Nov 192010

One of the first things you should do if you own a BMW out of warranty is find a good independent mechanic. On this blog I talk about the DIY things I’ve accomplished, but the big stuff needs a professional. Gary Martin at Martin Motorsports is an enthusiast who I can trust to maintain my 1999 M3 and 2001 530.

A few weeks ago I had Gary change the manual transmission and differential oils on the M3. Full disclosure — I had wanted to do the transmission fluid myself, it’s pretty straight-forward. Unfortunately, when I tried to remove the fill nut on the transmission it was impossible. I had some of my friends at Hollin Hall Automotive try it as well — no luck. So off to Gary the car went.

Soon after I got the car back, it started leaking a small amount of fluid overnight. I brought it back to Gary, who immediately put the car up in the air while I waited. The bango bolt on the driver side steering rack was a little loose, and he tightened it for me. One of his guys also drilled a small hole and ziptied my driver side wheel liner,  which was sagging a little bit. All gratis, no charge, catch you next time Chris.

Bango Bolt on right

Zipties to the rescue

Not only that, Gary threw me the keys to his Imola Red 2002 M5 with some fun performance mods and suggested I give it a test drive. Just in case I ever want to move to an E39 M5.

That pretty much sums up why I go to an independent mechanic for my BMW maintenance work.

  One Response to “Why I go to an Indie Mechanic”

  1. Hey Chris, good stuff (as usual). Maybe we can pool the indie Beemer/Mini mechanics we know so as to be a resource.

    Most recently, I’d brought my Beemers to AutoBahn just off River Road where I feel like they always did a good job with service and maintenance and were helpful in telling me what to expect over the next six months (“keep and ear out on the brakes” and “the motor mounts may need attention when you reach 60,000 miles” etc).

    5514 Dorsey Lane off River Road (very convenient for DC residents – including rides to the metro after dropping off your car). They cheat a little and service other Deutch autos but hey, everyone’s got to make a living!

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