shop's worst type of customer.
In short a nightmare scenario in the making ! Sorry .
It is that ostensibly why dealers won't play your game.

So by your own admission you are short of funds to fix it so you want champagne 5 star white glove service on a beer budget to be blunt.

So to make a few comments.

You did some DIY diagnosis and fault codes were either active or stored prior to you presenting the van to the shop.
Was this to hopefully reduce the diagnostic & inspection fees . That is a no dice! Sorry .
Firstly we professionals mark down ALL relevant codes & tech info whether pertinent to the job or not--It a professional posture. They appeared to do that which you negated that as seemingly padding out the job.
Which from the face of it for you was WRONG!
So irrespective of what you have said or done as a customer we always check your work against our work , conduct pre and post repair test runs etc.

Now that HPOP pump and the cost!
A genuine ex MB HPOP pump is $1775 with an MB warranty.
It has a $350 core value otherwise the charge is $2125.
So a job quotation is $1775 plus 2 hours of labor and a new MB fuel filter for the warranty compliance. So the quotation was about right.
Now profit.
Just like any shop we work for profit on parts sales and labor time.
The profit for my business is based upon parts sales uplift & discount.
I/We enjoy with MB substantial discounts doing more than $750,000 of business annually.
So I suspect the shop you used, normally buys it for around $1350 with a mark up for profit.
I am quite happy to disclose to you, I buy that pump ex MB for $1150 but I sell it for $1775 reflecting my discount volume business with MB.
So now you want to shop parts, bring your own parts, drive down the price, and take food off of the shop's table by suggesting a re-man pump from an aftermarket supplier. YOU ARE CRAZY!
You then by your own narrative get into a dutch auction.
It was at that stage the job went totally sideways YOU are about 75% responsible for the outcome.
Next Injectors

Any doubt in my shop they ALL come out and be tested by a Bosch Service Center.
There are NO options on this.
So in short I would have said Mr Kimbal "We don't do this type of work, take it elsewhere " and it would be handed back to you simply with a diagnostic fee.

Now as a final comment with possibly a question.
In your narrative you mention you are a Mechanical Engineer involved in building a widget of some sorts . Presumably then as an employee!
Now I assume the company you work for builds the "widget" with profit margin built in & determined by finance & costing departments
Does the company you work for drastically reduce its profit margins for one off job?
To suggest so, no doubt your Sales Director would be received with total incredulity & be dismissed !
So why do you expect a shop to cut its profit margins just to suit YOU?
As you can see the outcome was less than acceptable!
This was at least 75% of your wrong doing as I see it
Sorry
Dennis
 
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