No More Dealer Service For Me

MINIs is back in the driveway. It got there by me driving it over 50 miles.

With the heater on.

Outside temperature was 105.

But boy does she shift!

It would appear that my MINI is disintegrating pretty fast. While at the dealer, the radiator fan seems to have stopped working and the thermostat appears to be non-operational as well. Plus I still have the minor leak in the radiator. So, I can drive my MINI as long as I don’t have to stop for more than 20 seconds and don’t run the A/C.

So I’m looking for a shop. Why you ask? Well friends, I’m going to tell you.

I’m a big fan of Crevier. Alex and Teresa over there are awesome on the service side, and all of the Motoring Advisors are top notch! Never, ever have I had a problem with service quality. A super great group of people that have always bent over backwards to make sure I’m taken care of.

That being said, I want to revisit the customer survey. It used to be there was a call system, rated up to 5 stars. I never rated 5 stars because I think the cost of service is not a good value, even with the level of service received. Moving on, the survey has moved to the web. A nice form that gets filled out, with a place for notes and scores. All that.

Once the form is complete and the score is calculated, it’s forwarded along to everyone involved in that process, including the service writer. And, as I recently found out, if the score is less than 100%, the service writer suffers financially because of it. Again, as I understand it, they aren’t rewarded for 100%, they are penalized if they don’t get the 100%. I might have this wrong, but I have a feeling I don’t. Of course, if you know for sure otherwise, please comment accordingly.

Since the chance of finding a BMW/MINI service shop that doesn’t charge rates that are way out of my price range are slim, the chance of me ever giving a score of 100% to any dealer are equally slim. And, since I don’t want to be responsible for any of the employees losing money, I will not be getting any further paid service done at any BMW/MINI dealer.

So, I’m looking for a MINI friendly shop within 20 miles of my house. If anyone has any suggestions*, please let me know below.

Also, if you know of a great MINI friendly shop in your area, leave that information below as well. If I get enough, I would like to start a page over at WRR to list reported good, independent, MINI-friendly shops. Sorry fellas, if you own the shop, please don’t leave your info below. I’m looking for the information from MINI owners.

*Steve’s, Hubie and Johnny’s are not local for me. Please do not recommend them. I’m looking for something in Temecula, Riverside or Corona area.

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  1. It’s not local to you, but the best MINI shop in MA is Greasy’s Garage in Worcester, MA.
    Pete & John who run the place are MINI fanatics. Pete is an excellent mechanic and John keeps the place running smoothly. I was just there for a 65k check up and they had most parts in stock and what they didn’t have got delivered inside 1 hour.
    Highly recommended.

  2. I’d recommend Bill at Kennsington Motor Cars, but I think Vegas is a little out of your location requirement.

    1. Feel free to leave full details about these shops gang. Phone numbers, website addresses, person to talk to or whatever!

  3. DB,
    Is this poor 100% service policy specific to Crevier, or do you believe it to be a MINI USA thing?

    And, sorry to hear of all the disintegration; very strange how it’s all happening at once :(

    1. @Ian – I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure the survey is a standard thing that most dealers use. What happens with that data after it’s submitted on a dealer by dealer basis I don’t know.

  4. Don, sorry to hear about all your problems. You could start a “Help Don Buy a New MINI” Fund. I will donate a $1. How many followers do you have? If they all sent you a buck you could buy a new MINI. Or at least a remote control one.

  5. In the 305 I strongly recommend Luis Sanchez at Precision Auto Werks:

    7254 NW 25th St
    Miami, FL 33122-1701
    (305) 591-7434?

    He is a MINI enthusiast and auto-xer, and most importantly, runs an honest shop.

  6. Sorry to hear about your MINI’s troubles. But they are not severe.

    The Fan not working is probably due to a faulty fan relay….easy fix.

    As for the radiator leak, there are some products you can add to your fluid to stop minor leaks. It will work long enough for you to find a good mechanic. It is not a difficult task to replace it either.

    I have no recommendations for ya concerning a good mechanic, unless you want to drive to Worcester Masssachusetts. ( Greasy’s Garage )


    Motor On,


  7. I’ve always had a problem with two aspects of the MINIUSA/BMW survey process (which may extend to other dealers but its been so long since I’ve not had a MINI I wouldn’t know):
    Number 1. “If I don’t get “all 5s”/100% I get dinged, but if I do get all 5s I don’t get props” is a terrible motivation tool! Especially when/if the reasons why you don’t give 5’s have nothing to do with your Service Advisor! Which brings me to Number 2:

    The surveys are not anonymous. Not even close. Everyone in the food chain sees customer responses, down to the guy you’re gonna be talking to again when you need to bring your car in again. I had an issue with my service once, and was quite detailed about it in the survey. Next time I go in for service, the SA says, “hey- why did you say XYZ?” (fortunately since everything I said was true I didn’t feel bad about getting called out). However, once you realize this, and as a customer you want good treatment, you always say nice things even if you’re not satisfied. Which technically makes the entire survey process invalid. But I won’t get into that.

    As a neighbor to the 951 (and soon out of warranty) I’ll be keeping my eye on the “hunt”.

  8. My Chicago area favorites:

    Axels Automotive
    29870 N Skokie Hwy
    Lake Bluff, IL 60044-1194
    (847) 688-0500

    They have an ex-MINI Mechanic there, and have done a really good job on everything I have had done there.

    Import Service Center
    1822 Lehigh Ave
    Glenview Il

    Shop is owned by a member of our local MINI Club. They have hosted a club MOD party, and several people from our club have been happy with work there. I’ll be going there next week for new tires.

  9. In the Seattle/Bellevue area, you want to visit Redmond European in Redmond at 425.376.2655.

    Monty Jarvis (owner) or Justin Graham (Srvc Mgr) will get you 100% taken care of. They have a huge Mini, Porsche, BMW, Audi local fan club with a Best of Washington award to boot.

  10. My car is out of warranty, and I needed a service. I found some good reviews of MINICorsa on the SCMM website, and so took the MINI there.
    I was very impressed. Danny did what the car needed in record time, and even gave me a discount for doing all the necessary repairs in one sitting.
    Highly recommend.

  11. I highly recommend Import Service Center 1822 Lehigh Ave Glenview Il 847-724-4336. Ask for Dan. Knows Minis, very easy to work with, makes good recommendations, and drives a Mini. Really perfect for non-dealer work.

  12. @Ian, db, irieman I had a lot of problems with my R56, none of which were service people related…it just had a lot of faulty parts. Even if you rate one single part less than a 5, they SAs get penalized monetarily. Its apparently MINI USA standard policy. So I just called up MINI USA and told them to take me off the survey list, and at least put in a good word for my SA.

  13. This is not local to you but my Mini gets work done at Auto Sports & Imports in Kenosha, WI, 262-697-1700. They do great work and have a very nice place. I always had disappoinments with the dealer and finally gave up too. So I can totally relate to your pain.

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