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Deutsch American, German Auto Mechanic, Urbana

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Ever since Don started this forum, I have meant to recommend my BMW mechanics (who service all German cars) in Urbana (my guy is Mike). I learned of them when I lived up that way, but have continued to use them since, despite the inconvenience of getting my car (and me) there. The reasons for this is that they are cheap and bullshit free. If they say you need it, you need it; if they say you don't, you don't. I've tried the dealer and other places down here and, after they recommended multi-thousand dollar repairs, went to Deutsch American. My repair bill each time for what they actually did has always been about half what I would have paid here. And they've frequently told me I didn't need to have certain work done. My car has always been returned flawless.

But, of course, there's a story. When I met my girlfriend, my car needed some work. Because they are so good, I planned to take my car to Deutsch American. One thing led to another, and she volunteered to take me to drop it off. So, we set off for Deutsch American, which, I guess, I forgot to mention is in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a private airplane runway, in a hangar. So, as we pull in, she's thinking things are a bit sketchy. The door for the place is also around the side of the hangar in the back, which is not well lit. So she's thinking worse things. And I was having work done that impacted my trunk, so I had to clean it out. This is, apparently, where things got interesting.

I had just moved from a friend's house in College Park with a giant back yard to a loft in DC. I didn't have a lot of storage in my new place, so I left precisely three things in my trunk that I needed in the Maryland house that I did not need in DC: a shovel; a ground tamper; and heavy-duty construction trash bags. The reasons I had these three things are as follows: (1) the house I lived in in Maryland had an old-school chimney smoker, and I needed the shovel to get the coals from the chimney part to the smoker box; (2) the house also had an overgrowth of bamboo, which I chopped down but took daily pruning to maintain; and (3) I put in a fountain for a former significant other and needed the tamper. I loaded these things into her trunk and we left. It was a long, silent ride home.

Apparently, she believed that I needed these things so that I could kill her and bury her body where no one would find it. Of course, about half way home she confessed this to me. And, of course, rather than telling her why I owned these items, I responded that I was tired and, actually, hoped to kill her in the morning. I have no idea why she's still with me now, two and a half years later. But I'm thankful.

Richard Boone

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I want to thank Rich for his post about Deutsch American. I've now taken my aging BMW to them on two separate occasions, and plan on using them as my regular mechanic in the future for everything except oil changes.

Even with renting a car for three days, and driving 100 miles roundtrip - twice - I'm so satisfied with the service at Deutsch American that I'm convinced it's not only higher-quality service than I'd get at a dealer, it's also less expensive, even with the logistical hassles.

Both times, the car came out running like it was new. Aside from minor scheduled service, this time around I'd failed a Virginia emissions inspection (grrrrrr). Not only did Mike tell me exactly what was wrong, but he was also well aware that this particular model of BMW has been having trouble with this particular part.

He urged me to get my oil changed every 5,000 miles (I mean, really now, who ever actually does that?) because my car actually needs it done. Also, that it's not necessarily a good idea to rotate these tires because the back ones always wear out first - if you don't rotate them front-to-back, you'll only have two tires to replace at a time, instead of four.

I encourage anyone with an out-of-warranty BMW to give Deutsch American a try, especially now that Family Meal is so, so tantalizingly close.

Don Rockwell

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