Andy Gayle Mercedes W Midlands

Discussion in 'Mercedes specialists across the UK' started by GregE240, May 29, 2003.

  1. GregE240

    GregE240 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    No sign of this chap's garage on here, so here goes:

    I've e-mailed Andy a few times prior to this morning's visit.

    Indeed, I originally mailed him two years ago out of the blue asking him for advice for my first Mercedes. He was very helpful, replying almost straight away with loads of good points. Not the sort of response you'd get if you went into a dealers.

    Well, one expired Signature warranty and 40,000 miles later, my "BRAKE LINING" warning light came on yesterday morning, so I telephoned Andy late yesterday afternoon. No problem, the man himself said, bring it on in first thing and we'll do them while you wait.

    Got there at about 8:10 this morning, quite easy to find (for locals its on the A457 between J1 and J2 of the M5, big signs on the main road). Got booked in and 5 minutes later the car was on the ramps. Andy was picking up a customers car (they offer a free collect and deliver service) so I was left in the capable and friendly hands of his service manager Roger.

    Prognosis wasn't good initially - as well as the front pads, the front disks were below level as well, but at thirty quid each I wasn't going to complain (pads were £42 plus VAT, by the way). While the car was in the air I was invited to join the service engineer while we had a guided tour of the underneath of my car - seems at your first visit they have a damn good look around to find anything that may need attention sooner or later. This is incorporated into the engineers report that stays on your file. Nothing major - rear diff seal is weeping a little but nothing to worry about, and the front ARB supports need replacing at the next service (about £6 the pair - phew!).

    Other than that, clean as a whistle.

    While the car was being lowered off the lift, the engineer had a look at the rear pads - and they were like After Eight mints! Almost no friction material left at all, so a new set was in order (£31) - none in stock so a set were couriered immediately. It was commented that due to modern traction control systems the rears have mmore work to do these days as well as act as handbrake and provide stopping force, so rear pad wear is not uncommon.

    Ten minutes later all is good on the car and the engineer took it for a quick road test to make sure everything had bedded in.

    During all of this Andy Gayle turned up and introduced himself. We spent a while talking customer service, oil change frequencies and so forth.

    Andy has clearly worked hard to build the business up to what it is today and values repeat business and word of mouth. Not to mention advertisements in magazines. But a thoroughly decent and honest chap with a refreshing and "realistic" attitude to servicing.

    For example, a gentleman came in with a lovely 15 YO 420SL with no rev counter or speedo working. He was about to embark on a long drive and wanted it fixing PDQ. An engineer was on the car immediately, swapping the fuse and getting him back on his way.

    He'll get an invoice for the work or it will be put on to his next service cost, which rather puts my £25 for a sidelight bulb supply and fit at a local MB dealer to shame. I somehow doubt they would have nonchalently waved me off and cheerily invoiced me for the work.

    Sorry I couldn't take pics as I didn't bring my camera - a little last minute I'm afraid. But I shall be returning for me service in 4K's time and will post once again.

    In summary: a great independant with a loyal customer base. It wasn't terribly difficult to see why the three chaps I spoke to couldn't stop singing Andy's praises.
     
  2. jimmy

    jimmy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thats very interesting and good to hear that you have found a good independent specialist.

    Just out of interest and to give me something to compare our prices with, were the prices for discs and pads including fitting? Also were they genuine MB parts, if not do you remember what make they were?

    It would help me as we are getting hammered by Vauxhall on discs and pads and I have to check out other sources too, we try and guarantee that our prices are the best for quality parts. But we sometimes get troubles.

    I was thinking of getting my autobox fluid changed and am not sure to goto George Fraser, Andy Gayle or a local automatic transmissions specialist..............or the dealer!!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    GregE240

    GregE240 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Sorry Jimmy, just noticed your reply. In order:

    The prices I quoted were supply only. The fitting charges were £58 for the front discs and pads, £19 for the rear pads.

    Andy's garage ONLY uses genuine MB parts. Alternatives aren't even considered.

    I spoke with Andy about autobox fluid replacement. As some of you probably know, Andy is a prolific poster on the MBOA site and contributes technically to the magazine. His opinion is that it SHOULD be changed from time to time as he does not subscribe to the point of view expressed by MB that the fluid is fit for life. He also adds that some of the fluid he has drained from these boxes would support this argument. So, to that end he reckons my car will need a fluid change at 100K (currently at 83K).

    In terms of who to do it, depends who is nearest I would imagine. George is highly thought of, as is Andy.
     
  4. GrahamC230K

    GrahamC230K MB Club Veteran

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    Believe Andy Gayle to have a good reputation. Have a stamp in my Service Book from there, prior to me buying the car.

    Think he frequents the MBOA forum too. Be sure to introduce us!
     
  5. Steve_Perry

    Steve_Perry Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Andy was at the April 02 GTG in the Cotswolds. He's a great bloke and has a very good reputation for servicing MB's. :)
    S.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    GregE240

    GregE240 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Just an update to this:

    Car went in on Monday for a B service. I took in my last two service invoices from the dealers so Andy knew what had been done in terms of plugs and brake fluid and so forth.

    Got a lift to my office from one of Andys assistants, which saved me a cab fare. Come 3pm in the afternoon I hadn't had the dreaded "We've noticed a few things that need doing" so I rang them and asked Andy if they'd started the service. "Oh yes, all done, ready when you are". Marvellous.

    Cost was £282 for the service, which included Mobil 1 oil. They noticed whilst I was on my way over that one of the front fogs wasn't working, so a bit of extra labour to sort that out (wiring adrift, apparently). Final bill was £304.

    So...top service, very friendly staff (the guy who did my brakes recognised me and said hello) and no negative points at all. Andy advised holding off the gearbox oil change until the next service so that saved me about a hundred quid.

    Recommended. Again!
     
  7. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Yes Andy has a very good rep on the other forum, he is the George Fraser of the Midlands. Like any garage, there have been complaints from forum members, but mostily good.

    And he does join in on the forum and usually sets ever1 straight with his unparralelled knowledge.
     
  8. rirhill

    rirhill Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for that info Greg as "Her indoors" is from that neck of the woods might get any work outside of services done there, though it would have to be on the weekend.

    Cheers
    Ian
     

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